Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng on podium, SCA in the hearts!
There was everything. Amazing human stories, close and fast-racing, unrivalled adventure, danger, injuries, elation, sacrifice, sadness... Seven teams giving their all for the ultimate prize: the right to lift the Volvo Ocean Race trophy. Among them were Dongfeng Race Team and Team SCA. Both "Julbo boats" have achieved their goals: a final podium for the Chinese project and a leg's victory for the all-female crew.
And the winner is... Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing! The Emirati boat – undoubtedly the most regular – won the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, which have ended in Gothenburg, on last Saturday, with the victory of Team Brunel in the last inshore race. Earlier, on 23 June, Team Alvimedica, who won the final offshore battle, led the tightly packed fleet home to crowded docks in the final stopover in Sweden, to bring to a close nine months of some of the closest racing ever witnessed in the 41-year-old offshore marathon.
It's true that this edition 2014-2015 of the Volvo Ocean Race has been epic, notably for Dongfeng Race Team: after 11 countries, over 41,000 nautical miles, two leg wins, five podium results out of nine, one broken mast and it all came down to the last few miles. The Chinese team finished leg 9 in fourth place behind Team Alvimedica, Team Brunel and Mapfre. The Spanish managed to slip in front of Dongfeng a few hundred metres from the line after being covered all the way from The Hague by Charles Caudrelier and his crew. Fortunately, it was enough for Dongfeng Race Team to secure the overall podium place they deserved – Mapfre had to beat Dongfeng by two places to overtake them in the overall standings.
It's a great achievement for the Chinese team at his first attempt. "One year ago I never would have believed this possible, admits Charles Caudrelier. I have lived the most incredible human story with this team and I am so proud of the progress of the Chinese sailors. Turning Chinese athletes into professional offshore sailors was challenging but it was worth every second. Winning into China, winning into Newport, not rounding Cape Horn... but Ushuaia was nice", says the French skipper with a smile.
The all-women’s crew of Team SCA completed the fleet’s arrivals in Gothenburg, at home, in Sweden. As ever, they were right on the heels of their male rivals. Their victory in Lorient in the leg from Lisbon proved that women can be – and are – competitive in the world's toughest offshore sailing event. With the huge following that Sam Davies's team attracted and their legacy of leg-by-leg improvements, we surely will not have to wait another 12 years for another female crew to take their place in a Volvo Ocean Race fleet.
Speaking after arrival skipper Sam Davies said: "We are really proud of everything we have achieved. What we have done is huge, now we are racing against the best in the world and it’s an incredible feeling to have progressed this far. It’s the first time we have sailed into Sweden and that’s a pretty proud moment for the whole team. The support is amazing, and here there were people lining the river all the way along with pink flags, banners - even in the rain. We aimed to inspire and motivate people to do things they didn't think they were capable of doing. I think we've done that."
All Julbo team congratulates Dongfeng Race Team and Team SCA for this great adventure!
Final standings of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (United Arab Emirates) - 24 pts
2. Team Brunel (Netherlands) - 29 pts
3. Dongfeng Race Team (China) - 33 pts
4. Mapfre (Spain) - 34 pts
5. Team Alvimedica (Turkey / USA) - 34 pts
6. Team SCA (Sweden) - 51 pts
7. Team Vestas Wind (Denmark) - 60 pts
More info about Volvo Ocean Race: www.volvooceanrace.com