Friday, 29 June 2012

Any of the four top boats could win

Hamish Hooper won the Inmarsat MCM award for leg 8
(Credit: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race)

This is a quick blog from me as I am packing to go out to Galway, ready to receive the fleet from France on the last leg of the race.

It will be such a sprint that Volvo is planning to cover it almost live. We still have the penultimate in-port race tomorrow that could potentially seal the deal for Frank Cammas and his Groupama team.

Everyone I have spoken to want them to have a difficult day, just so that the race stays open into the last offshore leg. It’s still mathematically possible for any of the top four boats to win this race.

Closest race
If there is one thing we have learned from this race, it is that anything can happen. Don’t rule out the unthinkable. There has never been a closer race finish in race history.

There are a lot more trophies to win. Hamish Hooper, Amory Ross and Yann Riou are all close for the overall win for the Inmarsat Media Award.

Hooper received the award for his outstanding overall multimedia output during a stormy Leg 8.  And in particular some breathtaking footage of skipper Chris Nicholson being washed from the wheel by a wall of water.

Recent video
The judges noted two outstanding pieces of recent video from Hooper, who clocked up enormous numbers of YouTube views with footage of Chuny Bermúdez dodging a whale and skipper Chris Nicholson being washed off the wheel.

Hooper, who had previously won two MCM leg awards, saw off competition from fellow nominees Groupama sailing team’s Yann Riou and Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg's Amory Ross to claim the Leg 8 accolade.

Tune into the in-port race this Saturday and then the leg start on Sunday. It’s all live and if you believe the forecast it’s going to be a windy one.

Mark Covell

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