Dongfong wins Hong Kong In-Port Series

Published on January 28th, 2018

Hong Kong (January 28, 2018) – The Volvo Ocean Race teams competed today in the second half of the Hong Kong stage of the In-Port Series as they tackled the Around Hong Kong Island Race.

Light and variable wind shortly after the start allowed the leading boats to break away as they found new wind pressure first. But it didn’t mean opportunities for passing later in the afternoon were completely closed off.

MAPFRE had the best start in the fleet and eked out ahead in light winds. Three teams broke the line early and needed to restart, with Team Brunel, Turn the Tide on Plastic and Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag all turning back.

It put them at an immediate disadvantage, but while Brunel had the best re-start, it was Turn the Tide on Plastic who moved up the fleet to challenge the leading pack over the next 20 minutes.

However, as the race progressed, MAPFRE and Dongfeng Race Team found the new favourable wind first and built a commanding lead over the others.

“With these inshore races you never know, because just as you can have the advantage one moment, the next you can lose it,” said MAPFRE navigator Juan Vila. “Fortunately today it was more of a race in which the one in front always seemed to have better pressure. The transitions have also gone a little better for us and of course, the start and the moments afterward were key.”

“It was very tricky conditions today but we had a lot of good advice from local sailors and it helped us a lot,” said Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier. “So I think we prepared it very well and the result is there, so that’s good.”

Behind the leading pair, it was team AkzoNobel and Turn the Tide on Plastic battling for third place early. But a the teams rounded the southern shore of the island, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Team Brunel slipped through in the middle of the channel with better wind.

Local favourite Scallywag went from being last across the starting line to a third place finish with Team Brunel just a couple hundred metres back to take a popular podium result.

That left AkzoNobel, who won yesterday’s HGC In-Port Race Hong Kong, to take fifth place in front of Turn the Tide on Plastic, who had a frustrating weekend trailing the fleet in both races.

When MAPFRE crossed the finish line, they were flying a protest flag but later informed the Race Committee they would not be following through with a protest, making the results on the water final.

Unique to the In-Port Sereis, the results of the Around Hong Kong Island Race were combined with yesterday’s HGC In-Port Race to rank the teams after the two weekend races.

Today’s results mean Dongfeng Race Team has the best overall score on the weekend after two second place finishes. The team will claim a full 7 points from the Hong Kong series which pulls it into a tie on the overall In-Port Race Series Leaderboard with MAPFRE, both sitting on 25 points. Dongfeng Race Team is ranked first based on winning the most recent series in Hong Kong.

“It is a very good result for us,” Caudrelier continued. “We are in the same position as the MAPFRE crew which is full of inshore specialists, so I think we can be proud of the team’s performance.”

Vestas 11th Hour Racing was not able to compete as they continue making necessary repairs caused by the January 20 collision with a fishing boat. They will also miss the 100 nm Leg 5 on February 1 and the In-Port Race in Guangzhou on February 3, and have not stated whether they will be ready for the next distance leg, the 6100 nm course which departs from Hong Kong on February 7 to Auckland, New Zealand.

To see Around Hong Kong Island Race crew lists… click here.

 

The teams will leave Hong Kong on February 1 for the 100 nm Leg 5 to Guangzhou in China which will include a race on February 3 in the In-Port Series. The teams leave on February 5 to complete Leg 5 to Hong Kong which will host the start of the 6100 nm Leg 6 on February 7 to Auckland, New Zealand.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

HGC In-Port Race Results
1. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
4. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
7. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Mark Towill (USA)

Around Hong Kong Island Race Results
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
3. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
5. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
7. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Mark Towill (USA)

In-Port Series Overall Results (after 4 of 11 races)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 25 points
2. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 25
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 17
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 16
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 12
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 9
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 7

2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)

Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. A maximum of eight teams will compete.

Source: Volvo Ocean Race

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