Start of the fifth leg of the Ocean Race

Nautical Channel
24 May 2023
NEWS | Sailing

Last weekend, on Sunday to be precise, the fifth leg of the Ocean Race began. The IMOCA boats disembark from Newport (USA) on their way to Aarhus in Denmark.

But before setting off across the Atlantic Ocean, the boats faced the Rhode Island in-port race. The in-port race was scheduled to take place on Saturday, the day before the start of Leg 5, but due to weather conditions it was postponed to Sunday. Therefore, the in-port race was the coastal leg at the start of Leg 5.

Sunday dawned with light southwesterly winds and a large number of people waiting to see the race and enjoy the start of the fleet. It was a very tight start for the four boats (GUYOT Environment-Team Europe did not participate due to all the problems they have had throughout the Ocean Race).

Right from the start, 11th Hour Racing took the lead at the first mark, winning the start by almost 3 lengths, but shortly after, on the second leg, the wind started to drop and Team Malizia closed the gap, becoming the winners of the in-port race.

After passing through two Marine Mammal Exclusion Zones overnight on Sunday, the race course was opening up. The 11th Hour Racing Team has moved back into the lead, leading the fleet since Monday as the four IMOCAs gain miles east into the Atlantic Ocean.

Charlie Enright (skipper of 11th Hour Racing Team) has a slight lead over Team Malizia and Team Holcim-PRB who are also close behind. Biotherm has managed to close the gap a little after falling behind at the start on Sunday. Throughout Monday and early Tuesday morning, Team Holcim-PRB managed to overtake Team Malizia and moved into second place, closely following the leader who remains the 11th Hour Racing Team.

This fifth leg is very important as it is double points and the overall classification is quite tight so it would be decisive and fundamental for any team.

Considering that between first and fourth there is a difference of only 6 points, after a good performance in this leg any of them could become the new leader.

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