Groupama 4 has secured an impressive victory in the eighth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race between Lisbon and Lorient. A 1,950-mile course, which proved to be one of the most bracing of this round the world race, with a violent depression adding to the already highly charged atmosphere last night. In this way Franck Cammas and his men have consolidated their lead in the overall standing, but there's still everything to play for until the final showdown in Ireland...
A North Atlantic storm during Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 wreaked havoc on the fleet but provided powerful winds that saw race speed records fall and boats averaging over 30 knots on multiple stretches.
Relive some of the wave-crashing, high-speed sailing action from Lisbon to Lorient won by Groupama sailing team supplied by Slam.
Many of the pros racing wore the most technical Slam gear as components of the Australian or New Zealand Federation, whose Slam is proud official supplier.
After a week of tumultuous weather, the sun finally came out and the wind moderated to a perfect 15 knots for the opening races, building to a fresh 20-22 knots for the final medals. The action took place on two courses, one inside the harbour and the other under the Olympic spectator site on the Nothe.
Having won the leg from China to New Zealand, then the Itajai In-Port race, Franck Cammas and his men have further bolstered their lead prior to the eighth leg which kicks off on Sunday at 1200 UTC, bound for their port of registry in Lorient. In this way, the French boat has extended its lead against the Spanish, who were last on the Tagus River this Saturday afternoon, and against the New Zealanders, who again lost to the Americans in a sprint to the wire...
Groupama4 team, supplied by the most technical gear of Slam sailing collection, finishes at 2nd place in Lisbon leg and 1st overall.
Groupama 4, which had a deficit of over a hundred miles in relation to the Emirati leader just two days ago, pulled off a great comeback to finish just astern of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in Lisbon.
2012 SPortswear Collection: the backstage of photo shooting
VOR Day 16: changing sails
Groupama sailing team continue to eke out their lead on the fleet as the boats power their way down through the Pacific towards the equator at average speeds in the high teens or low twenties.
The fleet’s adrenaline fueled dash through the Pacific in winds up to 34 knots has seen some near record breaking performances.
Franck Cammas’ team continue to make steady gains on every yacht in the fleet clocking up 428 nautical miles in the past 24 hours, edging close to the 478 nm that scored them the Leg 2 IWC Schauffhausen Speed Record Challenge trophy.
Beating into difficult seas and a north-easterly wind reaching over thirty knots at times, Groupama 4 still has another six hard hours of racing along the Vietnamese coast before she can head offshore again and put in one last tack towards Sanya. In the wake of the Spanish, Franck Cammas and his crew are having to keep a careful eye on the New Zealanders as they make a rather fast comeback close-hauled.
Team Telefónica and Groupama sailing team were inseparable overnight as the leading pack of three was reduced to two, with PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG snagged by a net and left more than 10 nm behind in third.
Volvo Ocean race: destination Sanja, China!
Second place in Abu Dhabi In-port Race.
The French challengers closed the gap with Telefónica to two boat lengths within 20 nautical miles of the finish during the fast-paced 98nm drag race from the Sharjah coastline, before clinching the lead with slick manoeuvres at the final mark rounding.
Despite racing with a cracked hull, which the sailors attempted to fix before racing resumed, Franck Cammas' men surged to victory in a 20 knot northwest breeze and big swell at 12:22:09 UTC, finishing just 52 seconds ahead of Telefónica.
After 6 hours and 52 minutes of racing, just 52 seconds separated the winner from the team in second place.
Polled in fourth place at the first mark, Franck Cammas and his crew picked off their rivals one by one through a combination of good speed and tactical choices, particularly during the final downwind sprint in which they snatched the lead.
Final day wrap following wins by Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen in the 49er and Tom Slingsby in the Laser.
The first phase of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race has seen great balance between the participants. The comments on board Groupama 4. SLAM together.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page winning Gold in the 470 men’s
Australia’s two Women’s Match Racing crews making the quarter-finals and ensuring the country a place at London 2012. Follow Tom SLingsby interview.
Leg 1 Alicante - Cape Town: heading south aboard Groupama tough conditions. A unique test for the SLAM oilskin.
Whilst Groupama 4 was less than 450 miles from the finish, Franck Cammas and his men were sailing in a moderate north-westerly breeze, but have yet to traverse the Saint Helena High one last time. Their arrival in Cape Town is scheduled for Tuesday.
Day five highlights from Sail Melbourne, the opening round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup