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9 May 2006, 02:43 pm
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

Mike SANDERSON's (NZL) ABN AMRO ONE extended their overall lead this morning when, at 0407 local time (0808 UTC), the Dutch team arrived in the 'Big Apple' to post another win, this time the shortest leg of the course, leg six from Baltimore to New York, USA.
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'It feels lovely to be here in first place after the week we've had and especially after the result we had in the Baltimore In Port race,' commented an exhausted. 'We have had a pretty bumpy ride and it has been pretty tense for us. It feels good to be here with the boat in one piece. We haven't slept at all. Navigator Stan HONEY [(USA)] and I have had a really tough time. The skipper doesn't sleep enough, and now I shall do lots of sleeping in the city that never sleeps,' he added.

This has been one of the toughest legs for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in terms of lack sleep, with the boats having to tack every hour or so, as they thrashed up wind after suffering light air on the way down the Chesapeake Bay. There is very little time to recover on this short pit stop in New York, as the start of leg seven, the transatlantic leg of the course to Portsmouth, Great Britain, starts on Thursday this week.

Pirates Unfurl The Star Spangled Banner

Paul CAYARD, from San Francisco, USA, steered his black and red boat, the Black Pearl, over the finish line in the Hudson River to claim the second place for his Pirates of the Caribbean team, finishing at 06:47:11 local time (10:47:11 UTC). This podium position brings the Pirates up to second place overall, with 47.5 points, just half a point ahead of Bouwe BEKKING's (NED) movistar, who finished in a disappointing fifth place.

On reaching the dock, a visibly shattered CAYARD said, 'It has been a very tough 40 hours, there was really strong wind off New Jersey and the boat has been really slamming hard. We have had our fair share of problems, but the guys did a great job. Last night was really quite stressful as the wind died all together and the boats were very close and that is where we had little bit of luck on our side. ! I can't recall anything much tougher on this race so far.

'New York is a really impressive city and I am really proud, as the only American skipper in the fleet, to be here. Second overall is an added bonus for us and we will certainly take it!'

Torben GRAEL (BRA) brought his largely Brazilian team on Brasil 1 home just nine minutes behind the Pirates to take the final podium place. Three minutes behind, in fourth place, was Ericsson Racing Team with Neal MCDONALD (GBR) back in charge, while the Spanish team of movistar finished under a minute later in fifth place.

'Of course we very pleased with the result,' said GRAEL. 'It was by far the hardest leg of the race in terms of the physical effort required and the lack of sleep. Because it wasn't a long offshore leg, the whole crew were working throughout and it has been very hard for them. Every manoeuvre required everyone up on deck in their full foul weather gear,' he explained.

Brunel has 15 miles to go to the finish, followed by ABN AMRO TWO, a further 10 miles behind.

All Runners Home And Dry

Grant WHARINGTON's (AUS) Brunel and Sebastien JOSSE's (FRA) ABN AMRO TWO have now completed leg six of the Volvo Ocean Race and are safely tied up to the dock in North Cove, New York.

After a major refit, WHARINGTON has brought a new look Brunel back to join the fleet and is happy with the increase in performance.

'It felt like doing a tough Sydney Hobart race,' he said. 'We're really happy with the boat and she is in good shape and we are pleased with the speed. Where we felt we lost out was on the tactical side rather than with a problem with the boat. Not many guys have had much sleep onboard and it was a very, very tough leg. It is very nice to beat someone on the water and great to arrive here knowing there is another boat behind us. The speed is fine, but we are just lacking in a couple areas, but we are certainly far more competitive than we have ever been.'

It was a slightly different story for the young guns on ABN AMRO TWO who have done so well in the first half of the event. Gear damage has not helped their performance, but their seventh place on this leg drops her to equal fourth place overall with Brasil 1.

'Not good,' said skipper JOSSE, 'We want better results, but we were a bit unfortunate. The sail damage was a big part of the problem. We went a bit offshore making our tack and we were in 35 knots of wind. Then when we took in the second reef, the deck line of the J4 broke and at the same time we were in trouble with the jib. We lost ten or twelve miles. We turned downwind to make sure we didn't break the battens. I'm a little bit mad, when you lose and make a mistake.

'All the gear onboard is fixed, so we won't be taking the two hour penalty. We lost ten miles but in a day we were back at 100 percent. We sailed very well when we did not have problems with the sails and we sailed upwind in 40 knots and were comfortable.'

Leg Six Finish Report, 9 May 2006

Pos Team Nation Skipper TLPTS Arrival Time Leg Time RPTD Overall
1 ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 7 09/05/2006 - 08:07:36 UTC 01d 15h 07m 36s 70.5 1
2 Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 6 09/05/2006 - 10:47:11 UTC 01d 17h 47m 11s 47.5 2
3 Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 5 09/05/2006 - 10:56:52 UTC 01d 17h 56m 52s 42 4=
4 Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 4 09/05/2006 - 10:59:49 UTC 01d 17h 59m 49s 34.5 6
5 movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 3 09/05/2006 - 11:01:26 UTC 01d 18h 01m 26s 47 3
6 Brunel AUS Grant WHARINGTON (AUS) 2 09/05/2006 - 12:41:17 UTC 01d 19h 41m 17s 2.5 7
7 ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastian JOSSE (FRA) 1 09/05/2006 - 13:36:15 UTC 01d 20h 36m 15s 42 4=

TLPTS: Total Leg Points
RPTD: Race Points To Date
Overall: Overall Position

Overall Leaderboard
(Up to and including Leg Six)

Pos Team Nation Skipper Pts
2 Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 47.5
3 movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 47
4= ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastien JOSSE (FRA) 42
4= Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 42
6 Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 34.5
7 Brunel AUS Grant WHARINGTON (AUS) 2.5

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

Lizzie GREEN (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Mike SANDERSON celebrates another leg win:© Martin STOCKBRIDGE
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