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Thread: Cascais Awaits Volvo Fleet

  1. #1
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    Cascais Awaits Volvo Fleet




    Freshening winds off the northwest tip of Spain have meant significantly faster sailing for the 12 professional crews representing nine countries racing from Lorient, France to Cascais, Portugal on the opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe.

    After spending much of the first night and day of the leg engaged in a prolonged series of gybes criss-crossing the Bay of Biscay in light to moderate breezes, since passing the longitude of Cape Finisterre yesterday evening the crews have been enjoying straight-line sailing as they head almost directly west towards the turning mark – a virtual waypoint out in the Atlantic.

    Thomas Ruyant’s French foiling IMOCA 60 LinkedOut was the first boat to make the final gybe to the west at around yesterday afternoon, followed almost instantaneously by the US-flagged 11th Hour Racing Team, skippered by Charlie Enright.






    TRACKER


    As the breeze steadily ramped up this pair was soon ripping westward in close formation, and overnight both crews locked into a nice angle and sea state that, for a couple of hours at least, saw the leading IMOCA boats averaging close to 27 knots of boat speed. Those are impressive performance stats and a significant early indicator of the performance potential when racing IMOCA 60s fully-crewed. Extrapolated over 24 hours, it would be a record-breaking pace.

    “Last night was fast – really fast,” said Seb Josse from on board CORUM L’Epargne, in fourth place on the IMOCA leaderboard as of Monday afternoon. “We were going at over 30 knots. But now the wind is starting to drop a little bit… We have to manage the transitions as the wind will ease off and go to the left, so we can expect to use a bigger headsail, and to have really light winds. But the transitions will be really quick… and during the next night it should be really fast (again).”







    Josse is referring to a weather transition bringing lighter winds that will likely see the backmarkers closing the gap as the leaders approach the turning mark. But conditions are forecast to strengthen again as the fleet gybes through a left hand turn and sets up on the layline towards the finish off Cascais, Portugal.

    In the VO65 fleet, the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team from Portugal remains in control of the seven-boat fleet today with an 11 nautical mile (nm) lead over the Dutch-flagged AkzoNobel Ocean Racing, skippered by Chris Nicholson, in second.



    Speeds across this fleet of identical boats have remained very even, with all the crews pushing their boats at over 21 knots and just 10 miles separating the top five boats.

    “It's fascinating how the teams are so close, even after like twenty-five, twenty-seven hours of racing, you wake up after your shift, you go on deck and you see the other teams so close to each other,” said Deimantė Jarmalavičiūtė from AmberSail-2. “And being in the ocean, it's an amazing feeling.”

    With fast reaching conditions forecast to resume on the way back from the Atlantic turning mark the estimated time of arrival in Cascais for the first boats home remains near midday on Wednesday June 2.

    Get the latest from the tracking on the homepage of www.theoceanrace.com
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    It's Anyone's Game At This Point

    All to play for during final night at sea after a day of fast and furious racing

    Leg One is likely to be decided in the final hours with one last hurdle between the fleet and the finish line off Cascais


    © Martin Keruzore / Mirpuri Foundation Race Team /The Ocean Race


    After an adrenaline-fuelled day of power reaching through the Atlantic the 12 weary crews competing in The Ocean Race Europe are facing a challenging final night at sea as they close in on Cascais, Portugal – the finish of the race’s opening leg from Lorient, France.

    The northerly winds strengthened as the fleet rounded the virtual Atlantic turning mark early this morning, and that meant some exhilarating high-speed sailing for the crews in both the one-design VO65s and the development rule IMOCA 60 class as they headed back towards Cascais.

    In the IMOCA 60 class, the fierce foiling match race between Thomas Ruyant’s French entry LinkedOut and the American 11th Hour Racing Team, skippered by Charlie Enright, continued to rage. The two boats were neck-and-neck on the way out the turning mark with the American boat getting there just ahead at around 0140 UTC.

    From there the narrowly separated duo raced flat out towards Cascais at speeds touching 30 knots as they traded the lead back and forth several times.



