NEWPORT, RI (#1002) – The shocking win by MAPFRE has a huge impact on the overall race leaderboard where MAPFRE has regained the lead from Dongfeng, and now sits three points clear at the head of the table. Brunel retains the third podium position. The light winds near the finish resulted in a massive compression in the fleet, all the way back to SHK/Scallywag who were trailing the leaders by over 130 miles just one day ago. But as MAPFRE crossed the finish line on Tuesday morning, David Witt’s team was less than 20 miles behind. –Peter Rusch (CAN/FRA) in his initial results-report for the Volvo Ocean Race website.
For once your Ed. agrees with VOR Media's superlatives. On the final approach to Newport, with only 300 miles to go, MAPFRE was standing fifth but steadily gaining ground on the leaders Dongfeng and Brunel. It will be interesting to hear what MAPFRE were doing to sail their boat much better – and faster – than the others as the final few miles became a foggy drifter into the finish line off Newport's Fort Adams State Park.
Dongfeng, on the other hand, dropped from first to fourth in this "accordion fest" as the fleet compressed with the leaders sailing into the near-shore light air first. Vestas (USA/DEN) improved from fifth to third in the final few miles.
MAPFRE's win was all the more amazing given that, after racing the 5700-mile Leg 8 from Itajaí, Brazil, their margin of victory over Brunel was only one minute and one second – 1:01.
Read Mr Rusch's full report here. Current standings here. More on our Sailing Illustrated live webcast today, Tuesdays with TFE, at 1300 Pacific / 1600 CET / 2200 CET / 0800+1 NZT as always live-streamed to our SI Facebook page