Emily Nagel and Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team victorious in Portugal
Emily Nagel and her Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team colleagues got their Ocean Race Europe title bid back on track in triumphant fashion in Cascais, Portugal, at the weekend.
The Portuguese-based team won the one-design VO65 class competing in the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy regatta contested in near perfect conditions on Saturday. AkzoNobel Ocean Racing finished second and Sailing Poland third to round off the podium respectively.
With the result, Nagel and her team-mates earned three vital bonus points that count towards the Ocean Race Europe series to close the gap on leaders Austrian Ocean Race Project.
“All very happy to have won the coastal race and get some points on the board,” an elated Nagel told The Royal Gazette. “Now only 3 points behind the first-place team.”
The triumph went a long way towards restoring the team’s confidence and morale, having finished last in the opening leg of the Ocean Race Europe four days earlier, despite having led most of the 2,000-nautical mile race from Lorient, France, to Cascais, Portugal.
Nagel and her team-mates were determined to shrug off the disappointment heading into the first of two coastal races in the Ocean Race Europe series — and they did just that with some clinical execution in the boat.
The 40-nautical mile racecourse from Cascais to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon and back comprised a tight reach to the first turning mark, a long run to the leeward mark and a beat to the upwind finish.
Nagel and her team-mates led the seven-boat VO65 fleet at first mark but were eventually reeled in by the Bermuda sailor’s former team, AkzoNobel Ocean Racing, on the run to the leeward mark, which the two rivals rounded neck-and-neck.
The home team gradually distanced themselves from the rest of the fleet on the final leg to the finish and held on to the lead the rest of the way to clinch victory.
“Great day on the water,” Nagel added. “Lots of sail changes and tactical moves made it exciting to be on the water.”
AmberSail-2 trail Ocean Race Europe leaders Austrian Ocean Race Project by a solitary point in the standings.
Third-placed AkzoNobel Ocean Racing are tied on points with fourth and fifth -placed Sailing Poland and Team Childhood I, while Mirpuri Foundation Racing and Viva Mexico round off the fleet in sixth and seventh.
The second leg of the Ocean Race Europe from Cascais to Alicante, Spain, began yesterday.
The third and final leg of the race will then take the fleet from Alicante to the finish in Genoa, Italy, where more bonus points will be up for grabs in the second and final coastal race of the inaugural series.