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Telefónica surge to another victory

Telefónica winner of V&A Waterfront In-Port Race © Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race
Telefónica winner of V&A Waterfront In-Port Race © Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race

Team Telefónica continued their winning streak on Saturday, claiming victory in the V&A Waterfront In-Port Race at Cape Town to extend their overall lead.

Team Telefónica were followed by CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Groupama sailing team and Team Sanya.

Iker Martínez’s Telefónica remain top of the overall leaderboard provisionally with 37 points. The only change on the leaderboard is PUMA, who have joined Abu Dhabi in joint-fourth position both with nine points.

Martínez said the victory was the perfect way answer the team's critics after finishing last in the first in-port race in Alicante in October.

"We are very happy. It was important for us to do well here in Cape Town after struggling in Alicante,'' he said.

Team Telefónica led the fleet off the start line with a smoking quick sail set that saw them gain an early jump, but their former Leg 1 shadow PUMA again hugged her hip and gained the lead at the first mark. 

At the second mark PUMA extended her lead on the fleet, but just 29 seconds and 90 metres separated her and Telefónica in the close quarter combat that was watched by thousands of spectators lining Table Bay.

Telefónica made a race winning move after rounding the fourth mark, hoisting a large sail area to gain the lead, while CAMPER edged into second place as PUMA made a more conservative sail choice.

As the westerly wind continued to gust in excess of 25 knots Telefónica extended her lead over CAMPER from 29 seconds at the fifth mark to 32 seconds at the sixth mark. PUMA trailed the leader by 49 seconds.

Telefónica maintained their lead with a flawless race, with plenty of cheers when they crossed the line in front of more than 200 spectator boats.

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, Abu Dhabi and Team Sanya were all looking to score well today in a bid to avenge the points opportunity they relinquished after being knocked out of Leg 1 with damage.

The carnage of Leg 1 weighed heavily on the minds of all six skippers, as they attempted to curb their competitive instincts in preference of getting around the inshore course in one piece.

In-port races take place in all 10 Host Ports around the world, testing the crews’ skills at close-quarters maneuvers and tactics. 

Around 20 per cent of all points are up for grabs in the in-port racing, which could prove vital when overall positions are decided. The races also provide a show for the millions of people who will watch the race worldwide.

The more than 5,000 mile Leg 2 race to Abu Dhabi will start on Sunday at 1500 local time, 1300 UTC/GMT. Early forecasts are tipping a south to southwest wind from nine to 14 knots for the start of racing.


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