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<i>Illbruck</i> Has Solid Lead Over its Nearest Challenger in Volvo Ocean Race - 2002-05-26

The German yacht Illbruck has the lead headed into the penultimate leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from La Rochelle, France to Goteborg, Sweden. Very little is left that could prevent the German boat from winning the round-the-world competition.

After the great win over the last leg from the United States to France, the crew on board Illbruck knows that the fate of the Volvo Ocean Race is now firmly in its hands.

Holding an eight point lead over nearest challenger Assa Abloy, the pressure is now very much on the challengers to stop John Kostecki's men.

Not that Illbruck is resting on its laurels, making the decision to strengthen the crew even at this late stage of the event with the introduction of Ed Adams. Skipper Kostecki explains why he is such an addition to the team.

"He brings a lot of different talents," he said. "He was a coach of Mark Reynolds and his crew for the 2000 Olympics games where they won a gold medal. He has won a star world championship himself as a helmsman."

Meanwhile, the crew aboard Assa Abloy knows that it must finish ahead of Illbruck to keep the race alive. There is a battle going on for third place, with just three points separating AmerSports One, Newscorp and Tyco.