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Southampton, England (October 26) - Day 34
Team News Corp finally claimed third place on the opening leg of the Volvo Ocean Race this morning after a violent final night and early morning in the south Atlantic.
Jez Fanstone's crew were given a hiding by gale force southeasterly winds Over the last day. To save damaging the hull and rig in the closing miles, they continually reduced sail area slowing down from eleven to seven and at times even five knots.
"The last 48 hours have been pretty miserable. We've been cold, tired, wet and hungry, battling big seas and with 50 knots on the nose," explained a relieved Fanstone after tying up in the Victoria & Alfred dock.
Even navigator Ross Field, a veteran three-time Whitbread sailor (two time winner) was left in awe of the conditions. "We knew it was coming but we didn't expect 50 knots like we got. We had to reduce boat speed because we were launching ourselves off waves. We ended up sailing low and slow just to sail across the sea instead of into it. If we did over seven knots we were just destroying the boat and destroying some of us," said Field.
To add insult to injury, the final 30 miles were dragged out as the breeze died to just a couple of knots.
Their elapsed time for the leg was 32 days, 15 hours and 57 minutes but, under the points system, 'when' no longer counts, only 'where' and for Fanstone it was a superb third and a well deserved six points in the bag.
"We always wanted to finish among the top three. The whole leg was very intense with every wind condition you can imagine," continued Fanstone.
After winning the Rolex Fastnet Race in August from Illbruck, Team News Corp was considered one of the favored entries and has delivered the goods on a close and arduous Volvo Ocean Race opener.
Like most, they seem to have under budgeted for food as the final (already reduced) meal was served yesterday. "I'm about six kilos lighter. We didn't have any food for the last 24 hours, but that's part of the game and we knew it was gonna happen. I feel for the guys who are further behind," added Fanstone.
The month long stint from Great Britain to South Africa covered 7,350-miles.
1, Illbruck: 31d 06h 19m 49s
2, Amer Sports One: 31d 08h 20m 56s
3, Team News Corp: 32d 15h 57m 17s
Volvo Ocean Race Position Report (as of Day 34, 10.00hrs GMT)
PS Yacht DTF ETA PO
1 ILBK 0 24 OCT 01 20:19:49 8
2 AONE 0 24 OCT 01 22:20:56 7
3 NEWS 0 26 OCT 01 05:57:17 6
4 TYCO 151 27 OCT 01 5
5 AART 325 27 OCT 01 4
6 TSEB 964 30 OCT 01 3
7 DJCE 983 30 OCT 01 2
8 ATOO 1086 31 OCT 01 1
PS - Position; DTF - Distance to Finish; ETA - Estimated time of arrival; PO - Points
ILBK illbruck Challenge
AONE Amer Sports One
ATOO Amer Sports Two
AART ASSA ABLOY Racing Team
NEWS News Corporation
TYCO Team Tyco
TSEB Team SEB
DJCE djuice dragons
Volvo and Volvo Ocean Race Background
The Volvo Car Corporation has its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. 27,400 people worldwide are employed by Volvo Cars and in the year 2000, the company's sales increased to 422,100 cars.
Volvo is one of the world's leading suppliers of commercial transport solutions. The group manufactures trucks, buses, and construction equipment, power systems for marine and industrial use, and aircraft engine components.
Founded in 1927, Volvo currently has about 79.000 employees, manufacturing operations in 30 countries and a worldwide market and service organization.
The Volvo Ocean Race is run every four years. It starts in Southampton on September 23rd 2001 and finishes in Kiel, Germany, on June 9th 2002. Over a period lasting some nine months, the Volvo Ocean Race will reach a broad audience around the world via modern communication technology.
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