Injuries and Boat Damage Afflict Most of VOR Fleet

Not far into Leg 5 PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG reported that new crewman trimmer Thomas Johanson had dislocated his shoulder in the violent conditions and bowman Casey Smith was bunk bound with a back injury.

Meanwhile, on board second placed Groupama sailing team the crew this morning reported that they were taking the opportunity of relatively calmer conditions to seal off a small leak, which had made “life complicated” on board.

Groupama trimmer/pitman Martin Strömberg put things into perspective when he said that the trying conditions of the past two days “will make us enjoy every other day of our life”.

Leg leaders Telefónica have not been without their own drama with trimmer Xabi Fernández, who is no featherweight, busting his bunk. But it wasn’t enough to hamper the Spanish team’s performance, as they held a six nautical mile lead over Groupama sailing team at the time.

Third placed PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG was locked in an intense battle with CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, who trailed in fourth just five nm behind.

CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson said it wasn’t easy going and his team was fighting to keep up speed against the tortuous sea state.

“It’s certainly the roughest 24 hours I can remember for the last four editions of this race,’’ he said.  “Going over the waves is like playing Russian roulette every time when you just hope for the best.”

Team Sanya had been steadily gaining ground and had closed in to within 47 nm of the leaders, while Abu Dhabi were battling on in up to fifteen foot waves.

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