Full line up will take the start for Leg 8 race to Newport

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All seven boats are anticipated to be on the start line when Leg 8 from Itajaí to Newport gets underway on Sunday…

Itajai Stopover. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag is back on the water for Leg 8 from Itajai to Newport. 21 April, 2018.

Team SHK/Scallywag is back in the water and scheduled to take the start of Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Itajaí, Brazil on Sunday afternoon.

The team had been in a race against time to have its boat prepared for racing after it was delivered to Itajaí on Thursday.

But the Boatyard crew, along with team members, suppliers, and with assistance from the other teams in the race, have readied the boat for racing in near record time and early on Saturday afternoon it returned to the water.

“We’re grateful for the support we’ve had from the other competitors and everyone who has helped out,” said Scallywag skipper David Witt. “It’s a real testament to the character of the people who do this race.”

“It’s great to be able to get Scallywag back in the water in time for the start,” said Neil Cox, the head of the Boatyard. “We needed everyone to pull together to make it and as you would expect in these circumstances, that is exactly what happened.”

Both SHK/Scallywag and Vestas 11th Hour Racing retired from Leg 7 and had their boats sailed to Itajaí by delivery crews. After quick turnarounds, both are now ready to re-join the fleet for the 5,700 nautical mile race north to Newport, Rhode Island.

It promises to be a challenging leg, with light winds in the forecast for the first days, followed by tradewind sailing leading into the final doldrums crossing of the race before the final push north to the highly anticipated Newport stopover.

“Newport is a sailing mecca of the United States,” said Charlie Enright of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “People are passionate about their sailing there and it will be an amazing experience. We want to get a great result sailing into Newport and I’m really looking forward to it.”

The leaderboard is tight, with a new team on top as Dongfeng Race Team take over pole position from MAPFRE by just a single point.

“One point is nothing because as we have seen in the last legs, things can change very quickly and the race is far from finished,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier.

“But it’s very positive to be on top now because since the start I think it’s been a bit frustrating for us to always be just behind MAPFRE. It’s good for the team spirit and motivation. Nothing is better than a good result to give us extra energy to finish the race.”

Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 — Overall Leaderboard after Leg 7:
1. Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier), 46 points
2. MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández), 45 points
3. Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking), 36 points
4. Team AkzoNobel (Simeon Tienpont), 33 points
5. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (David Witt), 26 points
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright), 23 points
7. Turn The Tide on Plastic (Dee Caffari), 20 points