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The Ocean Race Europe: Mirpuri Foundation is first to finish in Alicante

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 8 Jun 22:47 PDT 9 June 2021
Muripuri Foundation - The finish of Leg Two of The Ocean Race Europe, from Cascais, Portugal, to Alicante, Spain © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

The 12 boat fleet in The Ocean Race are finishing Leg 2 at Alicante, Spain, after being slowed by light winds.

First in was the VOR65 Mirpuri Foundation at 3.35hrs UTC, followed 26 minutes later by another VOR65 AzkoNobel

The VOR65 fleet had a better time of the last hours in the leg, with all seven VOR65's ahead of the first of five IMOCA60's, but the one-design fleet is sailing more slowly than those designed to the IMOCA60 rule.

At 0230hrs UTC, Mirpuri Foundation was 6.2nm from the finish, and sailing at just 3.7kts and progressing at a speed of less than 1kt toward the finish. AkzoNobel was 7nm from the finish sailing slightly faster at 7kts. Third on the water was listed as Sailing Poland, 15.8nm from the finish and sailing at 1.7kts

Observations on the land at Alicante recorded the wind strength as being 5kts - which would appear to be more than being experience by the race fleet.

The IMOCA60 fleet were being led by Corum L'Epargne which was 61.1nm from the finish, but sailing at 10.5kts through the water and making an effective speed towards the finish at the same speed - more than 10 times faster than Mirpuri Foundation.

However the VOR65's received a new breeze, with Mirpuri Foundation hitting almost 11kts and heading straight to the finish with a couple of miles left to sail.

AkzoNobel hit a similar patch of breeze about 2nm from the line, and crossed 35minutes later slowing a little before crossing at 0401hrs UTC, 10nm ahead of the third placed VOR65 Team Childhood 1.

Of the IMOCA60 fleet Corum L'Epargne was leading when the first VOR65 went across the finish line, but only making less than 1kt and overtaken by LinkedOut when they were 58nm from the finish.

To follow race progress www.theoceanrace.com/en/europe/racing/tracker

Updates from The Ocean Race Europe:

0715 CEST - Team Childhood, Sailing Poland and Viva Mexico are in a tight group and are the next VO65s likely to fi nish. They have less than 10 miles to go but are only making about 3 to 4 knots towards the finish line in the light winds.

The first IMOCA will likely be LinkedOut, but CORUM L'Epargne has set up much closer to shore. At the moment, it does not appear to be paying off, but let's see. Thomas Ruyant's LinkedOut is still over 40 miles from the finish.

0540 CEST - Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team win Leg 2 of The Ocean Race Europe, and earn 7 points on the leaderboard.

0532 CEST - Follow the live finishes with a RAW feed from the chaseboat camera below. (Warning, this is a RAW feed, with limited lights... unless very close to the race yachts, the picture quality may be poor for the leading finishers)

05:30 CEST - The finish line is agonisingly close for the Mirpuri Foundation crew now, but the wind isn't cooperating. The boat has slowed to a crawl just over two miles from the finishing line. But it will only take a few puffs of breeze to get them across. It shouldn't be long now and with a bit of margin over AkzoNobel, the lead should be safe.

04:45 CEST - The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team and AkzoNobel Ocean Racing remain in lockstep at the head of the VO65 fleet, and have been making the most of a light land breeze all night to close in on the finish in Alicante.

Conditions are extremely light and fluky, with speeds ranging moment by moment from less than 2 knots to nearly 10 knots.

The tracker is the best guide to where the boats are in relation to the finish and how fast they are going, with updates every minute

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