Sunday, February 19, 2012

Volvo Race Delayed Due to Gnarly Waves - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Sanya, China – Overall race leaders Team Telefónica will enjoy a head start on their rivals when Leg 4 restarts on Monday after the Spanish team finished Sunday’s sail more than two minutes ahead of their nearest rivals, Groupama sailing team.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
Sunday’s racing, which marked the official start to Leg 4 from China to New Zealand, was cut short by race organizers who made the decision late Saturday night to contest only a 40-nautical mile sprint and keep the boats in Sanya overnight until Monday as a safety precaution.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
A weather system that includes winds over 40 knots and waves reaching 8 metres in height is forecast for the South China Sea on the route to Auckland early in the week and the delayed start lowers the risk of boats hitting monsoon-like conditions and a dangerous sea state.
Photo: Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
It is the first time in the 39-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race that the race has suspended or delayed off-shore racing.

The race re-start is schedule for 0700 local in Sanya on Monday morning (2300 UTC) and will be staggered in the same order of finish based on Sunday’s sailing times.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing
Iker Martínez’s Team Telefónica finished front of the pack again on Sunday after dominating Saturday’s Sanya Haitang Bay In-Port Race one day earlier. Groupama followed them into Sanya's marina 2 minutes 32 seconds behind, coming back after a mistake at the start line, while Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing also clawed their way back from last place during the day to cross the line in third.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
Mike Sanderson’s Team Sanya had the fourth-best time on the day, while CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand finished fifth and will start Monday 9 minutes 32 seconds behind current leg leaders Telefónica.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
The biggest shock of the day was on board American-entry PUMA Ocean Racing powered by Berg, when their lead of more than a mile disappeared completely after sailing into a windless area shortly after starting the return stretch back to Sanya. They finished a massive 39 minutes 17 seconds back and will be the last boat to start Monday morning in the re-start.

The teams will restart racing from Sanya, China at the following times:
Team Telefónica: 2300 UTC, Sunday February 19
Groupama sailing team: 23:02:34
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: 23:03:36
Team Sanya: 23:07:32
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand: 23:09:13
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG: 23:39:17

Volvo Ocean Race Media

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