So in a body of water where I have sailed countless match races ¿we were locked in a real doozy. Since the Volvo Ocean Race is scored by position across the finish line rather than time, a few precious feet either way were going to mean a lot on the scoreboard. As the breeze dropped from the 30s to the 20s Illbruck squeezed in front of us by less two boat lengths. We would remain that close or closer right up until the finish. Meanwhile, streaking in from the east side of Tiri Tiri Island was Tyco -- a boat we were sure had lost out big time on the shift. But due to the dying of the breeze and the shift north, she was able to carry a tight reaching spinnaker towards the finish, whilst Illbruck and us battled on a broader, slower more downwind angle. At one point I thought it ironic that here I was hoping for more of the 28 knot and stronger puffs wed experienced a few miles before, in the same body of water where--aboard an Americas Cup boat I would be hoping for the race committee to abandon racing because of excessive winds. That highlights a major difference between the AC boat and the Volvo 60--the latter is built for strong winds and going around the world¿at remarkably fast speeds--and a very, very wet ride. But one similarity is the closeness of the racing. Aboard Illbruck, skipper John Kostecki had obviously decided that they were going to match us, jibe for jibe, all the way in.