Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

Hong Kong’s Scallywag fifth across the finish line in Volvo Ocean Race third leg

David Witt’s crew overcome the challenging Southern Oceans to sail into Melbourne more than a day behind Spain’s Mapfre

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2017, 6:22pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2017, 11:07pm

Hong Kong entry Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag sailed into Melbourne at about lunch time on Tuesday to finish fifth in the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, with the crew looking forward to a good rest before the journey home to Hong Kong.

After a tough time negotiating the challenging Southern Ocean, skipper David Witt and his exhausted crew completed the 6,500-nautical-mile leg from Cape Town in South Africa to Melbourne in 15 days, 13 hours, six minutes and 31 seconds. They were about one day and nine hours behind leg winner

Mapfre, of Spain, and more than 26 hours behind the boat in front of them, Team Brunel.

The Scallywag sailors have one day less than the first four boats in the seven-strong fleet to rest before starting the 6,000-nm trip to Hong Kong on January 2.

The Southern Ocean stretch provides plenty of challenges for the boats, being close to Antarctica and with open sea hurling storms and cold winds on to the sailors.

“The Southern Ocean always turns it on,” said Scallywag crew member Luke Parkinson at the finish line. “There are big waves and a lot of wind. This time we probably spent more time farther south with day after day of big wind. It certainly can wear you down.

“When we turned left and headed up to Australia it was pretty special – a very good feeling. We’ve got to rest up now and be ready to leave in a few days.”

China’s Dongfeng Race Team finished second, a little more than four hours after Mapfre but their crew have plenty to do before leaving for Hong Kong after suffering damage to the boat during the final stretch towards Melbourne.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing was third less than two hours behind Dongfeng and ahead of Brunel. Turn the Tide on Plastic was involved in a fierce battle with Scallywag for fifth place but had to settle for sixth less than three hours behind.

As of 6pm Hong Kong, the seventh boat, Team AkzoNobel, had yet to finish.

In the overall standings, Mapfre leads with 29 points after three legs, followed by Dongfeng on 23 points. In the past two races, the Spanish crew came from behind in the final stages to beat the China-owned boat.

Vestas is third on 23 ahead of Brunel (14) and Scallywag (11). AkzoNobel is sixth after two races on seven points with Turn the Tide on Plastic on six points.