- Published on Saturday, 02 June 2012 19:05
- Written by Josh Courter
Photo by PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race
01-June-2012. Lisbon, Portugal – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing shrugged off seven months of frustration to seal their first offshore victory in a nerve-jarring transatlantic leg from Miami to Lisbon, while Groupama’s second place finish – only five minutes behind after more than 3,500 nautical miles of racing – was enough to take them top of the overall leaderboard in place of long-term leaders Telefonica.
Groupama spent the entire day snapping at the heels of the Emirati team and were within a mile of their rivals as they headed up the River Tagus towards the finish line.
Abu Dhabi defended resolutely, however, matching their rivals manoeuvre for manoeuvre to ensure that their first podium finish on an offshore leg would also be their first win and spark wild celebrations lit up by a booming firework display.
For Groupama, the consolation prize came soon enough, as Telefonica’s 4th place finish -- behind PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG in third -- meant the French team move to the top of the overall standings with two off-shore legs and three In-Port Races still left in this 11th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Abu Dhabi, who finished at 21:23:54 UTC, received 30 points for victory, with Groupama netting 25 after their finish at 21:29:21. PUMA took 20 points, Telefonica 15 and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand with 10 – after the two had a scintillating neck-and-neck battle to the finish line. Team Sanya finished sixth and picked up five points.
Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas, now lead Telefonica by 3 points overall, with the Spanish team dropping from the top spot on the leaderboard for the first time since their victory on Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town back in November.
Next up for the fleet is the Lisbon In-Port Race on Saturday, June 9 with the Leg 8 Start the following day.
VNR SHOTLIST #1 – LEG 7 FINISH VNR
00:00 - 00:05 OPEN SLATE
00:05 - 00:30 Aerial of Abu Dhabi arrives to fireworks
00:30 - 00:40 Abu Dhabi crosses line; finish horn
00:40 - 00:56 Abu Dhabi arrives at dock
00:56 - 01:00 Aerial of Abu Dhabi at dock
01:00 - 01:04 crowd shots
01:04 - 01:15 Abu Dhabi celebrates, Ian Walker thrown in water
01:15 - 02:00 ceremony & champagne celebration
02:00 - 02:12 Aerials of Groupama arriving into Lisbon
02:12 - 02:22 Views of Groupama
02:22 - 02:30 celebrating on-board Groupama
02:30 - 02:50 Groupama celebrating dockside
02:50 - 03:07 ceremony & champagne celebration
03:07 - 04:05 Quote – Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi, Skipper
“I am absolutely exhausted. I’ve lost my voice. And yeah, I don’t think you can make the end of a race any harder then that. Coming up the river, 18 knots, then no wind. It’s been 5 days of intense pressure of people catching us, catching us, catching us and – we did it. We did it. I’m so pleased for Abu Dhabi. I’m so pleased for our team. Well, we’ve been saying it all race, we’ve had a really tough race. We don’t have the speed of the other boats and we have to win the race in other ways. It’s been a long, long hard race and not just the guys in the boat but the guys on the shore team… everyone who puts so much work in… the sponsors. This is for them, you know. It’s amazing. So much effort goes into these projects for moments like this.”
04:05 – 04:49 Quote – Franck Cammas, Groupama, Skipper
04:49 – 04:54 END