Puma leads the field as the fleet starts Leg 6 from Brazil to Miami. Matthew Sheahan reports
“I hope you’re getting a good look at this”, said Puma skipper Kenny Read talking to the live on board camera as his team led the way out of Itajai.
Having won the leg into the Brazlian stopover, Puma was now leading the way out after the two lap, triangular preamble to this 4,800nm mile to Miami.
The race had started in light, shifty breezes close to the huge crowds of spectators, both on the shore and afloat. The reaching start had been pretty even with Groupama the only boat to start with a fractional code zero, a decision they would regret shortly after the start as they struggled to hold onto the pack.
Camper took the most leeward position on the first reaching leg and looked in good shape for a while. But in what is becoming a familiar demonstration of strength Telefonica started to push through to take the lead in the drag race to the first mark.
Camper was second, then Puma in third.
On the second leg Telefonica extended their lead, but Puma were now on their tail having also passed Camper. Meanwhile,
Groupama, who had won the in port race of the previous day and have been looking like they are on the up as they get to grips with new found performance, had a disappointing first lap as Abu Dhabi overtook them to leave the French team in last place.
With a short term forecast of a building breeze as the fleet started the leg proper, there was plenty of incentive to lead the way out. There may be 4,800 miles to go but in a race that, among the carnage, has frequently demonstrated some incredibly close racing, Puma’s early advantage could prove to be a big part of leg 6.