The Ocean Race Europe - Saturday 29th May

This is a new race featuring IMOCA boats as seen in the Vendee Globe as well as VO65s This time the boats will be crewed rather than sailed by a solo skipper. They will depart from Laurient in France, sail down the Spanish and Portuguese coasts, in to the Mediterranean and finish at Genoa, Italy. The total distance is 2000 miles. There will be stopovers.

Yes it is this weekend. Just checked.


For the first time since the finish of the Vendée Globe, five IMOCAs will return to the race course as five teams line up to compete in "The Ocean Race Europe", a new, crewed race with stopovers on a course linking Lorient in France and Genoa in Italy. It is a format which has been tried before in the Mediterranean and off the Atlantic coast but for sure it is a new challenge for the current generation of boats and sailors and a very welcome opportunity after the longest non stop solo challenge round the world. The race starts this Saturday, May 29th.

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THE PROGRAM :
May 29 - Stage start - Lorient, France
June 5 - Coastal race - Cascais, Portugal
June 6 - Stage start - Cascais, Portugal
June 13 - Start of stage - Alicante, Spain
June 19 - Coastal race - Genoa, Italy
IMOCA CLASS
- 11th Hour Racing Team (USA): Charlie Enright (USA) / Pascal Bidégorry (FRA) / Justine Mettraux (SUI)
Bureau Vallée (FRA): Louis Burton (FRA) / Davy Beaudart (FRA) / Servane Escoffier (FRA) / Thibault Hector (FRA) / Christophe Bachmann (FRA) / Jean-René Guilloux (FRA) / Arthur Hubert (FRA) / Baptiste Hulin (FRA) / Clement Commagnac (FRA)
- CORUM L’Épargne (FRA): Nicolas Troussel (FRA) / Sébastien Josse (FRA) / Marie Riou (FRA) / Benjamin Schwartz (FRA)
- LinkedOut (FRA): Thomas Ruyant (FRA) / Morgan Lagravière (FRA) / Clarisse Crémer (FRA) / Quentin Ponroy (FRA) / Laurent Bourguès (FRA) / François Pernelle (FRA)
- Offshore Team Germany (GER) (ex Acciona) Robert Stanjek (GER) / Benjamin Dutreux (FRA)
Class VO65
- AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED) / Chris Nicholson (AUS)
- AmberSail (LTU) / Rokas Milevičius (LTU)
- Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR) / Yoann Richomme (FRA) / Nicolas Lunven (FRA)
- Sailing Team Poland (POL) / Bouwe Bekking (NED)
- Team Childhood I (NED) / Simeon Tienpont (NED)
- The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUT) / Gerwin Jansen (NED)
- Viva Mexico (MEX) / Erik Brockmann (MEX)

Link to full article:
News - The Ocean Race Europe Sees The IMOCA Fleet Back in Action - Vendée Globe - En

Link to official race page: The Ocean Race Europe
 
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How to follow the race

The main outlet will be the official website, with videos also posted on You Tube, Facebook and Eurosport.
The official website will include a live tracker. - How to follow The Ocean Race Europ
Note that coverage starts the day before ie Friday.

"The Ocean Race website will go into race mode ahead of start day, and is the hub for all key content for The Ocean Race Europe, including: video and still imagery from the yachts; results; latest news; and, during the offshore legs, a race tracker showing the positions of the yachts."

Sea Wolves will be following the race. Florian Rooz was OBR filming on board a V65, Childhood, during leg three of the Prologue in the Baltic Sea. I think this is a result of having arranged for some Seawolves fans to experience sailing on that yacht. Sea Wolves Training on board of V65 Childhood | Sea Wolves Sailing TV and News

Video one is just Florian on his boat a week ago breaking the news with various clips.
Video two Florian and leg three of the race. [Updated 29/05/2021]

Sea Wolves - BIG NEWS! Will be OBR on V65 Childhood for LEG 3 of the Ocean race Prologue! DAY 1


a 1000 Miles on Volvo 65 Childhood - Leg 3 - the Ocean Race Europe prologue - Pure sailing adventure


 
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Ocean Race Europe - Prologue (An additional race which preceded this one)

Some of you will have noticed a dashed route on the map, denoted "Prologue". This was an event arranged by four of the VO65 teams based in the North of Europe. It's a pity we missed this but there is some coverage of the event on YouTube thanks to Ambersail2. I've linked these below for convenience so you can have footage from the prologue from start to finish, though not 24/7 obviously.

