Volvo Ocean Race: Getting closer....

Present finish order will have Telefonica plummeting to third and a new leader in Groupama

Thursday May 31st 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Just over 80 miles to go for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet descends on Lisbon in what is lining up to be the first (and long overdue) offshore leg win of the Volvo Ocean Race for Ian Walker's team.

Chart above courtesy of Expedition/Tasman Bay Navigation Systems and GRIB (GFS model) from PredictWind

Positions at 1255

Pos Boat Skipper Lat Lon Spd Crs DTF DTL
1 Abu Dhabi Ian Walker 39 19.250n 010 45.900w 18 129 80.98 0
2 Groupama Franck Cammas 39 05.750n 011 11.800w 18.7 115 95.1 14.12
3 Puma Ken Read 39 27.520n 011 27.400w 21.3 126 113.55 32.56
4 Camper Chris Nicholson 39 27.100n 011 54.520w 22 116 132.94 51.95
5 Sanya Mike Sanderson 40 06.880n 011 38.420w 20 134 140.66 59.67
6 Telefonica Iker Martinez 39 24.070n 012 11.930w 21 114 144.84 63.86

At their present speeds the boats will be streaming into Lisbon over the course of this evening and into the early hours of tomorrow morning. Of particular importance to the race overall is the gap on this leg between Groupama and Telefonica - if the French boat finishes second and the Spanish remain in sixth place it will cause a major upheaval in the overall points, rocketing Groupama into the lead and cause Telefonica to plummet down to third, with Puma in second a point ahead of the Spanish.

If Telefonica can overhaul Sanya in this last miles, then she will save second place overall for herself.

Team Tele Grp Camp Puma  AD Sanya
  165 158 152 151 74 27
Leg 7  5 25 15 20 30 10
Tot 170 183 167 171 104 37

On board the Spanish boat there's no letting up of the pace, both on deck and at the nav station. The team's MCM Diego Fructuoso said that the Spanish team is “making the most of every little gust to get the sails moving. We're sailing with the Code Zero now and I've just heard Iker gives the order to prepare the Genoa for what may come. It's a good sign that we're moving to a smaller sail, because that means there is some wind.

“We're almost in in-port mode, with almost everyone on watch working as hard as they can. No-one's going to sleep on here until we get to Lisbon, I'm sure. The guys shut their eyes on deck when they can, but every metre and every miles is crucial,” explains the Spaniard.

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