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Record Breaking News, But Tyco Retire

lundi 19 novembre 2001Information Volvo Ocean Race

451.2 nautical miles in 24 hours is the new benchmark for a Volvo Ocean 60. Between 17.48hrs GMT on Saturday 17th November and the same time on Sunday 18th(yesterday), Team News Corp achieved an average speed of 18.8 knots to propel her into the Volvo Ocean Race record Record #sailingrecord books.

This is 2.1 miles more than the record Record #sailingrecord set by Lawrie Smith’s Silk Cut in the 1997 Whitbread Race. Ironically, Team News Corp skipper Jez Fanstone was a crewman on Silk Cut.

"We broke the 24-hour record Record #sailingrecord . Fantastic," wrote an elated Ross Field, navigator on News Corp shortly afterwards. "It was bloody hard work but very rewarding. The 24 hours sailing was right on the edge. We had the right boat, great sail combinations, excellent crew work and the best weather to wring the hell out of the boat. We had a west / northwest wind of 30 to 40 knots, huge rolling seas so that we could maintain speeds well over 20 knots. If the weather had continued, I am sure we would have had a 460 mile plus run. Above all, we didn’t make any mistakes," added Field.

Leg one winners illbruck and race leaders djuice were three and six miles short of the record respectively. The current outright 24 hour record for a monohull stands at 467.7 miles and is held by the Open 60 Armor Lux.

Meanwhile, The Volvo Ocean 60 Tyco arrived in Port Elizabeth on Sunday 18th November at 19.55 GMT, after sustaining major damage to the boat’s rudder stock 700 miles from the South African coast in the Southern Ocean.

Upon arrival at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, the boat was immediately hauled out of the water for a thorough inspection of the steering gear.

After fully assessing the damage last night and this morning, Team Tyco retired at 06.30hrs GMT from Leg Two of the Volvo Ocean Race. They will earn one point for starting but not completing the leg.

Following the boat’s withdrawal from the leg this morning, skipper Kevin Shoebridge explained full extent of the damage to the steering gear.

"As expected, the rudder was basically destroyed. Both halves of the stock sheered. It had no structural integrity left. All secondary bonding and taping between the two bearings had let go, or become de-bonded. We removed the rudder, we also removed the lower bearing. The lower bearing also was damaged. The needle rollers were damaged, as the bearing has been pushed beyond its normal limits of movement."

As always, the safety of the crew and boat is paramount. "We consider it neither safe nor prudent to continue the leg, to put the boat and crew at further risk," continued Shoebridge.

"We will be making inquiries into getting the boat to Sydney as quickly as possible. Safety was our main concern. We also want to do a thorough investigation on replacement parts. We’ll be checking the replacement rudder and its construction, and we will be constructing another rudder as well.

"Our decision not to sail is essentially a safety issue. Sailing in the Southern Ocean with damaged steering equipment and untested replacement equipment of the same specification is too high a risk. The first rudder is totally irreparable. The lower bearing is damaged and cannot be replaced in the next two weeks. We’re making every available attempt to get back into this race, but for safety reasons we‚re not going any further. We’re going to execute a thorough investigation of the rudder and stock to try and see where it failed."

Despite this major setback, the mood of the crew remains positive towards the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race.

"The crew have been fantastic, I think they’ve really showed their class over the last five days. Everyone’s been totally positive in trying to get here and rejoin the race. Now that we are retiring, we’re doing what we can to put ourselves in good stead for leg three. We’re bitterly disappointed but the safety of the crew was the main concern.

"As always we’re confident with the way we sail, with the people we have and the speed of our boat, which was evident by the fact we were leading the fleet when the thing happened. And although our mountain’s getting a little harder to climb, it‚s by no means over for us. We’ve still got 7 legs of the race to get ourselves on the leader board.

"Team Tyco can definitely come back from this setback, but we‚ve got some serious work ahead of us. The job has become tougher and we can’t sustain low placing again. We can definitely come back," concluded Shoebridge.

Back on the race course, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet passed the unofficial waypoint and tactical hurdle of the Kerguelen Island this morning, with race leaders djuice clearing the French outpost at 05.18hrs GMT, 15 minutes ahead of the speeding Team News Corp.

The north or south question was answered with a 50/50 split. Leaders djuice and Team News Corp (three miles astern), followed by Amer Sports One stuck to their fast southerly path while illbruck, Team SEB and ASSA ABLOY opted for a northern route past the lone Southern Ocean island.

- Volvo Ocean Race Position Report Leg Two, Day 9, 10.00hrs GMT
- PS Yacht Latitude Longitude DTF CMG SMG TFHR DTL DTL-C ETA PO
- 1 DJCE 50 52.36S 072 22.12E 3977 079 15.2 394 0 +00000 03 DEC 01 10
- 2 NEWS 50 57.28S 072 18.24E 3980 075 15.3 397 3 +00000 03 DEC 01 13
- 3 AART 48 23.72S 071 12.64E 4007 089 18.8 414 30 -00023 03 DEC 01 10
- 4 ILBK 48 27.32S 070 52.48E 4020 082 18.4 421 43 -00019 03 DEC 01 13
- 5 TSEB 47 37.48S 070 34.84E 4030 071 17.2 408 53 -00008 03 DEC 01 7
- 6 AONE 50 33.88S 069 32.08E 4082 079 14.0 358 105 +00007 03 DEC 01 10
- 7 ATOO 50 00.84S 062 55.24E 4334 079 07.9 256 357 +00044 04 DEC 01 3
- 8 TYCO 33 58.00S 025 38.12E - - - - - - - -

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