Reports from satellites show Idler and the Italian boat Brava leading the big boat fleet in the Admiral's Cup competition.
But over 250 miles separate these boats from the finish, and there are many chances to gain or lose.
The 500-mile Wolf Rock race started Wednesday at 11 a.m. It is the final race and will decide the winner of this year's Admiral's Cup with six of the eight entered teams still able to capture the cup.
The 500-mile race follows short course racing earlier this week that proved a mixed blessing for the U.S. Team at the Admiral's Cup regatta off the coast of England. After a 36-hour round-the-clock repair to Idler, damaged when striking a rock during the middle distance race, the big boat of the American team was ready in time for the return to short course racing on Monday. Peter Holmberg of the Virgin Islands is sailing aboard Idler with his crew mate from Team Dennis Conner, helmsman Ken Read.
The return was a dramatic success as a bold course away from the pack paid off with a four minute lead at the finish line.
"After the rebuild job and putting the boat back together hours before the start, it was a great reward for the team to do a horizon job on the fleet," said Holmberg.
So it was back to normal racing for the top flight crew on Idler, for one race anyway.
Holmberg tells about the second race, "The British boat was ducking Germany and us, and lost control, came into our cockpit at full speed and took out our pulpit, (made a) big hole, tore up their bow pulpit, a real mess. Could have been a lot worse if Kenny (Read) hadn't thrown the stern to windward when he saw them coming."
The collision between the fifty-footers occurred with Idler in third place amid a tightly packed class.
"We came untangled quickly enough, but everyone was a bit shook up and with no lifelines it was a bit scary running around and hiking in the 20 plus knots of breeze we had today. We fought hard, but ended up sixth," finished Holmberg.
Those scores from Idler, combined with a steady fifth and fourth from Blue Yankee Pride, and a second and fourth scored by Ciao Baby closed the gap to the leading teams. Great Britain and the Netherlands are tied for first, followed by Europe, Germany and the Americans.

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