Telefonica dominate Volvo Ocean Race
Saturday 30 May 2009
A first and a third for Bouwe Bekking in Telefonica Blue reinforced Spain’s growing dominance of the inshore stages of the Volvo race yesterday as sistership Telefonica Black scored a second and a fourth.
There was also a first win for the American Kenny Read’s Puma to celebrate, but what was a festival ashore was rather spoiled by two last places for the Irish boat, Green Dragon.
Skipper Ian Walker had tried to be upbeat about the training sessions, but he has lacked a speed advantage ever since the race left Alicante in October last year and just does not have the cash to upgrade, develop or even buy new sails. Even rolling the tactical dice produced nothing.
It was not the performance the Dragons had wanted to reward the fervent support that has transformed the mood of Galway ever since they arrived at their home port a week ago. Then, even at four in the morning, thousands waited to cheer their best result of the race so far, third on the transatlantic run from Boston, All week there has been a stream of politicians making the pilgrimage of public approval as part of their European parliament campaign trail.
Listen to Stuart Alexander in Galway.
The battle for second place overall between Puma and T Blue remains locked is now one points, the tie-break system favouring the second inshore race result. After their second place on the run from Boston the mood remains upbeat on Puma with three more legs and one more inshore race to go before the final fireworks in St. Petersberg.
The overall leader, Sweden’s Ericsson 4, skippered by five times Brazilian Olympic medallist Torben Grael, will have to do something catastrophic to lose, but a fourth and a fifth in Galway Bay was not going to improve his mood, especially as his stablemate, the 60-year old Magnus Olsson, took Ericsson 3 to second place in the second race.
The weather was better than forecast but still tricky on a track which saw the early breeze die and swing to a new direction, requiring some nimble footwork by the race officer, Bill O’Hara. The big spectator fleet those watching on big screens ashore didn’t really care. They were enjoying the bank holiday weekend party.
The next 1,000-miler up the Channel and North Sea to Marstrand, Sweden, starts next Saturday with the Telefonica boats believing the conditions will suit them.
VOLVO OCEAN RACE: Overall standings (after seven legs);
1; Ericsson 4 (T Grael), 94 pts: 2, Telefonica Blue (B Bekking) 81; 3, Puma (K Read) 80 ; 4, Ericsson 3 (M Olsson) 62.5; 5, Green Dragon (I Walker) 53; 6, Telefonica Black (F Echevarri) 39; 7, Delta Lloyd (R Bermudez) 31.
Latest in Sport
Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
Divock Origi arrives for Liverpool training in a Mini with a broken wing mirror
Angel Di Maria to Bayern Munich: The reasons why Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben will not be joining Manchester United
Manchester United transfer news: No 9 shirt left vacant - a hint that new striker will be arriving?
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy