Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

The local heroes on Xabi Fernàndez’s MAPFRE were a popular winner in the first point scoring race of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The local heroes on Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE were a popular winner in the first point scoring race of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Fernández and his team made a bold call at the start to duck behind the entire fleet in order to sail up what turned out to be the favoured right hand side of the course, coming from behind to earn a narrow lead at the first gate.

“It was pretty clear from Joan (Vila) and Rob (Greenhalgh) that we wanted to hit the right side of the course in the first upwind looking for more breeze,” explained Fernández.

“Our intention was to start on port but Pablo (Arrarte) saw the gap himself when Brunel did a poor tack and they couldn’t accelerate so we want for the cross and we had plenty of room and once we hit the right everything went well.”

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

MAPFRE then managed to stretch out to a lead of nearly one-minute at the bottom gate, giving them a lead they would enjoy the rest of the way.

“The truth is it hasn’t been an easy race but we took a bit of a risk at the start,” Fernández said after the finish. “We saw the gap in front of Brunel and we went for it. Everything went really well.”

Watch the highlight video here

In fact, the Spanish team sailed a flawless race, in terms of strategy and execution, and were never threatened after grabbing the lead at the first mark.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

But behind them, it was a hard-fought race. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag was strong on the first leg, but dropped back over the course of the race. In contrast, Dongfeng Race Team fought up the fleet to grab second place, battling with Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Team Brunel who were trading places throughout the race.

“There was a lot of action! MAPFRE played their own game alone but behind them, we had a big fight for second place. It’s good, it’s good,” said skipper Charles Caudrelier on Dongfeng Race Team.

“We showed how we can sail well, after having not such good results in the last few days. It’s great that we managed to come back and get this result.”

“It was a very exciting first In-Port Race for us,” said Charlie Enright, the skipper of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “They’re always really close. You know, when you’re racing these 65-foot canting keel boats around a one-mile track it gets interesting, with a lot of exchanges and big headsails and a lot of grinding. We did some good things and some bad things and got third place. All in all, not a bad way to start the campaign.”

“I had a bad start and that put us on the back foot,” said Bouwe Bekking the skipper of Team Brunel. “But we sailed the boat very nicely. All in all, we’re pretty happy with how we sailed today.”

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race.

Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag made a late gain to grab fifth over team AkzoNobel with Turn the Tide on Plastic never recovering from a poor first leg.

“It was okay. Fifth’s not great but it was okay. We were second at the top but we just made one mistake on the first run and it cost us. Basically, it was good. Amazing to be racing here in Alicante,” said David Witt, the skipper of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag.

MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante — Results

Position Team Elapsed Time Points
1 MAPFRE 54:38 7
2 Dongfeng Race Team 56:06 6
3 Vestas 11th Hour Racing 56:54 5
4 Team Brunel 57:13 4
5 Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 58:07 3
6 team AkzoNobel 58:31 2
7 Turn the Tide on Plastic 59:39 1
Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

VOLVO OCEAN RACE CREW LIST LEG SIX: RIO DE JANEIRO – BOSTON


DELTA LLOYD

1. Roberto Bermúdez De Castro/ESP – skipper
2. Wouter Verbraak/NED – navigator
3. Sander Pluijm/NED – media crew member
4. Stuart Wilson/NZL – watch captain
5. Nick Bice/AUS – watch captain
6. Andre Fonseca/BRA – helmsman
7. Ben Costello/NZL – helmsman
8. Ed Van Lierde/NED – trimmer
9. David Pella/ESP – trimmer
10. Gerd-Jan Poortman/NED – Bowman
11. Morgan White/AUS – bowman

On: Wouter Verbraak/NED – navigator
Ben Costello/NZL – helmsman
Ed Van Lierde/NED – trimmer
Nick Bice/AUS – watch captain

Off: Frits Koek/NED – navigator
Edwin O’Connor/IRL – trimmer
Martin Watts/GBR – trimmer
Guillermo Altadill/ESP – watch captain

ERICSSON 4

1. Torben Grael/BRA – skipper
2. Jules Salter/GBR – navigator
3. Guy Salter/GBR – MCM
4. Brad Jackson/NZL – watch captain
5. Stu Bannatyne/NZL – watch captain
6. Dave Endean/NZL – pitman
7. Horacio Carabelli/BRA – trimmer
8. Tony Mutter/NZL – trimmer
9. Joao Signorini/BRA – trimmer
10. Ryan Godfrey/AUS – bowman
11. Phil Jameson/NZL – bowman

