It is already more than a week that the IMOCA boats are immersed in the 3rd leg of the toughest and one of the best known races in the world: The Ocean Race.
Sunday, February 26th marked the start of the third leg from Cape Town, South Africa (where Leg 2 finished) to Itajaí, Brazil.
The 5 IMOCA boats that had arrived in the South African capital began. However, on the second day of this voyage GUYOT Environment-Team Europe heard strange noises in its hull which disturbed the crew and they proceeded to thoroughly examine the boat.
After communicating with the technical and design team, they came to the conclusion that it was a hull sandwich failure, so unfortunately and for the safety of the crew, they suspended the competition and returned to Cape Town.
There they carried out a more detailed inspection and decided on the team's future in the Ocean Race. The intention is obviously to return to competition as soon as possible if and when possible.
After 8 days in the Ocean Race, Team Holcim-PRB is firmly in first place, with a lead of more than 500 miles over the chasing pack. This will give them much more peace of mind to face the latest setback, as they have noticed a tear in one of their headsails.
The crew has put a patch in place to try to mitigate the problem and avoid a major tear, but it is a major dilemma. Thanks to good weather and sea conditions they are able to work on it calmly.
We want to highlight the merits that the other boats are achieving, which are sailing at record pace, with the second place very disputed being practically tied. Right now the Biotherm and the 11th hour Racing team have a tiny difference, being the Biotherm the one in second place.
It should also be noted that the 11th Hour Racing Team managed to cover a distance of 544.63 nautical miles in 24 hours.
"If the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC) reaffirms this figure, we would be looking at a new official IMOCA class record".
In last place, taking into account the four teams currently competing in the Ocean Race, Team Malizia is in 4th place, only 50 miles ahead of third place. Very commendable considering they had a serious problem a few days ago. They broke a sail (the crack was about 30cm) and suffered major damage to the mast.
They seriously considered whether to return to Cape Town, but they have managed to make a repair and have been able to continue sailing these days without any problems and at a good pace.