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.”
Watch the decision making process on board 11th Hour Racing Team:
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.
Watch Biotherm send out their drifter buoy:
Watch Team Holcim-PRB deploy their drifter buoy:
The ETA for Cape Town is now 12 February.
Follow the latest positions on the Race Tracker
4 February 2023, Leg 2, Day 11 onboard Holcim – PRB Team. Kevin Escoffier throws the scientific floater buoy – photo © Georgia Schofield | polaRYSE / Holcim – PRB
Leg Two Rankings at 1200 UTC – 5 February 2023
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
4 February 2023, Leg 2, Day 11 onboard GUYOT environnement – Team Europe. Drone view – photo © Charles Drapeau / GUYOT environnement – Team Europe
3 February 2023, Leg 2 onboard Biotherm. Weather buoy – photo © Anne Beauge / Biotherm
3 February 2023, Leg 2, Day 10 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Charlie Enright looks through the binoculars for Biotherm and Holcim, somewhere on the horizon – photo © Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race
The Ocean Race tracker – photo © The Ocean Race
by The Ocean Race