07 May 2015: After 17 days at sea, Dongfeng Race Team has beaten Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing by just three minutes 25 seconds to take the Leg 6 win of the Volvo Ocean Race from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, USA.
Although they arrived in the middle of the night, the fleet was greeted to a rapturous, American flag waving welcome by a large crowd, eager to see the boats arriving in the North American port for the first time.
The second win for the Chinese-backed team signals a fantastic comeback after they were forced to pull out of Leg 5 when their mast broke and they had to battle against time to fit a new rig in under a week for the next stage of the race.
The crew also suffered serious problems just two days into the start of Leg 6 when the boat’s electronic water-maker, which converts sea-water into drinking water, stopped working and threatened a 12-hour stop to repair it.
“For this leg, the goal was to be ready in Itajaí and the (shore) crew did a fantastic job. I’d like to give them the victory,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier.
“I’m very proud of them and very happy to take this first place. They worked very hard to get this boat ready. I’m really, really happy.”
The win shortens Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s lead on the overall scoreboard to six points, closely followed by Dongfeng Race Team, Team Alvimedica, Team Brunel, MAPFRE, Team SCA and Team Vestas Wind, who have bold plans to re-join the race in Lisbon in June – the next port of call for Leg 7.
Throughout the extreme sailing adventure all crew have been able to rely on Inmarsat’s connectivity for race logistics, weather updates, safety services, and to share the experience with a worldwide audience of racing fans through social media and live interviews from the boat. Make sure you stay up-to-date with all the latest news by visiting www.inmarsat.com/vor.
As official Satellite Communications Partner, each Volvo 65 is equipped with our flagship maritime services – FleetBroadband 500, FleetBroadband 250, Inmarsat C for safety, and an IsatPhone 2 stowed in each of the boats’ liferaft.
The sailors will now get a much-deserved rest in Newport before setting off to Lisbon on 17 May.