Maiden podium for Nagel and Co
Emily Nagel and Team AkzoNobel achieved their first podium in the Volvo Ocean Race in Cape Town South Africa yesterday.
The Dutch racing syndicate placed third in the seven-boat fleet in the third heat of the Volvo Ocean Race in port race series on Table Bay.
Bermudian Nagel, the sail trimmer, and her team-mates made a slow start to the hourlong race in shifty breezes reaching 20 knots but managed to work their way back up to fourth on the first downwind leg.
A close battle for third between Team AkzoNobel and Spanish entry Mapfre then ensued before both boats capitalised on Vesta 11th Hour Racing’s misfortune on the final leg to claim the remaining spots on the podium behind runaway winners Dongfeng Race Team.
Vesta 11th Hour Racing, who race under Danish and American banners, trailed Chinese syndicate Dongfeng Race Team in second when they lost boat speed after encountering problems unfurling their headsail.
“That was one of the most enjoyable races I have done for a long time,” Nicolai Sehested, the Team AkzoNobel helmsman, said. “It was basically a match race the whole way around with Mapfre.
“The start was poor — that was my fault — but after that we were always fighting back metre by metre and keeping it clean. The guys did a tremendous job of sailing the boat fast without any mistakes and that was the key to us getting a podium result.
“It’s our first top-three in the in the Volvo Ocean race so far. It’s been a long time coming but hopefully this is a turning point and there are plenty more to come.”
Team AkzoNobel are fifth overall in port race series standings after three races.
Meanwhile, the start of the Volvo Ocean Race offshore leg from Cape Town to Melbourne starts tomorrow.
Emily and her team-mates are fourth in the overall offshore standings after the opening two legs of the 11-stage race around the world in the high-performance one-design Volvo Ocean 65.
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