Dutch win second leg of ocean race

Dutch yacht ABN AMRO ONE crossed the finish line outside Port Phillip Bay on Saturday to win the 11,300-kilometer (7,000-mile) second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The yacht, with skipper Mike Anderson, had floundered in light winds for nearly 24 hours, delaying the finish and reducing the yacht's speed at times to an average of 4 knots per hour (5 mph, 7.5 kph). It crossed the finish line just after 8 p.m. local time (0900 GMT).

Sister entry ABN AMRO TWO was expected to finish second in the leg, several hours behind.

The seven multimillion-dollar yachts in the race left Cape Town, South Africa, on Jan. 2 for the Southern Ocean sail to Melbourne, with the winner making the distance in under 20 days. Movistar of Spain was in third place, United States-entry Pirates of the Caribbean fourth and ING Real Estate Brunel in fifth place, although all are several days from finishing.

The nine-leg, 58,000-kilometer (36,000-mile) race includes other stops in New Zealand, Brazil, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands before the finish in Goteborg, Sweden, in June. After one in-port race off Spain, and the opening Spain-to-Cape Town leg, ABN AMRO ONE leads with 11.5 points. Brasil 1 and Sweden's Ericsson Racing Team are tied for second with 10.5 points each, followed by ABN AMRO TWO with 9.5, ING with 4.5, Pirates with 3.5 and Movistar with 3.0.

Points are awarded for each leg and each in-port race. Brasil 1 broke its mast last week in the Southern Ocean, about 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) from Melbourne. Team officials said the yacht would attempt to sail about 3,150 kilometers (1,500 miles) to Eclipse Island, off South Australia state, for repairs.

Brasil 1 was the last of the six boats still in the leg. It had been forced to return to South Africa for repairs early in the leg. The seventh boat, Ericsson, forfeited the leg with keel damage and was shipped to Melbourne.

The Melbourne in-port race is scheduled for Feb. 4. The yachts will leave Melbourne on the third leg for Wellington, New Zealand, on Feb. 12, with an expected finish there on Feb. 16, reports the AP. N.U.

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