History 2001-02



Southampton - Cape Town - Sydney - (Hobart pit-stop) - Auckland - Rio de Janeiro - Miami - Baltimore - La Rochelle - Gothenburg - Kiel

John Kostecki / USA
Elapsed time
Farr Volvo Ocean 60


  • Volvo became the new owners and sponsors of The Whitbread in 1998.
  • The Whitbread 60 was renamed the Volvo Ocean 60. This was the third and last time the class was used.
  • A new points scoring system was introduced, allocating equal points for each leg.
  • A new Waterford Crystal sculpture entitled Fighting Finish became the winner’s trophy.
  • Neal and Lisa McDonald each skippered a boat in the race, the first and only time a married couple have achieved this.
  • Roy Heiner was sacked as skipper of ASSA ABLOY after a disappointing result on Leg 1. Neal McDonald stepped up to take his place.
  • illbruck narrowly avoided sinking at the start of Leg 2.
  • Two yachts dismasted.
  • Keith Kilpatrick was evacuated from Amer Sports One in the approach to Sydney after suffering an internal blockage. Amer Sports One then broached spectacularly hours from the finish, causing the skipper to break several ribs.
  • The Sydney-Hobart race, which ASSA ABLOY won, became part of the event. The fleet stopped for a three-hour pit stop in Hobart before a rolling start to the second part of the leg to Auckland.
  • It was the last time the fleet sailed through the ice fields of the Southern Ocean.
  • Göteborg was a stopover port. It was the first time the race had visited Scandinavia.
  • The race finish was in Kiel, Germany – the first time the race had finished outside the UK.
Podium positions (on points)
illbruck 61 points
ASSA ABLOY 55 points
Amer Sports One 44 points


Leg 1
Leg 2
Leg 3
Leg 4
Leg 5
Leg 6
Leg 7
Leg 8
Leg 9
Southampton - Cape Town
Cape Town - Sydney
Sydney/Hobart - Auckland
Auckland - Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro - Miami
Miami - Baltimore
Baltimore/Annapolis - La Rochelle
La Rochelle - Gothenburg
Gothenburg - Kiel
32,250 nm
8 boats


Start date Leg distance Winner
News Corp

Leg 1

Southampton to Cape Town

Immediately after the start, in 15 knots of wind, all hell broke loose. The boats accelerated, setting their asymmetric spinnakers and within two minutes, an armada of over 400 craft including small dinghies and huge car ferries sprinted into the best position to watch the race. 

Before they had even reached the Needles, Lisa McDonald’s crew on Amer Sports Too watched as their spinnaker disintegrated. In the Bay of Biscay, a storm ripped djuice’s mainsail before the wind subsided almost completely to give the fleet quiet ride to the Doldrums. 

Amer Sports One led for much for of the leg, but in the last few miles, errors caused the destruction of key reaching sails. illbruck passed and won the leg after 31 days of racing. The margin of victory was two hours. Not a single sail had been broken on illbruck

Once in Cape Town, several protests were lodged. ASSA ABLOY arrived in fifth place and lodged a protest against illbruck for making illegal use of an internet weather site. The protest was withdrawn after a three-hour hearing. A second protest, lodged this time by a race official, accused illbruck of modifying their propeller drive strut to include a weed cutting device. That protest was upheld and the team fined £1,000. 

Outside the protest room, controversy was raging with equal intensity. A poor showing for ASSA ABLOY on Leg 1 saw skipper Roy Heiner sacked and replaced by Neal McDonald, the first time McDonald had skippered a boat in the race.


Leg 2

Cape Town to Sydney

Within hours of the start, illbruck reported a problem so serious that Race HQ went on standby for an emergency rescue operation. 

Onboard, the bow seemed to be lower than normal and started taking waves more frequently. The boat sailed slower and slower and he crew could not keep her going anymore. They eventually found that an inspection port on the bow had come off and the entire forward compartment had flooded. It took two hours of pumping and bailing before the situation was controlled and illbruck could start racing again. 

Three days later, Tyco suffered damage to the rudder. She headed for Port Elizabeth to make repairs, but discovered the rudder and bearings needed rebuilding. The team retired from the leg and the boat was shipped to Sydney. 

Keith Kilpatrick on Amer Sports One had serious problems with stomach pains caused by an intestinal blockage that could have been fatal if not treated. The boat was out of range for an airborne medical evacuation, but as Kilpatrick’s condition worsened, the supplies of morphine and antibiotics began to dwindle. The Australian Air Force and Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre airdropped new supplies and navigator Roger Nilson, a qualified doctor, set up an intravenous drip while the boat was doing 20 knots through the Southern Ocean. As soon as Amer Sports One reached safer waters, Kilpatrick was taken off by RIB. 