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

    At around 1100 UTC on Tuesday the LinkedIn crew appeared to seize the initiative by gybing away to the south – apparently in an effort to stay in the strongest winds. The move did not go un-noticed by their rivals and the 11th Hour Racing crew followed suit some 40 minutes later.

    Both crews are pushing their foiling boats hard and the two IMOCA 60s were clocked at speeds up to 25 knots this afternoon. Positioned slightly nearer to the finish line than the French crew on LinkedOut, 11th Hour Racing top the leader board Tuesday afternoon, but with plenty of racing action to go before they reach the finish line in Cascais the final result is still in doubt.

    In the VO65s, Portugal’s Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team skippered by Yoann Richomme continues to sail a near perfect race at the front of the seven-boat fleet. The team rounded the virtual turning mark around 30 minutes ahead of the second-placed Dutch entry AkzoNobel Ocean Racing – skippered by Chris Nicholson – with Bouwe Bekking’s Sailing Poland, and Simeon Tienpont’s Childhood I (NED) also in hot pursuit.

    “It's been pretty windy since yesterday afternoon and we rounded the virtual waypoint a few hours ago and we're heading back to Cascais now,” said Jack Bouttell, watch captain on the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team boat. “It should be a very wet and windy day, I think.

    “We're leading the 65 fleet... So I think we're in a pretty good spot. I think the main stress will now be just obviously going fast today, but then in the approach into Cascais it gets light again and managing that will be the last big hurdle I would say.”



    On Board Bureau Vallee.
    © Bureau Vallee/The Ocean Race


    It is noticeable on the race tracker that AkzoNobel Ocean Racing has been sailing a lower and slightly faster course than their rivals ahead and astern. As the day wore on their southerly track steadily increased the lateral separation between them and the other three VO65s.

    In terms of distance to the finish, this dropped them down to third behind Sailing Poland, but given the gybe to the south executed further down the track by the two leading IMOCA 60s, it could be that the AkzoNobel Ocean Racing crew have positioned themselves well to make gains during the hours of darkness. Only time will tell, but as in the IMOCA 60 fleet the battle for line honours looks likely to go right down to the wire.

    The ETA in Cascais will be influenced by conditions near the finish. Estimates for the first finish range from 0800 local time (UTC+1) to around noon. The full fleet should arrive within about four hours from first to final boat across the line.

    Follow along on the Race Tracker at www.theoceanrace.com for the latest.
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    A Nail Biting Finish For Leg 1 The Ocean Race Europe



    CORUM L'Épargne (IMOCA) and The Austrian Ocean Race Project (VO65) win Leg One of The Ocean Race Europe


    Austrian team stuns VO65 fleet in photo finish for The Ocean Race Europe




    The opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe came to a nail-biting conclusion today in Cascais, Portugal with the winners in both the VO65 and IMOCA 60 classes decided only in the last few moments of the four-day passage from Lorient, France.

    A thrilling finish in the one design VO65 class saw The Austrian Ocean Race Project, skippered by Gerwin Jansen (NED), pull off a remarkable come-from-behind victory to edge out Rokas Milevičius’ Lithuanian entry Ambersail-2 by just six seconds.

    “It’s crazy that we won this super-intense race,” Jansen said from the helm, moments after crossing the finishing line. “Did you see that? Four boats in a row. What a wild race. We are super-happy!”

    Later, on the dock, he said: “We are the newbies, the young team, not that much experience… The last 30 miles were so intense, it was unbelievable. We just kept on fighting and this was the result!”


    A further 15 seconds behind in third was Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont’s Team Childhood I and the full seven-boat fleet finished within six minutes.

    Meanwhile in the IMOCA class Nicolas Troussel’s CORUM L'Epargne (FRA) took the winner’s gun, ahead of Charlie Enright’s United States entry 11th Hour Racing Team in second, and Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut (FRA) in third.

    “It was an intense race… and we knew that everything could be decided here like everything can be decided in Alicante and later on in Genoa for the race final,” Troussel said. “Anyway we’re really happy with that victory, we fought very hard and the finish was magical for us.”

