• 10-JUN-2012

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Four Teams Still in Contention as Leg 8 Gets Underway

PUMA Ocean Racing led the fleet of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 out towards the Atlantic Ocean Sunday afternoon as the all-important Leg 8, the penultimate offshore stage of the race, got underway from the Portuguese capital Lisbon, bound for Lorient, France.

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. Just 23 points separates overall leaders Groupama sailing team from fourth-place CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.

Only four scoring events remain with two offshore legs and two In-Port races in Lorient, France and Galway, Ireland, where the race concludes on July 7. The offshore legs are worth 30 points each for victory.

PUMA, second in yesterday's Oeiras In-Port Race, nailed the downwind start in front of thousands of spectators lining the banks of the Tagus River in Lisbon, getting an early jump on their rivals as the six boats started the short inshore course before heading out to sea.

With more than 1,900 nautical miles to sail to Lorient via the Azores, there will be plenty more opportunities ahead for all of the teams to make their move.

The leg is expected to take around six days to complete, with the winning team predicted to arrive in Lorient on June 16.