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The illbruck Round the World Challenge Wraps Up Training Session

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) has just wrapped up sail testing and crew training off the coast of Spain with his IWRC team.


We had a productive five weeks of testing and training in Sanxenxo, Spain and now it is time to leave. We are just finishing up the final steps of packing everything up for the next stage of the campaign. Yesterday we had our final sail here this session by sailing to Bayona for the day. Bayona is the home of Christopher Columbus' original Pinta and is just 18 miles from Sanxenxo.

We were able to accomplish all of our goals this session. This included going through all of our newly-acquired equipment, looking at and evaluating our 80 sails and beginning to set up a structure for the campaign so when it is time to become full time we will have everything in place. We were able to conduct over 50 quality tests offshore which will provide our technical team the information they need to make the next step forward from the previous Whitbread 60's. I was able to sail with many new people that I have not sailed with before. That gives us a headstart in the crew selection process.

We were very fortunate to have seven people from seven different boats in the last Whitbread race including Mark Christensen from the winning EF Language and Ross Halcrow, who was on the America's Cup winner Team New Zealand in 1995. With this vast experience we were able to start this session at a very high level, gathering everyone's ideas and thoughts on how to improve the boats, sails, spars and other equipment for the Volvo Ocean Race.

Our next step is competing in the Fastnet Race and testing some of our new equipment and ideas from this training session. After that, most of our team will be competing in the America's Cup races in Auckland, New Zealand October-February 2000. After the America's Cup, we expect to restart our training in Sanxenxo in the early Spring of 2000.

I am very pleased with the great chemistry of our team and with what we were able to accomplish in the short period that we were here. I am looking forward to coming back to Sanxenxo next year and to continue on building a winning program.

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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