The nightmare is over

Carnage in the Volvo Ocean 60 fleet, but they are now thankfully out of the ice. James Boyd reports

Thursday February 7th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Positions at 0400 this morning
Yacht Lat Long DTF CMG SMG DTL DTL-C
1 illbruck 58 28.76S 99 59.80W 3315 070 12.6 - -
2 Amer One 58 41.72S 101 42.60W 3367 081 13.9 52 -10
3 Tyco 58 14.68S 102 05.36W 3382 066 11.5 67 +11
4 Assa Abloy 58 39.08S 104 17.40W 3447 074 15.0 132 -11
5 djuice 58 40.12S 104 47.96W 3463 087 15.0 148 -17
6 News Corp 56 56.36S 104 45.12W 3481 094 18.0 166 -38
7 SEB 58 10.84S 108 16.12W 3575 064 16.4 260 -8
8 Amer Too 58 08.12S 115 02.16W 3784 091 14.2 469 -13

It has been an exciting few days for the Volvo Ocean Race boats as they continue to wrestle with the hostile Southern Ocean elements, but all the crews know this will be the leg they dine out on for years to come - tales of icebergs and hanging on to the kite in 40 knots of breeze.

The two on board accounts today, from Knut Frostad and Mark Rudiger, sum up just what the crews have been experiencing. As a number of competitors said before the start those who do well in the south will be the best prepared, and who suffer least gear failure. But partly it is down to luck and although the first to Cape Horn will hold a psychological advantage, during the second half of this leg up to Rio there are all manner of tactical options available to turn the leaderboard on its head.

At present the hard conditions continue and the crews desperately struggle to keep their boats from breaking. One wipe could mean costly hours of downtime, making repairs. But this effort it taking its toll on the crew, many of whom are desparately in need of sleep. "The people probably get hit harder by these conditions than any fitting or item of equipment especially as we have had several 'time critical' manoeuvres in the last few days, which require everyone so our sleeping patterns have been bad to say the least. We are still managing to sail the boat flat out but we will work hard in the next 24 hours on getting everyone rested," reported Tyco navigator Steve Hayles yesterday.

After their harrowing experience yesterday when they wiped out between two icebergs, Grant Dalton has been reclaiming some miles on race leader John Kostecki and the unerring illbruck and there has been a general compression in the fleet with those mid-fleet riding the greater pressure before the wind veers back to the north west.

The boats are due to round Cape Horn on Sunday and initial forecasts show that depending upon the time the leaders should get round in reason conditions, while conditions will be not so enjoyable for those astern.

Wet ride on Assa Abloy

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