SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race
Closest Ever Volvo With One Month Remaining
The finish of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 is exactly one month away as the race is set to conclude the weekend of July 7-8 in Galway, Ireland. And the famed around-the-world race has never been closer in its 39-year history.With three In-Port races, two off-shore legs and a maximum 78 total points still up-for-grabs, this 11th edition of the race is proving to be the closest on record dating back to its beginnings in 1973.Only 21 points separates overall leaders Groupama sailing team from fourth-place CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand. Spanish-entry Team Telefonica lie second overall, just three points behind the lead. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by Berg are third, another nine points back of Telefonica, having staged a remarkable comeback since dropping out of Leg 1 with a broken mast.This is the 11th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, which began life as the "Whitbread Round the World Race" in 1973, and never before have four teams had a realistic chance of winning this close to the finish.Legs 8 and 9 are both significantly shorter than the other offshore stages in the 39,000 nm round the world race that started November 5, 2011 in Alicante, Spain. Only about nine or 10 days of off-shore sailing remain.Lisbon to Lorient, France, is less than 2,000 miles while the sprint to Galway is under 500 miles -- and as the leg lengths decrease, the intensity ramps up in what promises to be the most thrilling finale to a Volvo Ocean Race in its 39-year history.Each of the offshore legs offers 30 points to the winner, 25 for second, 20 for third, 15 for fourth, 10 for fifth and 5 for sixth. The hour-long in-port races score at 20 percent of that rate – 6 points for first, 5 for second and so on down to a single point for sixth.