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The Ocean Race has launched a metaverse experience pilot with Virtual Regatta and Accenture to engage fans and businesses in a new way with the renowned global yacht race.

The companies have developed a metaverse environment that allows gamers and enthusiasts of the race’s official eSailing game, Virtual Regatta, to take part in exclusive online events, interact with other fans and get access to team stats.

“We are entering the metaverse and our collaboration with Virtual Regatta and Accenture because we are explorers and pioneers,” said Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race. “Since 1973 we have sought new ways for people to engage with what is happening in the ocean.”

Philippe Guigné, founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta, added: “The metaverse is a new experience provided by Virtual Regatta and The Ocean Race that will allow people to follow the physical and virtual race in an all-digital race village. Gamers and enthusiasts will be able to meet each other, watch the physical and digital event, and much more. This virtual reality setup will further enhance the fan experience.”

Accenture, The Ocean Race and Virtual Regatta are also providing e-commerce opportunities for brands to showcase their digital goods and services in the metaverse space, such as active apparel retailer and official clothing partner of the race Helly Hansen.

Additionally, The Ocean Race’s mission to protect the seas is incorporated in the metaverse strategy and content. The Racing with Purpose tent, named after the organisation’s sustainability programme, is an interactive space where visitors can explore how the race supports this goal and how they can get involved.

The area features a science station, which highlights how race teams are gathering vital data about the ocean, and a learning corner where visitors can discover and download learning programmes to inspire youth between 6–16 years old to protect the seas.

Also showcased is the Blue Voice campaign, which gives an opportunity for visitors to show their support by signing the petition for ocean rights.

“The metaverse will usher in a new era of our digital lives, overcoming the limitations of the physical world and creating new opportunities to immerse in issues and connect as communities,” said David Treat, who is the co-lead of Accenture’s Metaverse Continuum business group. “Our collaboration with The Ocean Race and Virtual Regatta is helping reinvent how people engage with the race and protect our oceans while creating value for all stakeholders.”

Brisius added: “Purpose drives The Ocean Race. Protecting our racetrack and restoring the health of the ocean is vital, and the metaverse can be a fantastic tool for helping give the ocean a voice. It is even more important for us to continue to explore new ways to engage and educate.

“We recognise that it is the young generation where we need to focus our efforts to build ocean literacy, as the metaverse is likely to attract many young users. In addition, we believe in the merits of Web 3.0 with a metaverse which will represent a fair internet controlled by the users, compared to the current Web 2.0 which is centralised and run by a few entities.”

More than 200,000 eSailing players are expected to take part in the Virtual Regatta Offshore and Inshore versions of the race. There are seven IMOCA legs and three VO65 Sprint stages on Virtual Regatta Offshore, with new features for an expanded virtual experience, mimicking the real race the crews are undertaking.

The Ocean Race metaverse pilot experience, in collaboration with Virtual Regatta and Accenture, will be available to users on a limited basis starting with the last week of Leg 3 of the race from Cape Town to Itajaí, Brazil. Request your metaverse access code HERE.

Published in Ocean Race

After passing Cape Horn and escaping the south, the big-weather challenges haven’t quite ended for The Ocean Race sailors yet.

The leading IMOCA pair — Team Malizia and Team Holcim-PRB — found themselves in what Malizia’s Will Harris called some of the most challenging weather of the leg when they turned north. Gale-force winds and sharp, confused seas.

Separated by just over 10 miles as of 1800 UTC on Wednesday 29 March, the front-running duo are in an intense race that looks to be close all the way to the finish, with the ETA shading towards Sunday 2 April in Itajaí.

On Wednesday, The Ocean Race weather expert Christian Dumard described a situation for the trailing pair where strong winds were racing down the coastal mountains with microburst rain squalls that could see the wind increasing suddenly from 20 knots to more than 40 knots.

“It can be very difficult for the sailors as often you think once you pass Cape Horn things will get easier, but that hasn’t been the case yet,” Dumard said.

