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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Race Against Time To Be Ready For Leg 2 - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Cape Town, South Africa – Three boats, which retired during the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, have all been in a dramatic race against time this week to prepare their boats for the start line for Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which won the Alicante In-Port Race on October 29, broke their mast November 5 on the first night of Leg 1 and had the boat shipped to South Africa from Lisbon, Portugal. The boat arrived last week and the team and shore crew have been working hard over the past few days mounting the new mast, and testing it in preparation for this Saturday’s V&A Waterfront In-Port Race and the Leg 2 start Sunday, December 11. The team sailed for the first time in Cape Town on Wednesday, December 7.

Team Sanya, the first-ever Chinese-entry into the Volvo Ocean Race, had a bigger fix on its hands. Team Sanya’s boat suffered serious damages to its hull on November 6 and immediately retired from Leg 1. After being shipped to South Africa, the boat had its front section completely cut out and was fitted with a brand new bow section. The boat, skippered by past Volvo Ocean Race winner Mike Sanderson, was lowered into the water on Wednesday, November 7 in the port of Cape Town. Only a tremendous feat of boat-building over the past week has made Team Sanya’s readiness for Leg 2 possible.

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by Berg has perhaps the most dramatic story. On November 21, as the team was heading full speed towards Cape Town in the South Atlantic, their boat broke its mast. After a fuel transfer at sea, the team motored to the world’s most remote inhabited island, Tristan de Cunha, where they awaited a rescue cargo ship. The transfer on a ship to Cape Town was completed smoothly and PUMA’s Mar Mostro reached the port stopover of Cape Town on the evening of December 6. The team has two more days to ready the new mast and rigging prior to Saturday’s V&A Waterfront In-Port Race.

With the three damaged boats up-and-running, the full Volvo Ocean Race fleet is back together for the first time in over a month; meanwhile, the three teams that actually finished Leg 1 – winners Team Telefónica, second-placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama sailing team in third – have had more time to prepare their boats, but are still working against the clock to get back in peak condition after three weeks at sea.

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) and the start of Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi on Sunday at the same time.

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. That will raise uncomfortable memories for at least some of the fleet after the havoc wreaked on the way out from Alicante.

Provisional Leaderboard Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
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

Volvo Ocean Race Media

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