Team Brunel won Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Newport to Cardiff but with a third place finish Dongfeng Race Team is at the top of the overall leaderboard
It was a proud day for Bouwe Bekking and his crew as Team Brunel won Leg 9, Newport to Cardiff of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Dongfeng Race Team finished third, putting them at the top of the overall leaderboard ahead of MAPFRE, who finished in fifth place, by just one point.
Team Brunel is in overall third place, three points off the lead but they have certainly been showing strength and determination and the last two European Legs may well see the Dutch skipper and his crew take the lead.
“We’re very happy with the result – to beat the two red boats (Dongfeng and MAPFRE) was the objective,” Bekking said after crossing the finish line in Cardiff. “Winning of course is nice, as well as to get the bonus point and then a nice fight to beat AkzoNobel in the end as well, so we’re a happy team.
“But the aim is to keep looking forward. We’ve closed the gap to MAPFRE and Dongfeng and victory remains our main objective.”
Team Brunel had an excellent start to Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday (20 May).
The team, skippered by Bouwe Bekking took an early lead and left Newport in first position, heading towards Cardiff.
The Leg from Newport to Cardiff is 3,300 nautical miles long and, like in the Southern Ocean, there are double points to be earned.
Before leaving Newport, Bekking said: “Because of the double points and the bonus point for the winner, it is a crucial stage for Team Brunel. We are now third, and it’s a must to defeat the two red boats Mapfre and Dongfeng. If we want to keep the chance of the final victory, we have to keep them behind us!
“Ideally we would win the leg and they would finish sixth and seventh, but we can’t control that part. All we can do is sail our best and work to get a good result.”
Despite the thick fog that descended onto Fort Adams Race Village, huge crowds attended to watch the race.
“It’s been an unbelievable stopover here in Newport with all the support we’ve had,” said Vestas 11th Hour Racing skipper Charlie Enright, on the last day of his hometown stopover. “Newport has shown its true colours this week, it’s been astounding.”
“It’s a treat to be here,” agreed team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont. “Everyone is so into the race – the whole town is built around sailing. But as good as it is here, we’re getting that feeling that it’s time to get out on the water again. So we’re happy with the good reception we had here in Newport, but as a Dutch team, we’re getting closer to finish and looking forward to getting there as well.”
Overall scoreboard before Leg 9
1. Mapfre – 50 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 42 points
3. Team Brunel – 36 points
4. Team AkzoNobel – 35 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 23 points
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 19 points
7. Turn The Tide on Plastic – 16 points
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The start of the Volvo Ocean Race started on 22 October. See how you can follow this exciting round-the-world race