A third place in race one was followed by a disappointing sixth in race two after sail handling errors for the Green Dragon. Ger O'Rourke's Team Delta Lloyd had a collision causing hull damage.
The eight boats contending for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008 - 09 squared up against each other for the first time. The Green Dragon Team started strongly, leading the fleet off the line in race one and rounding the top mark in second place. The two Spanish Telefonica Volvo Open 70’s showed they had a slight speed edge in the light winds, but Ian Walker and his 12 strong crew aboard Green Dragon held on to finish in third position, ahead of pre-race favourites Puma and Ericsson 4.
At the start of the second race, Russia crashed into the side of the Ireland's second boat Delta Lloyd, leaving a hole.
“That’s going to need a repair which is the last thing we need,” said Ger O’Rourke, the Delta Lloyd skipper whose shore crew only got their measurement certificate at 0700 on the day of the race. “I’m not best happy with how it happened, but that’s life. We just wanted to lap the course on the first race, but to be sixth overall after two is great.”
Walker however was equally up beat: “We had a fantastic first race, the manoeuvres onboard were clean and I am pleased that we were competitive in some shifty conditions against the rest of the fleet.“
The Green Dragon lies fifth and O'Rourke's Delta Lloyd sixth overall with the two Telefonica teams producing fine wins in front of a home crowd. The race organisers counted an attendance of 65,000 people for the first in port races. In port races are also planned next May when the race visits Galway.