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Volvo fleet maintain close race

Overall race leader Illbruck is one of the leading seven boats  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Only six miles separate the seven leading boats in the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race as the fleet heads away from New Zealand.

After three days of close racing, the all-women team of Amer Sports Too is the only boat off the pace. The fleet is spread across 17 miles from west to east.

Amer Sports One, Assa Abloy, Tyco, SEB, News Corp, djiuce and overall race leader Illbruck continue to sail tightly.

Amer Sports One's Paul Cayard wrote in an email to the official race web site: "The tactics are tough here… It is amazing what a guessing game it is. Las Vegas has nothing on ocean racing. …the routing tool is the best calculator of all the variables."

Can Illbruck keep ahead of the fleet in the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race?

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The yachts were hoping to make a quick passage to the south of New Zealand to pick up strong winds that will carry them on a circle through iceberg-strewn waters as they head to Cape Horn.

The fourth leg covers 6,700 miles from Auckland to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The yachts are expected to be in sight of the famous Cape landmark within 14 days and to reach Rio de Janeiro about nine days later.

The global race began in Southampton on September 23 and is due to finish in Kiel, Germany, in June.


• Tyco holds slim lead in Volvo
January 29, 2002
• Crews adjust to life back on board
January 28, 2002
• Illbruck faces threat in Volvo
January 25, 2002

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