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The 2023 Ocean Race Has Begun With Powerful Start

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  • The 2023 Ocean Race Has Begun With Powerful Start

    IMOCAs set off around the world in perfect racing conditions

    With the weak weather front having passed through the start area earlier in the afternoon, the wind conditions had started to settle at WNW 12-14 knots for the start of the five IMOCAs.

    Nevertheless, as the race got under way two hours after the start of the VO65s, it was clear from the aerial view that there were still some shifts and puffs to be had.

    On the water and as the start gun went it was Paul Meilhat’s brand new Biotherm (FRA) that was to set the pace, on time, at speed and on the foils. It was an impressive display, not least because last week was the first time that this crew had sailed together aboard a boat that has only recently been launched.

    After a few unstable moments on the fast reach to the first mark, when the boat leaped into the air, it was clear that while the French team were fast they were not yet properly trimmed.

    Behind them, hot on their heels, Kevin Escoffier’s Team Holcim-PRB (SUI) was also leaping into the air from time to time as both boats set a blistering pace.

    The second leg of the inshore lap saw the fleet sail downwind. With the boats now under less load, teams were able to re-trim and re-set before the next fast leg. Seconds after Biotherm had rounded mark 3 it was clear that they had made some essential trim changes.

    This time the boat was faster and better trimmed as Biotherm accelerated away on the third leg and extended their advantage over the rest of the fleet.

    Meanwhile, after a disappointing start, 11th Hour Racing Team (USA) skippered by Charlie Enright hauled themselves back from last to third. Experience was showing already from a team that many have considered as the favourites.

    As 11th Hour Racing Team made their charge towards the front of the fleet, Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia (GER) had slipped out to the back but were able to pass GUYOT environnement – Team Europe (FRA/GER), skippered by Benjamin Dutreux after the French/German team had a problem with their code zero sail which forced them to press pause as they sorted the issue.

    Back at the front and as the leaders passed through the final gate, Biotherm was hitting 29 knots in the flat water. Their advantage had already stretched out to 500m over second placed Holcim-PRB. After just 40 minutes of sailing it was an impressive performance.

    Before the start skipper Meilhat had explained how comfortable he and his crew would be with sailing the boat in a manual mode if required. Now, having performed a blistering lap of the inshore course with the tiller in his hand and sailing outside for the entire period, this was a good example of what he had meant.

    Others had explained the importance of taking things carefully. But if the inshore lap had revealed anything, boat speeds regularly exceeding 30-knots as the fleet moved away from the shore and into the stronger breeze illustrated what the new world of fully crewed IMOCA racing means along with a demonstration of the blistering pace that is in store for this 3,500 kilometre leg to Cabo Verde.

    Rankings at Mark 4
    1 - Biotherm Racing (FRA)
    2 - Team Holcim PRB (SUI)
    3 - Hour Racing Team (USA)
    4 - Team Malizia (GER)
    5 - GUYOT environnement – Team Europe (FRA/GER)

    For several days during the lead up to the start of The Ocean Race the weather had been the focus for the 1,900 nautical mile Leg 1 from Alicante to Cabo Verde.

    VO65 fleet first off the mark

    The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint was the first race to get underway in Alicante on Sunday

    In particular it was the forecast for strong winds and big seas that the fleet would encounter as they headed towards the Strait of Gibraltar that had been concentrating minds.

    But the forecast had also suggested that the opening legs of the in port stage of Leg 1 of the VO65 Sprint Cup, (a rectangular shaped course close to the shore), would be very tricky too as a weather front moved across the area.

    And when it came to the VO65 start, the weather did indeed throw a few curve balls across the course.

    For the start at 1405 CET, the breeze was both light and from a different direction than had been originally anticipated making the first stage an upwind leg rather than a reach.

    Of the six boats, it was Windwhisper Racing Team (POL) skippered by Pablo Arrarte that made the best of the opening minutes. Starting at the outer end of the line proved to be a winning move ahead of a drop in the wind speed but more importantly a shift in the wind direction.

    From there and for the next hour, the Polish team read the shifting conditions perfectly to lead the fleet around the entire rectangular course.

