Please select your home edition
Rooster Sailing - Aquafleece Leaderboard

MAPFRE wins Volvo Ocean Race Prologue Leg

by MAPFRE 11 Oct 2017 14:34 BST 11 October 2017

At exactly 11h49m04s the Spanish boat, competing in the coming round-the-world race, crossed the finish line to win the Prologue leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, which began on Sunday at 17.15h Spanish time, in Lisbon (Portugal).

Two days and 18 hours after leaving the Portuguese capital, the MAPFRE crew, skippered by Basque sailor Xabi Fernández, concluded the non-scoring leg of the race, which despite not counting in points, will very likely ensure positive team spirit and a calmer outlook ahead of the imminent start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018, on 22nd October from Alicante.

Cabo de Gata: End of the leg

At 10:00h this morning Race Management contacted the fleet to inform them that due to extremely light wind conditions, the decision had been taken to shorten the leg. The first scoring event, the Alicante coastal race is only three days away, and scarce wind conditions in the Mediterranean promised a very long, drawn-out end to the Prologue leg.

As MAPFRE navigator Joan Vila explained, "Conditions were quite tough as we were expecting; the wind was very unstable, and not at all consistent, with heavy currents, and shifty wind conditions changing was very difficult sailing."

When the news from Race Management came in, MAPFRE was just 15 miles from the new finish line in Cabo de Gata, and likewise from Team Brunel. Without letting the Dutch team out of their sight for a moment, it was clearly set to be a battle up until the very end.

Team Brunel continued to fight to catch the Spanish team; sailing consistently and without error despite the very light wind conditions. At 12.06h, just 17 minutes and 2 seconds behind MAPFRE, Bouwe Bekking's crew finished the Prologue Leg in second place.

The rest of the fleet are expected to arrive at 15:00h today.

Two out of two (non-scoring)

As well as the Prologue leg, the seven VO65, which will compete in the coming edition of the round-the-world race, have also sailed together in "Leg Zero", which was held in August, and included four stages: a lap around the Isle of Wight, the Rolex Fastnet Race, a leg between Plymouth and St. Malo and another from the French port to Lisbon (also shortened due to lack of wind).

MAPFRE has won both events, however neither Fernández nor his crew, are keen on being named favourites, which many are already designating the Spanish team.

"It is important to keep working hard; we are happy but by no means are we going to relax. There are some very good sailors here, and we won't let our guard down, not for a second," declared the skipper from Ibarra.

As to prove his words, Joan Vila shared his thoughts on the final sprint up to the start of the race,

"We will dedicate the next ten days in Alicante to preparing the boat as best possible. We will keep pushing so the team is at its utmost best, and will even try to improve some aspects, which we believe we can do better."

"We are really happy to be arriving in Alicante. As the Spanish team, we are really looking forward to being in Alicante and making the final preparations before the Volvo Ocean Race", he added.

Prologue Leg Provisional Results: (non-scoring)

1. MAPFRE (ESP, Xabi Fernández). CROSSED FINISH LINE: 11:49h Spanish time
2. Team Brunel (NED, Bouwe Bekking) CROSSED FINISH LINE: 12:06h Spanish time
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED, Simeon Tienpont), 20.70 miles from finish line
4. Turn The Tide on Plastic (Naciones Unidas, Dee Caffari), 21.10 miles from finish line
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (USA, Charlie Enright), 21.80 miles from finish line
6. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN, Charles Caudrelier), 24.70 miles from finish line
7. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (HKG, David Witt), 25.40 miles from finish line

MAPFRE Sailing Crew in Prologue Leg:

  • Xabi Fernández (ESP)
  • Joan Vila (ESP)
  • Pablo Arrarte (ESP)
  • Rob Greenhalgh (GBR)
  • Antonio "Ñeti" Cuervas-Mons (ESP)
  • Blair Tuke (NZL)
  • Willy Altadill (ESP)
  • Támara Echegoyen (ESP)
  • Sophie Ciszek (USA/AUS)
  • Jen Edney (USA) *OBR (onboard reporter)

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 Day 19
The race is on to slip around Cape Reinga and North Point, the northern tip of New Zealand The race is on to slip around Cape Reinga and North Point, the northern tip of New Zealand, ahead of the dash down the east coast of the North Island and into the finish of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Posted today at 2:39 pm
Volvo OR fleet finish expected in two days
Leg 6 leader SHK Scallywag goes into stealth mode - probably to go south Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 leader SHK Scallywag has gone into Stealth Mode. The smart money is that she has headed south to cover her rival for first home honours Team AzkoNobel. Richard Gladwell reports.. Posted today at 8:50 am
Designer Spotlight Series
One of the world's leading sail designers talks about the next generation of innovation JB Braun loves making sailboats go faster, and that's his job as Director of Design and Engineering at North Sails. "There's a lot that goes into it," he says. "It's not only developing a product but developing the tools and software to help create it." Posted today at 6:52 am
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 Day 18
There's a big spread in fleet from West to East, reflecting different options for final 1000 miles Team Brunel emerged from Stealth Mode overnight as the furthest east in the fleet, and by the 1300 UTC on Saturday, Bouwe Bekking's team was in second place as measured on distance to finish, despite being the northernmost boat in the fleet. Posted on 24 Feb
Volvo OR: Test is yet to come at North Cape
Volvo Ocean Race: When first can also be second - Leg 6 finish predicted for Wednesday Although SHK Scallywag is shown as topping the leaderboard from the last sched at 0700UTC on February 24, a second feed (GFS) has her in second place. Richard Gladwell reports.. Posted on 24 Feb
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 Day 17
The drag race south begins Skipper Simeon Tienpont's team made the most of slightly better wind and angle as they sailed round the outside of previous frontrunners Turn the Tide on Plastic along with Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallwag. Posted on 23 Feb
AkzoNobel continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race
Third-ranked team AkzoNobel still leads the Volvo Ocean Race according to the routing function of Pr Despite being shown in third place overall by the Volvo Ocean Race tracker, third-ranked team AkzoNobel still leads the Volvo Ocean Race according to the routing function of - Richard Gladwell updates Posted on 23 Feb
Volvo OR should be a parade to Auckland
Volvo racers still four days from Auckland The six strong Volvo Ocean Race should now be clear of the light winds that have beset the fleet Posted on 23 Feb
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 Day 16
Dee Caffari was preparing to lead her team through the world's second-largest barrier reef Caffari said she will thread her Turn the Tide on Plastic crew through the Grand Passage, a narrow gap in the barrier reef surrounding the South Pacific island chain of New Caledonia, in the hunt for the tiniest of time advantages. Posted on 22 Feb
Turn the Tide on Plastic lead in the Doldrums
There's a new leader on Leg 6 as Turn the Tide on Plastic steps forward... Spirits on board are so high that on board reporter James Blake flew the drone down the main companionway hatch, through the boat, and out a forward hatch. Keep scrolling below to watch the footage. Posted on 21 Feb