A tired and dejected Knut Frostad was followed by an upbeat and elated Lisa McDonald into Cape Town overnight with all eight yachts having now completed the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Southampton.
Frostad and his 11 crew looked haggard after being on minimal rations for the last week. They were also disappointed at the seventh place for their Laurie Davidson-designed pink and black djuice. Frostad still insists that the boat is fast downwind and pointed to the very high unpredicted percentage of upwind work which all the yachts had to put in.
No stone would be left unturned, he said, to improve on the next leg to Sydney through the Southern Ocean. But he refused to say whether "major changes" meant there would be a large number of crew changes. "It was not only the worst leg, it was the worst race I have ever done; awful, horrible," he said. "I have never fought so hard for so little.''
McDonald and her 12 women crew were met by spectator boats, floodlights and many of the crew from their seven rivals even though they arrived at three in the morning. Although last, they were pleased to have been able to keep in touch with both djuice and, in sixth place, Gunnar Krantz's SEB for the last 3,000 miles. "It was good to be able to hold on, having had only a couple of months training ourselves, to teams that have been training for years," said McDonald.
Their one crew change for the next leg, Carolyn Brouwer of the Netherlands for Melissa Purdey of the United States, had already been planned.
Work has started in Cowes on building Britain's new America's Cup boat. The 80-foot, 25-tonne yacht will take about six months to build and is expected to cost about $3m (£2m).
After four sessions testing quarter-size models in a tank in Gosport, David Barnes, the syndicate's project manager, said the decision on which design to go for had been very easy. "We are very comfortable," he said yesterday.
"We are not doing anything radical or obscure. It's not worth the risk with a one-boat project."
VOLVO OCEAN RACE (Finishing positions after first leg, 7,350 miles, Southampton to Cape Town): 1 illbruck 31 days 6hr 19min 49sec, 8pts; 2 Amer Sports One 31 days 8hr 20min 56sec, 7pts; 3 News Corporation 32 days 15hr 57min 17sec, 6pts; 4 Tyco 33 days 16hr 37min 49sec, 5pts; 5 ASSA ABLOY 34 days 18hr 11min 59sec; 4pts; 6 SEB 36 days 19hr 35min 47sec, 3pts; 7 djuice Dragons 37 days 5hr 0min 53sec; 2pts; 8 Amer Sports Too 37 days 11hr 20min 12sec, 1pt.Reuse content