Leg 4 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Malama and Team Malizia sail north, towards the equator, urrounded by clouds of the Doldrums.
© Amory Ross

Leg 4 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Malama and Team Malizia sail north, towards the equator, urrounded by clouds of the Doldrums. © Amory Ross

The Ocean Race: a dogfight the whole way up

Sport

02/05/2023 - 17:51

On Monday evening (UTC) Team Malizia led 11th Hour Racing Team across the equator, as The Ocean Race returned to the northern hemisphere. 

But the margin was slim - just over two minutes separated the leading pair.

"Hopefully we're going to cross in first... by about 200 metres I would say," said Will Harris from on board Malizia. "It's going to be a dogfight the whole way up (to Newport) I think.

"We've sailed down the Atlantic, all the way around and back up. That's a big part of 'around the world' done now."

"We're back in the game with the Malizians...again," said Charlie Enright on board 11th Hour Racing Team, as his team crossed back to the north.

Both boats were moving well as they made the transition, and the impact of a very weak doldrums pattern hasn't been too obstructive to progress towards the finish in Newport, Rhode Island.

On Tuesday morning, Paul Meilhat's third-placed Biotherm had closed within eight miles of the leaders, but a slower stretch this afternoon has seen the team fall back again, some 30 miles behind.

Guyot environnement - Team Europe should cross the equator before 1800 UTC. Unfortunately for Ben Dutreux's team, it looks like the doldrums will impact them more than the leading boats and they are likely to fall futher behind.

The next two to three days should see the leading teams heading nearly directly north in the easterly tradewinds. Approaching the weekend, the wind will shift to the west and there will be another transition to navigate as they gybe with the front. The ETA in Newport remains May 10.

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