GROUPAMA FIRST TO REACH CAPE HORN, PUMA SECOND ON DRAMATIC DAY IN VOLVO OCEAN RACE 2011-12

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Telefónica reach Cape Horn, pull in for repairs

Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race

FOUR BOATS FACE REPAIRS AFTER WEEK IN SOUTHERN OCEAN

Cape Horn – Groupama were the first team to round Cape Horn on Friday, passing the mythical maritime milestone at 1255 GMT in what was an emotional moment for the crew.

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“Passing Cape Horn is a huge relief for us,” Groupama skipper Franck Cammas said after 12 days of hugely demanding sailing since the fleet left Auckland.

“It feels like we’re leaving the main risks behind us considering what’s happened to the other boats. We’re proud to be the first ones to pass. It’s a big moment for the crew.”

Groupama were followed round at 1352 by PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG with all the sailors up on deck in preparation for a celebration.

The pair now face a tactical battle over the remaining 2,000 nm through the South Atlantic to the Leg 5 finish in Itajaí, Brazil. Groupama and PUMA’s crossing into the Atlantic was in contrast to the other boats, three of which face upcoming repairs due to structural damage, and a fourth which is on a commercial ship headed to the United States.

MASSIVE WAVES TAKE TOLL ON FLEET
Southern Ocean – The fleet of boats in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 have taken a beating just over 10 days after leaving Auckland, New Zealand for Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.

Massive 10-meter waves and powerful winds as high as 40 and 50 knots in the Southern Ocean have wreaked havoc on the fleet, breaking one team’s rudder, causing de-lamination to hulls and structural damage to several boats.

Four boats in the fleet of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 have had to initiate repairs on their boats out at sea. One of them, Chinese-entry Team Sanya, has already returned to New Zealand, where the boat is being shipped to the United States with plans to restart the race from Miami for Leg 7 in May.

Overall race leaders Team Telefónica, currently in third position, announced that they will need to make a pit-stop in Ushaia, Argentina, for repairs before continuing on to Itajaí, Brazil.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, currently third in the overall standings, have slowed their boat speed and are headed for Chile, where they will stop in Puerto Montt to fix structural damage.

Fifth-place Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was forced to carry out considerable repairs out at sea on Friday due to hull delamination and are currently assessing their options.

Meanwhile, current Leg 5 leaders Groupama sailing team and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by Berg are steadily making their way towards Cape Horn – the only two teams yet to suffer serious damage on this 6,700 nautical mile leg from Auckland to Itajaí.

Boats have been blasted by big sweels and sailors swept across the decks in some of the most difficult conditions faced so far in this 11th edition of the race.

Leg 5 was expected to take around 18 days to complete with teams scheduled to arrive April 4 into Brazil. The new arrival date for the top two, Groupama and Puma, is estimated for April 6.

REPAIR JOB KEEPS ABU DHABI IN BUSINESS
Southern Ocean – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing pulled off a heroic repair operation in the depths of the Southern Ocean after discovering delamination in their hull.

Skipper Ian Walker supervised an incredible five-hour job that saw 30 bolts screwed through the hull of Abu Dhabi’s boat Azzam (which means ‘determination’ in Arabic) to prevent further damage.

In order to carry out the repair, the crew had to slow the boat to a standstill and tilt it onto its side in heavy weather so bowman Justin Slattery, lowered overboard secured to a rope and in full safety gear, could tighten the bolts on the outside of the hull.

Inside the hull, boat captain Wade Morgan and watch leader Craig Satterthwaite braced the damaged section with parts ripped from the boats bunks, stacking system and lockers.

“We’ve basically joined the skins back together with a mechanical fixing,” Walker said.

“At the moment it’s been much improved, we’ve got much less noise and it seems fairly strong. We’re still taking it quite easy right now.”

The damage was discovered in darkness, so the crew waited for daylight to effect repairs.

It’s the second major repair the Abu Dhabi crew have had to carry out in Leg 5 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil.

The team chose to return to Auckland within hours of starting the leg to repair structural damage to a bulkhead in the bow. Walker said he was in talks with his team about how to progress, and that all options were open.

“The message is we’re in good shape,” he said.

“Right now we’re sailing with two people on deck, everyone else is down below resting. We’re making good progress towards the Chilean coast at the moment, north east away from the worst of the incoming weather.”

