Telefonica becomes 3rd Volvo Ocean Race team to pass Cape Horn
Telefonica became the third Volvo Ocean Race team to pass Cape Horn on Saturday before a rendezvous with their shore team to begin an audacious repair job without sailing into port.
The Spanish team, who need to hold on to their current third in Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajai to be sure of keeping first place overall, reached the major landmark of Cape Horn on Saturday morning and shortly afterwards sailed to the tiny Martial Creek where they met their technical chief Horacio Carabelli.
Their plan is to fix the bow of the boat, which was damaged a week ago in the pounding it took from 10-metre waves and 40-knot breezes in the Southern Ocean, and be back sailing by late the same day.
If successful, it means they will be less than a day's sailing behind the leading pair Groupama and Puma, and still with an outside chance of challenging for the leg win.
"Everything is ready," said the Brazilian-Uruguayan boat designer and sailor Carabelli, who arrived with his shore crew and all the materials needed in a 50-foot steel boat. "We're ready to work."
Telefonica are one of four teams to suffer major damage on Leg 5.
They have got off lightly compared to Sanya, who are back in New Zealand with a broken rudder, and Camper, who are on a long detour to Chile to fix their bow.
Abu Dhabi may have to join Camper in Puerto Montt on Chile's west coast after their hull was damaged earlier this week.
Ahead of them all, French team Groupama have a lead of just 30 nautical miles from American rivals Puma with just over 1 600 nm to go to the finish in Brazil.
The leaders are expected to finish the leg in around five days.
OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER FOUR OF NINE OFFSHORE LEGS:
1. Telefonica (Spain) 122 points
2. Groupama 10
3. Camper/ETNZ (Spain/New Zealand)
4. Puma (United States) 83
5. Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) 55
6. Sanya (China) 25.
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