Amory Ross: Saving worst for last

Published on May 8th, 2023

(May 8, 2023; Day 16) – The fourth leg of The Ocean Race is expected to see the leaders finish May 10 in Newport, RI. For now, the script is well written as hometown entry 11th Hour Racing Team is in the lead, but they must endure one more punch in the face as onboard media man Amory Ross reports:

It’s nuts out here.

Our arrival at the Gulf Stream was unfortunately met with 35 knots. It’s a miserable combination and one that took us and the boat to the red line in an instant.

There is no question these are boat-breaking conditions. Made worse by the fact that the longer you linger, the worse they get. So we are under some pressure to get out of the path of this low that is only going to intensify.

And the only way to get out of its path is to run… headfirst into a growing and confused sea state, typical of the northeast-flowing Gulf Stream. We’re slamming straight into breaking waves at 26 knots. You are never more alert than in times like these. It’s violent seated, violent standing, violent on your knees!

To be honest, it’s a bit terrifying at the moment. Under three reefs and J3, there’s very little left we can do to de-power. We have to sit tight.

Six more hours of this before the front passes to our south, and we’re over the hump. Next in its path is Biotherm and Guyot environnment – Team Europe, who will probably see worse than us. Fingers and toes crossed that everyone manages the conditions and gets to Newport, 800 long miles away, safe and sound.

This leg has saved its very worst for last!

Leg Four Rankings at 20:00 UTC*
1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 506.8 nm
2. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 21.4 nm
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 168.0 nm
4. GUYOT environnement, distance to lead, 211.5 nm
* Holcim-PRB, retired (dismasted)

Race detailsRouteTrackerTeamsContent from the boatsYouTube

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.

Source: TOR

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