Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) won an excruciatingly drawn-out Team Vestas Wind In-Port RaceItajaí in the Volvo Ocean Race on Saturday when a lack of breeze tested the sailors’ patience and seamanship to the full.
The very hard-earned victory takes the Dutch boat to the top of the in-port race series overall standings on 15 points (see panel above), one point clear of second-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR).
For so long this morning it was not clear if the packed docks of fans in Itajaí would even see an in-port race, with wind pressures barely passing three knots.
Race management postponed the start for 10 minutes before the boats were finally able to cross the start line.
With the finish at last in sight, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team found themselves virtually in a dead heat for the lead, but still struggling desperately to find pressure.
Finally, Bouwe Bekking’s men shook off what they must have felt was concrete from their hull to win their first in-port race of the series.
Azzam then eased past Dongfeng for second with Team SCA pipping MAPFRE for fourth and Team Alvimedica had to settle for sixth.
Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race Itajaí results:
1. Team Brunel 15:31:47 (local finish time) – 1pt
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 15:33:10 – 2pts
3. Dongfeng Race Team 15:33:21 – 3pts
4. Team SCA 15:33:43 – 4pts?
5. MAPFRE 15:34:10 – 5pts
6. Team Alvimedica 15:35:58 – 6pts
Team Vestas Wind – DNS 8pts
Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series overall standings (after six races of 10):
1. Team Brunel – 15pts
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 16pts
3. Team SCA – 20pts
4. Dongfeng Race Team – 21pts
5. Team Alvimedica – 26pts
6. MAPFRE – 30pts
7. Team Vestas Wind – 44 pts