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Devastating Blow Threatens American Team in Volvo Ocean Race - 2001-11-16

The American-built boat Team Tyco has been dealt a devastating blow in its bid to win the Volvo Ocean Race. Leading in the second leg from Cape Town to Sydney, the boat has been forced to return to South Africa with a broken rudder.

Team Tyco was many people's favorite to not only win the second leg of the round-the-world event, but the whole Volvo Ocean Race.

Everything seemed to be going so well as Tyco led the fleet three days after leaving Cape Town for Australia. But Thursday, skipper Kevin Shoebridge from New Zealand had to come to terms with the distinct possibility that his crew will score no points on this leg as the boat limps back to Port Elizabeth.

"It is shattering news for us. Things were going really well," he said. "But we have got to worry more about the safety of the guys and the safety of the boat at the moment. Not too much concerned with anything else at the moment."

Such is the nature of the sport. None of the other boats are celebrating the demise of a rival. Indeed, Team News Corp has offered Tyco its own shore crew to help out if need be.

In the meantime, the boat Assa Abloy has taken the lead, as the boats continue to dodge the icebergs in the Southern Ocean.