On Biotherm, the weather near Cape Horn included snow on the mountains and snow squalls on deck.

“This was a spectacular rounding of Cape Horn because there was so much snow…It was absolutely beautiful. Huge snow squalls coming through,” said Sam Davies on Biotherm.

“It’s a great goal post to get through but as we gybed close to Cape Horn we lost all of our wind instruments and the computer. At the same time there was that massive snow squall so we didn’t have a lot of time to celebrate…”

The team is going old school with the electronics damage, tying ‘woolies’ on the shrouds to show the wind angle.

“A couple of weeks ago it wasn’t certain we’d make it this far,” said 11th Hour Racing Team skipper Charlie Enright, speaking about what getting to Cape Horn meant to him.

“This is a big milestone in the journey of circumnavigating the planet. I’m very proud of our squad and the work that’s been put in…It feels good…And now it’s back to work and 2,000 miles to go!”

Leg Three Rankings at 1800 UTC, 29 March

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 1,271.2 miles
  2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 10.7 miles
  3. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 263.4 miles
  4. Biotherm, distance to lead, 327.8 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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Team Malizia continues to head the leaderboard in Leg 3 of The Ocean Race 2022-23 after leading the fleet around Cape Horn.

On Tuesday (28 March) it was 11th Hour Racing Team (1255 UTC) and Biotherm (1525 UTC) who took their turn passing the iconic landmark and joining the exclusive list of offshore sailors to have rounded the Horn.

The IMOCA fleet has really split in two now, with Malizia fighting to fend off overall race leader Team Holcim-PRB. Meanwhile, 11th Hour Racing Team holding a slim advantage over Biotherm — but both are nearly a day behind the leading pair.

“It is nice to still be fighting against Biotherm,” said Justine Mettraux on 11th Hour Racing Team, who rounded Cape Horn for the first time.

“There are still 2,000 miles not go after the Cape to Itajaí so still a lot to play for. It is nice to have a bit softer winds, despite it meaning the leaders are moving away from us. We are back to full main, big sails, and trying to get the most of the wind we have at the moment, but they are pretty unstable conditions with a lot of clouds.

“It is cold, though! Hard to dry anything but nice, beautiful lights, birds again because we are getting close to shore. We are seeing more albatrosses and petrels which is nice.”

“It’s been tough to have 11th Hour Racing pass us, but today is better — we’re going to pass Cape Horn,” Paul Meilhat said. “The boat is not 100% but it’s not bad. We are really proud of the work we have done. One year ago we were putting layers in the boat mould and today we are racing past Cape Horn. Already this is a victory.”

Nearly 400 miles north, Kevin Escoffier was getting back into race mode after celebrating his third rounding of the Horn.

“The main challenge is still to get to Itajaí,” he said. “The weather can change rapidly. Rather than looking for weather systems that move very quickly and that can change direction, we’d rather go on the northern route. Always protecting the boat and the crew.”

Will Harris on Team Malizia is enjoying the burden of being in the lead, being chased by a Holcim-PRB team that has a perfect points record in the race to date.

“We’ve been sailing our own strategy,” he said. “We’re not at the point where we would match race them. There’s still five or six days left in this leg — there’s a lot that can happen so we have to sail our own race. The easiest way to finish ahead of them is to give ourselves an opportunity jump ahead by a few miles. We have to do what we think is right and play our own game.”

Leg Three Rankings at 1900 UTC, 28 March

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 1,505.3 miles
  2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 23.9 miles
  3. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 358.7 miles
  4. Biotherm, distance to lead, 393.9 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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It’s one thing moving a start line because of say, a wind shift. But at the Cape Town start for Leg 3 of the The Ocean Race on 26 February, principal race officer Bill O’Hara was forced to work around a pod of whales.

For the ex-Olympian from Bangor on Belfast Lough who began his sailing career at Ballyholme Yacht Club, this is the sixth time as PRO for what used to be known as the Volvo Ocean Race, and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race.

