The first day of Leg 5 leaving Newport, Rhode Island. Charlie Enright on the bow during the first sail change of the leg. © Amory Ross
The Ocean Race: speeding towards the target
It's been a fast 24 hours in The Ocean Race, with teams making around 500 miles towards the target of the finish line - Aarhus, Denmark in northern Europe.
The conditions are mostly favourable for making miles - reaching conditions in a north wind that is in the 25+ knot range. The limiting factor today is the sea state, with the wind pushing against the gulf stream making for a bumpy ride.
"The weather system that cancelled the in port race on Saturday has been lurking out here over the open ocean... We find ourselves in the middle of it," said Charlie Enright on 11th Hour Racing Team, which is leading the charge at the front of the fleet. "It's hard to forecast, it's really volatile and it's really windy. We've had wind in the mid to high 30s at times and experienced a shift of 40-degrees. You can imagine what that does to the sea state in a place that's already quite treacherous. We're just trying to ride it out."
They're doing more than that. With over 520 miles under the keel in the last 24 hours, 11th Hour Racing Team is 15 miles ahead of Team Holcim-PRB, who in turn have a 30 mile margin on Team Malizia. The Biotherm boat has dropped 30 miles further back.
"There is a lot of current here," Escoffier said earlier. "The wind is picking up but I fear we will have wind against current in the gulf stream and the sea state won't be very good."
And this has come pass. The wind is forecast to shift to the south later this week and the fast progress across the Atlantic should continue.