Main Content

17549
Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
PUMA escaped the clutches of the Doldrums with only a wafer-thin lead on Tuesday, after a night’s “yo-yo racing” through squalls and rainclouds saw their closest rivals gain about 30 nautical miles in 24 hours.

At 1300 UTC just 2.8 nm separated first and third, with PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG leading by 1.8 nm over CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Team Telefónica a nautical mile further back in third place.

“At one point it seemed like CAMPER were about a mile and half away,” said PUMA skipper Ken Read.

“I don’t know if they were really that close but their light was awful bright right next to us. That was our 30-mile advantage gone. That gives you an idea of how tight it is and how big the yo-yo swings are.”

With half of Leg 6 from Itajaí to Miami still to race, Read is all too aware that there are further threats to PUMA’s long-held advantage to come, with a tropical wave in the North Atlantic set to disrupt the trade winds creating further unstable weather on the race track in coming days.

“There are plenty more moments of light air pot holes ahead that we’re going to run into and most likely the troops behind are going to come hauling back into us,’’ Read said.

“This race is not for the faint of heart.”

Meanwhile, confidence is building on board CAMPER, who notched up an impressive 433 nm in 24 hours in the Doldrums. Navigator Will Oxley is hoping for similar figures over the coming day as the trades erupt.

“The GRIB files have been completely wrong so it’s been ‘seat of your pants’ stuff,’’ he said. “Really, we’re just trying to maximise speed to Eleuthera, which is the next waypoint.

“All you can do is sail the course you believe is the fastest to the finish line, so at this point we’re not trying to cover other boats, we’re just trying to sail the course we think will get is there as quick as possible.”

The boats are expected to be into fast sailing conditions tonight, with boat speeds around 20 knots in winds ranging from 16 to 22 knots, at angles between 110 to 130 degrees.

At the rear of the fleet fourth placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and fifth placed Groupama sailing team continue to negotiate a difficult comeback route from 81 nm and 93 nm in the wake of the leaders respectively.

Groupama Media Crew Member Yann Riou said the only thing that was moving with any great speed was the estimated time of arrival of the fleet in the United States.

“It's likely that the amount of recovery days we have in Florida will take a knock,’’ he said. “However, the longer and more twisted the leg, the more chances we'll have of making up ground on our rivals.”

The leading boats in the fleet are expected to cross the finish line in Miami on May 9.

Comments

  • Come on Telefonica, get past these guys!

1 Comments

Leave a comment

Incorrect please try again
Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you here:

Secondary Content

Top News Content

17549
Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

On board PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.

17530
Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race

Mike Pammenter on the main watching the water over the deck onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.

17537
Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

Rob Greenhalgh and Justin Slattery having lunch after watch onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.

17519
Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

Approching the doldrums at sunset onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.

17525
Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race

Antonio Cuervas-Mons onboard Team Telefonica during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.