Abu Dhabi Clinch Nerve-Jarring Win, Groupama Moves To Top
Abu Dhabi shrugged off seven months of frustration to seal their first offshore victory in a nerve-jarring transatlantic leg from Miami to Lisbon, while Groupama’s second place finish -- five and a half minutes behind after more than 3,500 nautical miles racing -- was enough to take them top of the leaderboard in place of long-term leaders Telefonica.
Groupama spent days snapping at the heels of the Emirati team and were within a mile of their rivals as they headed up the River Tagus towards the finish line.
Ian Walker’s team defended resolutely, however, matching their rivals gybe for gybe to ensure their first podium finish on an offshore leg would also be their first win, and spark wild celebrations lit up by a booming firework display.
For Groupama, the consolation prize came soon enough, as Telefónica’s finish in fourth place -- behind PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG in the third podium slot and just ahead of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand -- meant the French team climb above them.
Abu Dhabi, who finished at 21:23:54 UTC, received 30 points for victory, with Groupama netting 25 after their finish at 21:29:21. PUMA took 20 points, Telefonica 15 and CAMPER 10.
Team Sanya finished sixth to pick up five points.
Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas, now lead Telefónica by three points overall, with the Spanish team dropping off the lead for the first time since their victory on Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town back in November.
Four teams remain separated by just 21 points, making it the closest contest in the 39-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race with just two offshore legs and three in-port races still to come.
The arrival in Lisbon represented a homecoming for Abu Dhabi, who had a training base in nearby Cascais during the build-up to the race.
"It's incredible -- what a welcome," said Walker, before he and Emirati crew member Adil Khalid were chucked into the water by their team mates.
"Do you think you can make the last 10 miles of a race any harder than that?
"It’s one of the most amazing experiences of my sailing career, that’s for sure. Mentally, certainly I’m exhausted. It's just such a relief."
Abu Dhabi also visited Lisbon in much less happy circumstances during Leg 1, after a dismasting within the first few hours ultimately forced them to ship the boat from Lisbon to Cape Town.
While they have notched up three victories in in-port races, and have a strong chance of winning the series, this is the first time they have really been able to shine in an offshore leg.
First Groupama and then Telefónica enjoyed the lead for long spells on a leg that started out looking like a fast, direct sprint across the Atlantic before the effects of Tropical Storm Alberto altered things drastically.
One by one, the boats were forced to head ever further north towards the ice exclusion zone.
Abu Dhabi moved into the lead on Day 6 and after briefly surrendering it to CAMPER they were back ahead the following day.
Two days later they were clear, though skipper Ian Walker warned repeatedly that a light-air zone inside the final 300 nautical miles would see the fleet compress.
That’s exactly how it turned out, with Abu Dhabi forced to scrap every step of the way to an emotional victory at the team’s second home.
"It came down to the wire, and we certainly had our ups and downs, but we are very happy," said Groupama skipper Franck Cammas. "it was a good operation for us!"
Third place for PUMA kept them in contention for the overall lead, 12 points behind new leaders Groupama.
"This is a great result," said the team's American skipper Ken Read. "There’s still a lot of points on the board and to be on the podium is a big deal for us."
The battle between Telefónica and CAMPER for fourth and fifth came down to a slow-motion tussle over an excruciating final few miles, with no breeze and the current against them.
Telefónica eventually finished with an advantage of 102 seconds and less than a boat length for a five-point boost that could yet prove crucial.
The action resumes with the In-Port Race on June 9, followed by the start of Leg 8 to Lorient the following day.
Leg 7 results:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 11d, 04h, 23m, 54s
2. Groupama sailing team – 11d, 04h, 29m, 21s
3. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG – 11d, 06h, 26m, 52s
4. Team Telefónica – 11d, 08h, 28m, 27s
5. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand – 11d, 08h, 30m, 09s
6. Team Sanya – 11d, 08h, 44m, 25s
Volvo Car Corporation To Develop Active Safety Systems At New Test Facility
An entirely new test facility for active car safety is all set to play an important role for Volvo Car Corporation's continued leadership in the field of safety. The facility will be built and operated by the company Active Safety Test Area AB - ASTA.
Operating under the AstaZero brand name, ASTA will run the test facility that will be located beside Volvo Car Corporation's existing proving ground at Hällered in western Sweden. Volvo Car Corporation will be one of the users of the unique test environments that will be available.
"With the new facility we will have access to an excellent tool for the development of tomorrow's intelligent safety and driver support systems," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation. He continues:
"Volvo Car Corporation is the automotive ndustry's leader in safety and our engineers are now developing next-generation technologies as another step toward our vision that nobody should suffer fatal or serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020."
Active safety is all about technical solutions that help the driver avoid an accident or significantly reduce the consequences of an accident. Some of the most recent innovations from Volvo Car Corporation include Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake, City Safety, Driver Alert Control, Cross Traffic Alert and Road Sign Information - systems that are available in the all-new Volvo V40, for instance.
At AstaZero's new test facility, both drivers and vehicles will be put to the test in a wide variety of traffic environments - busy city roads, highways, multi-lane motorways and crossroads. One crucial parameter is the interaction with other cars, pedestrians, cycles, mopeds, motorcycles, trucks and buses.
The various traffic situations that will be tested include monotonous highway driving with sudden obstacles appearing in the road, inner-city traffic that includes dummy vehicles and human dummies, and multi-lane motorways involving lots of vehicles. It will also be possible to subject long vehicle rigs to highly demanding manoeuvres - all so as to develop even more effective protection against roll-over accidents.
ASTA is owned by SP (the Technical Research Institute of Sweden) and the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. The facility will become operational in 2014.
Volvo Canada headquarters Moving To New Facility
2012 marked 40 years at Gordon Baker Road location
TORONTO, ON (May 29, 2012) - Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. will be moving to a new location this fall after 40 years at the Gordon Baker Road location. Currently under construction, the brand new facility is being built to epitomize Volvo's global Next Face program that is steadily being implemented in showrooms around the globe. Next face was developed to create a singular visual identity that expresses Volvo's rich Scandinavian heritage and strongly emphasizes its position as a leading premium automotive brand. The three floor, 7,500 square foot facility is being built to spec and will feature a state of the art training facility for technical specialists.
We are very excited to enter the next chapter in Volvo Canada's history, says Jeff Pugliese, President & CEO, Volvo Cars of Canada Corp., This new workspace will not only represent our global brand identity, but it will also accommodate our future growth plans.
The new location will be:
Volvo Cars of Canada Corp.
9130 Leslie St. Suite 101
Richmond Hill, ON