Bill — named’s Sailor of the Month for November last year for his services to sailing — is responsible for the pro/am and inshore races at each venue and for the starts for each of the seven legs on the 32,000-nautical-mile round the world race.

Bill O’Hara and the local Alicante race team, among them Maria Torrijo (top left) — who Bill says is “the best race officer in the world” and (top right) her husband, international umpire Miguel AllenBill O’Hara and the local Alicante race team, among them Maria Torrijo (top left) — who Bill says is “the best race officer in the world” and (top right) her husband, international umpire Miguel Allen

This year it’s taking him all over the world: from Alicante in Spain to Cabo Verde off West Africa and Cape Town in South Africa, and soon to Itajai in Brazil, Newport in Rhode Island on the US east coast, then back to Europe to Aarhus in Denmark, The Hague in the Netherlands and finally Genoa in Italy this summer.

The five IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) 60-foot high-performance hydro foiling yachts racing around the world are usually sailed by one or two crew in the Route de Rhum.

But for this contest these flying machines each have a crew of five — necessary, really, for the likes of Leg 3, a 12,750-mile venture towards Itajaí that marks the longest single leg in the race’s 50-year history.

This map shows the sheer enormity of the task of completing Leg 3 of The Ocean Race, a route that’s taken the IMOCA fleet three-quarters of the way around the continent of AntarcticaThis map shows the sheer enormity of the task of completing Leg 3 of The Ocean Race, a route that’s taken the IMOCA fleet three-quarters of the way around the continent of Antarctica

It was an extraordinary start of this leg for the five boats but a headache for Bill and his assistants, as a pod of three whales was sighted after the five-leg inshore course in the original starting sequence area. This meant a late change to the set-up of the course, now in the wind shadow of the iconic Table Mountain.

To add to the start drama, Biotherm had to suspend its race to return to port. And 11th Hour Racing team also stopped racing to make repairs still out to sea. Both served the minimum two-hour period delay before rejoining the race, in which the fleet — minus GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, who retired from the leg with hull damage earlier this month — is now rounding Cape Horn.

Before Bill heads to Brazil, however, it’s off to the Princess Sophia event in Mallorca as rules advisor to the Irish and Danish Olympic teams, and then to Los Angeles to run a seminar on umpiring. By 16 April, Bill should be in Itajaí for The Ocean Race Leg 4 start on the 23rd.

You can follow the latest updates from The Ocean Race right here on

Published in Ocean Race

Team Malizia — who were contemplating a return to Cape Town after mast damage in the first days of Leg 3, and who approached Cape Horn today nursing an injured crew member — have overcome all these obstacles and more to lead The Ocean Race IMOCA fleet past the iconic landmark.

“It’s a huge achievement for the whole team to be here,” said Malizia’s Will Harris with his team approached the Horn. “And especially to be here in the lead.

“If we think back to the start of the leg — the issues with the mast, and then the big winds the last few days — I think we’ve done an amazing job to be here. So we are proud of the full team to make it this far and also grateful to everyone back on land who has made this possible.

“It’s really cold down here at the moment. It’s slightly lighter winds, which is a relief after the last few days of pretty brutal conditions. And I hope as we get around the Horn, it will be calm enough that we get a good view of it. First bit of land we’ve seen in 30 days.”

Team Malizia passed the longitude of Cape Horn at 16:23 UTC on Monday 27 March — 29 days, four hours and eight minutes after the start in Cape Town.

In the process of leading around the Horn, Malizia skipper Boris Herrmann and his team join the ‘legends of the south’ as winners of the Roaring Forties Trophy, which is awarded for the fastest passage between the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and Cape Horn in South America. The Malizia crew took the Cape to Cape title in 27 days, 17 hours and 31 minutes.

With Leg 3 being the longest leg in the history of The Ocean Race, this marks the first time the trophy will be awarded for a non-stop passage between the two capes that mark the eastern and western boundaries of the south Atlantic Ocean.