    Behind them Team Jajao (NED) skippered by Jelmer van Beek also delivered a confident start to their race, while Rokas Milevičius’ Ambersail 2 (LUI) sat in third.

    By the time the five leg lap of the bay had been completed the breeze had settled down, as had the leaderboard - for now.

    With a forecast for complex, changeable conditions along with the threat of some big winds and steep seas to match, no one was taking anything for granted.

    Mark 5 positions
    1 - Windwhisper Racing Team (POL)
    2 - Team Jajao (NED)
    3 - Ambersail 2 (LUI)
    4 - Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR)
    5 - Austrian Ocean Racing Powered by Team Genova (AUT/ITA)
    6 - Viva M?xico (MEX)
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    The opening hours and the first night at sea on Leg 1 from Alicante to Cabo Verde have been tough. After a spectacular start in an offshore breeze that had the IMOCAs hitting 34knots at times as they headed out to sea, the entire fleet sailed into light winds.

    For most, the action concertinaed and the race started again. And then the big breeze arrived.

    Amory Ross reports from on board 11th Hour Racing Team on a difficult opening phase of the race but one in which they have taken the lead:

    After years of preparation, practice and training it always feels good to finally be in the midst of a race. We may be sailing upwind in 32 knots and a miserable sea state at the moment, but it doesn’t sting as much as we’re used to, because we are racing… the
    complexion of life onboard alters ever so slightly. Tolerances go up, as does the pressure. And there has been plenty of that in the last 24 hrs, in more ways than one!

    A race start is always difficult. All the noise, all the people, all the commitments, it can be difficult to focus. There’s a lot of pressure on the momentous moment, on doing it justice, long before the starting gun ever goes. Then there’s the pressure of the inshore course. These boats aren’t made to do what we did and the goal was to escape unscathed! There is a lot of risk involved with short course sailing at 28 knots dodging and weaving spectators and other foil-bearing IMOCAs!

    It was tough to find the first mark and that put us on the back foot in the puffy reach, but we rebounded just fine and did exactly what we needed to do to round Tabarca in first. There is also a lot of pressure at the moment. 30-35 knots from the west, just as the forecast models predicted.

    Uncomfortable as it may be, it’s a known entity and it’s keeping us going towards the waypoint that is Gibraltar. There may be some current relief and more northerly winds ashore, but it’s not a risk we are willing to take right now.

    Onboard things are in excellent order. Nobody got much sleep last night, nobody has eaten a whole lot, but this short, intense battle to the Strait will be over soon (ETA of course sometime middle of tonight) and then we’ll be out into the Atlantic where the rhythms and routines can take hold.

    A huge thank you to Alicante for an amazing few weeks and a spectacular send off, and the same to 11th Hour Racing, all of whom made the trip to Spain to wave us on our merry way!

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3

      Viva Mexico suspends racing with damaged mainsail

      7 January 2023, VO65 training session in Alicante: Viva Mexico Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

      All crew are safe as the Mexican VO65 team turns towards Almeria to assess options

      The Viva Mexico team contacted Race Control on Monday morning to say they were suspending racing. Skipper Erik Brockmann wrote:

      "We are suspending racing due to a ripped main without repair. We are going for shelter in Almeria and will assess options. All crew are safe."

      The team was sailing upwind in winds gusting over 30 knots at the time.

      Almeria is approximately 25 nautical miles (45km) away from their current position.
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4

        Opening day challenges

        The Alboran Sea in the Mediterranean is throwing up harsh winter conditions as the fleets push towards Gibraltar...

        The opening 24 hours has been challenging, but not unexpected. After running into a quiet spell overnight, during which both fleets concertinaed the forecast has played out its threat with strong winds and big seas sweeping across the Alboran Sea.

        In the IMOCA fleet, after an impressively dominant performance from Biotherm (FRA) Paul Meilhat’s team found themselves trapped in very light winds, unable to keep pace with competitors that had taken alternative routes.

        By the morning, 11th Hour Racing Team was leading the field as Charlie Enright’s crew hugged the Spanish coastline to stay in the flatter water.

        "As is often the case (on the first day) it has been far from straight-forward," said 11th Hour Racing Team's Simon Fisher.

