The Ocean Race Europe - Saturday 29th May

Ocean Race Europe - Leg 1 Seawolves interviews; Saturday 5th June - Coastal race;

Schedule:
Saturday 5th June - Coastal race.
Sunday 6th June Leg 2 to Alicante.

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I took a quick look at the weather for Saturday before reading the official article, below. It does look like 15 to 20 kt winds for the coastal race, which should make things more dynamic.

METAREA3W HIGH_SEAS_FORECAST

Passage Weather is a great resource Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather

Official article:

The coastal race in Cascais provides bonus point opportunity for top teams​

Racing as part of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, the coastal race allows for scoring points, prize money, for winning teams

June 04, 202110:25 UTC

Saturday's coastal race during the Cascais stopover is the first opportunity for teams to earn bonus points on the overall leaderboard of The Ocean Race Europe.

The winner in each class (VO65 and IMOCA) will collect 3 points, 2nd place earns 2 points, and third place is good for a single scoring point.

In addition the top teams will be awarded prize money as part of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy.

Start time is 12:05 local time (13:05 CEST) for the VO65 class on Saturday afternoon, with the IMOCA class starting 10 minutes later at 12:15 local / 13:15 CEST.

The forecast is for 20 knot northwesterlies along a race course that takes the teams approximately 40 nautical miles, with a short upwind out to Cabo Raso, and then back down to a turning mark to the southeast of the entrance to the Tagus River before turning back again to the finish off the Clube Naval de Cascais.

"It's going to be a course of two sides," said Conrad Colman, the navigator on Ambersail-2. "The initial forecast is for lots of wind on one side and a bit less on the other. We'll see as the final weather models come in this afternoon.

"But if we learned anything from the last leg, it's that you ahve to be on your toes and really quick at changing gears, changing sails. We're looking forward to getting stuck in again."

11th Hour Racing sailor Justine Mettraux says it will be a physical race.

"We know it will be windy tomorrow so the poitn will be to keep it simple, get around the race track clean and take advantage of having five people on board.

"For sure it is hard on the guys grinding and very demanding. If there are a lot of sail changes, you feel it, even if it is not a long day on the water.

"It will be about finding the speed quickly, sailing less distance and doing the manouevres well."

With the extended race course, live coverage will be via Twitter commentary by sailing journalists Matthew Sheahan and Niall Myant-Best. Photos and video clips will be available during and after the race and the Race Tracker will be live as well.

Link to original article with photos: The coastal race in Cascais provides bonus point opportunity for top teams

Thumbnails for past few days articles, with links below, except coastal race article already linked above.
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CORUM L'Épargne (IMOCA) and The Austrian Ocean Race Project (VO65) win Leg One of The Ocean Race Europe

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

The Relay4Nature baton completes first leg of The Ocean Race Europe

Sea Wolves - The Ocean Race Europe Report - Leg 1 interview with Childhood (Jelmer van Beek)!​



Sea Wolves - The Ocean Race Europe report - Interviewing Charlie Enright (11th Hour Racing) Cascais!​

 
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Mirpuri Foundation Coastal Race -

This screen grab from the tracker shows the course for today's race, which will start with the seven VO65s.
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Tracker - The Ocean Race 2022-23

Updates are being tweeted https://twitter.com/theoceanrace and the event is being filmed, though no sign of live video coverage right now. [ETA video footage is being shown on Instagram and Facebook for those who use such things] Perhaps they are limited in broadcasting duration. Anyway, they will post video of the race later. A restart was called as some boats were over the line. You can use tracker replay to watch the race virtually from the beginning. It's not like watching action from helicopters, camera boats and on board but it does compress the race in to a short time.

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Update - Final turn and race for finish of coastal race.
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Mirpuri Foundation Coastal Race - Results, rolling article and video

VO65 - Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team
IMOCA - Offshore Team Germany
Bureau Valee did not finish.

N.B. Positions 1 and 2 in IMOCA table are provisional and have the same times but Offshore Team Germany is the official IMOCA winner for this coastal race. See article below.

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Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team and Offshore Team Germany are winners in the coastal race (N.B. Post times in descending order)

Home team beats the VO65 fleet while German non-foiler surprises in IMOCA

17:55 CEST - IMOCA RESULTS
  1. Offshore Team Germany (3 points)
  2. 11th Hour Racing Team (2 points)
  3. LinkedOut (1 point)
  4. CORUM L’Épargne
  5. Bureau Vallée
17:50 CEST - Offshore Team Germany has held on to beat 11th Hour Racing Team in the IMOCA fleet.

17:37 CEST - VO65 RESULTS
1. Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (3 points)
2. AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (2 points)
3. Sailing Poland (1 point)
4. Viva Mexico
5. Team Childhood
6. Ambersail2
7. Austrian Ocean Race Project

17:25 CEST - The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team has won the coastal race, earning three bonus points on The Ocean Race Europe scoreboard.
AkzoNobel Ocean Racing in second place earns two points while Sailing Poland in third place collects a single scoring point.

