5 Jan 2012

NZ's Camper second overall in ocean race

9:35 am on 5 January 2012

Team New Zealand is now second on the leader board after the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

It was a sprint to the finish line in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, with the five yachts speeding the 100 nautical miles down the Sharjah coastline in about three hours.

Team New Zealand entry Camper came third behind French boat Groupama and Spain's Telefonica, but is second overall behind Telefonica.

Camper's co-skipper Stu Bannatyne told Radio New Zealand's Summer Report on Thursday it was a close race.

"They did pip us right at the end. We certainly had a good duel with them in the last few days.

"But the whole leg was 15 days of very intense racing ... and a tough pill to swallow coming in second to Telefonica again."

It was a stunning win for Groupama's sailors, forced to use plastic tape for emergency repairs on the boat on Tuesday after detecting a large crack in the hull, AFP reports.

With eight in-port races and seven offshore legs to go in the race that will finish in July in Galway, Telefonica lead with 66 points, followed by Camper on 58 and Groupama on 42.

Next come US team Puma with 28, Abu Dhabi on 19 and China's Sanya with just four, after they suffered boat damage on both the first two legs.