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Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
Having yesterday moved into fourth place ahead of Abu Dhabi, spirits are high on Groupama, despite being unable yet to significantly close down the top three boats.

Groupama Media Crew Member Yann Riou said the team feel they are finally back in the race after trailing the fleet for much of Leg 6.

“We're got around 20 knots of wind with around 20 knots of boat speed,” Riou said. “We're making headway and it's really happening this time.

“The seas have built a little, but our angle in relation to the wind and the waves is making it pretty easy. We'd have a lot less fun sailing close-hauled in this area. So it's a good day then.”

Despite Groupama sailing team averaging over 20 knots for the last two skeds, Riou said complex currents and less wind had prevented them from making inroads into the boats ahead.

“One detail which is spoiling the party a bit is that the boats up ahead are also quick,” he said. “We have a little less wind, some less favourable current or alternately more unfavourable current.

“The upshot of this is a loss of around 20 miles over the course of yesterday.”

Nevertheless, Riou said the mood on the French boat remained positive and with complex weather awaiting the fleet on the way to the finish in Miami, they still harboured dreams of making a podium comeback.

“Spirits are high,” Riou said. “The fine sailing conditions and our comeback in relation to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are doubtless tied in with that.

“We're expecting a fairly slow end to the race with a fair few light patches. We still have around eight days of sailing ahead of us, bristling with meteorological traps.”

Ever the opportunist, when a flying fish unexpectedly landed in the boat’s cockpit last night, Riou said he grabbed the chance for a fresh meal with both hands

“I knocked myself up a flying fish sashimi,” he said. “The foolhardy thing hadn't even recorded a flight plan, it just came and landed on the deck of Groupama 4.

“I'm not going to pretend that I enjoyed it,” he said. “Firstly, I don't know how to prepare sashimi, and secondly, flying fish raw without any seasoning isn't really very nice.

“That said, it's quite pleasant to taste some flesh whose freshness is unquestionable and doesn't need to be rehydrated.

“It’s nice to assimilate vitamins by a means other than little tablets, but all in all I would say it's more of a psychological than a flavour comfort.”

 

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Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

Franck Cammas driving through the sea spray onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.

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Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

Charles Caudrelier highspeed sailing. Onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.

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Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

High speed sailing and spray in the trad onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA.