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The Final Countdown For Mālama

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  • The Final Countdown For Mālama

    With the assembly deadline of January 2, 2023 fast approaching, Mālama and the team left Valencia yesterday morning and arrived at The Ocean Race HQ in Alicante, Spain, late last night.

    The crew - a mixture of sailors and shore crew - sailed the 100-nautical-mile delivery (185 kilometers or 115 miles) with no issues and are now safely on a mooring in the Port of Alicante.

    Our team joins three of our four IMOCA competitors already here, with GUYOT Environment - Team Europe, skippered by Benjamin Dutreux, yet to arrive. Over the next few weeks, the schedule will ramp up with Ocean Race activities including the opening of Ocean Live Park, guest sailing, and the Alicante In-Port Race.

    Check out Charlie's reflections on 2022:

    “I’m excited to be in Alicante,” said Jack Bouttell upon arrival. “It’s a relief to be here as this moment has been such a long time coming with the postponement due to COVID-19. It’s strange to think that we would have already finished this race if the original start date had been able to happen.”

    During the assembly period, all teams will undergo a medical refresher course as well as safety and measurement inspections from both the IMOCA Class and The Ocean Race.

    “Our team has already been through the extensive measurement process, so this last stage is a formality,” explained Jack. “There are two key phases for each team ahead of the start; the first is getting through the measurement process for the boat and being approved to race. The second is scrutineering which focuses on the material and equipment carried onboard.

    “There are a lot of equipment requirements we must carry, stipulated by both The Ocean Race and the IMOCA Class, and then of course anything additional we choose to take onboard as a team - it all needs to be scrutinized and checked properly. This can be anything from the science equipment onboard to the full range of safety devices.”

    As the team base takes shape and the full team assembles, there are feelings of excitement and apprehension in the air.

    “We need to be confident in where we are now, and we are in a good place." Jack continues. "The boat is sorted, the team is sorted, and we couldn't have done anything more to be ready for the start. In every project I have ever worked on, the magnitude doesn’t hit you until you’re in the starting port. That’s always the point when you realize what an amazing opportunity lies ahead. I think I’m in this transitional phase right now where I am excited and apprehensive, the stress of the start hasn’t quite crept up on me yet.”

    This is the fifth edition of The Ocean Race to start from Alicante, and the fourth since the Race’s Headquarters moved to the city. Located on the Costa Blanca, Alicante is one of the most important tourist destinations on the east coast of Spain. Read more here

    For those lucky enough to be in Alicante or Spain, the official opening of the free-to-enter Ocean Live Park in Alicante will be on January 7, followed by the Alicante In-Port Race on January 8, with the start of the race’s opening leg to the West-African Cabo Verde archipelago scheduled for January 15.

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