The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race fleet already got a little bit of everything thrown at it during the first “short” leg from Alicante, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal, which was won by the joint U.S./Danish effort, Vestas 11 Hour racing.
Following a crowded, windy start to the 1,650-mile opener, the seven teams found themselves dealing with plenty of wind through the Strait of Gibraltar, then no wind, then OK wind, then almost no wind at all for the final slog to the finish.
In fact, with the finish line in site, Vestas 11 Hour Racing even briefly considered anchoring as it found itself being pushed by the current back into the clutches of Spain’s MAPRE, which had recently whittled down the team’s lead from 34 to just 10 miles.
“We have a long way to go certainly, but this was a good way to start,” said skipper Charlie Enright. “We pride ourselves on not getting too high or too low, and I think we executed that on this leg. It’s about having confidence in ourselves and committing to the process, and now we’re starting to see the results of that.”
In the end, the finish order was Vestas, MAPFRE, Dongfeng, AksoNobel, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Team Brunel and then Turn the Tide on Plastic. For complete standings, click here.
Leg 2 from Lisbon to Cape Town, South Africa, begins this Sunday.