• 03-APR-2012

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Groupama and PUMA Locked in Dogfight for First, Telefónica Closing on Leaders

South Atlantic – PUMA and Groupama are today engaged in fierce one-on-one racing for the lead on the way to Itajaí with the narrowest of margins separating the top two teams.

After more than two weeks at sea and over 6,000 nautical miles of racing since the Leg 5 start in Auckland, New Zealand, Groupama sailing team and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by Berg have been in frequent visual contact throughout the past 24-hours as the two teams prepare for a "dogfight" into the finish in Brazil over the next three to four days.

"Today has been a good day on-board Groupama 4," said Phil Harmer with Groupama sailing team. "The guys have sailed the boat well. You can see just behind us, we've managed to get back ahead of them (PUMA). A good old dogfight. We've got just under a thousand miles to go, so it's anyone's race at the moment… three to four days to go."

Meanwhile, overall race leaders Team Telefónica continue to close in, making steady gains in different winds to the top two.

At 0700 UTC on Tuesday, Groupama sailing team held a lead of just 0.2 nautical miles (nm) over PUMA, with Telefonica 112 nm behind in third. Taking a different route north in the Atlantic since repairs near Cape Horn, current routing models predict that Telefónica could be within 50 miles of the leading pair by the time the leaders reach the coast of Brazil.

On the other side of the South American continent, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, in third-place in the overall standings, reached the Chilean coast early Tuesday and suspended racing in order to carry out repairs in Puerto Montt, Chile. The CAMPER shore crew await the arrival to repair the boat's structural damage.
Available video includes boat feeds from PUMA, Groupama, CAMPER and Telefonica.


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