World champ joins 11th Hour Racing

Published on May 18th, 2023

With four of the seven legs of The Ocean Race 2023 completed, just one point separates the top three teams. However, the fifth leg from the USA to Denmark will change that as there is double points to be earned, and 11th Hour Racing Team is not messing around.

Charlie Dalin (FRA), the two-time IMOCA world champion, will join the USA-flagged team alongside Skipper Charlie Enright (USA), Navigator Simon Fisher (GBR), Trimmer Justine Mettraux (SUI), and Media Crew Member Amory Ross (USA) for the transatlantic leg.

The Frenchman, originally from Le Havre but now based in the epicenter of the offshore sailing world in Brittany, France, has had wins or podium positions in all the major IMOCA offshore races in the past few years, and will soon be launching his new boat to prepare for the 2024-25 Vendée Globe.

“Charlie’s track record speaks for itself as one of the, if not the, most successful offshore sailors in recent years,” commented Enright. “He has been a stable mate of ours at MerConcept (racing team) over the past few years, and we have had the pleasure of sailing with him in the past, but not in a competitive concept. I am very much looking forward to having him onboard with us in this double-pointer leg.”

Dalin added, “It’s going to be a wonderful experience. I know the team well because we have collaborated a lot within MerConcept in the development of our respective boats, and I admire the energy deployed on the project and on The Ocean Race.

“The Ocean Race is a difficult race, and I am delighted to take part in this legendary transatlantic leg from east to west. It is the great classic of this event, and I hope to be able to share my experience and bring some energy and freshness to the crew.”

As the winner of Leg 5 scores points equal to the number of entries, and the leg from Newport to
Aarhus will score double points based on the finishing order in Aarhus, ten points go to the winner, with a two-point gap for each successive finisher. After finishing the last leg into Newport in first position, the US team is lying second overall, behind overall race leaders Holcim-PRB.

But with 20 points on the cards for the final three legs, the top three boats are all in contention to lift the coveted trophy at the finish in Genoa, Italy.

The Ocean Race fleet will set off May 21 on the 3,500 nautical mile leg back to Europe. The Atlantic crossing is the race’s final open ocean leg and marks The Ocean Race fleet’s return to Europe for the first time since leaving Alicante, Spain, on the opening leg on January 15.

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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