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Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel Takes Itajai In-Port Ahead Of Leg 6 Start

19th April 2015
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel Takes Itajai In-Port Ahead Of Leg 6 Start

#VOR - Team Vestas Wind aren't quite ready to rejoin the Volvo Ocean Race after their mishap in the Indian Ocean last November.

But their name loomed large over yesterday's (Saturday 18 April) in-port race at Itajaí, sailed in far-too-calm conditions that tested the six competing yachts to the limit.

As the official VOR website reports, Team Brunel claimed top honours in what was an "excruciatingly but fascinatingly drawn-out" race.

The win also puts them ahead of the field in the overall standings – but only by one point on closest rivals Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, who were first to cross the line into the Brazilian port on 5 April.

MAPFRE – who were docked two points last Thursday (16 April) by the ISAF-appointed independent duty for repairs against the rules during Leg 5 – were the first to catch what little wind there was to be had, after an all-nighter to shore up their weakened mast.

Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, duelled with the women of Team SCA, who have been strong in this race's in-port battles. However, a penalty for fouling Team Brunel put paid to the ladies' efforts.

The final showdown was between Abu Dhabi, the Chinese contingent Dongfeng Race Team and the Dutch boat of Team Brunel – and it was to be the latter that pipped the trio at the post.

As for the absent Team Vestas Wind? Progress is being made at their Italian shipyard, with skipper Chris Nicholson saying that "90% of the parts are together".

That's not the same as having a finished boat that's ready to race, of course, as "you’ve got to remind yourself just how complex these boats are, the amount of hydraulics and ropes that goes on – it’s all happening as we speak," he told the VOR website in Itajaí.

But Nicholson is confident that, should plans continue as they are, the team will get "three days on the water before racing" when the fleet assembles in Lisbon for the penultimate leg.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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