Nail-biting finish to opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe
The opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe came to a nail-biting conclusion yesterday in Cascais, Portugal, with the winners in both the VO65 and IMOCA 60 classes decided only in the last few moments of the four-day passage from Lorient, France.
The finish in the one-design VO65 class saw The Austrian Ocean Race Project, skippered by Gerwin Jansen (NED), come from behind to win and beat the Lithuanian entry, Ambersail-2, by just six seconds.
After the race, Jansen said: “We are the newbies, the young team, not that much experience… The last 30 miles were so intense, it was unbelievable. We just kept on fighting and this was the result!”
A further 15 seconds behind in third was Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont’s Team Childhood I, and the full seven-boat fleet finished within six minutes.
In the IMOCA class, Nicolas Troussel’s CORUM L’Epargne (FRA) was first across the line, ahead of Charlie Enright’s United States entry 11th Hour Racing Team in second and Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut (FRA) in third.
“It was an intense race… and we knew that everything could be decided here like everything can be decided in Alicante and later on in Genoa for the race final,” said Troussel. “Anyway, we’re really happy with that victory, we fought very hard and the finish was magical for us.”
All teams are now resting in Cascais, before competing in the Coastal Race as part of The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy on Saturday and the start of Leg Two, into Alicante, on Sunday.
1st: CORUM L’Epargne
2nd: 11th Hour Racing Team
4th: Offshore Team Germany
5th: Bureau Vallée
1st: The Austrian Ocean Race Project
3rd: Team Childhood I
4th: Sailing Poland
5th: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing
6th: Viva México
7th: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team
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