On board SEB, navigator Marcel van Triest learned his mother had died, so he jumped off the boat and into a waiting RIB as soon as the team was near Eclipse Island. SEB was in the lead but with 48 hours to go, illbruck pulled level and News Corp and ASSA ABLOY were on their tails. 

illbruck crossed the finish line first for the second time, a remarkable result after their early problems. SEB came in shortly after and News Corp took third. In fifth was Amer Sports One, who performed a spectacular broach in the final stages of the leg causing the skipper, Grant Dalton, to break several ribs.

Leg 3

Sydney to Auckland (via Hobart pit stop)

During the Sydney stopover, news spread of the tragic murder of 1989-90 race winner, Sir Peter Blake in the Amazon. Three weeks later, after some crew had returned to England for Blake’s funeral, Leg 3 began. 

Knut Frostad on djuice reported a serious leak which saw her bow compartments fill with water - in much the same way as illbruck’s had flooded on the second leg - and they lost four miles while crew bailed out. 

Amer Sports Too suffered a failure of a strop in the headstay, forcing the crew to drop all their sails in order to save the mast. The team carried on and replaced the strop in Hobart. 

SEB retired from the leg after her main rudder became damaged, while out in front ASSA ABLOY was caught in the middle of a waterspout. 

After a three-hour pit stop in Hobart, where ASSA ABLOY claimed the winner’s prize for the Sydney-Hobart element of the race, the teams they set off in a rolling order for Auckland. 

The run to Auckland was, by comparison, plain sailing and ASSA ABLOY continued on winning form, however, below deck, Jason Carrington, a key member of the crew, had fallen seriously ill after collapsing on deck just after the Hobart restart. He was confined to his bunk where he was joined shortly afterwards by two other crew who had also become incapacitated through illness and injury. Rather than slow ASSA ABLOY, she stormed to victory. Amer Sports One was second and Tyco third. Overall winner, illbruck, could only manage fourth.

Leg 4

Auckland to Rio de Janeiro

The Southern Ocean beckoned and this time the icebergs were bigger and more frightening than ever. Even before the first sightings were made, SEB had lost her mast on day 12. 

Everyone was worried about the amount of ice. Some reckoned racing through the ice fields had become too dangerous. Huge icebergs and growlers peppered the course and it was illbruck who led the fleet around Cape Horn. On St Valentine’s Day, the rudder of News Corp snapped off. Earlier in the leg, she had possibly hit ice at 21 knots and it was not known if the rudder damage was a delayed consequence. To make matters worse, her transom also cracked, but the crew made repairs and pressed on. 

After almost 7,000 miles of racing as the end of the leg neared, the five leading boats were locked into the tightest of battles in fickle winds. It was djuice who saw an opportunity away from the fleet. She moved inshore and found a gentle breeze while ASSA ABLOY and Tyco struggled in no wind at all. This propelled djuice to finished second to illbruck.

Leg 5

Rio de Janeiro to Miami

Shortly after the start in Rio de Janeiro, SEB tried to duck illbruck's transom, but missed and clipped her side. No-one was hurt but illbruck’s hull was left with a hole in it the size of a fist, scratch marks down the side and no aft stanchion or guardrails. The hole was filled before dark and the crew of SEB admitted to the mistake. 

Slowing down to make repairs cost illbruck precious miles, which in the end, made little difference.

Nine days into the leg, the three leading boats had crossed the Doldrums, where black clouds and shifty winds had proved frustrating. 

ASSA ABLOY, Tyco and illbruck swapped places at the front, but it was ASSA ABLOY who arrived first in Miami. This was ASSA ABLOY’S second victory and established them as illbruck’s main opposition with five legs still to race.

Leg 6

Miami to Baltimore

The first of the short sprint part of the course started with six of the eight boats in the fleet over the line at the start. They had to return and cross the start line correctly while the ASSA ABLOY and Amer Sports Too sailed away towards Baltimore and the currents and lobster pots that lay in wait in the Chesapeake Bay. 

By day three, News Corp had moved ahead of illbruck and ASSA ABLOY, but competition was fierce between the first three boats with less than five miles separating them. The next day, Amer Sports One had joined them and with sails flapping, the boats sat motionless, waiting for a bit of luck. 

In Rio, many had thought illbruck was unbeatable, but with three legs to go, the race was as wide open as it had been after the first leg with ASSA ABLOY, Amer Sports One and News Corp showing some serious form. News Corp found the wind first and crossed the finish in first place, which narrowed illbruck’s lead to just seven points.

Leg 7

Baltimore to La Rochelle

The fleet emerged from Chesapeake Bay without incident and by the third day, illbruck had worked her way to the front. Powered by 25 to 30 knots of winds, the crew realised they were in with a chance of setting a new record and 24 hours later they had achieved 484 nautical miles. 

While illbruck was celebrating her good fortune, Amer Sports Too was facing total wipe out. Just over 400 miles from the coast of Canada, she dismasted just above the second spreaders. She headed to Halifax in Nova Scotia, where the boat was shipped to the UK to be repaired before the start of Leg 8. 

