Telefonica gain advantage after delayed start


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The Independent Online

A delayed start for the fourth leg of the Volvo round the world race to avoid severe weather in the South China Sea will see the overall leader Telefonica, of Spain, set off two minutes and 32 seconds ahead of France’s Groupama after an inshore prologue was staged instead of the ocean race start.

Over the 5,220 miles to Auckland that should not be significant, but Iker Martinez’ men have 3.34 over Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi, 7.28 over Mike Sanderson’s Sanya, 9.12 over Chris Nicholson’s Camper and about three quarters of an hour over Kenny Read’s American-flagged Puma.

Read had been in the lead when he was dumped in a transition zone of change in the wind strength and direction. Telefonica pounced and added the advantage to the emphatic win scored in Saturday’s in-port race .