A great day of racing for MAPFRE in Gothenburg. The penultimate In-Port Race of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, establishes Xabi Fernández and his team the mathematical champions of the In-Port Race Series, with their tenth podium position out of the ten races disputed to date. Moreover, the result gives MAPFRE additional motivation ahead of the last leg of the round-the-world race, starting on Thursday, and which will decide the definitive winners of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Xabi Fernández, “one goal achieved.”
Not even three days have passed since the conclusion of Leg 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race and the fleet were already back in action on the waters of Gothenburg. On Sunday 17th June at 14:00h, the Race Committee, sounded the start gun of the in-port race, and MAPFRE were once again extremely clear of their goal: to win the In-Port Race Series. For the Spanish VO65, it was sufficient to finish ahead of Dongfeng to seal the final victory, although the team, were not willing to conform, and headed out to the water to give their utmost and achieve their very best result.
Calm-headed and aiming to fight for their goal, MAPFRE began to mark Charles Caudrelier’s team from the very start of the race, in classic Match Race style from the start line, Xabi Fernández and his team began the first leg a little behind the rest of the fleet, but ahead of Dongfeng, who they kept in their sight for the first few legs of the course.
“As always, our aim today was to try to win the in-port race, but at the start it got a little complicated with Brunel and Vestas, so we decided to stay ahead of Dongfeng more than anything else, and that is how we started,” explained Xabi.
As such, MAPFRE were fifth to the first mark, ahead of Dongfeng, who were forced to take a penalty for not leaving space for Turn The Tide on Plastic. From here on in, and with their eyes continuously behind them, Xabi Fernández and his team began their fight to reduce the distances with those at the front of the fleet.
Finally, in the third of the five legs of the race, the Spanish team moved into third place, which they were able to defend until the end, and therefore sealed their tenth podium position of the ten in-port races disputed to date.
“I am obviously really happy. It has been a really good day for us here in Gothenburg; one of our goals has been achieved. Another podium position in the In-Port Series, and as such we have won the series overall. We now have to focus on the next leg, and this is the important one,” explained the Basque skipper on arrival after the in-port race.
On this occasion Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing in first place and Simeon Tienpont’s AkzoNobel in second completed the podium. Behind them, MAPFRE in third, Turn The Tide on Plastic in fourth, Scallywag fifth, Brunel sixth and Dongfeng in seventh.
Looking ahead to The Hague
Following their confirmed victory in the In-Port Race Series, MAPFRE is now looking ahead to their next major goal: fighting for final victory in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. On Thursday 21st June, the last leg of the round-the-world race will start from Gothenburg to The Hague.
The 700 nautical-mile last leg will decide the final podium of the round-the-world race, and with MAPFRE at the very top of the overall leaderboard, drawn even on points with Brunel and Dongfeng, absolutely everything depends exclusively on the results of this last leg of the race.
GOTHENBURG IN-PORT RACE
1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (USA/DEN, Charlie Enright), 00:47:56 – 7 points
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED, Simeon Tienpont), +00:22 – 6 points
3. MAPFRE (ESP, Xabi Fernández), +01:26 – 5 points
4. Turn The Tide on Plastic (Naciones Unidas, Dee Caffari), +01:50 – 4 points
5. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (HKG, David Witt), +02:24 – 3 points
6. Team Brunel (NED, Bouwe Bekking), +02:57 – 2 points
7. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN, Charles Caudrelier), +03:25 – 1 point
PROVISIONAL IN-PORT RACE SERIES OVERALL
1. MAPFRE (ESP, Xabi Fernández), 61 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN, Charles Caudrelier), 50 points
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED, Simeon Tienpont), 45 points
4. Team Brunel (NED, Bouwe Bekking), 43 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (USA/DEN, Charlie Enright), 33 points
6. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (HKG, David Witt), 24 points
7. Turn The Tide on Plastic (United Nations, Dee Caffari), 21 points