GOTHENBURG, SWE (#1036) – Bouwe Bekking is determined to finally win the Volvo Ocean Race on his eighth try. Bekking skippered Team Brunel (NED) to a come-from-behind victory in Leg 10 on Thursday to forge a virtual three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard. That sets up an epic final sprint of just 700 nautical miles to The Hague starting on June 21 to determine the winner of the round-the-world race.
Team Brunel finished just less than two minutes ahead of MAPFRE (ESP) and the two teams are now tied with 65 points apiece. MAPFRE will be ranked in first place by virtue of leading the In-Port Race Series, which is the tie-breaker for the overall standings.
Dongfeng Race Team (CHN) finished fourth on the leg, behind team AkzoNobel (NED) and has 64 points with a near-certain bonus point for the fastest elapsed time in the race.
In the In-Port Race Series, MAPFRE leads Dongfeng Race Team, 56 to 49, with Team Brunel third with 41 points. The Gothenburg in-port race will be Sunday.
Bekking would certainly be a popular winner, but he’ll have to fend off two other determined skippers, Xabi Fernandez of MAPFRE and Charles Caudrelier of Dongfeng.
Also at stake is the competition between Kiwis Peter Burling of Team Brunel and Blair Tuke of MAPFRE to become the first to win the so-called Triple Crown of sailing, which would include an Olympic gold medal, the America's Cup and a Volvo Ocean Race victory. Burling and Tuke won the Olympic gold medal in the 49er class at the 2016 Olympics, followed by their stunning victory with Emirates Team New Zealand over Oracle Team USA in the 35th America's Cup last year. The closest anyone has gotten to the true Triple Crown was John Kostecki (USA), who took the silver medal in the Soling class in the 1988 Olympics, skippered illbruck to victory in the 2001-02 VOR and won the America's Cup with Oracle Team USA in 2010 and again in 2013.