A gripe from illbruck

Crewman Jamie Gale gives his view on collisions with Swedish boats
I must make a point of checking the crew lists for each leg more closely in the future as apparently Assa Abloy has snuck on some old match race legend from the 12meter era when in was common place to cover, cover, and if in doubt, cover some more. We have just spent the entire morning trying to get around Assa, who to their credit has made it extremely difficult and costly for us. The guys on Tyco much have been caught half way between rubbing their hands together with glee and being doubled over with laughter watching the two of us alternate between pinching above closehauled to soaking as deep as possible as we tried to break through a cover that Dennis Conner would have been proud of, losing to the fleet all the while! If we worked 20 degrees higher of course, Assa would go 25 degrees higher to block us, and when we cracked off a similar amount and had a go to leeward of them, it would take only a couple of seconds before they eased sheets and reached down over us. With there not being much between the speeds of the boats in these conditionsit took us all morning before they were finally a little late coming down and we got through underneath them. To us on illbruck it was really surprising to see the mindset on Assa, that they would be prepared to lose so much to the fleet to keep one boat behind them. That sort of behaviour is understandable when short course racing, or when the finish is close, but with 4,000 odd miles to go to Miami it just seemed a little crazy. Personally, I think Assa gave us a glimpse into the sort of narrow minded 'little picture' thinking