Dutch Carolijn Brouwer first woman to win Volvo Ocean Race
After 84 thousand kilometers of sailing around the world, the Volvo Ocean Race ended in a photo finish in The Hague on Sunday. Dongfeng, a Chinese boat with Dutch Carolijn Brouwer on board, came in first place. With that Brouwer is the first woman ever to win the Volvo Ocean Race, AD reports.
On Sunday morning Dongfeng was still about 50 nautical miles behind the leaders, Mapfre and Dutch Team Brunel of skipper Bouwe Bekking. Dongfeng opted for a route close to the coast near Denmark, while Mapfre and Brunel took a westerly route. The tactical choice paid off for Dongfeng, who closed in on Mapfre and Brunel along the Noord-Holland coast.
Around 20 thousand spectators on Scheveningen quay saw the red Dongfeng boat enter the harbor first. While it wasn't the Dutch victory most had hoped for - according to AD, the spectators were cheering for Brunel - it still had a nice Dutch touch. Bouwer, the 44-year-old sailor with an apartment on the Scheveningen boulevard, became the first woman to win the Volvo Ocean Race.
This is the first year in which the Volvo Ocean Race allowed mixed teams. Before this edition, women did participate in the race, but on their own boat.
"My goal was to be the first Dutch woman to win this sailing race", Brouwer said to the newspaper. "When skipper Charles Caudrelier approached me and asked me if I wanted to sail with him, I did not hesitate for a moment. It was a crazy race. We mainly had to keep a cool head and we succeeded."