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21 May 2006, 07:03 am
ABN AMRO ONE First Into Portsmouth To Secure Overall Win
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
New York, USA

Mike SANDERSON (NZL) and his crew brought ABN AMRO ONE safely into Portsmouth Harbour, Great Britain last night, after crossing the finish line at 2330 UTC, 0030 local time. First round the scoring gate at the Lizard, and first over the finish line of leg seven from New York, USA to Portsmouth, ABN AMRO ONE has now amassed 81 points, which makes SANDERSON's overall position in the Volvo Ocean Race unassailable.
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After a stressful and testing Atlantic crossing, SANDERSON was relieved to bring Black Betty and her crew into Portsmouth. For him, it was not a day too soon, 'It has been a very tough few days, with up to 50 knots of winds, especially the last 24 hours.

'It is lovely to be here. It was such a huge set back losing Hans, but I know this is what he would have wanted.

'It is amazing really. It is such a special moment. For me this is the Olympic medal, the climbing Everest, it's a childhood dream to have skippered a boat and to have won the Volvo Ocean Race. It has been absolutely unbelievable. It has been the most amazing race with the most amazing team. We have been so tight as a team, from top to bottom.'

Speaking about the tragic loss of Hans HORREVOETS (NED) from ABN AMRO TWO, SANDERSON said, 'From the minute we got the message about the man overboard, we didn't know exactly which boat it was from, but I had that sinking feeling that it might be one of us. I emailed Si Fi straight away and he said that they had turned around and that Hans was in the water. It was a real kick in the stomach. We felt every minute that the guys were looking for him and they did an amazing job to get back to him. It was just tragic that it wasn't soon enough.'

Looking Back On Leg Seven

ABN AMRO ONE took the lead from day two out of the Hudson River and led the fleet north to the coast of Nova Scotia, then tacked south passing behind the fleet, temporarily falling to the bottom of the leaderboard. By day six, ABN AMRO ONE was back up to form and on top again leading the pack across the Atlantic.

Neal MCDONALD's (GBR) Ericsson is 60 miles from the Lizard and is expected to arrive in Portsmouth around 1300 UTC tomorrow. Pirates of the Caribbean is 15 miles behind Ericsson and the fight for second place on the podium is sure to be a fierce one.

Position Report At 0400 Hours UTC, 21 May 2006

Team Nation Skipper Latitude Longitude DTF DTL DTLC CMG SMG VMG ETA
ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) FIN FIN FIN FIN FIN FIN FIN FIN FIN
Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 50 10.01N 03 19.04W 91 0 0 77 16.5 12.9 21/05/2006 - 1258 UTC
Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 50 8.02N 03 40.06W 104 13 2 76 16.9 12.8 21/05/2006 - 1350 UTC
Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 50 1.02N 04 36.04W 140 49 5 69 17.4 12.6 21/05/2006 - 1614 UTC
Brunel AUS Matthew HUMPHRIES (GBR) 47 51.05N 12 42.02W 485 394 3 71 17.2 11.1 22/05/2006 - 2015 UTC
movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 48 55.01N 13 44.03W 502 411 -19 64 9.3 11.1 22/05/2006 - 2132 UTC
ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastian JOSSE (FRA) 48 55.02N 13 45.10W 503 412 -19 65 9.3 11.1 22/05/2006 - 2135 UTC

Overall Leaderboard
(Up to and including Leg Six)

Pos Team Nation Skipper Pts
1 ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 70.5
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 Matthew HUMPHRIES (GBR) 2.5

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

Sacha OSWALD (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Mike SANDERSON celebrates overall victory in Portsmouth:© Jon NASH
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