Rich get poorer in The Ocean Race

Published on March 15th, 2023

(March 15, 2023; Day 18) – Near midnight UTC last night, Team Holcim-PRB made yet another gybe to the south, looking to stay close to The Ocean Race’s ice exclusion zone which prevents teams from selecting a shorter course in iceberg territory.

Team Holcim-PRB’s nearest competitor – Team Malizia – continued pushing to the east, and for the first time since the start and the Cape of Good Hope, over two weeks ago, there was a boat positioned further east than Holcim-PRB.

As shown on the tracker leaderboard, Kevin Escoffier’s Team Holcim-PRB and Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia are now neck and neck.

But from a tactical standpoint, most observers would say Escoffier still has the stronger position. The further south one is, the shorter the distance to Cape Horn as in reality the route for this part of leg 3 is a long, gentle arc to the right around Antarctica. That means the southerly position is the inside lane on the track.

Nevertheless, it’s been a strong couple of days for Malizia since the scoring gate, and the pressure is on.

The fleet is now racing in 25 knot northwesterlies, directly south of New Zealand, and another big speed bump lies ahead, with a ridge of high pressure and light winds that the boats will push against.

That will be an advantage for Biotherm and 11th Hour Racing Team as the fleet is forecast to compress and the lighter conditions towards the end of the week allow for much needed repairs. But until then, it is full speed ahead to the east.

Leg Three Rankings at 22:00 UTC
1. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to finish, 6264.2 nm
2. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 35.1 nm
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 114.5 nm
4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 131.4 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GUYOT environnement – withdrawn from Leg 3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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