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The competition level is high on day 14 of Leg 4 of The Ocean Race as 11th Hour Racing Team and Team Malizia continue their duel towards the finish.

“11th Hour Racing Team is just a few miles away and we’re doing everything we can to get ahead of them,” said Malizia skipper Will Harris on Sunday (7 May). “The fight is still on. It’s been an intense fight for the last six days or so — really intense racing…

“We’re very motivated to keep pushing to the end and that’s what this race is about sometimes, just pushing a bit more. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got to beat them to Newport.”

His counterpart on 11th Hour Racing Team, Charlie Enright, is up for the challenge.

“As we’ve seen in the last couple of days, the advantage goes back and forth very quickly,” he said. “[The approach to Newport] looks very complicated. We go upwind, there’s a lot of pressure, some circulation in the Gulf Stream. After that it’s a real dog’s breakfast with a bunch of stuff we’ll have to deal with, but we’ll deal with it and figure it out.

“It’s hard to believe that with less than a thousand miles to go we still have about three days of racing, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

The ETA for the leading IMOCA pair is trending towards 0400 local time 0800 UTC) in Newport on Wednesday morning 10 May. But as Charlie indicated, there is still some uncertainty in the models and complications in the choices available to Malizia and 11th Hour Racing Team which could push this slightly in either direction.

Early on Sunday afternoon, 11th Hour Racing Team made a tack to the west that can only be considered a tactical option to positing the boat better for the weather to come, as it meant sailing slightly south of west, costing miles towards Newport.

As the American boat crossed just one mile ahead of Team Malizia, Harris elected to follow on the same line. The race for the lead couldn’t be closer. The pressure on these crews to sail at maximum potential isn’t going to ease.

Some eight hours behind the leading pair, Biotherm continues to fight through some light weather.

“We just haven’t got much wind,” said Alan Roberts, poking his head on deck, with a glassy sea state all around. “We just passed a little front and now we have quite light winds. We need to get into the northwesterly breeze to keep moving, but it’s quite tricky.”

Meanwhile, on GUYOT envrionnement - Team Europe, Seb Simon celebrated his birthday, complete with candle and cake and calls home.

“It’s a real pleasure to have everyone think about me…all the little things people have done for me today, I’m very happy, thank you,” he said.

What will make him happiest of all is gaining over 50 miles on Biotherm in the past 24 hours. On the 2000 UTC update, the GUYOT team was less than 90 miles behind.

Leg Four Rankings at 2000 UTC, 7 May

  1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 819.7 miles
  2. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 4.2 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 147 miles
  4. GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 233.7 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

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While the IMOCA fleet is making progress towards the Leg 4 finish line at Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday (6 May), it hasn’t all been smooth sailing in The Ocean Race this weekend.

11th Hour Racing Team has now grabbed the lead back from Team Malizia as Charlie Enright’s squad squeezed ahead by about five miles on the leaderboard as they continue to tick down the miles towards their home port, still some four-plus days away.

But the transitions between weather systems have been neither straightforward, nor as per the forecast, making for challenging times.

“The wind is supposed to come from the south-southwest, but we actually are sailing in wind from the northeast — so it’s 180-degrees different,” said Chris Pratt on Malizia. “We have huge clouds and thunderstorms… It was supposed to be a cool night in the bunk doing 20 knots reaching. Instead it’s a tough night under the clouds going 15 knots on the other tack!”

Perhaps the team that has had it the worst is Biotherm.

“It’s been very difficult. There was no wind and what little there was would shift around all directions,” said Alan Roberts, looking back at the past 24 hours. “It was really hard. We sailed into a bank of clouds with very little wind from random directions. We did a few 360s trying to keep the boat moving. It was pretty emotional! But we finally found with wind again and now we’re trucking along in the right direction.”

“We were unlucky. It wasn’t on the model,” added skipper Paul Meilhat. “We lost probably 150 miles on the leaders and maybe 100 miles to GUYOT as well. It’s hard to accept but it’s done and now we have to keep fighting. It’s not finished. There are a lot tricks to come still.”

GUYOT environnement - Team Europe were able to close up to Biotherm on Friday but find themselves slipping back again now.

Meanwhile the forecast has the leading pair pushing into northwesterlies, but squalls and thunderstorms should feature heavily today and into Sunday. The challenge continues.

“We just have to try to sail the right direction with the wind we have…even if it’s opposite to the forecast,” concluded Nico Lunven. Wise words from a navigator who has seen it all before.

The ETA for the leaders in Newport is beginning to firm up around Wednesday 10 May. But with the conditions on the water being so different from the models, this should still be considered with a little bit of wiggle room.

Leg Four Rankings at 1500 UTC, 6 May

  1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 1,143.8 miles
  2. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 5.7 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 123.8 miles
  4. GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 235.7 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

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Team Malizia and 11th Hour Racing Team remain locked in a battle that appears destined to last until The Ocean Race Leg 4 finish line off Newport, Rhode Island is in sight.

On Friday morning UTC (5 May), first Malizia and then 11th Hour Racing Team put in successful gybes as the wind shifted south.

The transition immediately showed as a benefit for Charlie Enright’s team who made at least a theoretical gain on the tracker from being on the inside lane.

But Will Harris and his Malizians retain the lead by a hair, at a fraction of a mile, as the two boats now streak towards the southeast coast of the United States.

Ahead of them is more uncertainty: the wind will shift again, this time in front of them, pushing them back off the coast; they will begin to encounter the Gulf Stream current which pushes to the northeast; and the final 48 hours of the leg promises to be “complicated with many transitions, which are still unclear”, according to race meteorologist Christian Dumard.

The ETA remains Wednesday 10 May for the leading pair. But how they get there is far from certain.

Behind, the IMOCA team that has suffered most over the past hours is Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm, who began to weave to the left on the tracker, and slow down significantly, around 0520 UTC on Friday morning. The slowdown to speeds averaging just four knots would last for hours, prompting speculation there was a problem on board.

As it turns out, the team had sailed into a big windless area that didn’t appear on any weather forecasting or satellite models.

“We’re just surrounded by a glassy sea” was the description off the boat.

“People are sending messages to ask if we’ve broken anything, but the only thing wrong is the wind,” said Mariana Lobato.

The team is doing better again, but the big slowdown has presented an opportunity to GUYOT environnement - Team Europe. After trailing a podium spot by nearly 200 miles earlier this morning, the team is now just 83 miles in arrears, a remarkable turn of events.

With the uncertain conditions ahead, there is more of a chance for the GUYOT crew to get back into the podium race than ever before.

Leg Four Rankings at 1900 UTC, 5 May

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 1,415.1 miles
  2. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 0.1 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 140 miles
  4. GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 223 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

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The German-flagged Team Malizia has moved into the lead in Leg 4 of The Ocean Race 2022-23 on Thursday 4 May as skipper Will Harris and his crew charge north, marching nearly in lockstep with the previous leader 11th Hour Racing Team.

Conditions are favourable for high-speed sailing; reaching across the easterly wind in 15-20 knots of pressure with a moderate, but building, sea state.

The IMOCA leaders are pushing towards a 575-mile run over the past 24 hours. Earlier in The Ocean Race this would have been a record-setting day. But now it’s about 20 miles short and the increasing sea state probably means the record of 595.6 nautical miles — set by Team Holcim-PRB last leg — won’t be broken.

“It’s getting bouncy at the moment, but the good news is that we’ve caught up with 11th Hour Racing Team,” Harris said. “It would be great if we can leave the trade winds and go into the final part of the leg at least on a level playing field with them.”

The leading teams will be moving into a new phase of the leg in the next 24 hours or so and as the wind rotates south they will gybe. Then it will be a matter of picking through the weather systems on the approach to Newport.

As they charge due north today, the conditions are changing quickly. Life on board is more comfortable with the temperature dropping after the heat and humidity of the equator.

“Things are getting a little more bearable onboard, temperature wise. It’s fast sailing but the sea state is getting gradually worse,” said Simon Fisher on 11th Hour Racing Team. “We’re happy pushing forward at between 20-25 knots, we’ve had a good battle with Team Malizia…”

“We are on the bus to Newport” is the way Biotherm skipper Paul Meilhat described things, from 50 miles south of the leading pair. “But the conditions are not classic,” he added. “We are a bit further east which means at the end, in a few days, we will have some upwind, westerly conditions to get to Newport.”

Further back, GUYOT envrionnement - Team Europe is also up to pace, but still nearly a full day behind and in the tropical heat as Annie Lush laments. “The doldrums weren’t too bad,” she said. “We never completely stopped. Now we’re reaching, on the foils, averaging upwards of 20 knots. Much better. It’s still ridiculously hot, it’s just baking inside the boat.”

Relief will come soon as they push north at speed, looking for an opportunity to close what is now a 300-mile gap.

Leg Four Rankings at 1800 UTC, 4 May

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 1,848.8 miles
  2. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 3.2 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 37.2 miles
  4. GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 270.7 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

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On the Leg 4 race course on Wednesday (3 May), the top three teams are clustered together within some 50 miles on the leaderboard, with 11th Hour Racing Team now leading Team Malizia and Biotherm. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe is further behind.

Boat speeds are averaging near 22-24 knots and 24-hour runs are now near 500 miles. Trade winds sailing at its best.

But yesterday as the IMOCA teams were contending with the last vestiges of the doldrums, 11th Hour Racing Team sent through some fascinating insight into the tropical squalls that characterise the area.

“I think if you ask any sailor in The Ocean Race about the worst thing in the doldrums, they would probably say ‘the squalls’,” said Simon Fisher. “Of course you can get these days of calm that are frustrating, but there is always plenty of action in these squalls with big changes in direction and pressure.”

In the boat feed video above, the team starts preparing for a big wind increase after seeing the speed on Team Malizia, just upwind, increase dramatically. Skipper Charlie Enright is looking out the cockpit bubble at the darkening sky, calling out the distance to the new breeze while Francesca Clapcich works the lines to prepare the sails. As the wind comes on the team makes adjustments and the boat speed rockets up over 30 knots.

The moment passes, more adjustments are made, the race continues.

“It’s really tricky conditions,” confirms Team Malizia’s Will Harris. “The wind is up and down and we have to trim all the time…You have to stay very focussed otherwise the boat kind of jumps and loses control or you end up going very slowly.”

Now, for the most part, the teams have left the unstable conditions of the doldrums behind, coming through the crossing in good shape.

“None of the boats really stopped. It was all relatively moderate. We only had a lapse once when we did two circles under a big cloud. But apart from that, we made good time through the doldrums with six to eight knots of wind,” reported GUYOT envrionnement - Team Europe co-skipper Robert Stanjek.

According to race meteorologist Christian Dumard, all the teams will be in the east-northeast trade winds by this evening (UTC) and those conditions will last for 48 hours or so, when the wind is forecast to rotate south and then southwest.

By the beginning of next week, teams will be thinking about the final approach to the finish in Newport (ETA Wednesday 10 May) but long-range the weather forecast looks unsettled and complex. There are still several transitions to navigate that will give tactical opportunities.

Meanwhile, back in Brazil, on Tuesday night (2 May) the Team Holcim-PRB IMOCA was lifted onto a cargo ship, which then departed Rio for the United States on Wednesday morning.

“It was a big day for the team,” said skipper Kevin Escoffier as he helped to manage the operation. “We had to work on so many details in order to load our IMOCA on this cargo ship, for it to be as in Newport as early as possible. Let’s say it is 15 days to Newport…So we will have a very short time before the start of Leg 5 to get the replacement mast fitted.”

Team Holcim-PRB gets loaded onto a cargo vessel in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday 2 May to travel to Newport in time for the start of Leg 5 | Credit: Georgia Schofield/polaRYSE/Holcim-PRB/The Ocean RaceTeam Holcim-PRB gets loaded onto a cargo vessel in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday 2 May to travel to Newport in time for the start of Leg 5 | Credit: Georgia Schofield/polaRYSE/Holcim-PRB/The Ocean Race

Leg Four Rankings at 1800 UTC, 3 May

  • 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 2,354.5 miles
  • Team Malizia, distance to lead, 15.6 miles
  • Biotherm, distance to lead, 52.6 miles
  • GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 298.7 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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On Monday evening UTC (1 May), 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 the 11th Hour Racing boat as his team crossed back to the north.

Both IMOCAs 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 (2 May), 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 were set to 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 further behind.

The next two to three days should see the leading teams heading nearly directly north in the easterly trade winds. 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 next Wednesday 10 May.

Leg Four Rankings at 1900 UTC, 2 May

  • 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 2,841.3 miles
  • Team Malizia, distance to lead, 12.1 miles
  • Biotherm, distance to lead, 40.6 miles
  • GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 239.5 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

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11th Hour Racing has announced the first public screening of its new film, Shaped by Water, followed by a live concert with American multi-genre singer-songwriter and musician Caroline Jones.

The free outdoor event will take place, rain or shine, on Sunday 14 May from 4.30pm local time at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island during The Ocean Race stopover. Click HERE for more details.

Shaped by Water comprises a short art film with an original score by Grammy Award-winning sound designer and composer Todd Hannigan and a documentary highlighting humans’ intricate connection to all forms of water.

Produced by 11th Hour Racing and presented in collaboration with Protect Our Winters (POW), Shaped by Water brings together internationally renowned freediver and 11th Hour Racing ambassador Zandile Ndhlovu (ZAF), world-champion freeskier and POW Alliance athlete Jess Hotter (NZL) and professional offshore sailors in 11th Hour Racing Team (USA) — all of whom will attend the live screening.

“Shaped by Water is our largest film project to date, and it transcends the boundaries between sport, art and nature,” said Alessandra Ghezzi, communications director at 11th Hour Racing. “Our organisation’s mission is to mobilise coastal communities to inspire solutions for the ocean.

“With this film, we are embracing the power of storytelling to change perceptions and call for action. Water reminds us of our fragility in the face of forces we respect and resources we all need to preserve and restore. It’s an honour to collaborate with our friends and partners at POW to help protect what we all love.”

“This film illustrates how all of our lives are, in one form or another, shaped by water,” said Corinna Halloran, creative projects manager at 11th Hour Racing.

“For this project, we selected athletes at the top of their game and aligned with our mission. As senior producer, I was honoured to work with an all-star crew of filmmakers and photographers to bring 11th Hour Racing’s vision to life. We hope Shaped by Water will inspire, challenge and engage all of us to think about our world and our actions with a fresh perspective never seen before.”

To reflect how water lives in three different physical states and to underscore the cultures of the athletes featured in the film, Shaped by Water was shot in four iconic locations: Newport in the US; the Southern Lakes in New Zealand; Vancouver, Canada; and Cape Town, South Africa.

“This project is over a year in the making with an incredible collective of impassioned environmentalists. This is a visual love letter to the ocean — a place that has added so much value and depth to my life,” said the film’s director Dean Leslie.

“So many talented creators and athletes have come together to create this film. I hope that collective energy carries through to anyone who watches the film and that they are as inspired, humbled and awed as I was in the making of it.”

For the public screening of Shaped by Water, 11th Hour Racing partnered with its long-standing grantees, newportFILM and Sail Newport. Patrons are encouraged to bring a blanket or beach chair, but outside food and beverages are not permitted. Refreshments will be available for purchase at the event.

Shaped by Water will be presented during The Ocean Race’s only North American stopover in Newport which is co-hosted by 11th Hour Racing, Sail Newport and the State of Rhode Island.

Published in Ocean Race

The USA lies to the north and Brazil is now in the wake of the four IMOCA teams racing towards Newport, Rhode Island in Leg 4 of The Ocean Race 2022-23 as the fleet has rounded the northeastern corner of Brazil.

The next transition will be to cross what appears on the forecast to be a fairly benign doldrums — the teams are far enough to the west that the impact shouldn’t be too strong or long-lasting.

As of 1300 UTC on Monday (1 May), the leading teams were starting to approach the unsettled weather that is characteristic of the doldrums. The sailors can expect rain squalls, high temperatures, humidity and thunderstorms. This should last for about 36 hours, before the teams break through and into the north Atlantic trade winds.

Team Malizia and 11th Hour Racing Team have been swapping the lead back and forth on the tracker for the past 24 hours, with the German team slightly further north, and the Americans just to the west. In reality, there is little to choose between the two positions. The pair will cross the equator later on Monday evening UTC and the effects of the doldrums will then become more pronounced.

It’s been a fast day for the fleet, with 24-hour runs approaching the 500-nautical-mile barrier.

“We have flat water, we’re reaching at about 110 degrees to the wind, in about 20-23 knots of windspeed and averaging about 23 to 25 knots of boat speed. It’s fun,” said Alan Roberts on third-placed Biotherm.

That will change tonight (UTC) but when the fleet emerges into the north Atlantic trades, the high-speed reaching will resume.

GUYOT envrionnement - Team Europe will be hoping for more unsettled conditions ahead as they look to make up lost miles after they needed to slow to make repairs to a foil control line on Sunday (30 April). The procedure saw the team slide from second place, and challenging for the lead, to where they sit today — more than 200 miles back.

The ETA for the finish of Leg 4 in Newport remains Wednesday 10 May and should firm up later this week with the fleet in more stable conditions.

Leg Four Rankings at 1600 UTC, 1 May

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 3,168.7 miles
  2. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 5.6 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 38.6 miles
  4. GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 220.7 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

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Moderate easterly trade winds have provided a speedy 24 hours of racing for the four IMOCAs charging north towards the doldrums in Leg 4 of The Ocean Race.

Twenty-four-hour distance runs have nearly doubled — although are still far off a record-setting pace — as the wind has settled in around 12-14 knots on Sunday (30 April).

The result is a drag race directly north, where the teams will leave the northeastern corner of Brazil to port. Their current headings have them closing within about 30 miles of Recife, which is still about 120 miles to the north.

“We’re just cruising north, up the Brazilian coast in moderate conditions,” said Charlie Enright from the leading boat, 11th Hour Racing Team. “It doesn’t look too windy until quite a bit later. Yesterday was a bit sketchy with almost doldrums like conditions. But we got out of it okay…All is well on board for now.”

Some bad luck for GUYOT environnement - Team Europe who had been doing a remarkable job of keeping pace with its rivals over the past day or so. At one point on Sunday morning, the team was showing in second place, just four miles back.

But shortly afterwards, skipper Ben Dutreux’s boat steered towards the coast and slowed. The team reported a small technical issue — later confirming a broken ‘foil down’ line — that would cost them nearly 50 miles before they were back on track at pace.

“There is a little bit more wind now. We’re flying again,” said Dutreux from on board, before the incident. “And we’re heading straight to the north of Brazil, quite fast. It’s nice. It’s also quite close with the other boats, anything can happen.”

But now the team will need to fight hard to regain the lost miles. Perhaps the doldrums, looming a day or so ahead, could offer an opportunity.

“We have come out of the high pressure ridge and we are getting more of the easterly wind,” said Team Malizia’s Nico Lunven. “The next challenge is to round the northeast corner of Brazil. It’s a bit difficult as we don’t want to be too close to the shore, there is bad wind, thunderstorms at night, etc. But to go to Newport, the shortest way is to stick to the coast. We have to find the right balance.

“Then we have the doldurms before the get the north Atlantic trade winds. After that it will be faster.”

But those north Atlantic trades are still at least a couple of days away, with plenty of tricky transitions to manage before then.

Meanwhile, Team Holcim-PRB has confirmed a plan to rejoin the race in Newport ahead of Leg 5, but this means retiring from Leg 4.

Leg Four Rankings at 1500 UTC, 30 April

  1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 3,657.2 miles
  2. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 4.6 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 28.1 miles
  4. GUYOT enironnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 70.2 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

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Skipper Kevin Escoffier stepped off his jury-rigged boat in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday afternoon (29 April) local time and announced Team Holcim-PRB would abandon Leg 4 of The Ocean Race 2022-23 to focus on being able to rejoin the race in time for the transatlantic leg from Newport to Aarhus.

The team had dismasted on Thursday (27 April), the fourth day of Leg 4, and had been sailing the IMOCA slowly towards Rio ever since.

The transatlantic Leg 5 of The Ocean Race is a double-points scoring leg and Escoffier says the team must focus on being ready for this to maintain a chance at winning the overall race. Team Holcim-PRB sits atop the overall leaderboard.

“It’s a very difficult decision to make, but common sense prevails,” Escoffier said. “Since our dismasting, the whole team has been totally focused on finding the best solutions so that we can get back into the competition in a solid way. Starting again on this fourth leg would allow us to take a point, but not to arrive in time to line up at the start of the next leg in Newport.

“But the sporting stakes of the fifth leg are very high and we want to be able to present ourselves at our best level for this leg which will count double. We are definitely still aiming for victory on this round the world race and in this perspective, this is the best decision we can make.”

With the assistance of GAC Pindar, the official logistics provider of The Ocean Race, Team Holcim-PRB has worked through numerous options to get a mast from Europe to the boat in either Rio or Newport. The team decided Newport was the most realistic option.

In a statement, Team Holcim-PRB said its shore team members, with the help of the sailors, will prepare the IMOCA boat to be loaded onto a cargo ship that could set off as early as Tuesday to head for Newport. It will take about 16 days at sea to reach the American port.

At the same time, on the other side of the Atlantic the mast will be loaded onto another cargo ship. The crossing will last seven days and the mast could be unloaded between 9-10 May in Newport.

According to the team, in the best case scenario Holcim-PRB will be in Newport on 18 May. The team will then have just over 48 hours to rig the boat and finish preparing it for the return trip to Europe.

“I know that everyone is very mobilised and united so that we can be in Newport on time,” Escoffier said. “I have complete confidence in my team to meet this collective challenge.

“We are receiving a lot of messages of support and this is a great boost. Our partners are also fully behind us and, like us, are showing incredible determination.

“I only have one desire, to continue this magical race. In Newport, at the start of the fifth leg, it is possible that we will still be in the lead of the general classification. Mechanical breakdown is part of our sport, we accept it. The next leg will be decisive for the rest of the race and we are looking forward to giving our best as we have done so far.”

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