        Watch the video from 11th Hour Racing Team here:

        "Multiple transitions, a lot of sail changes, but we've come out in good shape, we're leading the fleet, and we're into the pressure."

        And in the increased wind pressure, conditions were becoming extreme. Back at race control in Alicante, where all the competitors’ data is monitored and logged 24 hours a day, the American flagged team and Kevin Escoffier’s Holcim PRB (SUI) were sailing upwind at 14knots in 40-knots of wind.

        Watch the video from Team Holcim-PRB here:

        Shortly before starting the leg Holcim PRB’s crew member Sam Goodchild outlined their approach to the first leg.

        “Our mantra is definitely to keep it simple,” he said. “While we’ve all sailed the boat separately, the four of us have only sailed together as a crew on this boat three times before the first leg, so there’s a good reason for keeping it simple. We are also going to be looking at the other teams, what they're doing and what their performance is. We're not going to tie ourselves in knots trying to chase them around and trying to cover everyone else, because on the first leg, we don't really know where we sit.”

        For Viva M?xico (MEX) the team suffered a torn mainsail forcing them to postpone racing and head for Almeria where they were looking to either repair or replace the damaged sail.

        “It puts us in a tough situation because right now we cannot repair it here and we are looking at our options,” said skipper Erik Brockmann. “We were really trying to get out of Gibraltar as soon as possible because the weather gets worse later on and this six to eight hour delay puts us in a tougher situation. The good thing is everyone is safe and the boat is good.”

        ? Robin Christol / Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team

        While most of the VO65 fleet were staying close to the Spanish coastline in an effort to remain in flatter water, Ambersail 2 chose to take a flyer from the fleet when the breeze was light and cross the Mediterranean, presumably to avoid being trapped in light winds to the north. Their gamble took them close to the North African coastline but when they tacked onto port to head back the breeze had veered putting them on the wrong side of the shift. As they headed back towards the north their flyer didn’t appear to have paid off. Their route had also taken them across the windiest part of the Mediterranean, now they were committed to more.

        IMOCA 60's

        Volvo 65's

        Rankings at 1600 GMT - 16 January 2023

        1. 11th Hour Racing Team, 1652 miles to finish
        2. Team Holcim-PRB, 2.3 miles to leader
        3. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, 18.1 miles to leader
        4. Team Malizia, 20.4 miles to leader
        5. Biotherm, 24.9 miles to leader

        1. Ambersail 2, 1665 miles to leader
        2. WindWhisper Racing, 1.6 miles to leader
        3. Mirpuri Foundation Race Team, 1.6 miles to finish
        4. Team JAJO, 6.7 miles to leader
        5. Austrian Ocean Race - Team Genova, 7.4 miles to leader
        6. Viva Mexico, suspended racing, 38 miles to leader

        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #5
          Day two of The Ocean Race had the fleet searching for calmer waters by heading towards the Spanish coastline to avoid the worst of the brutal offshore breeze and sea state before breaking through the Strait of Gibraltar and out into the Atlantic.

          For the IMOCA fleet in particular, each tack along the shoreline brought the risk of damage, yet on the other hand, reducing the number of tacks and taking longer legs in between would take them further out into stronger winds and bigger waves. Striking the correct balance was hard. None more so than for 11th Hour Racing Team and their closest competitor, Holcim-PRB. As they headed west, the pair were locked in a tacking duel.

          Leading the way, Charlie Enright’s crew aboard Malama were under pressure to defend their position while at the same time working the best shifts along the shore. Tack for tack, throughout the night Kevin Escoffier’s team were nibbling away at the 11th Hour Racing Team’s lead, closing the distance hour by hour.

          The crucial passing move would come in the early hours when Holcim-PRB decided to tack onto starboard first. Shortly after they had tacked onto starboard the wind shifted slightly towards the north, delivering a small but crucial advantage. By the time Enright’s crew tacked they were trailing Escoffier.

          Both could now head directly at the entrance to the Gibraltar Strait in a high speed, upwind drag race.

