Vestas 11th Hour places third in Newport homecoming

VESTAS 11TH HOUR RACING placed third in the leg from Itajai, Brazil, to Newport, arriving to a foggy Newport Harbor. / COURTESY VOLVO OCEAN RACE/AINHOA SANCHEZ
VESTAS 11TH HOUR RACING placed third in the leg from Itajai, Brazil, to Newport, arriving to a foggy Newport Harbor. / COURTESY VOLVO OCEAN RACE/AINHOA SANCHEZ

NEWPORT – Vestas 11th Hour Racing placed third in the race to Newport early Tuesday morning, earning a podium spot in the final miles of the race from Itajai, Brazil.

The stop is a homecoming for two members of the team, Skipper Charlie Enright and crewmember Nick Dana. Team member Mark Towill also has Rhode Island ties.

“This leg has had its ups and downs,” said Enright, who sailed for Brown University’s nationally ranked team, as did Towill. “We didn’t start great but we feel like we sailed pretty well for the middle two-thirds of the leg. … Then with some positive input from some local knowledge, we end up back on the podium, which is great.”

The racing team MAPFRE staged a come-from-behind win, moving from fifth to first in the final 300 miles of the race. Vestas also held the fifth spot as recently as Monday morning.

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The Volvo Ocean Race reported that light winds in the final stretch of the race compacted the race, making it closer than it had been for the previous few days.

The team arrived at a foggy Newport harbor early in the morning, but it wasn’t short of supporters to cheer them into port.

“It’s awesome here,” Enright said. “It’s 0600 local time here and the amount of boats out is absurd. The amount of effort put in by Sail Newport and the stopover here is amazing.”

The team’s third-place podium finish has earned it 5 points, bringing its overall point total to 28, earning it the fifth spot overall. MAPFRE leads the race overall with 53 points.

The Newport in-port race is scheduled for May 19, with Leg 9 of the race headed to Cardiff, Wales, beginning on the following day. Including the Transatlantic trek, there are three legs of the Volvo Ocean Race remaining.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.

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