Emily Nagel and Mirpuri aiming to maintain momentum in final leg
Bermudian sailor Emily Nagel and her Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team colleagues will resume their quest for Ocean Race Europe supremacy when the one-design VO65 fleet set sail on the third and final leg of the inaugural race from Alicante, Spain, to Genoa, Italy, tomorrow.
The Portuguese-based team are on a roll having won the first coastal race and previous ocean leg from Cascias, Portugal to the Spanish port of Alicante.
The impressive back-to-back victories have catapulted Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team to the top of seven-boat VO65 standings on a tiebreak over Nagel’s former team, AkzoNobel Ocean Racing.With only one leg and coastal race remaining and the battle for class honours still wide open, the pressure will be on with no margin for error to spare for Nagel and her colleagues, who are on a hat-trick of wins and undoubtedly keen to make further inroads towards securing the championship.
“With only one leg and one coastal race left to go, it’s going to be an intense finish to this race,” Yoann Richomme, the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team helmsman, said on the team’s official website.
The previous leg proved to be a challenging affair with the professional ocean-racing teams facing a wide range of conditions over the 700 nautical mile racecourse.
The attention going in was on the battering the fleet would be confronted with travelling through the Gibraltar Strait.
However, it was the light and fickle breezes over the last 24 hours that proved to be the biggest challenge.
“It was an incredibly tough three days of racing,” Nagel said.
Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team’s lead at the top of the pecking order might have been wider had they not allowed victory to slip through their grasps at the end of the opening leg from Lorient, France to Cascias.
Nagel and her colleagues led most of the 2,000 nautical mile race but ultimately finished last as a tactical decision came back to haunt them.
However, they bounced back at the first opportunity by winning the opening coastal race in Cascais to get their Ocean Race Europe title bid back on track.
Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team are a new addition to the Ocean Race fleet and are “Racing For The Planet” to put climate change on the global agenda.
“I’ve been racing and training with the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team on and off for a year now,” Nagel said. “It’s a great team to be a part of.”