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8 March 2002, 02:05 pm
This Will be his Last Volvo Ocean Race
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Grant Dalton (NZL)

Grant Dalton

Grant Dalton is in the middle of his last round-the-world race of the same style as the Volvo Ocean Race.
When he steps ashore in Kiel, Germany, in June at the end of the nine-leg race he will close the chapter on a 20-year participation in the multi-leg event.

"I won't do another race like this again. I will do another non-stop race again because I enjoyed it," said Dalton, who rejoined his Volvo yacht, Amer Sports One, in Rio de Janeiro yesterday for the start of the fifth leg this weekend.

The non-stop race, planned for 2004, is a no-holds-barred dash around the world being organised by Frenchman Bruno Trouble.

He arrranged The Race which Dalton won in his giant catamaran Club Med last year. It began on New Year's Eve 2000 and Dalton crossed the line in a record 62 days, 1450km ahead of his nearest rival. But he could not claim the official record because the race did not start and finish in the same place and did not cross an antipode - a point in the course directly opposite a point in the course on the other side of the world.

The Race yachts had few restrictions, Dalton said. "Bring your weapon, it's no-holds barred again."

He has yet to begin preparing for another non-stop race, but would need at least $US12.5 million ($30 million) for the boat and several more millions for marketing and public relations.

"I would need about $US12.5 million for my part of the business," he said. "That's a pie in the sky guess without me looking at the numbers, but it feels about right.
"We spent about $US8.5m last time and we were strapped, and technologically we weren't very advanced."

Dalton said the 2004 race, which will start and finish in the French port of Marseille, had already attracted interest.

A new boat would probably be bigger than the 33m Club Med, but it might also be smaller.

"It may be better to be smaller and use the power better," he said. "Until we start to analyse it and look at it I just have no feel for it. Maybe it's a cat, maybe it's a trimaran."

Dalton said that after the round-the-world race - his sixth - finished in June he would begin training for another ironman next year.

"That's a major commitment for a couch potato."

New Zealand Herald/News Editor
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