17 Nov 2011

Frontrunners in Volvo Ocean race cross equator

4:54 pm on 17 November 2011

The Volvo Ocean race frontrunners PUMA and Telefonica have crossed the equator within an hour of each other with Team New Zealand's Camper warning it could still win the opening leg of the round the world yacht race.

The French entry Groupama has slipped 24 hours behind the leaders after being caught in the doldrums.

PUMA leads Telefonica by almost 16 miles, with Camper 149 miles off the lead.

Camper skipper Chris Nicholson says with more than half the leg to go the race to Capetown is far from over.

He says they need to show patience and chip away at the leaders over the next fotnight and not do anything too risky.