The Volvo Ocean Race family gathered at the Sapphire Pavilion on Siloso Beach at Sentosa Island on Sunday evening to honour the standout performers on leg three, from Cochin, India to Singapore.
In a bittersweet twist, Team Russia, who were forced to suspend racing due to budget constraints following their seventh place finish into Singapore, was awarded the prize for best 24-hour run on the leg. Due to the light, tricky, conditions, the run was a relatively modest 293 miles, but it was recognised nonetheless with a very hearty cheer by those in attendance.
Then, Rick Deppe of PUMA, who has been a regular fixture on the nomination list for the Inmarsat Media Prize each leg, was rewarded for his stellar work on leg three. Rick's video and photos, along with his regular blog posts, captured perfectly the tension and drama on board PUMA as the team battled the fickle conditions to win a tenuous second-place finish on the leg.
The Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award went to Edwin O'Conner, the boat captain on Delta Lloyd, who was able to nurse his team into Singapore despite a major structural failure early in the leg when the keel ram was ripped from the bulkhead. The crew considered diverting to a nearer port, but were able to affect a repair sufficient to enable them to sail the remainder of the leg and finish under sail just before Christmas.
Then the three podium finishers were brought on stage in turn to celebrate the closest finish in the history of the race. The top four boats were separated by just under 20 minutes. Bouwe Bekking's Telefonica Blue crossed the finish line off Singapore 17 minutes ahead of PUMA, with Ericsson 3 less than two minutes further back.
The leg win by Telefonica Blue, combined with the fourth place finish of overall leader Ericsson 4, has closed up the Volvo Ocean Race leaderboard, although Ericsson 4 re-gained a full point following the In-Port racing on Saturday, to extend their margin to 5.5 points.
The evening concluded with the sailors from all the teams enjoying a night on the beach, with the start of leg four into Qingdao still a full week away.
LEG THREE PRIZES
Best 24 hour run - 293 miles, Team Russia
Inmarsat Media Prize - Rick Deppe, PUMA Ocean Racing
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Seamanship Award - Edwin O'Conner, Delta Lloyd
Leg Three, 3rd place - Ericsson 3
Leg Three, 2nd place - PUMA Ocean Racing
Leg Three, 1st place - Telefonica Blue