illbruck invincible?


James Boyd looks back on an action packed leg in the Volvo Ocean Race
For those who have followed previous Whitbreads and watched the campaigns of Steinlager II, New Zealand Endeavour and EF Language, there is a feeling of deja-vu descending upon the Volvo Ocean Race with illbruck's third win out of four legs. John Kostecki's immaculately prepared team now holds a seven point advantage over Grant Dalton's Amer Sports One in second, a divide not helped by Dalts' unfortunate fifth place arrival into Rio. If Paul Cayard raised the game in the race four years ago with his spectacular performance on EF Language, Kostecki (pictured right) has gone one stage further for this race. Illbruck are unique in being the only team to have been working on their campaign for this race since the end of the last one, in a similar fashion to the way most America's Cup teams now operate. Over this time it seems Kostecki has developed the perfect cocktail of skills necessary to win a race such as this. In the Southern Ocean they were tactically smart and most importantly sailed hard without breaking their boat. Text book leg for illbruck The leg from Auckland started on 27 January, but it was not until a week later when the boats were into the strong westerlies in the Southern Ocean, that illbruck cruised into the lead, in text book fashion. At the time illbruck was in the middle of the course, with previous leader News Corp the furthest south and Amer Sports One to the north (Dalts had pulled a flier, effectively cutting the corner on the route south to the westerlies). On illbruck it became apparent that News Corp was not going to hold onto her lead while Dalts and Kostecki's former America's Cup skipper Paul Cayard were making hay to the north. Kostecki swung left to cover and

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