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15 October 2001, 12:34 pm
Five Weeks, Three T-Shirts, No Beer
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Assa Abloy rounds Fernando de Noronha in second. ©Rick Tomlinson

Volvo Ocean Race

For the sailors in the Volvo Ocean race, fresh clothes and something more appetizing than re-constituted freeze-dried food are luxuries that are simply sacrificed for speed.
Instead the eight yachts choose to carry a vast wardrobe of sails to power them through every conceivable condition the 7,350-mile first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race to Cape Town can throw at them.

Ninety - seven sailors left Southampton three weeks ago with scarcely more than the clothes they stood in and either shoes or boots to see them through the next five weeks. If it is not practical or an absolute necessity, and that includes more than a few tubes of toothpaste, it stays on the dock.

"With only three shirts and three boxers, one has to choose these moments [to change clothes] carefully to make sure that your last shirt has some life left in it at the end," explained illbruck's Richard Clarke.

After a salt water wash in the strong headwinds of the first week, a very humid drying period during ten days in the tropics, including several days of thorough use after dozens of sail changes, plus a few equator crossing antics, clothes and bodies are starting to smell none too pleasant.

"After turning the first corner of this leg, most of us peeled to a fresh shirt and even a few of us went further and donned new boxers [underwear shorts]. This was my last shirt so I am hoping for a quick last portion of this race or the South African authorities might quarantine me due to toxic fumes," added Clarke.

His thoughts were echoed by ASSA ABLOY's Richard Mason, although Roy Heiner's crew made further cut backs with no razors in the inventory. "Clean underwear is also becoming a highly cherished item. We are also becoming incredibly hairy as we are yet to locate a razor on board," said Mason.

The first meal in Cape Town is also becoming a hot topic of discussion in the rare moment the crews are awake and not focused on deck. "Top of the heap it seems is the barbeque on the dock with fresh hamburgers sizzling away. Also up there is the ever popular pizzas and, of course, some icy cold beers to wash it all down," reflected illbruck watch leader Stu Bannatyne yesterday on the welcome feast the illbruck team are hoping for in South Africa.

Two hundred miles to the waypoint of Trindade, illbruck has a healthy lead of 31 miles over ASSA ABLOY. John Kostecki's team will round Trindade sometime tomorrow morning.

SEB was the fastest yacht in the fleet overnight, sailing on average 2.4 knots faster than the leading five yachts, some 325 miles ahead while Amer Sports Too pulled out a two-mile lead on djuice in the fight for seventh position.

Volvo Ocean Race Position Report, Day 22, 10.00hrs GMT

PS Yacht Latitude Longitude DTF CMG SMG TFHR DTL ROC ETA PO
1 ILBK 17 07.92S 030 21.28W 02859 170 10.5 276 0 00.0 25 OCT 01 8
2 AART 16 40.20S 030 36.36W 02890 171 10.4 269 31 00.2 25 OCT 01 7
3 NEWS 16 37.72S 031 01.16W 02900 174 10.8 286 41 00.3 25 OCT 01 6
4 TYCO 16 10.56S 030 32.08W 02917 173 10.8 277 58 00.7 25 OCT 01 5
5 AONE 15 53.88S 030 36.84W 02934 171 10.5 277 75 00.5 25 OCT 01 4
6 TSEB 10 39.09S 031 49.04W 03257 170 12.6 274 398 02.4 27 OCT 01 3
7 ATOO 09 53.24S 031 48.24W 03301 166 11.6 266 442 01.3 27 OCT 01 2
8 DJCE 09 52.16S 031 50.28W 03303 167 11.5 264 444 01.0 27 OCT 01 1

PS - Position; DTF - Distance to Finish; CMG - Course made good; SMG - Speed made good; TFHR - 24 hours run; DTL - Distance to leader; ROC - Rate of Closure; ETA - Estimated time of arrival; PO - Points

ILBK illbruck Challenge
AONE Amer Sports One
ATOO Amer Sports Two
NEWS News Corporation
TYCO Team Tyco
DJCE djuice dragons

Volvo Ocean Race Press/News Editor
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