illbruck arrive in Auckland
But one man who was a long way from home is British navigator, Ian Moore. Ian has just joined illbruck on an extended trial. He told madforsailing before he left that the plan is to test his partnership and the 'two-navigator' system with Juan Vila, illbruck's navigator and the man that guided Chessie Racing around in the last race. Moore will go on to sail the Sydney-Hobart with the team.
American skipper John Kostecki commented, "Sailing 12 days in 30 knots, that's when you get a really good test. We achieved everything we wanted to and more. We had excellent wind until we got to New Zealand when we got gobbled up by high pressure and really light breeze. But for 3,000 miles we had great breeze.
"We were able to look at every single sail except one. We tested the mast, the deck hardware, a new winch design. We broke a lot of stuff but we were able to rally and keep racing -- it was good to break it. We were all pushing hard and sailing like it was a race. It was great to put the new guys under some pressure. The watch captains did a great job of pushing it. I rubbed both of my thumbs raw from steering so much as did Crusty (Mark Christensen) and Stu (Bannatyne)."
Kostecki reckoned it was difficult to isolate the most valuable lesson, "The biggest single thing? I'm really glad we did it. It's something I remember Paul Cayard (last Whitbread Race winner) told me, 'If I were to do it again, I would spend more time preparing in the Southern Ocean.' This has been our biggest jump in the program. We have moved the program forward and are a step closer to being race ready." There's more on the trip at the team website, in the On Board section.