The Ocean Race 2022-23 - 01 April 2023, Leg 3, Day 34 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Jack Bouttell and Justine Mettraux on the bow during a sail change. © Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race
The Ocean Race: duel remains for leg 3 podium position
With leg 3 winner Team Malizia and second-place finisher Team Holcim-PRB safe in Itajaí, the battle on the water for third place has closed up dramatically over the past 24 hours.
Paul Meilhat's Biotherm crew has realised an incredible gain on 11th Hour Racing Team over the past 24 hours, making up nearly 100 miles on the leaderboard. The pair are separated east/west by about 80 miles, but in terms of distance to finish are now virtually tied.
Both crews are showing incredible resilience in the face of adversity as each team has suffered more than its share of damage in the five weeks of racing to date. A race for third place isn't the race they were dreaming about when this leg started in Cape Town.
The weather isn't ideal for making fast progress to the finish - light to moderate winds, upwind - but should provide for some good racing.
"We have had highs and lows, seen joy, frustration, courage, and heartache. We’ve been fast. We’ve been broken. Above all, thus far, we’ve been safe. The magnitude of what we’ve done hasn’t yet set in, nor should it have, it’s never over ‘til it’s over! We have 500 miles or so to go, and 2 or 3 potential points on the table," said 11th Hour Racing Team skipper Charlie Enright on Sunday afternoon.
"Everyone and every boat has been pushed to the limit and beyond. We need to get to Itajaí as fast as possible, for the points, for the physical and mental rest, and, most importantly, to be preparing Mālama for the next leg, into our hometown of Newport, Rhode Island."
That last point can't be overstated. All of the teams have lengthy work lists for their boats, and 11th Hour Racing Team and Biotherm are no exception. Their technical teams will be looking on with envy on Monday as the Team Malizia and Holcim PRB boats are now out of the water and work begins in the technical zone at the Ocean LIve Park.
The sooner Mālama and Biotherm arrive, the sooner the 'race to repair' can begin.
It's been a spectacular opening weekend at the Ocean Live Park in Itajaí as crowds have come in to explore the amenities and welcome Team Malizia and Team Holcim-PRB.
Over 65,000 people have been counted through the gates on the opening days of the event and the sailors from Malizia and Holcim-PRB are being stopped for autographs and selfies as they regain their land equilibrium.