PUMA have momentum, Abu Dhabi have new sails while Groupama say they will have to kill you if they let slip the trick they have up their sleeve that they expect to give them a competitive edge at the business end of the race.
“In terms of what’s left in our armory; I could tell you but I would then have to kill you’’ - - Groupama bowman Brad Marsh.
With just 17 points separating the top four teams and just seven scoring opportunities remaining, the six teams are preparing to throw everything they can at the race.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG are confident they have an edge that no one can top, one that cannot be manufactured - - momentum.
Having won two consecutive legs and claimed podium finishes in the past six racing encounters PUMA are the in-form team.
“We don’t have any new sails for this leg, we had three new sails for the last leg, so they’re quite fresh, but we do have momentum and that’s a big thing,’’ navigator Tom Addis said.
“No other team has it like us. It takes a lot of time to get up to speed; you have 10 guys, these boats with lots of systems in them and it’s all got to start working and it’s hard to build, as we found out after the first leg.”
Overall race leaders Telefónica are preparing to do everything they can to fend off their competitors’ advances. Five-time Volvo competitor and Telefónica watch leader Neal McDonald reckons his team’s experience is advantage enough.
“To be honest, our strength is our people,’’ McDonald said. “We’re surrounded by winners, we have gold medallists, world champions and people that have won so many events that the pressure doesn’t affect them.
“Iker is one of those people who just takes every day as it comes, we forget what’s happened in the past and keep focused on what’s ahead.”
Eternal optimists Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have taken a glass-half-full take on having failed to complete two legs - - their sails are fresh.
Bowman Wade Morgan reckons that new sails coupled with a chance to clock some running conditions is enough to give his team the break they’ve been searching for.
“Having not finished two legs then probably some of our new sails are coming in later in the race, which can help us while everyone else’s are getting a bit tired,’’ the Australian said. “Our downwind sails are also quite broad in their concept so we can play with that.”
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand navigator Will Oxley reckons that the potential for downwind racing could also boost his team’s chances. While Team Sanya helmsman/trimmer David Rolfe is sure that after the latest repairs his team is primed for some good racing.
Keeping tight-lipped were Groupama sailing team. In second place on the overall leaderboard, the French team are looking to close the 11 point gap, and soon. Just how they’re going to do it, that’s anyone’s guess.
“In terms of what’s left in our armory; I could tell you but I would then have to kill you,’’ bowman Brad Marsh said.
- 22 May 2012Chasing pack close on Groupama as winds soften
- 18 Mar 2012CAMPER lead as Abu Dhabi begin repairs
- 3 Mar 2012Where there's a Will there's a way
- 29 Feb 2012Relentless pace begins to take its toll
- 25 Feb 2012Sayonara Japan: PUMA pounce back
- 26 Jan 2012CAMPER take lead on big day for Nicholson