MAPFRE take overall lead in 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race with Leg 2 victory
Last Updated: 27/11/17 1:44pm
Team MAPFRE were first past the post in Cape Town, winning Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to take the overall lead in the points table.
The Spanish-flagged team claimed victory in the 7,000 nautical mile marathon from the Portuguese capital Lisbon, reaching Cape Town just over 19 days after the start of the leg.
"It's amazing, we're super happy," MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernandez said. "We came here in one piece and in front of the others, we can't ask for more.
"This is what we will see all the way around the world. Super-tight racing, everyone has good speed and small mistakes are very expensive.
"This time we were lucky to do the least mistakes and that's why we won."
For most of the first half of the leg, MAPFRE trailed Dongfeng Race Team on the long charge to the south.
But last weekend, after crossing the Doldrums - 14 days into the leg - Fernandez and navigator Juan Vila made the winning move, a quick gybe to the southwest that Dongfeng didn't cover.
Within hours, the decision paid and MAPFRE had a tactical advantage they would never relinquish over the final week of racing.
The team earns eight points for the Leg 2 victory (seven points plus one bonus point for the win), which is enough to take the overall lead in the race regardless of the finishing positions behind.
Dongfeng and Leg 1 winners Vestas 11th Hour Racing completed the podium, with Team Brunel coming in behind them, just after midnight on Saturday.
Well done to @teamAkzoNobel who finish 5th in leg 2 of @volvooceanrace. The battle still rages between the final two boats @scallywaghk and @TurnTidePlastic who are currently separated by less than 1Nm with 3 Nm to the finish! #watchlog pic.twitter.com/JU1uD4DeGv— Race Experts (@RaceExperts) November 25, 2017
Just over half an hour separated fifth through to seventh place.
Team Akzo Nobel sealed fifth position on Saturday night, with SHK Scallywag staving off a late challenge from Turn the Tide on Plastic to finish sixth, just 1m 8s ahead of Dee Caffari's young team.