NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI/AP) — In one of the closest finishes ever, the yachts sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race have arrived at Fort Adams in Newport.
With just 60 secs separating the boats, @desafioMAPFRE crosses the #InmarsatFinishLine in 1st place ahead of @brunelsailing in #Leg8 of the #volvooceanrace. Well done both teams – incredibly tense sailing! 🏅👍🎉#VolvoOceanRaceNewport pic.twitter.com/zxH2UnzOpV— Inmarsat (@InmarsatGlobal) May 8, 2018
Spanish team MAPFRE pulled ahead to win Leg 8 of the race, coming in just ahead of Brunel Sailing.
Dense fog and still winds delayed the vessels’ arrival, with the first breaking through the fog of Narragansett Bay just after 6 a.m. on Tuesday.
The seven Volvo 65 sailboats began their 5,010 nautical mile leg of the race from Itajai, Brazil to Newport on April 22. The 9-month global race began in Spain and will finish in Holland.
The Vesta’s 11th Hour Racing, a team with Rhode Island ties, finished third in Leg 8. Team Captain Nick Dana is from Newport, and Skipper Charlie Enright is from Bristol.
Enright and Dana endured quite the voyage prior to arriving in Newport. Their sailboat’s mast broke early in the race, sinking to the ocean floor. The Vesta’s bow also had to be replaced after it collided with a fishing vessel outside of Hong Kong in Leg 4, killing one of the fishermen on board.
The pair said they are happy to be home and see their families for the next two weeks.
“Great to finish here in Newport on a foggy morning at 6 a.m.,” Enright said. “It’s been a couple legs since we’ve scored points so it’s great to be back on the podium.”
“It’s great to be back, I love sailing into Newport,” Dana added.
The boats will remain in Newport until May 20, when Leg 9 of the race to Cardiff, Wales, begins.
The Volvo Ocean Race was in Newport three years ago. Organizers of the event told Eyewitness News the race will haven an estimated impact of $47 million to the Rhode Island economy, after 130,000 visitors came to Newport back in 2015.