illbruck, Tyco and NewsCorp will assemble today at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay before the start of their respective Volvo Ocean Race qualifying passages

The German illbruck entry in the Volvo Ocean Race will rendezvous with fellow race competitors Team News Corp and Team Tyco today outside of the Chesapeake Bay for a joint Atlantic crossing to Europe. The transatlantic sail will serve as illbruck’s qualifier for the Volvo Ocean Race.

To take part, each entry must complete 2,000 miles offshore with the race crew prior to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race on 23 September from Southampton. The VO60s will start today from an agreed point off the Chessie Light and cross to La Rochelle, France, the stopover port at the end of the transatlantic seventh leg next spring.

While the crossing is not a race, the illbruck Challenge team looks forward to lining up against some of the competition for the first time in the new generation race boat after months of training in Charleston, South Carolina. “We have accomplished all we set out to do in Charleston,” said skipper John Kostecki.

“The goal here was to complete our sail testing and development with our two training boats and then optimise the new race boat. Charleston gave us the range of conditions we sought for our testing and training. Hopefully all this preparation is going to pay off and we’ll see it in the results. We are ready to race.”

The transatlantic crossing will allow the team to give a final shakedown to many of the onboard systems while satisfying the requirement of the qualifier. By crossing with competitors, the teams will test the systems in a race-like environment. Once across the Atlantic, the illbruck team will sail to Hamble, England where they will prepare for the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race on 12 August.

illbruck expects to line-up against four other VO60s in the Fastnet including News Corporation, Assa Abloy, Djuice Dragons and Team SEB. “The Fastnet is one of the world’s premier ocean races,” Kostecki said. “With other VO60s competing, it will be a great tune-up for the Volvo Ocean Race.”