Sailing: McDonald's crew look forward to rest

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In the pouring rain, in the middle of the night, Lisa McDonald and her all-woman crew of Amer Sports Too finally crossed the finish line here at the end of another gruelling leg of the Volvo Ocean race yesterday.

Their seventh place earned them two points, but they were hard-earned. The 13 women took just over 26 days to complete the 6,500-mile course from Cape Town. They were tired, but not despondent and looking forward to a break of 19 days before starting the third leg.

"It was quite a difficult leg," McDonald said. "A steep learning curve was made worse by some minor breakages, which led to a lot of down time. Overall it was good, it was tough, but it had its moments."

One relief for the women's team was that the Race Committee had decided not to go ahead with a protest against them for contravening the shipping lane regulations when starting the second leg. Nor are they proceeding against Knut Frostad, who now knows that his fourth place, and the five points, are secure.

Grant Dalton is making representations to both the race committee and fellow competitors asking if the Volvo Ocean Race can adopt the America's Cup practice of allowing an extra person to be on board as long as that person makes no contribution. He hopes to have a cameraman with him for the Sydney to Hobart section of the third leg to Auckland.