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Simon Fisher has been named the 10th recipient of the Magnus ‘Mange’ Olsson Prize, awarded annually to an individual who has made an impactful contribution to the sport of sailing.

Certainly this description fits Simon Fisher — known to all as SiFi — who has competed in The Ocean Race six consecutive times, beginning in 2005-06, and has won the race twice, including the latest edition with 11th Hour Racing Team. He is the only navigator in race history to earn this achievement.

During his 20-year career in the race, SiFi has seen it evolve from the Volvo Open 70 class through the one-design VO65s — where he won the race in 2014-15 with skipper Ian Walker on board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing — and now again to the flying, foiling IMOCAs.

“My greatest accomplishment was probably winning the 2014-15 Ocean Race, as it was both the realisation of a childhood dream and the result of many years of hard work and experience,” SiFi has said. “I’m also proud of the fact that I have managed to dip my toe into many different areas that our sport has to offer, and I always enjoy new experiences and challenges.”

For over 10 years, Fisher has been a director of Diverse Performance Systems, which provides onboard systems for racing and performance cruising boats as well as superyachts where his vast experience as navigator has benefitted many projects.

Traditionally, the role of navigator is among the most important on a boat competing in The Ocean Race, and their decisions on race strategy, alongside the skipper, are critical to the success of a campaign.

But the work starts long before the race begins in terms of analysing historic weather patterns and working up an accurate performance profile of the competing race yacht to feed into the navigation routing software. SiFi is among the best in the world at this.

During this latest edition of The Ocean Race, SiFi embraced the leadership role his team was taking on sustainability via 11th Hour Racing, with a keen interest in the onboard science data programme, which feeds real-time data from the boat back to researchers on shore. One of the many uses of this data is to improve weather forecasting, which as a navigator is one of the core inputs needed to provide fast and efficient routing.

“It’s such an honour to be recognised by the Magnus Olsson Memorial Foundation for this award,” Fisher said. “I had the opportunity to cross paths with Mange a few times early in my career at The Ocean Race and he never failed to make an impact with his positivity, enthusiasm and pure joy at the prospect of going to sea and racing around the world. His attitude was infectious — you couldn’t help but smile when you were around Magnus.”

The Magnus Olsson Prize is awarded annually to an individual who has made an impactful contribution to the sport of sailing — and previous recipients include The Ocean Race winners Torben Grael, Grant Dalton, Carolijn Brouwer and Stan Honey along with Olympic sailing legends like Sir Ben Ainslie, Peter Burling, Martine Grael, Santiago Lange and Pelle Petterson.

The 10th Magnus Olsson Prize will be presented to Simon Fisher together with a scholarship to young sailors at a Mange-style dinner ceremony in Stockholm on Tuesday 22 August. Several past winners and scholars will attend celebrating the essence of enthusiasm, passion, and determination that Mange brought to the sport of sailing — the very foundation of the Mange Olsson Memorial Foundation.

Published in Ocean Race

Just 17 minutes into the start of the final leg of The Ocean Race 2022-23 on Thursday evening (15 June) and during the short, inshore race course, 11th Hour Racing Team’s 60-foot race boat was hit by competitor Guyot environnement - Team Europe on its port side, leaving a large hole in the aft section of the boat.

All crew are safe, and there were no injuries on either boat. The team dropped their mainsail and returned to the harbour in The Hague to assess the damage.

Devastated skipper Charlie Enright (USA), speaking on the dock, said: “We did our best to avoid it, and I don’t want to speculate on what was going on on their side of the fence. We protested them as a result, and the Umpires dealt with the Racing Rules of Sailing on the water, and GUYOT were black-flagged.

A devastated Skipper, Charlie Enright (USA) of 11th Hour Racing Team Photo: Sailing EnergyA devastated Skipper, Charlie Enright (USA) of 11th Hour Racing Team Photo: Sailing Energy

“All of that aside, those are the small details. The most important thing is that everyone on their boat and our boat are ok. Where we go from here is uncertain at this stage. It’s life, it’s racing. There is nothing we would have done differently, and accidents happen.

“This race has a way of testing people in different ways — physically and mentally, and this is a test for our team. There is no team I would rather be on, that I would rather have with me. If anyone can figure this out, it is us, I genuinely believe that, we will just have to see what that process looks like as we get more information,” Enright concluded.

