Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/Iker Martinez) made it a win-win situation in today’s in-port races held in Alicante, Spain, and now head the leaderboard of the Volvo Ocean Race.
After two races held in the bay of Alicante in glorious Mediterranean sunshine, leading from start to finish in race one, and winning an intense battle from Puma to take race two, Telefónica Blue finished in first place overall in front of their home crowd.
'It was a very difficult day, the wind shifted a lot but we had a good time, both boats did very well and we enjoyed ourselves,' said Bouwe Bekking after his win.
The short windward/leeward track set close to the shore was lined by over 500 spectator craft and thousands of people watched from the many vantage points on the shore. The quay walls which gave an excellent view, were packed, and huge crowds gathered around the big screen in the race village as well as around the screens showing the race live in nearby hotels. The first of two races got away at just after 13:00 local time in a light south-easterly breeze, and was led from start to finish by Bouwe Bekking and Iker Martinez with local boat, Telefónica Blue, putting in an impressive performance.
The battle for second place in race one was hard fought but at the gun it was Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri) who claimed second place with Green Dragon (Ian Walker) in third. Both Telefónica boats have their training base in Alicante and their experience in this light and fluky breeze was evident, sailing high and fast throughout. Race two was postponed just 30 seconds before the start as the wind shifted violently and then carnage ensued at the committee boat end of the line when the gun eventually fired.
Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp) collided with Delta Lloyd (Ger O’Rourke) and both boats were holed close the water line. Team Russia subsequently took a penalty turn and Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander) had to dip back across the line after being OCS (on course side) when the gun fired.
Telefónica Blue closed to within a boat length of Puma as they approached the mid-course gate for the final time and Puma struggled to hold onto their lead. Telefónica Blue finally rolled Puma as the American team went slightly wide at the gate and Telefónica Blue snatched the advantage to claim a double victory.
The points for the day were calculated from the finishing positions in both races. Volvo In-Port Race - Positions after two races
1. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/Iker Martinez) 4 points
2. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri) 3.5 points
3. Puma Il Mostro (Ken Read) 3 points
4. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) 2.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker) 2 points
6. Delta Lloyd (Ger O’Rourke) 1 point
7. Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander) 0.5 points*
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp) 0.5 points
*one point has been deducted from the Ericsson 3 score as per the jury decision number JN04 2 October.
Points from both races were amalgamated to give an overall score for the day’s racing. Tie breaks were decided by finishing positions in race two.