Team AkzoNobel took the win in the HGC In-Port Race Hong Kong on a challenging afternoon on the waters of Kowloon Bay.
The wind during race time was a 6 to 10 knot Easterly, but it was very shifty and puffy, and with a tidal current running on the race course, it was a difficult day for the tacticians.
“We had a fantastic race, pretty exciting. We planned to sail our own race today. It was tricky enough with the tide and the windshifts,” said team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont.
“The team sailed an unbelievable race and the guys in the back of the boat played the tactics very well… It’s good when things come together. It’s a nice reward for all the effort the team has put in.”
Dongfeng Race Team finished in second place, with Team Brunel third. The two swapped places on the third lap of the course after a solid upwind leg by Brunel gave them the lead, but the Dongfeng crew fought back on the run to secure second place.
A fourth place finish on Saturday by the series leader MAPFRE means Dongfeng vaults to the top of the table.
But it’s a tight leaderboard and it could compress further following Sunday’s Around Hong Kong Island Race, when results of the weekend of racing will be combined to assign the points from this stopover.
Hong Kong’s hometown heroes Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag had a fantastic start, but fell back and battled to a fifth place finish over Turn the Tide on Plastic on Saturday. Both teams will be determined to move up with a better result on Sunday.
The Around Hong Kong Island Race is scheduled to start at 11:30am local time in Hong Kong (0330 UTC).
Vestas 11th Hour Racing will not race this weekend or on Leg 5 to Guangzhou next week as the team coordinates repairs to its boat.
Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race leaderboard
Dongfeng Race Team – 24 points
MAPFRE – 23 points
team AkzoNobel – 18 points
Team Brunel – 18 points
Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 12 points
Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 9 points
Turn the Tide on Plastic – 7 points