They watch each other, they fight each other, and they fight for the best starting position for the current race, which is heading for the American sailing capital Newport: the Dongfeng Race Team, the Spanish permanent rivals of the Mapfre team, narrowly leading towards the end of the second day of stage eight - the two teams are also called "the red ones" because of the color of their boats - and Bouwe Bekking's newly strengthened team Brunel (yellow boat) fight a thrilling three-way battle for the lead in the South Atlantic abeam the Brazilian coast and around Rio de Janeiro. On Tuesday lunchtime, the three boats were less than three nautical miles apart. The almost permanent visual contact with the opponents creates extra tension.
Concentration in the Donfeng Race Team: Where are the opponents?
Stage 8, 2nd day, April 24th, Tuesday morning: The Dongfeng Race Team (red boat in the animation) leads in front of Mapfre (white) and Team Brunel (yellow)
The 5700 nautical miles long stage from Itajaí in Brazil to Newport brings with it new challenges after the hardships and drama of the Southern Ocean stage around Cape Horn: Strategy and tactics are in great demand alongside optimal boat speed. It is important to circumnavigate prohibited areas on the course to the north and to catch the fresh wind from the east first.
… told in 137 seconds!
There is constant tension for the crews like here on board in the Dongfeng Race Team
"After the win on the last stage, we have a lot of hype in the team", Bouwe Bekking said before the start last Sunday and made it clear that his team wants to attack the front runners. "There are still a lot of points on the table. We're going up!" Bekking reported that his team aimed for a podium place on the previous stage and then exceeded their own expectations. "All teams are beatable," said the record participant fiercely. The first around 1000 nautical miles have been completed. Another 4700 are still to the port of destination Newport, where the fleet is expected at the end of the first week of May.
Here you can find the tracker and the intermediate results
The view from aboard AkzoNobel to the competition on the horizon
After a few regattas and training in the 49erFX, Rio bronze medal winner JenMai Hansen is back in the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team