Team Brunel wins In-Port Race Lisbon
Published on November 3rd, 2017
Lisbon, Portugal (November 3, 2017) – Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel fended off a late charge by MAPFRE to win the Mirpuri Foundation In-Port Race Lisbon this afternoon. This offers Bekking’s team redemption after their speed struggles in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, and gives them hope before the second leg begins in two days.
Conditions were challenging, to say the least, with squalls bringing rain and gusty, shifting winds. Not only that, but the confines of the mouth of the Tagus River meant a short leg length, with four laps of the race course – plenty of manoeuvres and boat handling for the teams.
“I think we did well, we’ve made huge steps as a team,” Bekking said following the race. “It’s always nice to win but I think we sailed pretty nicely today. There was a huge wind shift at the end and that always makes the decisions tricky but I think we made the right calls. We sailed very conservative – as you will have seen we kept our big sail up, kept it simple and that worked very well for us today.”
“It was intense. We knew it was going to be difficult today with the squalls,” said Xabi Fernández, the skipper of MAPFRE, who retain the lead of the In-Port Series after two races. “We did a good start, but at the upwind mark, we were very slow, and trailed. But we came back, step by step and on the last lap we were in the right place for the shift. In the end, we finished second and we are happy with that.”
Off the starting line, it was Turn the Tide on Plastic and team AkzoNobel who made the boldest moves, crossing behind the rest of the fleet on port tack so they could sail out to the favoured right-hand side of the course. It paid off, with the pair rounding in second and third spot.
But Bekking’s Brunel team led the charge, the furthest to the right of the rest of the fleet, making one less manoeuvre up the leg, and they were off. Those three led for most of the first half of the race, but on the third upwind, a big right hand shift shook things up, bringing MAPFRE and Dongfeng back into the mix and pushing Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic team back.
“It was a good job from the team, we managed to come back – we did some nice manoeuvres and even if it didn’t look great from the outside, I know we were efficient,” said Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier. “We did a good job to finish third, we did good.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Caffari was disappointed with the second half of the race.
“Four laps, short course, really intense. First lap was absolutely glamour, second lap still on the podium and still fighting, third lap was full of disasters and fourth lap was just a write-off,” Caffari explained. “We crossed the line eventually but we had sailed ourselves from first to last.”
It was an epic day, setting up the start of Leg 2 from Lisbon to Cape Town on Sunday at 14:00 UTC.
“Interesting race with a little bit of everything, sunshine, rain, big wind shifts, good gusts and little lulls,” team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont opined. “Every ingredient good racing needs!”
In-Port Race Lisbon Results
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
2. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
Up to 11 In-Port Races will be held, with an In-Port Race scheduled in all stopovers, except Melbourne. Teams are competing for the In-Port Race Trophy in which all In-Port Races count toward their overall score. Also, the overall In-Port Race ranking will be used to break ties in the overall Volvo Ocean Race ranking.
The second leg of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race starts November 5 and is expected to take three weeks for the seven teams to complete the 7000 nm course from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.
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