Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team has taken the lead of The Ocean Race Europe, racing to a second consecutive victory in the Mediterranean, arriving in Genoa, Italy, at 00.51 local time this morning.

Going into this final offshore leg of The Ocean Race Europe, the Portuguese team was tied for the race lead after winning the second leg from their home port of Cascais to Alicante. Victory today has solidified the team’s position at the top of the leaderboard, a single point clear of nearest rival AkzoNobel going into the final points-scoring coastal race this weekend.

This four day leg was the most challenging of the race so far, with low winds forecast from the very start. The fleet departed from Alicante on Sunday and, once clear of the only race mark on the island of Tabarca, the fleet had an open choice of their routing across the Mediterranean toward the northern coast of Italy.

Choosing to stay south of the Balearic Islands with the majority of the pack and navigating the pockets of low wind synonymous with the Mediterranean in summer, the team then followed the French and Italian coastline towards Genoa, staying in contention for a podium finish for the majority of the leg, with Sailing Poland holding the lead throughout.

Yesterday evening, skipper Yoann Richomme and navigator Nico Lunven made the decision to take their Racing For The Planet VO65 boat offshore, looking for a more favourable breeze and a better angle into Genoa. This would prove to be a winning decision as the crew took the lead with fewer than 25 nautical left to go to the finish.

Yoann Richomme, Skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team said: “What a crazy leg. It felt like two weeks of sailing. We knew the result wouldn’t be decided until the finish because Genoa is always so complicated and it played in our favour today. The crew was amazing. We kept on fighting the whole way, keeping very calm. We knew there were going to be opportunities towards the end to win this leg and we managed to do it. What a comeback, it feels incredible.”

Paulo Mirpuri, Founder of the Mirpuri Foundation said: “We have been honest from the start that we want to win this race, but it is the spirit that the crew and the whole team has shown that I am especially proud of today. From the very beginning of this leg, nothing was certain and everything could change from moment to moment. It was sticking to their instincts, being patient and staying in the race right until the end that put the crew in the position to take the lead and ultimately a second consecutive leg win.”


Image courtesy of The Ocean Race.