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From the official site:

Four of the Northern european based VO65 teams have started sailing in a prologue event they've organised as they head south towards Lorient, France for The Ocean Race Europe.

The 10-day prologue begins this weekend and features sailing in Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, with Ambersail2 (LTU); Sailing Poland (POL); The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUT) and Team Childhood 1 (SWE/NED).

The VO65 teams organised the prologue event as an opportunity to race together and get in some critical practice time ahead of The Ocean Race Europe at the end of the month.


Source: VO65 teams build towards The Ocean Race Europe with prologue.

Longer article: Four VO65 teams racing in the Baltic

Polish team, Sailing Poland, won the first leg of the prologue, from Klaipeda in Lithuania to Gydnia in Poland.
Bekking’s Sailing Poland grab victory

Team Childhood 1, reached Stokholm first to win the second leg of the prologue. It seems there was a series of Pro Am events in Sweden before leg three Team Childhood take victory in hard-fought Prologue race

The winner of leg three and the prologue overall, was Team Childhood 1. Florian Rooz will be joining the team during leg three of the actual Ocean Race Europe.

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Link to article from 18th May: Prologue finishes with Team Childhood 1 overall victory

There is some coverage of the prologue on Youtube. These are from Polish team Ambersail 2.

Early on in the first video is a bit political with the EU flag being given to each team. Lithuania is of course bordered to the East by Russia. After the ceremonies and chatter in the background the boats start to sail.


The first competition, the Klaipeda Coastal Race, lasts around three hours. ETA - tidied up to try and keep coastal race videos together. There is a mix of content and cameras on the commentary boat, on land and on the boats themselves.









Ocean Race Europe - Prologue

If you have any additional material to add for the prologue, please head the post with Ocean Race Europe - Prologue. This makes it easier to search or skip posts.
 
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Ocean Race Europe - New media partner Discovery; Weather; Official videos (short); Social Media links.

Discovery, famous for Discovery Channel, has partnered with Ocean Race Europe, so this will extend coverage. The Ocean Race Partners With Discovery to Showcase New European Competition

I could be mistaken but it looks like Code Zero sails are going to be required for the first leg of the race.
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You can click through the charts here: Surface Pressure Charts

Useful forecast selection tool here: Surface analyses - charts around the world.

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https://ocean.weather.gov/shtml/A_24hr500.gif

Perhaps some of the IMOCAs will be able to make good use of their foils after Biscay?

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Current Marine Data | Oceanweather Inc.

Short videos posted by the official organisation on You Tube so far, give an overview of the route and some thoughts from sailors.



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Official playlist 2021 saves confusion with previous events. You can click on the menu in the top right of the frame to access the current playlist for this year.


How to follow The Ocean Race Europe:

Extensive coverage is planned across 54 markets in Europe including:
May 27, 28 – 23 minute magazine show 1 - linear
May 29 - One hour live race start from Lorient – linear, Pan-Euro
June 7 – 23 minute magazine show 2 - linear
June 14, 15 - 23 minute magazine show 3 - linear
June 22, 23 - 23 minute magazine show 4- linear

There will also be explainer and short stories on digital channels, as well as daily news coverage, photos, and videos across social platforms.

Another channel LIVE: The Ocean Race Europe 2021 | Dreamsports.tv

Social media channels:

Facebook: The Ocean Race

Instagram: Login • Instagram

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theoceanrace

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theoceanrace
 
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Ocean Race Europe - Seawolves previews the race! Tracker details.

The first leg of the race is due to start after midday. Hopefully some coverage will appear on the main site around midday Saturday. In the meantime, here is Seawolves! Great that Seawolves is covering the race. Florian sailed for six days in the Baltic Sea with Team Childhood in leg three of the Prologue a few weeks ago.
He will be giving an analysis after the start of the race.

Sea Wolves - The Ocean Race Europe report - 24 hours till start - Teams - Route - weather - Coffee!​

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Finding trackers and resources isn't always easy by navigating menus, so here are links and some screenshots of what the tracker and scoreboard look like. A nice touch is the glossary of terms.

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Tracker - The Ocean Race 2022-23

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The Ocean Race 2022-23

News feed: The Ocean Race 2022-23

Glossary:
Glossary - The Ocean Race 2022-23

A reminder of the route:
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If you go to the route page, Route - The Ocean Race 2022-23 you can scroll down and you will see the four venues for the race with the scheduled start for each leg and in the case of Genoa, the coastal race.
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You can click on each for a bit more information.

ETA - This is a brief and informative article about the race if you just wanted to look at a page to get a quick brief on what it's all about. How to follow the Ocean Race Europe - Yachting World
 
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Ocean Race Europe - Live start; Tracking snapshot after first hour.

Live start from around 12:30 BST for an hour. You can watch it from the beginning on YouTube linked below. Excellent coverage on board, from the sea and from the air. Great explanatory narration. Very informative.

Tricky start due to light winds. No advantage to foiled IMOCA 60s at low speeds so VO65s can still compete with them, despite being a different class. While the VO65s are designed to accommodate crews, only one IMOCA 60 is adapted. The other IMOCA 60 crews are using bean bags and working around each other.



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Speeds have slowed a bit. Lets look at the wind.
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As expected, the high pressure is dominating this weekend. Any increase to around 10 kts will possibly benefit the foilers, otherwise VO65s and the unfoiled IMOCA 60 might have the advantage until winds pick up. One of the commentators mentioned the pros and cons of an open vs enclosed cockpit. In an open environment it's easier to detect changes in winds, whereas in an enclosed space you have to stick your head out. The enclosed area on the other and can help preserve the energy of the crew. In light conditions then, the open boats have a potential advantage. Now the wave directions.
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Ocean Race Europe - VO65s appear to have the advantage, for now.

If conditions remain the same I would expect the VO65s to capitalise that advantage. If favourable wind speed picks up a few kts that advantage might be lost.
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Louis Burton's Bureau Vallee lags the IMOCA 60 class leader by 5.6 nm.
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Now lets zoom out and look at their position relative to the course. There is quite a distance to the virtual marker before they turn and sail to Spain.
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Hopefully this evening Florian will have his analysis of the race so far.
 
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Ocean Race Europe - End of day one tracking check

Almost eleven hours have passed. Perhaps surprisingly the widest variation is between the VO65s with Viva Mexico leading the leg and The Austrian Race Project in last place. The IMOCA 60s are almost clustered in the middle of the pack

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Linked out leads the IMOCA group by nearly one nautical mile. The following four boats are all within half a mile of each other. That's remarkably tight.

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Now let's look at their overall position on the course. That's right, they are heading across the Bay of Biscay towards the Northern coast of Spain. This is not unexpected as their route is dictated by light winds from the East vs oncoming waves from the West. At some point they will tack towards the theoretical route. The deviation from course increases the distance covered and correction to be made. Currently nobody has a really clear lead and there's some assurance in taking the same route as everyone else as conditions will be unlikely to vary much so close to each other.

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They won't want to gamble too much at this stage unless the odds are reasonably favourable, in case they sprint in to comparatively still air. It might not be fast but it's still strategic and it's still demanding.

Nothing from Seawolves yet but it's a Saturday so I expect something cropped up ;-p

Day one Leg 1 start highlights (7 mins 39 secs)
 
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Ocean Race Europe - 24 hour positions and wind projections.

Almost 24 hours have passed since the start of this first leg of the race. The first thing to note is that the tight pack we saw yesterday has opened up slightly. The next thing of note is the windless high pressure area between the fleet and the virtual marker (red dot to the South west) which they need to sail to.

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The teams will be checking available weather charts in an effort to make some informed choices of how to get to the virtual marker as quickly as they can. As we saw in the Vendee Globe, it's not always the forecasts which tend to agree which best represent reality on the sea surface. Sometimes the outliers get it right. On the Vendee Globe the solo skipper takes all of this, what their instruments, sails and steering gear tell them and what they themselves see, feel, hear and even smell in to account. Here, the teams have a navigator and a skipper.

I had to be quick to capture these as they reset to +00h after a few seconds which is annoying. Here we have +12, +18, +24 and +36h. Some of the projections in between look like nonsense. The Vendee Tracker wind overlays also had the same issues. The teams won't be relying on these however.

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Looking at the NOAA chart, we can see how high pressure is dominant over the area, with widely spaced isobars indicative of relatively low winds. It looks like the foils will be a drag on the way out rather than of much benefit and no immediate opportunity to use them on the outbound section of leg one. Wave models still show wave direction to be heading towards the fleet from around WNW. Thankfully wave height is quite low on the way out to the marker but it is set to increase as they turn, around Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning,
towards the Portuguese coast.

