Having all arrived safely in Sydney, VOR skippers aired their views about the race and announced crew changes at a recent press conference.
GK – Gunnar Krantz – SEB
KS – Kevin Shoebridge – TYCO
GD – Grant Dalton – AMER SPORTS ONE
JK – John Kostecki – ILLBRUCK CHALLENGE
LM – Lisa MacDonald – AMER SPORTS TOO
KF – Knut Frostad – DJUICE
JF – Jez Fanstone – NEWS CORP
NM – Neal MacDonald – ASSA ABLOY
Q: What are your feelings on the pit stop in Hobart?
LM: It will be quite interesting to take part in the Hobart race this year, and for the Volvo Ocean 60 fleet it will be quite a short stop, but ultimately we’re looking long term. We’ve got the race to Hobart but also we’ve also got the race across the Tasman Sea to Auckland. There are a lot of logistics involved in that for our fleet.
GK: The pit stop is a new invention to get closer to the media, to get our faces onto the cameras so I think the idea as such is a very good one, it is always good to try and improve and invent new things. Whether this particular stop is the perfect one I don’t know, but we’ll give it a go, it’s in the rules, and we just follow the rules!
KS: Personally I’d rather go straight to Auckland (!) We did it a year ago and it’s going to be very interesting as we all encountered a few problems – illbruck did it, News Corp and Assa Abloy, as well as ourselves. The fleet was actually very split by the time we got to Hobart, usually due to the nature of the race, lots of wind, beating in heavy wind, damage, the lot of it. It’ll be a good thing and a bad thing; it really creates a situation where the fleet could get split quite heavily. As Gunnar says, those are the rules and you run with them.
GD: I think everyone would agree with what these guys have said – it’s in the rules and you just go with the rules!
Q (to Grant): How is your rehabilitation going?
GD: I’ve got something that was built by a doctor in Manley. It’s an injury that is quite common with Ice Hockey players when they get smacked against the wall, and they fracture the little bones that come off your vertebrae; fast bowlers also get it a lot. So it’s an injury they’re used to treating here, they make a plastic thing that sticks around you and keeps you in column, so you can’t get out of column.
Q: How do you feel to be part of the Sydney -Hobart as a tradition?
GD: Well, it’s certainly got a lot of tradition, its only Aussies that would go South for the Christmas holidays! There is a hell of a lot of tradition and everyone, even the Europeans, know about this race. We’re starting in front of it so I’m not sure if we’re recognisable in the Hobart result, but that would be good. I’ve done about as many as Kevin, half a dozen or so, and its never nice though! But normally you get to stop for a scallop pie and a cascade at the end of it and we don’t get to do that this time!
Q (to Jez): I understand Ross has injured ribs too?
A: Ross popped some ribs off his spine, he has been taking treatment, he has got some good drugs and he is a tough guy who will tough it out. That really marries what this whole race is about – the race is a mental thing as well as a physical thing and everybody in the race is physically strong.maybe not as strong as when they started. but it is the mind that gets you through the good and the bad times out there. Ross has a strong mind, he’s a tough guy, and he’ll be fine.
Q: What significance will the Hobart play in the big picture of the Volvo?
GK: As it goes for the Sydney-Hobart I think I am better off than most of these guys here, as I have never done it. Its like going to the dentist, as Grant said the other day, I don’t know how it’s going to be! So I just have an open mind and I look forward to it. I think that Volvo is a big enough event to stand on its own legs, and