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Volvo Ocean Race News

After nine months and 32,700 nautical miles, the German team illbruck Challenge has won the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race. The race pushed its participants to their limits as they battled towering seas, icebergs, and water spouts. The finish means mixed emotions—and a chance to do it all again in 2005.

The Volvo Ocean Race is ultimately about speed and competition on the seas. But the competing boats also team with NASA and research institutions to aid oceanic science and environmental education.

The Volvo Ocean Race is a marathon event, with world-class racers battling each other around the globe for nine months. During port call at the end of each leg, the race doesn't stop—it just shifts gears. A firsthand report from Baltimore as weary crews take a break and gear up for the next stage.

The round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race is one of sailing's greatest challenges. The eight competing teams in this test of skill and will have arrived in Baltimore-Annapolis waters after completing six of the race's nine legs. The overall outcome is still in doubt, which means exciting racing lies ahead.

In the Southern Ocean, gale-force winds and punishing waves of frigid water roar across the deck, pounding already-exhausted crew members. Most people would think of only one thing: survival. But for the 97 people competing in the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, the quest for victory means speed is constantly played against safety.

A campaign that focuses on conservation, restoration, and social unity has risen from the ashes of a devastating fire in the Table Mountain chain of South Africa. The January 2000 fire, which burned more than 23,500 acres (8,370 hectares), was made worse by invasive plants. The Ukuvuka Operation Firestop program aims to eradicate them.

Researchers have been studying African penguins off the coast of Cape Town for years as part of efforts to ensure their survival. But the use of a tagging technique known as "flipper-banding" has generated local controversy, with some scientists saying it hobbles the birds' movement and should be stopped.