Monday, April 2, 2012

Telefónica Surf back Into The Race - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Telefónica have pulled back more than 180 miles on the Leg 5 frontrunners in just 36 hours at speeds of almost double the rest of the fleet.
Photo: Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race
While PUMA and Groupama battled it out around 230 miles ahead in 10 to 15-knot winds, Telefónica were making the most of 20 knots of breeze to claw back the miles.

“We’ve been surfing for almost 24 hours,” Telefónica’s media crew member Diego Fructuoso said.

“The two boats ahead have diverged a bit, but still we must not lose faith, anything can happen, and will not stop trying.”

After swapping positions four times yesterday, it was Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG who had the narrow advantage at 0400 UTC on Monday with a small seven-mile buffer on Groupama sailing team, led by Franck Cammas.

“What gives?” pondered PUMA MCM Amory Ross.

“We leave Auckland roughly half a mile ahead of Groupama, spend almost two weeks sailing across a massive ocean, wake up, cross tacks, and find ourselves in the exact same position.

“Unbelievable.”

Ross said all focus was now on picking up their first leg win of the 2011-12 race – if they can hold back their French rivals over the remaining 1,200 miles to Itajaí in Brazil.

“Nobody’s sleeping much, we’re constantly analysing boat-to-boat angles, spying through our binoculars and on the radar,” Ross added.

“The trimmers are tweaking way more than usual, there’s much less casual conversation, and everyone’s giving it well over 100 per cent, even in our state of exhaustion.

“There’s no question… we want this one badly!”

Volvo Ocean Race Media

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