Team AkzoNobel has finished the second stage of the four-part Leg Zero qualification series – the Rolex Fastnet Race – in fourth place.
The nine-person crew skippered by renowned Dutch yachtsman Simeon Tienpont and backed by paints, coatings and specialty chemicals company AkzoNobel crossed the finish line in Plymouth at 03.32 UTC (04.32 BST) on Wednesday morning.
The team completed the 603-nautical mile (1,117-kilometer) course from Cowes on the Isle of Wight and around Ireland’s Fastnet Rock in two days 15 hours 52 minutes and 40 seconds.
The Leg Zero qualifying series does not count towards the Volvo Ocean Race itself.
Team AkzoNobel was the front runner for much of the Fastnet Race and led the seven-boat fleet of identical Volvo Ocean 65 one design yachts around Land’s End and across the Irish Sea to the solitary Fastnet Rock off the southern tip of Ireland.
Despite mounting pressure from the closely packed fleet nipping at their transom all the way across the Irish Sea, Tienpont’s crew of seven men and two women held the lead until
just before dawn on Tuesday, August 8, when they had to cede the top spot to China’s Dongfeng Race Team.
Dongfeng and team AkzoNobel rounded the Fastnet Rock shortly after 07.00 UTC (08.00 BST), around 10-minutes apart. Spanish team Mapfre was the next to make the turn back towards England soon after.
With the wind now behind them the boats accelerated to 17-knots (31-kilometers per hour) after hoisting their gigantic A3 headsails on the way to the final turn of the course – the Bishop Rock at the Scilly Isles.
After a melee of maneuvering among the boats at the Scillies, team AkzoNobel emerged in fourth place, close behind Dutch rivals Team Brunel. With few tactical options left in the final miles into Plymouth Tienpont’s team could do little to challenge for third and ultimately had to settle for holding their position at the finish.