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1 March 2006, 10:30 am
Count Down To Cape Horn
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

With just 603 nautical miles to the leg four scoring gate at Cape Horn, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is closing together and the crews are beginning to cover their opponents. The north south divide is just 70 nm between Brasil 1 in the north and leaders ABN AMRO ONE in the south.
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At 1000 hours UTC today, Neal MCDONALD's (SWE) Ericsson Racing Team had again lost miles and has swapped places with Sebastien JOSSE's (FRA) ABN AMRO TWO to be in sixth position.

Weather Set To Take A Turn For The Worse

The pedal is firmly down as the fleet travels at the same speed as the front, with a steady wind speed of 20-22 knots, but the weather is expected to deteriorate in the next twelve hours, possibly increasing to 35 knots. The forecast shows that the increase of breeze is coming from the northwest, so Torben GRAEL's (BRA) Brasil 1, ABN AMRO TWO and Ericsson Racing Team should continue to make gains on the leaders in the approach to Cape Horn. After rounding Cape Horn, the fleet should continue to reach in a strong westerly breeze which will help eat up the miles to the finish in Rio de Janeiro.

Paul CAYARD (USA) onboard The Black Pearl in second place, 34 miles behind Mike SANDERSON's (NZL) ABN AMRO ONE, is happy. He wrote late last night, 'Movistar has now come up from the south and is 15 miles behind us. So the decision we made three days ago, to gybe towards the Horn and leave them to go south, paid off to the tune of 15 miles at least. ABN AMRO ONE is staying down there [in the south], as they don't worry too much about getting caught low as they have much more stability than the rest of us, so they can just rock up across the fleet whenever they want. Brasil 1 has been making nice gains to the north of our line and I think that was another reason movistar changed course and headed north.'

What Next

After Cape Horn, the tactical decision will be whether to go through the narrow Le Maire Strait, between Cape Horn and the Isla de Los Estados, and, following that, whether to leave the Falkland Islands to port or starboard.

The fleet is jib top reaching with water coming over the deck at a steady six degrees centigrade. From onboard Brasil 1, navigator Marcel VAN TRIEST (NED) says he likes this part of the world, but he is not sure that his Brazilian friends are enjoying it as much as he is. "It's a pretty desolate place, with not a lot of human interference. What is special, is that wherever you are in the world these days, there is always a trace of human interference. In this part of the world there is nothing. It makes you feel very small and very humble. There is absolutely nothing. There are no fishing vessels, no cargo ships, no aircraft. Just nothing. Just nature."

Position Report At 1000 Hours UTC, 1 March 2006

Team Nation Skipper Latitude Longitude DTF DTL DTLC CMG SMG VMG ETA
ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 57 16.01S 85 20.15W 2861 0 0 88 21.8 16.3 10/03/2006
Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 56 50.15S 86 19.01W 2895 34 2 93 22.3 16.2 10/03/2006
movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 56 48.02S 86 31.03W 2901 40 6 95 22.8 16.2 10/03/2006
Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 56 11.01S 88 0.02W 2953 92 -2 93 21.6 15.9 10/03/2006
ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastian JOSSE (FRA) 56 59.02S 90 2.10W 3015 154 5 102 22.8 15.7 11/03/2006
Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 57 22.01S 90 10.05W 3018 157 -7 97 20.8 15.7 11/03/2006

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.

Lizzie GREEN (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Heavy weather onboard movistar:© Pepe RIBES
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