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Six Volvo Ocean Race Teams To Start Itajaí In-Port Race Today

20th April 2018
Practice racing during the Itajaí stopover yesterday, Thursday 19 April Practice racing during the Itajaí stopover yesterday, Thursday 19 April Credit: Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - Six Volvo Ocean Race teams will be on the start line later today (Friday 20 April) for the Itajaí In-Port Race in Brazil, with Vestas 11th Hour Racing joining the fleet following its dismasting and subsequent repair and relaunching.

Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, who only arrived in Itajaí mid-afternoon yesterday, won’t be taking part as the team races the clock to prepare for the start of Leg 8.

Neil Cox, head of the Boatyard, says he has his full team ready to work around the clock to get Scallywag on the start line, but he cautions that certain processes can’t be shortcut.
“We have the entire Boatyard workforce dedicated to working on that boat,” Cox said. “We’ve also kept suppliers on site to help us with certain tasks.

“Following the Southern Ocean legs, we’re giving the rigs a thorough check with the help of Southern Spars. Any carbon work that has to be done takes a certain amount of time to ‘cook’ and that process can’t be shortened.

“Our goal within the Boatyard is to get through the mandated service work that each boat goes through in this stopover and to complete any other repairs within the time it takes to get the rig ready. If everything goes well, they’ll be on the start line on Sunday, but we are at the point now where every hour counts.”

For the Scallywag crew, the race against the clock has seen an outpouring of goodwill from their competitors who are lending a hand, where necessary, to help them get to the start.

“Some of the other teams have offered to help us pull our mast out,” said sailor Trystan Seal. “So the support we’re getting is petty impressive. It’s a tight timeline for us to get to the start, but everyone is on our side and trying to help us as much as possible.” 

“It’s amazing how much help we’ve been offered by the other teams,” said Annemeike Bes. “It’s a great feeling that so many people are supporting us.

“We’re in a race and we’re competitive and we all want to win, but at times like this it’s more like a family taking care of each other, and that’s awesome.”

Today’s race marks the seventh event in the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series. Spanish MAPFRE team, skippered by Xabi Fernández, is at the top of the leaderboard for the series, with two race wins and three second place finishes to boast the most consistent podium results.

Just three points back is Dongfeng Race Team, winners of three races but held back by one disappointing result in the China stop.

The two Dutch-skippered entries, Team AkzoNobel and Team Brunel, are battling for the final podium spot, with Simeon Tienpont’s AkzoNobel squad just one point ahead of Bouwe Bekking’s Brunel.

The Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series acts as a tie-breaking mechanism for the overall race leaderboard. And with just one point separating first from second place after seven legs of racing, the results here could be crucial by the time the race finishes in The Hague at the end of June.

This evening’s racing starts at 2pm local time (5pm UTC/6pm Irish time). Catch a live stream of the action from 5.45pm Irish time at the Volvo Ocean Race website, which will also have a live blog from 5.30pm. The In-Port Race is also live on Facebook and Twitter.

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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