          Arriving at the Strait first at 0400 UTC provided the upper hand for Team Holcim-PRB. Nine tacks and three hours later, as Escoffier’s team threaded their way through the narrow passage they emerged into the Atlantic. Enright’s 11th Hour Racing had chased hard and after 13 tacks they too broke out into the west.

          From here, the weather forecasts and passage analysis at Race Control in Alicante had suggested that the front runners might benefit from taking a more northerly route before they locked into the northerly breeze that would provide the first part of the slingshot south to Cabo Verde. And as the duelling pair headed off along the Spanish coastline this appeared to be their strategy.

          For Holcim-PRB, their tactics had worked but they now had some damage to their mainsail which had been torn close to the luff after the clew of the jib had punched through the sail during a tack. Fortunately, the slightly more settled conditions in the Atlantic provided an opportunity for repair.

          Meanwhile, behind them Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia were third through the Strait.

          "We are through the Strait of Gibraltar," said Boris Herrmann from Team Malizia. "Now we still have to navigate a few fish farms and shallow spots, and there is still traffic, but we are through the first big landmark of the race.

          "Maybe this was the most difficult time. It was a very intense day and night. We saw 50 knots (windspeed) yesterday."

          Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm were fourth. In fifth place was GUYOT environnement – Team Europe who trailed the leaders by 60 nautical miles.

          Watch the boat feed from GUYOT environnement – Team Europe
          Yet, while they had dropped back from an impressive position in the first 24 hours, the weather forecast suggests that teams that exit the Strait later may be able to capitalise on a shift in the breeze and turn south earlier.

          While this may offer a potential reprieve to those towards the back of the IMOCA fleet, the benefits of this shifting breeze may well be more significant for the VO65s.

          Leading the field in this class was WindWhisper Racing Team whose tactically smart yet conservative approach has paid off.

          On the leaderboard Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team is lying in fourth but their passage through the Strait appears to show them sail into the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) exclusion zone, contrary to the sailing instructions. Race Control is looking at the situation and may forward their track to the Jury for assessment and a possible penalty.

          Just in front of them, Austria Ocean Racing Powered by Team Genova lay in second place with Team JAJO third and AmberSail 2 right behind in fifth.

          "We are just about to exit the Gibraltar Strait," came the message from Rokas Milevičius, skipper on Ambersail 2. "It has been an intense few days and nights. The team is really looking forward to some Atlantic running, because this upwind in 30-50 knot is not much fun. Wet. Cold. And bumpy. But we suppose that is how it is supposed to be."

          As the fleet passed through Viva M?xico were still in Almeria after suspending their racing following damage to their mainsail. The team is working to rejoin the race as soon as possible but is pinned in at the port with winds near 40 knots and a heavy sea state.

          So, while getting through the Gibraltar Strait was a tactical challenge for all, there is clearly more to come as the two fleets prepare to take on the second stage of Leg 1.

          Current ETAs show the leading IMOCAs arriving late on Friday (local time), with the VO65s less than 24 hours behind.

          Rankings at 1600 GMT - 17 January 2023

          1. Team Holcim-PRB, 1465.4 miles to finish
          2. 11th Hour Racing Team, 24.6 miles to leader
          3. Team Malizia, 46.0 miles to leader
          4. Biotherm, 54.9 miles to leader
          5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, 61.3 miles to leader

          1. WindWhisper Racing, 1509.1 miles to finish
          2. Austrian Ocean Race - Team Genova, 6.5 miles to leader
          3. Team JAJO, 9.8 miles to leader
          4. Mirpuri Foundation Race Team, 9.9 miles to leader
          5. Ambersail 2, 21.2 miles to leader
          6. Viva Mexico, suspended racing, 194.5 miles to leader

          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • #6
            IMOCAs set torrid pace in the Atlantic

            17 January 2023, Leg 1, day 3, on board 11th Hour Racing Team? Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing Team / The Ocean Race
            The IMOCA fleet is sailing fast towards Cabo Verde, with the VO65s holding close

            ? Julien Champolion - polaRYSE / Holcim - PRB

            The Swiss-flagged Holcim-PRB team remains at the head of the IMOCA fleet on Wednesday as all five boats are setting a blistering pace directly towards Cabo Verde. The leading teams are putting up close to 500-mile days with Holcim-PRB now just 992 miles from the finishing line at Cabo Verde.

