VOLVO OCEAN RACE Leg 10 Start Thursday 8AM

Hey Gang-

The Last leg of the Volvo Ocean Race begins Thursday the 20th at 8AM EST (That’s 12UTC for all you worldly types).

This ought to be good- it’s a 700 mile “sprint” and out of the three top boats it’s down to winner-take-all. MAPFRE and BRUNEL each have equal points. DONGFENG is one point behind.

MAPFRE has Blair Tuke in the crew, if they win he will become the first sailor to ever win an Olympic Gold medal, an America’s Cup, and a Volvo Ocean Race. Would be cool to see a crew get a little fame and recognition, it’s often such a thankless job….

On the other hand BRUNEL has Peter Burling in the crew, he could also be the first to win this “triple crown” (he and Tuke won the Olympics and America’s Cup together). Also onboard is skipper Bouwe Bekking, a Dutchie who has done this race nine times (!) or something and has yet to win it. His history in this race is unreal- it includes one sunk boat, one very high speed grounding and God knows how many other misadventures and near-misses.

Oh, and his navigator Andrew Cape was arrested in a drunken bar brawl in Newport when the race stopped here. Apparently he wasn’t taken in at the scene but was apprehended when he went to the police station a few hours later to bail out his friends and one of the officers recognized him. Uh, okay….

Would be good to see Bekking finally take a victory, especially as the race finishes in his home country of The Netherlands. Or Holland. Whatever it’s called, there are lots of windmills and it is a hotbed of and (some say) the birthplace of ice yachting. Rumor has it that Bekking has sailed on a bit of hard water over the years too…

And Cape Cod’s Rick Bishop has his DN painted just like the BRUNEL boat. So there you go.

Anyway tune in Thursday morning at 8AM and see them get under way. Should be good!

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