Sailing: Movistar holds on to lead role
Friday 17 February 2006
A furious row broke out dockside here last night after the British skipper Neal McDonald suspended racing by the Swedish entry, Ericsson, just 300 metres from the finish of leg three of the Volvo Race from Melbourne.
The move was explained by Ericsson's spokesman, Bernard Schopfer, as "just using the rules, as others have done, to our advantage". It meant that Ericsson could use its shore crew to make repairs to troublesome wiring and the yacht's engine, take a two-hour penalty for doing so on a leg during which they were last anyway, and then start the next leg without incurring a time penalty for making repairs during a pit stop.
Torben Grael, the skipper of Brasil 1, was furious, describing the move as "dishonest" and "dishonourable", but Ericsson's navigator, Steve Hayles, said: "I can see no moral implications at all." The race organisers saw no need to make any comment.
Earlier, like a toreador taunting a charging black bull, Bouwe Bekking's movistar danced a successful blocking pattern for a nail-biting final 10 miles to snatch victory from Mike Sanderson's ABN Amro 1. In front of a large crowd, the pair fought out the closest finish in the history of the race, with movistar winning by nine seconds at the end of 94 hours and 1,450 miles.
Bekking's win did not just break the Kiwi skipper's domination, which has been absolute since the fleet left Galicia on 12 November, but signalled the prospect of competitive convergence. ABN may still have an edge in strong winds and they are working on their lighter wind performance, but all six boats finished and their rivals showed this is no longer a one-horse race.
After the finish, movistar had to be lifted out to repair delamination around the starboard side of the keel and the port dagger board, and to replace a keel wedge.
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Latest in Sport
Arsenal can surprise Bayern Munich in the Champions League, says former midfielder Gilberto Silva
Liverpool - January transfer targets
Transfer news: Liverpool - January transfer targets
Transfer news: Manchester United - January transfer targets
Transfer news: Arsenal - Transfer targets for January
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
£79000 - £93000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Commercial Property Associat...
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...