To their bow, Cape Horn, as “Telefónica” resumed the race with strong winds blowing (forecasts confirming peaks of up to 47 knots), and one clear aim in mind: “We're not worried now and we're going to do all we can to cut down the gap with the boats in front, and while they might be far away now, with the complex end of leg it looks like we'll be getting, anything could happen. We hope that's where we'll be in under a week or so”, explained Martínez in an email from the boat.
So, on the horizon there may lie new possibilities for “Telefónica”, who have seen “Puma” and “Groupama” entangled in a ferocious battle for the lead,whilst trying to get through a zone of lulls permitting average speeds of just seven to ten knots.
Currently under 350 miles from the new fleet leaders, American boat “Puma” and the Spanish crew have commenced the climb North, and that has had an obvious psychological impact on board, signalling the start of the journey home. The boat is also notching up average boat speeds of 16.5 knots thanks to 17 to 29 knot northwesterly winds.
And the prize for the best shore crew goes to...
Aboard “Telefónica” the crew were eager to express their deepest thanks to the shore crew for the great job done, and as Iker put it: “The shore crew have done a fantastic job, in record time and as sailors in a race like this, having this quality of assistance is incredible. I mean it – you guys deserve the prize for the best shore crew, for sure”. Pepe Ribes was also pleased: “what a job they've done. They weren't dealing with a Ferrari, but not far off!”.
Horacio Carabelli the Technical Director at “Team Telefónica”, briefly explained what the repairs to the bow involved, taking just under 17 hours to complete in the heart of the Cape Horn national park at the Wollaston Islands (Chile): “The repairs went well. The guys have done a really great job. It took a while, but it was almost all prepared in advance, so we applied a new layer to the affected one and everything's looking really good”.
With the repairs now complete, the skipper himself confirmed that “the boat is in very good shape and we found ourselves in the best possible conditions that we could have hoped for. With the reinforcements applied to the bow, this thing's practically a tank now”.
With “Telefónica” back to one hundred per cent Ñeti Cuervas-Mons cheered his crewmates on with a war-cry from ashore: “Give it all you've got!”
PROVISIONAL RANKINGS LEG 5
AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND) – ITAJAÍ (BRAZIL): 6,705 miles
Day 15 – 10:00 UTC – 1st April 2012
1. Puma Ocean Racing (Ken Read), 1,379.1 miles from finish
2. Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas), +8.8 miles
3. Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez), +349.2 miles
4. Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson), +1,515 miles
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), +1,788.2 miles
6. Team Sanya (Mike Sanderson), DNF
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