Thursday, April 5, 2012

Now The Pressure Is On PUMA - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Leg 5 leaders PUMA are today feeling the heat, this time from overall leaders Telefónica, after their closest competitor Groupama suspended racing overnight with a broken mast.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
At 0700 UTC on Thursday Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were within 465 nautical miles of the finish and held a 56 nm lead over Iker Martínez’s Team Telefónica. PUMA are pushing hard to defend the relentless attack from Telefónica, who have clawed back from a 400 nautical mile deficit after suspending racing on March 31 for 17 hours to repair structural damage.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Media Crew Member Amory Ross said his PUMA teammates were feeling vulnerable, with Telefónica more than 100 nautical miles to the southeast and well out of range.

“Telefónica is very much a threat to our first leg win as they make their charge well to the east,’’ Ross said. “It is going to be very close, and it’s a strange feeling on board, as there is very little we can do to protect ourselves.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
“There’s just no way to cover a boat that five days ago was 400 miles behind and at a dock. Incredible, really. Frustrating, absolutely. They’ve simply had better weather, weather we haven’t. And that’s continued all through today, too.”

Ross said navigator Tom Addis and Read were working on optimising the weather windows, and remained hopeful that the front that propelled Telefónica from Cape Horn would soon reach them. But, with one routing model showing the two teams finishing within five minutes of each other, tension are mounting Ross said.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
“We still have a race to win,’’ he said. “The pedal is on the floor and we’re pushing the crew and the boat at 100 per cent, there is no question or reason to do otherwise.

“We feel we deserve this one and are primed to do everything we can to make it so!”

PUMA trailed in second place when Groupama’s mast broke and the team suspended racing at 1542 UTC on Wednesday. Groupama skipper Franck Cammas today reported that his team planned to resume racing with a jury rig.

Volvo Ocean Race Media

No comments: