06 February 2023
It was near midnight UTC on Saturday night when boats in The Ocean Race fleet started to make their first significant move to the east towards Cape Town.
Within an hour, all five teams had gybed to the east and pointed their bows towards Africa.
It’s a very close race now with 11th Hour Racing, Team Holcim-PRB, Biotherm and Team Malizia within 25 miles of the lead and spread across about 35 miles from north to south.
More gybes to the south are expected over the coming hours and days as the teams zig zag south and east to navigate around a high pressure system with light winds.
“We’re sailing into a high. There’s more rotation in the centre of the high but a bit less pressure,” said 11th Hour Racing Team skipper Charlie Enright as he laid out the options relative to his closest competition, Holcim-PRB and Biotherm. “We want the best of both worlds.”
The outlier is GUYOT environnement – Team Europe who made their move over 160 miles to the north, once again looking to cut the corner on their rivals.
The teams have also been deploying drifter buoys that will gather and transmit data to help the scientific community studying climate impacts on the ocean and aiding with weather forecasting. This is an area of the Atlantic Ocean that isn’t well-serviced by commercial shipping, so this is a meaningful contribution from the race teams.
The ETA for Cape Town is now 12 February.
Follow the latest positions on the Race Tracker
Check out the coverage on Eurosport
1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 2378.3 miles
2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 9.7 miles
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 15.2 miles
4. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 26.3 miles
5. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, distance to lead, 82.0 miles.