Dalts on form

Ed Gorman gets the adults-only view on the Volvo Ocean Race from the top Kiwi
Grant Dalton was in his usual ebullient and defiant form during the Auckland Volvo stopover, an exhausting time for him when he juggled race preparations for leg four with family commitments at home. The Aucklander was still, you may be unsurprised to hear, claiming that his boat was artificially high in the overall rankings and that rather than lying in second spot behind illbruck after three legs, it should be back in fifth. Dalts argued that leg one was a matter of luck - "throwing the dice and scoring a six" - while on leg two the crew were "thrown to the weeds" and got their just deserts. Only on leg three had they sailed a proper race and got the result they deserved when they were second behind Assa. The new line in the Dalton war of words, is that the Mani Frers Volvo 60 has proved unexpectedly slow in heavy-air running conditions. Dalton claims they lose 20 miles in a 400-mile day - a hell of a lot in other words - and he is stumped as to why this should be. "You do find that you are going slow and then you get the sched and you think 'Jesus, shit, what happened?'," he said in an interview for madfor sailing at the team container, just a couple of days before the restart. He explained that, during leg two, a section of the hull around the keel-to-hull joint, which is glassed up, had come off. But this alone could not be responsible. The team uses the same Code 4 running sails as djuice and News Corp designed by Mickey Ickert which Dalts believes are the fastest in the fleet, and he says his crew are pushing as hard as they can. "There is no way we could have pushed much harder - we're