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The Global Challenge couldn't really be that challenging - could it?

"It's incredibly challenging," says Kiwi Melissa Bray, who sailed on the Courtaulds International yacht on the 43-day leg from Rio to Wellington.

"Some of it was really tough going. When you're sailing in the lower latitudes, you're constantly cold and damp. When you spend two to three weeks in that state it's hard to keep your spirits up and get on with other people!"

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The BT Global Challenge is quite unlike any other yacht race. All 14 of the yachts taking part are identical except for the markings on the hulls, so it's down to the skill and endurance of the crew to really make the difference. Although the skipper of each yacht is a professional, the rest of the crew is made up of people from all walks of life and from many different countries. Many of them, like Melissa, had no experience of sailing before they trained for the Global Challenge.


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