VOR final start Saturday 8 June 2002
The eight-strong fleet racing in the concluding leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will head out on to the racetrack for the ninth and final time at 1400 today for a 250-nautical mile sprint from Gothenberg to Kiel.
With everything still to play for between illbruck from Germany, with 54 points, the current race leader and second-placed Assa Abloy from Sweden who has 49 points, the next 24 hours will create some of the closest racing we've seen so far. In case of even points at the end of this leg between Ilbruck and Assa Abloy the "Tie breaker" will decide. The tie breaker is based on the number of firsts, seconds, thirds etc that each boat has recorded during the past legs. The current standing is:
Assa Abloy 5, 6, 1, 4, 1, 3 ,2, 1
Illbruck 1, 1, 4, 1, 2, 4, 1, 4
On leg nine, the short dash to Kiel, the race track is so constrained by islands that, although the general weather pattern is important, there is little that the fleet will be able to do to avoid unfavorable conditions by sailing a different route.
Instead, what is going to be very important is predicting how the wind field is going to be disturbed by the islands and land encountered. Away from land, the wind should be fairly constant over a relatively large area in both strength and direction. But, through the Kattegat and around the islands of the second half of the leg, the land has a big influence on the wind.
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