Harken Derm

Dutch team draws first blood in Volvo Ocean Race tune-up

Published on July 22nd, 2014

Three Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 crews – Team SCA, Team Brunel and Team Campos – went head to head in their first competitive clash of the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65s in the Round Canary Islands Race. The 670-nautical mile race around the seven Canary Islands began July 19, with the Dutch team led by skipper Bouwe Bekking getting the gun.

After the start on Saturday, the Spanish Team Campos of skipper Iker Martinez took the lead but by Sunday morning, Team Brunel took charge, leading the threesome on Monday (July 21) across the finish line off Marina Rubicon. It was a tight last 24 hour battle to the finish between Team Campos and Team SCA, with the Spanish team getting the edge by less than 9 minutes.

“We had strong wind, light wind, no wind and we sailed up- and downwind,” noted Team Brunel crew Rokas Milevičius. “We knew exactly what to expect, because Andrew ‘Capey’ Cape has done this race before. He did a great job in preparing the race. We knew where the wind would die and where the wind would increase. The speed of the three VO65’s was almost the same during the beginning of the race.”

Of the three teams, Team SCA is the only one currently entered for the Round Britain and Ireland Race on August 10, where they compete against three of the other teams in the Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, and Dongfeng Race Team.

After months of training by themselves, the sparring gives the teams an idea how they stand in this new one design class. “It just highlights what is important in an offshore race, and that speed is your friend out there, so I think everyone now has a better concept of what we need to do to improve,” observed Sally Barkow (USA).

The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race starts October 4 and will take the fleet to 11 cities in 11 countries – Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, and Sweden – and will require the teams to cover 38,739 nautical miles.

Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html

Photos: Kurt Arrigo

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