Volvo Ocean Race: Vestas Rounds out Podium
Published on December 25th, 2017
(December 25, 2017; Leg 3, Day 16) – Vestas 11th Hour Racing grabbed the final podium position over Team Brunel at the finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race.
A third place finish into Melbourne on Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race has Vestas 11th Hour Racing on equal points for second place on the overall leaderboard.
Leg 3 was a difficult challenge for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, a 6,500 nautical mile test of the crews and the boats that took the sailors down to the Roaring Forties, the Southern Ocean, where storm force winds battered the fleet for most of the leg.
Just after crossing the finishing line, Mark Towill, team director and co-skipper acknowledged the scale of the achievement:
“It was a tough leg. We’re happy to be on the podium again. It’s great to be in on Christmas and I know we’re all looking forward to getting ashore. It was a difficult leg, hard on the bodies, but everyone has held up well.”
The Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew finished behind Dongfeng Race Team but ahead of Team Brunel. At one point, with about 36 hours to go, the race tracker showed nothing to choose between Vestas and Dongfeng in terms of distance to finish, but in reality, the tactical situation favoured the Chinese/French boat.
“It was looking pretty close for a little while, but they were always ahead,” Towill said. “They were always comfortable. Brunel sailed well too so credit to them. It was challenging conditions and we’re all happy to be here and in one piece.”
For Team Brunel, this is a second consecutive mid-fleet finish. Skipper Bouwe Bekking knows it keeps his team in touch with leaders, but time is running out to make a charge for the podium on the overall leaderboard.
“It’s been a really hard leg. We always expected it would be tough and it lived up to that,” Bekking said. “Plenty of breeze and some awesome sailing as well.
“We don’t have any big issues. We could start for Leg 4 in 10 minutes! The boat has done incredibly well.”
Bekking also revealed that Annie Lush, injured earlier in the leg, has been taking light shifts on deck over the past couple of days, great news about one of the toughest sailors in the fleet.
As on Leg 2, the winner this leg was the Spanish MAPFRE team, followed by Dongfeng Race Team in second place.
Interestingly, Team Brunel did post the best 24-hour run so far on this leg, at 538.1 nautical miles, for an average speed of 22.4 knots. And that happened just yesterday.
“We had an excellent day on board TeamBrunel in many ways,” Bekking wrote in his daily email on Sunday morning. “Not enough to overtake Vestas, but we haven’t given up, we know strange things can happen…”
And that may well be his philosophy the rest of the way. Don’t give up; keep the pressure on, strange things can happen.
That means three boats will remain at sea for Christmas, with SHK/Scallywag battling to the end with Turn the Tide on Plastic for fifth place. Their ETA is currently around 0400 UTC on December 26.
Team AkzoNobel, with over 300 nautical miles to go at this point, isn’t expected to finish in Melbourne before 0800 UTC on December 27.
To see Leg 3 crew lists… click here.
Leg 3 – Position Report (21:15 UTC)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), Finished, Elapsed Time 14d 04:07:21
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Finished, Elapsed Time 14d 08:10:16
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), Finished, Elapsed Time 14d 09:52:11
4. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), Finished, Elapsed Time 14d 11:36:27
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 55.5 nm DTF
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 20.4 nm DTL
7. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 324.0 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Leader
Overall Results (after 2 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 14 points
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 13
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 11
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 7
5. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 6
6. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 5
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 2
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