Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Telefonica Joins The Party - Volvo Ocean Race Update

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (Ken Read/USA) have closed down Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) to take the lead at 1900 GMT tonight by 0.10 nautical miles (nm).
Photo: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) is back in contention for the lead, but a secure third place on the podium in Itajaí, even if Groupama posts another win, would be enough to keep the Spanish team at the head of the overall table, if only by five points.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
The dramatic gains of the past three days, which have seen Telefónica reduce a deficit of 412 nm to 88.20 nm at 1900 GMT tonight, ceased earlier today as the team are now almost sailing in the same weather system as the frontrunners, on the wind, but 98 nm to leeward.
Photo: Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race
This afternoon only moderate gains were achieved as Telefónica’s boat speed dropped in line with Groupama and PUMA, but, during the past three hours, their boat speed has climbed to 13.3 knots, two knots faster than their rivals. The frontrunners are close-hauled, racing each other boat for boat, while Telefónica are 161 nm offshore, with nothing to lose and everything to play for.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
At the head of the fleet, the tactical intensity deepens as PUMA and Groupama race 61 nm off Argentina’s Mar del Plata.

“This kind of close contact racing is really enjoyable. However, the wind is due to shift round before Itajaí and we will be able to make the most of Groupama 4’s speed when sailing with sheets eased,” skipper Franck Cammas said.
Photo: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
The crew of PUMA continue to watch Groupama, waiting to see how the crew react to shifts in wind angle. “Even at night, they’re on the lookout and 10 minutes after our change of tack under the cover of darkness, they’ve mirrored our movements. They can keep an eye on us with both binoculars and radar. I don’t think we are going to leave each other’s sides until the finish,” the French skipper added.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
Still in the Pacific, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) who suspended racing earlier, are due to arrive in Puerto Montt later tonight when repairs will begin. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) are also headed towards the coast of Chile, but were this evening still assessing their options.
Leg 5
03/04/2012 19:02:38 UTC
-CAMPSuspended Racing
Volvo Ocean Race Media

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