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As we can see below, the teams are having to work to get as much of the low energy winds in to their Code Zero sails as possible while making headway.
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Ocean Race Europe - Video and photos

Coverage has been a bit sparse so far today. Unlike the Vendee Globe where we had regular updates from the skippers, who did their own video work and writing when they could find a few minutes, each team has a nominated on board reporter (OBR). It may be a case of waiting for OBRs to feed content to the HQ for editing or the fact that some of the commentary team are driving to Spain. In the meantime here is a short but informative video from Matt Sheahan of Planet Sail, recorded before the race started.

The Ocean Race Europe - Lorient​

29th May 2021, 5m 44s

"Matt Sheahan visits the centre of the offshore racing world, Lorient on the west coast of France where The Ocean Race Europe is about to get under way." Matt also talks about some of the unusual aspects of the race such as crews aboard IMOCAs and the impact of Covid. After his visit to Lorient, Steve is driving to Alacante which is race HQ.

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I decided to try looking at the official Twitter feed and found some content from 11th Hour Racing:
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Visit their website for full sized images and any updates:

THE OCEAN RACE EUROPE LEG 1 ONBOARD UPDATES & TRACKER
 
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Ocean Race Europe - Official video of day 1; Official Day 2 update; Link to photo gallery

Daily Fix Episode #1 | The Ocean Race Europe​

"An in-depth look at the first day of Leg One of The Ocean Race Europe with host Niall Myant-Best."

As written output has been a bit sparse here is the full article but without photos. The link is provided below.

Teams keep it close after busy first night at sea​

The leaderboard is compact and the racing is intense after day one of The Ocean Race Europe
May 30, 2021 16:02 UTC

The 12 international teams competing in the opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe have made steady progress across the Bay of Biscay in their first 24 hours since leaving Lorient, France yesterday afternoon, bound for Cascais in Portugal.

Although weather conditions have been comparatively benign so far, the crews nevertheless had a busy first night at sea as changeable winds called for a series of gybes to keep them sailing at optimum VMG to the first turning mark – a virtual waypoint out in the Atlantic Ocean.

As expected, the racing has been tight in both the one-design VO65 class and the development rule IMOCA 60 class. The crews in both fleets have been manoeuvring in packs with no one willing at this early stage to try a breakaway move.

In the VO65s the Portuguese favourites Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team have maintained their position at the front after leading the seven-boat fleet out of Lorient yesterday. Behind them however the chasing pack is hot on their heels with just seven nautical miles (nm) separating the whole fleet.

“We’ve got all the other boats on AIS (automatic identification system), the tracking system, and we are logging all the numbers of the other boats so we can monitor their performance and try to get the best out of our boat,” explained skipper Yoann Richomme on night one.

“Nico (navigator Nico Lunven) is checking the weather routing with the predicted weather from five or six weather files but none of them agree!! So we have to try and understand what is going on and make some tactical decisions based on the weather and what the others close to us are doing.”

Meanwhile, the IMOCA 60 crews have also been keeping it close over the first 24 hours of Leg 1 with all five crews matching each other’s manoeuvres as they raced downwind in the direction of Cape Finisterre at the northwest corner of Spain.

On Sunday afternoon the five IMOCAs were separated laterally by 14 nm, with the USA entry 11th Hour Racing Team holding the top spot by virtue of its positioning furthest west and closer to the virtual turning mark.

“So far so good,” said skipper Charlie Enright on the first night at sea. “It’s been pretty tricky… I feel like we’ve positioned ourselves in a way that, nine times out of ten, it’s pretty good. But the important thing is, the boat is going well.”

“The new Bureau Vallée seems faster than the old Bureau Vallée,” said navigator Davy Beaudart “All is good with the crew and the weather and we are trying to learn how to go faster and faster. We are expecting fair winds from Cape Finisterre and a fast run to the turning mark and on to Cascais too.”

Wind strength and boat speeds are forecast to increase steadily over the next 24 hours as the teams close on the Spanish coastline and set themselves up for some fast reaching out into the Atlantic on their way to the virtual turning mark, with an expected arrival in Cascais, Portugal on Wednesday.

