Sailing: Kostecki takes up running by a neck

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It was back to the future in the north Atlantic yesterday as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet took up where it left off, fighting for every yard of advantage on the sixth, 875-mile leg from Miami to Baltimore.

John Kostecki, the winner of three legs in illbruck, took the slightest of leads over Neal McDonald, the winner of two of the last three in Assa Abloy, as they rode 20-knot favourable winds on the three-knot boost northwards of the Gulf Stream.

The glory of seeing their names top of the heap has so far been sacrificed by the all-woman crew on Amer Sports Too as they take a more easterly route in the hope of picking up advantage as a new weather front comes in from the north-east.

The fall-out of a hectic start here on Sunday, which saw six of the yachts recalled for being over the line early, includes two protests, one by Amer Sports One against djuice, the second by Assa Abloy against illbruck. Knut Frostad had already decided to take a penalty turn to exonerate his alleged misdemeanour in djuice, and that may be enough. The case by Assa against illbruck will be heard after the yachts arrive in Baltimore.

VOLVO OCEAN RACE Sixth leg (875 nautical miles, Miami to Baltimore): Positions (with miles to the finish): 1 illbruck (J Kostecki) 593; 2 Assa Abloy (N McDonald) 594; 3 Amer Sports One (G Dalton) 595; 4 News Corp (J Fanstone) 596; 5= Tyco (K Shoebridge), SEB (G Krantz) 605; 7 Amer Sports Too (L McDonald) 606; 8 djuice (K Frostad) 607.