Team SCA women pip MAPFRE in thrilling Leg 1 finish
Team SCA crossed Cape Town finish line today at 11:37:49 UTC and MAPFRE at 12:47:32 UTC.
The achievement of beating a MAPFRE team that boasts some of the biggest names in international offshore sailing, including skipper Iker Martínez (ESP) and twice Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), will be a big morale-booster for the fleet's only women's crew.
For so long in the 6,487 nautical mile (nm) leg, they looked destined to finish behind all their six rivals and even sailing into the final day on Friday, they trailed the Spanish boat by eight nm at one point.
Yet slowly, but very surely, they nibbled away at MAPFRE's advantage as the South African coast loomed into view on a day of bright blue skies and negligible winds.
As the crews edged, rather than sped, into Cape Town it increasingly became clear that victory in this duel would be Team SCA's (Sam Davies/GBR), with MAPFRE parked up under Table Mountain in just a couple of knots of breeze.
Davies said minutes after crossing the line: "We never, ever stopped fighting. That's something that our coach Magnus Olsson taught us and we keep that spirit with us all the time." Swede Olsson died of a stroke in 2013 while on a training camp with Team SCA in Lanzarote.
For Martínez the result is a desperately disappointing reverse on his Leg 1 performance in 2011-12 when he led the fleet to the finish first on board Telefónica.
There is speculation he will now have to change his crew although there's still a long, long way to go in the nine month, 38,739-mile marathon which will finish in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 27 and will visit another nine ports on the way.
Cape Town In-Port Race: November 15, 2014 at 1200 UTC
Streamed live on the Volvo Ocean Race home page from 1150 UTC
Leg 2 Start: November 19, 2014 at 1600 UTC
Streamed live on the Volvo Ocean Race home page from 1550 UTC
Marie LaurensVolvo Ocean Race News Distribution ManagerSpainmlaurens@sunsetvineapp.com+34668103908