Welcome to Sail-World.com's Volvo Ocean Race Newsletter for 28 April 2012
Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race has been underway for just under a week, and looks set to be an arm wrestle all the way to Miami, Florida.
As we write, Puma has a lead of about an hour which she has held from soon after the get-go last Sunday.
Behind her it is a full on battle to get into the Trades, and get a jump which could hold good all the way to the USA.
From the outset the fleet split into three groups, with Puma covering sides both from the centre. Now they have come together just short of Recife, it's all on between Telefonica and Camper.
Before the start of this leg there were still 40% of the race points on the table, for anyone to pick up. Given the fact that only one boat finished Leg 5 without 'suspending racing' - Volvo Ocean Race parlance for getting outside assistance - the points table is such that no team can take anything for granted.
For all the hoo-haa about boat integrity, the bottom line is that you can't have a close race without crews pushing their boats to the limit, and occasionally stepping over the sideline. When that happens boats break - and the gain for which the crews were grasping, is snatched away - and that's when the shore crews swing into play.
This race has been the closest ever. The boats are the fastest ever. The shore crews are playing as vital a role in the result as the sailing crews. You can't win in a broken boat. And now you can't really win in a boat that is sailing at less than 100%. It's like a car rally on the water - where the sprints count for something as well as the endurance legs.
Sure it would be great to have a finish like Auckland where all six boats crossed the line in 24 hours, and five of those came home in the space of a couple of hours or so - and around lunchtime on a Sunday.
But that would be like expecting every car to finish every F1 race. It ain't going to happen. And if it did the fans would know the cars weren't being pushed to the limit.
In this edition of Sail-World.com's Volvo Ocean Race newsletter we cover the In Port Race, the Start, and opening stanzas of Leg 6.
If you can only read one story, catch Ken Read's gem. Read how he met up, quite by co-incidence, with the Captain of the Zim Monaco, whose ship transferred 30 cans of diesel to Puma in the mid-Atlantic, during Leg 1 and kept them in the race. Where would they be now without those 30 cans of boat-juice?
Probably not leading Leg 6. And probably not right back in the Volvo Ocean Race - as they head for Puma's home port, with their nose in front - and intending to keep it that like that all the way to USA.
We hear there will be a new multi media feature launched on the Volvo Ocean Race site early next week. We've had a preliminary look. It is seriously cool, and should blot up even more fan time as they ogle this exciting unpredictable race.
Onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA. Yann Riou
We'll carry this feature on Sail-World as soon as it is available to fans, and look forward to incorporating it in our race coverage.
Stay tuned to www.sail-world.com for the latest Volvo Ocean Race news, updated on a 24x7 basis by our editorial team around the world. We never sleep.
Richard Gladwell Editor@Large
If you wish to see Sail-World's complete Volvo OR coverage, go to www.sail-world.com - and click on the Volvo Ocean Race button in the top header bar, you'll see all stories for all regions from this exciting race - all updated as the race unfolds.
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