On Wednesday 4th January 2012, Groupama were the first team over the finish line in the Volvo Ocean Race, although Team Telefónica were the overall Leg 2 winners. Fireworks lit up the sky to welcome the sailing teams to the United Arab Emirates.
Telefónica’s skipper, Spanish Olympic gold medallist Iker Martinez, said:
“We can’t be disappointed, we still have an advantage overall. We sailed well, but Groupama sailed very well and at the end they sailed better than us. All we can say is congratulations to the Groupama guys, this is their first victory so we are happy for them.”
Adil Khalid for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was the first Emirati to compete in the race. He said it was “great to be home” and couldn’t believe the crowds that had turned out to receive the teams.
The second leg of the race was split into two stages with the teams first racing into a secret “safe haven” port, after which the boats were loaded onto a ship for transportation past waters badly affected by piracy. They were then unloaded for a final sprint into Abu Dhabi.
The current standings are:
- Telefónica: 66 points
- CAMPER: 58 points
- Groupama: 42 points
- PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 28
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 19
- Team Sanya – still to finish leg 2 following repairs