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10 March 2006, 10:35 am
ABN AMRO ONE Extend Their Lead
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

The sailing in the closing stages of leg four of the Volvo Ocean Race is anything but straight forward and simple. With just 140 miles to the finish line in Rio de Janeiro, ABN AMRO ONE has extended their lead to 94 miles, and for a brief two hour spell earlier this morning, the team was heading 90 degrees away from course in an effort to avoid the lightest patches of breeze and find more wind.
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There is a high pressure cell ahead of the fleet. As the high pressure widens, Mike SANDERSON (NZL) will be hoping that he can ease ABN AMRO ONE through the gap and that his nearest rival, Paul CAYARD's (USA) Pirates of the Caribbean, will be caught in. This is a worrying scenario for CAYARD as the boats behind him could make big gains in a short period of time. 'It could all be different tomorrow and we might skate through as well,' said CAYARD late last night. 'One thing it is not, is straight forward and simple. We will just have to deal with it, whatever it is,' CAYARD concluded. Both ABN AMRO ONE and Pirates of the Caribbean are struggling to make 7.5 knots.

Brasil 1 Moves Into Third

No one will be pushing harder than Brasil 1 skipper Torben GRAEL (BRA) as he drives hard for a podium finish his home town. GRAEL is conjuring 8.1 knots out of this boat and moved up into third place, while the crew onboard Sebastien JOSSE's (FRA) ABN AMRO TWO are putting up a fight and are doing everything they can to squeeze an extra fraction of speed out of the boat, they are only able to achieve 7.5 knots.

In fifth place, Ericsson Racing Team has nothing to lose by trying different tactics and is currently the fastest of the leading five boats as they position themselves 183 miles from the shore and to west of bulk of the fleet. 'More losses in the last 24 hours to the leaders and we really have to hit a corner hard now; probably a loss, but then, we have nothing to lose,' wrote skipper Neal MCDONALD (GBR).

Onboard the repaired movistar, 1,273 miles behind ABN AMRO ONE, Pepe RIBES (ESP) still has not allowed the crew to tuck into their leg of cured ham. Upon interrogation, RIBES informed the crew that he did not want them scoffing themselves and then throwing it up again in the rough weather. 'It is amazing how fast the waves have built up and we have been sailing with no mainsail, a small jib, even smaller staysail and still surfing at a regular 20-27 knots. In the last few hours, the wind has dropped to 30 knots and it feels sedate enough for us to almost want to pull out the deckchairs,' writes Mike JOUBERT (RSA).

Position Report At 1000 Hours UTC, 10 March 2006

Team Nation Skipper Latitude Longitude DTF DTL DTLC CMG SMG VMG ETA
ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 25 11.01S 43 38.03W 140 0 0 36 7.4 14.6 11/03/2006 - 0125 UTC
Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 26 42.03S 44 10.03W 234 94 2 28 7.3 14.4 11/03/2006 - 1157 UTC
Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 27 5.08S 44 23.03W 259 119 7 31 8.1 14.3 11/03/2006 - 1444 UTC
ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastian JOSSE (FRA) 27 9.01S 44 32.05W 266 126 4 21 7.5 14.3 11/03/2006 - 1529 UTC
Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 28 0.01S 45 12.01W 326 186 11 32 8.8 14.2 11/03/2006 - 2207 UTC
movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 43 3.01S 51 8.03W 1273 1133 23 59 13.4 12.1 15/03/2006 - 1711 UTC

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 Four Scoring Gate - not yet ratified)

Pos Team Nation Skipper Pts
3 movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 26
5 Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 24.5
4 Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 22.5
6 Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 18
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.

Lizzie GREEN (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Paul CAYARD at the helm of the Black Pearl:© Justin CLOUGHER
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