The Itajaí harbor race took place on Friday with a wind of 10 to 14 knots. The Spanish team Mapfre, leading in the inport classification of the Volvo Ocean Race, achieved an almost flawless victory. The Reds only made a few tiny mistakes. AkzoNobel was able to take the lead for a short time, but then Mapfre dominated the race again safely and took the third victory in the seventh short race of this 13th edition of the race around the world. The red permanent rivals from the Dongfeng Race Team came in third behind Simeon Tienpont's AkzoNobel and are now five points behind their former training partners in the inport ranking.
Already at the start and later the winner: Mapfre (far left)
The one-hour race was only exciting on the first two sections. Above all, Bouwe Bekking's team Brunel made sure of that, and they got off to a strong start. At the first turning point, then the mishap: A handling error when setting the spi caused a violent and multiple knot in the huge cloth. The team wrestled under the Dutch flag until it had meanwhile dropped to last place. The subsequent race to catch up led Brunel past the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, which was sailing slow, but it wasn't enough for more. This should annoy Bekking and his crew.
Team Brunel struggled for minutes with the problem that was clearly visible here. It was an expensive mistake because it led from a promising position in the top three backwards to the penultimate place at the finish
In front of AkzoNobel, Mapfre is the first boat to sail around the last turning mark before heading towards the destination
It was the other way around for Charles Caudrelier's Dongfeng Race Team. Once again, the French-influenced team under the Chinese flag proved to be a weak start. With good boat speed, however, Dongefeng finally managed to make it onto the podium. More was not possible, which was also due to the convincing performance of the AkzoNobel team, whose 49erFX Olympic champion Martine Grael had certainly wished for victory in her home country, but will also be satisfied with the very good second place.
Would have loved to win at home in Brazil, but was also satisfied with second place for her AkzoNobel team: 49erFX Olympic champion Martine Grael
The result of the Itajaí harbor race
The intermediate result in the inport ranking after the Itajaí harbor race
The statistics of the harbor race of Itajaí
The starting shot for the eighth of eleven stages in the Volvo Ocean Race will be given on Sunday. Then the seven teams from Itajaí say goodbye and set course for America's sailing capital Newport.
The skippers at the press conference in Itajaí (from left to right): David Witt (Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag), Charlie Enright (Vestas 11th Hour Racing), Xabí Fernandez (Mapfre), Dee Caffari (Turn the Tide on Plastic), Simeon Tienpont (AkzoNobel), Charles Caudrelier (Dongfeng Race Team) and Bouwe Bekking (Team Brunel)