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MAPFRE Seal Overall VOR Leg Zero Win As Light Winds Shorten Final Stage

17th August 2017
On board MAPFRE during Leg Zero’s fourth and final stage from Saint-Malo to Lisbon On board MAPFRE during Leg Zero’s fourth and final stage from Saint-Malo to Lisbon Credit: Jen Edney/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - MAPFRE were declared overall winners of the Volvo Ocean Race’s Leg Zero after continued light winds saw the fourth and final stage shortened.

Racing was halted at 5.30am Irish time yesterday morning (Wednesday 16 August) as the fleet were making slow progress from Saint-Malo to Lisbon.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing, with Irish VOR veteran Damian Foxall among the crew, took the stage win with the shortest distance to finish, ahead of Team AkzoNobel and MAPFRE, whose third place was enough to seal the overall victory.

“I think it was a good decision [to shorten the stage] because this Leg Zero was already becoming quite long,” said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández.

The decision to call a halt to the racing came late on Tuesday night as the stage had become a drifting contest, with the teams making a series of expensive gybes in a bid to find some wind, and latest ETAs predicting that the boats would not reach Lisbon until well into Thursday.

“Preparation time for the Volvo Ocean Race is at a real premium and we have to make sure the teams are using that time in the best way to get ready,” said race director Phil Lawrence on the decision to call the race mid-course.

Teams learned of the move as all but Scallywag were passing Cape Finisterre around 8pm Irish time on Tuesday (15 August) — giving them eight hours to adjust their strategy as winds dropped to as low as 2 knots along the northern Spanish coast.

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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