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20 February 2006, 10:33 am
The Pressure Is On
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

As the Volvo Ocean Race fleet heads south on leg four, Mike SANDERSON's (NZL) ABN AMRO ONE has taken over the lead spot once again, creaming along at 17.9 knots, a speed unmatched by the rest of the fleet. Bouwe BEKKING's (NED) movistar has slipped to fifth position, after making up her two-hour deficit handsomely, but the team is not able to match the speed of the Dutch boat and is averaging a knot slower.
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The most northerly boat in the fleet is second placed ABN AMRO TWO of Sebastien JOSSE (FRA), and Torben GRAEL's (BRA) Brasil 1, which is 67 nautical miles north east of Bounty Island, has chosen the most southerly course; the division between the two is 69 nautical miles.

The battle royal is centred around Neal MCDONALD's (GBR) Ericsson Racing Team and Paul CAYARD's (USA) Pirates of the Caribbean. Ericsson is holding onto third position, sailing fractionally faster than the Black Pearl, 24 miles behind the leaders, but the Pirates are putting the pressure on, just five miles behind.

Dutch Teams Moving Away

In the strong conditions the two Dutch ABN AMRO boats are again demonstrating their undoubted strength. Since being level with movistar at 1600 hours UTC yesterday, ABN AMRO ONE has moved away, gaining approximately five miles at every six-hourly position report. Their lead is now 15 miles over ABN AMRO TWO and they continue to record the highest speed across the fleet.

JOSSE's boys on the second Dutch boat have also increased the gap between them and third place Ericsson, stretching it from three to nine miles over the last six hours, and are recording the second highest speed in the fleet.

Position Report At 1000 Hours UTC, 20 February 2006

Team Nation Skipper Latitude Longitude DTF DTL DTLC CMG SMG VMG ETA
ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 48 48.05S 177 5.02W 6435 0 0 114 17.9 14.8 10/03/2006
ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastian JOSSE (FRA) 48 34.03S 177 25.07W 6450 15 -6 119 17.3 14.3 10/03/2006
Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 48 44.02S 177 42.04W 6459 24 -12 125 16.8 14 10/03/2006
Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 48 49.02S 177 50.01W 6464 29 -16 128 16.6 13.9 10/03/2006
movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 48 51.07S 178 43.03W 6498 63 -19 134 16.9 12.8 10/03/2006
Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 49 7.02S 178 59.10W 6505 70 -11 125 17 12.6 10/03/2006

DTF: Distance To Finish
DTL: Distance To Leader
DTLC: Distance To Leader Change; the difference between the distance from the boat to the leader taken at the time of the last six hour poll, and the distance from the boat to the leader at the previous poll
CMG: Course Made Good; the average course steered over the period of the past six hours up to the time of the last poll
SMG: Speed Made Good
VMG: Velocity Made Good; the average velocity of the boat towards the finish over the entire leg
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival

Overall Leaderboard
(Up to and including Leg Three)

Pos Team Nation Skipper Pts
3 movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 25
5 Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 21.5
4 Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 20
6 Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 16.5
7 ING Real Estate Brunel AUS Grant WHARINGTON (AUS) 11.5

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

Volvo Ocean Race (As Amended By ISAF). Image, ABN AMRO TWO are pulling away in second place:© Oskar KIHLBORG
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