US Team forming for The Ocean Race
Published on September 22nd, 2020
Three new sailing crew have been signed by 11th Hour Racing Team, the U.S.-based offshore sailing team with a sight set on winning The Ocean Race 2022-23. Great Britain’s Simon Fisher and Rob Greenhalgh, and Australia’s Kyle Langford were confirmed as the latest crew members to join skipper Charlie Enright and CEO Mark Towill.
Enright and Towill, competing for the third time, will benefit from previous winners Fisher and Greenhalgh, who will be in their sixth consecutive Ocean Race, while Langford will be in his second lap around the planet.
Originally scheduled for 2021-22, The Ocean Race (formerly The Volvo Ocean Race) was postponed a year due to COVID-19, a delay that could a benefit the 11th Hour Racing Team as they adapt to the high-performance, foiling, IMOCA 60 class in which they are entered.
“Thanks to the early support we have from our title sponsor 11th Hour Racing, we have a long run up to the start of The Ocean Race in 2022-23,” said Enright. “It’s important to us that we bring in the very best talent and there aren’t many more experienced sailors than SiFi or Rob. And to have an exceptionally talented sailor like Kyle join the team is a signing we are all excited about.”
Greenhalgh, originally from Brighton on the south coast of the U.K., now resides in Sydney, Australia. “What keeps me coming back to this race is the physical and mental challenge, more now than ever, since we aren’t racing in a one-design boat,” said Greenhalgh.
“That brings a whole new dimension to the racing and one I’m really looking forward to. Everyone wants to be part of the best team and there is a big advantage of being on a team that is out there sailing early, so I jumped at the chance to join 11th Hour Racing Team.”
Greenhalgh began in 2005-06 when he was a member of the winning ABN AMRO ONE campaign for The Netherlands. Three years later, he finished as runner-up with U.S.-flagged PUMA Ocean Racing and has since competed in three more Ocean Races, most recently in another second-place finish with Spanish entry MAPFRE.
Fisher, who won the 2014-15 edition of The Ocean Race as navigator onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, divides his time between the U.K. and Barcelona, Spain. “It’s exciting to be in a position where we can challenge for a win in a new class,” said Fisher. “Mark and Charlie have put together a very strong group of sailors and shore crew and it’s great to be part of a team once again.”
Racing in an open class brings the importance of yacht design back to The Ocean Race after 10 years in one design boats. “As someone who is focused on optimizing and developing the systems on board I’m keen to demonstrate that with the technology available we don’t have to compromise performance to operate sustainably and actually it is possible to gain a performance advantage,” shared Fisher. “That’s going to be my focus over the coming months and years.”
Australian Langford, from Lake Macquarie, was a world champion at 21, an America’s Cup winner at 24, and competed in the last Ocean Race at 28, finishing on the podium with the Dutch entry Team Brunel. He is now eager to support the team’s mission of winning with sustainability at the core of all operations, inspiring positive action among sailing and coastal communities, and global sports fans to create long-lasting change for ocean health
“I’ve been very fortunate in my sailing career to travel all over the world to many countries, sailed across the oceans and witnessed firsthand the impact that humans are having on the environment,” noted Langford. “Working with marine businesses from the inside of the industry, sharing better practices and the small changes we can make to the way we live will go a long way to preserving our ocean and marine life. To have a voice in that, whilst racing around the world, is an absolute privilege.”
Newport hosted an official homecoming for 11th Hour Racing Team on September 18 after the team crossed the Atlantic in their newly refitted IMOCA 60 departing from Concarneau, France at the start of August. The team will be training for the next few months from Newport, Rhode Island.
Team details: https://11thhourracingteam.org/
Source: 11th Hour Racing Team
Here was the plan prior to the 2022-23 postponement:
The Ocean Race 2021-22 (formerly The Volvo Ocean Race) will be raced in two classes of boats: the high-performance, foiling, IMOCA 60 class and the one-design VO65 class which has been used for the last two editions of the race. Entries in the IMOCA 60 class will compete for The Ocean Race trophy, while those racing the VO65s will chase the Ocean Challenge Trophy.
Ten Stopovers for 14th Edition:
• Alicante, Spain: This historic Mediterranean port will host the start for the fifth consecutive edition in the autumn of 2021.
• Cabo Verde: More accustomed to having offshore teams sail by, or stop for repair, this archipelago of ten volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean will become just the second African venue the race has ever visited and the first West African nation to host the event. Details.
• Cape Town, South Africa: Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town, as the oldest urban area in South Africa, was developed by the United East India Company (VOC) as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Located at latitude 33.55° S, it’s approximately the same as Sydney and Buenos Aires and equivalent to Casablanca and Los Angeles in the northern hemisphere. Details.
• Shenzhen, China: Located in the southeast, the city is a modern metropolis that links Hong Kong to China’s mainland. It’s known for its shopping destinations and features contemporary buildings, such as the 600m-tall skyscraper Ping An International Finance Centre, and a number of amusement parks. The city is a leading global technology hub and was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world in the 1990s and the 2000s. Details.
• Auckland, New Zealand: European, Polynesian, Asian, and strong Maori heritages give Auckland its distinctive culture. Located in the North Island of New Zealand, it is the most populous urban area in the country with an urban population of around 1,570,100. Details.
• Itajaí, Brazil: To the south of Rio de Janeiro, Itajaí was founded in the mid-19th century by German and Italian colonists, and is now the commercial centre and Atlantic port for an agricultural region drained by the Itajaí River and its tributaries. Details.
• Newport, USA: Located on Aquidneck Island, Newport is 74 miles south of Boston and 180 miles northeast of New York City. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its historic mansions and its rich sailing history. It was the location of every challenge to the America’s Cup between 1930 and 1983. It is also the home of Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and an important Navy training center. This is the third consecutive edition of the race to stop in Newport. Details.
• Aarhus, Denmark: The course comes to the east coast of the Jutland peninsula during the spring of 2022, following a popular ‘Fly-By’ of the city during the final leg of the 2017-18 edition of the Race. Details.
• The Hague, Netherlands: This city along the North Sea coast will welcome the race for a third consecutive time, first coming as a ‘pitstop’ on the final leg of the 2014-15 edition and as the final finish port for the 2017-18 race. Details.
• Genoa, Italy: As the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, this first-time race host is Italy’s largest sea port yet remains full of grandeur as the gateway to the Riviera while offering weighty architectural heritage. Details.