First win for AkzoNobel as Scallywag finishes fifth in Hong Kong In-Port Race
Dutch boat beats out China’s Dongfeng in the first of two inshore events of the Volvo Ocean Race during its Hong Kong stopover
Team AkzoNobel beat China’s Dongfeng to win the HGC In-Port Race in Hong Kong on Saturday on the waters off Kowloon Bay.
Hong Kong boat Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag finished fifth after a strong start in the first of two inshore events that is part of the Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong stopover. The second event is Sunday’s Around the Island Race.
The wind was a 6 to 10 knot Easterly, but it was shifty and puffy with a tidal current running on the race course. Tactically, it was difficult for skippers but the Dutch boat made the most of the conditions to register their first victory of the Volvo Ocean Race.
#teamakzonobel boat captain and helmsman for the In Port Race today here in Hong Kong provides a recap of the race and emphasises the importance of the first win for the team. #buildingmomentum pic.twitter.com/t8jhwxcRUh
— teamAkzoNobel (@teamAkzoNobel) January 27, 2018
“We had a fantastic race, pretty exciting. We planned to sail our own race today. It was tricky enough with the tide and the windshifts,” said AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont.
“The team sailed an unbelievable race and the guys in the back of the boat played the tactics very well. It’s good when things come together. It’s a nice reward for all the effort the team has put in.”
Dongfeng Race Team finished in second place, with Team Brunel third. The two swapped places on the third lap of the course after a solid upwind leg by Brunel gave them the lead, but the Dongfeng crew fought back on the run to secure second place.
A fourth-placed finish by the series leader Mapfre means Dongfeng vaults to the top of the table.
But it’s a tight leader board and it could compress further following Sunday’s race, when results of the weekend of racing will be combined to assign the points from this stopover.
Scallywag, which won leg four from Melbourne to Hong Kong, had a fantastic start but fell back and battled to a fifth-placed finish over Turn the Tide on Plastic. Both teams will be determined to move up with a better result on Sunday, with the race starting at 11.30am.
Vestas 11th Hour Racing was unable the start because of damage to the boat after a collision on Saturday on the way to Hong Kong that caused the death of a mainland fisherman.