Groupama sailing team claimed their first inshore victory on Saturday to close to within striking distance of overall race leaders Team Telefónica, who made a big miscue, sailing the wrong course while in the lead of the DHL In-Port Race Itajaí.
Franck Cammas and his men scored six points for their maiden in-port win, taking them to 133 points and within 16 points of Telefónica on the overall leaderboard.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand claimed second place and five points, finishing just one minute and five seconds ahead of PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, who clawed back after a penalty in the opening minutes of the race.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing finished fourth, scoring three points, while Telefónica were unable to recover from their mid-race error to finish last, claiming just two points. Team Sanya did not start and will rejoin the race in Miami.
After a 10-minute postponement, storm clouds off the coast of Itajaí unleashed rain and an unsteady southerly breeze that finally enabled the downwind start that was marred with two protests against PUMA within seconds.
While Groupama sailing team and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were occupied with forcing PUMA to do a penalty, a 360 turn, it was CAMPER who took the lead.
But it was Team Telefónica who held first place at the top mark, having avoided all of the drama by racing a clear course from the pin end.
The overall race leaders were followed by CAMPER, who trailed by less than a second, then Groupama, Abu Dhabi and PUMA in last place but by no means written off, just 0.28 seconds behind the leaders.
Telefónica led at the second mark, but the remainder of the fleet reshuffled, with Groupama maneuvering into second place, followed by CAMPER in third, and PUMA jumped into fourth ahead of Abu Dhabi.
After a short two-sail reach to the third mark Telefónica made a terrible mistake that cost them the lead at the fourth buoy, rounding the wrong mark, giving Groupama control.
While Telefónica scrambled to return to the correct route, race officials shortened the course at the fifth mark rounding, to the advantage of Cammas’ men.
Groupama claimed victory in 46 minutes, 27 seconds, CAMPER followed in second place 45 seconds behind, followed by PUMA, Abu Dhabi and Telefónica.
The teams and shore crews are now turning their sights on the final preparations for Sunday’s 4,800 nm Leg 6 race to Miami, USA, which gets underway at 1400 local, 1700 UTC.
DHL In-Port Race Itajai results:
1st - Groupama Sailing Team 6 points – 46min 27 sec
2nd - CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ 5 points - + 0.48 sec
3rd - PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG 4 points - +1.05
4th - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 3 points - + 1.33
5th - Team Telefonica 2 points - + 5.40
DNC* Team Sanya 0 points
Overall Race Leaderboard:
1st - Team Telefónica – 149 pts
2nd - Groupama Sailing Team – 133 pts
3rd - CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand - 124 pts
4th - PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG – 117 pts
5th - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 58 pts
6th - Team Sanya - 25 pts
- Volvo Ocean Race Media
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