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Golden Globe Race Day 97: Van Den Heede, first to Hobart

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Leading French solo yachtsman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is first arrival at the BoatShed.com  film gate in Hobart, Tasmania.
Leading French solo yachtsman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is first arrival at the BoatShed.com film gate in Hobart, Tasmania.

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede reached the BoatShed.com Hobart film gate at 07:30 local time on Saturday (21:30 UTC Friday) to drop film and letters before heading out of Storm Bay tro resume his lead in the Golden Globe Race.

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The 73-year old Matmut skipper was in good spirits and sighted the lengthy preparation work for his 1,600 mile lead. "The boat is good, the self steering works well and I have only minor problems like a leaking window to deal with."

Jean-Luc remained at anchor for 3 1/2 hours completing media interviews before making most of the  the calm conditions to check his mast and rigging. He also tried to catch some sleep, but after 15 minutes returned on deck complaining that the conditions were "too calm to sleep!" He then set off to cross the South Pacific Ocean and round Cape Horn predicting that he would complete this solo circumnavigation back in Les Sables d'Olonne during the first week of February within 210 days

Dutchman Mark Slats, the second placed skipper, trails Van Den Heede by 1,600 miles and is not expected to reach Hobart for another 10 days.

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