ASSA take leg three

ASSA ABLOY win leg three of the Volvo Ocean Race

Friday January 4th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia

Dalton and Amer Sports One arrived in the City of Sails just under two hours after Assa Abloy at 19:09:06 GMT.

The Kiwi ocean racing veteran had also made hay on the second part of the leg from Hobart. Crossing the Tasman he had been to the south of Assa Abloy, but to the north of illbruck, Tyco and News Corp, locked in a tight contest for third.

"Assa Abloy has had a couple of bad legs and they broke to the north and the rest of the fleet broke more south," commented Dalton. "We had a bit of a quandary, which way to go - do we follow the boat out right by itself or do you stick with the herd. So we split in the middle really. We felt the north was probably right, and as it turned out it was. It worked for them and I take my hat off to Mark Rudiger as he has tried a brave move twice in the last legs and has missed out both times - yet he was prepared to do it again, and that takes a lot of self-confidence. A good job by him to have enough confidence to stick by his guns and do what he thought was right."

Like McDonald Dalton said he had been worried at Cape Reinga about being caught by the boats astern of him. Navigator Roger Nilson summed up the situation: "The nervous moment was at Cape Reinga when we had a strong foul current and a strong foul tide - we had very little wind on our nose and tacked back and forth without making any progress at all. The other boats were doing twelve knots so that wasn't so nice at all."

Nilson said that some of the burden of navigating has been relieved since Dee Smith, formerly a watch leader, has changed role and is now co-navigator/tactician on board. "I don't think I have ever felt this rested," he said.

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