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28 February 2006, 10:10 am
Nerves On Edge
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

The leg four scoring gate at Cape Horn is now just over 1,100 nautical miles ahead of the fleet and with 3.5 points on offer here for the first boat, it is an anxious time onboard the fleet of Volvo 70s contesting the Volvo Ocean Race. ABN AMRO ONE continues to lead but a new weather system is approaching from behind and looking like it will favour the chasing pack.
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The system is moving only a little quicker than the leaders, an ideal situation for the boats behind, Neal MCDONALD's (SWE) Ericsson Racing Team and Sebastien JOSSE's (FRA) ABN AMRO TWO, to make gains.

ABN AMRO TWO is currently making 24 knots of boat speed and her 24 hour run is the healthiest of the fleet at 467 nautical miles. Torben GRAEL's (BRA) Brasil 1, positioned as the most northerly boat in the fleet, 114 nautical miles from Mike SANDERSON's (NZL) ABN AMRO ONE, the most southerly of the fleet, is making 23 knots. At this rate, Cape Horn will loom in approximately two day's time.

Brasil 1 has pulled away from Ericsson Racing Team and is now 50 miles ahead, but Bouwe BEKKING's (NED) movistar has suffered some losses in third place. 'How the mood can swing within 24 hours,' wrote BEKKING today, adding, 'Not feeling at all like writing something, as we have lost ground. For the first time in the race, I have a little knot in my stomach, just have to stay relaxed and believe in the boat and the crew.'

The Richest Days Of Sailing

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Paul CAYARD is enjoying
life on the Black Pearl

With the rounding of Cape Horn around two days and 1,100 nautical miles away, the Volvo Ocean Race crews are concentrating on positioning themselves to collect as many points as possible at this, the only scoring gate on the course.

The fast reaching and running conditions under masthead spinnaker in 20 knots of wind have not been that enjoyable for the fleet today. The sea temperature is dropping and it is feeling very, very cold. There are no heaters on Ericsson Racing Team and everyone onboard is cold and tired and looking forward to getting round Cape Horn. Losing and gaining miles is almost the entire existence of the crews and it is hard, when each position report delivers the bad news of lost miles. Keeping the morale up onboard is even more important in this distant ocean, where crews are constantly tired and drink only desalinated water and eat freeze dried food. Wearing the right clothes, staying as warm as possible, sleeping when the opportunity is there and making sure that all the necessary vitamins and supplements are taken, all helps to keep spirits up.

The weather is typical; grey, very damp and foggy which limits visibility. The crews wear full faced masks to keep out the constant fire hose of icy water coming over deck, but which make it hard to see.

Even taking all this into account, CAYARD from second placed Pirates of the Caribbean says that these are the richest days of sailing that he has ever been given. 'Being at sea, travelling extremely long distances and circumnavigating the planet earth, are bigger than life experiences for almost everybody and I appreciate being one of the few hundred people who get to do it,' he said in a radio interview yesterday.

Position Report At 1000 Hours UTC, 28 February 2006

Team Nation Skipper Latitude Longitude DTF DTL DTLC CMG SMG VMG ETA
ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 57 28.03S 100 51.01W 3360 0 0 91 21.2 15.8 10/03/2006
Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 56 53.20S 101 34.03W 3389 29 -4 94 20.4 15.7 10/03/2006
movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 57 1.01S 102 1.03W 3402 42 -3 90 21 15.6 10/03/2006
Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 55 31.02S 103 7.03W 3459 99 -12 91 19.6 15.4 10/03/2006
Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 56 17.02S 105 3.03W 3509 149 -9 94 19.6 15.2 11/03/2006
ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastian JOSSE (FRA) 55 58.60S 105 36.03W 3532 172 0 96 21.2 15.1 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, It has been heavy going on Brasil 1:© Brasil 1
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