Link to source where you can find the article with photos:
Teams keep it close after busy first night at sea

Link to photo gallery, with pages full of content: The Ocean Race Europe | Leg 1 Start
 
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Ocean Race Europe - 36 Hr Progress check - Speeds have doubled

The good news is that wind has intensified and sailing speeds have increased to over 19 kts, for now at least.
Some of you will recognise the yellow virtual box below - It's the DST, a no entry area at the North West corner of Spain. That confirms that the fleet have crossed Biscay.
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Looking at the course with wind overlay applied:
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Here are the six hourly projections for the next 36 hours:
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Here is the 24 Hr wave forecast:
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Ocean Race Europe - Teams approaching virtual marker; Strengthening winds; IMOCAs ~ 27kts; Official daily report and video; Seawolves commentary and analysis.

At last winds have increased and enabled some of the IMOCA 60s to reach almost 27 kts. 11th Hour Racing and Linked Out are now an hour ahead of third placed CORUM l'Epargne. Offshore Team Germany don't have foils on their IMOCA and are near the back of the fleet, with VO65s ahead of them and three behind them.

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team lead the VO65s and are faster than IMOCA Bureau Vallee. The race is definitely on now. Hopefully the sailing from the virtual marker to Cascais should be faster than the outbound part of leg one.

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Now to catch up with today's reports. First the official report for Monday, then the video Daily Fix 2, which is full of important insights. Some great on board videos and information packed in to just under 18 minutes.

Fast reaching to the west for The Ocean Race Europe fleet as winds freshen in Atlantic​

The miles are falling fast as the fleet finds favourable conditions, with a tricky transition ahead…
May 31, 202114:39 UTC

Freshening winds off the northwest tip of Spain have meant significantly faster sailing for the 12 professional crews representing nine countries racing from Lorient, France to Cascais, Portugal on the opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe.

After spending much of the first night and day of the leg engaged in a prolonged series of gybes criss-crossing the Bay of Biscay in light to moderate breezes, since passing the longitude of Cape Finisterre yesterday evening the crews have been enjoying straight-line sailing as they head almost directly west towards the turning mark – a virtual waypoint out in the Atlantic.

Thomas Ruyant’s French foiling IMOCA 60 LinkedOut was the first boat to make the final gybe to the west at around yesterday afternoon, followed almost instantaneously by the US-flagged 11th Hour Racing Team, skippered by Charlie Enright.

As the breeze steadily ramped up this pair were soon ripping westward in close formation, and overnight both crews locked into a nice angle and sea state that, for a couple of hours at least, saw the leading IMOCA boats averaging close to 27 knots of boat speed. Those are impressive performance stats and a significant early indicator of the performance potential when racing IMOCA 60s fully-crewed. Extrapolated over 24 hours, it would be a record-breaking pace.

“Last night was fast – really fast,” said Seb Josse from on board CORUM L’Epargne, in fourth place on the IMOCA leaderboard as of Monday afternoon. “We were going at over 30 knots. But now the wind is starting to drop a little bit… We have to manage the transitions as the wind will ease off and go to the left, so we can expect to use a bigger headsail, and to have really light winds. But the transitions will be really quick… and during the next night it should be really fast (again).”

Josse is referring to a weather transition bringing lighter winds that will likely see the backmarkers closing the gap as the leaders approach the turning mark. But conditions are forecast to strengthen again as the fleet gybes through a left hand turn and sets up on the layline towards the finish off Cascais, Portugal.

In the VO65 fleet, the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team from Portugal remains in control of the seven-boat fleet today with an 11 nautical mile (nm) lead over the Dutch-flagged AkzoNobel Ocean Racing, skippered by Chris Nicholson, in second.

Speeds across this fleet of identical boats have remained very even, with all the crews pushing their boats at over 21 knots and just 10 miles separating the top five boats.

“It's fascinating how the teams are so close, even after like twenty five, twenty seven hours of racing, you wake up after your shift, you go on deck and you see the other teams so close to each other,” said Deimantė Jarmalavičiūtė from AmberSail-2. “And being in the ocean, it's an amazing feeling.”

With fast reaching conditions forecast to resume on the way back from the Atlantic turning mark the estimated time of arrival in Cascais for the first boats home remains near midday on Wednesday June 2.

Get the latest from the tracking on the homepage of www.theoceanrace.com

Link to article with photos: Fast reaching to the west for The Ocean Race Europe fleet as winds freshen in Atlantic

Daily Fix Episode #2 | The Ocean Race Europe​



Seawolves: Florian's analysis, published early Monday afternoon, is based on 36 hours of the race. So was mine but that was Monday 1am ;-p Saves me looking for charts again though.

