• 10-APR-2012

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

With Half a Mast Under Jury Rig, Groupama Finish Heroic Third

Groupama completed a heroic recovery to claim third place in Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 on Tuesday, limping across the finish line in Itajaí, Brazil with a jury-rigged mast for 20 points that revive their hopes of overall victory.Just six days ago Franck Cammas' crew were struck with ill fortune after a broken mast ended their dreams of a second consecutive leg win. Cammas' crew opted to dock in Punta del Este, Uruguay, where they strung together an ingenious makeshift rig, which they nursed all the way to the finish.Victory in the 6,700 nautical mile leg from Auckland to Itajaí would have seen the French team move within close distance of overall leaders Team Telefónica.As it is, third place -- behind winners PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and second-placed Telefónica -- was enough to take them back up to second overall, within 20 points of the lead."At the time all our focus was on winning the race and when the mast broke we had to change our strategy pretty quick," Cammas said."The guys all did a fantastic job and I am very happy with our podium place. The mood among the guys is very good and we're still right in this race."After leading the fleet through much of the Southern Ocean, Groupama were also the first round Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America. They appeared to be winning their duel with PUMA through the South Atlantic when disaster struck.


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