Sailing

Nagel’s team stay strong in Fastnet Race

  • Big ambitions: Nagel aims to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race

Emily Nagelís Team AkzoNobel put in another good showing in the Rolex Fastnet Race, the second stage of the four-part Leg Zero qualification series.

The Dutch entry, which features Bermudian Nagel, finished fourth competing among the seven-boat fleet of identical Volvo Ocean 65 one design yachts after completing the 605-nautical mile course from Cowes on the Isle of Wight and around Irelandís Fastnet Rock on Wednesday morning in two days, 15 hours, 52 mins and 40 seconds.

Team AkzoNobel, led by skipper and two-times Americaís Cup winner Simeon Tienpont, led its class for much of the race before being passed by Chinaís Dongfeng Race Team just before dawn on Tuesday.

Team AkzoNobel lost further ground on the final leg of the course and were pipped by Dutch rivals Team Brunel for the third and final place on the podium.

Nagel, who worked full-time with SoftBank Team Japanís design team during the Americaís Cup, has set her sights on competing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, which will start on October 22 in Alicante, Spain, and finish at the end of June next year in The Hague, Netherlands.

She is taking part in trials with Tienpontís racing syndicate in the hopes of making the final cut and competing in the prestigious race around the world.

Nagel, who earned a Masterís degree in Engineering with Naval Architecture from the University of Southampton, experienced her first taste of offshore sailing in November last year when she sailed from New York to Bermuda in a 46ft foiling catamaran accompanied by Oracle Team USA pair Jimmy Spithill and Rome Kirby.

Team AkzoNobelís crew had just 24 hours to recover after finishing a closely fought Fastnet Race before setting off from Plymouth, England yesterday on the third stage of the Leg Zero qualification series ó a 225-nautical mile race in the English Channel finishing in the French port of St Malo.

The course for the race will first take the fleet of seven Volvo Ocean 65s along the English south coast to a turn near the Needles lighthouse at the western end of the Isle of Wight and then across the Channel to St Malo.

Although the course for this latest stage is diminutive compared to the expansive transoceanic legs of the Volvo Ocean Race, the cross-Channel sprint will present plenty of challenges for the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s. The estimated time of arrival in St Malo is today.

Last week saw Team AkzoNobel finish third in a race around the Isle of Wight, the first stage of the Leg Zero qualification series. The final stage of Leg Zero ó from St Malo to Lisbon, Portugal ó begins on Sunday.

Leg Zero is comprised of a series of mini races which kick-start an exciting period of pre-race activity for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race fleet.

It has replaced the previous 2,000-mile mandatory qualification voyage which teams had to complete in order to enter the Volvo Ocean race.

Although the mileage is similar, the new format offers more advantages for the teams in terms of crew training, boat-on-boat action and commercial activity.