Transatlantic warfare

Leg seven of the Volvo Ocean Race kicks off Sunday
Points after six legs Yacht Name Total Points 1 illbruck Challenge 41 2 ASSA ABLOY 34 3 Amer Sports One 32 4 Team News Corp 31 5 Team Tyco 27 6 Team SEB 21 6 djuice 21 8 Amer Sports Too 9 The Volvo Ocean Race boats are to move down Chesapeake Bay today from their present location at Inner Harbour, Baltimore to Annapolis from where the start of leg 7 to La Rochelle will take place on Sunday at 1300 local time. The 3,400 mile sprint across the North Atlantic to the French port will once again see the eight boats wrestling with conditions in the Chesapeake Bay - light, shifty breeze and the constant threat of running over lobster pots. Once out into the Atlantic the navigators will initially be looking to avoid the back eddies from the Gulf Stream. They will then be looking to ride the depressions that track across the north Atlantic which will, with any luck, give them favourable reaching conditions until they arrive in France. A particular feature of the leg this time will be icebergs and following the exciting tales of boats racing through growler-strewn areas of Southern Ocean during leg four, the race committee are likely to add a no-go zone to the SIs to keep the boats further south. At present icebergs are being reported at 42degS (see map) and Michael Woods, Director of Race Operations has said that the no-go zone is likely to be above a line at 40degS between 51 and 45degW. The race committee will finalise their decision on Saturday Considering that the great circle route to La Rochelle would take the boats up to 49degN then the addition of these waypoints will add considerable distance to the leg. The boats are scheduled to finish in La Rochelle on 11 May, although with the addition of waypoints this may be premature. So who will win? In all the recent interviews with