With another win under their belt, Neal McDonald’s team aboard Assa Abloy have everything to fight for on the last leg
Team Assa Abloy has taken its third victory in the Volvo Ocean Race having crossed the Leg 8 Gothenburg finish line less than an hour ahead of Team Tyco last night.
After rounding Skagen in match race style and almost losing the lead to the hunting pack, Team Assa Abloy kept a cool head all the way to Gothenburg. At the Turbaduren light that marks the entrance into the Gothenburg archipelago Assa Abloy, Tyco, illbruck and News Corp were still within a mile of each other. Amer Sports One a mile further back managed to get in phase with the wind shifts, was able to sail a shorter distance to the next waypoint and once again was in direct contact with the leaders.
Eventually leg eight of the Volvo Ocean Race was decided in the last two miles of the 1,000 miles the yachts sailed from La Rochelle to Gothenburg.
When the first five boats came into sight of Gothenburg, literally hundreds of spectator boats went out to welcome the fleet. Among them there was even a 505 racing dinghy with the spinnaker up in the dark. In Eriksberg, the part of Gothenburg where the Volvo Ocean Race village is located, sailing fans fill the piers to welcome their local heroes. Even though a Swedish team won, British skippers claim first and third and on the second placed Tyco a third of the crew originates from the UK.
Less than an hour after the winner, a disappointed crew on the green racing yacht SEB crossed the finish line in sight of their home base in Gothenburg. After the arrival, Gurra Krantz, the skipper said on the dock: ?The last two days have been very frustrating. I don?t know why. It doesn?t seem to be our regatta somehow! Instead of bouncing the ball in between the goal posts, we are bouncing out all the time.” With eleven points behind the three boats sharing 40 points, SEB cannot better their overall position on the last leg. Djuice is just four points behind and could snatch sixth place from SEB.
Another two and a half hours passed until djuice crossed the line. All hopes for a parking place for the leaders remained hopes and the crew around skipper Knut Frostad had to accept the inevitable fate of seventh place. ?We tried hard, but basically we were not fast enough. We?ve seen it a lot of times now, it is not new. It’s tough,” Knut admitted on the dockside. With 14 points on Amer Sports Too, they cannot finish the Volvo Ocean Race in last position.
Meanwhile, the girls in Amer Sport Too still have over 60 miles to run to the finish, and should be in mid morning today.
Assa Abloy?s victory has kept the overall winner of the Volvo Ocean Race open to the final leg from Sweden to Germany. If Assa Abloy wins the next leg, illbruck must not finish worse than fifth to secure overall victory.
Overall position after five legs pending protests
1 illbruck 54pts
2 ASSA ABLOY 49 pts
3 Amer Sports One 40 pts
4 News Corp 40 pts
5 Tyco 40 pts
6 SEB 29 pts
7 DJCE 25 pts
8 Amer Sports Too 11 pts