Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

The Ocean Race Fleet Continues to Compress as Leg 3 Scoring Gate Approaches Fast

10th March 2023
Leg 3, Day 11 (Thursday 9 March) onboard 11th Hour Racing Team, as skipper Charlie Enright grinds the main sheet
Leg 3, Day 11 (Thursday 9 March) onboard 11th Hour Racing Team, as skipper Charlie Enright grinds the main sheet Credit: Amory Ross/11th Hour Racing/The Ocean Race

There has been more of the same in The Ocean Race on Friday (10 March), but in a good way. All four IMOCA teams are clicking down the miles, racing to the east in fast-reaching conditions.

The wind is up, the water is still (relatively) flat and the miles keep sliding away under the keel.

The fleet continues to compress slightly, closing the race up with the Leg 3 scoring gate fast approaching. The ETA is now Monday morning UTC (13 March).

There should be good, close racing for the next two-and-a-half days in the battle for points at the north/south scoring line running down 143-degrees east longitude.

“We are just at the end of the Indian Ocean, sailing below Cape Leeuwin in a little bit,” said Paul Meilhat on Biotherm, who continues to charge along in second place. “We are reaching just ahead of a front, with Team Malizia and 11th Hour Racing Team just behind us and Holcim-PRB about 100 miles in front of us.

“It depends on our speed, but when we are faster we are more in sunny conditions, and if we are slower we are in the rain and grey. It seems like we have a few days of this.”

Over the past 24 hours, Team Holcim-PRB has seen its lead continue to shrink, dropping another 60 miles or so. But skipper Kevin Escoffier remains just over 100 miles ahead and strongly positioned between the chasing trio, who are racing in a line directly behind and to the west, and the scoring gate straight ahead of him and nearly 1,300 miles to the east.

Further compression is likely. The light winds to the east continue to favour the trailing pack but there is a difference between closing the gap and making a pass, which may prove to be much more difficult.

Charlie Enright and his 11th Hour Racing Team continue to monitor the condition of their replacement rudder. The team released video last night describing the situation as it first developed earlier this week.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, GUYOT environnement - Team Europe reports that work on their IMOCA hull is proceeding faster than expected.

After opening the hull in the delaminated area no further damage was discovered and repairs at the improvised construction site in Cape Town have progressed so quickly that the yacht is already being prepared for painting. The team is now planning to begin the delivery to Itajaí late next week.

“The repair has progressed really well,” skipper Benjamin Dutreux said. “The team did a very good, fast and strong job. The lamination work was completed this morning. Now a few more bumps will be filled and the laminated area will be in good shape, then the painters can start work.”

Leg Three Rankings at 1700 UTC, 10 March

  1. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to finish, 8,767.2 miles
  2. Biotherm, distance to lead, 116.4 miles
  3. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 130.7 miles
  4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to lead, 139.3 miles

Find the latest fleet positions on the race tracker at

Published in Ocean Race Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button