THE HAGUE, NED (#1054) – As most of our Dear Readers will know, the main event concluded last Sunday with the dramatic come from behind win of the final leg by Charles Caudralier (FRA) and his Dongfeng Race Team (CHN) to earn them overall 1st in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. But this seemingly never-ending 11-leg event over nine months of regattus-interruptus often felt more like a corporate promotion than a yacht race, never more than over the past six days of "extra time" in The Hague.
The YouTube descriptor for this video penned by VOR media said it all: "Imagine putting Brunel Sailing's Peter Burling & Desafío MAPFRE's Blair Tuke up against each other in an Opti race!" Imagine, indeed....
There was a "real" race today – the final in the series of In-Port races that served as exhibitions for local fans at each stop-over, as well as to break any ties in the main event. As it was, the 6th and 7th place teams (of seven total) were tied after the finish last Sunday, so today's In-Port race served to break that tie; Dee Caffari's (GBR) Turn the Tide on Plastic bested David Witt (AUS) and his Hong Kong-based Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag.
"Home town favorite" Team Brunel (NED) led by eight-time VOR veteran Bouwe Bekking (NED) – who has never won the VOR – led from start to finish today, easily winning the final In-Port race sponsored by, tah-dah, Brunel. What a surprise! Final results below, and detailed overall results on the comprehensive VOR website here.
There is no truth to the rumor that TV announcer Andy Green (GBR/USA) had a coronary soon after the conclusion of his incredibly, er, enthusiastic commentary....
According to today's VOR press release, "It didn’t look good early when Turn the Tide on Plastic was penalised for not keeping clear of team AkzoNobel on a close cross. But at the next mark rounding, Scallywag hooked onto the mark, and was stopped while the rest of the fleet sailed past."
Dee Caffari (GBR), skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic, bested David Witt (AUS) in today's final VOR In-Port race, which served to break the tie between them in the overall.
It's finally over. The last sentence in today's VOR press release, "Announcements on the next race can be expected shortly."