Mapfre pips Alvimedica for fourth place in leg two of the Volvo Race

Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 14, 2014 – After a head-to-head battle in the final stretch of a dramatic Leg 2 to Abu Dhabi, tricky conditions in the Gulf of Oman and Straits of Hormuz saw the narrow lead over Spanish rival Mapfre evaporate only 37 hours before the finish line. Today’s light air made for slow going with the team finishing this evening as the sun set over Abu Dhabi.

The fight to the finish was an impressive comeback for skipper Charlie Enright and the young crew who restarted at the back of the fleet after stopping to assist in the rescue of Team Vestas Wind two weeks ago.

Team Alvimedica crossed the Abu Dhabi finish line today in fifth place at 5:29 pm local time (1:29 pm UTC), completing the 6,125-nautical-mile leg in 24 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes and 23 seconds. They have scored 10 points through the first two legs of the race and hold fourth place overall, 6 points behind the leading trio.

“This leg was full of ups and downs,” Enright said at the dock this evening. “We had moments of brilliance and some moments we’d like back, and that doesn’t even count the time we spent with Vestas in Mauritius. Lots to reflect on, lots to improve on, lots to be proud of. We will enjoy the down time, but we can’t wait for Leg 3 to get under way.”

The seven-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet set out from Cape Town, South Africa, on November 19 in a wild start that served up a range of conditions with up to 30-knot gusts before the fleet even left Table Bay. The leg started robustly for Team Alvimedica, as the crew led the fleet for the first two days while racing at speeds in excess of 20 knots.

The crew stayed in touch with the lead over the next week and even reassumed it on November 27. But on November 29 Team Alvimedica stopped sailing to assist Team Vestas Wind. The team will ask the International Jury for redress on the matter.

“We made the ‘decision’ to go and stand by but there really wasn’t much of a decision to make, it was the right thing to do,” Enright said. “That changed the whole leg for us, including our perspective.”

Team Alvimedica restarted the race on Sunday, November 30, once they were assured that the Vestas crew was safely evacuated from the reef. Restarting at the back of the fleet, the team steadily clawed their way back through the second half of the fleet.

The final 500 miles to Abu Dhabi provided an especially challenging stretch of sailing. Leading Mapfre by a narrow margin, the teams entered the Gulf of Oman and a neck and neck battle for fourth place ensued. After five days of fending off Mapfre, the Spanish snatched the lead only 200 miles from the finish.

The Abu Dhabi stopover runs until January 3, when the fleet starts Leg 3 to Sanya, China.

Team Alvimedica’s global heart health charity initiative continues at the Abu Dhabi stopover. Zayed Giving Initiative’s Mobile Heart Clinic Program will be the recipient of the funds raised in the online auction now underway for two unique experiences with Team Alvimedica during the Abu Dhabi stopover.

Bidding has started on the seven Pro-Am Race spots and the “Jump Seat,” two separate once-in-a lifetime experiences on board Team Alvimedica. The auction winners will be part of Team Alvimedica as they compete in Abu Dhabi against the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. To learn more about the auction, go to the team website here.

Team Alvimedica crew race crew are: Alberto Bolzan, 32, (ITA); Nick Dana, 28, (Newport, RI, USA); Charlie Enright, 30, (Bristol, RI, USA); Ryan Houston, 32, (NZL); Sebastien Marsset, 29, (FRA); Will Oxley, 49, (AUS); Dave Swete, 30, (NZL); Mark Towill, 26, (Kanehoe, HI, USA); and OnBoard Reporter Amory Ross, 30, (Newport, RI, USA).

Overall Standings
1. Team Brunel (NED), 3-1 = 4pts
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), 1-3 = 4
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), 2-2 = 4
4. Team Alvimedica (TUR/USA), 5-5 = 10
5. MAPRE (ESP), 7-4 = 11
6. Team SCA (SWE), 6-6 = 12
7. Team Vestas Wind (DNK), 4-8 = 12

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