"In a fleet this good, one mistake can snowball and send you from the top to the bottom of the leaderboard," said Charlie Enright after today's fourth-place finish for the In-Port Race in Cape Town, South Africa. "We obviously showed we can do it, so we are happy with our performance overall."
Vestas 11th Hour Racing led the fleet of seven Volvo 65s for almost the first half of the race but eventually fell to fourth place after an ill-executed maneuver on the second downwind mark. The team rounded the first two marks in first place and split the third mark with Dongfeng Race Team, the eventual race winners, on the third gate.
An issue arose for the blue boat at the fourth mark when a problematic furl of the A3, a sail used in windy downwind conditions, made the top mark maneuver extremely difficult. Despite bowman, Nick Dana (USA), trying to straighten out the asymmetrical spinnaker on the upwind leg, the sail unfurled twisted for the final leg.
Despite rounding in second place and sorting the problem through the gybe, they lost their momentum on the unfavoured side of the course, allowing MAPFRE and AkzoNobel to get ahead.
"Clear communication is key to these maneuvers on a short track like this," said British navigator, Simon Fisher.
"But we closed the gap on the In-Port Race standings with Brunel, so a Podium finish for the series is still in sight."