CAPE TOWN, RSA – Pre-race favorite MAPFRE has won the epic Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to vault into the overall lead of the bluewater classic. Skipper Xabi Fernandez (ESP) and crew sailed into port at 15:10:33 UTC (0710 Pacific) with Dongfeng Race Team still some 40 nautical miles out to sea.
"It's amazing, we're super-happy,’’ Fernandez said moments after finishing. “We came here in one piece and in front of the others, we can't ask for more.’’
MAPFRE trailed Dongfeng Race Team for most of the first half of the 7,000-nautical mile leg before making the winning move. Last weekend, after crossing the Doldrums and 14 days into the leg, navigator Juan Vila (ESP) and Fernández called for a gybe to the southwest that Dongfeng didn’t cover. Within hours, the decision paid and MAPFRE had a tactical advantage it would never relinquish over the final week of racing.
"This is what we will see all the way around the world. Super-tight racing, everyone has good speed and small mistakes are very expensive,’’ Fernandez said. “This time we were lucky to do the least mistakes and that's why we won."
MAPFRE earned eight points for the Leg 2 victory (seven points plus one bonus point for the win), which is enough to take the overall lead regardless of the finishing positions behind.
MAPFRE sails into Cape Town today (Friday) to win Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race