With only one leg remaining in the Volvo Ocean Race, the fleet that was in our waters off Newport here a month ago is settling into what is very likely to be their overall finishes – well, at least for first place overall – Team Abu Dhabi OCean Racing aboard ‘Azzam’ now has an “unassailable lead” and will capture the overall victtory when they arrive in Gothenburg, Sweden later this month. A catastrophe could derail the team and snatch victory, but it seems unlikely at this stage of the race.
Other teams also claimed a massive victory in this recent finish off Lorient. Team SCA, the all women’s entry in the race who has been the recipient of massive criticism and speculation after many lackluster leg performances, sailed easily into first place for the leg after getting out ahead of the fleet in the first night off Lisbon and never looking back. They worked hard to cover the fleet and stayed out in front, proving that the all female team is capable of fast, smart sailing in what proved to be hideous sea and wind conditions.
The second place finisher in Lorient is perhaps the biggest victor of them all. Team Vestas Wind claimed second place only a week after relaunching their half-new boat that was badly damaged when they hit a reef and had to abandon the boat and the race. Team Vestas Wind made the decision to quickly rebuild and get back in the race, and their top finish is hard to swallow for a team who was a podium hopeful and who has no chance of making it to the top three.
TotalBoat blogger for the New York Times, Chris Museler, wrote this article for yesterdays NYT and it is a great read about Team Vestas Wind and their race. (READ THE NYT STORY)
Other cool bits from the race and recent finish are found below.
Video of crazy conditions off the Costa Da Muerte (The Coast Of Death, off Spain’s northwestern corner)
A video of the story of the big finishes in Lorient:
Chilling Video of Team Vestas Wind hitting the reef:
Now all we need is for Team Alvimedica from good old Rhode Island to pull off a first place win! One leg to go! You can do it, Alvimedica!