Racing in the southern latitudes — what The Ocean Race sailors call the Southern Ocean — is never easy. Each and every passage of Cape Horn has to be earned, and this race has been no different.

On Sunday (26 March), Team Malizia had a scary situation on board when Rosalin Kuiper was thrown from her bunk and hit her head, suffering a cut and a concussion. Fortunately, with the support of expert medical advice, the team was able to close the wound and Rosie has been able to rest and recuperate. Early indications are that she is recovering well on board.

Incredibly, on the 30th day of racing in Leg 3, Team Malizia have crossed the longitude of Cape Horn with a lead of less than 20 miles over Team Holcim-PRB, with both boats finally gaining some separation from Biotherm and 11th Hour Racing Team who have dropped 250 miles behind.

“It will be a fight all the way up to the finish in Itajaí,” is the assessment from Harris. “Team Holcim-PRB is only a few miles behind us. They’re doing an amazing job of pushing us as well. We’ll need our best game. It’s a long way to go — 2,000 miles — and we’re looking forward to it.”

The light conditions which have hurt Biotherm and 11th Hour Racing Team over the past 12 hours are expected to give way to stronger winds. But at 250 miles behind, their passage of Cape Horn is still some 18 hours away, now expected on Tuesday morning UTC (28 March).

Leg Three Rankings at 1800 UTC, 27 March

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 1,916.7 miles
  2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 21.1 miles
  3. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 277.8 miles
  4. Biotherm, distance to lead, 283.8 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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After 48 hours of building wind and seas, with gusts over 40 knots and waves approaching seven metres, conditions were starting to moderate on Sunday (26 March) with The Ocean Race fleet turning south to squeeze between Cape Horn and the ice exclusion zone.

The wind is in the 18-22-knot range and the waves are five metres and decreasing. That’s still plenty of motion on an IMOCA, making movement on board difficult but slightly better than over the past day.

And there is now a good chance the passage of Cape Horn could be quite light and tricky in very changeable conditions.

No matter the conditions, and whether this is a first passage or a fifth or sixth, Cape Horn remains an iconic milestone in the career of an sailor.

On the race course on Sunday, the fleet is diving south. Starting the day at 52 degrees south latitude, they’ll need to find 56 degrees south to make it around the Horn on Monday (27 March).

11th Hour Racing Team is trailing the fleet and furthest west, while the leader, Team Malizia is the most easterly boat, 200 nautical miles closer to South America.

Amory Ross, from 11th Hour Racing Team, reports from the American boat: “For the last 48 hours we have been surrounded by towering waves and wind-blown seas far more typical of the Furious Fifties, and visually at least it finally looks like the place we all came here to see.

“As gruelling as constant 35-45 knots of wind and the minefield of giant holes in the ocean around us can be, it’s part of what makes the Horn meaningful: you have to have earned it. 27 days is a long time in the cold south and we have had our fair share of issues to overcome, but I don’t think we have seen true ‘Southern Ocean’ conditions, until now.”

The 11th Hour team suffered more mainsail problems, accounting for their slower pace compared to their rivals. But they’re determined to ease the boat around Cape Horn and rejoining the fight for points on the final push to Itajaí.

“We’re fighting for every single mile and we need to make sure that we gain all that we can at the moment,” said Will Harris on Team Malizia. “It’s not about pushing the boat past its limit. It’s about working it hard in the conditions we have — being active on the pilot and on the trimming…We have to keep working it.

“It’s nice and sunny, the boat is in one piece and we’re in first place, so there is a lot of positives to think about today.”

It’s been a bit more harrowing on board Biotherm, as Sam Davies explains: “We had some really squally conditions with over 40 knots. Going down a big wave, the boat spun out, and gybed — twice — and as a result we damaged one of the traveller cars for the mainsheet which is what we had repaired at the start in Cape Town.

