LEG 0: VNR ALERT - International language interviews - Mapfre win qualifying event
Spanish team MAPFRE completed overall Leg Zero victory in the early hours of Wednesday (16 August) and struck the first psychological blow in the build-up to the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.
But what the Leg Zero series of qualifiers confirmed above all is that the teams boasting race experience and preparation time – like Dongfeng Race Team (CHN) skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, Dutch legend Bouwe Bekking who is taking on his 8th race as skipper of Team Brunel and the USA team of Vestas 11th Hour Racing - are extremely closely matched.
The newer teams of AkzoNobel, skippered by Dutchman Simeon Tienpont, Britain’s Dee Caffari who is leading a 50/50 male/female predominantly youth team on Turn The Tide on Plastic, and Hong Kong entry Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallyway, know that they have more work to do, but there are still plenty of positives to take from the progress they have made – and they still have time to close the gap with more than two months to go before the race starts from Alicante on 22 October.
Turn the Tide on Plastic – carrying the message of the United Nations Environment Clean Seas campaign around the world– will be running at full speed in order to finalise their crew selection and prepare for the race around the world: "The gains we’ve made are quite impressive in a short space of time so I’m quite excited about what potentially can happen now and the time we’ve got before the main event starts in October."
Leg Zero – a series of pre-race qualifying stages for the next edition of the round-the-world race – consisted of four mini legs: a record-breaking race around the Isle of Wight (2 August), the Rolex Fastnet Race(6-9 August), a cross-channel sprint from Plymouth to Saint-Malo (10-11 August) and an offshore test from Saint-Malo to Lisbon (13-16 August).
Leg Zero, overall final rankings
1. MAPFRE 29 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team 24
3. Team Brunel 23
4. team AkzoNobel 22
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing 20
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic 13
7. Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag 9
Sabina Mollart RogersonHead of News - Sunset+VineUnited Kingdomsmollartrogerson@sunsetvine.com+44 207 258 6800+44 7922 140148