Volvo Ocean Race 2012 – Galway
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011/2012 had Galway as its final port. First place overall (Groupama got that one) was decided when the boats came in on Monday night last week, but second and third place weren’t quite decided yet, the in-port race on Saturday would determine that.
Needless to say, I headed down to Salthill on Saturday to watch and shoot the in-port race. Armed with my 300 mm lens, which was the perfect choice because I could get right in there, without being out on the water. Of course being on a boat out on the water would have been amazing, but, well, it worked out anyway!
The six competing boats – Groupama, Telefonica, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Puma, Camper – out racing on Galway bay:
Once the race was over, and won by Puma, the boats hung around in the bay for a few hours, waiting for the tide to come in and the harbour gates to open. This gave me enough time to walk back from Salthill to the docks, and when the boats did come in, I was in the right spot, away from the crowds, but in a place where I could see the boats pass by very closely.
Team Camper and Emirates New Zealand entering Galway harbour
Puma’s skipper Ken Read
Bowmen Martin Krite and Brad Marsh of team Groupama light flares as their boat enters Galway harbour
Time for celebrations!
The final prize-giving took place shortly after the boats had returned to the harbour. Thousands of spectators cheered on the sailors, these brave and crazy men who sailed 39000 miles around the world.
Telefonica’s skipper Iker Martinez entering the stage
Puma’s skipper Ken Read celebrating third place overall
Groupama’s skipper Franck Cammas lifting the Volvo Ocean Race trophy
What a race, what an achievement. What a fantastic thing to have the VOR come to Galway again, it was absolutely amazing.
Well done to the skippers and their crews, you guys are fantastic.