With just two legs remaining in the Volvo Ocean Race the battle for the overall prize is tighter than ever, with three teams fighting for first place and a fourth crew still in with a shot at the podium.
As the team’s prepare for the Sunday afternoon start of Leg 10 sprint from Cardiff, Wales to Gothenburg, Sweden, Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team has the advantage, sitting in pole position. The Chinese-flagged team holds a one point lead over Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE, who had been leading for the majority of the race.
And just two points further back is the hottest team in the race, Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel.
To put in context how dominant Bekking’s team has been over the past three legs, consider Brunel has scored 37 of the maximum 39 points available, compared to Dongfeng with 26 points and MAPFRE who have collected 20 points over that span.
“All the pressure is on these guys, they’re still ahead of us,” Bekking insisted at Friday’s press conference. “We just have to beat them, like I said in Newport. Just beat the two red boats and then we’ll see what happens on the last leg. I think it will all come down to the last leg into The Hague.”
As much as he’ll be fighting for the prize, Bekking will need to keep one eye on his Dutch compatriots on team AkzoNobel, who could challenge for the podium with two strong results on the finishing legs.
For the leader, Charles Caudrelier, the emergence of Brunel as a threat has changed the way his team will approach Leg 10.
“Earlier in the race, maybe we played too much in match racing with MAPFRE,” Caudrelier conceded. “Now there is another boat in the game. We just have to go race and see what happens. Maybe after his leg we’ll have to think about controlling someone but right now, the lead is too small for that.”
Leg 10 is a 1,300-nautical mile sprint that takes the teams around the west coast of Ireland up to the northern tip of Scotland before heading east-southeast to Gothenburg, the home of Volvo.
Leg 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race starts at 1600 local time in Cardiff (1500 UTC) on Sunday afternoon.
How to follow the Leg 10 Start:
Racing starts at 1600 local time (1500 UTC), on Sunday 10 June.
On the website:
Head to www.volvooceanrace.com to catch a live stream of the action from 1345 local time (1745 UTC). A post race story summarising the action and with quotes from the skippers will be posted shortly after racing has finished.
Check out Facebook Live:
We'll go live at 1545 local time (1445 UTC). You can go to our page to schedule a reminder so you don't miss it.
Join the conversation on Twitter:
Send us tweets on hashtag #volvooceanrace. We'll be live-tweeting the action, as it happens. Check it out as we share the best content from the teams, stakeholders and fans on our feed.
Join us on our live blog:
We'll be blogging all the moves, previews and news from the racetrack on our live blog, including the best of clips and social content, from 1530 local time (1430 UTC). You can find it at www.volvooceanrace.com under the 'Racing' section.
Download the app:
It's full of great content and fits on your mobile phone. Why wouldn't you want the official Volvo Ocean Race app? Head to the App Store or Google Play to download it. It's called Volvo Ocean Race.
Come down to the Race Village:
We’ve got a fantastic Race Village in Cardiff, including the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard facility, the Volvo Pavilion and Volvo Ocean Race Globe as well as the team bases. The Village is jam-packed full of interactive elements, innovative structures and loads of exciting things to do.
Volvo Ocean Race Leaderboard after Leg 9
1. Dongfeng Race Team – 60 points
2. MAPFRE – 59 points
3. Team Brunel – 57 points
4. team AkzoNobel – 48 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 36 points
6. SHK / Scallywag – 29 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 26 points
** Should there be a tie on the overall race leaderboard at the end of the offshore legs, the In-Port Race Series standings will be used to break the tie. After today’s results, MAPFRE retain a considerable advantage in this respect (see standings below).
Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard
1. MAPFRE – 56 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 49 points
4. Team Brunel – 41 points
3. team AkzoNobel – 39 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 26 points
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 21 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 17 points