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Holcim-PRB is back for The Ocean Race

Published on May 18th, 2023

Newport, RI (May 18, 2023) – After losing their mast on the fifth day The Ocean Race’s fourth leg, overall leader Holcim-PRB arrived yesterday on the cargo ship it boarded in Rio on May 3. The IMOCA was launched around 19:30 local time and received a new mast this morning.

“The arrival of the boat in Newport is the second biggest step after the arrival of the mast,” said skipper Kevin Escoffier. “But it’s far from over. We’ll have to adjust the sails, the rigging, all the bits and pieces. But having the boat here, on time and even a little bit earlier, is a huge positive point.”

Team technical director Loïc Féquet added, “The whole team has been mobilized since the dismasting, really everyone! We had to get organized very quickly to deal with this mishap. We had to make a lot of decisions in a few days. We made it! We are not yet at the start of the Leg but there is a good chance that we will be there.”

Escoffier, joined in the United States a few days ago by his teammates Abby Ehler, Sam Goodchild, and Charles Caudrelier, remains focused on the routines that allowed the team to prepare successfully for the previous legs. It’s about recreating a group, thinking about performance and getting back into race mode after several weeks of thinking only about logistics and technical aspects.

“It was not easy to stay in the race,” admitted Escoffier. “It wasn’t easy to stay focused on performance until today. I had to impose it on myself. The best way to do that is to get back into the routine: sports sessions with the crew, weather briefings, etc. You have to get back into the race,”

Holcim-PRB is now moored in Fort Adams Bay, not far from the other competitors (Guyot Environnement, also victim of a dismasting, will not be on the starting line) who will set off on May 21 for a transatlantic race between the United States and Aarhus in Denmark.

Escoffier knows that everything is still possible before the final finish in Genoa, Italy. Over the next 3,500 miles on the Atlantic, he will also be fighting for the technical team, which has done an incredible amount of work over the past few days and has also been supporting the project for many months.

“I particularly like The Ocean Race because it is a race where team spirit is very strong,” explained Escoffier. “At sea of course but also on land. Our technicians have all reacted in an extremely positive way after the dismasting with the only wish that we be at the start this Sunday.

“Every mile we sail to Aarhus will be to thank them and make them proud of this collective adventure. Without them, we could not hope to continue the race in the best possible conditions. And I really want to thank everyone for the energy invested.”

On the day prior to the start, the team looks toward the In-Port Race to validate the adjustments of Holcim-PRB and return to the competition of the Swiss boat. The In-Port ranking will be used to decide between the crews in case of a tie in Genoa.

Race detailsRouteTrackerScoreboardContent from the boatsYouTube

Overall Leaderboard (after 4 of 7 legs)
1. Team Holcim-PRB — 19 points
2. 11th Hour Racing Team — 18 points
3. Team Malizia — 18 points
4. Biotherm — 13 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.

Held every three or four years since 1973, 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.

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