    Yesterday’s stint of high-speed, straight-line reaching back from the Atlantic turning mark had continued overnight for both classes, but at around 0600 UTC today the entire fleet started to compress as the IMOCA 60 and VO65 crews began to strategically position themselves to round the large race exclusion zone which blocked their path to the finish line.




    In the VO65s, long-time leader Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team was alone in choosing the northerly route, while the rest of the class squeezed together into a tight gaggle to round the south-west corner of the zone.

    The final 40 nautical miles (nm) of the leg saw the VO65s in the south racing line abreast with the leader board positions changing incessantly, seemingly with every new gust of breeze.

    Things got even more unpredictable in the final 15 nm as the fleet slowed in easing winds from a cold front sweeping towards the Portuguese coast.

    A split amongst the six southerly VO65s, saw Sailing Poland, Team Childhood I and The Austrian Ocean Race Project holding high, while AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED), Ambersail-2 (LTU), and Viva Mexico (MEX) gybed away to the south in search of a better angle to the finish.






    When the boats converged again in the final two miles to the finish line there was nothing to choose between the Austrians, Ambersail-2, and Team Childhood I as they raced for the line.

    In the end it was The Austrian Ocean Race Project, a new team with a relatively young, inexperienced crew, who edged ahead to claim victory over second-placed Ambersail-2 with Team Childhood completing the podium.

    It is a testimony to the incredible intensity of the racing in the one design VO65 class that all seven crews finished within just six minutes of each other after more than four days of open water racing.

    The racing between the five IMOCA 60s was also a close-run affair with all five teams very much in contention for victory on the final day.

    Special mention should be made of the crew of non-foiling Offshore Team Germany, led by experienced offshore racer Robert Stanjek, who somehow managed to claw back a deficit of over 100 nm yesterday to take the lead at one point on the final approach to Cascais this afternoon, before ultimately finishing in fourth.

    The decision on which route to take around the exclusion zone played a significant factor in the final IMOCA 60 standings.

    Louis Burton’s Bureau Vallee (FRA), CORUM L'Epargne, and 11th Hour Racing Team, all looked set to round to the north but a last-minute change of heart from CORUM L'Epargne, and 11th Hour Racing Team saw them gybe away to the south.

    Although this move initially looked costly for the French and American team, it paid dividends for both as they somehow managed to skirt their way around the exclusion zone quickly enough to be able to overtake Offshore Team Germany and Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut who had committed themselves to the southerly route earlier.

    Teams will get some well-deserved rest on Thursday and Friday in Cascais, before competing in the Coastal Race as part of The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy on Saturday and the start of Leg Two, into Alicante, on Sunday.

    PROVISIONAL RESULTS:

    IMOCA
    1st: CORUM L'Epargne
    2nd: 11th Hour Racing Team
    3rd: LinkedOut
    4th: Offshore Team Germany
    5th: Bureau Vallée

    VO65
    1st: The Austrian Ocean Race Project
    2nd: AMBERSAIL-2
    3rd: Team Childhood I
    4th: Sailing Poland
    5th: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing
    6th: Viva México
    7th: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team

    14_00_210602_JRE_5614_5511.jpg
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    The finish of Leg One of The Ocean Race Europe from Lorient, France to Cascais, Portugal.
    © Sailing Energy






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    An Amazing Finish



    CORUM L'Épargne (IMOCA) and The Austrian Ocean Race Project (VO65) win Leg One of The Ocean Race Europe


    Austrian team stuns VO65 fleet in photo finish for The Ocean Race Europe

    all images ©© Sailing Energy





    The opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe came to a nail-biting conclusion today in Cascais, Portugal with the winners in both the VO65 and IMOCA 60 classes decided only in the last few moments of the four-day passage from Lorient, France.

    A thrilling finish in the one design VO65 class saw The Austrian Ocean Race Project, skippered by Gerwin Jansen (NED), pull off a remarkable come-from-behind victory to edge out Rokas Milevičius’ Lithuanian entry Ambersail-2 by just six seconds.

