It's a close finish for Puma, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon at the end of leg 2

After a terrific battle in the Volvo Ocean Race’s final stages (leg 2 from Cape Town to Cochin) where three boats were in sight of each other today – Puma, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon. Ken Read (USA) emerged the victor and brought the red and black Puma across the finish today at 1222 GMT (1802 local time) in fifth place.

They were followed, seven minutes later by Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) 1229 GMT (1809 local time) in sixth, and finally Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR) 26 minutes later at 1308 GMT (1838 local time), in seventh place.

It has been a painful leg for the American team, who on day five (19 November) suffered damage to the main longitudinal frame (the part that prevents the boat from bending in half). The team was able to nurse the boat to the finish without having to resort to drastic measures such as stopping for repairs.

On arrival in Cochin, Ken Read said, “It’s wonderful to be here. I have a fantastic team. We would have had to pull in to fix the boat if they were not so good and not one of them quit. The boys rebuilt the boat. We are disappointed with our finish, we think we are better than fifth; we just have to figure a way to get better. It was a very difficult leg, it was ‘life at the extreme’, to take the Volvo tagline.”

Delta Lloyd has stayed in touch with this group under the leadership of Roberto Bermudez from Spain, who took over from skipper Ger O’Rourke at the beginning of leg two. This is the first time that a ‘first generation’ boat has competed for a second time. She was designed by Argentinean Juan Kouyoumdjian, and won the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race. The Argentinean designer has also drawn the lines of both the Ericsson boats, one of which is currently leading the event.

Roberto Bermudez said, “It was very interesting as it was my first time as skipper. The whole crew helped me. I think we have a very good crew of young guys and I am very happy.”

Green Dragon, was also limping, having broken her boom on day four, sailing the final 3,554 nautical miles with the boom safely down below and the mainsail loose-footed.

Ian Walker said, “I’ve had better days sailing than today. It was a good tussle and we just lost in the last 12 hours. We didn’t get the right cards. It was particularly hard. It was an amazing leg and I didn’t think we would be in sight of other boats. It was great racing and action for us and everyone at home. We are very pleased to be here already. We’ve had a warm welcome and we are looking forward to the stopover.”

Telefónica Black finished in fourth place, scoring five leg points and 1.5 gate points. Her total is 13.5 points and she lies in sixth place overall.

PUMA finished in fifth place, collected one point at the scoring gate and four points for leg two, bringing her tally to 18 points overall and third place overall behind Ericsson 4 who leads with 26 points, and just a point behind Telefónica Blue who has 19 points and lies second overall.

Delta Lloyd finished in sixth place, collected 0.5 points at the scoring gate and three points for the leg, and now has a total of 7.5 points. Team Russia will score one point for this leg when she finishes which will put here even with Delta Lloyd overall. The tie will be broken in favour of Delta Lloyd.

Green Dragon finished in seventh place, picked up three points at the scoring gate and two for the leg, which, when added to her existing score brings her total to 16 points and fourth place overall, three points behind PUMA.

Leg Two Finishing Order into Cochin, India
1. Ericsson 4/SWE (Torben Grael/BRA)
2. Telefónica Blue/ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED)
3. Ericson 3/SWE (Anders Lewander/SWE)
4. Telefónica Black/ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP)
5. PUMA/USA (Ken Read/USA)
6. Delta Lloyd/NED (Roberto Bermudez/ESP)
7. Green Dragon/CHN/IRL (Ian Walker/GBR)
8. Team Russia/RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) (RACING)

Overall Leaderboard (Provisional)
1. Ericsson 4: 26 points (FINISHED)
2. Telefónica Blue: 19 points (FINISHED)
3. PUMA: 18 points (FINISHED)
4. Green Dragon: 16 points (FINISHED)
5. Ericsson 3: 14.5 points (FINISHED)
6. Telefónica Black: 13.5 points (FINISHED)
7. Delta Lloyd: 7.5 points (FINISHED)
8. Team Russia: 6.5 points (RACING)

At 1300 GMT today Kosatka Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) had 441 nm to run, having chosen the eastern route around the Doldrums and run out of breeze. Computer software is predicting a finish for the Russian team of 4 December.