© Carmen Hidalgo / The Ocean Race
Imoca teams meet in the Mediterranean before the assembly deadline
Over the last few days the five Imoca teams set to race around the world fully-crewed for the first time in the 2022-23 edition of The Ocean Race starting in January from Alicante, Spain have arrived in three separate ports around the Mediterranean.
Four of the five – Kevin Escoffier’s Holcim – PRB (SUI), Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm Racing (FRA), Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia (GER), and GUYOT environnement – Team Europe (FRA), co-skippered by Benjamin Dutreux and Robert Stanjek – arrived in Mediterranean waters after sailing fully-crewed across the Atlantic from Guadeloupe following the finish of the solo Route du Rhum race that started in St. Malo, France.
The Holcim – PRB IMOCA was the first to dock in Alicante, after arriving outside The Ocean Race headquarters in the afternoon of Saturday December 10 at the end of a two-week passage from the Caribbean.
There to watch his yacht arrive safely, and oversee the haul out for a refit, was the team’s French skipper Kevin Escoffier who turned in an impressive fourth place solo performance in the Route du Rhum.
Also making their way towards Alicante over the weekend were Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm Racing – sixth in the Route du Rhum – and Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia – whose crew at one point had to stop mid-ocean to untangle a damaged headsail that had wrapped itself around the boat’s foil and keel. Malizia arrived on Sunday evening, with Biotherm Racing due in later on Monday.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Dutreux’s GUYOT environnement – Team Europe – eighth in the Route du Rhum – arrived in the Spanish city of Barcelona after more than a fortnight at sea enroute from Guadeloupe, with the American entry 11th Hour Racing Team skippered by Charlie Enright docking in the nearby port of Valencia after a short passage from the team’s base in Concarneau, France, via some training off the coast of Portugal. They plan to shift to Alicante after Christmas.
All the teams that took part in the Route du Rhum will undergo a refit period and measurement ahead of The Ocean Race rules-mandated assembly deadline of January 2 by which time all the teams must arrive in Alicante.
The race’s free-to-enter Ocean Live Park in Alicante opens on January 7 with the Alicante in-port taking place the following day and the start of Leg 1 to the mid-Atlantic archipelago of Cabo Verde scheduled for January 15.