Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 728x90

Volvo Ocean Race - Moves at the top

by Volvo Ocean Race on 1 Jun 2012
A high-pressure weather system ahead for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.org
Abu Dhabi shrugged off seven months of Volvo Ocean Race frustration to seal their first offshore victory in a nerve-jarring transatlantic leg from Miami to Lisbon, while Groupama’s second place finish -- five and a half minutes behind after more than 3,500 nautical miles racing -- was enough to take them top of the VOR leaderboard in place of long-term leaders Telefonica.

Groupama spent days snapping at the heels of the Emirati team and were within a mile of their rivals as they headed up the River Tagus towards the finish line.

Ian Walker’s team defended resolutely, however, matching their rivals gybe for gybe to ensure their first podium finish on an offshore leg would also be their first win, and spark wild celebrations lit up by a booming firework display.

For Groupama, the consolation prize came soon enough, as Telefónica’s finish in fourth place -- behind Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg in the third podium slot and just ahead of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand -- meant the French team climb above them.

Abu Dhabi, who finished at 21:23:54 UTC, received 30 points for victory, with Groupama netting 25 after their finish at 21:29:21. PUMA took 20 points, Telefonica 15 and CAMPER 10.

Team Sanya finished sixth to pick up five points.

Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas, now lead Telefónica by three points overall, with the Spanish team dropping off the lead for the first time since their victory on Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town back in November.

Four teams remain separated by just 21 points, making it the closest contest in the 39-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race with just two offshore legs and three in-port races still to come.

The arrival in Lisbon represented a homecoming for Abu Dhabi, who had a training base in nearby Cascais during the build-up to the race.

'It's incredible -- what a welcome,' said Walker, before he and Emirati crew member Adil Khalid were chucked into the water by their team mates.

'Do you think you can make the last ten miles of a race any harder than that?

'It’s one of the most amazing experiences of my sailing career, that’s for sure. Mentally, certainly I’m exhausted. It's just such a relief.'

Abu Dhabi also visited Lisbon in much less happy circumstances during Leg 1, after a dismasting within the first few hours ultimately forced them to ship the boat from Lisbon to Cape Town.

While they have notched up three victories in in-port races, and have a strong chance of winning the series, this is the first time they have really been able to shine in an offshore leg.

First Groupama and then Telefónica enjoyed the lead for long spells on a leg that started out looking like a fast, direct sprint across the Atlantic before the effects of Tropical Storm Alberto altered things drastically.

One by one, the boats were forced to head ever further north towards the ice exclusion zone.

Abu Dhabi moved into the lead on Day 6 and after briefly surrendering it to Camper they were back ahead the following day.

Two days later they were clear, though skipper Ian Walker warned repeatedly that a light-air zone inside the final 300 nautical miles would see the fleet compress.

That’s exactly how it turned out, with Abu Dhabi forced to scrap every step of the way to an emotional victory at the team’s second home.

'It came down to the wire, and we certainly had our ups and downs, but we are very happy,' said Groupama skipper Franck Cammas. 'it was a good operation for us!'

Third place for Puma kept them in contention for the overall lead, 12 points behind new leaders Groupama.
'This is a great result,' said the team's American skipper Ken Read. 'There’s still a lot of points on the board and to be on the podium is a big deal for us.'

The battle between Telefónica and Camper for fourth and fifth came down to a slow-motion tussle over an excruciating final few miles, with no breeze and the current against them.

Telefónica eventually finished with an advantage of 102 seconds and less than a boat length for a five-point boost that could yet prove crucial.

The action resumes with the In-Port Race on June 9, followed by the start of Leg 8 to Lorient the following day.

Leg 7 results:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 11d, 04h, 23m, 54s
2. Groupama sailing team – 11d, 04h, 29m, 21s
3. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG – 11d, 06h, 26m, 52s
4. Team Telefónica – 11d, 08h, 28m, 27s
5. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand – 11d, 08h, 30m, 09s
6. Team Sanya – 11d, 08h, 44m, 25s

Volvo Ocean Race website http://www.volvooceanrace.com
Mackay BoatsMariners Museum 660x82Insun - AC Program

Related Articles

2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race Fleet building nicely
The record fleet is 122 set in 2014, and recent years have seen the number of participants regularly top 100 boats. The record fleet for the event is 122 set in 2014, and recent years have seen the number of participants regularly top 100 boats.
Posted today at 3:55 pm
PSP Logistics to feature once again in Clipper Yacht Race
More than 700 non-professional sailors, representing over 40 nationalities, will compete for eleven months. More than 700 non-professional sailors, representing over 40 nationalities, will compete for eleven months on a fleet of twelve identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts, each led by a professional skipper.
Posted today at 1:34 pm
Owner-driver GC32s in the majority at 36 Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Maris comes with a strong multihull background having previously competed in the Extreme Sailing Series. Maris comes with a strong multihull background having previously competed in the Extreme Sailing Series and the D35 catamaran circuit on Lake Geneva.
Posted today at 12:41 pm
Yacht Racing Forum extends partnership with Zhik for two more years
Top sailors choose Zhik gear to win world championships, and demand it for their OIympic campaigns. The company sells its products into an international network covering more than 40 countries, in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific.
Posted today at 12:10 pm
Moth Worlds – Moth speed uncovered
C-Tech’s Tim Willetts takes time to reflect on changes in Moth class rig design and development over the past six years With the 2017 Moth world championship starting Tuesday, C-Tech’s Tim Willetts takes time to reflect on changes in Moth class rig design and development over the past six years. A lot has happened behind the scenes that is giving the top sailors the edge by staying ahead.
Posted today at 9:25 am
Newport Trophy Regatta for 12 Metres - A window onto the 2019 Worlds
The waters off Newport, R.I., were alive with 12 Metres when the Newport Trophy Regatta took place over July 21-23. The waters off Newport, R.I., were alive with 12 Metres when the Newport Trophy Regatta took place over July 21-23. The event, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, reflected the excitement growing for the 12 Metre World Championship set to take place here in 2019 as part of the New York Yacht Club’s 175th Anniversary Regatta. The historic fleet numbered ten boats
Posted today at 7:29 am
Rolex Fastnet Race - Raw challenge, compelling beauty
Near 400 yachts registered for the 47th running of the legendary 605-nm race represent a record number of participants. The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), race founder and organizer of the Rolex Fastnet Race, has said that the fleet that will contest the 2017 edition looks set to be the largest and most diverse in offshore racing history. The facts unanimously back up the statement. The near 400 yachts registered for the 47th running of the legendary 605-nm race represent a record number of participants.
Posted today at 6:05 am
52 Super Series – Rán Racing win Portals opener
On the second beat, Alegre closed slightly, but Ado Stead and Adam Beashel defended down the run to keep their win safe. On the second beat, Alegre closed slightly, but Rán Racing’s Ado Stead and Adam Beashel defended down the run to keep their win safe.
Posted on 24 Jul
52 Super Series – Azzurra is third in the first day at Puerto Portals
The first day of racing was characterized by unstable winds, unusual conditions in the bay of Palma. The first day of racing at the Puerto Portals 52 Super Series Sailing Week was characterized by unstable winds, unusual conditions in the bay of Palma.
Posted on 24 Jul
Tour de France à la Voile – Super Final shakes Tahiti from top spot
This was one of the most physically demanding race days the 29 already-fatigued crews have experienced so far. This was one of the most physically demanding race days the 29 already-fatigued crews have experienced so far over seven acts of the Tour.
Posted on 24 Jul