Monday, 8 December 2008

Kosatka Claims Sixth Place

by Volvo Ocean Race media

Austria’s Andreas Hanakamp brought Team Russia’s Kosatka safely into Cape Town today, 3rd November, at 1529 GMT (1729 local time) to finish sixth in leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race after 23 days 03 hours 14 minutes 00 seconds at sea (23:03:14:00).

A relieved Andreas Hanakamp said, “It has been an intense leg with very close racing, I’ve never sailed in a race where the fleet was so close and fighting so hard. It exceeded all our expectations. All the boats sailed well and everybody got the position they deserved. We believed we would get Telefónica Blue in the end, but they just beat us.”

Wouter Verbraak , navigator, added, “Andreas and I were more on deck than down below in the tough conditions. When we had 31 knots, it was tough for everybody and we were just holding on.”

This team, backed by St Petersburg businessman, Oleg Zherebtov, is the first Russian entry in the race since 1993. It is Andreas Hanakamp’s first stab at a Volvo Ocean Race, but flanking him in the afterguard, he has two Volvo veterans as watch captains: Guillermo Altadill/ESP and Stig Westergaard/DEN, as well as and Wouter Verbraak/NED as navigator. In the crew, he has Mike Joubert, who is on his fourth race.

Leg one has been a big test and the crew will undoubtedly be disappointed with their finishing result. They suffered a problem with the seals around the canting keel that separate the sea from the inside of the boat and although they had thought the problem had been solved before the start, by day three it was clear that it had not and a temporary repair was made.

When they reached the Doldrums, Hanakamp was happy with their entry, but disappointed with their exit. “The first half of the crossing was OK,” he said, “but then we were faced with light head winds which took us nowhere.” The leaders were, by then, 200 nm away, and there was a lot of work to do for the Russian crew to move up the rankings.

On day 20, Kosatka crept four miles ahead of Team Delta Lloyd. Twenty-four hours later and the gap had increased to seven miles and they had overtaken the damaged Telefónica Black as well. Forty-eight hours later, the delta between Team Delta Lloyd and the Russians had lengthened to 47 nm and Telefónica Blue was almost within range. But, Kosatka had run out of runway, and Telefónica Blue finished ahead, but still within striking distance, and only three hours ahead.

The next boat to finish will be Team Delta Lloyd later tonight.

Volvo Ocean Race

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