Back to the North

Volvo Ocean Race boats return to the northern hemisphere

Sunday March 17th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Positions at 1000 GMT, 17 March
PS Yacht Latitude Longitude DTF DTL SMG CMG
1 Illbruck 01 16.92N 040 31.40W 2750 0 11.7 321
2 Assa Abloy 01 13.04N 040 24.68W 2758 8 11.4 324
3 Tyco 01 14.36N 040 22.72W 2759 9 11 324
4 SEB 00 12.36S 040 48.44W 2796 46 10.9 316
5 Amer Too 00 26.64S 040 12.88W 2832 82 10.7 298
6 News Corp 00 29.52N 039 20.48W 2835 85 9.7 320
7 Amer One 00 07.92N 039 37.84W 2836 86 8.1 323
8 Djuice 00 22.80S 039 23.20W 2867 117 5.4 323
The leading breakaway three in the Volvo Ocean Race have now crossed the Equator and are back into the North Atlantic from where they left five months. ago. Judging from their speed, the front runners may now have passed and out the other side of the Doldrums.

Once again and despite the problem that beset her at the start on this leg, it is illbruck in the lead, as she was southbound at this point on leg one. Crewman Richard Clarke can't believe how slowly the miles are ticking by. "Guess I've been used to the torrid pace of the Southern Ocean where 400-mile days were
commonplace and 1000 miles was a quick three days work. Almost a week into this leg and we've not even reached 1,500 miles. The pace better
start to quicken or we'll be wrinkled prunes when we arrive in Miami!"

Tyco and Assa Abloy are three and four miles behind, but as we have seen in this race so many times, illbruck takes the lead and then in the words of Paul Cayard "extends" little by little. Those who were hoping that illbruck might develop some chink in their armour now the boats are out of the hard running conditions of the Southern Ocean, it seems will have to think again.

The positioning of the five boats chasing is getting interesting. SEB peeled off to the west, a move that has now moved them up into fourth, overtaking Amer Sports One, which seems to not be enjoying the lighter conditions on this leg. Saying this at 0400 Dalts' supreme team recordrf the highest speed of the chasing boats and have managed to take 10 miles out of News Corp who are the most easterly boat. In the last few hours Lisa McDonald's Amer Sports Too has also made a move westward and have overhauled djuice who are now bringing up the rear.

Today we will be seeing more of King Neptune's nastiness as the remaining boats cross the Equator, although in the scorching conditions at the Equator this will only be one of many torments to afflict the crew. "The spot check has started," reports illbruck's Richard Clarke. "Meaning that any suspicious spots on a crewmember's body are thoroughly checked out to make sure they are not the type that might fester into a nasty boil. If there is one then copious quantities
of nappy cream and baby powder is applied to try and curb the sore. The bonus here is that down below deck is starting to smell more like a nursery than a locker room.

Fixing the ripped genniker, the hard way on illbruck

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