Illbruck finished first in the first leg of the first ever Volvo Ocean Race at 2019 GMT on Wednesday 24 October
Illbruck finished first in the first leg of the first ever Volvo Ocean Race at 2019 GMT on Wednesday 24 October with a 13-mile lead over Amer Sports One.
Even though Amer Sports One was in a safe distance, the Illbruck crew did not back off, but kept pushing till the very last minute, close reaching in more than 30 knots of wind and two meter waves. Then the yacht came out of the darkness, as shiny in green and white as she left Southampton more than a month ago. “We always believed we could catch Amer Sports One,” said John Kostecki, “but the question was how? We were able to do it by having better reaching boat speed and great crew manoeuvres changing sails in the shifty south-westerly breeze.”
With the two leading yachts home and dry in Cape Town, the story of the first leg now revolves around the six remaining yachts at sea, with Team News Corp looking safe to finish in third position.
“The meter is ticking over,” said News’ navigator Ross Field yesterday. “We are still pushing hard for miles and using this time as valuable testing for sails,
angles and crew training for the Southern Ocean [leg two]. It appears, cross fingers, that we have third place locked up which is satisfying.”Conditions on the final 200-mile run into the finish seem to be keeping the crew of Team News Corp, which includes the famous Bart Simpson, on their toes. “It’s blowing 25-29 knots from the south east and fortunately we’re tight reaching into Cape Town at 11-13 knots, but, it’s bloody uncomfortable,” reported Field. “It’s freezing cold on deck, spray everywhere and the boat is crashing off every second wave. The crew are sleeping on the wet sails below deck because you can’t stay in your bunk.”
Position Report, Day 33, 0400hrs GMT
1 ILBK (finished)
2 AONE (finished)
3 NEWS CORP
4 TYCO (225 behind News Corp)
5 AART (439 behind News Corp)
6 TSEB (997 behind News Corp)
7 DJCE (1014 behind News Corp)
8 ATOO (1112 behind News Corp)