Onboard 11th Hour Racing Team during Leg 2, Day 7. Malama enjoying a return to the Tradewinds at 20-plus knots. © Amory Ross / The Ocean Race
The Ocean Race: five Imocas are charging south in the tradewinds
After hitting the speed bump of the doldrums, the five Imoca yachts competing in The Ocean Race are now eating up the miles on the race south to Cape Town.
Defying conventional wisdom that says 'west is best' for a doldrums crossing, Guyot environnement - Team Europe is holding a slender lead built on sailing less miles since the start via an easterly position compared to the rest of the fleet.
Now it's a race to the south. All of the boats are enjoying southeast winds in the 12-18 knot range.
On the hunt to make up miles is the fifth-placed Team Malizia with sailor Rosalin Kuiper saying she's happy to be back in the tradewinds, sailing fast, and looking for opportunities to get back in touch.
"We're still behind the others. In the doldrums the western side wasn't too favourable. So that was hard," Kuiper said. "But at the moment, we have 18 knots of breeze and a true wind angle of about 085 degrees, so this is really good conditions for us.
"But we feel a little bit limited by the foil alarms, so we're trying to find the right mode and make sure we don't damage the foils. It's frustrating because we know there is more potential and speed in the boat. We will keep on pushing."
Leg Two Rankings at 1200 UTC - 1 February 2023
1. Guyot environnement - Team Europe, distance to finish, 3304.4 miles
2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to leader, 67.5 miles
3. Biotherm, distance to leader, 98.6 miles
4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to leader, 114.2 miles
5. Team Malizia, distance to leader, 178.3 miles