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Wanika Davids
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Emma Rijkers
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Team AkzoNobel arrives in Cape Town on Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

 

Team AkzoNobel has arrived in Cape Town at the end of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 in fifth place after almost three weeks of non-stop ocean racing from Lisbon, Portugal.

The nine-strong international crew of professional sailors – two women and seven men – crossed the finish line in Cape Town at 21:24:40 UTC (22:24:40 CET/23:24:40 local time in Cape Town) on Saturday November 25, completing the 7,000 nautical-mile (13,000 kilometre) Leg 2 course through the North and South Atlantic in 20 days seven hours 24 minutes and 40 seconds.

The team’s Leg 2 result – combined with a fourth place in the week-long opening sprint from Alicante, Spain to Lisbon – places the team fourth in the overall standings with nine legs of the around the world race to go.

Team AkzoNobel started the final week at sea in fifth but with high hopes of being in contention for a podium place on the final run in to Cape Town.

However, overnight on Tuesday, November 21, the crew was the first to drop off the back of a fast-moving easterly-tracking storm system. This allowed the top four teams – Mapfre (ESP), Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA) and Team Brunel (NED) – to quickly pull away and enabled the two chasing teams – Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (HKG) and Turn the Tide on Plastic (UN) – to catch up.

To avoid sailing in a vacuum of light unstable breezes left in the wake of the storm, the three trailing teams were forced to sail a much longer southerly arc to Cape Town, skirting around the southern edge of a bulge in the St. Helena high pressure system – a route that cost them around a day and a half against the straight-line course of the leading pack.

Losing sight of the leaders was a bitter pill to have swallow,” says boat captain Nicolai Sehested (DEN), but adds that the team AkzoNobel sailors quickly refocused their sights on trying to win the three-way race-within-a-race for fifth place. “It was important we beat the others to Cape Town, because this is a long race and those two points will be important to us later.”

Despite eking out a small lead over their two rivals by the afternoon of their final day at sea, nothing was certain for the team AkzoNobel sailors as they worked unstintingly to coax every ounce of speed out of their boat. In the end, and despite briefly running out of breeze in the final three miles (5 kilometers) to the finish, team AkzoNobel secured a fifth-place finish shortly before midnight on Saturday November 25.

Boat captain Sehested says that the leg had been a tough one for the sailors, but mentally more than physically. “We wanted more – like we always do – but we made a lot of mistakes and we need to clean that aspect up. We need some rest now, but will then start on fixing the problems we know we have. I’m confident we will come back strong.”

The team AkzoNobel sailors have 12 days in Cape Town to rest and recuperate before they return to competitive action on Friday, December 8, for the third instalment of the Volvo Ocean Race in port race series. On Sunday December 10 the teams will set off on the race’s third leg – a 6,500-nm (12,000-km) double-points Southern Ocean run to Melbourne, Australia.

 
Leg 02, Lisbon to Cape Town, day 15, on board AkzoNobel.
Leg 02, Lisbon to Cape Town on board AkzoNobel.
 
 

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About team AkzoNobel:

Team AkzoNobel is a professional ocean racing team challenging for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race around the world. The team is owned and managed by leading global paints and coatings company AkzoNobel and led by Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont – a double America’s Cup winner and two-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor.

About AkzoNobel:

AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more liveable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do.

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