It’s somewhat of a dichotomy that an event like the Volvo Ocean Race, which covers over 45,000 nautical miles and spans close to nine months, is won and lost in the tiniest of moments. Take for example the heartbreak that was felt on board the Dutch yacht Team Brunel when, after leading for most of Leg 8, they had their victory snatched from them in the final few minutes of the leg when the Spanish entry Mapfre snuck by them in light winds and in thick fog to cross the finish line in first place. There was not a thing that skipper Bouwe Bekking and his crew could do. The wind gods dealt Mapfre an errant puff and that was all that was needed for them to win after almost 6,000 miles of hard fought open ocean racing.
That must have been a bitter pill for Bekking and company, but Bouwe is a wily veteran of numerous hard won battles and he knew that there would be other opportunities. This past Saturday Team Brunel found their opportunity and showed the fleet who was boss to convincingly win the Newport In Port Race. Bouwe and his team led off the start line, held on to their lead despite the fickle breeze in Newport harbor, and extended to win the race in convincing fashion. To make their victory that much sweeter it was Mapfre that stared at their transom to take second place.
There will be many more “moments” before this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race is relegated to the history books, but so long as Team Brunel are able to keep a cool head and their lucky Dubarry Crosshaven boots on their feet, they will have a better than even chance of finishing on the podium when the race wraps up in The Hague in June. www.dubarry.com
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This article was syndicated from Great Circle Sails Blog