The day started with a light breeze as the catamarans were motored down through the Maas with a fleet of spectator boats accompanying them. By the time they reached the open water hundreds of boats were out to watch them race as well as see the last three of the Volvo Ocean Race yachts arrive from leg eight.
Tommy Hilfiger (Randy SMYTH) won the first race closely followed by Motorola-CHR (Conrad HUMPHREYS) and then Team Holmatro (Mitch BOOTH) who all dipped under the maximum length of time a race can take. Unfortunately for Team Volvo Ocean Race (Nigel PITT) and Basilica (James GRANT) they were just out of time so were not awarded any points for the first race.
Randy SMYTH skipper of Tommy Hilfiger, on the dock today spoke of a brilliant day on the water, "I've never seen so many spectator boats. At times they were wall to wall around us. It was such a blast sailing around in them. We loved sailing out in the ocean as it's a new venue and you can compare your speed against the other boats. We've never had so much room."
The second race got underway in a little more breeze, with Team Holmatro coming out on top giving them some much needed points. The Basilica boys came back to form and finished second after narrowly missing out on first as Mitch BOOTH on Holmatro gybed inside of them at the bottom mark.
By the time the third race came round the wind had picked up to a fresh ten knots giving the teams a little more to play with. Basilica finally came back and won the race with Motorola-CHR continuing to get good results making them the overall leader after two days of sailing in Rotterdam.
British Tornado sailor Leigh MCMILLAN helming onboard Motorola-CHR felt the team was getting back to the standard they had before in the series in Rio de Janeiro: "We prepared a lot for this regatta and we have our heads together here. It's great to see our results are getting better."
The final race of the day was going to be a 'dash for cash' up the Maas in front of the thousands of spectators who had lined the shore. Unfortunately due to the weight of spectator boats on the Maas the race was forced to be abandoned before the finish.
Tomorrow sees a lay day for the Volvo Extreme 40's as the Volvo Open 70's will be back out in action for the Rotterdam in-port race.
The Volvo Extreme 40 series will recommence on Monday 12 June.
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