Posted by: mdmusingsie | July 7, 2012

In-Port Race (and Cygnet Update 3)

Unless Team Camper didn’t race at all or befell some type of tragedy, the last in-port race of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway had no bearing on the overall standings.   However, there was more than just pride at stake.

There is a prize for overall in-port racing statistics, and that race was even tighter than the overall standings.  The boats put on a good show and it didn’t take long for Team USA to pull into the lead which not only netted them their first in-port race win, but gave them the overall in-port title, as well!

The overall standings ended as follows:  1 – Groupama (France), 2 – Camper with Emirates (New Zealand), 3 – Puma powered by Berg (USA), 4 – Telefónica (Spain), 5 – Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), 6 – Sanya (China).  The In-Port standings were:  1 – Puma, 2 – Camper, 3 – Groupama, 4 – Abu Dhabi, 5 – Telefónica, 6 – Sanya.

Just before the race was to start, it looked as if the spectators would be hard pressed to identify the boats amid the mist and fog, but just as the race began, the fog lifted, the mist cleared, and the race commenced.  Thousands lined the bay, many along the causeway and all the way out to Salt Hill.  Dozens of boats were out on the water as well for a closer view.  A few Galway Hookers were among the waterborne spectators, and a photo below shows how they are dwarfed by the larger yachts.

Although the tide was out, the boats were still close enough to not only identify but watch as they jibed their masts and made assorted maneuvers along the race course.  Billowy sales unfurled at strategic points to catch the wind coming from the northeast.

The Famine Memorial, where I frequently walk, was a prime viewing point.  It had been given a makeover over the last two months and a new set of sculptures flanked the rock.  The boat shaped statues, which were dedicated earlier in the week and are carved with the names of 100 of those ships, represent the boats that carried the Irish to foreign shores in search of better lives.  Much has been written about the famine ships or coffin ships, but these memorials are meant to signify the successful voyages that brought new lives and new hope to hundreds of thousands of Irish.

Despite the gloomy weather, even the local swan family was out in the Claddagh to partake of the entertainment and see what the fuss was all about.

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Responses

  1. Huge event…marathon sailing race and Galway was the very last race and had the awards presentation… more event photos at http://www.volvooceanrace.com and specifically at http://www.volvooceanracegalway.ie/
    Sounds like they loved the beer and hospitality


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