Andreas HANAKAMP and his men onboard Kosatka Team Russia finally made it to the finish of leg two of the Volvo Ocean Race in Cochin when they crossed the line at 13:23 UTC (18:53 local time), after being at sea for 18 days, 2 hours 3 minutes and 30 seconds (elapsed time 18:02:03:30).
They were treated to a raucous welcome onshore as their arrival happened to coincide with the inauguration of the race village in Cochin. Thousands turned out to cheer the eighth place finisher.
Team Russia skipper Andreas HANAKAMP
(AUT) was in good spirits as the boat pulled alongside the pontoon, and philosophical about their leg:
"It's been up and down. It was our conditions in the Southern Ocean and we felt really comfortable there, we had a lot of fun and kept pushing hard. The first transition zone I don't think we got it perfect and then we had this meeting where we decided to go to the east, which made a lot of sense at the time, so we sacrificed 100 miles there in the hope we'd gain a couple of hundred miles, but...well, you know what happened. We risked, we went for it, and it didn't work - that's sailing."
The team principal and bowman, Oleg ZHEREBTSOV, had his first taste of the Volvo Ocean Race on this leg to Cochin and was in very good form as he stepped off the boat.
"I'm happy, happy, happy! It's a very extreme feeling,"
he said. "I can't really describe it, we've been in such different conditions from the Southern Ocean with the cold and wind to the hot, +30-degrees and the Doldrums, no wind, and before that wind up to 40 knots and the Chinese gybe and then catching the fishing net...It's such a powerful experience and after three weeks on the water to see all these people, it's really amazing."
Team Russia was slow out of Cape Town, but was soon back in the thick of things. Then, the team suffered their first real heavy-air broach on day four of the 19-day leg, but luckily did no damage to the boat. Hanakamp said yesterday that the boat is in remarkably good order thanks to the solid construction by Green Marine in Lymington, Great Britain.
They made a good showing at the scoring gate, crossing in fourth place to earn 2.5 points, but it was when the team made the calculated decision to head east around the Doldrums that things started to go wrong. Out on the eastern flank of the fleet, the Kosatka crew had opted to sail a longer route with the promise of more wind, which did not materialise, leaving them wallowing in the calms, while the rest of the crews were reaching in the tradewinds towards Cochin.
As a final insult, the team became entangled in an unlit fishing net on Monday night, which required them to lower the sails and stop the boat for upwards of two hours as the crew set about freeing themselves. But despite the setbacks, morale onboard remained good and spirits high as the team approached the finish.
Leg three of the Volvo Ocean Race, 1,950 nm from Cochin to Singapore starts on Saturday 13 December at 14:00 local time (08:30 UTC).
Ericsson 4 (Torben GRAEL
/BRA) won leg two earning a full eight points. She was also first through the scoring gate and collected a further four points, bringing her tally to 26 and leading the race overall.
Telefónica Blue (Bouwe BEKKING
/NED) was second on leg two, scoring 7.5 leg points and two gate points. Her score is now 19 points and she lies in second place overall.
Ericsson 3 (Anders LEWANDER
/SWE) was third on leg two, scoring six points, and second at the scoring gate for a score of 3.5 points. Her total is now 14.5 points and they lie fifth overall.
Telefónica Black finished in fourth place, scoring five leg points and 1.5 gate points. Her total is 13.5 points and she lies in sixth place overall.
PUMA finished in fifth place, collected one point at the scoring gate and four points for leg two, bringing her tally to 18 points overall and third place overall, one point behind Telefónica Blue.
Delta Lloyd finished in sixth place, collected 0.5 points at the scoring gate and three points for the leg, and now has a total of 7.5 points and is seventh overall
Green Dragon finished in seventh place, picked up three points at the scoring gate and two for the leg, which, brings her total to 16 points and fourth place overall, three points behind PUMA.
Team Russia scores score one point for finishing eighth and 2.5 gate points. Her overall score is 7.5 points which will puts here even with Delta Lloyd overall. The tie will be broken in favour of Delta Lloyd.
Leg Two Finishing Order into Cochin, India
1. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben GRAEL/BRA),
2. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe BEKKING/NED),
3. Ericsson 3 SWE (Anders LEWANDER/SWE),
4. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando ECHAVARRI/ESP)
5. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken READ/USA)
6. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto BERMUDEZ/ESP)
7. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian WALKER/GBR)
8. Team Russia RUS (Andreas HANAKAMP/AUT)
Volvo Ocean Race Leaderboard
(After Leg Two)
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben GRAEL), 26 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe BEKKING), 19 points
3. PUMA Racing Team (Ken READ), 18 points
4. Green Dragon (Ian WALKER), 16 points
5. Ericsson 3 (Anders LEWANDER), 14.5 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando ECHAVARRI), 13.5 points
7. Delta Lloyd (Ger O'ROURKE), 7.5 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas HANAKAMP), 7.5 points
Go here for all the news on the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09
Volvo Ocean Race - www.volvooceanrace.org