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illbruck Challenge:Heavy Weather Forecast For Offshore Test

This report is from AmericaOne's Terry Hutchinson (photo right). 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 is sail testing and crew training off the coast of Spain with his IWRC team.

REPORT FROM SANXENXO, SPAIN: April 20, 1999

Where to start? Cold front is approaching this afternoon, with showers and high winds preceding, as we leave for our next offshore test mission. The expected wind forecast is 25-35 knots from the SW. The positive is that it is not going to be real cold. The high temp for the day is 14 Celsius. Tonight after the front passes, cold, rainy, and guaranteed WET! Tomorrow 4/21/99, 30-40 knots from the NW. Yikes! But at least the rain will have passed. Thursday 4/22/99, 20-30 knots from the NW. Fasten your seat belts because it is going to be a fast ride home! A7 Fractional kite and genoa staysail. It will make the two days upwind a forgotten memory.

In all seriousness, this is going to be really good training. For the Rookies, it will be our first time at experiencing the Volvo Ocean 60 in rough conditions. It will be as much of a test for me as it will be seeing how the boat performs. I have never been one to be seasick, but then again I have never spent 72 hours on a continual roller coaster! We have several tests that we will be running as well as developing our upwind polars. While you do not spend a lot of time going upwind in the around the world race, it will always be an important part of the race. Knowing exactly how fast to go and how to set the boat up for maximum performance will be imperative for success. The rest of the tests will be performance-oriented for the design of the new boat.

That's all for now, I will have a report out on Thursday night. Hope everybody sleeps well in your warm and dry bed tonight!

Best Regards from the Illbruck Around the World Challenge,
Terry Hutchinson

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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