Forty-five thousand miles of hardcore ocean racing culminated in a breathtaking final winner-take-all 970-mile sprint from Gothenburg, Sweden to the finish at The Hague on Sunday. With Dongfeng Racing Team, Spanish entry Mapfre and Holland’s own Team Brunel all tied on points going into the final race, the pressure was unrelenting.
Dongfeng led early, then Mapfre, then Brunel clawed into the lead in the later stages of the race. The shifting winds and tricky currents of the North Sea would decide the winners and losers here, as Dongfeng took a flyer that at one point had them 50 miles behind leaders Brunel. Meanwhile, Mapfre and the other Dutch team, AkzoNobel, were also very much in the hunt.
In a race that has become famed for its close finishes, this would be the most nerve-wracking of all. Dongfeng’s inshore flyer paid off handsomely in the final hours of the race, as they carried a good breeze all the way to the finish as their rivals slowed. In the end, the order was Dongfeng, AkzoNobel, Mapfre and Brunel.
Ironically, Dongfeng’s last-gasp victory was the Chinese-flagged team’s first of the race. It was their consistency that carried them to overall victory.
Fifth into The Hague was Turn The Tide On Plastic, followed by SHK/Scallywag and Team Vestas.Get the latest, here.