On returning to the dock, the team’s 15-strong shore team got onboard to take stock of the damage and consider a repair plan.

A clearly shocked and highly emotional Simon Fisher said: “I’m lost for words. We tacked on our lay line, sailing on starboard for 20 or 30 seconds. Charlie was screaming ‘starboard’ at Guyot, and they did not respond. The net result is that they have put their boat firmly in the side of ours. The bowsprit went right through our boat and came out on the inside. We are really lucky that no one got hurt; Charlie was sitting so close to the hatch. Thankfully everyone is okay.

“Personally, I refuse to admit this [race] is over. We would rather try to win it on the water, but we need to find out what our options are, if this can be repaired, and what our redress implications are as a team now, and hopefully move forward.

“I have seen plenty of stuff in my time over six Ocean Races, this is not one of the better ones, but we have a fantastic team, and going into today, we were in a fantastic position, and that is thanks to the team we have. If I wanted to be with any group of people in adversity, it’s them,” Fisher concluded.

The team has two workstreams: one is looking at the extent of the damage, and the team is speaking with the boat’s designers and engineers to make a full assessment. And in parallel, the other workstream is looking at the rules and redress.

For this final leg to Genoa, Italy, Skipper Charlie Enright (USA), has returned to the crew he started this mammoth race with back in January 2023. Simon Fisher (GBR) as the Navigator, Jack Bouttell (AUS/GBR) and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) as Trimmers, and Amory Ross (USA) is back onboard as the team’s Media Crew Member.

After a hat-trick of back-to-back leg wins, 11th Hour Racing Team is currently sitting at the top of the overall leaderboard, by two points over Team Holcim-PRB, and six points over Team Malizia. The team were setting off on Leg 7 of The Ocean Race 2022-23, destination Genoa, Italy, with an ETA of 25 June.

11th Hour Racing Team Crew for Leg 7, The Ocean Race 2022-23:
Charlie Enright (USA) - Skipper
Simon Fisher (GBR) - Navigator
Jack Bouttell (AUS/GBR) - Trimmer
Francesca Clapcich (ITA) - Trimmer
Amory Ross (USA) - Media Crew Member

Overall Leaderboard:
5 points = first; 4 points = second etc.
Note: Leg 3 and Leg 5 scored double points

1. 11th Hour Racing Team - 33 points (4+3+3+3+5+10+5)
2. Team Holcim - PRB - 31 points (5+5+5+4+8+4)
3. Team Malizia - 27 points (3+2+4+5+4+6+3)
4. Biotherm Racing - 19 points (2+4+2+2+3+2)
5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe - 2 points (1+1+0+0+0+0+1)
* GUYOT penalized -1 point for exceeding the permitted number of sails

Earlier in the day, the third stage of the VO65 Sprint Cup began with home favourites Team JAJO first to cross the leaving gate, leaving WindWhisper Racing Team, Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova, Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team and Viva México in hot pursuit.

Follow both fleets’ progress via the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race
Tagged under

At 1541 UTC on Thursday, May 25, while racing in Leg 5 of The Ocean Race, 11th Hour Racing Team activated its Hazard Button to alert Race Control and the wider fleet they had hit something, suspected to be a marine mammal or megafauna.

The Team was in the mid-North Atlantic Ocean at 52°N, 35°W - approximately 750 nautical miles [863 miles/1,389 km] off the coast of Newfoundland, sailing at 29 knots [33mph/54 kmph], in 28+ knots [32 mph/52 kmph] of wind speed - some of the fastest conditions yet seen in the race.

The impact was sudden, and the crew onboard were thrown forward, causing two injuries onboard. Trimmer Charlie Dalin (FRA) has a suspected mild concussion, and Media Crew Member Amory Ross (USA) has injured his shoulder. The Race’s on-call Doctor - Dr. Spike Briggs - has spoken to the sailors onboard the boat by satellite phone. Dr. Briggs has prescribed painkillers, bunk rest, and plenty of water to hydrate, and is monitoring the situation closely. The two sailors are reported to be comfortable, and their next of kin have been informed.

The crew are all very shaken by the incident and will follow best practices, reporting the suspected strike to the International Whaling Commission.

After the incident, the crew slowed the boat down to conduct checks: as far as they can visually assess, the boat has no damage.

