Telefónica Blue dominated the day with two wins from two starts of the in-port race day at the Volvo Ocean Race stopover at Fan Pier, in Boston. Skipper, Bouwe Bekking called tactics and allowed Iker Martinez to man the helm, leading from pole to pole in both races.
The first race was delayed for forty minutes before a light sea breeze developed. Ericsson 4 and Green Dragon raced off the start line and looked good initially, but by the top mark, Delta Lloyd and Telefónica Blue used the right side of the course to their advantage to lead the fleet.
Approaching the top mark, Green Dragon was holding third place but trouble on their final tack left the boat floundering as Ericsson 4 and PUMA roared past. Green Dragon compounded their problems, after rounding the mark, when they infringed on Ericsson 3, leaving both boats almost stopped in the water. The Dragons acknowledged their mistake with a penalty turn, and trailed the fleet for the remainder of the race.
Telefónica Blue was never threatened, as Delta Lloyd earned a fantastic second place result with overall Volvo Ocean Race leader Ericsson 4 close behind in third.
Boston’s hometown heroes on PUMA fought a duel with Telefónica Black for fourth place during most of the race. In the end, Ken Read’s men on PUMA were able to defeat the Black boat. Ericsson 3 never recovered from their incident with Green Dragon and limped home in sixth.
Cloud and thin fog enveloped the race course, killing the sea breeze, between races, but brought a stronger gradient wind of 10-12 knots.
The start for race two saw plenty of action with Telefónica Blue almost jumping the gun before the start. Iker Martinez was able to luff up, slow down, and earns some valuable room and had a clean start with plenty of speed.
PUMA and both of the Ericsson boats weren’t as lucky as they were unable to scrub off enough speed and were penalized for being over the line early. All three had to turn around and re-start while the others raced away.
Bouwe Bekking and Iker Martinez took advantage and never looked back as Telefónica Blue stormed away to their second race win on the afternoon.
It wasn’t so simple behind. Telefónica Black sailed a strong first leg as did Delta Lloyd. Ericsson 4 recovered from the start line penalty to round the first mark in fourth place but PUMA and Ericsson 3 remained at the back for the first lap of the course.
A big right-hand shift saw Delta Lloyd stranded on the wrong side of the race course and fell from third to sixth place on the second beat to windward. Ericsson 3 moved up to fourth place, while PUMA moved past Green Dragon and Delta Lloyd.
On the final run, both Ericsson boats gybed inside Telefónica Black to make a pass which dropped the black boat to fourth place as they crossed the line followed by Puma, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon.
Telefónica Blue was the runaway winner of the Boston In-Port Race, with Ericsson 4 a clear second and Delta Lloyd holding on for a surprising third place. A three-way tie for fourth was decided in favor of the stronger position in the second race, which was bad news for the hometown favorites on PUMA.
It meant Ericsson 3 would grab fourth, Telefónica Black fifth while PUMA was left in sixth place. Green Dragon, with two seventh place finishes, brought up the rear.
Telefónica Blue creeps half a point closer to Ericsson 4 on the overall leader board, but more importantly opens up some margin over PUMA in the battle for second place. The next in-port race day is in Galway on 30 May. But to get there, the fleet will race from Boston beginning next Saturday, 16 May.
Race One Boston In-Port Race Finish Position
1. Telefonica Blue
2. Delta Lloyd
3. Ericsson 4
5. Telefonica Black
6. Ericsson 3
7. Green Dragon
Race Two Boston In-Port Race Finish Position
1. Telefonica Blue
2. Ericsson 4
3. Ericsson 3
4. Telefonica Black
6. Delta Lloyd
7. Green Dragon
Boston In-Port Race Results (Provisional)
1. Telefonica Blue: 4 points
2. Ericsson 4: 3.5 points
3. Delta Lloyd: 3 points
4. Ericsson 3: 2.5 points
5. Telefonica Black 2.0 points
6. PUMA: 1.5 points
7. Green Dragon 1.0 points
Overall Leader board
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 81 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 68.5 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 65.5 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 55.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 45.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 31.0 points
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 24.0 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points
Photo: Volvo Ocean Race