SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race
Telefónica's Overall Lead Under Threat As Boats Approach Finish To Leg 7 Of Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Alicante, Spain – Overall leaders of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, Spain's Telefónica, are in danger of losing their long-held points lead dating back to late November 2011 after getting the worst of the weather for much of Leg 7 across the Atlantic.
Just over a week after the fleet departed Miami, the team skippered by Iker Martinez, an Olympic gold medallist in 2004 and one of Spain's leading hopes for 2012, were stuck in last place among the fleet on Leg 7 from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal.
Also struggling during the Atlantic crossing are the overall second-place team Groupama (France), who are battling Telefónica both at the top of the leaderboard -- and at the back of the fleet on this leg which is due to finish in Lisbon on Thursday.
Telefónica need to finish in the top three to guarantee holding on to the top spot for the last two legs and three In-Port races in Lisbon, Lorient (France) and Galway (Ireland).
Two teams looking to capitalize are CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, third-place in the standings, and American-team PUMA Ocean Racing, winners of the last two legs and just 14 points off the overall lead in fourth.
With just three days left in the current leg and only about 15 total days of racing remaining, the race is still much too-close-to-call among the top four boats.
The teams will have completed over 39,000 nautical miles in the round-the-world race, held every three years, by the time they finish in Galway, Ireland in early July.
Overall Race Leaderboard:1. Team Telefónica – 165 pts
2. Groupama Sailing Team – 158 pts
3. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand – 152 pts
4. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG – 151 pts
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 74 pts
6. Team Sanya - 27 pts