The three other sailors onboard are all uninjured. Skipper Charlie Enright (USA), Navigator Simon Fisher (GBR), and Trimmer Justine Mettraux (SUI) - will continue to race the boat towards their final destination - Aarhus, Denmark.

Published in Ocean Race

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

11th Hour Racing Team’s longtime sustainability manager Damian Foxall isn’t Ireland’s only connection to the IMOCA getting ready to foil around the world in The Ocean Race 2022-23 this month.

Cork sailor James O’Mahony, a veteran of two previous editions of The Ocean Race, is boat captain on the team that will sail with a crew of four — plus on-board reporter Amory Ross — under skipper Charlie Enright.

“This race has been a long time coming, but we feel ready,” Enright said at the close of 2022 about the race, which will see five IMOCAs included for the very first time alongside a fleet of VO65s taking part in a series of sprint races around the globe-spanning route.

The action begins this Sunday 8 January with the In Port Race in Alicante before the IMOCA and VO65 fleets depart for Mindelo, Cabo Verde on 15 January on the first leg.

Viewers in Ireland can catch Sunday’s action live on Eurosport and discovery+ with the VO65s scheduled to race from 1pm GMT and the IMOCAS from 2.30pm GMT.

Published in Ocean Race

On Earth Day (Monday 22 April) The Ocean Race and 11th Hour Racing have forged a partnership that aims to bring sustainability initiatives to the heart of the race.

The Ocean Race says it is building on its position as the sustainability leader in global sport by announcing a visionary partnership with 11th Hour Racing — the largest of its kind in sport.

The legendary round-the-world sailing event and its premier partner will focus on a broad range of initiatives to promote the restoration of ocean health, embedding sustainability in all event operations.

As part of this ‘Racing with Purpose’ initiative, the partners have committed to a comprehensive action plan to initially:

  • Convene 11 Ocean Race Summits and Innovation Workshops, focused on ocean health, with the first being held in Europe in September 2019.
  • Work with experts and sailing teams to explore the use of state-of-the-art renewable energy systems onboard the IMOCA 60 and VO65 classes during the next edition of The Ocean Race in 2021.
  • Inspire school children around the world to take action for the ocean through a multi-lingual, curriculum-based, education programme, to be released in May 2019.
  • Continue the powerful science program developed in the last Ocean Race, which gathered critical oceanographic and microplastics data, and examine ways that all teams are able to participate in this groundbreaking research.
  • Inspire millions of Race Village visitors with the possibility of a sustainable world through interactive experiences at each stopover.

Johan Salen, managing director of The Ocean Race, said: “Through this partnership with 11th Hour Racing, and by harnessing the power of sport, we are using our collective global influence and extensive networks to reach millions of people to affect meaningful, long-term change for ocean health.

“The sailing community has a deep connection with the sea so it’s natural that we would work together to safeguard its future. The integration of our collective vision within every area of our operations will engage and inspire the wider sailing community, teams, our stakeholders and suppliers, future host cities, schoolchildren and, of course, the race fans to take decisive action on this urgent issue.”

11th Hour Racing says it works with the sailing community and maritime industries to advance solutions that protect and restore the health of our oceans.

The renewed and expanded partnership is intended to build on the momentum of the multi-award winning Sustainability Programme, featured in the past edition of the race, of which 11th Hour Racing was the founding principal partner.

“11th Hour Racing has developed an impact-driven model with sustainability at the core of all of its programs,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of 11th Hour Racing and president of The Schmidt Family Foundation.

“During the last edition of this iconic race around the planet, we raised visibility with the race crews, fans and students all over the world about the breadth of issues threatening the oceans and innovative solutions to address them, some that we already can put into practice. These efforts were a powerful catalyst for positive action.

‘This is a unique opportunity to create a coalition between sport, business, and policymakers.’

"Together, we have the power to deliver science and sustainability through the platform of sport. 11th Hour Racing is excited to continue its collaboration with The Ocean Race to create one of the most forward thinking and unique sport sponsorships of our time.”

The Ocean Race Summits aim to provide a platform that uses a mix of storytelling and groundbreaking announcements to help advance solutions to environmental issues. Industry-led Innovation Workshops will explore ways to evolve business models and reduce impact on the environment.

Growing the Learning Programme, used during the previous race by more than 110,000 children in 41 countries, a new science and sailing module will be launched this spring. This will provide the next generation with the tools to become future ocean advocates.

Published in Ocean Race