Thursday, 14 June 2012

Close-fought in-port race adds to Groupama's lead

Groupama won  the Lisbon in-port race gaining six points
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
I can't believe we are into the penultimate leg already, with only three more point-scoring opportunities left. 

The Lisbon in-port race did not disappoint the race fans for supplying plenty of action-packed drama, place changes and protests.

The writing was on the wall at the skippers' press conference.

Avoid mistakes
The skippers were asked: "what was their race plan of action, attack or defence?"

Chris Nicolson from Camper said "stay out of trouble"  while Kenny Read said "watch out for pitfalls".

Frank Cammas replied "avoid mistakes and sail a clean race" and Ika Martiness from Telefónica said "attack".

Penalty turn
They all did what they had promised.

Camper and Groupama got a clean start and headed down the track, leaving Telefónica attacking Puma.

Kenny Read’s match-racing experience gave him the upper hand leaving Telefónica reeling on the line with a 360 degree penalty turn to perform, dashing all hopes of a result in Lisbon.

Fantastic racecourse 
The natural amphitheatre of the Tagus River beside the beautiful city of Lisbon provided a fantastic racecourse pushing the fleet together again and again due to the close river banks as they gybed down the track in 15-20 knots of wind.

The lead changed a few times before Groupama stretched away to take the win and add another six points to her overall lead.

The in-port results were: 1st Groupama, 2nd Puma, 3rd Camper, 4th Abu Dhabi, 5th Sanya, 6th Telefónica.

My next blog will tell the story of how the world's media is lapping up the live streaming content coming off the boats. 

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