PUMA crossed the line 24 seconds behind race winner Groupama Sailing Team, the overall leader in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand finished second.
“We’ve been watching Wimbledon a little in the evenings and they post a statistic for unforced errors – we’d have a big No. 1 in that category in this race,” said skipper Ken Read. “After a really good first run we got ahead of Groupama, then one mistake is all it takes. We went to gybe and somehow the clew of the jib snapped the jib sheet around our weather daggerboard. It was such a fluke thing. Groupama is sailing well, and when mistakes are made, they are always there to capitalize. We give them credit. This is a tough one for us.”
PUMA was off to a strong start as the fleet split down the first leg of the 9.2 nautical mile inshore course. PUMA’s Mar Mostro rounded Mark 1 in third place, 30 seconds behind leading CAMPER. After a gybe inside of Groupama, PUMA rolled over the top and into second position heading to Mark 2. When the jib sheet was caught at the leeward mark, Groupama passed PUMA and returned to the second slot. On the last run, PUMA and Groupama made gains on CAMPER and narrowed the gap to under 20 seconds. While PUMA nearly got around, Groupama was able to roll past and finish first.
With today’s results, the overall race standings remain the same. Groupama increased their lead by two, sitting at 225 points with PUMA in second at 200. CAMPER is four points back with 196. One race leg and one In-Port Race are left on the schedule.
“We have bounced back from losing our mast in the water in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on Leg 1, so if we can bounce back from that, we can recover from this,” Read said. “For this final leg, it’s really going to come down to who’s going to be second, third and fourth, unless Groupama makes a colossal mistake.”
Tomorrow, the ninth and final leg of this year’s Volvo Ocean Race gets underway. The 550 nautical mile trip from Lorient to Galway will take approximately a day and a half for the fleet to complete. Racing begins at 13:00 local / 11:00 UTC and will be streamed live online at www.volvooceanrace.com and on the live section of the Volvo Ocean Race YouTube channel: youtube.com/volvooceanracevideos. Streaming begins five minutes before the 10-minute warning signal. Also visit www.volvooceanrace.com for complete television broadcast information in local markets.