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illbruck Challenge: Team Goes Offshore For a New Set of Trials

John Kostecki, the Tactician, and the Sailing Team Manager of AmericaOne, is also the skipper of the illbruck Round the World Challenge (IWRC), the first group to challenge for the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-2. As the AmericaOne sailing team takes a break after sailing in New Zealand and before beginning its training season in Long Beach in June, Kostecki (photo right) is sail testing and crew training off the coast of Spain with his IWRC team.

REPORT FROM SANXENXO, SPAIN: April 19, 1999

After one week of sailing with the illbruck management and potential partners, we are ready to start another offshore testing session off the coast of Spain. We concluded our last offshore test one week ago after sailing three days with both Volvo Ocean 60's side by side. We conducted over 35 tests in the three days and covered nearly 700 miles. In the first six hours we covered 129 miles while testing our heavy air spinnaker inventory in 30-plus knots of breeze. This included bald-headed spinnaker changes which brought our average speed for the first six hours down to 21.5 knots. Our top speed was 28 knots, which was a new top speed record for a few of the non-Whitbreaders we have on our team.

This past week we spent day sailing with the top management from our sponsor illbruck. It was great to have the top level managers get out on the water and really see what this type of sailing is all about. We experienced all types of weather during the week, mostly cold, wet and windy conditions. I know now that some of the management team have new respect for offshore sailors.

The boats are backed up and are ready to go offshore again. We have a few major goals to accomplish and it is looking like the weather will cooperate with us . . . although it looks as if it will be cold. When we return at the end of the week we will start to prepare for a three-day series of short inshore races against the Spanish America's Cup Team. Skipper Pedro Campos and his crew will sail one of our Volvo Ocean 60's and will race against our illbruck team. We have been testing/training for over three weeks now and we are ready for some racing against the Spanish team.

I will keep you updated with the offshore test and the races against the Spanish next week..

John Kostecki
Skipper, illbruck Round the World Challenge

Choose here for more John Kostecki Reports from Sanxenxo. For more about the illbruck Round the World Challenge, visit the IRWC Official Web Site.

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