Emily Nagel’s Mirpuri among early pacesetters on final leg of Ocean Race Europe
Bermudian sailor Emily Nagel and her Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team colleagues made a solid start to the final leg of the Ocean Race Europe from Alicante, Spain, to Genoa, Italy, yesterday.
The Portuguese-based team were locked in an intense battle with leaders Team Childhood I at the front of the VO65 class heading into the fleet’s first night at sea.
Dutch entry AkzoNobel Ocean Racing led the seven-boat fleet exiting Alicante before Nagel and her colleagues surged ahead.
However, the lead swapped hands yet again after Team Childhood I, who are competing under the Sweden and Netherlands banners, passed Yoann Richomme’s team as the early tactical battle continued.
In contrast to the predominantly breezy conditions the crews experienced on the first two legs of the inaugural race, the weather forecast for leg three calls for light winds throughout the 600-nautical mile passage to Genoa.
The fleet is estimated to arrive in Genoa on Thursday based on the forecast.
With only one leg and coastal race remaining, the battle for class honours is still wide open, with Nagel and her team-mates presently topping VO65 standings on a tie-break over her former team, AkzoNobel Ocean Racing.
Mirpuri Foundation Racing 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 team’s lead 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 Cascais.
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.
Meanwhile, Offshore Team Germany led the foiling IMOCA 60 class heading into nightfall yesterday followed by rivals CORUM L' Epargne and LinkedOut in second and third respectively.
French team LinkedOut top the IMOCA 60 standings on a tie-break over Offshore Germany and 11th Hour Racing Team, of the United States, on nine points.