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Volvo Ocean Race- Small differences and luck make Telefonica's lead

by Richard Gladwell on 16 Mar 2012
Telefonica has the narrowest of leads as the fleet launch off the startline in today’s Pro-Am race in Auckland © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

Icker Martinez, skipper of the current Volvo Ocean Race leader, Telefonica believes their commanding lead in the 39000nm Round the World race is due to a combination of small things rather than a major point of dominance.

'We are where we are because we were lucky,' he told the Volvo Ocean Race final skippers media conference today. 'Or maybe we are lucky where some others are unlucky.'

'On the first leg, Puma were fighting very hard with us, then they had a problem, so it is more easy for us to win the leg.'

'On the second leg, we had things change for us 20 minutes before the finish line,' he said referring to their narrow two minute win over Camper, snatched just before the finish.

'The third one was pretty much the same with all the boats in close racing. We were pushing hard and were right in the perfect moment.'

Martinez has won Olympic Gold and Silver medals and to is a double World Champion in the 49er class. Although this is not his first Round the World Race – he placed third in the 2008-09 edition of the Volvo Ocean race, and second in the 2010 Barcelona Round the World Race, sailing with his 49er crew, Xabi Fernandez in the two-handed event.

So far they have won three of the four ocean legs sailed, and placed third on the water into Auckland, beating local favorite, Camper by 93 seconds after 5300nm of sailing.

'We are doing things well, and I think we are lucky. It was also a question of preparation at the beginning of the race. If you have good preparation, then you have an advantage.

'But we also have the feeling now that everyone is improving a lot. And for sure they will be closer to us. But it is just little things, and we have to keep doing things well, because it can all change so very fast.

'I think you all think that the differences are much bigger than the sailors really think it is,' he added.

'The whole situation could change on one leg. The differences are so small, and our lead is less than the points we are fighting for on one leg.

'We are not doing things much different. It is just the little details.'

The fifth leg, and only leg through the Southern Ocean gets underway on Sunday from Auckland

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