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Urgent repairs being made after Volvo race leader dismasted


Franck Cammas and the crew of the French team in the Volvo round the world race are working flat out to construct some sort of makeshift, jury rig in the Uruguayan port of Punta del Este in a bid to complete the last 600 miles of leg five from Auckland to Itajai, Brazil.

After being dismasted when narrowly in the lead, that has left just the new leader, the U.S.-flagged Puma and the Spanish boat Telefonica to fight it out to the finish. Puma had a lead of 60 miles with 350 miles to run and knew that Telefonica had come back to a guaranteed second place if there are no further problems following having to stop for repairs at Cape Horn.

Britain will be strongly represented in the medal race deciders at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma de Mallorca. Triple gold medallist Ben Ainslie is in strong form and leading the Finn singlehanders and fellow gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are leading the Star keelboat class.

John Pink and Rick Peacock are second in the high performance 49er and a third current Olympic gold medallist, Paul Goodison, is second in the Laser singlehander, though great rival Nick Thompson is third and equal on points.

The French America’s Cup challenger Energy Team, headed by the brothers Bruno and Loick Peyron, has entered a design package agreement with the defender, Oracle Racing as a step towards building a 72-foot wing-power catamaran for the elimination grails in San Francisco next year.

No confirmation of full funding has been announced, but the team is running out of time if it is to build and test a boat in time to compete next July. Recently a second French team, Aleph announced it was pulling out of the competition.