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Annalise’s Team Finishes Sixth As Brunel Charges To Leg 9 Win In Volvo Ocean Race

29th May 2018
Team Brunel celebrate their Leg 9 victory in Cardiff this morning, Tuesday 29 May Team Brunel celebrate their Leg 9 victory in Cardiff this morning, Tuesday 29 May Credit: Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - Turn the Tide on Plastic, with Annalise Murphy on board, finished sixth in Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race across the Celtic Sea in Cardiff this morning (Tuesday 29 May).

Skippered by Dee Caffari, the Turn the Tide boat arrived at 08:56:21 UTC to complete the morning’s arrivals into Cardiff Bay, around two hours behind fifth-placed MAPFRE.

Caffari also marked a milestone for her rookie crew, who as of 12 hours ago — when the Leg Zero track was crossed — had circumnavigated the globe for the first time.

Earlier, skipper Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel won Leg 9 in the early hours of this morning, crossing the line seconds before 3.40am Irish time to vault into serious contention for the overall race win.

Since arriving in Auckland with a disappointing sixth place finish, the Dutch team has posted a 1-2-1 scoreline, including wins on the final two double-point scoring legs and moved from also-ran to a firm podium position with an eye on the top spot.

To get the leg win, Brunel's Bekking had to fend off fellow Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont’s Team AkzoNobel, who held a nominal lead just hours before the finish.

But in the strong currents and light winds of the Bristol Channel, Bekking and his crew found a way to claw back in front and protected over the final miles to take the win by just four minutes and five seconds over the recent 24-hour-record breakers.

More importantly, Bekking has added 15 points to his overall score and moves his team within striking distance of the overall race lead with two legs to go.

“We’re very happy with the result – to beat the two red boats was the objective,” Bekking said after crossing the finish line. “Winning of course is nice to get the bonus point and then a nice fight to beat AkzoNobel in the end as well, so we’re a happy team.

“But the aim is to keep looking forward. We’ve closed the gap to MAPFRE and Dongfeng and victory remains our main objective!”

Team Brunel are now just three points off the overall race lead, with two short legs to go to the finish in The Hague three weeks away.

Third over the line were Dongfeng Race Team, about an hour and a half behind the leaders but enough to move three points ahead of Team Brunel and take the overall race lead by a single point from MAPFRE, who arrived in fifth place just before 7.50am Irish time.

“It’s nice, but it’s a very small lead to MAPFRE and now Brunel as well who are making a fantastic comeback,” Dinging skipper Charles Caudrelier said dockside after the finish. “So it’s going to be interesting for fans to follow as the race is far from finished. The level is very even and it’s a big fight for every place … we would have preferred an easier finish!”

While Brunel has been ascendant on the last three legs and Dongfeng consistently among the leaders, MAPFRE roared out to a fast start in the opening legs, but has struggled of late.

“It hasn’t been an easy leg for us. It’s been painful from day one and we never could catch up,” said skipper Xabi Fernández. “But looking forward we feel confident. Hopefully we can start well and fight boat to boat over the next two legs.”

Scoring a fourth place finish on the leg was Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing. The team has prided itself on its podium finishes, but this leg marks its worst result across the finish line in the race.

However having missed three crucial legs in the middle of the race, the team’s position on the overall leaderboard is all but locked in at fifth place.

“It was a disappointing leg from a results standpoint, but that doesn’t take away from what was a good crossing for the team,” Enright said. “We’ve overcome a lot more than just a bad result in this race and now we have two legs left to put our best foot forward and end on a good note.”

The arrivals are expected to complete tonight when last-placed Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag are due.

Leg 9 Position Report, Tuesday 29 May (Day 10) at 10am Irish time/9am UTC:

  1. Team Brunel – Arrived 02:39:53 UTC
  2. Team AkzoNobel – Arrived 02:43:58 UTC
  3. Dongfeng Race Team – Arrived 04:16:12 UTC
  4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – Arrived 05:09:09 UTC
  5. MAPFRE – Arrived 06:49:52 UTC
  6. Turn the Tide on Plastic - Arrived 08:56:21 UTC
  7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +126.2
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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