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Groupama, the boat from Lorient, and CAMPER start points pursuit

Groupama Sailing Team leave Punta del Este, Uruguay, with their newly made jury rig ©Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
Groupama Sailing Team leave Punta del Este, Uruguay, with their newly made jury rig ©Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

Groupama sailing team resumed racing towards a podium finish with a jury rig at 0500 UTC on Saturday, while CAMPER are en route to the point where they suspended racing and are expected to restart later today.

Skipper Franck Cammas and his crew set sail towards a point about 50 nautical miles from the coast of Uruguay, where the team took haven after suspending racing with a broken mast at 1542 UTC on April 4.

The team will complete the remaining 650 nautical miles to Itajaí without helmsmen/trimmers Phil Harmer, Laurent Pagès, Thomas Coville and navigator Jean Luc Nelias.

Media Crew Member Yann Riou this morning reported that the return to racing was more about adventure than competition.

“It’s a special race, where the challenge is to arrive within a reasonable time; a race where the notion of adventure takes over the competition. But we have to admit that we don’t really have any certainty on how this trip will unfold."

An around the clock job by the team’s shore crew was launched and resulted in the make-shift rig being fashioned out of the top section of the mast, which was split in two, to ensure the team could have a greater sail area for the forecasted light winds.

Riou said the jury rig allowed Groupama 4 to have a mainsail with three reefs, and fore staysail.

Should Groupama finish they will score 20 points for third place, and boost their second place ranking on the overall leaderboard.

Meanwhile, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand have departed the Chilean port of Puerto Montt and are set to officially begin their pursuit of fourth place later today.

At 0600 UTC the team began the 160 nm journey to the point where they suspended racing to fix structural damage at 0130 UTC on Tuesday. They are expected to reach the restart point in 10 to 14 hours.

Skipper Chris Nicholson said the pit-stop had been a success and he now had full confidence that the red boat was ready to take on Cape Horn.

"It's hard to put into words the effort and commitment of our shore team,'' he said. "They simply gave up on sleep during our four day stopover. They knocked out the
highest quality work, never a complaint. These are the people that keep
these programs on track."

But Nicholson admitted that his crew faced a new race against time as they fight to reach Itajaí in time for the in-port race.

"We are now on a very tight time frame to make the in port race in Itajaí,'' he said.
"At this stage the weather looks OK, but it will be a bit push from the
entire team so that we are ready for the next leg of the race."

CAMPER have about 2,800 nm to go until they reach the finish at Itajaí. They are guaranteed at least 15 points for completing the leg following the retirement of Team Sanya and Abu Dhabi.
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