"Hilarious, crazy and fascinating, definitely dangerous - everything was beyond the edge

Gurra Krantz’s SEB has shown some record-breaking bursts of speed on this second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. Second place is in the bag but Krantz must be wondering how different SEB’s performance might have been with a work-up period comparable to that of illbruck.

“The feeling was that we should have been first,” said Krantz on the dock. “But the feeling isn’t good enough, we have to do it as well, and this time we gave illbruck the opportunity to pass. They sailed well. We sailed extremely well too, but at the wrong part of the race, not over the finish line. We are very happy with second as a place but it was just the feeling that we had number one.”

Krantz saw the difference between first and second in SEB’s performance as being down to “two things – material and technical issues was one; a combination with being too extreme in our choice across the Australian Byte. Had we not had problems we would have been really, really good – it was so much on the edge that every thing that went wrong had a big effect on us.”

Looking with hindsight for a positive moment, Krantz reflected on his new 24-hour world monohull speed record – 460.4nm. “Big Tuesday! That was just hilarious, crazy and fascinating, definitely dangerous – everything was beyond the edge. We were crashing and burning, back on our feet again, then off we would go – it was wild! I’ve never experienced anything like that – normally in the Southern Ocean it is colder and maybe windier. This time was such a hard push on the boats and we got everything we could out of the wind.

“It was very unfriendly, very fast and very powerful. It was a very humble experience as usual, it makes you realise how small the human being is and how powerful nature is. Every moment you go through that hatch and out on deck you have a dangerous moment. We had waves coming over us that swept people off their feet, and crashing into pedestals. Once we went through that period we had a lot of bruises and twisted, bashed up arms and legs.

For all his disappointment, second place – particularly the manner with which it was achieved – is very encouraging. “We can beat illbruck, and that felt good. We have no hesitation over charging at them for first place, it’s just that we have to keep our game together a bit more all the way – maybe we pushed too hard in the Southern Ocean and maybe that came back on us in the end as we were maybe tired.

“Also, without a Navigator (Marcel van Triest left at Eclipse Island after one of his parents died), obviously that must have had some effect on our game plan.”

Volvo Ocean Race: Second Leg Finishers
Finish times (GMT)1. illbruck – 4 Dec 01 – 00222. SEB – 4 Dec 01 – 01353. News Corp – 4 Dec 01 – 02174. djuice – 4 Dec 01 – 06435. Amer Sports One – 4 Dec 01 – 0650Still Racing (ETAs)6. Assa Abloy – 4 Dec 01 – 09327. Amer Sports Too – 6 Dec 01 2008RetiredTyco (Rudder stock failure)