Sunday, 11 March 2012

Volvo Ocean Race Finished in Auckland

Groupama is the proud Winner of this challenging Leg 4 in the Volvo Ocean Race. This Leg 4 started in Sanya, China, where due to a fierce storm there was a short starting circuit before the real staggered start on the next morning in almost windless conditions. 
Groupama finished as Winner VOR Leg 4 in Auckland. 
The  wind returned quickly after the wind-shade of Sanya island was left behind and  a couple of days sailing head on in  strong winds and high  waves was the  result. The route, strangely, did bring the  boats to the NorthEast rather than the SouthEast where the Finish was. Puma sailed the furthest North but it was Groupama that followed quickly and benefited ultimately the most of this northerly-easterly route. 
The Solomon islands, caused a split in the fleet, 3 boats sailed East while the other 3 sails west and in between. The boats converged towards the North Cape Reinga of New Zealand. Groupama has a  nice lead and though a hole in the bow did scare the crew, claimed their first victory in a leg, holding Telefonica form a 4th consecutive leg win. 
Puma could keep a small advantage over Telefonica and finish as runner-up, pushing Telefonica to the 3rd podium place.  
Camper has a good end-sprint but came ultimately 2 mins short on claiming a podium. 
Azzam had some worries but could hold Sanya Lan off to claim the 5th place, while Sanya Lan came in last, be it that she recovered some 250 Nm on the leaders in the last couple of days. 

OK next event will be the In-Port race in Auckland on Saturday 17 March 2012. The Pro-Am race will  be a day before and a day after on 18th March will be the  Start of the Leg 5 to Itajaí.

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