Of the six boats to start the fifth Volvo Ocean Race leg last month, only one – American-based Puma – escaped the brutal Southern Ocean seas unscathed, while Abu Dhabi and Sanya were forced out of the race to Itajai, Brazil.

"Some teams are better than others in terms of preservation – when to back off and when to push,” said Carrington. “There will be lessons learned from this race that is for sure.

"There are problems around the corner for every team in this race and it is staggering how fast these boats are in downward slamming.

"But the crews never give up and keep fighting, like we’ve seen with Camper who look strong now.”

The problems experienced by the fleet were underlined by Knut Frostad, the Volvo Race chief and a former competitor, who has expressed concern at the fragile state of the Volvo 70s.

"It is not acceptable that in a race like this we have so many failures,” he said in a statement two weeks’ ago.

And Carrington, a veteran of four Volvo Ocean Race campaigns stretching back to 1993/94, hinted that some crew selections for this year’s edition could have been a contributing factor.

"Some crews are definitely more rounded in identifying and managing a problem,” he added.

The sixth leg – from Brazil to Miami – starts on Saturday with an in-port race before leg proper begins the following day.

With four legs remaining in the race, which finishes in Galway in July, there are just 34 points between leaders Telefonica and fourth-placed Puma.

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