PUMA Ocean Race Team Hold Offs The Competition
As dawn broke on Thursday about 1300 UTC, Skipper Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG was in possession of a commanding lead with a north east advantage over the rest of the field in the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race. PUMA ‘s biggest challenger and second placer CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand was about 7.7 nautical miles off their deck.
Earlier today the American team (PUMA) punched through an obstructive cold front and were the first to benefit from developing trade winds which gave them an immediate jump on the chasing pack. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing remained in third place, on a more westerly course close to CAMPER, while Team Telefónica and Groupama sailing team were fourth and fifth respectively, having pushed east in hunt for stronger wind and hotter angles.
The next 12 hours will be critical for the Teams as they will teams face an important decision, on just how far east to sail before tacking to the north to clear the Brazilian coast for the last time at Recife.
“That’ll be it and we’ll all line up and it will be a case of ‘have you set up east enough so that you can rotate right up to Recife’,” said CAMPER navigator Will Oxley. “If you tack in your lane and you’re pointing at Recife straight away you’ve probably gone too far. You’ve got to make sure you have enough in the bank to allow for the breeze to go right. “If you come in too close to the shore you end up dealing with land and sea breezes which you don’t really want to do, as well as negative residual current,” Oxley added.
Team Telefónica’s skipper Iker Martínez said the dilemma will be how to get to the east while also making progress north towards the finish. “Timing this move just right would be critical,” Martínez said.Continued on the next page