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Mapfre wins Leg 4 to Auckland

 

 

In a thrilling conclusion to Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Mapfre won the race to Auckland and crossed the finish line just over four minutes ahead of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing with Dongfeng Race Team less than four minutes behind them in one of the most closely fought stages in the history of the Race.

 

Flotillas of boats were out on the water and thousands of Aucklanders packed into the Race Village to welcome the fleet to the City of Sails.


Mapfre's stand-in skipper Fernández was delighted with the victory. 


“Super happy, supper happy," said Fernández. "It was a very tough leg, a very tough last few days especially.


“We were struggling with Abu Dhabi and Dongfeng at the beginning, we were a bit slower, and in the Doldrums too. And this morning we saw them very close and managed to pass them. Since then we led the whole way!"


After four of the nine Legs of the Race,  four different winners have stood on the top of the podium. First, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, then Team Brunel, followed by Dongfeng Race Team and now Mapfre.


For the best part of two days, Mapfre had been in a close-fought three-way fight with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Dongfeng Race Team for victory in the 5,264-nautical mile Leg 4 from Sanya to Auckland.


In the end, the winning margin over Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was just four minutes 25 seconds with the Dongfeng Race Team so close behind - tiny margins after so long sailing through the South China Sea and then the Pacific Ocean.

 

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's second place gives the boat the overall lead in the Race after four legs, tied on points with Dongfeng Race Team but ahead on countback.

 

Finish times in Auckland (all local time):


Mapfre: 21:31:20 
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: 21:35:45
Dongfeng Race Team: 21:39:22 

 

 

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