    “It’s crazy that we won this super-intense race,” Jansen said from the helm, moments after crossing the finishing line. “Did you see that? Four boats in a row. What a wild race. We are super-happy!”

    Later, on the dock, he said: “We are the newbies, the young team, not that much experience… The last 30 miles were so intense, it was unbelievable. We just kept on fighting and this was the result!”









    A further 15 seconds behind in third was Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont’s Team Childhood I and the full seven-boat fleet finished within six minutes.

    Meanwhile in the IMOCA class Nicolas Troussel’s CORUM L'Epargne (FRA) took the winner’s gun, ahead of Charlie Enright’s United States entry 11th Hour Racing Team in second, and Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut (FRA) in third.

    “It was an intense race… and we knew that everything could be decided here like everything can be decided in Alicante and later on in Genoa for the race final,” Troussel said. “Anyway we’re really happy with that victory, we fought very hard and the finish was magical for us.”

    Yesterday’s stint of high-speed, straight-line reaching back from the Atlantic turning mark had continued overnight for both classes, but at around 0600 UTC today the entire fleet started to compress as the IMOCA 60 and VO65 crews began to strategically position themselves to round the large race exclusion zone which blocked their path to the finish line.








    In the VO65s, long-time leader Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team was alone in choosing the northerly route, while the rest of the class squeezed together into a tight gaggle to round the south-west corner of the zone.

    The final 40 nautical miles (nm) of the leg saw the VO65s in the south racing line abreast with the leader board positions changing incessantly, seemingly with every new gust of breeze.

    Things got even more unpredictable in the final 15 nm as the fleet slowed in easing winds from a cold front sweeping towards the Portuguese coast.

    A split amongst the six southerly VO65s, saw Sailing Poland, Team Childhood I and The Austrian Ocean Race Project holding high, while AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED), Ambersail-2 (LTU), and Viva Mexico (MEX) gybed away to the south in search of a better angle to the finish.

    When the boats converged again in the final two miles to the finish line there was nothing to choose between the Austrians, Ambersail-2, and Team Childhood I as they raced for the line.

    In the end it was The Austrian Ocean Race Project, a new team with a relatively young, inexperienced crew, who edged ahead to claim victory over second-placed Ambersail-2 with Team Childhood completing the podium.

    It is a testimony to the incredible intensity of the racing in the one design VO65 class that all seven crews finished within just six minutes of each other after more than four days of open water racing.

    The racing between the five IMOCA 60s was also a close-run affair with all five teams very much in contention for victory on the final day.

    Special mention should be made of the crew of non-foiling Offshore Team Germany, led by experienced offshore racer Robert Stanjek, who somehow managed to claw back a deficit of over 100 nm yesterday to take the lead at one point on the final approach to Cascais this afternoon, before ultimately finishing in fourth.

    The decision on which route to take around the exclusion zone played a significant factor in the final IMOCA 60 standings.

    Louis Burton’s Bureau Vallee (FRA), CORUM L'Epargne, and 11th Hour Racing Team, all looked set to round to the north but a last-minute change of heart from CORUM L'Epargne, and 11th Hour Racing Team saw them gybe away to the south.

    Although this move initially looked costly for the French and American team, it paid dividends for both as they somehow managed to skirt their way around the exclusion zone quickly enough to be able to overtake Offshore Team Germany and Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut who had committed themselves to the southerly route earlier.

    Teams will get some well-deserved rest on Thursday and Friday in Cascais, before competing in the Coastal Race as part of The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy on Saturday and the start of Leg Two, into Alicante, on Sunday.

    PROVISIONAL RESULTS:

    IMOCA
    1st: CORUM L'Epargne
    2nd: 11th Hour Racing Team
    3rd: LinkedOut
    4th: Offshore Team Germany
    5th: Bureau Vallée

    VO65
    1st: The Austrian Ocean Race Project
    2nd: AMBERSAIL-2
    3rd: Team Childhood I
    4th: Sailing Poland
    5th: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing
    6th: Viva México
    7th: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team
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