16:50 CEST - The boats are now in range and we have RAW footage from our helicopter and chase boat -


As ever, follow the twitter feed for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan. And we have great photos and videos on our IG and FB channels too.

16:15 CEST - Head over to www.twitter.com/theoceanrace for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan. And we have great photos and videos on our IG and FB channels too.
Getting exciting now as the leading boats approach the next mark before turning slightly towards the finish line.
Yoann Richomme's Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team continues to lead, for what could be a welcome win on home waters. But AkzoNobel Ocean Racing and Sailing Poland are keeping the pressure on and ready to pounce.

15:30 CEST - Head over to www.twitter.com/theoceanrace for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan. And we have great photos and videos on our IG and FB channels too.
The leaders have rounded the downwind turning mark and are now beating back upwind towards the finish line.
In the VO65 fleet, Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team held off a charge by AkzoNobel Ocean Racing and is leading towards home.
In the IMOCA fleet, it will be 11th Hour Racing Team leading into the mark, with Offshore Team Germany and LinkedOut pushing from behind.

14:25 CEST - Head over to www.twitter.com/theoceanrace for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan.
Both IMOCA and VO65 fleets are gybing downwind now, approaching the halfway point of the coastal race.
Sailing Poland and the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team are very close in the VO65 fleet with 11th Hour Racing Team and Bureau Vallée leading the charge in the IMOCAs.

13:30 CEST - Head over to www.twitter.com/theoceanrace for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan.
Both fleets are now underway in the first scoring coastal race of The Ocean Race Europe, the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy.
Both IMOCA and VO65 fleets are competing for bonus scoring points on the overall leaderboard (3 points for a win, 2 points for second place, 1 point for third, with the remaining teams not collecting points). There is also prize money on offer from the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy.

13:22 CEST - Head over to www.twitter.com/theoceanrace for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan.
Second start attempt is all clear and the VO65 fleet is racing - IMOCA to follow at 13:30.

13:15 CEST - Head over to www.twitter.com/theoceanrace for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan.
A general recall for the VO65 fleet on the first start attempt. The Race Committee is re-orienting the starting line and the fleet will restart at 12:20 local time.
The IMOCA fleet will follow 10 minutes later.

13:00 CEST - Head over to www.twitter.com/theoceanrace for live tweet updates from Niall Myant-Best and Matthew Sheahan.
The first fleet off the line will be the seven VO65s. They are racing for bonus points in The Ocean Race Europe (1st place, three points; 2nd place, two points; 3rd place, 1 point) as well as prize money offered up as part of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy.
Chris Nicholson, AkzoNobel Ocean Racing: "It's a 4 hour race so it's not long, but it's certainly not quite a sprint either……. semi new territory. Normally on an in-port race, you wouldn't be stacking but on this one it’ll be full stacking….so harder than normal."

12:10 CEST - The fleet is making its way from the docks to the starting area just off Yacht Club. Conditions are fresh, even in the protected bay, with about 12-15 knots, expected to build.

1130 CEST - Nice weather conditions here in Cascais this morning for the first scoring coastal race of The Ocean Race Europe. We're expecting 15-20 knots of Northerly wind once the boats get clear of the starting area.
Start time VO65 is 12:05 local time / 13:05 CEST
Start time IMOCA is 12:15 local time / 13:15 CEST
The full race is expected to take over three hours.
With the long race course, we will be sharing live images and shooting video for post-production. There will also be live tracker updates and sailing journalists Matthew Sheahan and Niall Myant-Best will be live tweeting the racing over at www.twitter.com/theoceanrace
Dockside this morning, the AkzoNobel Ocean Racing skipper Chris Nicholson said he was expecting 'an intense day, great racing'.

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team and Offshore Team Germany are winners in the coastal race
 
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Ocean Race Europe and Coastal Race - highlights video and weather Sunday.

Well I messed up with my original intro to the short video below, as it was so short (3m 18s) that a more dramatic video from 2019 was playing. Doh! Maybe we will get something better on Sunday. It's still worth a look though.

Highlights of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy | The Ocean Race Europe



The latest official article gives an account of the coastal race then discusses Leg 2 to Alicante, which starts on Sunday. As they say, weather is set to be blustery. Here is the part of the article regarding weather and leg 2 to Alicante:

Starting Sunday June 6 at 1300 local time in Portugal, the course for second leg of The Ocean Race Europe first takes the teams south to Portugal and Europe’s southwestern-most headland, Cape St. Vincent, before the yachts turn south-east towards the Strait of Gibraltar – the narrow and highly congested waterway between the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco, Africa which marks the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.

