• 01-JUL-2012

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Longest Annual Sporting Event in the World Coming to Exciting Conclusion

After 39,000 miles of sailing, nine months, six continents & nine port stopovers, world's longest regularly-scheduled sporting event, the Volvo Ocean Race, began its final off-shore leg Sunday in Lorient, France.The fleet departed Lorient on Leg 9 for the 550-mile dash to Galway, Ireland with French-entry Groupama firmly atop the overall standings with a total of 225 points -- 25 points ahead of their closest rivals PUMA Ocean Racing with just one leg and one in-port race remaining.With a maximum 36 points still up for grabs, a minimum fourth-place finish by Groupama (worth 15 points) in Leg 9 would guarantee them the overall victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.It would be the first victory for a French team in the race, formerly known as the Whitbread Round The World Race, since L'Esprit d'Equipe was victorious in 1985-86.While Groupama are firmly in control of their overall destiny, podium placings are still very much up for grabs for three teams in positions two, three and four. PUMA, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and long-time raxe leaders Team Telefónica are all fighting for spots on the podium.