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Scallywag Wins Photo Finish Over Annalise’s Boat In Volvo Ocean Race Leg 2

26th November 2017
Turn the Tide on Plastic closing in on Cape Town last night Turn the Tide on Plastic closing in on Cape Town last night Photo: Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - The closest finish of this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race thus far took place at the back of the fleet, where just metres separated sixth from seventh place on the race into Cape Town.

On the approach, skipper David Witt’s Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag led Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic by two miles. But after sailing into the swirling, shifting winds below Table Mountain, that narrow advantage was whittled away.

By the finish, Caffari had closed to within 0.1 nautical miles – less than 200 metres – at the end of a 7,000 nautical mile leg. But as they sailed to the line just before midnight local time, her team just couldn’t find a way to make the pass.

“We’ve had Scallywag in our sights since the equator crossing and that result is not what we deserved. We deserved more, I’m gutted for them,” Caffari said.

“We lost two miles today to them and then we got it back to a couple of boat lengths. Fair play to our guys to make it happen and that’s why I wanted the result to go the other way.”

Witt and his crew would withstand the assault and after sailing within sight of Turn the Tide on Plastic for most of the Leg, could finally exhale, crossing the finish line just over one-minute ahead.

“Everyone was good. No one gives up,” Witt said, paying tribute to his crew. “We’re solid. We have good character. We have to stick together, keep fighting and get better.”

Getting back to Turn the Tide, one of those happy to be on dry land again is Ireland’s own Annalise Murphy.

In her most recent blog for The Irish Times, the Olympic medallist writes of calling out crew orders in her sleep, and of the struggles of constant saltwater exposure on hands needed for key work on deck.

But she also describes being in her element sailing in mid-ocean conditions not unlike her typical Laser training regime in Dublin Bay.

Earlier this morning Annalise also shared a few photos from the leg before dropping her camera overboard (oops!).

Half an hour and four miles ahead of the duo duelling for sixth, Team AkzoNobel secured a fifth-place finish, the crew holding their nerve as the wind died and swirled near the finish line.

It’s not often that a fifth-place finish feels like a victory, but given how close the battle was with Scallywag and Turn the Tide, this is a result skipper Simeon Tienpont and his crew will happily take.

“We had to fight all the way,” Tienpont said. “Of course it’s disappointing we couldn’t get hold of the breeze but everyone stayed positive. There was no negativity, and we had a great sailing race all the way to the end. I’m very happy to be fifth in such tight racing.”

With all seven teams now finished, Leg 2 winner MAPFRE is also on top of the overall leaderboard, by just a one-point margin over Vestas 11th Hour Racing. Dongfeng Race Team is a further two points adrift.

The crews will take some well-deserved rest before the in-port race on Friday 8 December. Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Cape Town to Melbourne, starts on Sunday 10 December.

Leg 2 Provisional Results, Saturday 25 November at 10pm Irish time:

  1. MAPFRE - Finished 19d 1h 10m 33s)
  2. Dongfeng Race Team - Finished 19d 4h 2m 39s
  3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing - Finished 19d 5h 37m 53s
  4. Team Brunel - Finished 19d 10h 14m 47s
  5. Team AkzoNobel - Finished 20d 7h 24m 40s
  6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag - Finished 20d 7h 55m 21s
  7. Turn the Tide on Plastic - Finished 20d 7h 56m 29s

Current Leaderboard after Leg 2:

  1. MAPFRE - 14 points
  2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing - 13 points
  3. Dongfeng Race Team - 11 points
  4. Team AkzoNobel - 7 points
  5. Team Brunel - 6 points
  6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag - 5 points
  7. Turn the Tide on Plastic - 2 points

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