Telefonica loses Volvo race lead

LISBON, Portugal -- Iker Martinez's hopes of clinching Spain's first victory in the 39-year-old Volvo Ocean Race slipped after his Telefonica boat lost the overall lead for the first time since November.

Martinez, an Olympic gold medallist in the 49ers class in 2004 and silver medallist four years later at Beijing, looked set to dominate offshore sailing's toughest professional test when he stormed to three consecutive leg victories after the current edition began in late October.

His boat has been noticeably off the pace in recent legs and Telefonica was not in contention over the closing stages of the trans-Atlantic, 3,500-nautical mile stage seven between Miami and Lisbon.