At 0700 UTC the fleet’s leaders were within about 15 miles of Recife, on the north east coast of Brazil, after a slow night negotiation fickle wind and the difficult coastal rounding.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were 11.3 nautical miles ahead of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and 12.3 nm ahead of Team Telefónica, who took a course on the inside lane nearer the coast and moved into second place at 0100 UTC, before slipping back to third.
CAMPER took a more cautionary approach further from land and were bumped to third place, while Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing remain fourth and Groupama sailing team are fifth, more than 114 nm behind.
Telefónica have notched up the greatest sailing distance in the past 24-hours, covering 280 nautical miles at an average speed of 11.69 knots, compared to PUMA’s 10.67 kts, CAMPER’s 11.04 kts, Abu Dhabi’s 11.5 kts and Groupama’s 9.54 kts.
CAMPER Media Crew Member Hamish Hooper said the approach to Recife was tense as the team balanced getting a good breeze offshore with making sure they didn’t leave too much room to be passed on the inside.
“Curiosity killed the cat once, so we are hoping history might repeat and PUMA might get a wee bit curious and get caught in too close to shore along with Telefónica, leaving us to take off with the fresher trades,’’ Hooper said.
“If only it would happen like this. It is never that easy.”
Skipper Chris Nicholson said his team weren’t taking any risks as they approached the final corner of Brazil where the fleet will turn west towards the Caribbean’s Windward Islands.
“It’s very light, I would have much rather come in here in normal breeze and got around here,’’ he said. “We are moving alright now, but I think we are going to give Recife a wide berth, it just looks light and dangerous in close to the shore.”
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing bowman Wade Morgan said:
“As the sun rises we should be able to just see Telefónica on the horizon, and CAMPER is just up to weather of them. If we keep them in eye sight we will no doubt push harder”.
- PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG improved on their second-place finish in Leg 4 to win Leg 5 by just 12 minutes following a tense 11th-hour battle with Team Telefonica.
- Despite losing their mast while leading the fleet in Leg 5, Groupama sailing team were able to construct a jury rig which allowed them not only to complete the leg but also claim the final podium position.
- CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand finished fourth, a huge achievement for Chris Nicholson’s team, who were forced to divert to Chile with structural damage.
- Abu Dhabi were forced to retire from Leg 5 with serious damage to their hull, opting to ship their boat to Itajai. They might not have finished the leg but they won their incredible race against the clock to get Azzam race ready in less than two days.
- Team Sanya, who retired from Leg 5 after losing a rudder, will rejoin the fleet in Miami for the in-port racing and start of Leg 7.