Xabi Fernández, MAPFRE:
The truth is it hasn’t been a very easy race but we took a bit of a risk at the start. We’re very happy about how Patan and Pablo really saw the gap in front of Brunel and we went for it. Everything went pretty well.
It was pretty clear from Joan and Rob that we wanted to hit the right in the first upwind looking for more breeze. Our intention was to start on port but Pablo saw the gap himself when Brunel did a pretty poor tack and they couldn’t accelerate so we want for the cross and we had plenty of room and once we hit right everything went well.
We wanted the right-hand part of the course going upwind. Since we debriefed yesterday after the practice race, we’re not afraid of doing extra manoeuvres with the masthead zero. The easiest would have been to go straight to the left but we had a strong call on board to tack and pay this couple of boat lengths in order to have bigger wind later on.
Sophie Ciszek, MAPFRE:
It’s so exciting. I mean, you can’t ask for much more than to win the first race of the event. We sailed really well and won by quite a bit so that’s so exiting. I guess we still have room for improvement so that’s a good sign. It’s awesome to win in the home country of the team.
Our start was pretty crazy. It was a good move and it worked out, and put us in the lead pretty much straight away. It was a good effort from the guys.
I think we’ve done so much preparation in Spain and we’ve been training together as a team, with all these people, doing a lot of in-shore training with our manoeuvres. We go to meetings and go through playbooks and I think we’re really solid in this.
Charles Caudrelier, Dongfeng Race Team:
There was a lot of action! MAPFRE played their own game alone but behind them, we had a big fight for second place. It’s good, it’s good. We showed how we can sail well, after having not such good results in the last few days. It’s great that we managed to come back and get this result.
David Witt, Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag:
It was OK. Fifth’s not great but it was OK, we were second at the top but we just made one mistake on the first run and it cost us. Basically, it was good. Amazing to be racing here in Alicante.
Bouwe Bekking, Brunel:
I think we made huge improvements from yesterday. This is the second time we sailed together with this crew and we learned a lot from the practice race .Today I had a bad start, we were a little on the back foot but we sailed the boat really nicely. We made some good calls and some less good calls but that’s just sometimes how racing goes. All in all, pretty happy how we sailed today. That’s just how yacht racing is. You have some good ones, some bad ones and this was just an OK one.
Charlie Enright, Vestas 11th Hour Racing:
It was a very exciting first In-Port Race for us. They’re always really close. You know, when you’re racing these 65-foot canting keel boats around a one-mile track it gets interesting, with a lot of exchanges and big headsails and a lot of grinding. We did some good things and some bad things and got third place. All in all, not a bad way to start the campaign.