VNR SHOTLIST #1 – GROUPAMA FIRST TO REACH CAPE HORN
00:00-00:02 OPEN SLATE
00:02-00:07 Groupama approaching Cape Horn
00:07-00:18 Preparing for Cape Horn celebration
00:18-00:31 Groupama crew with sign
00:31-00:35 Charles Caudrelier
00:35-00:42 QUOTE – Damian Foxall
“I’m finally leading the Volvo Ocean Race around. So fantastic job.”
00:42-00:45 Jean-Luc Nelias
00:45-00:56 QUOTE – Brad Marsh
“I’m very happy, one of the last few classic adventures left in the modern world to sail around the Horn or to climb Mount Everest – something like that.”
00:56-01:01 Franck Cammas, Skipper
01:01-01:10 Martin Krite & Martin Stromberg
01:10-01:17 QUOTE – Franck Cammas, Skipper
[English Translation]
“Magnificent. That’s really beautiful. We would love to stop here and do a little cruising in the area.”
01:17-01:21 Thomas Coville
01:21-01:28 QUOTE – Franck Cammas, Skipper (French)
[English Translation]
“The leg is not finished yet but it’s great to go around the Horn first.”
01:28-01:42 Laurent Pages
01:42-01:47 Charles Caudrelier
01:47-02:04 QUOTE – Franck Cammas, Skipper (French)
[English Translation]
“Thanks to the shore team for allowing us here with Groupama 4. It’s hasn’t been easy to arrive here in one piece but we will do our best to get in one piece to Itajai. The most difficult part is behind us.”
02:04-02:15 Charles Caudrelier (Cape Horn over the shoulder)
02:15-02:18 Thomas Coville pointing out Cape Horn
02:18-02:37 ** Crew with Cape Horn in background **

VNR SHOTLIST #2 – SOUTHERN OCEAN BIG WAVE VNR
00:00-00:05 OPEN SLATE
00:05-00:11 Groupama sailing team
00:11-00:16 PUMA Ocean Racing
00:16-00:45 **Team Telefónica big wave footage**
00:45-00:51 PUMA Ocean Racing
00:51-00:56 Groupama sailing team
00:56-01:09 PUMA Ocean Racing
01:09-01:14 Team Telefónica
01:14-01:18 Groupama sailing team
01:18-01:34 PUMA Ocean Racing
01:34-01:48 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
01:48-01:53 Groupama sailing team
01:53-01:58 Team Telefónica
01:58-02:03 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
02:03-02:13 Groupama sailing team
02:13-02:29 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
02:29-02:37 Groupama sailing team
02:37-02:48 On-board Team Sanya
02:48-02:53 END SLATE

VNR SHOTLIST #3 – ABU DHABI OCEAN REPAIRS VNR
00:00-00:05 OPEN SLATE
00:05-00:35 QUOTE – Wade Morgan, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
“We’ve got the slow down the boat, now we can hear that we have some sort of issue. We think it’s probably the core. Two carbon skins, the core in the middle. When they separate, it can move. So essentially, the inside and outside skins are not working together. So essentially, our sandwich that his holding the boat together is failing. So right now, we’ve slowed down, we’re going to check it out. And we need to talk to some people. It’s certainly not good at this stage to continue at 100%.”
00:35-00:42 GVs testing hull structure
00:42-01:02 QUOTE – Craig Satterthwaite, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
“Very frustrating. Came to do a yacht race not a boat building competition. We’re already 1,500 miles behind. This is not the kind of place you want to be by yourself in the Southern Ocean. We’re a long way from help.”
01:02-01:07 QUOTE – Andrew Nossiter, Abu Dhabi
“The tortoise and the hare, my friend, and we are definitely the tortoise, right now.”
01:07-01:16 GVs – starting boat repairs
01:16-01:35 Justin Slattery going overboard for repairs
01:35-01:40 Drilling holes in the hull
01:40-01:52 QUOTE – Ian Walker, Skipper, Abu Dhabi
“We are in the Southern Ocean with Justin (Slattery) over the side, drilling 30 holes in the bottom of our boat. So… I don’t think I’ve done any stranger thing in my whole life. Not on a boat, anyway.”
01:53-01:57 Justin Slattery going overboard for repairs
01:57-02:03 Repairs inside the boat
02:03-02:16 Outside the hull for repairs
02:16-02:30 Inside the hull with screws in place
02:30-02:35 GVs of boat at an angle while doing repairs
02:35-02:54 QUOTE – Craig Satterthwaite
“Looks already. We’ve got some struts in place. We’re in a lot better shape then we were two hours ago.”
02:54-03:06 QUOTE – Ian Walker, Skipper, Abu Dhabi
“Lads have done a good job. I guess the proof will be in the next few hours when we start going fast. Yeah, nice work.”
03:06-03:11 END

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