From there the most direct route to the finish in Alicante is along the Spanish Mediterranean coast. However, depending on the prevailing weather conditions the crews may opt to sail a longer route further offshore, in the hope of finding better winds that will get them to Alicante quicker.

In contrast to the mainly straight-line fast-reaching conditions the crews experienced on the three-day opening leg of The Ocean Race Europe, the latest weather models being pored over by the team’s navigators in Cascais this evening suggest the second 700-nm/1,297-km leg will be a longer more complex affair, featuring several key transitions between weather systems for the crews to deal with.

In particular, the passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea through the Strait of Gibraltar looks set to be a wild and windy experience where the funnelling winds are expected to peak at 35 – 40 knots.

“The leg is going to be intense,” said France’s Yoann Richomme, skipper of the Portuguese entry Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team.

“It's a very long downwind all the way to Cape St. Vincent and then a big transition before coming into some very strong winds at the Strait of Gibraltar with maybe some tacking on the Moroccan coast. Then it's [into] the Med, so the wind is going to be a little bit on and off. It's going to take quite a bit of time, almost four days to get to Alicante.”

Having incurred some bumps and bruises amongst the crew the first leg, Ambersail-2’s Lithuanian skipper Rokas Milevičius said the team would be taking extra measures to ensure everyone on board the VO65 stayed safe on the passage to Alicante.

“I think the next leg will be very challenging – very difficult safety-wise,” Milevičius said. “We had injuries already on the first leg, so we are taking extra precautions for the next one, because it looks like we are going to have a really bumpy, upwind ride through Gibraltar.

“Later on, when we are in the Med everything is more calm and easy to play – like the breeze and the light area – so should be fine. But I think the most crucial part will be the Gibraltar Strait and going in [to the Mediterranean] with the least damage as possible.”

The start of the second leg of The Ocean Race Europe from Cascais, Portugal to Alicante, Spain is scheduled for 1300 local time on Sunday June 6.
 
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Ocean Race Europe - Sunday 6th June - Start of Leg 2 - Cascais to Alecante

Start was delayed slightly. Relatively flat seas on the outset and good winds.

11th Hour Racing collision! Minutes from the start for the IMOCAs, 11th Hour Racing collided with a moored boat. There appears to be damage to the port foil. All parties are fine and well on both boats. The team is heading back to shore for damage inspection and repairs.

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The route is shown below.
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Official article and live video below:

"It's setting up as a perfect day for racing here in Cascais, with the start of Leg 2 of The Ocean Race Europe scheduled. The forecast is similar to what we had for yesterday's coastal race, with winds in the 15-20 knot range making for a fast run off the starting line.

We will have live coverage beginning at 13:45 CEST, ahead of a 14:00 CEST start time. The two fleets will have separate starts, with the five IMOCAs heading off first, followed by the VO65 20 minutes later.

Follow the action live, here at www.theoceanrace.com or on our YouTube or Facebook channels."

https://www.theoceanrace.com/en/news/12792_RACE-DAY-LIVE-Leg-2-start-from-Cascais.html

LIVE | Leg 2 Start in Cascais - The Ocean Race Europe 2021​




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Ocean Race Europe - 11th Hour Racing Team back in race; Live footage from Cabo San Vicente.

The fleet are passing between the Sagres Exclusion Zone and Cabo San Vincente on the South West tip of Portugal, allowing for some footage as they turn and make their way towards Gibraltar. 11th Hour Racing Team have restarted after inspection and repairs. They are currently just under 80 nautical miles from the leader and over four hours behind.

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Video feed included live audio, so we can hear the sailors talking. Excellent. Ocean Race HQ were participating in the YouTube live chat. After the live footage, they kept broadcasting but with additional material from different cameras on board the boats and particularly from the helicopters who have done a fantastic job, as have the producers. You can watch it again on the link below.

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Seas look almost ideal. Good winds at present.
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Ocean Race Europe - Progress check

11th Hour Racing Team are now passing Cabo San Vincente. They have been slowly catching up but are still over 75 nm behind the leaders, Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (MFRT). Interestingly, CORUM L'Epargne have fallen back to 31 nm behind MFRT.

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Ahead lies a convergence zone, where opposing wind systems meet, which could prove challenging.
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Ocean Race Europe - Progress check - Strait of Gibraltar (Updated 12:30)

11th hour racing have halved their distance from the leaders and are less than 40 nautical miles behind them.
Since last night the convergence area has moved Westwards and is now behind them, so this may have played out in their favour, enabling them to make up some of the distance lost after the collision yesterday.

The rest of the fleet are skirting the Moroccan coast and are about to negotiate the strait which narrows to just 7 nautical miles wide, where they will have to contend with oncoming winds and other traffic. However the permitted navigable channel is much narrower than this, as they have to sail to one side of the Gibraltar exclusion Zone, shown on the tracker map as a long yellow rectangle.

