Volvo Ocean Race

Puma chasing hard at Volvo

2011-11-20 14:33
Volvo Ocean Race (File)

Alicante - New leaders Telefonica were fending off a counter-attack from riled US rivals Puma on Sunday as the two Volvo Ocean Race pacesetters sought a decisive southern advantage on leg one.

The two teams, both racing in latest generation boats from the winning designer of the last two races, have been neck and neck for the first two thirds of the mammoth 6 500 nautical mile (12 000kms) first leg from Alicante to Cape Town.

Spain's Telefonica finally put clear blue water between the pair with a tactical move that outfoxed Puma to their east on Friday evening.

Puma skipper Ken Read acknowledged that his rivals had made the better call.

"We had our butts handed to us," is how the American described it in an email from the boat - and since then they have been on the counter-attack.

In 24 hours the Americans have cut the deficit from over 50 nm to 35 and with more than 2 000 still to go there is everything to play for.

All the teams are driving south as fast as they can in a bid to be first to pick up a new cold weather front that should catapult them eastwards to Cape Town.

That should see the fleet moving at maximum speed for long periods during the final week, with a crack at the world monohull 24-hour speed record a real possibility.

Team New Zealand, racing in the Spanish boat Camper, are in third spot, 159 nm behind the leaders, with French entry Groupama out of the reckoning over 400 nm back after a tactical gamble that failed spectacularly in the first week.

The two other boats that started - Chinese entry Sanya and Abu Dhabi - had to pull out of the leg entirely after suffering damage to their boats in horrific weather in the first 24 hours.

They are shipping their boats to Cape Town in time for leg two, starting on December 11.

The Volvo Ocean Race start has traditionally been crucial, with the winner of the first leg going on to secure overall victory ever since the race went single-class in 1997.

Read more on:    volvo ocean race

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


Caster Semenya has been nominated for the 2018 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award. Which of the nominees deserves the award most?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? 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.