Please select your home edition
McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 LEADERBOARD

The Ocean Race Europe: First boats round Point Alpha, now foiling fast to Cascais

by Richard Gladwell/ 31 May 2021 19:45 PDT 1 June 2021
The Ocean Race Europe. Leg 1 from Lorient, France, to Cascais, Portugal. On Board 11th Hour Racing Team © Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race

The first boats, both IMOCA60's, have rounded Point Alpha, a virtual mark located 480nm to the west of Cape Finisterre at the entrance to the Bay of Biscay.

11th Hour Racing, skippered by Charlie Enright (USA) was first around at 01.39.29UTC followed by LinkedOut skippered by Thomas Ruyant (FRA) 10minutes later at 01.49.18UTC, or 2nm astern.

After the rounding the two boats followed slightly different courses with 11th Hour Racing sailing higher, and gained .5nm by 0300hrs UTC - based on a distance to finish basis.

A third IMOCA60, Corum skippered by Nicolas Troussel (FRA) rounded Point Alpha about 90 minutes later with a fourth Bureau Valle skippered Louis Barton (FRA) rounding 20minutes later.

The first VO65, Mirpuri skippered by Yoann Richomme (FRA), rounded at 0412hrs UTC and was just over 50nm behind 11th Hour Racing. AkzoNobel skippered by Chris Nicholson (AUS) was the second VOR65 around Point Alpha 25minutes behind Mirpuri.

From Point Alpha it is straight line sailing in moderate to fresh breezes, to Cascais with both the IMOCA60's and VOR65's sailing at approximately the same speed.

The first boat is expected to finish in about 24hours.

From race leader, 11th Hour Racing's OBR (On Board Reporter) Amory Ross (USA) filed this report, 150 nm out from Point Alpha as they chased then race leader LinkedOut, foiling at speeds of 32kts running them down and rounding Point Alpha.

"Checking in from onboard a very quiet boat! These short legs certainly promote the sprint mentality and after a relatively gentle exit out of Lorient, it has been a literal frenzy. There is some serious sleeping going on right now during this brief respite as we inch west towards the imaginary offshore waypoint.

"Finisterre is one of those notorious corners of the world where you can always expect a bit of weather, and sure enough, on cue it was straight into a sharp build in wind, two sail changes, a gybe and a reef, then tearing off into the night we went, LinkedOut ahead but in sight. Everybody was psyched. We’ve done a lot of sailing as a team before, but alone. There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline-fueled chase for the lead.

"Boy was it a good chase. By virtue of two completely different boats and two completely different sail concepts, we traded positions all night sailing our own best angles. Sometimes we were high and they were low, then the breeze would change, we’d both ‘peel’ to something different, then they’d be high and we’d be low. We zigged and zagged around each other all night, often very close, spying navigation lights and spray through the window while foiling along at speeds of up to 32 knots. It was breakneck and exhilarating. Nobody slept. Everything we signed up for in that one little sampling. These boats are incredible.

"At daybreak the winds eased, as did our 25 knot averages. LinkedOut is well positioned below and bow out and we’ve been attempting to match their speeds all day. It has been a tremendous learning experience already, finally having someone else to line up against. Besides sleeping… we are experimenting. Small changes here and there, analyze the result. Redo. Some things work and some don’t but in general we learn something from each exercise.

"An hour or two of serenity is left before we get back to the big winds. We go headfirst into a front tonight before rounding the virtual mark – now 150 nautical miles away – turning around, and overtaking it again. Lots of intensity left but also lots of opportunity. It’s great to be racing again!"

Related Articles

How deep is your love?
Vital to making sailing a life-long pastime Some will know this as a Bee Gees or Take That song, and those of a younger generation will know it as a Calvin Harris track; either way, it is vital to making sailing a life-long pastime. Posted on 11 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy 2022 concludes
Green Eyes clinches line honours in the NHC class The 107-foot superyacht Green Eyes and the professional sailing team on board the VO65 Racing for the Planet walked away with line honours after two days and closely fought racing in the bay of Cascais. Posted on 11 Jul
The Ocean Race announces a Positive Change Partner
The partnership announced today will see DSC aligned with The Ocean Race Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) and The Ocean Race will team up to promote The Dole Promise and support the DSC's sustainability journey towards zero fossil-based packaging by 2025 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Posted on 7 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy 2022 preview
Exciting flotilla to line up for the highly anticipated event The regatta will see the third edition of the sustainable event get under way to cannon fire from onboard the Navio Patrulha Oceânico Sines of the Portuguese Navy at midday on Saturday July 9th. Posted on 6 Jul
Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights campaign
The Ocean Race is launching One Blue Voice, new initiative to drive public support for ocean rights The ambitious campaign aims to give the ocean a voice and put in place a global framework for protecting the marine environment, which plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the planet. Posted on 6 Jul
UN Ocean Conference
The Ocean Race calls for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights The Ocean Race and its global collaborators - including the Government of Cabo Verde - took a major step forward in their efforts to give the ocean a voice and make it an international legal entity. Posted on 1 Jul
Pelle Petterson receives Magnus Olsson Prize
Now the circle is complete, with the first Swede recognised The Swedish sailing icon and legend, Pelle Petterson, has been announced as winner of the prestigious Magnus "Mange" Olsson Prize 2022, which is awarded annually to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the world of sailing. Posted on 10 Jun
Leading voices call for ocean rights
To protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean The Ocean Race Summit Stockholm - Racing to protect the Southern Ocean, brought together sailors, scientists, policymakers and adventurers yesterday (Wednesday 1st June), to discuss the urgent need to protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Posted on 3 Jun
Ocean Race aims for equal number of men and women
The ambitious 2030 target is part of a new collaboration called Horizon The ambitious target is part of Horizon, a new collaboration with The Magenta Project, World Sailing Trust and PA Consulting, dedicated to increasing the number of women in professional sailing. Posted on 26 May
The Ocean Race: Extreme 'On-Board Reporters'
IMOCA and The Ocean Race shine a spotlight on the OBRs In part five of this series, IMOCA and The Ocean Race shine a spotlight on the OBRs who are responsible for taking photos, filming videos and writing texts in seemingly impossible conditions, to give the outside world an insight into life on board. Posted on 25 May
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERHenri-Lloyd 2022 August Summer Sale - SW FOOTERSea Sure 2021 - FLO - FOOTER