PUMA CUT CORNER WHILE TELEFÓNICA SUSPEND RACING FOR REPAIRS

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Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) reached Cape Horn at 0405 GMT today and the team have now suspended racing in order to make a 12-hour pit stop for repairs.

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Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas/FRA) lead PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (Ken Read/USA) by 37.2 nautical miles (nm) and are beam reaching 100 nm north-west of the Falkland Islands.

Telefónica suspended racing at 0427 GMT and, in a change of plan, are carrying out their repairs at Martial Creek, a cove in Herschel Island in the Cape Horn National Park, where they were met by their shore crew. Repairs in the pit lane began at 0640 GMT today. The team have been observed closely by the Chilean Navy, who have been in contact and even sent a plane up to look for the team. They have also been offered assistance by the Chilean Maritime Authority.

On the racetrack, the first tactical play of the second stage of this leg to Itajaí in Brail was made overnight. Between 1900 and 22000 GMT yesterday, Ken Read and PUMA took a short cut in an effort to close the margin between Groupama. While Cammas and his men sailed extra miles to leave Staten Island to port in a fickle breeze ranging from 10 to 30 knots, Read sailed PUMA through the narrow Le Maire Strait between Staten Island and Tierra del Fuego.

It didn’t pay, and by 0100 GMT this morning, Groupama were 35 nm ahead in a lead that by 1000 GMT today had stretched to 37.2 nm.

Still in the Southern Ocean, one of two damaged and limping boats, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) have temporarily moved up the leg leaderboard to third place, due to the brief suspension of Telefónica. They have 900 nm to sail before they reach Puerto Montt in Chile, where they will make a stop for repairs.

The crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), the most recent casualty, are doing the most un-natural of things; trying to rein in a boat that clearly has the bit between her teeth.

“These boats just don’t know how to go slow. Imagine driving your town road speed limit in a Ferrari on the Nürburgring – it just wouldn’t feel right and it doesn’t,” wrote Media Crew Member Nick Dana.

Only 1.5mm of flexing carbon separates the team from the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean and the crew cannot risk compromising the hull by letting Azzam have her head. They are heading north-east to find more favourable conditions and although the reinforcement to the hull appears to be holding up, contingency plans are still being considered. They are currently 1,733 nm from Groupama.

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