Saturday, January 14, 2012

Leg 3 Volvo Ocean Race Start - Update from Abu Dhabi

All six Volvo Ocean Race yachts hit the start line at 1400 today for leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race with Sanya, China firmly in their sights.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Team Telefónica set a cracking pace in a quickfire inshore course on Saturday to lead the fleet out of Abu Dhabi on the Leg 3 Stage 1 sprint to Sharjah.

The overall race leaders nailed the start and quickly accelerated to a smoking 16 knots boat speed within minutes to take the lead.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
The Spanish team rounded the first mark eight seconds ahead of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand. Iker Martínez extended his team’s lead over CAMPER to 28 seconds by the second mark.

Groupama followed in third position, followed by PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in last place, quite the contrast to their winning form in yesterday’s Etihad Airways In-Port Race.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
But the locals fought back, with Abu Dhabi making a gallant charge on the third leg, claiming three scalps to gain second position.

As the west-northwest wind built to gust up to 18 knots the fleet was unable to challenge Telefónica’s lead across the eight nautical mile inshore course.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
At the final mark rounding Telefónica were 24 seconds ahead of Abu Dhabi, with CAMPER, Groupama and PUMA trailing more than two minutes behind.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
The 106nm Stage 1 race to Sharjah carries 20 per cent of the overall Leg 3 points, with six points up for grabs for first place.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
The race is tipped to be a quick-paced largely reaching drag-race along the United Arab Emirates coast, that will take between six and seven hours.
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Volvo Ocean Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante predicts that the wind will continue to build throughout the day as the affects of the Shamal front comes into force, creating north-westerly winds gusting in excess of 20 knots.

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