Puma leads the Volvo Ocean Race to Kochi

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Kochi, Nov 18 (UNI) Puma is slightly ahead of the rest of fleet on the 3rd day of the Volvo Ocean Race leg 2, from Cape Town to Kochi, the organisers said today.

After 72 hours of the 2nd leg, the Puma team, which is second in the point tally, is leading the Leg. Telefonica Blue is in the second position and Telefonica Black is in the third.

Erricson 3, Erricson 4, Green Dragon, Delta Lloyd and Team Russia is the fleet order now.

Conditions have progressively worsened on board as the Southern Ocean makes its presence felt, the organisers said in a release here.

Green Dragon took the brunt of it. "I was just getting my waterproofs on down below when there was a huge bang and the boat went into an involuntary Chinese gybe," a crew member identified as Walker reported.

"You might think this is alright for a boat with such strong Chinese connections but a Chinese gybe is what we all fear most as it is when the boat crash gybes and leaves you on your side with everything including the keel on the wrong side.

"As the mainsail hit the weather runners, water started pouring in down below through the ventilation hatches due to the side decks now being underwater but the boat miraculously turned back the right way, gybed back and righted itself.'' The race is scheduled to touch base in Kochi on December 3 for a ten-day stopover, the only one in India.

The Kochi stopover is being hosted by Cochin Port Trust and the Kerala Tourism Department with private sponsorship.

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, stopping at 11 ports, and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier yacht race for professional racing crews.

UNI ARC KKS1805

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