Match race in The Ocean Race
Published on May 5th, 2023
(May 5, 2023; Day 13) – Team Malizia and 11th Hour Racing Team remain locked in a battle that appears destined to last until the finish line off Newport, Rhode Island.
This morning (UTC), first Malizia and then 11th Hour Racing Team put in successful gybes as the wind shifted south.
The transition immediately showed as a benefit for Charlie Enright’s team who made at least a theoretical gain on the tracker from being on the inside lane.
But Will Harris and his Malizians built a modest lead of just under 10 miles (by 11:15 UTC) as the two boats streaked towards the southeast coast of the United States. But nothing lasts forever, and as the day progressed, Enright’s team found advantage in their weather position to reclaim the lead by the end of the day.
However, there remains ahead uncertainty as the wind will shift again, this time in front of them, pushing them back off the coast. They will also encounter the Gulf Stream current which pushes to the northeast, and the final 48 hours of the leg promises to be “complicated with many transitions, which are still unclear,” according to race meteorologist Christian Dumard.
The ETA remains May 10th for the leading pair.
Behind, the team that has suffered most over the past hours is Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm, who began to weave to the left on the tracker, and slow down significantly, around 05:20 UTC this morning. The slowdown to speeds averaging just 4 knots would last for hours, prompting speculation there was a problem on board.
To watch the boatfeed from Biotherm, click here.
As it turns out, the team had sailed into a big windless area that didn’t appear on any weather forecasting or satellite models.
“We’re just surrounded by a glassy sea,” was the description off the boat.
“People are sending messages to ask if we’ve broken anything, but the only thing wrong is the wind,” said Mariana Lobato.
The team was doing better again as of the 14:00 report, and has reestablished a significant lead over the trailing GUYOT environnement – Team Europe.
Leg Four Rankings at 19:22 UTC*
1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 1415.1 nm
2. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 0.1 nm
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 140.0 nm
4. GUYOT environnement, distance to lead, 223.0 nm
* Holcim-PRB, retired (dismasted)
Race details – Route – Tracker – Teams – Content from the boats – YouTube
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
IMOCA: Name, 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.