If winning sailing races is ultimately a matter of making less mistakes than anyone else, then Charlie Enright, skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race 65 Vesta 11th Hour Racing, must have registered an almost-clean sheet since starting Leg 1 from Alicante last Sunday writes W M Nixon.
And one good positive decision was the relatively late addition of Ireland’s Damian Foxall to the Vestas crew, as Foxall’s unrivalled experience always seems to give any world campaign an added edge.
Vestas has been quietly but steadily building on her lead since the start, and approaching the finish of Leg 1 in Lisbon this morning at 11.3 knots, they’re an astonishing 33.7 miles clear ahead of next in line, the Spanish entry Mapfre.
Others are even further astern, and Ireland’s other star participant, Annalise Murphy crewing as a complete rookie on Turn the Tide for Plastic, finds herself in the unusual position of battling over the final place in the seven boat fleet with Team Brunei, with the two boats are neck-and-neck 95 miles astern of Vestas.
Race tracker here
Behind the leading boat, there is a safe margin to second-placed MAPFRE and then a real fight between Dongfeng Race Team and Team AkzoNobel for the third position, with less than four miles between them.
Scallywag has a tight grip on fifth place ahead of another dogfight at the back, with Team Brunel barely edging out Turn The Tide on Plastic, with Annalise Murphy on board, by less than half a mile.
The Leg 1 finish will be featured live on the Volvo Ocean Race website this morning, with the leader expected at 11.45am Irish time.