Is Team Holcim PRB too much in The Ocean Race?
Published on March 22nd, 2023
(March 22, 2023; Day 25) – The Ocean Race fleet passed Point Nemo just after 17:30 UTC yesterday, leaving the most remote and isolated place on the ocean in their wake.
It likely didn’t feel as isolated as it usually would. All four boats passed the waypoint within a span of 23 minutes and at the head of the fleet, Team Malizia just eked out ahead of Team Holcim PRB to claim bragging rights by a mere 30 seconds.
The boats have now passed the northernmost point of the ice exclusion zone and unsurprisingly are beginning to gybe south again in northwest winds at about 20 knots and waves up to 3-metres. Through the maneuvers, Team Holcim PRB reclaimed the lead, with the tracker showing a low mode the other teams can’t match.
There is a balance to be struck going forward to Cape Horn, measuring up risk and reward. A cold front is approaching from behind with stronger winds and bigger seas. The impact will be more severe further south. The sweet spot will be to find maximum wind with a relatively mild sea state. To the south is a shorter distance to the Horn, and stronger winds, but managing the waves could make staying north a better, faster option.
The ETA at Cape Horn is is late UTC on March 26 and the most likely finish date is April 1 in Itajaí, Brazil.
Leg Three Rankings at 19:00 UTC
1. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to finish, 3723.5 nm
2. Biotherm, distance to lead, 8.5 nm
3. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 14.6 nm
4. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 16.5 nm
GUYOT environnement – withdrawn from Leg 3
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