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Volvo Ocean Race: A podium finish in Sweden give MAPFRE fourth place overall
MAPFRE third in the In-Port race in Sweden, claim fourth overall in the Volvo Ocean Race

Gothenburg (Sweden), 29th June 2015

The current edition of the round the world race came to an end in Gothenburg (Sweden) with the last In-Port race. MAPFRE bid farewell to the general public with a podium finish (third), fulfilling their goal of beating Alvimedica to fourth place overall in the Volvo Ocean Race.

On board MAPFRE the team had the honour of a very special guest, His Majesty the King Juan Carlos of Spain, who was accompanied by the Director General of the Spanish team, Pedro Campos. On finishing the race, the King declared he had enjoyed the race tremendously, “It brought back a lot of memories and I really enjoyed it. It was a close race, really close.”

A position on the leaderboard at stake
“We are racing for a place on the overall leaderboard,” were the words of the skipper before the inshore race. The race began after postponement with between three to five knots of West-Southwesterly wind.

The dominant factor was the light and extremely shifty wind on a very narrow race course in the middle of a river.

“Once again we had very little wind. It was a very complicated start with some important situations for the outcome of the race, and very difficult to manage in a boat with such a small crew, and with very large sails,” explained Iker Martínez.

MAPFRE started at the pin whilst Alvimedica stayed on the opposite side of the line. The Turkish-American team started off faster with a wind which picked up in intensity on the right-hand side of the race course, in exactly the area they had chosen. On the left, the Spanish team were waiting for new breeze to come in from the left to give them greater speed. The greater wind pressure continued to vary from one side of the race course to the other.

The Spanish team moved into the lead, but with so many wind shifts there could have been one of many outcomes.

At the first mark, Brunel moved ahead with SCA behind them, followed by MAPFRE. Boat handling in light wind is a costly procedure, and any movement means precious time is at stake, with huge shifts in the wind making the racing particularly intense.

At the third mark the fleet faced the last stretch with Iker Martínez’s crew head-to-head with Charlie Enright’s team.

MAPFRE managed to hold Alvimedica at bay with great strategy, “We had to stop them, with a great deal of rules and everything involved, but we managed to slow them down. Donfeng got in between us, and we managed to accelerate just in time so the Chinese weren't able to overtake us, but they moved in front of Alvimedica. We had a really good race, and managed to put a boat in between us, so the team are absolutely thrilled,” explained the Skipper from the Basque country, back on land, and obviously delighted with the team’s result.

“Today was a really important day to beat Alvimedica, which had become more of a personal battle. I must also congratulate them because they did an incredibly good job as well, but today was our day, and we were able to get the result we wanted,” added Martínez.

Fourth place overall
The Volvo Ocean Race final In-Port race officially finalised the overall competition classification. A magnificent effort from Iker Martínez’s crew concluded with a fourth place for the Spanish team, who were just one point away from a podium position.

Photo : © María Muiña/MAPFRE
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