Once through the strait, the wind drops. That could affect responsiveness in an area where they need to be able to avoid other traffic. Ideally other traffic will avoid them.

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12:30 update - Sailing Poland lead

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Lets look at some official tweets.

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Imagine trying to sail in to 38 kt winds. The snapshot in the tweet above illustrates the need to capitalise on available space with long zig zags and no doubt substantial lean. Each time the boat gybes they need to consider distribution of mass, such as the large and heavy folded up Code Zero sails. It will be interesting to find out what configurations the teams have chosen.

I notice that some earlier tweets have similar tracker snapshots to those I posted above, so I won't copy them here. According to one tweet, both fleets are sailing ahead of predictions.
 
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Ocean Race Europe - First boats leave Strait of Gibraltar; Winds easing to East of Gib.

Sailing Poland (VO65) and LinkedOut (IMOCA 60) are in the lead as they leave the Strait of Gibraltar. With of 300 nautical miles to Alicante, I expect 11th Hour Racing Team to catch up with and overtake Bureau Vallee. I could be mistaken but I seem to recall commentary at the start of Leg 2 that Bureau Vallee was responsive but not necessarily fast in the water, whether by design or deployment. Perhaps weight savings have been excessive or it's an aspect of the foil angles? I wonder if they will be able to address this at Alicante in preparation for Leg 3?

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The wind overlay was not appearing for the tracker snapshot above but winds are still buffeting the boats in the strait, so the crews are working hard to deal with that and avoid traffic, as shown below. The wind's on the Marine Traffic map appear to be light to the East of Gibraltar and the tracker overlay forecasts show light winds moving Westwards in coming hours, so we will see speeds easing off the further the boats are from the Strait. A drop below the foiling threshold of the IMOCAs will again give the VO65s the advantage this afternoon and evening.

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Ocean Race Europe - All boats past Gibraltar. Light winds and low speeds. Video. Article.

As expected, 11th Hour Racing Team have caught up and are just 3.5 nm from Bureau Vallee and 13.5nm from the leader, AkzoNobel RacingOcean. Conditions in the Strait has helped alter the places somewhat, while the exit in to light winds in the Alboran Sea (Westernmost Mediterranean) has led to compression of the fleets.

That's still a great effort by 11th Hour Racing Team. They are not done with catching up either and seem to be making better speed than other boats in the same conditions. By now they seem to be a slick operation and will have gained even more confidence from making up the four hours they lost on Sunday.

[ETA - according to official article below, 11th Hour Racing Team are sailing without their damaged port foil, so must have removed it at Cascais before restarting leg two. Bureau Vallee were set back by a problem aboard].

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Now lets zoom out to look at the route and put their positions in perspective. The next DST, the Cabo de Gata Exlusion Zone will be interesting. They can either take the direct route to the North of it, where winds are light or they can sail to the South of it, where most wind energy is to be found but will be coming right at them. Perhaps some may choose a bearing towards Algeria then Northwards towards Alecante. It largely depends how conditions evolve. A finish late Tuesday may be possible. [ETA - official article says Wednesday finish, though it may slip with slackening winds].

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Now time for the Daily Fix. I may watch this with a beer shortly. [ETA - Niall Myant-Best illustrates with video how sails can drop under acceleration with each wave and that to get the best from the available wind energy the teams have to anticipate, watch and grind the sails in to take up the slack, then let it out again, for every wave, for hours].

Daily Fix Episode #5 | The Ocean Race Europe​


The official article for Monday should be informative. [ETA - It was!]

Crews battling fierce conditions in Gibraltar Strait​

It's been a challenging day for The Ocean Race Europe teams who faced gale-force outflow winds as they short-tacked into the Mediterranean...
June 07, 202115:59 UTC

A day after leaving Cascais, Portugal on the second leg of The Ocean Race Europe, this afternoon the race’s 12-boat fleet battled fierce headwinds in the Gibraltar Strait – the narrow and congested waterway dividing mainland Europe from north Africa – on their way to Alicante, Spain.

One of busiest commercial shipping routes in the world, the Gibraltar Strait marks the crews’ transition from the vast expanses of the Atlantic Ocean to the enclosed waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

As expected, strong easterly headwinds gusting over 40 knots made for brutal conditions for The Ocean Race Europe yachts for the three-hour Gibraltar Strait passage.

The five IMOCA and seven VO65 crews had made short work of the opening stage of leg two. They enjoyed mostly fast downwind conditions on their way south along the Portuguese coast to Cape St. Vincent, before they turned southeast overnight and this morning began to feel the effects of easterly headwinds flowing from the Mediterranean on the beat across the Gulf of Cadiz.