Sea Wolves - The Ocean Race Europe report - Day 2! Light winds too BIG breeze COMING! Linked-out 1#!​

 
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Ocean Race Europe - The race to Cascais for a Wednesday finish to Leg One.

The IMOCAs have not been able capitalise on their lead to the virtual marker or waypoint. VO65 Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team currently lead the four foiled IMOCAs and two other VO65s as the seven boats race towards Cascais. There are less than five nautical miles between the front and the back of these boats and only 2 nm between the four IMOCAs. That is remarkable. Perhaps the four teams are working close to the limitations of what these closely matched boats are capable of in the given conditions.

An area of comparatively low wind stands as a barrier to the coast. Will this be enough of a hindrance to the IMOCA 60s to allow the three VO65s to reach the finish first? Will any of them be able to break away in front?

[ETA - The Daily Fix, posted below, is really excellent and well worth watching]

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Here is the official video for Tuesday.

Daily Fix Episode #3 | The Ocean Race Europe​




The article below is text only for those who have difficulty viewing the original. You can view the full article in it's original format with photos at All to play for during final night at sea after a day of fast and furious racing

All to play for during final night at sea after a day of fast and furious racing​

Leg One is likely to be decided in the final hours with one last hurdle between the fleet and the finish line off Cascais

After an adrenaline-fuelled day of power reaching through the Atlantic the 12 weary crews competing in The Ocean Race Europe are facing a challenging final night at sea as they close in on Cascais, Portugal – the finish of the race’s opening leg from Lorient, France.

The northerly winds strengthened as the fleet rounded the virtual Atlantic turning mark early this morning, and that meant some exhilarating high-speed sailing for the crews in both the one-design VO65s and the development rule IMOCA 60 class as they headed back towards Cascais.

In the IMOCA 60 class, the fierce foiling match race between Thomas Ruyant’s French entry LinkedOut and the American 11th Hour Racing Team, skippered by Charlie Enright, continued to rage. The two boats were neck-and-neck on the way out the turning mark with the American boat getting there just ahead at around 0140 UTC.

From there the narrowly separated duo raced flat out towards Cascais at speeds touching 30 knots as they traded the lead back and forth several times.

At around 1100 UTC on Tuesday the LinkedOut crew appeared to seize the initiative by gybing away to the south – apparently in an effort to stay in the strongest winds. The move did not go un-noticed by their rivals and the 11th Hour Racing crew followed suit some 40 minutes later.

Both crews are pushing their foiling boats hard and the two IMOCA 60s were clocked at speeds up to 25 knots this afternoon. Positioned slightly nearer to the finish line than the French crew on LinkedOut, 11th Hour Racing top the leader board Tuesday afternoon, but with plenty of racing action to go before they reach the finish line in Cascais the final result is still in doubt.

In the VO65s, Portugal’s Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team skippered by Yoann Richomme continues to sail a near perfect race at the front of the seven-boat fleet. The team rounded the virtual turning mark around 30 minutes ahead of the second-placed Dutch entry AkzoNobel Ocean Racing – skippered by Chris Nicholson – with Bouwe Bekking’s Sailing Poland, and Simeon Tienpont’s Childhood I (NED) also in hot pursuit.

“It's been pretty windy since yesterday afternoon and we rounded the virtual waypoint a few hours ago and we're heading back to Cascais now,” said Jack Bouttell, watch captain on the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team boat. “It should be a very wet and windy day, I think.

“We're leading the 65 fleet... So I think we're in a pretty good spot. I think the main stress will now be just obviously going fast today, but then in the approach into Cascais it gets light again and managing that will be the last big hurdle I would say.”

It is noticeable on the race tracker that AkzoNobel Ocean Racing has been sailing a lower and slightly faster course than their rivals ahead and astern. As the day wore on their southerly track steadily increased the lateral separation between them and the other three VO65s.

In terms of distance to the finish, this dropped them down to third behind Sailing Poland, but given the gybe to the south executed further down the track by the two leading IMOCA 60s, it could be that the AkzoNobel Ocean Racing crew have positioned themselves well to make gains during the hours of darkness. Only time will tell, but as in the IMOCA 60 fleet the battle for line honours looks likely to go right down to the wire.

The ETA in Cascais will be influenced by conditions near the finish. Estimates for the first finish range from 0800 local time (UTC+1) to around noon. The full fleet should arrive within about four hours from first to final boat across the line.

