On Saturday, the Portuguese capital hosted the Volvo Ocean Race in the waters of the Tagus River. Photo finish with a difference of 1 second demonstrated teams MAPFRE and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the fight for first place.
After a triumphant parade of teams, the yachts entered the water in strict order of rank in the final table. They prepared for the start for a long time, as the wind did not stop changing direction. The racing conditions were complicated by the strong current, but what can't you do for a beautiful picture! The spectators sat along the entire coast from Algec to Belém and were looking forward to the passage of their favorite team, armed with bright flags, balloons and umbrellas.
The SCA women's team set off to the start with a determination to win.
«This race is very important for us. We have an advantage in port competition," says Abby Eller. - We have already won twice and we will try to do it again».
Women's intelligence and tactics helped them finish first in Abu Dhabi and Auckland, making the team the only winner of 2 port wins.
Because of the forced penalty turn, they missed their chance to win, but nevertheless they managed to make good time and finish fourth, literally squeezing the Vestas team on the sign.
But perhaps the most exciting spectacle last Saturday was the finish of MAPFRE and Abu Dhabi.
The Spaniards had a good start and kept the lead carefully throughout the race. The race continued and the wind was sour. The racing committee had to decide to shorten the distance and the teams moved on to the «cat pace». The Abu Dhabi team started getting closer to MAPFRE. On the way to the final sign the teams had a controversial situation. Iker Martínez (MAPFRE) almost blocked the way for Ian Walker (Abu Dhabi), but thanks to his experience he managed to avoid a violation that would have cost him a victory.
There was no limit of joy on the pier during the victory of MAPFRE. The fans of this team are known for their hot character, they are always well visible and, most importantly, can be heard! Deafening vuvuzelas and whistles as well as screams, songs and shouts always accompany the team regardless of its success.
It looks like the Spaniards are serious: this is MAPFRE team's second consecutive victory in port competition (they also won the previous race in Newport).
With a small margin from the leaders of the race third finished team Alvimedica. A beautiful gennaker with a two-colour heart could be seen today against the backdrop of Lisbon's world-famous landmarks: the pioneer monument and the tower in Belém.
After 6 months of repairing, the blue boat of the Vestas Wind crew went back on the water and rushed into battle.
After taking the first three positions at the finish line, there was another «glitch». Vestas Wind tried «to run» over the women's crew, but as a result she ran over the sign.
Just before the finish, Vestas was trapped between Team SCA and the sign and caught on the balancing cable. The yachts were separated by centimeters.
I wonder if that's really possible. In the end, the girls slowly but surely finished, and Vestas froze in the finish line. To unhook off, they had to land one of the team members right on the sign. In addition to the epic failure, Team Vestas had to return to the position and finish again, ending up in 7th place.
Against the backdrop of the Team Vestas and Team SCA battles, the spectators watched Bowie Becking with Team Brunel and the highly annoyed Dongfeng Race skipper Charles Codrellier move to the finish line and took 5th and 6th places respectively.
As a result, the final table on points in the port race now looks like this:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 21
2. Team Brunel - 25
3. Team SCA - 28
Team Alvimedica - 31
MAPFRE - 32
6. Dongfeng Race Team - 33
Team Vestas Wind - 59