Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, sailing under the burgee of Clube Naval de Cascais, is confirmed as the VO65 winners in the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe.
Watch a recap of the racing HERE.
On the final day of racing in this three-week-long multi-stage professional event, the points spread was close at the top of the seven-boat VO65. Bonus points were up for grabs for the top three finishers in the class in the 90-minute sprint race around the Gulf of Genova.
Windless conditions at the scheduled start time forced the race committee to postpone until a breeze arrived; racing finally got underway in 7-10 knots of southeasterly.
The VO65 start was a congested all-action affair, with two boats—Sailing Team Poland (POL) and The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUT)—having to tack around after being forced outside the committee boat end of the start line. Three others—AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED), Ambersail-2 (LTU), and Team Childhood I (NED)—restarted after being called over early by the race committee.
VO65 Mirpuri Ocean Racing Team—led by Yoann Richomme—stayed clear of the melee and sailed off the line unfettered and into the lead. Despite some nervous moments on the final run where they made an uncharacteristic sail handing error while hoisting the A4 spinnaker and came under attack from Bouwe Bekking’s Sailing Poland, the Portuguese team held the lead to take the coastal race win and seal an overall victory in The Ocean Race Europe.
Sailing Team Poland’s second place inshore race finish was enough to elevate them to second overall, tied on points with the now third-placed Dutch entry AkzoNobel Ocean Racing, led by Australian Chris Nicholson.
For the Portuguese Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, sailing under the Clube Naval de Cascais burgee, the VO65 class victory is the result of a composed and consistent performance that saw the team collect maximum points on offshore legs two and three, and in their homeport inshore race in Cascais.