[LIVE] Telefonica Takes Early Lead in Leg 2 Sprint

Follow the boats LIVE on the Volvo Ocean Race Tracker.

As of 6:44 AM EST : 

1. Team Telefónica 15.90 nm to finish
2. Groupama sailing team 16.01 nm
3. CAMPER 17.42 nm
4. PUMA 17.83 nm
5. Abu Dhabi 19.43 nm

After a close start (0530 GMT) that saw all five boats cross the line within 10 seconds of each other, Telefónica managed to get across CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand to take the advantage.

“It was a difficult start and upwind tack to the mark,” Telefónica Media Crew Member Diego Fructuoso reported from the boat. “Once again we’re scrapping with CAMPER. They’re very close so we can’t lose let our guard down.”

At 0810 GMT, Telefónica had 69.09 nautical miles to go until the finish. CAMPER were in second (69.69) followed by PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (69.81), Groupama sailing team (70.07) and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (70.61).

CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson was happy enough with the situation. “We wanted to win the buoy end, and did that expecting the shift to go right,” he explained. “We’re matching the others ok at the moment. Pretty good so far.”

We’re following the race via the Live Blog on the home page, plus the 2-D tracker, which is updating every 60 seconds.

For updates from the boats, check out new.livestream.com/volvooceanrace, where you’ll see the latest from the onboard Media Crew Members.

Team Telefónica and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand are contesting the overall victory in a leg split into two parts because of the threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Telefónica have 24 points to 20 for CAMPER after the exciting finish to Stage 1 on Boxing Day.

The other Leg 2 finishing positions are also up for grabs, with 20 percent of the points still available, but Telefónica’s overall race lead is safe for now.

Wednesday’s second stage sees the boats sprint in from an unloading point off the Sharjah coastline into the race’s first Middle Eastern Host Port at Abu Dhabi.

The winning team will scoop six points, with five for second, four for third, three for fourth and two for fifth. If CAMPER were to win and Telefónica finish fifth, the teams would be level on 26 points for Leg 2. In that situation, the tie would be decided in favour of CAMPER as the team with the best result in the most recent scoring opportunity.

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