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Team Brunel leaving Lisbon – Volvo Ocean Race © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race
Team Brunel leaving Lisbon – Volvo Ocean Race © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race

Team Brunel finished fourth in Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team of Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking ended after more than 19 days at sea behind Mapfre, Dongfeng Racing and Vestas 11th hour racing.

Good learning curve
Skipper Bekking was realistic on arrival in Cape Town. Bekking: ‘In general we are satisfied at this stage. Of course the last three days are a shame. At the time of the front passage we were only ten nautical miles behind the front runners. The moment you just miss that front passage, the difference quickly becomes one hundred nautical miles and you cannot claw that back anymore. It’s frustrating, but that’s sailing. Overall, I think we can be satisfied with where we are at this stage. We started late with preparations and have had a good learning curve.

7,000 nautical miles
Team Brunel consists of a mix of experience and talent. For example, Team Brunel has three Volvo Ocean Race debutants; Carlo Huisman (NED), Kyle Langford (AUS) and Peter Burling (NZ) – world sailor of the year.

Bekking: ‘The newcomers have now sailed 7,000 nautical miles in a row under pressure. That is just very important for these guys to get into the routine optimally. I’m sure they learned a lot at this stage.

It’s not only the newcomers that have learned a lot. Bekking: ‘We want to keep learning and improve ourselves as a team. These 7,000 nautical miles were very important to us all. We are now entering the next Southern Ocean stage.

Skipper Bouwe Bekking – Volvo Ocean Race © Pedro Martinez / Volvo Ocean Race

Skipper Bouwe Bekking – Volvo Ocean Race © Pedro Martinez / Volvo Ocean Race

That counts for double points. There you can make a difference as a team. But it is not only the next leg that is important. As a team you will have to continue to learn continuously. The best working team will cross that final finish line at the ultimate destination in The Hague in first place.’

Melbourne next stop
On December 10th, the race will continue with Leg 3 to Melbourne. The first Southern Ocean leg of this Volvo Ocean Race. Bekking: ‘Before we arrived in Cape Town the new boys were already complaining that it was a bit cold. I have already warned them that this is nothing at all. It only gets really cold when the anemometer starts to freeze on the way to Melbourne.’

Before all this, we are first looking forward to the third In-Port Race in Cape Town on December 8th. Team Brunel won the last In-Port race in Lisbon.

by Volvo Ocean Race

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