Volvo Ocean Race: The finish in Lorient brings the podium within reach for MAPFRE in Sweden
The Spanish team finished the penultimate leg of the Volvo Ocean Race in Lorient this morning in fourth place, overtaking their greatest rivals on the overall leaderboard. MAPFRE moves even closer to the podium; to be definitively decided in Sweden
Lorient (France), 11nd june 2015
MAPFRE confirmed today in Lorient (France), their fantastic progression in the round the world race. The team, led by Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández, has demonstrated that in spite of limited training time, they have been able to continue learning and reach the last leg of the Volvo Ocean Race with the possibility to be on the final podium, whilst proving the best boat on the water since China.
3 days, 14 hours, nine minutes and 51 seconds after leaving Lisbon,the Spanish boat, skippered by Olympic champion Xabi Fernández from the Basque country, crossed the finish line in France just before dawn at 3:09:51 UTC, to claim fourth place in the leg.
A fourth place tasting like second
At 2:11 UTC the girls on SCA were first across the finish line in the penultimate leg of the race, meanwhile it was a red-hot battle that continued among the remaining boats in the fleet, with 14 miles to the finish line.
MAPFRE was in fourth place, with the advantage for the Spanish team,of maintaining their principal rivals in the competition at bay: Brunel, Alvimedica and Dongfeng, who finished behind them in fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively.
As the finish line drew closer, the pressure continued to increase with distances dropping to a minimum. Utmost tension right until until the fleet were across the line in Lorient, as the boats held onto their individual positions until the very end, without any last minute surprises, as had been the case in Lisbon.
MAPFRE finished fourth, four minutes and 34 seconds after Abu Dhabi (third) and 8 minutes and 26 seconds ahead of the Dutch team (fifth)
However, it is a fourth place which tastes more like second, as Xabi Fernández explained,
“This position is almost a second for us, especially since we have beaten our main rivals, those who are ahead of us, with the exception of Abu Dhabi, who has practically won the race, so it is a good result for us and we are happy.”
Similar sentiments from Carlos Hernández, who recognised that in the first few days the girls’ team (SCA) and Vestas were able break away from the fleet and from then on were involved, in what might be described, as their own personal battle.
The Spanish trimmer/bowman was content the team had defended their fourth place in the last few miles of the leg, and particularly emphasised the fact that,
“This is a good position for us because on the overall leaderboard we are now closer to Dongfeng and Brunel, and it was our aim to finish ahead of them. We are now just two points away from third place (Dongfeng) and four points from second (Brunel), and we still have one leg to go. There are still options to finish on the final podium, which is what we are all aiming for.”
MAPFRE’s fourth place in Lorient moves the team up from fifth to fourth place in the overall classification, and just two points away from Dongfeng (third), and therefore, from a podium position in Sweden. They likewise gain a two-point advantage over Alvimedica, the team following them on the leaderboard. Brunel is second, four points ahead of the Spanish team.
The last leg promises to offer an absolutely epic race final.
Photo : © María Muiña/ MAPFRE