Team Brunel found a very timely change of gear to sweep past Dongfeng Race Team and edge to a 16-minute victory in an incident-packed Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race today.
The wily Dutch campaigner, Bouwe Bekking (NED), competing in a record-equalling seventh race, looked likely to have lost out in a thrilling sprint to the finish in the 5,200 nautical mile second stage with some five hours to go.
Suddenly, Team Brunel found an extra surge of wind pressure to sweep past Charles Caudrelier's (FRA) men even though the boats were only a couple of hundred metres apart and before long they were a mile clear. The Chinese boat was forced to settle for runners-up spot.
This Leg 2 will be remembered for the grounding of the Team Vestas Wind boat on a reef in the middle of the Indian Ocean on 29 November, 10 days after leaving Cape Town.