Leg 9 preview


James Boyd looks at what lies in store for tomorrow's final Volvo leg across to Germany
The ninth and final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race kicks off tomorrow at 1200GMT from Gothenburg. This is a 250 mile meander through Danish waters that should see the Volvo Ocean Race conclude in Kiel sometime on Sunday. John Kostecki's illbruck are looking reasonably comfortable in the top spot, with a five point advantage over ASSA ABLOY in second. It would therefore take Neal McDonald's team a win and illbruck coming sixth for the two boats to tie on 57 points or for illbruck to come seventh for her to be beaten. illbruck has yet to finish lower than fourth place in the eight legs to date, but in the unlikely event that they did finish level on points with ASSA ABLOY it would go to a tie break, counting the firsts, seconds, thirds, etc. The real dog fight will be taking place for third place between Tyco, News Corp and Amer Sports One, all currently on 40 points. So how do the skippers rate their chances? "We're in that nice position where we are coming from behind," says Tyco's Kevin Shoebridge, who have been recovering well from a retirement on leg 2 when their rudder broke. "It always feels slightly more relaxing when you are coming up the ladder and not down the ladder. We're doing everything we can. We've put a huge effort here into the weather, and local knowledge. We've spoken to a lot very good Swedish sailors; we have a very good German meteorologist who is working with us". "It looks like it will be a very light leg and we believe we were fast when we won the leg into Baltimore," says News Corp skipper, Jez Fanstone. "At that time the boat was very light. We've taken every step possible to lighten the boat

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