Third win for illbruck...


John Greenland reports from Rio on the early hours arrival of John Kostecki's winner of leg 4
Illbruck claws her way towards the bright lights of Rio At 05:58 GMT (02:58 local time here in Rio), with the merest zephyr of a wind to drive them, illbruck slipped through the Rio de Janeiro finish line to win the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race in a time of 23 days 5 hours 52 minutes and 48 seconds. It was always predicted that the wind would drop to nothing on the approach to Rio and this made for a nail-biter of a finish, particularly for Kostecki's team. While the hair-raising roller coaster ride of the Southern Ocean places one sort of stress on the crew, trying to race in next to no wind provides a different sort of anxiety. The last 48 hours of racing saw illbruck's comfortable 50 mile lead over the chasing pack whittled down to almost nothing. On approaching the Brazilian coast line the five leading V.O.60s dropped to painfully slow speeds, rarely hitting more than three knots - a stark contrast to the 30 knots they were clocking just 10 days ago. "I honestly didn't believe that we'd won until we crossed that line. Even a tenth of a mile out I felt we were still in danger," said Kostecki on stepping ashore, carrying his third winner's trophy after just four-ninths of the race. Though the German entry was always clear ahead of second place the taxing conditions at the finish left no room for error. The team had been pushing the boat hard for hours, with nobody getting much sleep, making the closing stages of the race testing for all members of their team - on and off the water. "We had tricky winds the whole time. We played it safe but we played it smart. We're pretty happy. It's tough out there

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