With Leg 4's completion, the four teams participating in the Global Ocean Race have covered 28,000 miles so far. After what was truly an eventful 6,000-mile fourth leg for both the Dutch team of Erik van Vuuren and Yvonne Beusker aboard Class 40 Sec. Hayai and the South African team of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire sailing Class40 Phesheya-Racing, teams will have a brief period of 16 days to rest and gear up for Leg 5.
Sixteen days after leaving Punta del Este, Uraguay, one of the two original Dutch crew members of the Sec. Hiyai, Nico Budel, was called home to the Netherlands on emergency, forcing an impromptu crew substitution in Fortaleza, Brazil, calling in Yvonne Buesker. The unsanctioned stop prompted the GOR Race Commitee to inflict a 24-hr penalty on the Dutch team. Although Van Vuuren and Beusker were able to catch up to the South Africans aboard Phesheya-Racing, who had their own problems with a faulty spinnaker, and finish in Charleston, S.C. ahead of the South Africans, the 24-hr penalty forced the Dutch team to surrender the official title of third to Phesheya-Racing.
As it stands, Leg 4 rankings of the participating teams are: New Zealand/Australian-based team, Cessna Citation, at no.1 completing the leg in 28d 11h 45m, followed by the Italian boat, Financial Crisis coming in at 29d 10h 22m 50s, and then South African Phesheya-Racing and Dutch Sec. Hayai with official times of 30d 4h 39m 20s and 31d 1h 6m 30s respectively.
Leg 5 is set to begin on Saturday May 19 and take sailors 3,500 miles back across the Atlantic from Charleston to Les Sables d'Olonne, Bay of Biscay, France. Cargo ships, gale-force winds in the low pressure areas of the Gulf Stream, and light airs above the Azores of the Atlantic High, may all prove to be hazards for teams with their eyes set on the finish line. Superior navigation and Lady Luck will play the largest role in selecting the race's winner.
For more information about the race, see the Global Ocean Race website.