At 4:40am BST Dongfeng Race Team crossed the finish line of this year’s Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. Despite a few small setbacks it has been an awesome week for the team. As the Volvo Ocean 65 ‘Dongfeng’ arrived at Ocean Village in Southampton, spirits were high both onboard and on land.
'Worried? Not anymore,' reveals ‘Wolf’ Yang Jiru. 'We are young, we have a different personality and we have built a team from nothing and half a year later here we are. Third place in the Round Britain and Ireland Race. I think it’s very good and we are still working hard and will continue to work hard. We hope that with our spirit and determination we will close the gap of inexperience we have next to the other teams.'
'This race has allowed us to see that we are competitive, which is very interesting,' explains Caudrelier dockside as he congratulates his team. 'I’m so proud of the Chinese guys, they were worried about being seasick but they were not. They are more and more natural onboard and have good reactions to situations. If we carry on like this we will perform well in the Volvo Ocean Race. They have come so far and when I think about everything they have done, they are only getting better and better. They are impressive. The more they do, the more they like it – we must remember, it’s not easy to become a Volvo Ocean Race sailor in six months.'
The team finished just four hours behind Team Campos in third place, setting the bar for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race. - Yann Riou / Dongfeng Race Team Click Here to view large photo
Team Director Bruno Dubois follows with his comments on how far the team has come, but more importantly how much is left to achieve. 'I am impressed by what they managed to learn and achieve so far. We set the bar quite high and we can’t for sure expect in six months the same result as sailors who have done this for 10 years … But they do the job well onboard… and I think the difference will be in the details. Details that we don’t see on the day-to-day sailing but more in the long run. These boys have the right attitude. We’re getting there.'
The Dongfeng Race Team sailors will head to Newcastle tomorrow morning for their official safety course then at the end of August they will sail ‘Dongfeng’ from Lorient to Alicante for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. This will be the team’s last training with the boat. Starting from the team’s arrival in Alicante, the game is on. Volvo Ocean 65 finishing times
Abu Dhabi: 22:20:28 BST on Friday 15th August 2014
Team Campos: 00:42:51 BST on Saturday 16th August 2014
Dongfeng Race Team: 04:48:36 on Saturday 16th August 2014
Team Alvimedia: 05:59:47 on Saturday 16th August 2014
Team SCA: 06:10:39 on Saturday 16th August 2014