As the second in-port race in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 began in anger radio commentator Guy Swindells described the Volvo Open 70’s as ‘skiffs on steroids’ as the boats leapt out of the starting blocks and away up the first leg.
The ‘Cape Doctor’ played its part providing a 25-35 knot south easterly which allowed the 70’s to show their true power and speed out in Table Bay.
Still high on success after winning the first leg into Cape Town, Mike Sanderson (NZ) and his crew onboard ABN AMRO ONE dominated the day. As Sanderson explains: “The guys did an awesome job of getting the boat around the track. We got off the line cleanly and managed to hold a lane to the first mark. We had a slim lead rounding the mark and then managed to extend it throughout the rest of the race. We went full pace on the first leg but after that showed some self control which was really important out there.”
Sanderson was delighted that his ‘day in the office’ had turned out so well, especially in light a disappointing first in-port race in Sanxenxo in November. “Cape Town has been good to us, there is no doubt about that. Compared to the leg win, this is not so big but compared to our result from the last in-port race in Sanxenxo, this is huge. We managed to get a few points on Ericsson and Brasil and came in from the day extending our lead, so that’s a good day out on the water!”
ABN AMRO ONE crossed the finish line almost seven minutes in front of
second place movistar, who were delighted with their result, especially after their Volvo Ocean Race campaign did not get off to the best start when they were forced to retire from the first leg of the race.
The team onboard movistar sailed a good race to work their way through the fleet and into second place by the finish. Local sailor and bowman of movistar Mike Joubert explained, “We had a bit of a problem with the keel on the first leg of the course and this obviously spilled over to a lot of other areas. That’s why we struggled and probably rounded the first mark second to last. Fortunately we quickly recovered and got back into the groove. After that everything settled back nicely and it is great to be back and scoring points. We’re just happy to be back on the water and the
boat is doing great.”
Movistar managed to split up TEAM ABN AMRO, forcing itself in between the black boat and the younger team on ABN AMRO TWO, preventing a clean sweep by the Juan Kouyoumdjian designed boats.
Pirates of the Caribbean, skippered by Paul Cayard (USA), sailed a great race up until the last downwind leg when a gust of wind knocked them sideways during the gybe and cruelly took away second place. By the time the ‘Pirates’ had recovered she had been overtaken by movistar, ABN AMRO TWO and Brasil 1, and finished in fifth place overall just in front of Ericsson who suffered from a broken reefing line in the mainsail.
One person who did enjoy all of the excitement, and action, was Springbok flanker Schalk Burger who became a Pirate for the day when he joined Pirates of the Caribbean. He commented, “It was fast, it was wet, it was great fun. I just stood there and hung on. It got quite bumpy at times. It was some ride.” Asked about preferring the bottom of a scrum to the boat, Burger laughingly admits that he’s “not ready to hang up his boots and head to the seas quite yet.”
Overall the leader remains the same with ABN AMRO ONE stretching their lead slightly over Brasil 1. A third place for today sees ABN AMRO TWO move up to third place overall on the leaderboard, half a point in front of Ericsson. Movistar and Pirates of the Caribbean have also added some vital points to their overall scores and are places fifth and sixth respectively.
The teams now have a week to recover and get ready for the next leg of the Volvo Ocean Race which takes the boats through the Southern Ocean to Melbourne. Leg two gets underway at 13 00 on Monday 2 January.
Results, in-port race – Cape Town
Position, boat name, skipper, finishing time (local GMT +2)
1st TEAM ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson (NZL) 15h:31.44
2nd Movistar, Bouwe Bekking (NED) 15:38.24
3rd TEAM ABN AMRO TWO, Sebastien Josse (FRA) 15:41.26
4th Brasil 1, Torben Grael (BRA) 15:41.56
5th Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard (USA) 15:42.49
6th Ericsson Racing Team Neal McDonald (GBR) 15:54.32
7th ING Real Estate Brunel, Grant Wharington/Barney Walker (AUS) -
Current Leaderboard (PROVISIONAL)
[position/team name/skipper/race points to date]
1st TEAM ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson (NZL) 15 pts
2nd Brasil 1, Torben Grael (BRA) 12.5 pts
3rd TEAM ABN AMRO TWO, Sebastien Josse (FRA) 12 pts
4th Ericsson Racing Team Neal McDonald (GBR) 11.5 pts
5th Movistar, Bouwe Bekking (NED) 6 pts
6th Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard (USA) 5 pts
6th ING Real Estate Brunel, Grant Wharington (AUS) 5 pts
Comments are closed.