CAPE TOWN // Twenty one days and five hours after starting the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain, the Spanish yacht Telefonica materialised at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront early evening Saturday as the runaway winner of Leg 1.
When the finishing gun sounded in gusty Table Bay at 8.14pm in Cape Town (10.14pm UAE), the Iker Martinez-skippered boat claimed the 30 points for first place and assumed the overall race lead with 31 points.
That haul more than compensated for Telefonica's last-place finish on October 29 in the Alicante in-port race won by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, one of three broken boats that had to retire from the first of the nine legs of the race.
As Telefonica finished, Campertrailed by 202.9 nautical miles with arrival estimated for about 5am Sunday morning, and Groupama lagged 825 miles behind the winner.
On the last of its 21 nights at sea in the 6,500-nautical-mile leg, Telefonica added another shrewd manoeuvre to its growing list when Andrew Cape, the navigator, found a helpful easterly cold, of which Will Oxley, the Camper navigator said on the Volvo website, "Telefonica have romped away."
Puma, meanwhile, its crew and yacht arrived at 7am Saturday on the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha, five days after its mast broke. There, the 11 men planned to wait roughly four days for a container ship coming from Durban to collect the boat for the haul to Cape Town.
The ship carrying the Team Sanya boat with its broken bow, suffered a one-day delay, but Mike Sanderson, the skipper, still anticipated making the in-port race on December 10.
And the ship carrying Abu Dhabi's Azzam has an estimated arrival of Wednesday morning, followed by mast and rigging repairs that might allow for several days of practice before the in-port race.