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Kiel, Germany - Escorted by a large flotilla of inflatable runabouts, pleasure craft, ferries and yachts, Germany's illbruck won the Volvo round the world race, by finishing second in the ninth and final stage from Gothenburg to Kiel on Sunday.
The boat, skippered by John Kostecki, finished at 1617 GMT, more than 30 minutes behind stage winner djuice from Denmark.

"We knew what were up against and what we had to do," Kostecki said after his boat docked amid rapturous applause.

"We prepared for it and the team did a great job. At the end of the day it is the people, the teamwork from on shore to the sailing team."

The German-backed team were followed by hundreds of spectator boats, some from as far out as 70 miles from the finish, and were also greeted by exuberant fans as they docked.

"It was amazing. I've never seen anything like it before in my life," Kostecki said. "Unbelievable. It is so hard to explain to anybody that is not here the amount of support we have."

The German boat won four of the nine legs, giving them a slim, though comfortable, lead of five points over closest rival Assa Abloy heading into the final leg.

However, their second-place finish gave them seven points to take them to 61 in total and enough to clinch the overall title.

Sweden's Assa Abloy finished third, almost two hours after illbruck. The six points they gained pushed their total to 55.

Kostecki said he was only concerned with the challenge of Assa Abloy on the final leg.

"We had one boat to worry about so it was a match race," Kostecki said. "(djuice) took some risks, but it paid off for them as we all had light air.

"It was fine. djuice could go off and win the race. We wanted to beat Assa."
 
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