Game of inches in The Ocean Race
Published on January 27th, 2023
(January 27, 2023; Day 3) – Lighter conditions in The Ocean Race don’t mean easier conditions as the IMOCA fleet finds itself constantly shifting gears, making sail changes and gybing as the teams zig-zag southwest in the North Atlantic towards the equator and the doldrums.
Every change in the breeze brings the potential for a sail change. Each move by the opposition brings a decision on whether to match or continue.
It’s exhausting, but can bring some rewards, as it has for GUYOT environnement – Team Europe who are now back with the rest of the fleet.
“We’ve clawed back and made contact with the fleet again, which is super,” said skipper Robert Stanjek. “We’re in a nice position and we can finally compare ourself to another boat live, not just by the numbers.”
The GUYOT boat and Team Malizia have been matching gybes with each outher since about 20:00 UTC on Thursday night.
Slightly further ahead, the leading trio of Biotherm, 11th Hour Racing Team and Team Holcim-PRB are doing the same.
“As the trade winds build we want to start getting west but we need to make sure we don’t go too early,” said 11th Hour Racing Team’s Simon Fisher, and this is what we see playing out on the tracker. Every move to the west, balanced by another gybe south.
There’s a lot at stake here, with a potential leg winning advantage to be found with a quick doldrums crossing and being first into the trade winds south of the equator.
This will play out over the course of the weekend, with doldrums and equator crossing likely on January 29.
Leg Two Rankings at 1100
1. Biotherm, distance to finish, 4501.8 miles
2. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to leader, 11.1 miles
3. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to leader, 24.5 miles
4. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, distance to leader, 29.9 miles
5. Team Malizia, distance to leader, 44.5 miles
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.
Race details – Route – Tracker – Teams – Content from the boats – YouTube
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