The second leg of The Ocean Race Europe has come to a close with all seven VO65s finishing ahead of the fully crewed IMOCA60s
The second leg of The Ocean Race Europe finished in Alicante, Spain on Wednesday 9 June, the culmination of three days of tight racing between the 12 international crews since they left Cascais, Portugal on Sunday afternoon.
The second leg of the race showed just how optimised the (mostly foiling) IMOCA 60s are for downwind oceanic passages and, although technically faster than the VO65s on the right point of sail, all seven of the one-design VO65s made it to Alicante by midday local time Wednesday, around 11nm ahead of the five IMOCA 60s.
The second leg of the inaugural edition of the three stage European event, which will finish in Genova, Italy on 19 June, proved to be a challenging affair with the teams facing a wide range of conditions along the 700nm course, finishing in Alicante, Spain, the home port of The Ocean Race, and the start venue for the round the world race in October 2022.
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On Saturday 29 May, the Ocean Race Europe will set off for the first time ever and will see 12…
The opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe came to an incredibly close conclusion Tuesday 1 June in Cascais, Portugal…
Conditions on the leg ranged from fast downwind sailing in the Atlantic on the first day and night along the Portuguese coast to battling gale-force headwinds in the Gibraltar Strait on day two, and culminating with light wind, ghosting conditions for the final night in the Mediterranean Sea.
The first VO65 home was Portugal’s Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team who managed to prevail following a prolonged cat and mouse battle with Netherlands team AkzoNobel Ocean Racing which had been looking to pounce since the fleet entered the Mediterranean on Monday.
Before dawn today the pair drifted the final miles to Alicante under the cover of darkness and on mirror flat seas. The Portuguese yacht crossed the line just before sunrise at 0336 UTC / 0536 CEST – a little under half an hour ahead of the Dutch team.
Although the final 24 hours of close quarters match racing had been nerve-wracking for the two sleep-deprived crews, both skippers admitted the sailors thrived on the intensity of the racing.
“It was a long fight with Akzo,” said Yoann Richomme (FRA), skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation crew. “We manged to overtake them yesterday afternoon and then managed to hang on to our lead after that, which was very tough.
“We got very little sleep; the whole crew is very tired now. It was a full-on spinnaker run until the south of Portugal, then some strong upwind stuff through Gibraltar, and then straight into some light wind sailing. We were doing a manoeuvre – changing sails or something – every hour, so it was hard to get any rest.”
In the IMOCA fleet Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut crew successfully defended what had been almost an entire leg-long lead against final-hour challenges from a trio comprising Robert Stanjek’s non-foiling IMOCA, Offshore Team Germany (GER); the American 11th Hour Racing Team, skippered by Charlie Enright (USA); and Louis Burton’s French foiler Bureau Vallée.
The leg two results have created a three-way tie in the IMOCA 60s, with LinkedOut, Offshore Team Germany, and 11th Hour Racing Team, filling the respective podium positions on Leg 2 – all tied on nine points apiece.
“It’s cool that we’re all on equal points – anything can happen! It’s not going to be easy,” said LinkedOut sailor Clarisse Clemer.
Analysing the Leg two performance, she noted: “We had a good start, we were fast and we managed to go to the right places on the water and so it all worked out. We didn’t expect to have no wind at times during this last night, so we were a bit nervous, and in the end it was tense and close, there was a bit of pressure on board.”
With such a close leaderboard at the top of both the IMOCA and VO65 classes there is a lot at stake on leg three, with the reasonable possibility that the final results could be decided by the outcome of the coastal race in Genova, which assigns bonus points to the top three finishers in each class.
Ocean Race Europe leg two provisional results
1: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR) – 7 points
2: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED) – 6 points
3: Sailing Poland (POL) – 5 points
4: Viva México (MEX) – 4 points **
5: Team Childhood I (NED) – 3 points
6: The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUS) – 2 points
7: Ambersail-2 (LTU) – 1 point
1: LinkedOut (FRA) – 5 points
2: Offshore Team Germany (GER) – 4 points
3: 11th Hour Racing Team (USA) – 3 points
4: Bureau Vallée (FRA) – 2 points
5: CORUM L’ Epargne (FRA) – 1 point
Ocean Race Europe standings after Leg Two
1: LinkedOut (FRA) – 9 points
2: Offshore Team Germany (GER) – 9 points
3: 11th Hour Racing Team (USA) – 9 points
4: CORUM L’ Épargne (FRA) – 6 points
5: Bureau Vallée (FRA) – 3 points
1: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR) – 11 points
2: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED) – 11 points
3: Sailing Team Poland (POL) – 10 points
4: The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUS) – 9 points
5: Team Childhood I (POL) – 8 points
6: Ambersail-2 (LTU) – 7 points
7: Viva México (MEX) – 6 points
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Source: Yachting World