Watch the Volvo Ocean Race Miami in-port race LIVE!
The Volvo Ocean Race's PORTMIAMI In-Port Race takes place today at 1700 UTC (1300 local time) prior to the start of Leg 7 at the same time tomorrow.
Heading into the seventh of the 10 in-port races, Camper is the team to beat inshore, having notched up 27 points in the in-port series.
“At the end of the day all this race is about is getting the most points possible and people are going to extraordinary lengths to get any point they can,” said skipper Chris Nicholson. “We treat it amazingly seriously and that’s what we’ve done right from the start. It just so happens that it gets highlighted more because we’re getting closer to the finish. We’ve been doing well in in-port racing as a whole and as regards a game plan, we’re still going to stick to what we have been doing so far."
But Puma trail the Kiwi team by just a point in the in-port series on 26, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing on 24.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker said his team enjoyed the in-port racing and having won two of them already in this edition of the race would be up to make it a hat-trick in Miami. “We enjoy the in-ports and got to do a couple of days practice here. One thing these in-port races have shown is it’s all about getting a good start, sailing in clear air and having clean boat handing. Every single boat is capable of doing that, it’s just a question of who has their day.”
Inconsistency around the short inshore courses has left Team Telefónica and Groupama, first and second on the overall leaderboard, with just 18 and 21 in-port points accrued respectively. Nevertheless, Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez said his team would go into the Miami race full of confidence after several days practising their short course skills during the stopover.
“I think we are very good for the in-port race. We have been training quite a lot for it. We have spent time preparing and a lot of time on the water, so now we are feeling very good. We have to start well and get good boat speed. Be good around all the marks and we'll be fine. But that will be the same for everyone. We have to make sure we are on the podium. Maybe one of two boats can beat us but that will not make a big difference.”
Despite having claimed his first short course victory in the DHL In-Port Race Itajaí, Groupama skipper Franck Cammas played down the chances of a repeat performance on Saturday.
“Groupama are not the favourites,” Cammas said. “Telefónica and CAMPER are much more consistent. They are the ones who have more chance of earning the much needed points than us. But they make mistakes, as they proved in the last in-port race,” he said. “As long as we are close behind them to pick up the points, we will be happy.”
The return of Team Sanya, forced out of Legs 5 and 6 with boat damage, brings the six-boat fleet back up to full strength for the first time in more than six weeks. In contrast to the conservative strategies touted by the other teams, Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson said his crew fully intended to make their presence known.
“For sure, on Saturday we are going to mix it up,” Sanderson said. “We will race fair and we will race clean and if they want to be conservative then that is very much up to them.”
Six points are on offer to the winners of each in-port race, with five for second, four for third and so on down to one point for sixth place.