Close racing expected at tomorrow's third in-port race in Rio de Janeiro 24/3/06

VOR teams are today preparing for the third VOR in-port race which takes place in the Rio de Janeiro tomorrow at 1300 local time.

The start is likely to be at the southern end of the Baía de Guanabara, the inner harbour to the east of the town of Rio de Janeiro, giving a windward leg towards the north.

With light winds predicted this could be a chance for the Farr designs to show their true colours over the AMRO boats which have so far dominated the race. And with crucial points up for grabs tomorrow’s racing is going to one of the most interesting yet.

The latest team news from ABN AMRO 1 is that injury has forced Mark Christensen (Crusty) to rule himself out of tomorrow’s in-port race for the third time in succession.

Thirty-five year-old Christensen was competing in the Round the Bays race in Auckland during a vacation at home when he tore two ligaments in his knee. He also missed the Cape Town race after failing to recover from a broken arm and sat out the second leg from Cape Town to Melbourne as well as the Melbourne In Port race, but rejoined the boat for the third and fourth legs.

Skipper Mike Sanderson said the injury was not serious, but he was reluctant to make any changes to a strong and fit inshore crew, “Our accident prone Crusty has not made the cut fitness wise and because it is so physical on board, we cannot take someone off who is 100 percent fit and put on someone who is carrying an injury.”

Barring further accidents, Christensen is expected on the startline on Sunday 2 April for the start of leg 5 from Rio to Baltimore.

Rio In-port Race crew list

Mike Sanderson (NZ) – Skipper
Stan Honey (USA) – Navigator
Brad Jackson (NZ)
Brian McInnes (CAN) [replaces Mark Christensen (NZ)]
Tony Mutter (NZ)
Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
David Endean (NZ)
Jan Dekker (RSA)
Robert Greenhalgh (GBR)
Justin Slattery (IRL)
Tomasso Chieffi (ITA)

Sebastien Josse (FRA) – Skipper
Simon Fisher (GBR) – Navigator
Andrew Lewis (USA)
George Peet (USA)
Lucas Brun (BRA) [replaces Gerd Jan Poortman (NED)]
Hans Horrevoets (NED)
Luke Molloy (AUS)
Yves Leblevec (FRA) [replaces Nick Bice (AUS)]
Scott Beavis (NZ)
Simeon Tienpont (NED)
Neil Cox (AUS)

Brasil 1
Torben Grael (BRA) – Skipper
Marcel van Triest (NED) – Navigator
André Fonseca (BRA)
Andy Meiklejohn (NZ)
Henrique Pellicano (BRA)
João Signorini (BRA)
Horacio Carabelli (BRA)
Roberto Bermudez (ESP)
Stuart Wilson (NZ)
Marcelo Ferreira (BRA) [replaces Knut Frostad (NOR)]
Alan Adler (BRA)

Ericsson Racing Team
John Kostecki (USA) – Skipper
Steve Hayles (GBR) – Navigator
Neal McDonald (GBR)
Damien Foxall (IRL)
David Rolfe (NZ)
Guillermo Altadill (ESP)
Jason Carrington (GBR)
Magnus Woxen (SWE)
Richard Mason (NZ)
Ross Halcrow (NZL) [replaces Thomas Braidwood (AUS)]
Timothy Powell (GBR)

Bouwe Bekking (NED) – Skipper
Andrew Cape (AUS) – Navigator
Chris Nicholson (AUS)
Jonathan Swain (USA)
Mike Joubert (RSA)
Mike Howard (USA) [replaces Noel Drennan (IRL)]
Pepe Ribes (ESP)
Peter Doriean (AUS)
Stu Bannatyne (NZ)
Fernando Echavarri (ESP) [replaces Xabier Fernandez (ESP)]
Pedro Campos (ESP)

Pirates of the Caribbean
Paul Cayard (USA) – Skipper
Jules Salter (GBR) – Navigator
Craig Satterthwaite (NZ)
Jerry Kirby (USA) [replaces Jeremy Smith (NZ)/Curtis Blewett (CAN)]
Erle William (NZ)
Anthony Merrington (AUS)
Justin Clougher (AUS)
Justin Ferris (NZ)
Ian Budgen (GBR) [replaces Rodney Ardern (NZ)]
Dirk de Ridder (NED)
Mark Mctiegue (AUS)