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Telefónica Leg 8 hopes hit by more rudder problems

Team Telefonica, pulling down a sail, at the start of leg 8
Team Telefonica, pulling down a sail, at the start of leg 8 ©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

Telefónica hopes of victory on Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race were dashed in the early hours of Friday when they suffered further rudder problems and were forced to reduce speed drastically.

"We've just lost any chance of winning the race around the world." Iker Martinez

At 0400 UTC Iker Martínez’s crew were safe and sound and continuing slowly towards Lorient in fifth place, 60 nautical miles behind the leaders Groupama, who are on course for a triumphant return to their home port as overall race leaders.

Late on Thursday, Telefónica had held a one-mile lead over Groupama after making their gybe towards France.

That looked likely to seal an incredible comeback after they had broken their starboard rudder and then managed to fit their spare rudder in winds of 25 knots.

However, during that gybe they suffered damage to the port rudder as well, effectively ending their leg hopes.

"The situation on board is normal," said Martínez. "But we have to take a lot of care because we only have one rudder and that is damaged."

Martínez added: "The mood on board is everything it could be in these circumstances. We've just lost any chance of winning the race around the world.

"More than two years' work have gone in a few minutes. Now I'm content with just arriving without any more trouble."


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