The “Telefónica” pit stop at Caleta Martial, a cove on Herschel Island (Chile) is going at a good pace and the boat will be fully back in the race at 22:00 UTC. Moored at the cove, the crew are eager to hit the water again, a mood that was made quite clear by the words of skipper Iker Martínez who is anxious to set off: “Let's see if these reinforcements dry quickly and we can shoot out of here”.
The Spanish boat suspended racing today, Saturday the 31st of March at 04:37 UTC and since then the shore crew and racing crew have been working to achieve a clear objective: to get “Telefónica” back to 100% in the shortest possible time. Fortunately, as Iker Martínez says: “When we got here the boat was in the best state we could hope for: the exterior of the hull was intact”.
For now the situation is looking up, and according to the skipper of the Spanish team: “The reinforcements are going well and now we just need to wait for everything to dry and we'll be ready to go. Once we're happy with the job we'll begin sailing again, first making our exit through the islands to get back to the point where we suspended racing yesterday night, some four miles northeast of Cape Horn. From there we'll be sailing up to Itjaí”.
Ñeti Cuervas-Mons, out of action with a minor injury
Things won't quite be the same on board “Telefónica” after this pit stop at Cape Horn. Firstly the boat will be back to 100%. Secondly, Antonio Cuervas-Mons Ruiloba won't be aboard for the final 2,000 miles to Itjaí (Brazil).
“Yesterday I was lucky enough to round legendary Cape Horn for the first time, but unfortunately it was bittersweet as a few days ago when a wave crashed down onto the deck it dragged me along with it causing a lower back injury affecting my sciatic nerve, which has made for some very uncomfortable sailing ever since. I even had to spend a couple of days in a bunk resting. Thankfully, as always, I was wearing my safety harness, so the blow was a lot less serious than it could have been... However, since we're making this stop to repair the bow, together with Iker and our team doctor, Pablo Díaz Munio, we've decided that it would be best for me to disembark here at the cape in order to speed up the recovery process, which would definitely be a lot slower on board and I might even risk not being at 100% for the next leg”, said Ñeti.
The main aim now is for the Spaniard to recover as soon as possible from the injury, which with rest could take just a couple of weeks to get over, and as Iker Martínez pointed out: “As always, it takes much longer to get over these things on the boat, and even though he's fairly ok now, we can't risk him getting injured again because he wasn't back up to 100%. Stopping off for these repairs has meant the possibility of him not finishing the leg with us, which is a real shame for us and for him, but looking at where we are on the leg it's best for him to make a complete recovery and be back in shape for the training ahead of the in-port in Itjaí. The doctors say there's no reason he can't be back to full strength in ten days or two weeks, which is how long it'll take us to sail up to Brazil, so we've taken the safest option”.
Known as the perpetual optimist on board, the Spaniard has taken a glass-half-full approach, which the Basque skipper also referred to when he spoke about the decision: “Ñeti is doing well and is in good spirits and you can all imagine that he, more than anyone, is really disappointed at not being able to complete the leg, but it's definitely the right choice for the future”.
Ñeti Cuervas-Mons will fly directly to Itajaí (Brazil) with the rest of the shore crew to begin treatment as soon as possible, allowing him to get back into the crew routine as swiftly as he can.
PROVISIONAL RANKINGS LEG 5*
*Final position report before “Telefónica” suspended racing
AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND) – ITAJAÍ (BRAZIL): 6,705 miles
Day 14 – 03:00 UTC – 31st March 2012
1. Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas), 1,731.6 miles from finish
2. Puma Ocean Racing (Ken Read), +36.3 miles from leader
3. Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez), +191.1 miles
4. Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson), +1,397.6 miles
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), +1,740.4 miles
6. Team Sanya (Mike Sanderson), DNF
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