“We also broke one of the battens in the mainsail. A traveller car also caught on the tent of the cockpit and ripped the bottom joint away so we have more water coming in and lots of cold air, so it’s freezing.

“We will need to repair the batten and the traveller car as soon as the sea state decreases. It was proper Southern Ocean conditions — 40 knots of wind, eight-metre breaking waves. It’s just about the limit of what’s acceptable in an IMOCA and way beyond what is comfortable. But the boats are designed for this and luckily it’s been short-lived…”

Finding that balance between pushing and preserving has been the focus on Team Holcim-PRB as well.

“It’s been stressful,” Sam Goodchild said. “Trying to find the limit of what the boat is capable of doing. We don’t want to break the boat but obviously we want to go fast as we’re racing and trying to find that balance is easier said than done.”

As conditions moderate, there will be time to make the necessary repairs and plan the passage north to Itajaí. But first it’s time to push to Cape Horn — an iconic milestone for each of The Ocean Race sailors.

Meanwhile, The Ocean Race has paid tribute to John Fisher, the Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag crew member who was lost overboard in the Southern Ocean some 1,400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn on this day five years ago.

“John, his family and friends are remembered today by everyone in The Ocean Race family, especially those who had the honour of sharing time with him either on the water or dockside,” the race said in a statement.

Leg Three Rankings at 1900 UTC, 26 March

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 2,222.8 miles
  2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 42.1 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 156.2 miles
  4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 219 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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It’s the final weekend in southern latitudes, in the waters the sailors in The Ocean Race call the Southern Ocean.

In these Furious 50s, the winds and waves are on a one-way track from west to east around Antarctica, the continuous train of low-pressure systems generating wind and waves that are the stuff of legend.

Cape Horn is where it all comes to a head: the land juts to the south and there is a shelf where the sea bed rises from 5,000 metres to less than half that in Drake Passage to the south and to just a few hundred metres if you pass further north and closer to land.

This is where The Ocean Race IMOCA fleet is headed; the latest ETA is Monday afternoon/evening UTC (27 March).

The sailors are getting a final taste of the south this weekend, with winds a steady gale force 35 knots (65 km/h) and gusting to 45 knots (85 km/h).

On the race course, Team Malizia has edged out ahead of Team Holcim-PRB and Biotherm, with 11th Hour Racing Team sliding back over the past 36 hours. The spread from first to fourth is now over 100 miles, but as we’ve seen before in this leg, another compression is forecast with the leading boats expected to push into lighter wind around Cape Horn.

“We are now on the last long downwind sailing part, heading to Cape Horn, with the last low pressure system that will take us to the Horn Passage,” Team Holcim-PRB skipper Kevin Escoffier said.

“We are still in contact with Malizia who are a little faster than us in these conditions. We knew that we had a versatile boat, and that they have a sailboat that is suited to this kind of conditions. Our strategy is to take it easy without trying to do something you can’t do with the boat.”

“We’re flying down the waves in 30 to 40 knots of wind,” Will Harris screamed on the deck of Malizia where he was tying in some lines to tidy up the reef in the mainsail. “Full speed. This is epic! This is the true south. Albatross, five-metre waves…whoop!”

“Unfortunately, we’re bleeding miles to the others, being underpowered because we’re running with two reefs in the mainsail when it would be better to be on one,” said Charlie Enright on 11th Hour Racing Team, lamenting the damage to their mainsail that prevents them from sailing with a single reef.

“But we’re certainly in a better spot than after we passed through the scoring gate [to the south of Australia]. What the crew, and Jack [Bouttell] in particular, have been able to do and repair has been pretty amazing. We’re determined to eke out every ounce of performance from the boat, and it’s been cool to be racing within sight of the other boats.

“There’s 20 of us down here in this remote part of the world, and yes we’re rivals, but we’re also friends, we’re family. There’s a camaraderie between all of us, good banter on the radio, and it feels good for all of us to be down here together in this crazy part of the world.”

