Leg 2: Cape Town, South Africa, to Sydney, Australia
Dispatch 3: Make or Break in the Southern Ocean | Dispatch Archive
November 25, 2001
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The crews of the Volvo Ocean Race have now been at sea for two
weeks in this the secondand arguably the toughestleg
of the race. This is the leg between Cape Town and Sydney that
everyone looks forward to with a mix of dread and excitement. You
know you are going to be wet, cold, and miserable for a month. But
you also know that if the conditions are right as you skirt around the
Antarctic, that it could be the ride of a lifetime.
The crews had hoped to keep dramas to a minimum on this leg, but
their wish has not been granted. We have seen more dramas unfold
in these two weeks than on the entire first leg.
The news that Team Tyco had rudder failure and had to turn
back was truly heartbreaking for this fine boat and crew. One of the
crew, the Irishman Damian Foxall, a single-handed Figaro sailor, was
also on board Play Station when she withdrew from the
Millennium Race. He has been trying to get down to the Southern
Ocean for a long time, and it must have been a bitter blow to turn
back. Definitely my favorite at the start. I still think that with the
new points system in place, Team Tyco can get back into the
race. They will ship the yacht to Sydney and fit a new rudder.
With the possible changeover of yachts winning points on this leg,
Team Tyco may not have lost too much.
The monohull record has been in danger of collapsing to
SEB and the boats are moving at phenomenal speeds.
Illbruck, Assa Abloy and Team News Corp can be
proud of their boats performances in recent days. They are
as close as its possible to get in this race. The choice of Neal
Macdonald as new skipper of Assa Abloy has obviously paid
off, and they are back in the race.
If Keith Kilpatrick [who is suffering from a severe infection] has to
be taken off Amer Sports One it will mean more work for the
rest of the team, but it shouldnt slow them down. Grant is a
tough leader and always instills a huge loyalty and drive in his teams.
He seems well pleased with this one.
The girls have remained silent on their boats poor
performance, and it will be interesting to see what the problem has
been when they break their silence. It would seem there is definitely
something wrong with their boat speed. Although the past 24 hours
has seen them pick up again.
It will be interesting to see the tactics that the boats use over the
coming days of make or break in the Southern Ocean. People will
be getting tired and its easy to make mistakes.
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