Follow along on the Race Tracker at www.theoceanrace.com for the latest.

All to play for during final night at sea after a day of fast and furious racing
 
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Ocean Race Europe - Teams approaching Cascais to complete Leg One this morning.

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Official update:

Finish Blog: Down to the wire in leg one​

Check here for regular updates through the finish in Cascais
June 02, 202106:58 UTC

0700 UTC Update: It's going to be photo finish in Cascais for Leg One of the The Ocean Race. In both fleets the racing is incredibly tight.
For the IMOCAs, less than seven miles separate the fleet on distance to finish, with just over 50 miles to the line. But that's not the whole story. There is a Traffic Separation Scheme to negotiate (the yellow shaded box on the race tracker), with teams forced to chose a north or south option.
LinkedOut and Offshore Team Germany will drop to the south, with CORUM L'Epargne and Bureau Vallée taking a northern option. 11th Hour Racing Team still has an option but looks to be tracking north.

For the VO65s, it's similarly close, but all seven teams are to the south and the spread is just a few miles.
It will be stressful time for sailor and navigators as the breeze builds around the finish area for the final miles.

Finish Blog: Down to the wire in leg one
 
Ocean Race Europe - The DST split. VO65s ahead of IMOCAs. Offshore Team Germany lead IMOCAs!

The DST is a no entry zone which teams must negotiate. Bureau Vallee and Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team have committed to sailing in to Cascais from the North. Corum L'Epargne appears to have now commited to sailing Southwards with the rest of the fleet.

The region of comparatively low wind has indeed caused compression, allowing Racing Team Germany to catch up. Unlike the other four IMOCAs they are unhindered by foils and so this may play to their advantage.
At the moment the VO65 class looks likely to increase their lead over the IMOCAs but it's impossible to tell which VO65 will win this leg because they are all within 0.2 nautical miles in terms of their comparative distance to the finish! Astonishing.

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Will the Northerly winds give Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (MPRT) the advantage over the other VO65s?
Bureau Vallee is doing single figure speeds. I wonder if they have a problem as theoretically MPRT are in the same stream of wind. A problem with marine traffic perhaps?
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Just how close the leading boats to the South of the DST are can be seen by using the maximum zoom of the tracker. Otherwise they can be mistaken as one vessel, the one highlighted in black below.
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ETA official 0800 update:

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Unfortunately I won't be watching the finish live so I'll hopefully catch up this evening. Anyone is welcome to post updates.
 

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Ocean Race Europe -

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team now lag behind the other VO65s. They are just about to turn the North East corner of the DST. Will the Northerly winds be enough to help them make up the 4 miles they need or has their gamble failed? All the other VO65s are within half a nautical mile of each other.
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Has Corum a different sail configuration to the other IMOCAs? Look at the difference in speed! Will it be enough though and how long will it last?
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Signing off until this evening.
 
Ocean Race Europe - Leg One finish at Cascais. Daily fix video. Highlights. Article.

IMOCA winner and overall winner of leg one = Corum L'Epargne
VO65 winner = The Austrian Race Project (A fantastic result for this young team)

Schedule:
Thursday and Friday Rest up.
Saturday - Coastal race followed by start of Leg 2 - Cascais to Alacante.


First a couple of snapshots from the tracker playback.
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Tracker tables - results end of leg one.
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Daily Fix Episode #4 | The Ocean Race Europe​

"An in-depth look at the finish of Leg One of The Ocean Race Europe with host Niall Myant-Best."

[ETA: 12 minutes, packed with informative commentary, tracker graphics and excellent footage from the helicopter. Includes collision between two boats; loss of control Team Childhood's A4 sheet as it was left to fly in the air on the way to the finish and Corum's considerable speed advantage as it manages to use the foils]

Today's Highlights 02/06 | The Ocean Race Europe​

Today's Highlights 02/06 | The Ocean Race Europe

CORUM L’Epargne and The Austrian Ocean Race Project top the table in Cascais​

Austrian team stuns VO65 fleet in photo finish for The Ocean Race Europe

June 02, 202118:02 UTC
The opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe came to a nail-biting conclusion today in Cascais, Portugal with the winners in both the VO65 and IMOCA 60 classes decided only in the last few moments of the four-day passage from Lorient, France.