The forecast is for conditions to remain very strong over the weekend, with winds beginning to moderate on Sunday (26 March) before easing significantly on Monday, leaving the possibility of a relatively easy passage of Cape Horn later in the day.

Leg Three Rankings at 1900 UTC, 25 March

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 2,606.3 miles
  2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 20.4 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 85.5 miles
  4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 105.8 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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The IMOCA teams have the end of the hardest part of the longest leg in the history of The Ocean Race in sight.

On Friday afternoon UTC (24 March), the most iconic of landmarks to offshore sailors — Cape Horn — lies just over 1,000 miles to the east.

But those miles won’t come easily. Gale-force winds and six- to eight-metre seas are on the menu for the weekend, before the sailors can expect to pass Cape Horn on Monday morning (27 March).

Team Malizia is 10 miles ahead of Team Holcim-PRB with both boats to the north of Biotherm and 11th Hour Racing Team, some 50 miles behind to the southwest.

“We’re attacking the last long downwind leg towards Cape Horn, with the last low pressure system that will take us as far as the Horn,” Team Holcim-PRB skipper Kevin Escoffier said.

“We’re going to gradually climb into conditions that are more like the south, with about 30-35 knots of wind and seas that will reach seven meters. Solid conditions, as you would expect from coming this far.

“The important thing now is to take care of the boat, take care of the crew and stay in touch with the competitors. Fast, but not furious.”

In fact, this is in line with another memorable reminder the crew of 11th Hour Racing Team has come up with: “Nothing silly before Chile.”

It seems all are in agreement that after a month at sea, the main goal must be getting out of the southern latitudes safely and with boats in good shape for the final push north to the finish in Itajaí, Brazil.

The weather forecast is for conditions to escalate on Saturday (25 March) with trailing winds near 35 knots, gusting into the mid-40s, and a sea state over six metres, before moderating slightly on Sunday (26 March) and again into more a manageable state for the actual passage of Cape Horn on Monday UTC.

Leg Three Rankings at 1900 UTC, 24 March

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 2,908.4 miles
  2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 14.1 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 69.6 miles
  4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 75.9 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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For 50 years of The Ocean Race, sailors have considered the Southern Ocean leg — the racing that takes place between Cape Town and Cape Horn, deep in the southern latitudes — as the biggest milestone in the event.

Rounding Cape Horn marks the end of the southern conditions, where deep low-pressure systems follow one after the other, unimpeded by land masses, the gale force winds building towering, fearsome seas.

Icebergs are to the south and the leg culminates with a squeeze around Cape Horn, where the land juts as far as 56 degrees south latitude, funnelling the winds and waves through a narrow passage firmly in the area sailors call the Furious 50s.

At the end of this week, conditions are expected to live up that name.

“The fleet is probably going into the toughest days of the race so far, with very aggressive weather between now and Cape Horn at the end of the weekend,” said race director Phil Lawrence.

“The wind is going to increase above 30 knots, gusting 40 knots, and we can expect six- to seven-metre waves on Friday and Saturday,” said Christian Dumard, the meteorolgist for The Ocean Race.

“I think we can expect the fleet will stay a little bit north of the ice exclusion zone to avoid the worst sea state as the wind gets even stronger.”

Dumard said that during the approach to Cape Horn on the weekend, the wind will be strong, 25 knots or so, before easing dramatically, and the sea state should moderate in turn.

“Cape Horn is a massive benchmark in sailing for anyone who is passionate about offshore racing. It’s the pinnacle,” said Francesca Clapcich, a member of 11th Hour Racing Team crew who isn’t on board for this leg, but was available for media on Thursday (23 March) to reflect on her experience in the last race.

“Last race, I remember, it was a mix of emotions. I was going around for the first time and coming from such a different sailing background — racing dinghies — I had barely ever dreamed about it…

“You feel proud but also it’s such a relief to be there with the boat and the people all in one piece. And then you turn to the north and the layers of clothes start to come off as it gets warmer and the weather gets nicer and of course you’re doing it in a team environment so it is awesome as you have a chance to share it with everyone on board.”

