Volvo Ocean Race

Puma surge ahead at Volvo

2011-11-13 14:19
PUMA team (File)

Alicante - The first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race turned on its head on Sunday, with Groupama slipping from first to last as their three racing rivals surged south at breakneck speed.

Groupama are the first French team to enter the race in 18 years and, having chosen the ACDC rock anthem "Highway to Hell" as their theme tune, they launched a huge gamble at the start of leg one from Alicante to Cape Town.

While two of the six teams were forced out of the 7 500 mile leg because of boat damage and three others followed the traditional route to the west, Groupama built a lead of 350 miles as they hopped down the African coast.

Puma, Telefonica and Camper finally got the wind they had been searching for on Friday night and by Sunday morning, still with over 5 000 miles to go, they had overhauled and dropped Groupama.

Puma, skippered by the American Ken Read, are the new leaders, with Spain's Telefonica just behind them.

Camper, the Spanish-New Zealand entry, were around 100 miles behind the two leaders and just ahead of Groupama.

"This is the reward for beating our brains out for almost a week," said Read after the team passed 20 knots of boat speed.

The problem for the French team, skippered by Franck Cammas, is that they now face having to go through the windless zone of the Doldrums at a much wider point than the others. That could mean heavier losses to come.

"The outcome won't be very positive, that's for sure." Cammas said. "That's the risk of our option. We knew it would be favourable in the short term but it was uncertain in the long term and it didn't come out very well for us."

At the moment, all four teams are converging on Fernando de Noronha, the archipelago off the Brazilian coast that they must round before they start the sprint to Cape Town.

That will open up the quickest part of the course and the next week should see the teams launch attacks on the monohull 24-hour distance record, set at 596.6 nautical miles by Ericsson 4 on their way to winning the last race in 2008-09.

Abu Dhabi and Sanya, the teams forced to retire from the leg, are shipping their boats to Cape Town to be ready for the second in-port race on December 10 and the start of leg two to Abu Dhabi the following day.

Read more on:    volvo ocean race

Italy's Rosa joins Team Sky

2016-10-27 17:29

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Did Stormers and Springboks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit deserve to be named SA Rugby Player of the Year?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.