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR), skippered by France’s Yoann Richomme, made much of the early running among the VO65s during the first night at sea on leg two. Richomme’s international crew of men and women led until around 40 nautical miles (nm) / 74 kilometres (km) from the Moroccan coast where they ceded the lead to Sailing Poland, led by Bouwe Bekking (NED).

“We are in the Strait of Gibraltar and are actually on the Moroccan coast and currently Sailing Poland is in the lead so that’s quite nice but it has been very, very windy,” Bekking said on Monday afternoon.

“We saw up to 46 knots. Right now the breeze is going down a little bit but it is still a stiff 30 knots. Battling with Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team just behind us and then the IMOCA LinkedOut is just a little bit further offshore and AkzoNobel Ocean Racing has crossed to the other side so we have to see how it is all panning out in the next 10-12 hours.”

Ever since leaving Cascais on the second leg, two French teams – Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut and Louis Burton’s Bureau Vallée – had engaged in a fascinating downwind match race at the front of the IMOCA 60 class.

The pair had never been more than a few miles apart until, as they tacked north close to the coast of Morocco, a problem on board Bureau Vallée dropped them back behind Robert Stanjek’s non-foiling Offshore Team Germany (GER), and Nicolas Troussel’s CORUM L' Epargne (FRA).

“We’ve got 38 knots of wind which is a bit over the top,” said Clarisse Cremer from on board LinkedOut. “But it doesn’t matter because we are going a bit faster, doing many, many tacks between Spain and the African coast, a tack every ten and fifteen minutes, so everybody is up on the deck. We want to go as fast as possible which is a bit tiring as nobody is able to have a nap or anything because we have to be as efficient as possible.”

Meanwhile, Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team (USA) has made remarkable progress since restarting racing yesterday afternoon, sailing without a port foil, which was damaged in an incident with an anchored boat shortly after the start of leg two.

“We've restarted Leg 2, on our way to our Alicante, with everybody safe and sound,” Enright noted. “The objective is to keep it as close as possible here to push the boat within reason and see if we can get a couple of points and keep this show on the road and not throw in the towel.”

Having set off 77nm / 143km behind the pack yesterday, this afternoon they were just 36nm / 67km behind LinkedOut as they closed in on the Gibraltar Strait.

Prior to the start of leg two there had been much discussion in Cascais about what the winning strategy might be for negotiating the Gibraltar Strait. The consensus was to pick a side: either south, short tacking along the Moroccan coast; or north, doing the same along the Spanish shoreline – and nothing in between would do.

Led by Sailing Team Poland the bulk of the VO65 crews opted for the southerly option, but two of them – first Erik Brockmann’s Viva México (MEX), and then AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED) – made a break to the north in the hope of smoother sailing.

In the IMOCAs the LinkedOut and Offshore Team Germany crews kept a close eye on each other along the southern route, while the third-placed CORUM L' Epargne sailors tried their hand on the northerly route.

In the end there appeared to be little to choose between the north or south options. At 1300 UTC today as the leaders cleared the exclusion zone formed by the Gibraltar traffic separation zone and began to converge again, the Sailing Team Poland VO65 held a lead of a fraction more than one nautical mile over AkzoNobel Ocean Racing in second.

Emerging from the Gibraltar Strait racing bow for bow with the Polish leading VO65, the crew of the LinkedOut IMOCA 60 had established a healthy 10nm / 19km lead over CORUM L' Epargne and Offshore Team Germany in second and third respectively.

Conditions are expected to moderate for The Ocean Race Europe fleet as they move further into the Mediterranean tonight. With a little under 300nm / 556km still to race on this second leg the fleet is expected to arrive in Alicante, Spain on Wednesday June 9, although with light conditions forecast before the finish, this ETA could slide back.

Crews battling fierce conditions in Gibraltar Strait

In case anyone is wondering, I did look but haven't seen any Seawolves updates. Maybe he's on a boat again.
 
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Ocean Race Europe - Progress update plus short video of Monday highlights

It appears that just enough wind has moved West of the DST to make the more direct Northerly route viable, if not particularly quick. All the boats have chosen to take this route, sailing North of the DST, towards La Almadraba de Monteleva. The +00 wind overlay is not loading right now, so the screenshot below is of current boat positions, with the +03 wind forecast overlay. In these conditions the VO65s have the advantage. LinkedOut is the only IMOCA keeping up with the VO65s at the moment, while Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team and AkzoNobel Ocean Racing jostle for overall lead.

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Zooming out to look at the rest of the route:
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Looking at the 12 Hour wind projection, a Tuesday finish is looking unlikely.
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This close to the coast there is minimal heavy commercial traffic to contend with. It looks like there are a lot more fishing boats off of Alicante though.
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This short video is of Monday's highlights and is well worth watching, from rough sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar to the stars above an almost calm sea:
 
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Ocean Race Europe - From shore back to sea, in to the area of wind.

