Riding the border to Cape Horn

Published on March 14th, 2023

(March 14, 2023; Day 17) – Following the distribution of Leg 3 points at The Ocean Race scoring gate two days ago, teams are now consolidating their positions and working through job lists to keep the boats in racing condition.

As happened in the days before the scoring gate, the leading boat will bump into a high pressure ridge with lighter winds and the trailing boats will bring more wind with them. The lighter conditions could be an opportunity for more extensive repairs such as 11th Hour Racing Team’s torn main.

The Biotherm team is facing issues too, having discovered damage to a longitudinal frame that helps support to the structure of the boat. For a video, click here.

“There is a longitudinal frame that has cracked over a span of three meters, so we are looking into how to fix it with the shore team,” said skipper Paul Meilhat in a French interview. “It seems not to be a key structural frame so we’ll have to fix it, but it’s no big deal. It shouldn’t affect the rest of the race and we might only lose a little bit of time. We’re fixing this be we keep going forward – normal but not pushing it too much.”

Team Malizia also had work to complete today.

“We noticed that the foil ram had come loose on the port side – we think from all the shaking around as we pushed full speed to the scoring gate had taken a toll,” said co-skipper Will Harris. “Rosie and Boris spent a few long hours taking the ram off and cleaning up the thread and screwing it back together in a way that it won’t happen again. We also noticed the starboard side was close to coming off as well. So eight hours of hard work but we managed to fix it and we can carry on in a strong place.”

At the front of fleet, Team Holcim-PRB has generally been a bit quieter about sharing equipment problems they may be facing. But certainly, based on performance, whatever challenges they have aren’t slowing the team down.

A view of the tracker today will reveal the leader has a strategy of staying south, short gybing down the ice exclusion zone in the Furious 50s at about 52-degrees south latitude. But skipper Kevin Escoffier will be looking over his shoulder – the forecast shows the fleet coming together by the end of the week, making for close racing in the second half of leg 3.

Leg Three Rankings at 23:00 UTC
1. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to finish, 6751.4 nm
2. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 45.0 nm
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 118.0 nm
4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 136.2 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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