Archive for » December 13th, 2014«

Team Brunel outflank Dongfeng Race Team for Volvo leg 2 win

Dutch boat Team Brunel edged to victory in an incident-packed second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race on Saturday when they pipped China’s Dongfeng Race Team by just 16 minutes after 23 days of sailing.

This was the first time the 41-year-old race’s fleet had sailed all 5,200 nautical miles of the stage from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi – in 2011 the boats were shipped part of the way because of piracy fears.

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This time, pirates did not threaten the boats but one entry, Denmark’s Team Vestas Wind, still failed to reach the destination in the Emirates after sailing into a reef in the Indian Ocean on November 19 and grounding their boat.

Team Brunel, led by 51-year-old Bouwe Bekking, had no such problems but they still needed a masterly passing manoeuvre five hours before the finish to shake off Dongfeng. It was the second time that the Chinese team, led by 40-year-old French skipper Charles Caudrelier, had been edged out in the last few miles.

They lost out to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the first leg by just 12 minutes. The result, with Abu Dhabi finishing third, leaves three boats tied on four points at the top of the standings.

Team Brunel, however, are placed at the head of the table because of the most recent win, with Abu Dhabi ranked ahead of Dongfeng through their victory on leg one from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town last month.

Bekking, who is competing in a record-equalling seventh race after taking part in his first in 1985-86, could not wipe the smile off his face as he cruised from the finish line to the dock.

“It is a good feeling,” he told reporters.

“I’ve always said, it’s better to be lucky than good but we’ve been good this leg as well so it’s so nice to win this one because it could have been an easy leg to finish last.”

“It’s just really nice to get the scores but the team did a fantastic job, we sailed the boat much better than in the first leg.” With Team Vestas Wind’s boat still stranded on the reef on St Brandon and out of the leg, the focus now switches to the remaining three boats still to complete the leg – MAPFRE (Spain), Team Alvimedica (Turkey/U.S.) and Team SCA (Sweden).

They have between 150 and 274nm to go and are not expected to finish until Sunday.

The nine-month, 38,739nm mile race comprises nine legs in all, visiting 11 ports and every continent. It started on October 4 in Alicante and is scheduled to finish in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 27, 2015.

Current Leg 2 placings: 1. Team Brunel (Netherlands), 2. Dongfeng Race Team (China), 3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 4. MAPFRE (Spain), 5. Team Alvimedica (Turkey/U.S.), 6. Team SCA (Sweden), 7. Team Vestas Wind (suspended racing)

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Sailing

Dongfeng lost out to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the first leg from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town by 12 minutes after nearly a month’s racing.

This time they were denied in the leg from South Africa to the UAE by 16 minutes by the Dutch team led by 51-year-old Bouwe Bekking, who is competing in a record-equalling seventh race.

The key moment came five hours from the finish at around 0330 GMT, when Bekking’s crew passed Dongfeng with a masterly manoeuvre, although the boats were in similar winds, sailing just a few hundred metres apart.

Dongfeng Race Team’s French skipper Charles Caudrelier could not conceal his disappointment in a pre-finish call to www.volvooceanrace.com.

“Brunel have been much faster than us since a few days and we don’t know why. We’re a bit disappointed because we did a good job to pass them, but they keep passing us. You have to do well, but you also have to be fast. If you’re not fast, it’s difficult to win a leg,” he said.

Bekking, in contrast, could not wipe the smile off his face as he cruised from the finish line to the dock. His team are locked with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Dongfeng on four points after two stages but are ranked top because of winning the most recent leg.

“It is a good feeling,” he told reporters. “I’ve always said, it’s better to be lucky than good but we’ve been good this leg as well so it’s so nice to win this one because it could have been an easy leg to finish last. The team did a fantastic job, we sailed the boat much better than in the first leg.”

Bekking has never won the 41-year-old race and it remains a lifetime ambition for him.

Most professional offshore sailors do not race past their 50th birthday but the Dutchman is known in the sport as one of the toughest and fittest in the business.


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KARACHI: Pakistani marine forces on Thursday arrested 58 Indian fishermen for allegedly violating territorial waters in the Arabian Sea, police said.

“The Maritime Security Agency arrested 58 Indian fishermen,” senior police officer Shiraz Nazir said, adding that the authorities also seized 11 boats. “Indian fishermen] have been handed over to police,” he said.

Such arrests are frequently carried out by both countries, as the maritime border in the Arabian Sea is poorly defined and many fishing boats lack the technology needed to be certain of their precise location.

Read: 151 Indian fishermen released from Karachi, Hyderabad jails

The fishermen often languish in jail even after serving prison terms, as poor diplomatic ties between the two arch-rivals mean fulfilling official requirements can take a long time.

Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours have taken a turn for the worse in recent months, with some of the worst shelling in years on the disputed border in Kashmir.

Earlier in November, Pakistan had announced the release of 35 fishermen held for violating territorial waters, a day after the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit closed.

The fishermen and one civilian were released from Karachi’s Malir prison after completing their sentences. The prisoners were repatriated to India through the Wagah border in Lahore.

Have a look at: In-pictures | Released Indian fishermen homeward bound


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