Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tricky wind conditions bring some surprises on the Lisbon Podium.

In the early hours today, Wednesday 27th May, the VolvoOceanRace fleet finished in Lisbon on Leg 7 from Newport. 

Team Brunel takes Victory in Leg 7 in the early in Lisbon

The Finish is in the mouth of the river Tajo and is known for its wind holes and currents. Well this time it is hardly any better as last VOR version. 

Well the first boats arriving came at the moment of tide change with a new tide coming in, helping the boats to the finish; that of course is welcome.
Team Brunel , the 1st Boat to enter the river, sailed into weaker winds and saw Maphre closing in. Bouwe must have been sweating, such a good sailing over the last days, and a comfortable lead coming into the Portuguese waters, would it then still be possible to loose.
Shortly after Maphre was also struck by light winds and distance of 1.5 Nm was hardly changing. 
Luckily the wind picked up some 2 Nm before the finish and ultimately Team Brunel could take Victory with a comfortable lead. 
Maphre took 2nd place. 
Dongfeng, earlier was sailing further of shore and somewhere got stuck in a wind hold for a very long time, even to the extend that Alvimedica could pass them. A very tight battle evolved with boats making tacks in boat-lengths of each other. Dongfeng pushing Alvimedica into tacks and disaster struck. Alvimedica made a wrong tack, it took a long time and Dongfeng was about to pass. But luck came back to Alvimedica, as Dongfeng made a similar mistake in a tack, but took far more time to correct it. Alvimedica, took 3rd with ease and Dongfeng renegated to 4th arrival.
AbuDhabi, entered the bay just ahead of Alvimedica, but choose also more of-shore route. This brought them in bad winds and they could only manage to stay ahead of SCA, who closed in rapidly but were too far out for a passage of Abu Dhabi.

Next event is the In-Port race in Lisbon, which could show similar wind situations. This is on Saturday 6th June and can be followed live on internet, via the VOR website or Youtube.

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