            See the drone footage of Holcim-PRB here:

            Now free of the constraints of the Mediterranean, the teams are set up for some fast sailing across the wind. IMOCAs are designed to excel in these conditions and the miles to the finish line are melting away.

            Get on board 11th Hour Racing Team here:

            Kevin Escoffier’s Holcim-PRB are holding off 11th Hour Racing Team for the lead, while Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia is positioned furthest east and closest to the direct route rhumb line.

            “I think we’ve seen 33.7 knots of boat speed this morning,” said Will Harris on board Team Malizia. “We’re going fast… We’re enjoying some straight line sailing after all the tacking getting to Gibraltar. Looking forward to getting to Cabo Verde in a few days.”

            See on board Team Malizia here:

            In fact, the ETA for the IMOCA fleet is overnight (GMT) on Friday, with France’s Biotherm and GUYOT environment Team Europe some 100 miles behind the leaders.

            Watch a sail repair on board GUYOT environnement - Team Europe:

            Follow the tracker at to see the latest.


            In The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint, WindWhisper Racing Team, Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team and Team JAJO are fighting for the lead and keeping pace with the fourth and fifth placed IMOCA boats.

            ? Robin Christ / Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team / The Ocean Race

            “Everything I brought is either wet, or more wet,” said Cecilia Zorzi (ITA) from on board the fourth-placed Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova. “Nothing is dry but we are still having fun and Cabo Verde is getting closer and closer.”

            See life on board the Austrian - Genova boat here

            Still in the Mediterranean, Viva Mexico resumed racing on Wednesday morning with a different mainsail after damaging their original beyond repair. They are just over 550 miles behind the rest of the fleet.

            The VO65s are currently expected to arrive in Cabo Verde over the course of the day on Saturday (GMT).

            Rankings at 1500 GMT - 18 January 2023



            1. Team Holcim-PRB, 992.5 miles to finish

            2. 11th Hour Racing Team, 17.8 miles to leader

            3. Team Malizia, 75.6 miles to leader

            4. Biotherm, 107.0 miles to leader

            5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, 139.7 miles to leader


            1. WindWhisper Racing, 1100.4 miles to finish

            2. Mirpuri Foundation Race Team, 22.6 miles to leader

            3. Team JAJO, 31.2 miles to leader

            4. Austrian Ocean Race - Team Genova, 66.0 miles to leader

            5. Ambersail 2, 107.1 miles to leader

            6. Viva Mexico, resumed racing, 574.4 miles to leader
            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery


            • #7

              The leading IMOCAs are expected to arrive in Cabo Verde overnight Friday night and into Saturday morning as the fleet eats up the miles on ‘the highway’ south. Sailing fast, and pointing at the finish - it’s a great feeling.

              Both IMOCA and VO65 fleets have been winding their way past the Canary Islands. Now, it’s just a matter of heading to the finish.

              “We are going past the Canary Islands,” said skipper Kevin Escoffier early on Thursday. “11th Hour Racing Team is the closest boat and they are following us so I think we are safe (in the lead).

              Watch on Team Holcim - PRB :

              Watch on 11th Hour Race Team:

              “The crew is very good. We have caught up on the watch system about 36 hours, which was difficult to get into right after the start with the hard conditions. We are happy with where are even if it is definitely not finished yet.”

              Chasing the leading pair is Team Malizia:

              ? Antoine Auriol / Team Malizia
              “All the boat is working. We had a few issues earlier,” said Will Harris, from what appeared to be a fast charging boat. “Now it’s manageable so it’s pretty perfect. Enjoying the highway south. It’s pretty nice.”

              That said, domestic duties are still a challenge at these speeds.

              “We just went 33 knots,” said Annie Lush from on board GUYOT environnement -Team Europe. “But sometimes we suddenly decelerate down to about 20 knots, which makes using the stove and hot water on board tricky!”


              In the VO65 fleet, the top three teams are within 40 miles, with WindWhisper leading Team JAJO and Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team.

