Telefónica hopes of victory on Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race were dashed in the early hours of Friday when they suffered further rudder problems and were forced to reduce speed drastically.
At 0300 UTC Iker Martínez’s crew were limping towards Lorient in fifth place almost 50 nautical miles behind the leaders Groupama, who are on course for a triumphant return to their home port as overall race leaders.
Late on Thursday, Telefónica had held a one-mile lead over Groupama after making their gybe towards France.
That looked likely to seal an incredible comeback after they had successfully managed to fit a replacement after breaking their starboard rudder in winds of 25 knots.
However, during that gybe they suffered damage to the port rudder as well, effectively ending their leg hopes.
"The situation on board is normal," said Martínez. "But we have to take a lot of care because we only have one rudder and that is damaged."
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