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1 December 2005, 12:19 pm
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Cape Town, South Africa

At 1324 hours UTC today ABN AMRO ONE slithered over the finish line at Cape Town, South Africa to post the leg one victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 and pick up a vital seven points. In stark contrast to most of the 6,400 nm they have travelled since leaving Vigo, Spain last month, the closing stage of the leg was a slow elegant affair through light south westerly breezes in the spectacular but quiet shadow of Table Mountain.
Skipper Mike SANDERSON (NZL) coaxed his boat in, struggling to reach speeds of ten knots. In an immaculate display of calm and well-organized sail changing drills, the crew kept their focus right to the end, refusing to be distracted by the friends and families who had motored out to greet them.

Cape Tonian Jan DEKKER, on the bow, proved especially popular as a flotilla of local boats and supporters drew alongside to welcome him back home, while SANDERSON, on the helm, took time out from his duties only to apply a layer of cream to protect him from a blazing hot sun.

As the finish line drew closer, so the wind died. The forecast had been for more than 20 knots, but the flat seas suggested around five to eight knots, to give the sails, which apart from one small rip on a headsail looked to be in good condition, a well-earned breather following their blast on Sunday when they set a new world record of 546 miles in 24 hours (subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council).

To speed things up, a spinnaker was hoisted as the wind shifted, but the approach to the finish line remained a gentle affair until the huge crowds of supporters lining the quayside caught sight of them and erupted into loud cheers.

For a complete list of all the news about the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 CLICK HERE.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, ABN AMRO ONE approach the leg one finish with Table Mountain looming in the background:© Jon Nash
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