SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race
Groupama Seal Dream Victory on Home Waters; Drama On-Board Telefónica
Franck Cammas and his men were cheered by thousands of fans on the Brittany coast after crossing the Leg 8 finish line at their home port at 13:31:02 local, 11:31:02 UTC, earning 30 points and extending their advantage over Telefónica, whose own victory hopes were dashed when they broke a second rudder while leading overnight.
It is an impressive comeback for Groupama who dropped to fourth place just two days ago when their mainsail jammed and the team spent a costly two hours with bowman Brad Marsh at the top of the 31-metre mast effecting repairs in storm conditions.
But the never-say-die crew fought back to reclaim the lead less than 12-hours before the finish with blistering pace in the North Atlantic low pressure system that packed 45 knots winds and four metre waves.
The French team's victory hopes were bolstered by the misfortune of their arch-rivals Telefónica as the Spanish team were forced to slow to survival speeds after breaking both their rudders on the furious run to the finish.
Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez said the damage had effectively ended their chances of overall victory, with Groupama now enjoying a significant lead with just one leg and two in-port races remaining.