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 You are in: Special Events: 2001: Sailing: Volvo Ocean Race: Teams Guide  
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Illbruck Challenge

The illbruck Challenge team, headed by John Kostecki, was first out of the blocks and as a result is many people's favourite for the race.

The German-based American Kostecki sailed the 1997 race on Chessie Racing and won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics.

He is also a 10-time word champion in a variety of one-design classes and has twice been a tactician in the America's Cup.

The team started work on their challenge well before the other entrants and bought the two EF boats from the last race, enabling them to develop new sails and train the crew.

John Kostecki
Kostecki: 10-time world champion
Kostecki says that buying the EF boats enabled Farr Yacht Design to have extra research and design time, which meant illbruck Challenge only had to build one new boat.

The crew is packed with Whitbread veterans including Stu Bannatyne, Stuart Bettany, Mark Christansen, Ray Davies, Dirk de Ridder and Juan Vila.

De Ridder sailed in the 2000 Olympics for Holland with Roy Heiner, who skippers rival team Assa Abloy.

The team warmed up for the event by taking part in the Fastnet race, finishing 21 minutes behind fellow Volvo Ocean Race entrants Team News Corp.

The illbruck Challenge team is also working on an America's Cup boat.

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