Mystery Men

Ed Gorman reviews the form of News Corp the Volvo boat that nobody rated
The weird thing about Team News Corp, who have now finished third in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, is how poorly rated they were at the start just over a month ago. In a straw pole of 10 British and American sailing journalists I conducted on the morning of the start, no-one mentioned News Corp. I asked everyone for their first, second and third placed boats overall in the race plus one 'dark horse' or outsider and no-one picked News Corp in any category, a distinction they shared with Amer Sports Too. In effect News Corp were being dismissed as also-rans before they'd even set sail. Why? The feeling seems to have been that the syndicate lacked flair and was likely to plod round when set against others with a more grand-prix feel about their crews and ambition. Syndicate director Ross Field is a solid good guy who many regard as having won the Whitbread by default on Yamaha two events ago and he is not thought of as a sailing rocket scientist. Fanstone too is a tough and reliable character but someone without a track record of big successes in top-class events to automatically profile him as Volvo skipper material. There were raised eyebrows when he got the job and then a widespread belief that, once Field decided to come on board after a poor showing in the Sydney-Hobart, that the older man had become the de-facto skipper.12345next ›last »