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PLACE YOUR BETS, NOTHING GOES

MAR MOSTRO to PUMA OCEAN RACING powered by BERG Propulsion
MAR MOSTRO to PUMA OCEAN RACING powered by BERG Propulsion ©Dan Armstrong / Puma Ocean Racing

For the first time since leaving the Mediterranean Ken Read’s crew on PUMA Ocean Racing lead the fleet on the 6,500 nautical mile first leg to Cape Town South Africa.

Surging along in north-easterly winds at speeds averaging over 20-knots, the American team blew past long-time leader Franck Cammas’ Groupama sailing team during the night. 


At the 0700 UTC position report held an  4 nautical miles advantage over second placed Iker Martínez on Team Telefónica.

Despite losing 47 nautical miles in three hours to PUMA, Groupama had held on to third place at that point, but with the French only drifting along at 5-knots, it seems inevitable that they will soon be overtaken by currently fourth placed CAMPER who are closing fast an an average speed of over 15-knots.

On board PUMA the mood is understandably upbeat, but as Media Crew Member Amory Ross explains, there is also an element of caution about leading the fleet into the capricious winds of the Doldrums, a zone which potentially could turn the standings upside down.

“We are absolutely trucking south. Each new sched brings good progress on Groupama far to the east and we’ve been ever-so-slowly edging out on Telefónica and CAMPER to our north.

“But it’s a dangerous game being the lead dog as we’re the ones to encounter new weather first. Unfortunately in this case that new weather is what we all call the Doldrums and it’s a land of fickle wind.

“So while we’re happy going fast and leading the charge to Cape Town, everyone’s aware that in a few days time this ride comes to an end. It’s still anyone’s guess as to what happens then!”


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