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30 April 2006, 03:49 pm
Movistar Victory On Chesapeake Bay
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

In front of an armada of boats and an estimated 20,000 spectators, movistar pulled off an impressive victory out on Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore, USA, in the fifth In Port race of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006.
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With a light north easterly wind blowing around eight to ten knots, the race got underway as scheduled and it was the American entry Pirates of the Caribbean that was first out of the starting blocks. Paul CAYARD (USA) and his band of Pirates, including the newly crowned Miss USA Tara CONNOR, timed the start to perfection and leapt off the start line closely followed by Ericsson skippered by fellow American John KOSTECKI.

By the first mark Ericsson had the advantage and passed Pirates of the Caribbean to take the lead, seven seconds in front of the Spanish entry movistar.

Brasil 1 Take Second

An intense battle between Ericsson and movistar then ensued, which resulted in Bouwe BEKKING's (NED) movistar gaining the upper hand to move up into the lead leaving Ericsson to battle it out for second place with Pirates of the Caribbean and Torben GRAEL's (BRA) Brasil 1. With five Olympic medals under his belt, GRAEL's experience paid off and he managed to get an inside advantage and get Brasil 1 round in second place.

Both movistar and Brasil 1 managed to stay out in front as the wind dropped to five knots and by the time the race committee decided to shorten the course, movistar had established an unbeatable lead and took maximum points in the race.

Overall race leaders ABN AMRO ONE skippered by Mike SANDERSON (NZL) struggled from the start in the light conditions, which the Juan KOUYOUMDJIAN designed boat is not known to excel in, and finished the race in sixth place just behind their sister ship ABN AMRO TWO.

The Overall Standings

Although finishing in sixth place, ABN AMRO ONE still comfortably holds on to first place overall, but movistar has closed the gap to within 20 points. Pirates of the Caribbean knocks Sebastien JOSSE's (FRA) ABN AMRO TWO off the podium to move up into third place overall.

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Movistar drops her gennaker
© Martin STOCKBRIDGE
Leg six from Annapolis, USA to Portsmouth, Great Britain via a pit stop in New York commences on the 7 May. The boats are expected to arrive into New York on the 8 May.

Quotes From The Dockside

Bouwe BEKKING (NED), skipper, movistar: 'We always said that it would come down to making the least number of mistakes and today we went the right way and didn't make too many.'

'We always knew that the boat had lots of potential and is quite slippery under ten knots. We have a great team and today we proved that.'

Mike HOWARD (USA), trimmer, movistar: 'This is a really nice way to sign off from the team. Everyone worked so hard today and Bouwe and the team did a great job.'

'It is always special to win a race in your home country and to receive the welcome that we got when we returned to the harbour. It is great to see all the fans turn out and I really hope I will be back in the race in four years time.'Stu BANNATYNE (NZL), watch captain, movistar: 'This result is very satisfying for the team and I can't emphasise enough what a great team effort it was. We have worked really hard trying to cover all areas of the campaign and it looks like it is finally starting to pay off.'

Paul CAYARD (USA), skipper, Pirates of the Caribbean: 'We are reasonably happy with the result. We always want to win as we are so competitive but I am pleased that we are so consistent and put in a good performance.'

'Movistar will be a tough one to beat but it will certainly make it exciting for everyone as it will really come down to the wire.'

'We had a good start - movistar didn't and was forced out to the right hand side which then paid for them, so they got a little lucky. There were some tricky moments on the race course and there was quite a reshuffle at the bottom mark but we managed to stay in the thick of it.'

'We had to play it a bit conservative as we broke our primary winches off the start line and only had one working winch so we couldn't do any complicated manoeuvres. The guys did a great job considering we lost two of the three winches.'

Torben GRAEL (BRA), skipper, Brasil 1: 'It feels good to finally have a decent result. We started well and the right hand side of the course was the correct side to go. We just kept fighting.'

'We sailed a great first downwind leg and managed to pull out but it was pretty tricky as the wind was very light.'

'The boat feels good. We feel comfortable in every condition with this boat in the inshore races.'Grant WHARINGTON (AUS), skipper, Brunel

'We were not really lacking speed, it was very much a one way track and we didn't have many options to get back into it.'

'We definitely saw the boats potential today. We certainly would have been a long way back if we had not made the changes that we did.'

'It felt great to be battling with the overall race leader and we actually got passed them at one point. We certainly would not have done that if we had not changed the boat.'

'Today was very encouraging considering where we were a few days ago.'

Mike SANDERSON (NZL), skipper, ABN AMRO ONE: 'Today was nothing that we didn't expect. It has always been the case with this boat that if you spend a day in under ten knots of wind then this is the result we expect.'

'Our strategy was relying on us getting off the line well but unfortunately we had a break down in communications and didn't build enough speed.'

'Today we just did not have the pace to be on the podium. It has always been coming and I have always said it and everyone thought I was joking.'

'Unfortunately you can't go one knot faster than movistar on the way to Fernando [The scoring gate Fernando de Noronha] and then have an eight knot inshore race and expect the same result.'

'The boat is designed to win around the world and not during a light inshore race.'

In Port Race Five Results

Pos Team Nation Skipper Elapsed Time
1 movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 02h 21m 32s
2 Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) + 04m 35s
3 Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) + 05m 25s
4 Ericsson Racing Team SWE John KOSTECKI (USA) + 07m 45s
5 ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastien JOSSE (FRA) + 08m 17s
6 ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) + 13m 46s
7 Brunel AUS Grant WHARINGTON (AUS) + 14m 18s

Overall Leaderboard
(Up to and including Baltimore In Port Race)

Pos Team Nation Skipper Pts
1 ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 63.5
2 movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 44
3 Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 41.5
4 ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastien JOSSE (FRA) 41
5 Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 37
6 Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 30.5
7 Brunel AUS Grant WHARINGTON (AUS) 0.5

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

Sacha OSWALD (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Bouwe BEKKING steers movistar across the finish line:© Oskar KIHLBORG
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