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Eastbound in The Ocean Race

Published on March 10th, 2023

(March 10, 2023; Day 13) – There has been more of the same in The Ocean Race today but in a good way. All four teams are clicking down the miles, racing to the east in fast reaching conditions.

The wind is up, the water is still (relatively) flat, and the miles keep sliding away under the keel.

The fleet continues to compress slightly, closing the race up with the leg 3 scoring gate fast approaching. The ETA is now early UTC on March 13.

There should be good, close racing for the next two and half days as in the battle for points at the north/south scoring line running down 143-degrees east longitude.

“We are just at the end of the Indian Ocean, sailing below Cape Leeuwin in a little bit,” said Paul Meilhat on Biotherm, who continues to charge along in second place. “We are reaching just ahead of a front, with Team Malizia and 11th Hour Racing Team just behind us and Holcim-PRB about 100 miles in front of us.

“It depends on our speed, but when we are faster we are more in sunny conditions, and if we are slower we are in the rain and grey. It seems like we have a few days of this.”

Over the past 24 hours, Team Holcim-PRB has seen its lead continue to shrink, dropping another 60 miles or so, but skipper Kevin Escoffier is well positioned between the chasing trio who are racing in a line directly behind and to the west, and the scoring gate straight ahead of him and nearly 1300 miles to the east.

Further compression is likely as light winds to the east continue to favor the trailing pack, but there is a difference between closing the gap and making a pass, which may prove to be much more difficult.

Charlie Enright and his 11th Hour Racing Team continue to monitor the condition of their replacement rudder. The team released video describing the situation.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe reports that work on their IMOCA hull is proceeding faster than expected with the team now planning to begin the delivery to Itajai late next week. For full report, click here.

Leg Three Rankings at 16:00 UTC
1. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to finish, 8790.9 nm
2. Biotherm, distance to lead, 119.8 nm
3. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 132.5 nm
4. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 141.6 nm
GUYOT environnement – withdrawn from Leg 3

Race detailsRouteTrackerTeamsContent from the boatsYouTube

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 (1900 nm) start: January 15, 2023
Cabo Verde – ETA: January 22; Leg 2 (4600 nm) start: January 25
Cape Town, South Africa – ETA: February 9; Leg 3 (12750 nm) start: February 26
Itajaí, Brazil – ETA: April 1; Leg 4 (5500 nm) start: April 23
Newport, RI, USA – ETA: May 10; Leg 5 (3500 nm) start: May 21
Aarhus, Denmark – ETA: May 30; Leg 6 (800 nm) start: June 8
Kiel, Germany (Fly-By) – June 9
The Hague, The Netherlands – ETA: June 11; Leg 7 (2200 nm) 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

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