Volvo Ocean Race 2017: Dongfeng take early lead on opening day as two crews penalised

Volvo Ocean race
The Dongfeng boat is being skippered by Charles Caudrelier

Chinese team Dongfeng took an early lead on the opening day of the Volvo Ocean race as the seven crews started the first leg from Alicante to Lisbon.

In bright sunshine, the 45,000 nautical mile around-the-world race got under way and there was drama from the off.

On the approach to the final turning mark, both Team Brunel and Mapfre were penalised for being too close to Dongfeng, who had the right of way.

Spanish team Mapfre now sit second, with Vestas 11th Hour in third.

Before racing started, team AkzoNobel submitted their final crew list hours ahead of the start time after a testing week for the crew.

Last week it was announced that original skipper Simeon Tienpont had left the team and had been replaced by watch captain Brad Jackson.

But on Friday evening, Tienpont won an arbitration judgement allowing him to return to the team to lead a newly constituted squad.

The teams

BoatCountrySkipper (nationality)
DongfengChinaCharles Caudrelier (Fra)
MapfreSpainXabi Fernandez (Spa)
Vestas 11th HourUSA/DenmarkCharlie Enright (US)
Sun Hung Kai/ScallywagHong KongDavid Witt (Aus)
Turn The Tide On PlasticUnited NationsDee Caffari (GB)
BrunelNetherlandsBouwe Bekking (Ned)

The route

Volvo Ocean race route
The race is more than 45,000 nautical miles long and will take the seven crews around nine months to complete
LegStart dateRouteDistance (NMs)Scoring
122 OctAlicante-Lisbon7008-6-5-4-3-2-1
25 NovLisbon-Cape Town7,0008-6-5-4-3-2-1
310 DecCape Town-Melbourne6,50015-12-10-8-6-4-2
42 JanMelbourne-Hong Kong6,0008-6-5-4-3-2-1
51 FebHong Kong-Guangzhou1001pt for completing stage
67 FebHong Kong-Auckland6,1008-6-5-4-3-2-1
718 MarAuckland-Itajai7,60015-12-10-8-6-4-2*
822 AprItajai-Newport (USA)5,7008-6-5-4-3-2-1
920 MayNewport (USA)-Cardiff3,30015-12-10-8-6-4-2
1010 JunCardiff-Gothenburg1,3008-6-5-4-3-2-1
1121 JunGothenburg-The Hague7008-6-5-4-3-2-1

* The first boat to round Cape Horn on this leg wins an extra point.