The Volvo Ocean Race fleet are tonight pushing their way through the Indian Ocean on Leg 2 which takes them from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. The overall leader, Telefonica skippered by Iker Martinez (ESP), is now facing threat from backmarkers.
by Sophie Luther
Although the order of play remains unchanged, northerly yacht Telefónica is facing a challenge by Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) and Camper (Chris Nicholson/AUS), the two yachts furthest to the south. Both boats are averaging speeds over 18 knots and Groupama 4 has made a substantial inroad into Telefónica’s lead, taking out 30 nautical miles in the last three hours.
Camper is looking particularly sweet in her position furthest to the east and is now benefiting from a steadier northerly breeze. Groupama 4, just 17 nm to the south, is climbing steadily up to join her, while Sanya Lan (Mike Sanderson /NZL) is almost level pegging with Ian Walker’s Azzam further north again.
By tomorrow morning it will be clear who the winners and losers are, at least until the fleet reaches the next hurdle, the parking lot known as the Indian Ocean High. This is an area of light wind that sits beyond the low-pressure system that the fleet must swerve around before turning north in search of the trade winds and, finally, the dreaded Doldrums.
Volvo Ocean Race website
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9:23 PM Thu 15 Dec 2011 GMT
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2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
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