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8 October 2001, 11:34 am
Welcome To The Doldrums
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John Kostecki on illbruck © Ray Davies

Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race leader illbruck was the first yacht to reach the Doldrums this morning. They were immediately greeted with sporadic squalls and the flurry of associated sail changes synonymous with the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone.
"We didn't need the navigators to tell us this morning that we had finally reached the doldrums, they announced themselves with a decent downpour and squall which set off a frenzy of peeling (changing) from one sail to another which has continued all day," explained illbruck crewman Jamie Gale earlier.

As the first to enter, illbruck is also the odds on favourite to be the first to leave and pull away in the fresh southeast trade winds.

But between now and the exit (which could be hours or days), the crews have to live and work in intense humidity, heavy downpours and squall after squall. "It is amazing how before you have tidied up from one (spinnaker) peel the breeze has totally changed and you have to start running sheets for the next change. On deck the boys have been running our silk weight shirts and Gore Tex shorts. It is too hot for wet weather gear and it is just easier to be drenched all watch," continued Jamie.

Illbruck's lead over ASSA ABLOY has again been cut to 11 miles as they fight the constant changes in wind strength and direction brought on by the clouds. This can be as dramatic as a full lap of the compass and an extra 20 knots of breeze. "Typically the breeze between the clouds has been about 13-14 knots, but that can build to as much as 30-35 knots in as long as it takes to yell "get it off". If you guess right then you make a big gain, but if you get it wrong then suddenly you are sailing at right-angles to course at 20-something knots," added Gale.

Volvo Ocean Race Position Report Leg One Day 16, 10.00 GMT:

PS Yacht Latitude Longitude DTF CMG SMG TFHR DTL DTL-C ETA PS
1 ILBK 07 22.20N 029 03.33W 4368 212 05.8 243 0 00.0 25-Oct-01 8
2 NEWS 07 35.68N 029 10.52W 4379 207 07.5 264 11 01.8 25-Oct-01 7
3 AART 07 33.40N 029 01.80W 4379 211 06.7 249 11 01.0 25-Oct-01 6
4 TYCO 07 44.44N 029 16.00W 4386 202 06.0 254 18 00.5 25-Oct-01 5
5 AONE 07 52.20N 028 57.32W 4399 210 08.5 253 31 02.7 25-Oct-01 4
6 ATOO 09 08.00N 028 42.28W 4475 208 09.7 267 107 04.0 25-Oct-01 3
7 TSEB 08 33.80N 025 30.20W 4518 181 05.4 143 150 -00.8 26-Oct-01 2
8 DJCE 10 14.64N 026 48.60W 4575 199 08.9 225 207 03.4 26-Oct-01 1

Volvo Ocean Race Press/News Editor
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