The Final In Port Race
Sat 27th Jun
Bizarrely the ferry didn’t start running til an hour after the village opened and more importantly it would mean that we would miss the crew parade to the boats. So we went in via the main entrance – and bumped into the Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Godmother to Team SCA’s boat….. good to see that we aren’t the only ones to have a boat Godmother!
A quick stop at the SCA stand and we picked up some more Team SCA freebie’s this time some sun visors.
It was clear that today there were going to be a lot more people and the crowds were definitely turning more magenta. The Team SCA shop was doing a roaring trade which at one point meant they had to have a queue just to get into the shop.
We found a place opposite the boats and waited for the crew to arrive in the team parade. By now the crowds so several people deep, I happened to be standing next to a friend of Libby’s which was nice to get a bit more detail about the behind the scenes activities. The crew arrived, Kyle – Carolijn son had clearly become accustomed to the crowds and was happily waving at everyone!
The crews had a few additions to their ranks: Mapfre had the former Juan Carlos King of Spain and Team SCA Princess Victoria and her body guards.
Once on board, boats left in order to their boat songs and we headed down to find a place on the grandstand. At the beginning of the day it looked like there would be no race, as only 4 knots of wind had been predicted – but despite it being incredible light there was enough wind to get the boats moving. The boats sailed passed the stand and Brunel did a crowd pleasing sail past but most motored to further down river to put up their sails.
The race was electric and we watched it over the large screen as the race course was further out into the harbour. Every time SCA did a great move- be it the start or rounding a mark the magenta crowd roared with appreciation. At one point Liz was up the mast trying to flick the top battens over as they were bent the wrong way and you could feel the crowd pushing with her. By the last leg Brunel had secured a comfortable lead followed by Team SCA and then Mapfre gave Alvimedic a lesson in match racing.
Each boat docked in reverse order of the overall results with their boat song blasting away. The girls looked (deservedly) ecstatic and there were lots of group hugs having completed the VOR. Once docked Dee, Sara, Libby and Elodie grabbed Sam the Skipper and threw her into the Harbour – at which point Sam started doing synchronised swimming (apparently a sport from her school days) to the rest of ‘Wake me Up when it’s all over’ their boat theme tune. She was lifted out of the water and was interviewed by the Race Village MC Jo Pickard.
We beetled our way thought the crowd and found a spot near the presentation stage – close enough to be able to see some action but safe enough from the champagne that gets liberally sprayed for each prize. Team SCA were up twice – once for the second place in the in Port Race and once for the Magnus Olsson Award for their win of leg 8 in recognition of his favorite saying – Never Give Up – and they were worthy winners.