Having negotiated the Cabo de Gata Exclusion Zone by sailing North of it, the boats now try to avoid the windless direct route and head Eastwards to use the wind from the North East. Sailing speeds are still in single figures until they get further out. [Not that far out thankfully]

The distance to finish is only theoretical as clearly they will add on miles the further they have to sail out. Not everyone is in the same boat however (sorry). The more efficient the yacht, the sooner they can find a compromise between speed and distance to give them an early advantage, in theory at least.

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Of course the further out they go, the more boats there are, as they approach fishing areas and the main shipping route.

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Some time later and most boats are approximately on route as perhaps the wind has come further in towards them.
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Ocean Race Europe - Lead boats approaching final DST. ~50 nm to Alicante. Daily fix video. Pip Hare!

Each fleet is spread over 20 to 30 nm which hints at the challenges and physical attrition of continuously striving to maximise every opportunity and trying to keep the sails full.

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From the article published earlier this afternoon:

Gentler Mediterranean conditions prevail as intense racing continues on way to Alicante​

The ETA for the leaders to finish in Alicante has moved forward to Wednesday morning…
June 08, 202115:40 UTC
The weather conditions experienced by the 12 international professional crews competing in The Ocean Race Europe have moderated considerably from yesterday’s fierce headwinds winds that funnelled against them through the Gibraltar Strait.

However, despite the Mediterranean’s gentler breezes and flatter seas, the high intensity of the racing remains undiminished as the closely packed fleet closes in on the leg two finish in Alicante, Spain.

The screaming winds that pounded the yachts for most of the day in the Gibraltar Strait eventually gave way to ultra-light Mediterranean zephyrs yesterday evening, offering a chance for the sailors to rest a little and take stock of any damage to their boats.

Read the rest of the article here, bearing in mind the time stamp: Gentler Mediterranean conditions prevail as intense racing continues on way to Alicante

Tuesday's Daily Fix video is a must watch. Like the others it is under 20 minutes but packed with content. In the first seconds, we join Bureau Vallee as it is escorted by dolphins. The camera then pans around to Pip Hare. Later Pip talks to the camera and explains what happened aboard Bureau Vallee that slowed them down before the Stait. Perhaps we will find an account from her after the race. Will Harris, in the AkzoNobel Ocean Racing VO65, explains that while heading for the Strait of Gibraltar they headed North of a DST to make use of currents, which they hoped would help propel them along the coast.

Daily Fix Episode #6 | The Ocean Race Europe​



ETA - Progress check at 01:40 BST - Excellent! I'm still watching the video a bit at a time and it has really helped fill in the gaps in the action. Looking at the tracker, there could be a stage win by around 05:00 BST.
Notice how the VO65 class are entirely in front, while the IMOCA 60s have yet to pass the final DST. As to class wins we will have to wait and see. For the VO65s Mirpuri leads for now but is a little slow, so AkzoNobel are still in with a chance of class and overall win. For the IMOCAs it seems likely that LinkedOut will take first.

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Ocean Race Europe - Mirpuri win Leg 2, other boats still to finish.

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team reached the finish at Alicante at 03:35:59 UTC, followed by AkzoNobel Ocean Racing at 04:01:52 UTC. The next three VO65s arrived nearly four hours later. Two VO65s and all the IMOCA 60s are still racing in very light winds. Most, if not all of them will be arriving during the afternoon.

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Official rolling updates: Leg 2 - Finish updates - Mirpuri wins Leg 2

I won't be at a computer for the IMOCA finishes so will have to catch up tonight. Meanwhile, here is a short video of highlights from Tuesday.

 
Ocean Race Europe - LinkedOut wins Leg 2 in IMOCA 60 class; All VO65s have now finished Leg 2.

Unexpectedly I'm back on the computer for a few minutes so I thought I'd check on the race, as it turns out just as LinkedOut had finished. The other four IMOCAs are on their way, with CORUM L'Epargne possibly arriving by 15:00 UTC

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More results to follow plus the official video, The Daily Fix tonight. Teams will have a couple of days rest before another event based around Alicante on Saturday, followed by the start of Leg 3.

One thought that occurred while watching Pip yesterday; I wonder how her Vendee experience has affected how she feels about a crowded boat, something she has done so many times before? Of course she can adapt back to team work as many do but is it different now and might it guide the direction she takes?
 
