Volvo Ocean Race: Second place for "MAPFRE" in Brazil - 6776 miles (12,549 km) in 19 days. The Spanish boat skippered by Iker Martínez claims a brilliant and well-earned podium position in the master leg of the Volvo Ocean Race
Itajaí (Brazil), April 6th, 2015
Once more it was a breath-taking finish, as was the whole last week of racing, and indeed practically the entire leg; and a massive one at that. Following their victory in Auckland (New Zealand), MAPFRE remains on the podium today after claiming second position in the leg which truly pushes the boats and crews to their absolute limit. Leg winners Abu Dhabi crossed the finish line 32 minutes ahead of the Spanish team, skippered by Olympic champion Iker Martínez.
The Basque sailor was clearly delighted, as he explained, “First of all I think this is the only leg where you are happy just to arrive. It is also the first leg where we have come up against really strong winds and have had to go through a true learning process. You always learn the hard way here, so we have had to keep going little by little, and have suffered quite a lot, as I imagine all the others have done.”
His fellow team mate Xabi Fernández also added, “after so many miles the first four boats have all arrived within an hour of each other; which again is pretty crazy. Second place is excellent for us and shows that we are still ahead. We are really pleased with the result.”
19 days, 2 minutes and 56 seconds
After the last tack before heading directly to Itajaí, and less than 100 miles from the finish line, the pack divided up into two groups with MAPFRE and leaders Abu Dhabi on one side, and Alvimedica and Brunel on the other. Abu Dhabi gradually began covering the other side although distances remained pretty much the same.
After coming to a standstill within 25 miles of the finish line, a new breeze finally picked up and returned the well-sought after speed to the fleet. Abu Dhabi gained a slight advantage, and one which led them to victory.
At 17:02 local time, 32 minutes and 46 seconds after Abu Dhabi, MAPFRE crossed the line in second place before a huge welcoming audience. Third placed Alvimedica finished 21 minutes and 36 seconds after MAPFRE, followed extremely closely by Dutch team Brunel, who were just one minute and 16 seconds behind the Turkish-American boat.
André Fonseca “Bochecha”, on home territory
Despite the general fatigue on board, one of the happiest crew members was without a doubt André Fonseca “Bochecha”, the only Brazilian sailor in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race,
“Rounding Cape Horn and arriving is a great victory. Yet this has also been an incredible leg, with amazing battles. We were in first place and up to the end we still had chances of winning. Second place is just as great an achievement. We are really happy. A lot of my friends came out on the water and we were accompanied in on the last few miles. Thank you to you all!”
This is the third time “Bochecha” has participated in the race, but it is the first time he has finished the leg on home territory, and the warm sentiment of family, friends and the general public was particularly noteworthy on their arrival.
Fourth overall, drawn even on points with third place
Second place in leg 5 brings MAPFRE to an even draw overall at 18 points with third placed, Brunel. Second place is just two points away for both teams after Dongfeng were forced to retire from the leg after breaking their mast and now have 16 points. Abu Dhabi continues to lead the overall classification with nine points
Photo : © María Muiña/MAPFRE