[Volvo Ocean Race #6] Glory and hope
More than one month ago, they were in the middle of the Southern Ocean with a broken mast. And on May 7 at 02:03:00 UTC, Dongfeng Race Team triumphed in Volvo Ocean Race’s Leg 6 from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island, USA! « I’d like to give our shore crew this victory, says Charles Caudrelier, skipper of the boat. They worked very hard to get this boat ready. I’m very proud of them and very happy to take this first place. »
© Sam Greenfield / Dongfeng Race Team / Volvo Ocean Race
It's been a weary 5,010-nautical mile long leg. A leg « with a tactical decision to make every day », explains the Frenchman, skipper of a mixed crew including four of his countrymen, two Chinese, a Swede and an American (mediaman). They started this leg by breaking their water maker to finally take the lead on May 2 and never let it go. Even if every time they managed to have a small advance, they lost it…
« It was a very tight finish », admits Charles Caudrelier. As proof of that Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing took second, just three minutes behind the Chinese boat! With this result and after winning Leg 3 in China, Dongfeng (17 points) closes to within six points of the Emiratis who are overall leaders (11 points).
© Corinna Halloran / Team SCA / Volvo Ocean Race
A few hours later, the girls of Team SCA arrived on a perfect sun-bathed Newport morning with their heads held high, but a burning sense of what might have been... For so long in this leg, the all-women's crew were right in the mix in the fight for supremacy. But in the final four days of a 17-day stage, they conceded nautical mile after nautical mile to their rivals and ended up finishing sixth again, nearly 12 hours adrift of winners Dongfeng Race Team.
« We spent a week fighting with the leaders, that's the longest time we've spent with the front group, Sam Davies said in her first interview in dock. It almost felt that they were having to work hard to keep up with us at one point. It's pretty promising with the next three legs to go. » However, the skipper of the magenta boat added: « In a way we're bit frustrated because if we could go back to sail Legs 1 and 2 the way we've sailed now we could do a lot better. »
To Dongfeng Race Team, America is the land of glory. To Team SCA, this host country is plenty of hope…
The start of the next stage to Lisbon, Portugal, will be given on Sunday. We wish our both « Julbo boats » good sailing!
General ranking of Volvo Ocean Race after Leg 6 :
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 11 pts
2. Dongfeng Race Team - 17 pts
3. Team Brunel - 21 pts
4. Team Alvimedica - 24 pts
5. Mapfre - 24 pts
6. Team SCA - 35 pts
7. Team Vestas Wind - 44 pts
More info and follow the race: www.volvooceanrace.com