Local heroes CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand clinched a dream victory on Saturday, winning the Auckland In-Port Race in front of tens of thousands of ecstatic fans to reinvigorate their Volvo Ocean Race campaign.
With five in-port races down and five to go still in this Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, the fleet now kicks off the second half of the race Sunday in Auckland with the Leg 5 start for Brazil.
, the Spanish-sponsored team who count Auckland as one of their two homeports, earned the advantage with a tack right to the shoreline off the start and once in front never let go, keeping a comfortable lead all the way home on the 60-minute course.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG
finished second, just 54 seconds behind, followed by Groupama
sailing team in the third podium spot.
, skippered by Auckland-born Mike Sanderson, sailed a terrific race to clinch fourth ahead of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
and Team Telefónica
, who between them had won all four of the previous races in the in-port series.
scored six points for the win but it wasn't enough to edge them ahead on the overall leaderboard where they remain third with 104 points, behind Telefónica
(122 points) and Groupama
Initially, it was PUMA
who looked to have scored the jump off the start line, sprinting under full speed to the lead with a dominant position to windward at the committee boat end of the line.
Within a minute of the start gun firing a split in the fleet developed with CAMPER
opting to tack to a course closer to the city's port.
The trio gained pace with one knot less current against them than their counterparts PUMA
and Abu Dhabi
in the middle of Waitemata Harbour.
But it was CAMPER
who came out on top of the split, locking in first place and taking a lead that they never relinquished. The most exciting battle throughout the hour-long race was between PUMA
for second, with the American-entry edging out Groupama, the Leg 4 winners.
The Leg 5 Start from Auckland to Itajai, Brazil, is at 01:00 UTC on Sunday, March 18 (13:00 local time in Auckland) which will take the fleet across the treacherous Southern Ocean and just north of massive icebergs, which will force the race to place ice gates to keep boats clear of danger, as they head for Cape Horn and their return to the Atlantic Ocean for the first time since November.
The Leg 5 Start will mark the start of the second half of the race with five stopovers finished and five more cities to visit in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 before the race finishes in Galway, Ireland, this July.
Auckland In Port Race Results Confirmed:
1.) CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 6 points
2.) PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 5 points
3.) Groupama sailing team 4 points
4.) Team Sanya 3 points
5.) Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 2 points
6.) Team Telefónica 1 point
1.) Team Telefónica 122 points
2.) Groupama sailing team 107 points
3.) CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 104 points
4.) Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG 83 points
5.) Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 55 points
6.) Team Sanya 25 points
Volvo Ocean Race website - www.volvooceanrace.org