Ocean Race Europe - Leg 2 results and link to article; The Daily Fix (official video).
ETA - Live Leg 2 Finish video


For those who want to follow the timeline, you could try following the rolling updates on the following article, from the bottom up: Leg 2 - Finish updates - LinkedOut wins the IMOCA class for Leg 2
Or you can follow the tracker from the beginning at warp speed: Tracker - The Ocean Race 2022-23

LIVE | Leg 2 Finish (Watch again on YouTube - Duration One hour)



The official article is a bit long, so I'm just including the results, excerpts relevant to the coastal race on Saturday, Leg 3 which starts on from Sunday and a link to the full article:

Close finishes leave it all square at the top of IMOCA and VO65 leaderboards​

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team leads VO65 fleet into Alicante with LinkedOut the top IMOCA in Leg Two...
June 09, 202115:17 UTC

Leg Two Provisional Results

VO65

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR) – 7 points
AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED) – 6 points
Sailing Poland (POL) – 5 points
Viva México (MEX) – 4 points **
Team Childhood I (NED) – 3 points
The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUS) – 2 points
Ambersail-2 (LTU) – 1 point
** The Race Committee is checking Viva Mexico for a possible infringement of the TSS (traffic separation scheme), which may have an impact on their score in Leg Two.

IMOCA 60
LinkedOut (FRA) – 5 points
Offshore Team Germany (GER) – 4 points
11th Hour Racing Team (USA) – 3 points
Bureau Vallée (FRA) – 2 points
CORUM L' Epargne (FRA) – 1 point

Overall standings after Leg Two

IMOCA 60

LinkedOut (FRA) – 9 points
Offshore Team Germany (GER) – 9 points
11th Hour Racing Team (USA) – 9 points
CORUM L' Épargne (FRA) – 6 points
Bureau Vallée (FRA) – 3 points

VO65
Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR) – 11 points
AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED) – 11 points
Sailing Team Poland (POL) – 10 points
The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUS) – 9 points
Team Childhood I (POL) – 8 points
Ambersail-2 (LTU) – 7 points
Viva México (MEX) – 6 points **
** The Race Committee is checking Viva Mexico for a possible infringement of the TSS (traffic separation scheme), which may have an impact on their score in Leg Two.

Close finishes leave it all square at the top of IMOCA and VO65 leaderboards



I hope all is well with Florian Rooz as I've not seen any updates on Youtube or seawolves TV for nearly a week Sea Wolves Sailing TV and News | We love Sailing and Coffee!
 
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Ocean Race Europe - No racing today; Looking ahead to Sunday, Leg 3

I was looking forward to a bit of coastal racing today but that was based on previous events. At the end of Daily Fix episode 7, which I have just replayed, Niall-Myant-Best said there was one more leg (leg three) then a coastal race at Genova. That coastal race may be pivotal in deciding the winner.

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The official tracker is still set to Leg 2, so we don't have the dashed line of the theoretical route to Genova. However, here is the tracker map with the wind overlay for around midday on Sunday.
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Yet again light winds are the dominant feature. Teams will be looking at all the available charts for forecast winds, sea state and currents. They will also be studying what other teams did in light winds, some successfully and others not so successfully. Comparatively less drag and maximum efficiency in capturing the slightest breeze should again put the VO65s at an early advantage over the IMOCA 60s.

If the forecast plays out there could be a useful system developing on Sunday evening. Although the winds will still be light it will at least be slightly better and in a beneficial direction for the route. This is +30 Hrs
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Winding forward to +42 winds die down again in the Balearic Sea. The Gulf of Lion is another matter entirely! Notice the Mistral or Tramomantane winds sweeping down across the route. This can make for some rough sailing, so expect the big Code Zero sails required in the Balearic to come down in readiness for rougher conditions. The timing of this sail change will be important. Depending on how close the boats are to each other they may be tempted to persist with the Code Zero until the last moment but persevere too long with it and it could become a liability, losing them time trying to recover control of the boat.
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Ocean Race Europe - Leg 3, Sunday 13th June - Official updates, articles, videos

The official website has uploaded the theoretical route from Alicante to Genoa on to the tracker map and initiated the countdown to start of Leg 3.

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This gives us an opportunity to take a fresh look at the forecast winds for around midday on Sunday.
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Zooming in we can see a slow start is likely, again favouring the VO65s.
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The start line can be seen between the two red dots below Alicante. It will be interesting how teams choose how to negotiate the Cap Negre Exclusion Zone. Open sea allows more space but sailing too far South East of the theoretical route risks weakening winds. Are there useful currents around that corner of the coast?
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I have not looked deeply in to this but I'm guessing that there is some uncertainty in the forecasts for this route beyond the first day. Hopefully there will be live coverage of the start when they can give us a briefing on the latest expectations. There are two official articles which were published on Saturday afternoon.

From the first article:

The course for leg three takes the fleet out of Alicante to a turning mark near Tabarca Island, just off the coast, before freeing the teams to head to the finishing line off the Italian coast at Genova, with no other restrictions.

