• 11-NOV-2014

Weekly highlights n°5

After 25 days 3 hours and 10min, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing arrived to Cape Town winning the first leg of the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race. This victory was far from plain sailing for skipper Ian Walker and his men. After sailing over 6000 miles the finish came right down to the wire, with Chinese entry Dongfeng in hot pursuit but ultimately just losing out, crossing the finish line 12 minutes after the leaders.

The leg was never plain sailing for Charles Caudrelier and his crew, but despite several set backs and damage to the boat, their second place arrival was a dream for the rookies.

Meanwhile 250 miles out from the finish, the rest of the fleet were struggling, the Southern Ocean was delivering unusually light airs making every mile a struggle.

Back on land, the lead boats had claimed their silverware but one spot on the podium remained, 4 hours later under the cover of darkness Brunel arrived to claim it. Third place more than a reward for the Brunel team and their skipper Bouwe Bekking…

Back on the ocean and at the back of the fleet another battle was raging between MAPFRE and SCA. The all girls team had spent much of the leg behind the rest of the fleet, but now, and in sight of Cape Town there was a chance they could leap frog the Spanish and snatch the final remaining point.

A new day in Cape Town welcomed a fourth place finisher, Team Vestas Wind may have just missed out of the podium but for an outfit that only entered the race 3 months ago this was the perfect result for skipper Chris Nicholson.

In fifth place, Alvimedica crossed the line after 26 days and 13 hours, Charlie Enright and his young crew finish leg 1 and now look forward to the start of the second.

Out on the racecourse the battle for 6th place was reaching its climactic finale. With only miles to go MAPFRE chose to sail close to land but failed to find the coastal breeze, aboard SCA the girls saw their chance, they gybed early and took the lead just 5 miles from the finish, agony for the Spanish team who could only sit and watch…

The second leg now begins for the Volvo Boatyard crew, as they set to work repairing and readying the fleet. In port racing begins here in Cape Town November 15th.