© Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

© Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

Team JAJO wraps up 2nd place while a door opens for Austrian-Italian

Sport

22/01/2023 - 09:15

The Dutch Team JAJO earned a strong second place finish in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint on Saturday, behind Poland’s WindWhisper Racing Team who finished earlier with an impressive VO65 class victory.

Dutch skipper Jelmer van Beek led his team across the finishing line at 17:52:52 UTC for a leg time of 6d 4h 52m 52s.

“We struggled a little bit in the first part of the race, we couldn’t keep up with the others, but when we came out of Gibraltar we were getting better and better, sail changes were better, we sailing sharper,” van Beek said. “We can always find a little bit more speed, get a little quicker, but we are happy with a second place finish. It’s really nice to be here in Cabo Verde.”

With the top two positions decided, it appeared Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team would claim third position. But as the team approached Mindelo, it announced it would retire from Leg One after having missed a mark of the race course back in the Gibraltar Strait.

Keen fans of the race will recall the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team boat tracked to the south of, and into, an exclusion zone, which was also a mark of the race course. By not correcting that error, the team would not have scored points for its efforts in stage one of the race.

A statement from the team read: “… technical issues onboard resulted in us failing to leave the South Gibraltar Exclusion Zone to port as per the racing instructions. As we have missed a mark of the course the team has made the decision to retire from Leg One of The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint 2023.”

“We are very disappointed for this,” admitted skipper Antonio Fontes. “But the crew has done an amazing job getting us out of the Mediterranean in very hard conditions. Then sailing super fast and it was a lot of fun racing from Gibraltar to here.”

The retirement opens the door to a podium finish for Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova, who are charging towards Cabo Verde, with some 120 miles to sail as at 22:00 UTC, and an ETA in the pre-dawn hours.

IMOCA

With the podium positions decided overnight Friday night - Team Holcim-PRB; 11th Hour Racing Team; Team Malizia - Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm team has been racing to collect one extra point over GUYOT environnement - Team Europe. On Saturday night, the team crossed the finishing line at 23:47:40 to secure fourth place.

“Wow. It was amazing,” said Meilhat. “That was the first time we had all of the crew on board. I tried to take care of the people first and the boat second and we were successful - we are here with no big damage and all of us safe and happy and ready to race again.”

This leaves Ben Dutreux’s French-German team to finish the course in fifth place.

“Unfortunately we ended up having less wind with our option near the African coast and we needed to gybe out before the left shift arrived. We knew that we played some risk there but it hit us very hard,” wrote Robert Stanjeck on board GUYOT environnement - Team Europe.

“After this we had to regroup and define what we want to achieve in the last two days of leg 1. So we shifted our focus on practicing and getting things ready for leg 2. At the moment we are flying with 24 knots downwind in a pleasant sea towards the finish. Can’t wait to get a cold beer!!”

At 02:20 local time early on Sunday morning, he would get his wish, with GUYOT envrionnement - Team Eruope across the finish line to complete the IMOCA results for leg one.

IMOCA - Leg One Results
1. Team Holcim-PRB, winner leg one, finished - 5d 11h 01min 59s
2. 11th Hour Racing Team, finished - 5d 13h 50min 45s
3. Team Malizia, finished - 5d 16h 35min 21s
4. Biotherm, finished - 6d 8h 47min 47s
5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, finished - 6d 12h 20m 37s

Rankings at 01:40 UTC - 22 January 2023
VO65
1. WindWhisper Racing, finished, 5d 16h 35min 21s
2. Team JAJO, finished, 6d 4h 52min 52s
3. Austrian Ocean Race - Team Genova, 86 miles to finish
4. Ambersail 2, 28.6 miles to leader
5. Viva Mexico, 690.7 miles to leader
6. Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team - Retired from leg

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