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PUMA takes the lead

Everybody is focused onboard Puma © Amory Ross / Puma Ocean Racing
Everybody is focused onboard Puma © Amory Ross / Puma Ocean Racing

Puma is back in first position even though CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson reckons his team has manoeuvred into the prime position to the north of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet after dodging a squall overnight.

Nicholson said they were “probably where all of our other competitors would like to be” after splitting from the fleet and repositioning themselves around 10 miles to the north of leg leaders PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG.


At the 0700 UTC position report CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand trailed PUMA by just over a mile in terms of distance to finish, however Nicholson said their new position could pay dividends further down the track.


Last night we had a couple of rain showers come over,” Nicholson explained this morning.

“Sometimes these can be good or bad, but basically the cloud provided quite a shift in the breeze so we decided to tack and sail along the edge of the cloud where the outflow breeze was.

“This just allowed us to set up to the north of our competitors and give us some leverage in the days ahead.

“At the moment if it plays out as it should the 10 miles of leverage that we have we should be able to convert that into a couple of miles of lead in 900 miles time.

“Obviously anything can happen between now and then but at this point in time this is the position that we would like to remain in and probably where all of our other competitors would like to be.”


PUMA MCM Amory Ross revealed in his latest blog that they too thought about tacking but instead opted to stay put in favour of higher speeds.


At some point we accepted a cloud-induced header and CAMPER did not, and they tacked away to the north. We have not seen them since.


“We mulled tacking several times after, mostly while monitoring clouds on the radar, but coolly decided against it.

“We see more value in sticking to our game plan than covering at this early stage.”


Team Sanya were the first of the fleet to reposition themselves, taking the hit yesterday afternoon, and Team Telefónica followed suit overnight.


Groupama sailing team were this morning under three miles astern of PUMA, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing the most southerly boat in the fleet.


All of the boats were posting average speeds between 11 and 12 knots in around 10 knots of wind.


© www.volvooceanrace.com


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