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17 October 2001, 11:17 am
Email From Rudi Rudiger On Assa Abloy
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Looking for the wind on Assa Abloy

Volvo Ocean Race

Assa Abloy have slipped back to position 5 on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. This puts them at the back of the lead group, but with a big split to positions 6,7 and 8. Rudi Rudiger talks of the predicament they have found themselves in.
Dear Friends and fans, I must apologize for ASSA ABLOY's misfortune the last 24 hrs.

I know it must appear we are on some wild flyer and why didn't we stick with Illbruck?

The reason is that when we rounded Trinidade, we had carefully looked at all the options and decided the fastest highest percentage chance of success was going east and catch the North Easterly to carry us South East to better pressure. Initially the other boats did the same, but because of being the furthest northeast, we missed a small shift they got which forced them on the other tack.
That's when a small separation turned into a big one.

We still gave our chances a 60% success and were happy with that. This morning a small high bubble formed and drifted slowly north right over us leaving us becalmed while the other boats south kept moving. We have been struggling with every puff to fight northeast. We were within sight of the wind line before dark, which would have kept us in good shape, but it just receded and now we're almost stopped again. This is frustration with a capital "F".

Now we must be patient and keep fighting for every inch and pray the wind comes to us and the other boats still have to slow up to get through their next transition.

The guys have been really good about our predicament and I guess being experienced ocean racers they know that the same circumstances that put us behind, can put us in the lead. Still it's hard to have fought so hard for over three weeks and been so close, and now we know there will be more bleeding before we can gain back the miles.

Looks like this Navigator may arrive in Cape Town with a few more grey hairs...(sorry Lori).

Anyway, there isn't a whole lot we can do about it but keep pushing on and look for the next opportunity to regain.
We hope you'll all keep thinking positive thoughts for us and know we'll be doing our best to regain the lead!

Back to wind seeking

Rudi Rudiger/News Editor
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