© Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

© Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

11Th Hour Racing Team leaves hometown Newport, bound for Denmark


22/05/2023 - 06:24

The only US entry in The Ocean Race, 11th Hour Racing Team, has left its hometown of Newport, Rhode Island, and has set off from the Ocean State on Leg 5 of the 2022-23 edition of the round-the-world race. The team will sail their 60-foot IMOCA race boat 3,500 nautical miles [4,028 miles or 6,482 kilometers] across the Atlantic, sailing over the top of Scotland, finishing in Aarhus, Denmark.

This transatlantic dash to Denmark's second largest city is critical to the overall standings in the race as a 'double-pointer' with ten points available to the winner. Swiss entry, Holcim-PRB leads with 19 points, one point ahead of 11th Hour Racing Team in second place and on equal points with Team Malizia, but ahead due to the US team leading on the In-Port Race leaderboard, which is used to settle any tie-breaks in the overall results.

With the Newport In-Port Race being canceled on Saturday, May 20 due to the weather conditions, the inshore departure lap counted as the In-Port Race, with 11th Hour Racing Team taking second place, scoring four points.

The four-boat fleet set off in very light, unpredictable, reaching conditions, with wind shifts and wind shadows creating obstacles on the race course. 11th Hour Racing Team were first off the line with a three boat length advantage but lost the lead to Team Malizia as they approached the second mark, with the German entry holding the advantage through to the final gate, taking the full five points. 11th Hour Racing Team still holds the lead in the In-Port Race series on 17 points, one point ahead of Team Malizia.

The crew onboard Mālama for Leg 5 is Skipper Charlie Enright (RI, USA), joined by Navigator Simon Fisher (GBR), Trimmers Charlie Dalin (FRA) and Justine Mettraux (SUI), along with Media Crew Member Amory Ross (RI, USA).

As he headed down to the dock, cheered on by thousands of supporters, Skipper Enright commented, "We are going to be pushing the boat 100% of the time, regardless of what the conditions are. Whether we're ahead or behind, we need to sail more aggressively, and we've worked a lot on boat speeds because that will be paramount to success.

"We've got two new team members for this leg coming in new for this leg - Justine Mettraux and Charlie Dalin - both with fresh perspectives and fresh energy, and we look forward to turning that into a strong performance on the water," Enright concluded.

Swiss sailor Justine Mettraux is back onboard after the grueling five-week-long Leg 3 through the Southern Ocean. "I'm looking forward to getting back into it! It's a special start today because we have the In-Port Race first, so I'm going to focus on that first section because it counts today. And then I'm really looking forward to being in the rhythm of offshore sailing, especially as plenty is going to be happening in the first few days. We are going to put everything into this leg to get the maximum points when we arrive in Aarhus."

Navigator Simon Fisher spoke about the complicated conditions for the all-important start in Narragansett Bay. "It's going to be a tricky start for the In-Port section between Castle Hill and the Newport Bridge, dealing with the wind shadows and currents. Looking at the overall standings, it is going to be really important to put in a good performance and put on a show for the home fans.

"It's going to get very light into the first night and there will be tide and current to deal with as well negotiating our way around the exclusion zones. There is plenty to think about for these first 24 to 36 hours, and plenty to keep us busy as we make our way east."

Double IMOCA World Champion, Charlie Dalin, has joined the crew onboard Mālama for this transatlantic leg. More used to sailing solo or double-handed, this will be the first time he has raced an IMOCA fully crewed. "It's going to be exciting to push 100% all day every day," Dalin commented. "I'm really happy to be setting sail today with 11th Hour Racing Team. There are great sailors cross the fleet, and great sailors within our team. It is going to be really interesting to work together, share ideas, and work closely as a team to find every single bit of speed we can and push hard to get into Denmark in first place."

Rhode Island resident and Media Crew Member, Amory Ross, is responsible for the sharing the team's story while racing. "It's been an incredible week and a half here in Newport, not only surrounded by, but completely immersed in this community of fans, friends and family. It's hard to put into words what it means to the team and sponsor to receive this kind of support - this send off today is perfect in so many ways.

"We've got a busy couple of days navigating some complex waters and exclusion zones, both for commercial shipping and marine mammals. We'll have to be extra aware of what we find ourselves surrounded by in these waters and of course reporting on anything we do see. We take the vigilance in these waters very seriously."

Since leaving Alicante on January 15, 2023, the team has sailed 24,800 nautical miles [28,540 miles or 45,930km] - nearly 80% of the overall race mileage, but only 56% of the points have been awarded. This double pointer leg will be key to the overall success of the team.

The Ocean Race fleet is due to arrive in Aarhus, Denmark around May 30, 2023.

11th Hour Racing Team Crew for leg 5 of The Ocean Race 2022-23:
Charlie Enright (USA) - Skipper
Simon Fisher (GBR) - Navigator
Justine Mettraux (SUI) - Trimmer
Charlie Dalin (FRA) - Trimmer
Amory Ross (USA) - Media Crew Member

Overall Leaderboard
5 points = first; 4 points = second etc.
Note: Leg 3 was a double pointer
1. Team Holcim - PRB - 19 points (5+5+5+4+0)
2. 11th Hour Racing Team - 18 points (4+3+3+3+5)
3. Team Malizia - 18 points (3+2+4+5+4)
4. Biotherm Racing - 13 points (2+4+2+2+3)
5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe - 2 points (1+1+0+0+0)

In-Port Race Leaderboard
5 points = first; 4 points = second etc.
1. 11th Hour Racing Team - 17 points (4+4+5+4)
2. Team Malizia - 16 points (5+3+3+5)
3. Holcim-PRB - 10 points (0+5+2+3)
4. Biotherm - 9 points (3+0+4+2)
5. GUYOT environnement - team Europe 5 points (2+2+1+0)

The Ocean Race 2022-23 Route:
Leg 1: Alicante, Spain to Mindelo, Cabo Verde
Leg 2: Cabo Verde to Cape Town, South Africa
Leg 3: Cape Town, South Africa to Itajaí, Brazil
Leg 4: Itajaí, Brazil, to Newport, Rhode Island
Leg 5: Newport, Rhode Island to Aarhus, Denmark
Leg 6: Aarhus, Denmark to The Hague, The Netherlands (with a flyby past Kiel, Germany)
Leg 7: The Hague, The Netherlands to Genoa, Italy

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