Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cape Horn Here We Come - Volvo Ocean Race Update

As the leading pair prepare for a rounding of Cape Horn within the next two days both Groupama sailing team and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG will be painfully aware that the second section of Leg 5 could be every bit as challenging as the Southern Ocean trial.
Photo: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
After the Cape the teams will still have around 2,000 nautical miles of tough sailing ahead of them to the finish line in Itajaí, making the final leg result far from clear at this stage.

Groupama helmsman Thomas Coville said the French team were spurred on by the opportunity to lead at Cape Horn but would continue to be wary of the threat of disaster.
Photo: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
“Sure, it’s really motivating for the crew to know we are leading, but since the start we’ve been very humble about that,” Coville said. “We are sailing our own route at our own rhythm and following our instincts.
Photo: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
“Of course we are keeping an eye on PUMA and we will keep tracking the others, but we have managed our race so far based on what we feel. The balance is hard to find so we try not to put too much pressure on ourselves about leading as a breakage can happen quickly.”

Fifth-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were hitting breakneck speeds at times and Media Crew Member Nick Dana said the crew were delighted to finally have a chance to sail in conditions best suiting their racing yacht Azzam.

“Not only have we finally joined the war in the Southern Ocean, but we just hit 40 knots while surfing down wave. We’re into Azzam’s conditions, at the moment and we are averaging around 23 -24 knots of boat speed.

“The forecast has us into this frontal line for at least the next 24 hours. 25-30 knots of breeze with following sea and we’re pointed right at the barn door – should tick off the miles nicely now,” Dana said.

Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez said he remained confident of finishing Leg 5 despite planning to stop for repairs.

“We are confident 100 per cent,” Martínez said. “Obviously something could happen but we are in pretty good shape. We cannot sail as fast as we would like but it shouldn’t be a problem at all to continue the leg.

“Certainly in the situation we are in and having to do this repair it is going to cost us some time but we should be fine to complete the leg.”

Martínez said the goal was to complete the repair stop in the Argentine port of Ushuaia before Abu Dhabi steal third place.

“That’s what we would like,” he said. “It all depends and you never know but I think that is going to happen. We have to yet round Cape Horn and get to the port but we hope we are going to be able to do it.”

Either way Martínez said there would be plenty of competitive action before the end of Leg 5.

“There will be almost 2,000 miles to go to Itajaí so we can get the repairs done and then it will be a long race to the finish.”
Leg 5
28/03/2012 13:04:11 UTC
-SNYADid Not Finish
Volvo Ocean Race Media

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