Bouncing off ice...
|1||Illbruck||58 48.28S||122 31.12W||3996||103||17.7||0||0|
|2||Amer One||59 44.64S||123 51.32W||4017||101||20||21||-14|
|3||Tyco||59 07.72S||124 24.08W||4045||102||19.9||49||-12|
|4||Assa Abloy||60 18.92S||126 38.84W||4086||106||19.6||90||-12|
|5||djuice||60 31.88S||127 09.20W||4096||106||18.8||100||-6|
|6||News Corp||59 11.60S||126 14.08W||4097||71||15.1||101||34|
|7||SEB||60 18.48S||129 16.00W||4159||110||17.8||163||-2|
|8||Amer Too||58 55.56S||134 44.56W||4345||76||14.7||349||34|
Though the boats are fitted with radars and crew members are permenantly on the look out for ice when travelling at high speeds the boats don't have a lot of time to avoid collisions. "I was steering and all I felt was a loud crash on the hull and then the rudder. The guys below then rushed into the bow and checked the interior but we appeared to be ok," continued Field shortly after the incident.
It's hard to imagine the conditions facing the teams, however Field does a good job of filling in some of the gaps, "At one stage, thank god during daylight, we were charging thru hunks of ice. I had a man on look out and directing me thru the ice - we brushed when we passed some small bits. We are sleeping with our feet forward - if we hit something you don't damage yourself too much."
The News Corp team have now swerved on to a northeasterly heading for safer waters. This, at present, seems a rather risky move as all signs are the wind will build from the south first.
0900: After 48 hours of pulling away from the fleet John Kostecki's illbruck Challenge is now being reeled in on leg four, Auckland to Rio de Janeiro, in the Volvo Ocean Race.
At the front of the fleet it's Grant Dalton's Amer Sports One, fielding renowned yachtsman and winner of the 1997-98 Whitbread Paul Cayard, making the big gains, swiping some 11 miles off Kostecki's lead. It's break neck speeds for the eight Volvo Ocean 60s - no one is doing under 17 knots of boat speed as they dodge icebergs and bounce over waves en route to Cape Horn.
However the highest speeds can be found further down the fleet. Over the past 12 hours Neal McDonald's Assa Abloy and Knut Frostad's djuice have been hitting record breaking speeds. Though the margin is close, if they can maintain speeds around 19 knots they will certainly have a good chance of beating SEB's current record of 461 miles in 24 hours. djuice's skipper is currently reporting winds up to 44 knots as they hammer through the Southern Ocean 1800 miles from Cape Horn.
These high speeds through treacherous 'berg' territory are likely to hold for a while yet. A large depression is currently chasing the fleet eastbound across the desolate stretch of water around 57 degrees south. With the pressure down to 980 Mb and due to drop further the boats may see hurricane force winds before the conditions ease.
This low pressure system could see the fleet compress over the next few hours as there remains a north/south spread with the leaders to the north and the chasers to the south. Though Lisa McDonald's Amer Sports Too and Gunnar Krantz' SEB have fallen away from the pack the remaining six still have every chance of getting back into the game.
illbruck Challenge iceberg watch
Page two... Paul Cayard back in the groove
Page three... Mark Rudiger spends quality time with the radar