The Ocean Race prepping for Little Rhody

Published on April 12th, 2023

The five IMOCAs are working through job lists to prepare for Leg 4 which starts April 23 in Itajaí, Brazil. Their 5,500-nautical mile course will cross the equator for the final time as the teams navigate north along the eastern seaboard with an ETA of May 10-12 in Newport, RI.

Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, along with the State of Rhode Island and 11th Hour Racing, will co-host the event at Fort Adams State Park. The Newport-based 11th Hour Racing is an organization that mobilizes sailing, maritime, and coastal communities with an innovative approach to inspire solutions for the ocean.

“The 2015 and 2018 race stopovers drew over 200,000 visitors to Newport and generated tens of millions of dollars in economic activity in Rhode Island,” said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos.

Sustainability is a core value of The Ocean Race and the Newport stopover. The sustainability programs aim to bring awareness to ocean health issues and inspire and engage the sailing community, sports world, cities, states, and countries, and visitors of all ages on this critical issue.

“Newport and the Ocean State always offer an enthusiastic and warm welcome to the teams, their families, and all those who come to visit and experience this exciting and fun event,” says Rob MacMillan, 11th Hour Racing president and co-founder. “The State of Rhode Island continues to demonstrate its leadership in marine events, sustainability and ocean stewardship.”

The Ocean Race organizers intend to hold the first climate-positive international sporting event. The Newport Stopover embraces this goal by striving to be a zero-waste event with a minimal carbon footprint. To support that initiative, Newport is a non-haul-out stopover.

After the leg finishes at the tip of Fort Adams State Park, the teams will have completed four of the seven legs of the race and covered 24,800 nautical miles or 77 percent of the course. Adjacent to the race boats at the Sail Newport docks in Fort Adams State Park, the festival titled “Ocean Live Park” will be open to the public for free everyday May 13 through May 21.

“This race is a showcase of human endurance and world-class sailing,” says Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport. “We’re so proud to offer the shoreside Ocean Live Park to the public for free due to the generosity of our partners and our shared commitment to keep sailing thriving and sustainability at the forefront in the Ocean State.”

Visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy up-close sailboat racing, visit team bases, the One Blue Voice immersive experience-presented by 11th hour Racing, Try Sailing! for all ages, children’s activities, and outdoor family games, music, food trucks, entertainment, cocktail cafes, special events, and sailor parades.

The Exploration Zone-presented by BankNewport, is an interactive exhibition of educational activities that encompass science, math, technology, and art with a focus on sailing and ocean health. Twenty-four Local and regional nonprofit and mission-focused organizations are featured.

When The Ocean Race departs Newport on May 21, the sailors will make their trans-Atlantic cross to Aarhus, Denmark. From there, the fleet races to The Hague, Netherlands, makes a “fly-by” past Kiel, Germany before finishing in Genoa, Italy in late June.

“Rhode Islanders have been welcoming seafarers to our port for nearly 400 years. There’s no better place than Newport to welcome these sailors and this thrilling race, to our bay, our city and our incredible State.” says Read.

Overall Leaderboard (after 3 of 7 legs)
1. Team Holcim-PRB — 19 points
2. Team Malizia — 14 points
3. 11th Hour Racing Team — 13 points
4. Biotherm — 10 points
5. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe — 2 points

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: Sail Newport

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