Ian Walker and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing win Volvo Ocean Race in Gothenburg


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The Independent Online

Team Alvimedica, the Turkish/American entry skippered by Charlie Enright, won the final leg of the Volvo round the race from Lorient to Gothenberg, but the overall winner, with a leg to spare, was British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

Over the 38,739 nautical miles (nm) and nine months, racing was consistently the closest ever in the 41-year-old offshore marathon which began life as the Whitbread Round the World Race.

For Walker it was third time not so much lucky as meticulously prepared, though he was consistently given a run for his money, especially in the latter legs of the race, and made him the first British skipper to win.

The Chinese boat Dongfeng, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, was forced to relinquish their hoped-for second place in the leg to Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), whose second-placed finish on the final leg secured the runners-up spot in the overall standings.

It is thought that Dongfeng will be back in 2017. Fourth place overall may still be decided by the results of an inshore raceon Saturday.

Final standings:

1) Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 24 pts

2) Team Brunel (Netherlands) 29

3) Dongfeng Race Team (China) 33

4=) Team Alvimedica (Turkey/USA) 34 MAPFRE (Spain) 34

6) Team SCA (Sweden) 51

7) Team Vestas Wind (Denmark) 60


As Sir Ben Ainslie’s BAR welcomes the world’s media to its new headquarters building in Portsmouth on Wednesday, Franck Cammas has called a press conference in Paris on Thursday to make what is expected to be a major announcement on the future of Team France and the 39 competitors are due to celebrate the finish of the Solitaire du Figaro in Dieppe.

The announcement in Paris is expected to be attended by not just the French minister of Sport, Valérie Founeyron, but the minister of defence, Jean-Yves le Drian, which may indicate the source of some of the funding from one of two sponsors to be announced.

In Lorient, the gendarmerie maritime has begun its formal investigation into the collision between a marshal boat and the 40m. trimaran Spindrift, campaigned by Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, at the start of the Volvo round the world race leg to Gothenberg. A woman on the marshal boat is reported to have lost one of her legs.