Team Brunel wins Volvo Ocean Race leg that devastated fleet
Veteran skipper Bouwe Bekking led Team Brunel to a narrow victory over Dongfeng Race Team on Tuesday in one of the most devastating legs in the history of the bluewater classic.
Team Brunel beat Dongfeng into Itajai, Brazil, by just less than 15 minutes to cap the leg of 7,600 nautical miles.
Team Brunel won all 16 points available; 14 for finishing first on the double-points leg plus a bonus point each for winning the leg and being the first around Cape Horn.
The transit through the harsh, remote Southern Ocean from Auckland, New Zealand, cost one sailor his life and led to damage to several boats.
British sailor John Fisher was lost at sea on March 26 when he was knocked overboard from Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag. The boat turned back but couldn’t find Fisher. SHK/Scallywag made it to Chile’s west coast and is deciding its plans.
Vestas 11th Hour Racing dismasted off the Falkland Islands and is figuring out how to get to Itajai.
Overall race leader MAPFRE and Turn the Tide on Plastic were damaged and are still several hundred miles from the finish.
”It’s been an unbelievable leg,” Bekking said. ”We are sad in our hearts about the loss of John Fisher and that sits very deep with us, but from a sporting standpoint we sailed a very nice leg so we take confidence from that.”