The Ocean Race aims for South Atlantic
Published on January 25th, 2023
Cape Verde (January 25, 2023) – After being buffeted by strong trade winds for the duration of the short stopover, the waters were relatively calm today for the start of Leg 2 of The Ocean Race.
The short stopover marked the first time The Ocean Race has visited west Africa and this island chain despite it featuring in the race course for all 14 editions as a tactical consideration on the leg from Europe down to the south Atlantic Ocean.
After the start, the five IMOCA teams had a short lap of a reaching course to navigate before heading out to sea, en route to Cape Town, nearly 4000 nautical miles of racing away.
It was Robert Stanjek’s GUYOT environnement – Team Europe and Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team who burst off the line with speed, just ahead of Biotherm and Holcim-PRB, with Team Malizia last across the line.
On the reach out, GUYOT environnement held off Holcim-PRB to lead around the mark and on the return through he start line before heading out to sea, Stanjek and his crew showed good boat handling through the maneuvers to lead the fleet out to sea.
A short time later, it was Holcim-PRB with 11th Hour Racing Team to windward and in better wind, leading GUYOT einvironnement – Team Europe, Biotherm and Team Malizia.
The wind was in the 7-10 knot range from the northeast throughout, and is forecast to ease overnight, a far cry from the 25 knot trades that have been a feature since arrival.
The light winds mean it will be tactically difficult race over the first days, something already playing out with teams deciding how far south to position themselves compared to making miles to the west.
“It’s a big challenge. We have to manage the wind shadow from the islands, which means we need to get south, but then the doldrums are very big and normally being further west would be safer,” said Sebastien Simon, who is joining GUYOT environnement – Team Europe for this leg.
“It is a big doldrums at the moment. We’re not sure where to cross yet. It will be shifty and interesting for sure.”
For the winner of the opening leg, Team Holcim-PRB, the interest is in seeing the boats and sailors in different conditions from Leg 1.
“I’m sure we will see different characteristics of the boats and the sailors too,” said skipper Kevin Escoffier. “But the mindset for us is the same – pushing hard, always!!”
With race management predicting a 14-15-day passage time for Leg 2, the leading boats are expected to arrive in Cape Town on or around February 8 or 9.
IMOCA LEG 2 CREW LIST
11TH HOUR RACING TEAM (USA)
Charlie ENRIGHT (USA) Skipper
Simon FISHER (GBR)
Jack BOUTTELL (AUS/ GBR)
Justine METTRAUX (SUI)
Amory ROSS (USA) – OBR
Paul MEILHAT (FRA) – Skipper
Anthony MARCHAND (FRA)
Amélie GRASSI (FRA)
Damien SEGUIN (FRA)
Annne BEUGÉ (FRA)
TEAM HOLCIM-PRB (SUI)
Kevin ESCOFFIER (FRA) – Skipper
Sam GOODCHILD (GBR)
Tom LAPERCHE (FRA)
Susann BEUCKE (GER)
Georgia SCHOFIELD (NZL) – OBR
GUYOT ENVIRONNEMENT-TEAM EUROPE (FRA/ GER)
Robert STANJEK (GER) – skipper
Sébastien SIMON (FRA)
Anne-Claire LE BERRE (FRA)
Phillip KASÜSKE (GER)
Charles DRAPEAU (FRA) – OBR
TEAM MALIZIA (GER)
Will HARRIS (GBR) – skipper
Yann ELIES (FRA)
Rosalin KUIPER (NED)
Nicolas LUNVEN (FRA)
Antoine AURIOL (FRA) – OBR
Leg One Results
1. Team Holcim-PRB, winner leg one, finished – 5d 11h 01m 59s
2. 11th Hour Racing Team, finished – 5d 13h 50m 45s
3. Team Malizia, finished – 5d 16h 35m 21s
4. Biotherm, finished – 6d 8h 47m
5. GUYOT environnement-Team Europe, finished – 6d 12h 20m 37s
1. WindWhisper Racing, finished – 5d 16h 35m 21s
2. Team JAJO, finished – 6d 4h 52m 52s
3. Austrian Ocean Racing-Team Genova, finished – 6d 19h 13m 54s
4. Ambersail 2, finished – 6d 21h 49m 04s
5. Viva Mexico, finished – 8d 13h 50m 25s
6. Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team – Retired from leg
IMOCA: Boat, Design, Skipper, Launch date
• Guyot Environnement – Team Europe (VPLP Verdier); Benjamin Dutreux (FRA)/Robert Stanjek (GER); September 1, 2015
• 11th Hour Racing Team (Guillaume Verdier); Charlie Enright (USA); August 24, 2021
• Holcim-PRB (Guillaume Verdier); Kevin Escoffier (FRA); May 8, 2022
• Team Malizia (VPLP); Boris Herrmann (GER); July 19, 2022
• Biotherm (Guillaume Verdier); Paul Meilhat (FRA); August 31 2022
The Ocean Race 2022-23 Race Schedule:
Alicante, Spain – Leg 1 start: January 15, 2023
Cabo Verde – ETA: January 22; Leg 2 start: January 25
Cape Town, South Africa – ETA: February 9; Leg 3 start: February 26 or 27 (TBC)
Itajaí, Brazil – ETA: April 1; Leg 4 start: April 23
Newport, RI, USA – ETA: May 10; Leg 5 start: May 21
Aarhus, Denmark – ETA: May 30; Leg 6 start: June 8
Kiel, Germany (Fly-By) – June 9
The Hague, The Netherlands – ETA: June 11; Leg 7 start: June 15
Genova, Italy – The Grand Finale – ETA: June 25, 2023; Final In-Port Race: July 1, 2023
The Ocean Race (formerly Volvo Ocean Race and Whitbread Round the World Race) was initially to 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.
However, only the IMOCAs will be racing round the world while the VO65s will race in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint which competes in Legs 1, 6, and 7 of The Ocean Race course.
Additionally, The Ocean Race also features the In-Port Series with races at seven of the course’s stopover cities around the world which allow local fans to get up close and personal to the teams as they battle it out around a short inshore course.
Although in-port races do not count towards a team’s overall points score, they do play an important part in the overall rankings as the In-Port Race Series standings are used to break any points ties that occur during the race around the world.
The 14th edition of The Ocean Race was originally planned for 2021-22 but was postponed one year due to the pandemic, with the first leg starting on January 15, 2023.
Source: The Ocean Race