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Volvo Ocean Race

Telefónica Blue win Alicante in-port race

Bouwe Bekking : "both boats did very well and we enjoyed ourselves"

samedi 4 octobre 2008Information Volvo Ocean Race

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Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/Iker Martinez) made it a win-win situation in today’s in-port races held in Alicante, Spain, and now head the leaderboard of the Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race #VolvoOceanRace . After two races held in the bay of Alicante in glorious Mediterranean sunshine, leading from start to finish in race one, and winning an intense battle from Puma to take race two, Telefónica Blue finished in first place overall in front of their home crowd.

“It was a very difficult day, the wind shifted a lot but we had a good time, both boats did very well and we enjoyed ourselves,” said Bouwe Bekking after his win.

Tension has been mounting in Alicante, Spain, all week in anticipation of today’s in-port race where the eight-strong Volvo Ocean Race Volvo Ocean Race #VolvoOceanRace fleet showed their form for the first time.

The first of two races got away at just after 1300 local time in a light south-easterly breeze, and was led from start to finish by Bouwe Bekking and Iker Martinez with local boat, Telefónica Blue, putting in an impressive performance.

The battle for second place in race one was hard fought but at the gun it was Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri) who claimed second place with Green Dragon (Ian Walker) in third. Both Telefónica boats have their training base in Alicante and their experience in this light and fluky breeze was evident, sailing high and fast throughout.

Green Dragon displayed some impressive speed in these conditions and led the fleet across the pin-end of the start line, while the rest of the fleet did not look so comfortable in this wind range.

Race two was postponed just 30 seconds before the start as the wind shifted violently and then carnage ensued at the committee boat end of the line when the gun eventually fired. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp) collided with Delta Lloyd (Ger O’Rourke) and both boats were holed close the water line. Team Russia subsequently took a penalty turn and Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander) had to dip back across the line after being OCS (on course side) when the gun fired.

Puma (Ken Read) smoked away from the fleet looking very impressive, flying her massive Code Zero headsail with ease, but Telefónica Blue was hot on her heels. This short course was very effective in churning out the action today as the rest of the fleet struggled to hoist and drop their massive headsails at the turning marks and the latest generation of Code Zero sails caused problems across the fleet as the boats experimented.

Telefónica Black and Green Dragon scrapped as they approached the spectator fleet in third and fourth place while Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) sailed confidently in clear air and Green Dragon was spat back into fifth as the group approached the top mark for the second time.

Telefónica Blue closed to within a boat length of Puma as they approached the mid-course gate for the final time and Puma struggled to hold onto their lead. Telefónica Blue finally rolled Puma as the American team went slightly wide at the gate and Telefónica Blue snatched the advantage to claim a double victory.

Puma skipper Ken Read said, “We are really pleased with the day. It was an ugly first race, but we’re happy with a third overall. The guys like each other and, after so much time, it’s good to go racing. It was a hard day and you have to put yourself in the right spot.”

The duel for third place between Telefónica Black and Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) continued, while Ericsson 3 and Green Dragon continued to scrap and the two damaged boats, Delta Lloyd and Team Russia held a private fight at the back of the fleet.

The points for the day were calculated from the finishing positions in both races.

- 1. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/Iker Martinez) 4 points
- 2. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri) 3.5 points
- 3. Puma Il Mostro (Ken Read) 3 points
- 4. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) 2.5 points
- 5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker) 2 points
- 6. Delta Lloyd (Ger O’Rourke) 1 point
- 7. Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander) 0.5 points*
- 8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp) 0.5 points

*one point has been deducted from the Ericsson 3 score as per the jury decision number JN04 2 October.

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