Simeon Tienpont’s team AkzoNobel has completed the podium for Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race with a third place finish into Itajaí, Brazil.
It’s the third consecutive leg with a podium finish for team AkzoNobel and the result leaves the team in fourth place on the overall leaderboard, just three points behind Team Brunel for the final podium spot.
“We’ve very content with the result of course,” said Tienpont. “The goal was to have a podium position, to have a safe journey and to keep the boat in one piece, which we did, so we are very happy. The mood is good, even with a slow finish, we had a good race.
“I think we had a very good Southern Ocean crossing. I think we’ve been conservative. The plan was that normally the last bit, after Cape Horn, there is plenty of opportunities up to Brazil. This time, it was different. It was harder to catch up – the rich got a little bit richer – but it was the same for us in securing third place… It’s been a very good leg for the crew and the boat.”
The finish marked a homecoming for Martine Grael, a local hero in Brazil as an Olympic gold medallist, and the youngest member of a famous sailing dynasty.
“It’s been an amazing last few years and doing this race has been very cool,” Grael said dockside in Itajaí. “This last leg has been full of very good sailing, and a very good experience… It’s good to be able to inspire new generations…”
Two boats remain on the race course racing towards Itajaí. As at 0530 UTC on Thursday morning Turn the Tide on Plastic had 370 miles to run, while MAPFRE was 625 miles from the finish.
The boats that have retired from Leg 7, Team SHK/Scallywag and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, are working through logistics to come up with the best plan to re-join the race, with updates from the teams expected shortly.
A statement on the Scallywag Facebook page on Wednesday read: “Our delivery crew have arrived (in Chile) and we are now in a race against the clock to make the start in Brazil for the next leg. We are all hurt but we are not out!! Scallywags never ever give up!!”
The 2018 Volvo Ocean Race sailors return to Newport this May. The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover Race Village will be open on May 8th – 20th at Fort Adams State Park.
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