Making the turn in The Ocean Race

Day 12 – It was near midnight UTC last night when boats in The Ocean Race fleet started to make their first significant move to the east towards Cape Town. Within an hour, all five teams had gybed to the east and pointed their bows towards Africa.

It’s a very close race now with 11th Hour Racing, Team Holcim-PRB, Biotherm, and Team Malizia within 25 miles of the lead and spread across about 35 miles from north to south. More gybes to the south are expected over the coming hours and days as the teams zig-zag south and east to navigate around a high pressure system with light winds.

“We’re sailing into a high. There’s more rotation in the centre of the high but a bit less pressure,” said 11th Hour Racing Team skipper Charlie Enright as he laid out the options relative to his closest competition, Holcim-PRB and Biotherm. “We want the best of both worlds.”

Watch the decision making process on board 11th Hour Racing Team: click here

The outlier is GUYOT environnement – Team Europe who made their move over 160 miles to the north, once again looking to cut the corner on their rivals. However, that move is living up to the fear as light winds had them gybe south for better pressure, soon sliding to the bottom of the rankings.

The team endured more hardship when their A2 spinnaker ripped while sailing at about 15 knots of speed. “We were surprised because it was not that windy. We don’t know why, but the sail tore almost from top to foot,” explained skipper Robert Stanjek.

“We stopped completely and put the boat upwind, then we caught the pieces of sail that were flying around the foil and the big piece that was floating in the water. There was maybe ten per cent of the sail left at the top.

“We managed to get everything back and not leave anything in the water. We also had to pull the sheets out from under the foil. It took us about 8 or 10 minutes to get everything back on board. A record time. We then set the A3.”

Because the number of sails is limited to 11 for the entire race, and the repair may only be carried out with a maximum replacement of 25 percent of the sail, the team hopes to be able to repair the spinnaker in Cape Town.

All the teams have also been deploying drifter buoys that will gather and transmit data to help the scientific community studying climate impacts on the ocean and aiding with weather forecasting. This is an area of the Atlantic Ocean that isn’t well-serviced by commercial shipping, so this is a meaningful contribution from the race teams.

• Watch Biotherm send out their drifter buoy: click here
• Watch Team Holcim-PRB deploy their drifter buoy: click here

Leg Two Rankings at 1200 UTC
1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 2378.3 miles
2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 9.7 miles
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 15.2 miles
4. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 26.3 miles
5. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, distance to lead, 82.0 miles

Initially, race management predicted a 14-15-day passage time for Leg 2, with the leading boats expected to arrive in Cape Town on or around February 8 or 9. Now the ETA is February 12.

IMOCA LEG 2 CREW LIST

11TH HOUR RACING TEAM (USA)
Charlie ENRIGHT (USA) Skipper
Simon FISHER (GBR)
Jack BOUTTELL (AUS/ GBR)
Justine METTRAUX (SUI)
Amory ROSS (USA) – OBR

BIOTHERM (FRA)
Paul MEILHAT (FRA) – Skipper
Anthony MARCHAND (FRA)
Amélie GRASSI (FRA)
Damien SEGUIN (FRA)
Annne BEUGÉ (FRA)

TEAM HOLCIM-PRB (SUI)
Kevin ESCOFFIER (FRA) – Skipper
Sam GOODCHILD (GBR)
Tom LAPERCHE (FRA)
Susann BEUCKE (GER)
Georgia SCHOFIELD (NZL) – OBR

GUYOT ENVIRONNEMENT-TEAM EUROPE (FRA/ GER)
Robert STANJEK (GER) – skipper
Sébastien SIMON (FRA)
Anne-Claire LE BERRE (FRA)
Phillip KASÜSKE (GER)
Charles DRAPEAU (FRA) – OBR

TEAM MALIZIA (GER)
Will HARRIS (GBR) – skipper
Yann ELIES (FRA)
Rosalin KUIPER (NED)
Nicolas LUNVEN (FRA)
Antoine AURIOL (FRA) – OBR

Leg One Results

IMOCA
1. Team Holcim-PRB, winner leg one, finished – 5d 11h 01m 59s
2. 11th Hour Racing Team, finished – 5d 13h 50m 45s
3. Team Malizia, finished – 5d 16h 35m 21s
4. Biotherm, finished – 6d 8h 47m
5. GUYOT environnement-Team Europe, finished – 6d 12h 20m 37s

VO65
1. WindWhisper Racing, finished – 5d 16h 35m 21s
2. Team JAJO, finished – 6d 4h 52m 52s
3. Austrian Ocean Racing-Team Genova, finished – 6d 19h 13m 54s
4. Ambersail 2, finished – 6d 21h 49m 04s
5. Viva Mexico, finished – 8d 13h 50m 25s
6. Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team – Retired from leg


IMOCA: Boat, 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 start: January 15, 2023
Cabo Verde – ETA: January 22; Leg 2 start: January 25
Cape Town, South Africa – ETA: February 9; Leg 3 start: February 26 or 27 (TBC)
Itajaí, Brazil – ETA: April 1; Leg 4 start: April 23
Newport, RI, USA – ETA: May 10; Leg 5 start: May 21
Aarhus, Denmark – ETA: May 30; Leg 6 start: June 8
Kiel, Germany (Fly-By) – June 9
The Hague, The Netherlands – ETA: June 11; Leg 7 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: The Ocean Race

Published on February 5th, 2023

SOURCE: https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2023/02/05/making-the-turn-in-the-ocean-race/

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