illbruck extends...

John Kostecki's illbruck Challenge extends her lead...

Monday February 11th 2002, Author: John Greenland, Location: Transoceanic
Volvo Ocean Race position report 1014GMT
1 illbruck 2,002 10.0 - -
2 Amer One 2,063 13.5 61 -13
3 Tyco 2,071 11.2 69 -5
4 News Corp 2,087 10.3 85 +2
5 djuice 2,091 13.0 89 -12
6 Assa Abloy 2,097 9.2 95 +11
7 Amer Too 2,542 10.8 540 -2
8 SEB 2,947 7.5 945 +17

Update: Grant Dalton's Amer Sports One and Knut Frostad's djuice have made the early choice to head more offshore than the rest of the fleet. This move has pushed the two teams into better breeze, allowing djuice to pass ASSA ABLOY and move into fifth place. Their courses suggest they may be making a move to go east of the Falklands where there is often more breeze.

Six of the eight boats have now rounded one of sea-faring's greatest ocean landmarks - Cape Horn. "It was a fantastic sight - the raw rock that’s been scarred by thousands of years of howling winds and raging seas," said News Corp's co-skipper Ross Field.

Kostecki's German entry illbruck was first to round yesterday morning and has since doubled her lead over Grant Dalton's second placed Amer Sports One to 74 miles.

Dalton's second place is by no means secure. Hot on his heals is Kevin Shoebridge's Team Tyco having taken a more southerly approach to the layline into Cape Horn. At one point it had looked as though the northerly track was going to be the winner, however both Tyco and Neal McDonald's ASSA ABLOY benefited from their course to the south.

After hitting a growler and taking a dive to the north to affect repairs Jez Fanstone's News Corp is back in the game. Just nine miles behind third place and a single mile ahead of ASSA ABLOY they are certainly in the thick of it. At present ASSA ABLOY is the faster of the two, however there is so little between the boats that by simply being an extra half a mile offshore from Cape Horn at the right time may be enough to see a change of positions.

Over the past 12 hours it's been ASSA ABLOY and Knut Frostad's djuice making the biggest gains. The two teams continue to maintain higher average speeds as the boats weave their way up the Argentinean coast line. Currently averaging an extra two knots over the front five djuice could well pull to within eight miles of McDonald, her nearest rival.

With the weather constantly changing the next 24-48 hours are going to be very testing for the crews - any small mistake could mean missing a small weather system and losing several important miles. While illbruck attempts to follow her instincts and at the same time cover the fleet her rivals will be looking for a break - and opportunity to do something different and make a dent into the 74 mile advantage Kostecki currently holds.

Page two... John Kostecki timing the rounding perfectly...

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