Another week of the traumatic Leg 5 in pictures and video
Puma claimed their first stage victory by clinching the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Auckland to Itajai. But it was far from plain sailing as the tales began to unfold as the crews hit shore.
Puma completed the leg in a winning time of 19 days, 18 hours and 9 minutes and in the process held off a dramatic late comeback bid from Telefonica to snatch the win.
Spectators look on as the Groupama limps across the finish line
Puma’s win leaves them 34 points behind overall leaders Telefonica and Read admitted he was relieved to cross the line first in a testing Southern Ocean trek.
‘’I’ve never done such a tough offshore leg in my life,” said Read. ‘’We ran out of food a day and a half ago so we haven’t eaten for a day and a half. It’s been pretty intense.”
As CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand head south to Cape Horn, they talk of the iconic landmark’s status in sailing.’
Second placed Telefonica were close to staging one of the greatest sporting comebacks ever. After a 17-hour race suspension to repair damage left them 400 miles behind Puma they finished just 10 minutes behind the leg winners.
Groupama sail to third place
Groupama finished third, not a bad result given their dismasting but crewman Brad Marsh managed to accidentally plunge a knife into his wrist during the clean up process. Despite needing five staples in his wrist and treatment for shock, Marsh stuck with the boat after it lost its mast just 500 miles from the finish.
Telefonica – The repair work starts
Marsh revealed: “I had to climb up what was remaining of the mast and cut away the mainsail, and in the process of cutting away the mainsail i managed to cut my wrist.
“As I had my arms around the mast, the knife had gone into the wrist and i had to pull the knife back out. I knew it was quite deep into the wrist and you could see it was long. I was very, very nervous and when I returned to the deck apparently I was as white as a ghost.”
The teams are greeted by fans back on dry land.
With a hastily-patched together rigging following a pitstop in the Uruguayan port of Punte del Este Groupama finished Leg 5 in third and collected 20 points to move back into second place overall, 20 points behind leaders Telefonica and with 30 points available for first place in each of the remaining four offshore legs they still have a realistic chance of victory.
Camper will finish fourth after the ocean racing milestone of round Cape Horn, following a traumatic leg which saw them have to divert following structural damage, suspend racing, and sail 2,000 miles more and spend 10 days more at sea than the other boats finishing.
Camper have Leg 5 finish at Itajai in sight after rounding Cape Horn
Skipper Chris Nicholson explained they were not taking anything for granted.
“The incentive for us here is to get a fourth place and get valuable points”
Abu Dhabi is being transported to Itajai to resume racing on leg 6 and skipper Ian Walker explained why they had to bow out.
‘’The Southern Ocean is one part of the world you do not want to head out into with a yacht that is not 100 per cen,” he said.'”We have carefully reviewed all our options, spoken with our build
teams and weather experts and this was the only logical choice
available to us.”
The Itajaí Stopover is in full swing with crowds visiting the race
village, sailors meeting with the media and shore crews for Puma Ocean
Racing and Telefónica busy at work on their boats.
The other absentee from the end of the race was Team Sanya and it hit the team hard, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to finish another leg. Experienced skipper and two-time winner of the competition, Mike Sanderson revealed how he felt following the aftermath of having to pull out of this part of the race.
‘’You would have thought that after a five- day trip heading in the opposite direction to the rest of the fleet that I would now fully have my head around the fact that we are out of this leg of the race, but I have to confess that it all hit pretty hard when we pulled the mast out of the boat.”
Groupama crew man Brad Marsh shows off his battle scars to the media.