After finishing first in the Volvo Ocean Race’s Leg 5, PUMA Ocean Racing secured yet another victory in Leg 6, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, Florida. While the 30 points may not yet give PUMA the lead, they certainly have helped shorten the gap between PUMA and race leader, Telefonica.
CAMPER and Groupama finished second and third respectively. Telefonica placed fourth and Abu Dhabi brought up the rear.
While far shorter and less arduous than the last leg, Leg 6 posed its own set of unique challenges. Crews maneuvered through fickle, sometimes nonexistent winds, and put their skills of strategy to the test in order to eliminate the neck-and-neck competition that emerged early on.
“It was touch and go,” said PUMA skipper Ken Read. “The guys on CAMPER sailed very well, but I couldn’t be more proud of our team. They did an unbelievably great job.”
For the first time in the entire Volvo Ocean Race, Telefonica did not grab a podium spot, and now their overall lead is shrinking to the point where only 17 points separate the top four teams.
"It's close, like the skippers have always said it would be," said CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson. "I'm hoping it comes down to the wire in Galway."
There are still opportunities left to gain more points. Three offshore races and four in-port races remain. The next in-port race will be Saturday, May 19 in Miami.
Photo by Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race