Illbruck 1 and 2, previously the team EF boats in the Whitbread, have started training in Spain


The illbruck Round the World Challenge started-two boat testing yesterday on Tuesday in Sanxenxo, Spain. Sanxenxo, is a small village located in Galicia, on the Atlantic Coast, which is on the northwest corner of Spain.

We have the newly-refurbished and identical Volvo 60’s illbruck 1 and illbruck 2, which were formally the EF Whitbread 60’s from Sweden. Both the boats spent the winter in a boatyard in Hamburg, Germany getting refitted after the last Whitbread race. The boats are now sporting the new illbruck image paint jobs, including the fading green to white bow sections. The boats are in racing condition, which made sailing on our first day easy.

We have assembled a crew of 18 here in Spain for approximately five weeks of testing. We will be doing a combination of day sailing and offshore sailing with the two boats side by side, testing various equipment. This allows us to test different sail shapes and boat configuations easily and what we learn here we can apply to our new boat and sails for the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race.

We have a international team here, with crew from seven of the nine boats from the last Whitbread Around the World Race. Some of the talent here includes, Mark Christensen, from the winning EF language, Jason Carrington and Stu Bannatyne from Silk Cut, Juan Vila and myself from Chessie Racing, Jared Hendersen from Merit Cup, Lisa Charles from EF Education, Timmy Kroger from Swedish Match, and Ross Halcrow from Kvaerner. Having the talent from seven of the teams from the last Whitbread allows us to share ideas from the top boats in the last race.

The illbruck Round the World Challenge is focused on winning the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race with an international team. We will keep you updated on our progress, from shore or sea, these next five weeks.

John Kostecki Skipper, illbruck Round the World Challenge