|1||illbruck||46 24.40N||003 53.48W||111||12.7||296||0||0||49|
|2||Assa Abloy||46 32.04N||004 50.48W||151||13.5||295||40||-5||41|
|3||Tyco||46 33.64N||005 02.36W||159||13.4||291||48||-5||33|
|4||SEB||46 01.64N||005 37.28W||182||14||295||71||-8||26|
|5||Amer One||46 35.08N||005 45.12W||188||13.8||291||77||-7||36|
|6||News Corp||46 54.80N||006 02.92W||204||13.4||279||93||-5||34|
|7||djuice||46 41.40N||007 42.32W||269||12.3||280||158||2||23|
|8||Amer Too||44 38.96N||063 34.24W||RTD|
"The Volvo Ocean Race is not over yet but coming back to France feels like we have achieve a round the world adventure. Hard to avoid looking behind us and start thinking about the things we could have done better or differently. We also see the evolution onboard our boat and see how better we are sailing now compared to the first leg, eight month ago,' reports a reflective Sidney Gavignet from Aboard Assa Abloy as he closes in on his home country. The reflective spirit is alive and well on most boats with Stuart Childerley reporting "much of the conversation is now based on fine dining, beer and women's lingerie," aboard News Corp. Though this is Stuart's first leg in the 2002 edition of the race it has clearly had a big impact on him, citing "the exhilaration of hurtling down waves achieving in excess of 26 knots boat speeds," as the best part of the trip. "These moments will stay in my mind for a longtime: it was fantastic."
As the crews reflect on what has been and what might yet lie ahead, the racing has taken on a remarkably processional turn. With the fleet now all reaching in moderate conditions towards La Rochelle, there are likely to be few surprises before the finish. All the boats have now crossed their outbound tracks, and thus, technically, have completed their circumnavigation of the world. Despite the fact that Illbruck appears to be uncatchable as leader of this leg, and probably of the overall race.
Illbruck continues to maintain her strong lead, now 40 miles ahead of her nearest rival, but all boats with the exception of Djuice, have caught up a few miles in the last six hours. The closest battle continues to be between Amer Sports One and SEB, the latter being just six miles ahead. In many respects this is the most interesting contest in the race. A poor result on leg seven will make it all but impossible for them to displace Assa Abloy from Second place overall. Indeed it is beginning to look as if the only real battle in the overall results will be for the third place on the winner's podium come Kiel. illbruck is to all practical intents and purposes unbeatable while Neal McDonald has put Assa Abloy into virtually unassailable position in second place. How he must rue the poor performance of his team on the first leg.
A reflective Grant Dalton. What might have been?