Groupama 4 eats into Martinez lead


SAILING: Overall leader Iker Martinez saw his one-time commanding lead of the Volvo Ocean Race shrink further at the weekend after another poor showing at the Miami In-Port race.

The Spanish Telefonica entry appeared to start well and led the short course in a fresher than forecast breeze but a series of errors followed. A current running parallel to Miami’s South Beach was more than a knot faster offshore so most of the six boat fleet opted to hug the shore and avoid the worst of the stream. Not so Martinez, who handed the lead to Franck Cammas on Groupama 4.

The Spaniard was then mixing with the fleet back-markers and managed to touch one of the course marks and was obliged to take a 360 degree penalty turn which dumped the overall race leader far behind.

Meanwhile, Cammas duelled with British double Olympic medallist Ian Walker on Abu Dhabi but was jubilant with second place as he lies just seven points behind the leader.