Late arrivals grab early ocean race lead

AFP News23 April 2012
Camper Team New Zealand competes during the Volvo Ocean Race at Sanya, Hainan Island
Camper Team New Zealand competes during the stage one start of Leg 4 to Auckland in the Volvo Ocean Race at Sanya, Hainan Island, February 2012. Comeback specialists Camper and Abu Dhabi were leading the sixth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race just days after being forced to carry out major repairs to keep their campaigns alive

Comeback specialists Camper and Abu Dhabi were leading the sixth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race on Monday just days after being forced to carry out major repairs to keep their campaigns alive.

Both teams suffered serious structural damage to their yachts during the previous leg through the Southern Ocean and had to make unscheduled pit stops in Chile.

Camper, the Spanish boat crewed by Team New Zealand, managed to resume the leg, crossing the finish line in Itajaí, five days prior to the start of leg six to Miami, but Abu Dhabi could only ship the boat to Brazil and had to work round the clock to make Sunday's start.

Camper, in third place overall, had a 0.4 nautical mile jump on Abu Dhabi at 1300 GMT after stealing the lead from American team Puma as the teams raced north through the South Atlantic.

Overall leaders Telefónica from Spain and French team Groupama were in fourth and fifth, around 15 miles south-east of the leg leaders.

The sixth team, Chinese entry Sanya, will miss leg six and rejoin the fleet in Miami after pulling out of leg 5 with damage.

The 39,000-nautical mile, eight-month marathon - sailing's longest and toughest professional race - is scheduled to finish in Galway, Ireland in early July.

Overall standings: 1 Telefonica (Spain) 149 points, 2 Groupama (France) 133, 3 Camper (NZ/Spain) 124, 4 Puma (U.S.) 117, 5 Abu Dhabi (UAE) 58, 6 Team Sanya (China) 25.