March 24, 2015

ALICANTE, Spain (AP) Boats in the Volvo Ocean Race were hit by the roughest conditions in the race to date on Tuesday as waves pounded competitors in the Southern Ocean.

Sweden's Team SCA, the Dongfeng Race Team of China and Spain's MAPFRE all briefly tipped onto their sides, while Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing reported "a massive wipe-out" but avoided being pitched on its side.

Organizers said in a statement that "for a while, it was real mayhem but fortunately, none of the sailors were hurt."

The boats have covered more than 2,000 nautical miles (nm) of the 6,776nm fifth leg from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil, where they are due to arrive April 4.

Team Brunel of the Netherlands led at 1255 GMT by 11.1nm from overall leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

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