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11 February 2006, 09:37 am
All Set For Leg Three
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Melbourne, Australia

At 0200 hours UTC, 1300 local time in Melbourne, Australia, 12 February, the six Volvo Open 70s still racing start leg three, with Australian team Brunel announcing her withdrawal for the time being. The third offshore leg of the race is a 1,400 nautical mile dash across to Wellington, New Zealand followed by a short break and then the awaiting challenge of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.
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Right off the Melbourne waterfront at Station Pier, the start line for leg three of the Volvo Ocean Race will allow the six remaining boats to line up in front of a huge spectator fleet as well as thousands on shore.

Once the gun goes the boats head due south to a gate between two blue buoys, then to a mark at Mornington, and then via another Volvo marker to the exit from Port Phillip Bay. From there, it is the Bass Strait, the Tasman Sea and the Cook Strait before going through into Wellington Harbour and up to a finish line between the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and a buoy off the dockside almost due north.

There is the option to keep the boats inside Port Phillip Bay with some supplementary buoys if light winds mean that they might not get through the strong tide at the entrance to Melbourne's massive bay, but it looks unlikely these contingencies will be required.

Brunel Step Back

Today Grant WHARRINGTON (AUS) at last made his long expected announcement that Brunel will not be sailing again until she has undergone significant modification, probably not until Baltimore and Annapolis in the USA.

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Brunel are skipping the next
couple of legs to regroup
© Oskar KIHLBORG
WHARRINGTON had this to say in his home port of Melbourne today, 'Back in November we had just a week to get to the start line and measure the boat, and the fact that we got there was amazing in itself,' he explained, 'But this is not a game and we are up against the most professional, competitive sailing teams in the world. We need some time to regroup and finish this race as we hoped we could have started it - at 100 percent capacity. All we needed was some more time and budget, and now Brunel has committed to us as our new title sponsor we have it. We will ship the boat to Baltimore, perhaps bolster the team with some different crew and come out punching.

'It's an unusual approach, that's for sure, but there is nothing in the rules that precludes us from doing this. We just have to comply with all the rules and pay another entry fee. We are confident that we can be much more competitive and are looking forward to getting to Baltimore looking quite different.'

Leg Three Awaits

For the rest of the boats there is a 1,400 nautical mile leg in front of them which looks like being a fast sail, but with some interesting tactics.

Wellington is a Pit Stop, just a short stop, and all the boats will re-start to head to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil via Cape Horn on Sunday 19 February at 1300 - unless they have had to use outside assistance for any repairs or replacements, in which case a two hour penalty is incurred.

To take a look at the likely weather for leg three CLICK HERE.

Volvo Ocean Race Leg Three Crew List

ABN AMRO ONE

  • Mike SANDERSON (NZL) - Skipper
  • Stan HONEY (USA) - Navigator
  • Brad JACKSON (NZL)
  • Mark CHRISTENSEN (NZL) [replaces Brian THOMPSON (GBR)]
  • Tony MUTTER (NZL)
  • Sidney GAVIGNET (FRA)
  • David ENDEAN (NZL)
  • Jan DEKKER (RSA)
  • Robert GREENHALGH (GBR)
  • Justin SLATTERY (IRL)

ABN AMRO TWO

  • Sebastien JOSSE (FRA) - Skipper
  • Simon FISHER (GBR) - Navigator
  • Andrew LEWIS (USA)
  • George PEET (USA)
  • Gerd JAN POORTMAN (NED)
  • Hans HORREVOETS (NED)
  • Luke MOLLOY (AUS)
  • Nick BICE (AUS)
  • Scott BEAVIS (NZL)
  • Simeon TIENPONT (NED)

Brasil 1

  • Torben GRAEL (BRA) - Skipper
  • Marcel VAN TRIESTE (NED) - Navigator
  • André FONSECA (BRA)
  • Andy MEIKLEJOHN (NZL)
  • Henrique PELLICANO (BRA)
  • João SIGNORINI (BRA)
  • Horacio CARABELLI (BRA) [replaces Marcelo FERREIRA (BRA)]
  • Roberto BERMUDEZ (ESP)
  • Stuart WILSON (NZL)
  • Knut FROSTAD (NOR)

Ericsson Racing Team

  • Neal MCDONALD (GBR) - Skipper
  • Steve HAYLES (GBR) - Navigator
  • Damien FOXALL (IRL)
  • David ROLFE (NZL)
  • Guillermo ALTADILL (ESP)
  • Jason CARRINGTON (GBR)
  • Magnus WOXEN (SWE)
  • Richard MASON (NZL)
  • Thomas BRAIDWOOD (AUS)
  • Timothy POWELL (GBR)

movistar

  • Bouwe BEKKING (NED) - Skipper
  • Andrew CAPE (AUS) - Navigator
  • Chris NICHOLSON (AUS)
  • Jonathan SWAIN (USA)
  • Mike JOUBERT (RSA)
  • Noel DRENNAN (IRL)
  • Pepe RIBES (ESP)
  • Peter DORIEAN (AUS)
  • Stu BANNATYNE (NZL)
  • Xabier FERNANDEZ (ESP)

Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Paul CAYARD (USA) - Skipper
  • Jules SALTER (GBR) - Navigator
  • Craig SATTERTHWAITE (NZL)
  • Curtis BLEWETT (CAN)
  • Erle WILLIAMS (NZL)
  • Anthony MERRINGTON (AUS)
  • Justin CLOUGHER (AUS)
  • Justin FERRIS (NZL)
  • Rodney ARDERN (NZL)
  • Dirk DE RIDDER (NED)

Overall Leaderboard
(Up to and including Leg 3 In Port race)

Pos Team Nation Skippers Pts
1 ABN AMRO ONE NED Mike SANDERSON (NZL) 32.5
2 ABN AMRO TWO NED Sebastien JOSSE (FRA) 25
3 movistar ESP Bouwe BEKKING (NED) 18
4 Pirates of the Caribbean USA Paul CAYARD (USA) 16.5
5 Brasil 1 BRA Torben GRAEL (BRA) 16
6 Ericsson Racing Team SWE Neal MCDONALD (GBR) 14.5
7 Brunel AUS Grant WHARINGTON (AUS) 11.5

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

Volvo Ocean Race (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Ericsson offshore training in preparation for leg three:© Rick TOMLINSON
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