Approaching the three week point of leg 3, the IMOCA teams are within 20 miles of each other...
Image: The Ocean Race 2022-23 - 17 March 2023, Leg 3 Day 19 onboard Team Holcim - PRB. Drone view. © Julien Champolion | polaRYSE / Holcim - PRB
On day 20 of racing in leg 3 of The Ocean Race, the competition is incredibly close, with four IMOCAs separated by just 20 nautical miles.
The teams still have two weeks of racing to go, but with the positions so close, this weekend is serving as a re-start of sorts.
The lighter conditions which have compressed the fleet together have also given the crews time to complete much needed maintenance and repairs - on boats and people alike.
The wind is forecast to return on Monday and the ETA for Cape Horn is now 26/27 March.
"We have Biotherm just over there and Team Holcim-PRB just down to leeward," said Will Harris from the sunshine on deck of Team Malizia.
"The wind is coming behind us with these clouds," he said, pointing behind the boat. "And if you look in front of us there is nice sunny weather, but that's the high-pressure up ahead with not much wind. That's why we've all compressed and the fleet has really shrunk down together. We're effectively re-starting the race, which is good and bad. We can fight for the lead, but at the same time, we've lost our lead over the ones behind."
Indeed, Malizia enjoyed a few hours at the top of the tracker leaderboard overnight UTC on Friday night, but in reality, all four teams now have the potential to emerge with the advantage by the time the more typical southern latitude conditions return early in the new week.
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About The Ocean Race
Since 1973, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. For nearly 50 years, it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest sailors and been the proving ground for the legends of our sport.
The 14th edition of The Ocean Race started from Alicante, Spain on 15 January 2023, and will finish in Genova, Italy early in the summer of 2023. The race visits nine iconic cities around the globe over a six-month period (Alicante, Spain - Cabo Verde - Cape Town, South Africa - Itajaí, Brazil - Newport, RI, USA - Aarhus, Denmark - Kiel Fly-By, Germany - The Hague, the Netherlands - Genova, Italy) and features a leg with the longest racing distance in the 50-year history of the event - a 12,750 nautical mile, one-month marathon from Cape Town, South Africa to Itajaí, Brazil. The IMOCA fleet of mixed crews will pass all three great southern Capes - Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn - non-stop, for the first time.
Along with five confirmed foiling IMOCA teams racing around the world, six one-design VO65 boats will race on three legs with an option to compete for a new trophy within The Ocean Race called The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup.
Sustainability in The Ocean Race
We have a proven commitment to sustainability, and with the support and collaboration of 11th Hour Racing, Founding Partner of the Race Sustainability Programme and Premier Partner of The Ocean Race, we are inspiring action and creating tangible outcomes.
Building upon our award-winning legacy in sustainability, our innovative Racing With Purpose programme is acting as a catalyst for positive change and accelerating the application of innovative solutions to help restore ocean health.