Leg 7 - Our weekly look at the latest leg from Miami to Lisbon in pictures and video
Abu Dhabi are clinging on to a rapidly diminishing seventh
leg lead as the chasing pack close in, just 700nm shy of Lisbon.
The Emirati crew, skippered by Brit double Olympic silver
medalist Ian Walker, are pursuing a first offshore leg win, have held the
advantage for much of the perilous trek from Miami to Portugal.
VIDEO: Abu Dhabi keep running to keep ahead of
But a cold weather front has seen the rest of the fleet
catch up quickly, with second-placed Puma hot on their heels, just 30 nautical miles
“As predicted, our lead is rapidly vanishing before our eyes. The fact that we
knew this would happen means we are all calm about it and fully focused on what
lies ahead,” Walker said.
Above: Puma make some minor repairs to
help in their pursuit of the leaders.
Above: … and seem to be enjoying much
Above: Abu Dhabi crew member Adil Khalid
looks on, showing no signs of any pressure that his team are under.
Closely behind Ken Read’s Puma are Groupama, who surged back
into contention on Tuesday, joining the fast moving top two after finding a
low-pressure system that has seen them jump from fifth to third.
Above: Groupama skipper Franck Cammas
looks ahead as his team make good inroads in their pursuit of leg victory.
Further afield are Camper, who have had more than the other
boats to contend with in the last week.
On day 9, Chris Nicholson and his crew had to avoid a
collision with a whale out in the Atlantic, something never before seen in an
edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Above: A near-miss – Only swift work from
Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermúdez prevented the Camper boat from hitting a whale out in
the Atlantic Ocean.
Above: After that scare, all is much more
calm aboard CAMPER.
Above: However, the drama looks like it
has taken its toll on a few of the crew members.
Meanwhile, current overall race leaders Telefonica are
enduring one of their less successful trips, and could lead their overall lead.
Telefonica won the first three offshore legs but both Puma
and Camper can overtake them if they finish three places ahead..
There was time to celebrate aboard Sanya on Tuesday as Mike
Sanderson celebrated his 41st birthday with a candle-topped Snickers
However, his crew still remain in last place, nearly 100
nautical miles behind the leaders.
Above: Pepe Ribes of Telefonica takes
some time out.
Above: Bert Schandevyl of Sanya checks
all is well onboard as the Chinese entry look to make a surprise charge to the
Above: Their charge won’t be helped by
current harsh sea conditions and
Martin Kirketerp bore the brunt of a particularly strong wave.
Harsh conditions and one of the closest legs so far ensure
the finish to Leg 7 in Lisbon could be the most exciting yet.