Published: Monday, 30 October 2017

Vestas 11th Hour Racing earned top points for Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race, with Mapfre and Dongfeng Race Team completing the podium in Lisbon, Portugal.

 Vestas 11th Hour Racing Wins Leg 1 Volvo Ocean Race 1

(Photo: Jesus Renedo - Vestas 11th Hour Racing Team)

The win was a victory for American skipper Charlie Enright and his team, who earned eight points for their efforts, including one point for winning the leg.

“We have a long way to go certainly, but this was a good way to start,” said skipper Charlie Enright, who experienced an unsatisfactory current in the river.

“SiFi (navigator Simon Fisher) did a great job. He didn¹t really make any missteps. But every (results) sked is nerve-wracking, especially when you’re stuck in a river going backwards!”

The winners weren’t the only team to have an excruciating finish experience. When Mapfre was within 1.5 miles of the line, they too ran out of wind and had to watch Dongfeng Race Team rush into the river behind them. But the crew eventually found a little zephyr of wind to finish 15-minutes ahead of the Chinese team.

“Very pleased with the result. It’s a solid start, exactly what we wanted. We’re very happy,” said Xabi Fernández, the skipper of Mapfre immediately after finishing.

“We have to say Vestas did very well early on and we didn’t see them again. But then we had a strong 12-hours after Gibraltar and we stepped it up there.”

Scratching and clawing for every inch, Dongfeng Racing Team passed team AkzoNobel with only 220 miles to go to complete the podium.

"It was very difficult and complicated," Caudrelier said. "The weather was often different from the forecast so that was interesting."