A thrilling finish in the one design VO65 class saw The Austrian Ocean Race Project, skippered by Gerwin Jansen (NED), pull off a remarkable come-from-behind victory to edge out Rokas Milevičius’ Lithuanian entry Ambersail-2 by just six seconds.

“It’s crazy that we won this super-intense race,” Jansen said from the helm, moments after crossing the finishing line. “Did you see that? Four boats in a row. What a wild race. We are super-happy!”

Later, on the dock, he said: “We are the newbies, the young team, not that much experience… The last 30 miles were so intense, it was unbelievable. We just kept on fighting and this was the result!”

A further 15 seconds behind in third was Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont’s Team Childhood I and the full seven-boat fleet finished within six minutes.

Meanwhile in the IMOCA class Nicolas Troussel’s CORUM L'Epargne (FRA) took the winner’s gun, ahead of Charlie Enright’s United States entry 11th Hour Racing Team in second, and Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut (FRA) in third.

“It was an intense race… and we knew that everything could be decided here like everything can be decided in Alicante and later on in Genoa for the race final,” Troussel said. “Anyway we’re really happy with that victory, we fought very hard and the finish was magical for us.”

Yesterday’s stint of high-speed, straight-line reaching back from the Atlantic turning mark had continued overnight for both classes, but at around 0600 UTC today the entire fleet started to compress as the IMOCA 60 and VO65 crews began to strategically position themselves to round the large race exclusion zone which blocked their path to the finish line.

In the VO65s, long-time leader Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team was alone in choosing the northerly route, while the rest of the class squeezed together into a tight gaggle to round the south-west corner of the zone.

The final 40 nautical miles (nm) of the leg saw the VO65s in the south racing line abreast with the leader board positions changing incessantly, seemingly with every new gust of breeze.

Things got even more unpredictable in the final 15 nm as the fleet slowed in easing winds from a cold front sweeping towards the Portuguese coast.

A split amongst the six southerly VO65s, saw Sailing Poland, Team Childhood I and The Austrian Ocean Race Project holding high, while AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED), Ambersail-2 (LTU), and Viva Mexico (MEX) gybed away to the south in search of a better angle to the finish.

When the boats converged again in the final two miles to the finish line there was nothing to choose between the Austrians, Ambersail-2, and Team Childhood I as they raced for the line.

In the end it was The Austrian Ocean Race Project, a new team with a relatively young, inexperienced crew, who edged ahead to claim victory over second-placed Ambersail-2 with Team Childhood completing the podium.

It is a testimony to the incredible intensity of the racing in the one design VO65 class that all seven crews finished within just six minutes of each other after more than four days of open water racing.

The racing between the five IMOCA 60s was also a close-run affair with all five teams very much in contention for victory on the final day.

Special mention should be made of the crew of non-foiling Offshore Team Germany, led by experienced offshore racer Robert Stanjek, who somehow managed to claw back a deficit of over 100 nm yesterday to take the lead at one point on the final approach to Cascais this afternoon, before ultimately finishing in fourth.

The decision on which route to take around the exclusion zone played a significant factor in the final IMOCA 60 standings.

Louis Burton’s Bureau Vallee (FRA), CORUM L'Epargne, and 11th Hour Racing Team, all looked set to round to the north but a last-minute change of heart from CORUM L'Epargne, and 11th Hour Racing Team saw them gybe away to the south.

Although this move initially looked costly for the French and American team, it paid dividends for both as they somehow managed to skirt their way around the exclusion zone quickly enough to be able to overtake Offshore Team Germany and Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut who had committed themselves to the southerly route earlier.

PROVISIONAL RESULTS:

IMOCA

1st: CORUM L'Épargne
2nd: 11th Hour Racing Team
3rd: LinkedOut
4th: Offshore Team Germany
5th: Bureau Vallée

VO65
1st: The Austrian Ocean Race Project
2nd: AMBERSAIL-2
3rd: Team Childhood I
4th: Sailing Poland
5th: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing
6th: Viva México
7th: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team

© Andre Carmo / The Austrian Ocean Race Project/The Ocean Race


Teams will get some well-deserved rest on Thursday and Friday in Cascais, before competing in the Coastal Race as part of The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy on Saturday and the start of Leg Two, into Alicante, on Sunday.

CORUM L’Epargne and The Austrian Ocean Race Project top the table in Cascais

ETA - removed Seawolves video having watched it this morning as it was just Florian watching the tracker results being updated.
 
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