Please select your home edition

Team AkzoNobel podiums in Brazil after a punishing Leg 7

by Justin Chisholm/Team AzkoNobel 5 Apr 2018 20:18 PDT 6 April 2018
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 04 on board AkzoNobel. 21 March, . © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

Team AkzoNobel has finished Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 in third place after 18 days of arduous racing from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí in Brazil.

The crew finished the demanding 14,000-kilometer passage at 0438 UTC (0638 CEST) on Thursday April 5, completing the course in an elapsed time of 18 days, three hours, 38 minutes and 24 seconds.

After leaving Auckland Leg 7 took the Volvo Ocean Race fleet race through the icy and isolated depths of the Southern Ocean, past Point Nemo – the furthest point on earth from land – then around the notorious stormy headland Cape Horn at the very southern tip of Chile, before a final 3,700-kilometer stage north passing east of the Falkland Islands on the way to the finish in the warm waters of the Itajaí-Açu River.

Skipper Tienpont (NED) said the leg had been dramatic with the Southern Ocean more than living up to its fearsome reputation.

“The Southern Ocean was the Southern Ocean with nice beautiful big waves but rough and challenging at times,” Tienpont said.

“We had a pretty a fast trip and I think we followed our strategy to try to round Cape Horn in good shape and in good condition as a crew and to look after the boat. Even after the Horn things were challenging and I think we showed good seamanship and good racing spirit on board.

“All in all it was a good leg for us,” Tienpont concluded.

Leg 7 delivered by far the most punishing conditions of the race to date. The Southern Ocean was especially brutal with storm after storm bringing screaming winds and mountainous breaking waves, along with at times, snow, freezing rain and hail stones.

The leg was marred by the death of British competitor John Fisher who was lost overboard from the Hong Kong entry Sun Hung Kai Scallywag on Monday March 26. The shock news of Fisher’s death reverberated around the fleet prompting tributes to the experienced and well-liked sailor from the other six teams.

“For me this leg will never be remembered for a third place or the Southern Ocean but that we lost a good man in John Fisher,” commented team AkzoNobel watch captain Chris Nicholson (AUS).

“It means a lot to everyone who is associated with the race and he is on our minds all the time. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and everyone on Scallywag.”

Team AkzoNobel rounded Cape Horn in fourth place on Friday March 30 before moving into third place when Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA) was dismasted east of the Falkland Islands.

The team AkzoNobel crew set about closing the gap on to leg leader Team Brunel (NED) and second-placed Dongfeng Race Team (CHN) however hopes of challenging the top two were dashed when a water ingress issue resulting from damage to one of the keel plates underneath the boat meant the crew had to make a temporary mid-ocean stop to assess the problem.

The sailors effected running repairs but were unable to sail at 100 per cent in the stronger winds for the rest of the leg and in the end had to settle for a well-deserved third place.

The result – the team’s third consecutive podium finish - leaves it in fourth place in the overall Volvo Ocean Race standings with four more legs remaining before the finish at The Hague in the Netherlands in June.

div class="inlinephoto">Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 7 on board AkzoNobel. 23 March, . Luke Molloy. - photo © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 7 on board AkzoNobel. 23 March, . Luke Molloy. - photo © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race


Related Articles

Itajaí returns as host city for The Ocean Race
Brazilian city to host fleet in 2021-22 edition The Ocean Race 2021-22 will stop in Itajaí, Brazil, marking the fourth consecutive time the city on the Santa Catarina coastline will host the iconic event. Posted on 17 Oct
11th Hour Racing gets feet wet with podium finish
Enright and Bidégorry race IMOCA 60 in Défi Azimut 48-hour race After launching their campaign this summer, the 11th Hour Racing Team, led by Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, have been focused on learning how to race the IMOCA 60 - the fast, foiling, high-performance, development class Posted on 16 Oct
Bekking sets sights on 9th campaign with Childhood
A veteran team has come together to launch a Swedish campaign in the VO65 class Bouwe Bekking, an eight-time veteran of The Ocean Race, has announced a new project with an eye on competing in the 2021-22 edition of the Race. Posted on 12 Oct
The Ocean Race: Still turning the tide
Dee Caffari talks about her plans for the next edition of the Race Former The Ocean Race skipper Dee Caffari talks about ocean health and her plans for the next edition of the Race. Posted on 10 Oct
Special Event status for The Ocean Race
The toughest test of a team in sport World Sailing is pleased to announce that the 2021-22 and 2025-26 editions of The Ocean Race, the global sailing event that is the toughest test of a team in sport, have received World Sailing Special Event status. Posted on 8 Oct
Italian city to host finish of The Ocean Race
The selection of Italy's top maritime city opens the event to a new audience Genoa will be the finish of the next edition of The Ocean Race, marking the first time the fully-crewed, around the world yacht race, known as the 'toughest test of a team in sport' will come to Italy. Posted on 23 Sep
The Ocean Race Summits delivers in Genoa
Impactful solutions to address the crisis affecting the health of our oceans The first of The Ocean Race Summits took place in Genoa, Italy on Friday, a day of climate activism around the world... Posted on 21 Sep
Cabo Verde will host The Ocean Race
First ever West African stop in 2021-22 Cabo Verde becomes a new stop on the circuit as the next edition of The Ocean Race will visit a West African nation for the first time... Posted on 18 Sep
Fridays For Future joins The Ocean Race Summit
Youth movement to join global ocean experts at key Italian conference They will share the stage with politicians, professional sailors, business leaders and a host of experts examining the vital role business has to play in stemming the flow of plastic into our seas. Posted on 17 Sep
Teams and organisers set the race on track
The Ocean Race 2021-22 edition discussed in Alicante Workshop and information sessions were held on topics such as technology on board the VO65 and IMOCA 60 fleets, rule compliance, commercial and marketing opportunities, sustainability and marketing and communications. Posted on 17 Sep
PandB 2019 Autumn Sale - FooterZhik ATR Aroshell SW FOOTERNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer