More stars for leg 7

The full crew lists are revealed for tomorrow's transatlantic leg of the Volvo Ocean Race

Saturday April 27th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
New Zealand seems to breed sailors like rabbits (or perhaps more appropriately sheep). Of the 97 sailors taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race (remember all the boy's boats have 12 crew while the girls have 13) a phenomenal 25 are New Zealanders of whom two are skippers Kevin Shoebridge and Grant Dalton. There is a Kiwi on every boat in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Why exactly this is is probably beyond the remit of this article, but in a nutshell it stems from New Zealand having been strongly enthused by yachting for 2-3 decades, national interest in the sport fuelled by the Whitbread exploits of Peter Blake and more recently by their America's Cup win and subsequent succesful defence. New Zealand has also had a top youth program for some years.

Behind New Zealand the UK is the most prolific nation in the race with 15 including skippers Neal McDonald and Jez Fanstone and the crew mainly on board Tyco, News Corps and Amer Too. This is a good sign for the British offshore racing community especially as there is no British boat taking part.

Crew list for leg seven by country:

New Zealand - 25
United Kingdom - 15
Australia - 10
Sweden - 9
USA - 9
Netherlands - 5
France - 4
Ireland - 4
Norway - 3
Canada - 3
South Africa - 3
Spain - 3
Italy - 2
Germany - 1
Denmark - 1

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