On the race course, the competition is still very close, with Biotherm pushing about 40 miles to the south of Team Holcim-PRB and Team Malizia. 11th Hour Racing Team has fallen off the pace ever so slightly on Thursday, now about 35 miles behind to the west.

Biotherm suffered a tear in their fractional headsail, as skipper Paul Meilhat explained in a French interview: “We had two reefs and the FRO [fractional code zero]. There was a steep wave and we had a serious nose-dive. When the boat came out of it, the sail was practically torn in two at the foot. We managed to roll it and put it back in the bag, and we then hoisted a smaller sail.

“This was our first warning shot of this big low pressure system… I think it will be reparable in Itajaí but not now, we won’t be able to fix it at sea.”

This is unlikely to be the last of the drama in the next days — the approach to Cape Horn nearly always adds a final challenge — so stay tuned. The ETA for the IMOCA fleet is overnight Sunday night (26 March) into Monday morning UTC (27 March).

Leg Three Rankings at 1900 UTC, 23 March

  1. Team Malizia, distance to finish, 3,374.6 miles
  2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 12.4 miles
  3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 16.2 miles
  4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 35.3 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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The Ocean Race fleet passed Point Nemo just after 1730 UTC on Tuesday (21 March), leaving the most remote and isolated place on the ocean in their wake.

It likely didn’t feel as isolated as it usually would. All four IMOCA boats passed the waypoint within a span of 23 minutes and at the head of the fleet, Team Malizia just eked out ahead of Team Holcim-PRB to claim bragging rights by a mere 30 seconds.

This is not what most race fans expected to see after 23 days and 9,000 miles of racing in Leg 3. It’s not exactly what the sailors were anticipating, either.

“This morning [local time on board] we marked an important moment in the Pacific Ocean in this race as we passed Point Nemo,” said Will Harris on Team Malizia. “It’s bascially the most remote point in the ocean, the furthest place from land. It’s actually about 200 miles north of us but this is the closest we get to it…

“We’re feeling kind of by ourselves, although we’ve decided to bring some friends with us to Point Nemo… Holcim-PRB is only a couple of miles down here and the whole rest of the fleet is within 10 miles. We expected to be a little bit more remote out here, but that’s the way of the racing.”

The view from Biotherm was similar but evoked strong memories from skipper Paul Meilhat.

“We just crossed Point Nemo,” Meilhat said. “It reminds me of the Vendee Globe in 2016… I was in third position around here when I broke my hydraulic keel ram which meant I needed to retire from the race. It was quite difficult to reach shelter as it is the furthest point from land… But we found a solution in a French Polynesian island. It took me about eight days to get there. So it’s not the best memories for me but now we’re crossing it again and we’re heading for Cape Horn, about five days away.”

At 1400 UTC on Wednesday, the fleet remained compact — the spread on the leaderboard from first to fourth was under 10 miles. Having passed the northernmost point of the ice exclusion zone, the boats unsurprisingly gybed south again before resuming their easterly course. True wind speed is currently about 20 knots, in waves up to three metres.

There is a balance to be struck between here and Cape Horn, measuring up risk and reward. A cold front is approaching from behind with stronger winds and bigger seas. The impact will be more severe further south. The sweet spot will be to find maximum wind with a relatively mild sea state. To the south is a shorter distance to the Horn, and stronger winds, but managing the waves could make staying north a better, faster option.

The ETA at Cape Horn is Sunday evening UTC (26 March), and the most likely arrival date in Itajaí, Brazil is Saturday 1 April.

Leg Three Rankings at 1900 UTC, 22 March

  1. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to finish, 3,723.5 miles
  2. Biotherm, distance to lead, 8.5 miles
  3. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 14.6 miles
  4. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 16.5 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
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