Team JAJO wins VO65 In Port Race

Published on June 14th, 2023

The Hague, Netherlands (June 14, 2023) – The local heroes on the Dutch-flagged Team JAJO made a statement of intent right from the start of today’s In Port Race by crossing ahead of The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint fleet on port tack, a high-risk, high-reward maneuver that allowed them to build a solid lead at the first turning gate.

Behind them, the overall race leader, WindWhisper Racing Team, rounded in second place with Viva Mexico following. But the Mexican team elected to race the downwind leg with a masthead code zero sail, which didn’t pay off, and allowed Mirpuri/Trifork to make a pass.

On the second lap of the course, WindWhisper skipper Pablo Arrarte worked every shift to split away from Jelmer van Beek’s Team JAJO to try and get a sniff of the lead. But the JAJO team protected well and even extended to earn a wire-to-wire win in front of a delirious home crowd.

“This is so nice,” said van Beek, overcome with emotion after the finish. “The team worked so hard and we got it! We got it in our hometown!! I never expected this. I’m so happy.”

Arrarte’s WindWhisper crew sailed a solid race for second place, holding off Mirpuri-Trifork Racing in third.

“This kind of windward-leeward race course is intense with a lot of manoeuvres but we sailed well and second place is great,” Arrarte said. “It was a good race and I’m happy with the result.”

“We were fourth over the starting line and we managed to overtake the Mexican team and even got close to WindWhisper, so it was an exciting race,” said ‘Chuny’ Bermudez from the Mirpuri-Trifork team. “But big kudos to Team JAJO they made a great start and stayed ahead.”

There was also action at the back of the fleet, as the crew on Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova engineered a late comeback, passing Team Mexico just before the finishing line to grab fourth place.

VO65 class – In Port Race – The Hague
1. Team JAJO – 6 points
2. WindWhisper Racing Team – 5 points
3. Mirpuri-Trifork Racing – 4 points
4. Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova – 3 points
5. Viva Mexico – 2 points
6. Ambersail – retired – 0 points

Leg 7: Starts June 15. From The Hague, Netherlands, down the coast of western Europe, though the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean Sea for the finish in Genova, Italy (2200nm)

Race detailsRouteTrackerScoreboardContent from the boatsYouTube

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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