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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

PUMA Makes It SIx Again - Volvo Ocean Race

The complete Volvo Ocean Race fleet has reunited for the first time in over a month with the arrival of PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG in Cape Town. The American boat has only a few days to prepare before racing resumes in conditions predicted to challenge the teams yet again.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
The six boats in the 2011-12 edition are preparing to rejoin battle over the weekend with the second of 10 in-port races on Saturday (1300 UTC) followed by the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi on Sunday at the same time.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Weather forecasts suggest the teams will be heading straight back into possible boat-breaking conditions in Leg 2, with the teams facing the prospect of beating upwind in up to 30-35 knots for the first 24 hours.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
“I do feel of sense of nervousness before the leg start,” said Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson, who led ABN AMRO ONE to victory in 2005-06. “Given a forecast of 35 knots on the nose at the start there’s not too much of a settling in period.”
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
While the three teams to finish Leg 1 Рwinners Team Telefónica, second-placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama sailing team in third Рhave had more time to prepare their boats they are still working around the clock. It is not yet known if all boats will be ready to race in the non-scoring practice race on Thursday or the pro-am on Friday.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
PUMA's odyssey after dismasting in the southern Atlantic saw them bunk down in the world’s most remote human settlement at Tristan da Cunha after a Greek freighter gave them some diesel.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
After regaining their strength with beer and lobsters on Tristan, they were eventually picked up by the container ship TEAM BREMEN, dispatched from South Africa to help them, and after arriving back on Tuesday night they were hauled back into the water and motored round to the team’s shore base in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Their goal is to have the replacement mast fitted and be back sailing as early as Wednesday evening.
Tony Mutter is met by his kids Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
“Our ability to get back competing in this race will depend on what we do over the next couple of days,” Read said after being met by wife Kathy, 31 days after leaving Alicante.

“Our shore crew have been itching to get the boat and now we’ll get to see what they're made of. My hunch is that they’re made of some pretty good stuff.”
Ken Read Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Abu Dhabi has been fitted with a new set of rigging and is back in the water, while Sanya is expect to be sailing again by Wednesday night.

On Thursday, the teams are due to take part in the non-scoring practice race, though it is unclear whether the three damaged boats will be ready in time.
Amory Ross Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
The same goes for Friday’s pro-am, though at the moment all six boats are on track to take the line in the V&A Waterfront In-Port Race and the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi. The route for the that leg has been substantially redrawn because of the threat of piracy, with the teams now set to be transported by ship between two Safe Haven Ports, to take them through the worst affected area.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Abu Dhabi won the first of the 10 in-port races in this edition in Alicante, briefly taking first place on the leaderboard. The current situation is:

1. Team Telefónica - 31 points
2. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand - 29 points
3. Groupama sailing team - 22 points
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 6 points
5. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG - 5 points
6. Team Sanya - 3 points

Lulu Roseman

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