Mediterranean weather conditions are notoriously changeable and unpredictable at this time of year and on leg three the crews are likely to have to deal with any combination of strong winds, flat calms, and whatever else the weather gods choose to send their way.

“The weather looks very tricky, really difficult,” said 11th Hour Racing Team’s navigator Simon Fisher. “It’s going to be a case of joining the dots to link up what little wind there is. For the start it will be reasonable but to the north it is very light, so the direct course looks difficult.”

In fact all of the sailors had similar assessments – good breeze for the start and then a very challenging few days as they try to put miles under the keel to get north. In the VO65 fleet, the challenges are the same.

Watch our Alicante start programme live from 12:45 CEST at www.theoceanrace.com

Live coverage will also be available directly on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd-kj8ShMRRDKrONtkjVRgg

Also from the first article:

The Ocean Race Europe - Overall leaderboard

IMOCA

1. LinkedOut -- 9 points
2. Offshore Team Germany -- 9 points
3. 11th Hour Racing Team -- 9 points
4. CORUM L' Epargne -- 6 points
5. Bureau Vallée -- 3 points

VO65
1. Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team -- 11 points
2. AkzoNobel Ocean Racing -- 11 points
3. Sailing Poland -- 10 points
4. The Austrian Ocean Race Project -- 9 points
5. Team Childhood I -- 8 points
6. AmberSail-2 -- 7 points
7. Viva México -- 5 points

Tied at the top ahead of Sunday start of all-important final leg to Genova​

Positioning in the IMOCA and VO65 fleets is wide open heading into challenging final offshore leg of The Ocean Race Europe
June 12, 202113:29 UTC
The 12 international crews competing in the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe will leave Alicante, Spain on Sunday June 13 bound for Genova, Italy, on the final stage of the new three-leg offshore event.
Tied at the top ahead of Sunday start of all-important final leg to Genova


The second article has some interesting insights regarding fully crewed IMOCAs, how some Vendee sailors feel a bit out of place in a team after three months solo (I think this partly answers my question posted here the other day) and how some team members used to VO65s find the autopilot on an IMOCA takes away something that was part of their work ethic. They are all learning, whatever their background and experience. Quite a mash up then. I wonder if this will feed back further in to the IMOCA organisations considerations for future design rules? Conversely, can a VO65 be tailored for short sailing? Probably.

All for one – One for all​

June 12, 202116:15 UTC
As the IMOCA60 fleet swings to the breeze that sweeps across the harbour in Alicante it is impossible to miss just how different all five boats are. The very nature of these radical looking 60 footers makes them the epitome of a development class.
All for one – One for all

I notice that the Vendee Globe site has a couple of articles about IMOCAs in the Ocean Race Europe:
News - IMOCAs Racing Close on The Ocean Race Europe - Vendée Globe - En
News - LinkedOut In First - Vendée Globe - En

Continuing with a closer look at the IMOCA 60s, here is Niall Myant-Best on the water:

Close up comparison of the IMOCA 60 Fleet ⛵️ | The Ocean Race Europe



The Ocean Race also put up this video, on Saturday, of drone footage.

You've never seen a sailing race like this before | FPV Drone ⛵️​

 
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Ocean Race Europe - Leg 3 - Link to Live Start Blog and Live video, 10+ kts forecast,

I'm glad I was wrong about the weather at the start. That should make it more interesting. CEST is Central European Summer Time which is one hour ahead of BST.

LIVE START DAY - Live blog for the Alicante Race Start

It's start day in Alicante. Our LIVE video coverage begins at 12:45 CEST on YouTube, Facebook, and right here at www.theoceanrace.com

10:25 CEST - IMOCA teams are begining to get ferried out to their boats, which are sitting on swing moorings in the harbour. And the VO65 pontoon is a hub of activity with final loading and unloading of the boats.

It's hot and humid in Alicante today, but the breeze is expected to build to 10+ knots by start time. It should be great!

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Link to Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/theoceanrace
Link to tracker: Tracker - The Ocean Race 2022-23

The live footage of the start officially runs for 45 mins then continues towards the first mark.

Screen grabs:

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Ocean Race Europe - Tracking

Live video coverage continues to 12:57 BST. Thereafter we need to rely on the tracker, rolling blog, twitter feed and of course the Daily Fix and any other official updates.
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Teams have Code Zeros ready to deploy on rounding the first marker.
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Really tight racing to the first marker by Bureau Vallee but they were slow to fully deploy and fill their Code Zero enabling Corum to take advantage.

Here we can see the twenty minute start difference between classes, with VO65s currently in front.
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LIVE START DAY - Live blog for the Alicante Race Start

ETA - Mirpuri appeared to be first to turn past the second marker but Viva Mexico have taken a far tighter turn..
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... giving them the lead.
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Of course that only holds true in respect of the theoretical route. Now the weather, tactics and teamwork really come in to play.
 
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