Just moments before the boats docked out of Saint Malo, we caught up with the Volvo Ocean Racers for a quick reflect at Leg Zero so far – and a look ahead to the final stage to Lisbon...
It would be wrong to say the hard work is over, the truth is it’s just beginningXabi Fernández, MAPFRE
Leg Zero has been really good for us. Saint-Malo to Lisbon is the last stop so it’s not quite over yet but I’m so happy with the team, the boat, everything seems to be working out. I think it would be wrong to say the hard work is over, the truth is it’s just beginning. Leg Zero has actually been more intense than I could’ve ever expected and I look forward to arriving in Lisbon… who know what will happen between now and then!
Leg Zero has been an important time for us to come together as a fleetCharles Caudrelier, Dongfeng Race Team
Saint-Malo has been great, just as beautiful as I remember it. It’s been such a nice welcome from the people here, both tourists and residents alike. I just really hope we have a proper stopover here, I was talking to the Mayor and it would be good to make this happen.
It’s looking very very slow out there. Honestly, as a fleet we’re going to have to motor for a part of this leg - it’s annoying because we want to race but you can’t predict the weather. To be honest I would rather motor now and have the preparation time in Lisbon than ‘race’ this leg in NO wind and miss out on two extra days of proper training.
Leg Zero has been brilliant this time round, it’s so cool to take part in races like the round the island race and the Rolex Fastnet Race against the other boats. We’ve been having fun, learning and as you know, Dongfeng has quite a random mix of people in our team, both old and new, and it’s been an important time for us to come together and race as a team. I have a cracking team, we’re in a good place.
Saint-Malo is iconic, and it's great for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to be hereBouwe Bekking, Team Brunel
Saint-Malo is an icon of the Brittany coast. My first time here was in 1984 on my first round-the-world race – and the city hasn't changed, which is really nice. It's super popular here and it's great for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to be here. The way it's been organised has been excellent. The French love sailing but they also know just how to organise a great event, and it's been really nice to be here. It's a shame there's no French stopover this edition, but the way this city is set up is a great opportunity for all our sponsors – there are excellent conditions and a beautiful harbour.
Every day that you get to spend on the boat you improve in a lot of areasCharlie Enright, Vestas 11th Hour Racing
This Leg Zero experience has been a good one I’d say. We know that we need to get a little faster – and I think this race will be won by the boat that improves the most between today and the end. That process started for us a week ago.
You only enter races to win – but the forecast is flukey so everything’s on the table. Everyone’s expectation is to be competitive and to continue to refine the areas that we realise need work.
Leg Zero has been super valuable learning for usDee Caffari, Turn the Tide on Plastic
Leg Zero has been really valuable. To line up against the boats and have a gauge of how we’re doing speed wise and set up wise is super valuable learning for us, so we’re taking all the notes we’ve made and digesting them so that they don’t get lost when Leg Zero is over and we’re training on our own.