No changes

ERICSSON 3

1. Magnus Olsson/SWE – skipper
2. Aksel Magdahl/NOR – navigator
3. Gustav Morin/SWE MCM
4. Thomas Johansson/FIN – helmsman
5. Richard Mason/NZL – watch captain
6. Magnus Woxen/SWE – trimmer
7. Eivind Melleby/NOR – helmsman
8. Martin Strömberg/SWE – trimmer
9. Jens Dolmer/DEN – pitman
10. Anders Dahlsjö/SWE – bowman
11. Martin Krite/SWE – bowman

On:   Richard Mason/NZL – watch captain

Off:  Arve Roaas/NOR – trimmer/helmsman

GREEN DRAGON

1. Ian Walker/GBR – skipper
2. Ian Moore/IRL – navigator
3. Guo Chuan/CHN – MCM
4. Neal McDonald/GBR – watch captain
5. Damian Foxall/IRL – watch captain
6. Anthony Merrington/AUS – helmsman/trimmer
7. Phil Harmer/AUS – helmsman/trimmer
8. Andrew Mclean/NZL – pitman/trimmer
9. James Carroll/IRL – pitman/trimmer
10. Justin Slattery/IRL – bowman
11. Freddy Shanks/GBR – bowman

On: Ian Moore/IRL – navigator
Anthony Merrington/AUS – watch captain
James Carroll/IRL – pitman/trimmer

Off: Wouter Verbraak/NED – navigator
Tom Braidwood/AUS – pitman/trimmer
Chris Main/NZL – helmsman/trimmer

PUMA OCEAN RACING

1. Ken Read/USA – skipper
2. Andrew Cape/AUS – navigator
3. Rick Deppe/GBR MCM
4. Sidney Gavignet/FRA – watch captain
5. Robert Greenhalgh/GBR – watch captain
6. Rob Salthouse/NZL – helmsman/trimmer
7. Justin Ferris/NZL – helmsman/trimmer
8. Erle Williams/NZL – helmsman/trimmer
9. Shannon Falcone/ANT – bowman/pitman
10. Casey Smith/AUS – bowman/helmsman
11. Michael Müller/GER – helmsman/bowman

On:  Shannon Falcone/ANT – trimmer/pitman
Off:  Jerry Kirby/USA – bowman/pitman
TELEFÓNICA BLUE

1. Bouwe  Bekking/NED – skipper
2. Tom Addis/AUS – navigator
3. Simon Fisher/GBR- strategist/helmsman
4. Gabriele Olivo/ITA – MCM
5. Jonathan Swain/RSA – watch captain
6. Jordi Calafat ESP – helmsman
7. Xabier Fernandez/ESP – trimmer
8. Pablo Arrarte/ESP Spanish – trimmer
9. Laurent Pages/FRA – trimmer
10. Daryl Wislang/NZL – bowman
11. Pepe Ribes/ESP – bowman

On:  Laurent Pages/FRA – trimmer
Daryl Wislang/NZL – bowman
Pepe Ribes/ESP – bowman

Off: Iker Martinez/ESP – co-skipper/helmsman
Michael Pammeter/RSA – bowman
David Vera/ESP – bowman

TELEFÓNICA BLACK

1. Fernando Echavarri/ESP – skipper
2. Roger Nilson/SWE – navigator
3. Anton Paz/ESP – media crew member
4. Antonio (Ñeti) Cuervas-Mons/ESP – bowman
5. Gonzalo Araujo/ESP – watch captain
6. Jaime Arbones/ESP – watch captain
7. Pablo Iglesias/ESP – helmsman
8. Javier de la Plaza/ESP – helmsman
9. David Vera/ESP –  trimmer
10. Maciel Cicchetti/ARG – trimmer
11. Michael Pammenter/RSA – bowman

On:  Anton Paz/ESP – media crew member
Maciel Cicchetti/ARG – trimmer

Off:  Mikel Pasabant/ESP – MCM
Francisco Rivero/ESP – bowman

vor15361
Rio Welcoming   (Photo By Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race)

Rio Welcoming (Photo By Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race)

Race Village Rio (Photo By Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race)

Race Village Rio (Photo By Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race)

Rio

Rio in the Clouds (Photo By Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race)