              “We placed our bet, gybing south before Tenerife,” wrote WindWhisper navigator Asked Magdahl. “Weather models changed a lot to allow for a more easterly routing down the African coast, suggesting a gybe south amongst the western Canary Islands… I expect strong breeze between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and with the shipping lane preventing us from making long gybes and possibly forcing sail changes, it will be everyone on deck for 6-8 hours.”

              WindWhisper was followed by Team JAJO winding through the islands, while Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team elected to chase the leading IMOCAs to the west of the islands, looking for fast downwind sailing.

              Get on board with WindWhisper Racing:

              “We are in the perfect conditions for this boat, 20-25 knots downwind, big waves and going fast in the direction we want to go - to Cabo Verde,” said an exuberant Federico Melo from on board Mirpuri Foundation Race Team.

              ? Jen Edney / Viva M?xico
              The leading trio is due to arrive in Cabo Verde on Saturday, with Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova and Ambersail 2 several hours back. Viva Mexico is now in the Atlantic, but over 750 miles behind.

              Rankings at 1500 GMT - 19 January 2023


              1. Team Holcim-PRB, 565.5 miles to finish

              2. 11th Hour Racing Team, 49.2 miles to leader

              3. Team Malizia, 102.6 miles to leader

              4. Biotherm, 185.8 miles to leader

              5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, 221.4 miles to leader


              1. WindWhisper Racing, 694.9 miles to finish

              2. Team JAJO, 31.1 miles to leader

              3. Mirpuri Foundation Race Team, 39.3 miles to leader

              4. Austrian Ocean Race - Team Genova, 106.3 miles to leader

              5. Ambersail 2, 152.7 miles to leader

              6. Viva Mexico, 767.1 miles to leader
              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

     Photo Gallery


              • #8
                It’s not over til it’s over

                Photo Team Viva Mexico

                There’s a cat and mouse battle at the head of both fleets as the leaders weave their way towards Cabo Verde

                The winning IMOCA is expected to finish near midnight GMT in Cabo Verde, with Team Holcim-PRB maintaining speed and control at the front of the fleet.

                Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing Team / The Ocean Race

                But there are still some moves to be made as the leading trio, which includes 11th Hour Racing Team and Team Malizia, gybe towards the finishing line. Each manoeuvre has some jeopardy attached in losing miles to the competition or placing the boat in an unfavourable wind shift.

                Team Holcim - PRB lead the IMOCA fleet:

                Grinding through it on board 11th Hour Racing Team:

                ? Antoine Auriol / Team Malizia / The Ocean Race
                “We’re going really fast at the moment, it’s actually quite a nice mode,” said Boris Herrmann from Team Malizia as they try to gain miles on second-placed 11th Hour Racing Team. “We have these long waves that help push us. It’s getting warmer. Looking forward to some smoother sailing and maybe a bit quieter too as it’s been very loud on board with this sea state. But let’s see.”

                Updates from on board Team Malizia :

                Behind the leading trio, Biotherm and GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, are lined up about 8 to 10 hours behind the leaders, with Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm holding the inside track advantage.


                ? Tomasz Piotrowski / Windwhisper Racing Team / The Ocean Race

                It’s a similar story in the VO65 fleet, with WindWhisper Racing Team in a strong position ahead of Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team and Team JAJO, who are likely to be in a dogfight for second place all the way to the finish. The latest projections have the VO65 leaders arriving Cabo Verde on Saturday afternoon.

                On board Team JAJO:

                Incredible drone footage from Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team :

                Leading IMOCA - midnight and onwards GMT Friday night
                Leading VO65s - Saturday afternoon GMT

                How to follow the arrivals:
                Check in on and our social channels @theoceanrace for the latest information. The tracker is your best guide to the latest positioning.

                With an overnight arrival for the top IMOCAs in strong winds and heavy seas off Mindelo in Cabo Verde, our coverage will focus on dockside interviews and reaction from the teams as they get ashore.