Onboard illbruck ‘flu broke out, but didn’t stand in the way of a commanding win. ASSA ABLOY and Tyco traded places all the way to the finish line, where ASSA ABLOY finished second to illbruck. ASSA ABLOY was eight points behind illbruck but with 16 points still available from the two remaining legs, there was still a chance. 

Amer Sports Too left Halifax on a ship for Europe, giving the crew 10 days to step a new mast and prepare for the start of the next leg. Against all the odds, they completed the repairs in Gosport and reached La Rochelle in time. When they arrived in La Rochelle, having been battered by storms, they were given a rapturous welcome as fellow crews and the public turned out to acknowledge their bravery and determination.

Leg 8

La Rochelle to Gothenburg

The first night was one of the most unpleasant of the race due to the huge swells in the Bay of Biscay, combined with 40 knots of breeze on the nose and many of the crews were seasick. Moments after the start, two crew were in the water trying to free ASSA ABLOY from the start buoy, and it was Amer Sports One who was first round Ushant. 

At the entrance to the Gothenburg archipelago, ASSA ABLOY, Tyco, illbruck and News Corp were within a mile of each other. With two miles to go after 1,000 miles of close racing, ASSA ABLOY went close to the shore to avoid the tide and chiselled out a victory in the last few seconds. The top five boats crossed the finish within six minutes and 50 seconds in what was, at the time, the most thrilling finish in the history of round-the-world racing.

Leg 9

Gothenburg to Kiel

For the final short sprint to the finish line, the boats were completely stripped out and many skippers decided to take less crew. At the start, 2,000 spectator boats made life tricky for the skippers, who were confined to a narrow channel. ASSA ABLOY almost collided with a spectator boat and then was becalmed. 

The course was shortened so the race would finish in daylight and djuice claimed a win at the 11th hour, her first victory of the race. illbruck came second and won the race overall having posted four wins, two seconds and three fourth places.

Crews 2001-02

Sailor by team


Ed Adams, Stu Bannatyne, Stuart Bethany, Mark Christensen, Richard Clarke, Ray Davies, Noel Drennan, Jamie Gale, Ross Halcrow, Tony Kolb, John Kostecki, Ian Moore, Dirk de Ridder, Joan Vila

Assa Abloy

Guillermo Altadill, Roberto 'Chuny' Bermúdez, Jason Carrington, Sidney Gavignet, Roy Heiner, Mike Howard, Herve Jan, Michael Joubert, Chris Larson, Richard Mason, Jules Mazars, Neal McDonald, Klas Nylöf, Magnus Olsson, Mark Rudiger, Joshua Alexander, Stuart Wilson

Amer Sports One

Phil Airey, Bouwe Bekking, Jeff Brock, Paul Cayard, Claudio Celon, Grant Dalton, Keith Kilpatrick, Fredrik Loof, Chris Nicholson, Roger Nilson, Peter Pendleton, Pepe Ribes, Stefano Rizzi, Dee Smith


Jim Close, Jan Dekker, Richard Dodson, David Endean, Damian Foxall, Steve Hayles, Brad Jackson, Richard Meacham, Gerard Mitchell, Timothy Powell, Mike Quilter, Guy Salter, Rob Salthouse, Kevin Shoebridge, Grant Spanhake, Jonathan Swain

News Corp

Stuart Childerley, Steve Cotton, Peter Dorien, Damien Duke, Jez Fanstone, Campbell Field, Ross Field, Jon Gunderson, Matt Humphries, Peter Isler, Nigel King, Gordon Maguire, Alby Pratt, Jeremy Robinson, Jeffrey Scott, Justin Slattery, Craig Smith, Joe Spooner, Barney Walker, Nick White


Jean-Yves Bernot, David Blanchfield, Thomas Colville, Herve Cunnigham, Peter Dorien, Knut Frostad, Steve Gruver, Espen Guttormsen, Terry Hutchinson, David Jarvis, Christian Horn Johansson, Mikael Lundh, Peter Merrington, Anthony Nossiter, Franck Proffit, Arvé Roaas, Jeffrey Scott, Wouter Verbraak, Jacques Vincent, Jonas Wackenhuth, Stig Westergaard, Grant Wharington, Erle Williams


Rodney Ardern, Scott Beavis, Pascal Bidégorry, Gavin Brady, Tom Braidwood, Sean Clarkson, Gareth Cooke, Steve Cotton, Jon Gunderson, Matthew Humphries, Rodney Keenan, Glenn Kessels, Gunnar Krantz, Santiago Lange, Anthony Merrington, Tony Mutter, Anthony Rey, Mark Reynolds, David Rolfe, Marcel van Triest, Magnus Woxén

Amer Sports Too

Christine Briand, Carolijn Brouwer, Joanna Burchell, Anna Drougge, Sharon Ferris, Eleanor Hay, Keryn Henderson, Willemien van Hoeve, Lisa McDonald, Miranda Merron, Katherine Pettibone, Melissa Purdy, Emma Richards, Abigail Seager, Bridget Suckling, Liz Wardley, Emma Westmacott, Genevieve White, Klaartje Zuiderbaan