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Gloves off on Boxing Day – Volvo Race

December 23, 2005, Cape Town, South Africa – Whilst most people will still be enjoying their leftover Christmas dinners, the seven Volvo Open 70’s that make up the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 will be out in Table Bay locked in battle.

The in-port racing is an exciting new feature to the Volvo Ocean Race and allows the race crews to not only showcase their talent and skills around a short inshore course but also to pick up valuable points to add to their overall score.

Glenn Bourke, Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race, explained, “We had it in our minds that we would offer yachts designers the complex challenge of designing a boat which is exciting for close quarters inshore racing and also purpose built to be the fastest and most exciting ocean racing yacht conceived.”

Bourke continued with his thoughts on Monday’s race, “Looking at the
forecast, with strong winds predicted for Boxing Day, we can expect to see the fastest racing monohulls in the world testing their crews to the limit around a very short and intense 2-3 hour course. Success and failure will probably depend more on crew work and tactics than it will on relative speed of the boats which gives everyone the opportunity to pick up some vital points and stand on the podium.”

After an exciting start from Spain in November the fleet in one way or another covered the 6,400 nautical miles to Cape Town. The first race leg victory went to ABN AMRO ONE skippered by Mike Sanderson (NZ) who led the party of five finishers into Cape Town. A week later Pirates of the Caribbean arrived by Antanov aeroplane after suffering from damage that forced her to retire from the first leg. The final boat to arrive was the Spanish entry movistar, who like Pirates of the Caribbean, also suffered damage when storms flattened the fleet in the first 24 hours. Movistar arrived in spectacular style onboard a huge Wallenius Wilhelmsen freighter – MV Toronto.

Going into the in-port race, which will take place as near to the shore as possible in Table Bay, the Dutch entry of ABN AMRO ONE is currently the overall race leader. The result of a win on the first leg gives Sanderson and his crew a one point lead over the Brazilian entry, Brasil 1, skippered my multiple Olympic medallist Torben Grael (BRA) but points are tight and they hold joint second with British Skipper Neal McDonald and his Ericsson Racing Team.

The in-port race will provide an opportunity for Paul Cayard’s (USA)
Pirates of the Caribbean and movistar, under the guidance of Bouwe Bekking (NED), to get some points under their belts as, due to the result of them retiring from the first leg, they hold sixth and seventh place respectively.

The forecast looks set to add a bit of excitement to the days racing as race meteorologist Christopher Bedford explains, “Winds will start to ease on Monday, but there is a chance of some strong 15-25 knots South Easterly gradient winds for the in-port race.”

If the ‘Cape Doctor’ blows, spectators who plan to watch the race (which is scheduled to commence at 13 00 on the 26 December) will get a real sense of the power and speed of the Volvo Open 70’s. With the race expected to take place close to the shore off Milnerton, spectators who are not lucky enough to get afloat should have some great vantage points from Milnerton Beach, as well as Table Mountain, Signal Hill and many of the other peaks surrounding the bay.

Schedule of events for Monday 26 December (all times are local GMT +2) 10 30 – 11 00 Departure ceremony begins from V&A Waterfront (Jetty 1) 11 30 Exclusion zones in place around the race course
12 00 Press boat departure 12 50 Live commentary begins (

13 00 In-port race scheduled start
17 00 Estimated finish time of in-port race
17 30 Boats return to race village
18 30 Prize giving in V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre

Leg One finish results
[position/team name/skipper/elapsed time]
1st TEAM ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson (NZL) 19d 00h 24m 02s
2nd TEAM ABN AMRO TWO, Sebastien Josse (FRA) 19d 06h 56m 34s
3rd Brasil 1, Torben Grael (BRA) 19d 15h 58m 48s
4th Ericsson Racing Team Neal McDonald (GBR) 020d 16h 47m 38s
5th ING Real Estate Brunel, Grant Wharington (AUS) 024d 01h 33m 55s
DNF Movistar, Bouwe Bekking (NED)
DNF Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard (USA)

Current Leaderboard
[position/team name/skipper/race points to date (inc in-port, scoring
gate, leg finish)]
1st TEAM ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson (NZL) 11.5 pts
2nd Brasil 1, Torben Grael (BRA) 10.5 pts
2nd Ericsson Racing Team Neal McDonald (GBR) 10.5 pts
4th TEAM ABN AMRO TWO, Sebastien Josse (FRA) 9.5 pts
5th ING Real Estate Brunel, Grant Wharington (AUS) 4.5 pts
6th Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard (USA) 3.5 pts
7th Movistar, Bouwe Bekking (NED) 3 pts

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2005 at 2:07 pm and is filed under Main Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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