Du grand large à la plage : Toute l’actualité des sports de glisse depuis 2000

Volvo Ocean Race / Leg 5

100 Bucks up for grabs

mercredi 20 mars 2002Information Volvo Ocean Race

With more than 25,000 miles sailed in the Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race #VolvoOceanRace , each of the eight teams has developed its character and personality. They were all potential winners before the beginning of the race, starting with a clean sheet of paper as the leader board, now the stronger and weaker campaigns can be clearly identified. This classification not only happens among the audience, it is in the minds of the crews on the boats as well. They all have to accept the looming possibility that they are winners or losers.

Grant Dalton was the only skipper who pointed out before the start of leg one, that not every boat will emerge as the overall race winner ; somebody will be last. For most teams these thoughts seemed to be way beyond the horizon, as all of them gleamed with confidence to take the most coveted trophy in ocean racing home, after enduring nine gruelling legs.

In the fifth leg, they all have to face the truth. This attitude is reflected in many emails from the boats, influenced by their current position within the fleet. Roger Nilson made the point clear, when he wrote : "A good sked and you feel great about your possibilities to advance in the fleet. A bad sked and you look everywhere to improve boat speed. Which helmsmen should steer, how to trim, how hard to press the boat and which sail takes you in the direction you want to go."

On SEB the spirits are rising after having moved into fourth place a few days ago. Having the bad luck of not finishing two out of four legs, and being slowed down through gear failure on leg one, they are in desperate need of a reasonable result to prove to their supporters that they can do what they set out to do. Right now they are sailing on the fast lane, keeping sound pace with the leading yachts. This makes the sailing more fun and the jokes come easy as Tom Braidwood wrote : "Flying fish are also joining the party, with one of our helmsmen, Magnus Woxen, copping a few in the chest last night. There is $100 bucks on offer for anyone who grabs one mid flight, with the catch being that you have to eat it on the spot."

It is easy to imagine the good feelings that winning brings, but how bad is it really when losing ? Can it be compared with anything we experience in our daily lives ? Have we ever prepared for anything over the course of two years, lived the dream of winning and being at the top of our cherished occupation, and then having it shattered in very short time by other people we hardly accept as being superior ?

Knut Frostad’s recent emails are part of the evidence ; every six hours he faces the pressure to explain to his eleven crew mates the losses taken over the last six hour period : "I have learnt a lot about myself right now, and especially about how to control myself and not lose focus. Pretty hard sometimes ! First you spin around the boat pushing the guys to move a loose t-shirt from leeward to weather bunk as we have to do everything we can to gain every single inch on the water. The next moment you are faced with ten pair of eyes, staring at you, wondering why we lost 30 miles to most of the boats and no one else ended up in no wind...."

Sailing for the third time in the race, Knut is fully aware of the danger of losing the positive attitude on board and works hard to maintain it : "To save some weight I have also been considering the idea that the Internet viewers could vote one person off the boat every day. As we now should have crawled out of the no-wind area, we should have enough crew to reach Miami. This might be risky as I realize that throwing the skipper in, is probably the most enjoyable for all, but at least we will be very light when we reach the Caribbean, and the wind dies, and all the boats slow down, and..... as the last bonus for the boys, I have promised them a certain experience in Miami for each boat we pass from now - this can be very expensive for me, but I am certainly looking forward to it."

Being on the podium in Rio with the clever move toward the shore shortly before the finish built confidence in boat, sails and crew and everyone was on a high, only to be completely inverted just a few days into the next leg when dumped in last place.

Meanwhile the drag racing towards Miami goes on with all yachts in stable trade wind conditions. For the next 2000 miles it is the boat speed the crews can squeeze out of boat and sails that counts. Illbruck, ASSA ABLOY and Tyco are still going strong in front, where illbruck has eked out few precious miles. A satisfied John Kostecki said : "Today we were able to open up a little lead, which is a direct result of our sail testing sessions we did before the race started. It is nice to see the benefits of our two-boat testing, because it took a lot of work and dedication from our entire team. It would be nice to continue to have an edge on our tough competitors but this is highly unlikely so we are expecting a tight race all the way to the finish."

Volvo Ocean Race Position Report, Day 12, 0956 GMT

PS Yacht Latitude Longitude DTF CMG SMG TFHR DTL DTL-C ETA PO
- 1 ILBK 11 22.24N 053 21.68W 01775 310 14.2 351 0 +0 26 MAR 02 37
- 2 AART 11 17.52N 053 09.76W 01787 313 14.0 349 12 +1 26 MAR 02 27
- 3 TYCO 11 07.68N 053 12.44W 01791 305 13.9 349 16 +2 26 MAR 02 24
- 4 TSEB 10 08.28N 051 49.40W 01892 311 13.7 337 117 +3 26 MAR 02 17
- 5 AONE 09 51.36N 051 14.12W 01930 305 13.8 333 155 +3 27 MAR 02 26
- 6 NEWS 09 32.68N 050 52.04W 01959 305 13.8 337 184 +3 27 MAR 02 22
- 7 ATOO 09 22.80N 050 51.56W 01965 313 13.3 329 190 +5 27 MAR 02 9
- 8 DJCE 08 37.44N 050 24.24W 02015 306 13.6 334 240 +5 27 MAR 02 18

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