Getting out of jail

The leading trio in the Volvo Ocean Race are now into the Trades and making hay

Monday March 18th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Positions at 1000GMT 18 March
PS Yacht Latitude Longitude DTF DTL DTL-C SMG CMG
1 Illbruck 04 37.20N 044 03.72W 2460 0 0 14.3 303
2 Assa Abloy 04 40.08N 043 56.72W 2463 3 2 14.4 303
3 Tyco 04 36.24N 043 53.96W 2468 8 3 13.7 307
4 SEB 03 04.36N 044 07.60W 2516 56 18 11.4 321
5 Amer Too 03 07.36N 043 14.84W 2554 94 17 11.7 321
6 Amer One 03 27.08N 042 42.44W 2567 107 9 12.8 315
7 News Corp 03 38.20N 042 11.24W 2584 124 13 12.2 314
8 Djuice 02 23.68N 042 40.44W 2609 149 23 10.5 311

Yesterday it looked as if illbruck was repeating the move she pulled on the last leg, when she had a narrow lead over her rivals and then simply consolidated and extended. But at the front of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, Tyco and Assa Abloy appear to be having none of it and have reeled her back in. The three way match race north west to Miami continues.

The front runners are now out of the Doldrums and into the more regular north easterly Trades and it will become a boat speed speed contest for the next few days until the boats reach the turning mark at Barbuda (going inside the Caribbean chain is not allowed this time). Overall in the fleet the result is that the lead trio have pulled out miles on those still tackling the Doldrums.

Tactically a more interesting contest is taking place behind the leading trio. This morning there was a 120 mile span across the race track with News Corp to the north east and SEB to the south west. The latter option seems to have paid dividends at this stage, but Ross Field is confident that his tactics will win in the long run and will enable News Corp to bear down on top of the boats to the south west once they're into the Trades.

The girls on Amer Sports Too seem to have made a fine tactical call on how to tackle the Doldrums by also going to the south west and have this morning further extended their lead over their team mates on Amer Sports One who have pulled up to sixth place.

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