CARDIFF (#1031) – Skipper Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team won the Sky Ocean Rescue In-Port Race at the Volvo Ocean Race Cardiff stopver but barely put a dent into MAPFRE’s overall lead in the series, which will serve as a tiebreaker in the event of any ties in the overall standings when the race finishes later this month.
Dongfeng Race Team made a pass on the last lap to score the victory. MAPFRE (ESP) took second to limit the damage on the in-port series scoreboard, which it leads with 56 points. Dongfeng is second with 49 and Team Brunel (NED) third with 41.
Those teams are also the top three in the overall race standings, with Dognfeng leading Xabi Fernandez's MAPFRE 60-59, with Team Brunel a close third with 57. It’s another nine points back to team AkzoNobel (NED).
“We’re very happy. It’s always a pleasure to win the In-Port Race”, Caudrelier said. “I think we are making good progress on the inshore racing and for the team this is good for our morale ahead of the next two legs.”
At the start, Vestas 11th Hour Racing (USA/DEN) was pushed over the line early by Team Brunel. A split on the first leg saw Simeon Tienpont’s team AkzoNobel lead at the top mark and hold on for two laps.
But on the second downwind leg, Dongfeng Race Team closed on the run and split from AkzoNobel to the favored side for the final upwind leg. When the boats converged again near the top of the course, Caudrelier was in a strong position to tack directly ahead of AkzoNobel, to extend into a healthy lead for the run to the finish.
“I think we had very good speed today and we were able to tack and put them in our bad air and then he lost a lot,” Caudrelier said.
Leg 10 will start Sunday afternoon. That leg, which covers 1,300 nautical miles, will swing around Ireland and Scotland leaving them to starboard, and then then dip into the North Sea to Gothenburg, Sweden. The final leg will be to The Hague.
Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard
1. MAPFRE – 56 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 49 points
4. Team Brunel – 41 points
3. team AkzoNobel – 39 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 26 points
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 21 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 17 points
Dongfeng Race Team won the in-port race but MAPFRE still has a comfortable lead in the series, which serves as a tiebreaker, if necessary. PHOTO: Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race