It's 11th Hour Racing Team at the head of the fleet on Monday as the four racing IMOCAs push east into the Atlantic Ocean.
After being squeezed between two Marine Mammal Exclusion Zones for much of Sunday night, the race course is beginning to open up now.
For American skipper Charlie Enright, it's a narrow lead on the second day of the double-points leg to Aarhus, Denmark, with Team Malizia and Team Holcim-PRB directly behind. Biotherm has also closed the gap to just under 15 miles after falling behind at the start yesterday.
"It's been a nice start. We have the spinnaker up, but the wind is turning to the right so we will have to change to a flatter sail," said Malizia skipper Boris Herrmann Sunday night. "We can see 11th Hour Racing Team over there, so it's all very good. Quite gentle sailing."
"The leaders touched the wind shifting forward first (out of Newport), and we were able to come back a bit. But then we fell into a light spot and they gained, but we are within about a mile of Malizia, so it's good," said Kevin Escoffier on Team Holcim-PRB.
Sea conditions could get worse this week as the boats move into a favourable Gulf Stream current that will be pushing against the northerly winds in the forecast. That type of wind against current usually pushes up the sea state dramatically.
Image: The first day of Leg 5 leaving Newport, Rhode Island. Justine Mettraux managing new and old sheets on the bow before a sail change.
© Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race
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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 January 15th 2023, and will finish in Genova, the Grand Finale, in 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.