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What’s the story?
Having entered the Doldrums zone for the final time in this race the fleet knew they were in for a tricky night. By this morning, PUMA had fallen foul of clouds and squalls and seen their lead diminish to less than eight nautical miles (nm) at 0400 UTC as CAMPER overtook Telefónica to claim second place.
Previously, when the top four boats crossed the Equator for the final time in this race PUMA had extended to 31 nautical miles ahead while Abu Dhabi were preparing for anything in the Doldrums as they continued to play catch up.
Leg 6 remains anyone's to win, and the crews of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Groupama sailing team were doing all in their power to catch up. -- despite some beginning to ration their food.
Quote of the day:
“We spent most of the day within one mile of Telefonica with each boat probing the other with different modes of sailing. Both boats have shown strengths and weaknesses and are proving to be very close in these conditions” - Chris Nicholson, CAMPER
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The big picture:
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG improved on their second-place finish in Leg 4 to win Leg 5 by just 12 minutes following a tense 11th-hour battle with Team Telefonica.
Despite losing their mast while leading the fleet in Leg 5, Groupama sailing team were able to construct a jury rig which allowed them not only to complete the leg but also claim the final podium position.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand finished fourth, a huge achievement for Chris Nicholson's team, who were forced to divert to Chile with structural damage.
Abu Dhabi were forced to retire from Leg 5 with serious damage to their hull, opting to ship their boat to Itajai. They might not have finished the leg but they won their incredible race against the clock to get Azzam race ready in less than two days.
Team Sanya, who retired from Leg 5 after losing a rudder, will rejoin the fleet in Miami for the in-port racing and start of Leg 7.
Check out the overall standings HERE.