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Groupama poised to resume podium attempt

Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas assemble a jury rig in Punta del Este ©Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas assemble a jury rig in Punta del Este ©Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

Groupama are set to resume their bid for a podium position in Leg 5 after constructing a temporary rig from the pieces of their broken mast.

“We are making the most out of the fact that there is nobody right behind us" - Ben Wright, Groupama shore team manager

The French team will set sail from Punta del Este in Uruguay late on Friday after using the bigger section of the mast to construct a jury rig that will allow them to complete the remaining 650 miles of the leg to Itajaí.

Groupama shore team manager Ben Wright said light winds forecast for the coming days had forced them to use the larger section of the mast.

“We are making the most out of the fact that there is nobody right behind us,” Wright said.

“We took out the lower piece of the mast, which was still in place, and replaced it with the bigger bit, which was broken and fell on the boat.

“There is some wind now but it’s going to drop down tonight and tomorrow.

“Leaving with such a small mast, the boat would struggle to move forward and it would take them a long while to sail to Itajaí and finish the leg.

“Using the bigger section is more complicated, a little bit of work, but the weather has dictated us what to do.”

Groupama suspended racing at 1542 UTC on April 4 while leading Leg 5.

They diverted to Punta del Este, around 60 miles from their position, arriving at 0355 UTC on April 5.

A team of 10 shore crew worked round the clock to carry out the repairs.

If Groupama complete the leg they will be awarded 20 points which would increase their hold on second position overall to eight points over CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.


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