                Rankings at 1200 GMT - 20 January 2023


                1. Team Holcim-PRB, 250.4 miles to finish

                2. 11th Hour Racing Team, 36.1 miles to leader

                3. Team Malizia, 49.3 miles to leader

                4. Biotherm, 209.4 miles to leader

                5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, 284.4 miles to leader


                1. WindWhisper Racing, 423.6 miles to finish

                2. Mirpuri Foundation Race Team, 29.7 miles to leader
                3. Team JAJO, 51.5 miles to leader

                4. Austrian Ocean Race - Team Genova, 106.4 miles to leader

                5. Ambersail 2, 128.5 miles to leader

                6. Viva M?xico, 795.4 miles to leader
                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

       Photo Gallery


                • #9

                  Team Holcim-PRB lead into Cabo Verde to win Leg One of The Ocean Race

                  11th Hour Racing Team secures second place over Team Malizia

                  21 January 2023, Holcim - PRB Team crew rises the Leg Winner flag in Cabo Verde.
                  Images: Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

                  French skipper Kevin Escoffier led his Swiss-flagged Team Holcim-PRB to victory in leg one of The Ocean Race in the early hours of Saturday morning.

                  It marked the end of an intense and challenging opening to The Ocean Race - from storm force headwinds in the Mediterranean to fast downwind conditions in the Atlantic with tactical options around the Canary Islands.

                  The Holcim-PRB team took the lead just before Gibraltar Strait and held on the rest of the way despite the strong pushes from 11th Hour Racing Team and Malizia.

                  Finally, early on Saturday, Escoffier and his crew raced across the finish line on the waters off Mindelo, Cabo Verde, just after 02:01:59 UTC, completing an impressive performance on the first leg of the Race.

                  “The boat is great. Both upwind and downwind, reaching, we have always been fast,” Escoffier said. “I'm very happy to start like this. It was our first race together as a full crew and I don't regret any of the the choices. They are all great and together we went for the win.”

                  Second across the line was Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team, who held off a late challenge from Team Malizia on the final day of the leg.

                  “I think the competition is good,” said Enright on the dock after finishing. “We have fast boats, good sailors. There are different strengths and weaknesses in the boats. Everyone is going to have their day and we’re certainly not taking anything for granted but if we focus on what we can control I think we’re going to be fine. We’re jumping at the opportunity to get going on the next leg.

                  For Boris Herrmann, securing a podium finish puts the German team in a safe position after the opening stanza, with six more legs of racing left to gain points.

                  “I’m super-happy with the performance of the boat and the team,” said a jubilant Herrmann moments after the finish. “It took nearly three days before we could even speak to each other as the boat was so loud and brutal in the tough conditions after the start. Then we started to an almost champagne sailing situation, quite fast and nice."

                  The top three IMOCAs finished within five and a half hours. Fourth-placed Biotherm and GUYOT environnement - Team Europe are forecast to arrive in Mindelo later on Saturday afternoon.

                  In the VO65 class, the Polish WindWhisper Racing Team is in a strong position at the head of the fleet over Team JAJO and Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team. All three should finish on Saturday afternoon, with Austrian Ocean Racing - Team Genova, Ambersail 2 and Viva M?xico further behind.

                  These teams are competing for The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup and will pause their racing activities after this opening stage until the spring, when they resume racing in Aarhus, Denmark.

                  For the IMOCAs it’s a short - and busy - break. The sailing teams are required to carry out repairs without the assistance of their shore crews at this stop. Racing resumes in just a few days, with the Cabo Verde start of Leg Two to Cape Town, South Africa scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

                  Rankings at 07:00 UTC - 21 January 2023

                  1. Team Holcim-PRB, winner leg one, finished - 5d 11h 01min 59s

                  2. 11th Hour Racing Team, finished - 5d 13h 50min 45s

                  3. Team Malizia, finished - 5d 16h 35min 21s

                  4. Biotherm, 219.3 miles to finish

                  5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, 51.7 miles to leader


                  1. WindWhisper Racing, 125.0 miles to finish

                  2. Team JAJO, 50.4 miles to leader

                  3. Mirpuri Foundation Race Team, 134.7 miles to leader

                  4. Austrian Ocean Race - Team Genova, 181.3 miles to leader

                  5. Ambersail 2, 211.9 miles to leader

                  6. Viva Mexico, 842.8 miles to leader

                  " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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