PUBLISHED 31 MAY 2012 22:30
Slow and unsteady
A desperate limp to the finish in Stage 7
Image Nick Dana
of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The seventh leg of the Volvo Ocean Race is set to climax in a very slow yet keenly fought run to the
Late on May 30, the lead, which Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) has built up in Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal, is just one and a half nautical miles. Second placed Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) have amassed an eight nautical mile lead over third placed PUMA Ocean Racing (Ken Read/USA), who spent much of the leg in second place.
A high pressure ridge has sucked away the wind, causing the race to the finish to be slow, protracted, and frustrating for the crews.
After comfortably leading for a substantial part of the race, Abu Dhabi began to lose ground quickly. In the three-hour period from 7:00am GMT on the morning of the 30th, PUMA managed to reeled in six miles to close to within 22 nm, while Groupama had taken eight miles to lie just three miles astern of Ken Read and his PUMA crew. From then, both PUMA and Groupama made ground quickly, after Abu Dhabi entered the light wind zone off Portugal’s coast.
“Should make for some nail-biting hours in the sun,” said Abu Dhabi helmsman/trimmer Anthony Nossiter, as the crew prepared for what could be a ‘mind-bending’ experience in the last few miles to the finish.
Both PUMA Ocean Racing and Groupama are within reach of winning the race overall. The fleet is expected to finish the leg on May 31.