#VOR - After nine months, 45,000 miles of offshore racing and 10 in-port races, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is preparing to take the final start of the event at the Brunel In-Port Race in The Hague this afternoon, Saturday 30 June.
It will be a bittersweet moment for the sailors, many of whom may be racing together for the last time after spending many miles at sea as close teammates.
Although MAPFRE won the overall In-Port Race Series with their performance in Gothenburg, there is still much at stake on Saturday, including a tie-break scenario on the overall leaderboard.
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Turn the Tide on Plastic are on equal points for sixth place on the overall Volvo Ocean Race table. David Witt’s Scallywags currently win the tie-break based on their lead in the In-Port Series. But Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic is just three points back.
A good performance this afternoon, with some boats in-between, could lift Turn the Tide on Plastic into sixth place for both the In-Port Series and the overall Volvo Ocean Race.
In her final race diary for The Irish Times, Turn the Tide crew member Annalise Murphy writes about the “gruelling” final stages from Cardiff, including a North Sea passage that saw her struck by seasickness for the second time this race – “just one four-hour watch but the worst four hours of the whole race”.
Reflecting on her experiences since last summer, and whether she’d consider another VOR in her future, Annalise says: “The intensity of the competition, the manic schedule in-port, the stripped-down simplicity of life at sea, the non-stop-every-waking-hour concentration is both daunting and addictive.”
Annalise returns to Ireland tomorrow, but is taking only a week off before getting into the thick of her 49erFX ambitions for Tokyo 2020 with sailing partner Katie Tingle.
Back to this afternoon, and there will be a battle between Dutch skippers Simeon Tienpont and Team AkzoNobel and Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel for the final podium spot in the series as just two points separate the teams.
And AkzoNobel has an outside chance at catching overall race winners Dongfeng Race Team for second place, although the gap is five points.
Racing starts earlier than usual, with the dock-out serene and race start from 12.30pm Irish time, and will be broadcast live on all of the usual Volvo Ocean Race outlets.
Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Points Table:
- MAPFRE – 61 points
- Dongfeng Race Team – 50 points
- Team AkzoNobel – 45 points
- Team Brunel – 43 points
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 33 points
- Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – 24 points
- Turn the Tide on Plastic – 21 points
Volvo Ocean Race Overall Points Leaderboard:
- Dongfeng Race Team – 73 points
- MAPFRE – 70 points
- Team Brunel – 69 points
- Team AkzoNobel – 59 points
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 39 points
- Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – 32 points
- Turn the Tide on Plastic – 32 points