18 May 2015: MAPFRE was the boat to watch during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Newport, USA this weekend.
The Spanish entry took its first ever in-port race win on 16 May and went on to lead the six-strong fleet out of the port at the start of Leg 7 to Lisbon, Portugal on Sunday.
Watched by a packed dock of thousands, USA Team Alvimedica clinched second place in the in-port race to take a well-deserved place on the podium in front of a home crowd of ecstatic Rhode Island sailing fans.
It is the first time that the Volvo Ocean Race has been staged in Newport and it has proved to be so successful that race officials are keen to secure it as the only North American stopover for the next edition in 2018.
The Volvo Ocean 65 boats are now heading out on the shortest stage of the race to-date – 2,800 nautical miles and approximately eight to 10 days sailing – however the route is notoriously treacherous and still holds sad memories for the sailors.
During the transatlantic crossing in the 2005-06 edition, five-metre seas and 30 knot winds caused movistar, skippered by Team Brunel’s Bouwe Bekking, to sink mid-Atlantic and the crew to be rescued. Those same conditions tragically claimed the life of celebrated Dutch sailor, Hans Horrevoets, after he was swept overboard from ABN AMRO TWO about 1,300 miles from Land’s End Cornwall.
Inmarsat wishes all the teams a safe journey to Lisbon and looks forward to joining up with all the crews again in Lisbon for the next in-port race on 6 June, where it is hotly anticipated that Team Vestas Wind will re-join the race.
Equipped with Inmarsat’s flagship maritime services, each team is able to rely on our satellite connectivity throughout the nine-month journey for safety, race logistics and weather reports.
Each Onboard Reporter can also share the excitement of the adventure to a worldwide onshore audience of millions through social media, videos and images, sent back to Race HQ in Alicante over Inmarsat’ FleetBroadband service.
For all the latest news from the boats visit www.inmarsat.com/vor.