Tony Mutter at the helm. Puma Ocean Racing during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.
1000 UTC Leg 1 Day 11: Volvo Ocean Race team Puma Ocean Racing had two reasons to celebrate this morning after snatching the lead back from arch rivals Telefónica and making good ground through the notoriously fickle Doldrums.
Ken Read’s crew on Mar Mostro have been locked in a 2,000 nautical mile match race with Iker Martínez’s Telefónica and it looks set to continue as the pair head through the Doldrums, the infamous area just north of the Equator where Northern and Southern weather systems converge.
Team Telefonica during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
But rather than get caught up in the light breezes that characterise the area both Puma and Telefónica have made quick progress through, with speeds only dipping to around 10 knots at their lowest.
'We have seen nothing of the sail-flapping drift off from past races,' said Puma’s media crew member Amory Ross. 'It has been wet, windy, and frenzied, and credit goes to Tom [Addis, Puma’s navigator] for staying patient and calculated through it all.
'Naturally unpredictable weather has done its best to keep us busy, and tonight has been one of squall dodging and sail changing; everyone’s tired.'
After Telefónica tore the lead from Read’s hands yesterday afternoon, the USA’s Read repaid his Spanish rival by snatching it back this morning, putting seven nm between the two boats between the 0100 and 1000 UTC report.
Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
The drop in speeds for the leaders allowed Chris Nicholson’s Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand and Franck Cammas’ Groupama sailing team to make vital gains as they raced on at a lick towards the Doldrums.
Between the 0100 and 1000 UTC reports, Camper pulled back 30 nm on Puma with Groupama taking back 58 nm.
Skipper Chris Nicholson and Navigator Will Oxley prepare a sail to hoist on the foredeck of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Credit: Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race)
'Things have been trucking along reasonably well for us all on Camper,' said media crew member Hamish Hooper. 'We are making good miles and just hanging in there trying not to let Telefónica and Puma extend their lead by any more than we don’t need.'
Although losing miles to their rivals overnight, it is likely Puma and Telefónica will escape the Doldrums first, allowing them to stretch out a lead once more as the teams sprint to Fernando de Noronha, the Leg 1 turning mark off the coast of Brazil.
Positions on 15/11/2011 at 10:03:36 UTC
|-||ADOR||Retired from Leg 1|
|-||SNYA||Retired from Leg 1|
Yacht tracks since Gibraltar 1155hrs UTC
Yacht positions heading for the rounding mark off Fernando at 1155hrs UTC
Position Report Time: Tuesday, 15 November 2011, 10:03:36 UTC
Team Sanya skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand is loaded onto a container ship in Algeciras, Spain, to be shipped to Cape Town, South africa, after sustaining damage on the first night of sailing on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Cape Town. (Credit: Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race)
Volvo Ocean Race website