Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

The Ocean Race Europe Leg 3 Day 4 - Fleets compress as light winds continue on approach to Genova

by The Ocean Race 16 Jun 08:09 PDT 16 June 2021

Another 24 hours of light wind racing out on the Mediterranean on the third and final leg of The Ocean Race Europe has seen both the VO65 and IMOCA 60 fleets compress significantly as they push towards the finish line in Genova, Italy.

There has been compression in the five boat IMOCA 60 class with the trailing group of four foilers - 11th Hour Racing Team (USA), LinkedOut (FRA), Bureau Vallée (FRA), CORUM L'Épargne (FRA) - all starting to make better progress in new breeze and eating considerably into the leg-long lead established by the non-foiling Offshore Team Germany (GER) skippered by Robert Stanjek (GER).

At 0000 UTC / 0200 this morning Stanjek and his crew - navigator Benjamin Dutreux (FRA), Annie Lush (GBR), Phillip Kasüske (GER), and their onboard reporter, Felix Diemer (GER) - were 97nm/180km ahead of the pack.

This afternoon at 1300 UTC/1500 CEST that lead had nearly been halved, to 58nm/107km as the American-flagged 11th Hour Racing Team - made up of skipper Charlie Enright (USA), past winners of The Ocean Race Pascal Bidégorry (FRA) and Simon Fisher (GBR), Swiss round the world sailor Justine Mettraux, and OBR Amory Ross (USA) - leads a charge from the foilers in new breeze that has seen the yachts accelerate to consistent double-digit speeds for the first time in 48 hours.

"We're trying to push hard for sure," said Stanjek from on board the German boat. "But it's just very tricky on this coastline. Overall, I'm very happy with the sailing on a big lead over the rest of the fleet. We just have to sail our race and bring it home safe. But we have to stay focussed - it's not a given."

"Well, we're sailing these ocean-going machines inside the Mediterranean Sea, so it's very complicated," said 11th Hour Racing Team's Charlie Enright. "There's not a lot of wind and they don't go well in not a lot of wind. So you need to squeeze every ounce of performance out of them or you may never get started again if you stop. And we've done more manoeuvres in this leg probably than we have in the rest of the race combined already. So it's really tricky. And you got to stay on your game."

There's more of that to come, with another night of light winds and calm areas forecast before the IMOCA fleet finds its way to Genova on Thursday.

But further ahead, the seven VO65s continue to make the best of light to moderate conditions with the entire fleet of identical one-design yachts now within 100 nautical miles (nm) / 185 kilometres (km) of Genova.

Sailing Team Poland VO65 was still in front on Wednesday afternoon, albeit with a dramatically reduced lead over their nearest rivals, second placed Team Childhood I (NED) and Mirpuri Foundation racing Team (POR) in third.

The Polish-flagged yacht skippered by Dutch serial around-the-world racer Bouwe Bekking has led the VO65 class for the majority of this third leg from Alicante, Spain and at one point was 27nm/50km ahead of the pack. Since yesterday that advantage has been pegged back to under five nautical miles / nine kilometres.

With under 60nm/111km still to race to Genova, just 26nm/48km separated the VO65 leader Sailing Team Poland from seventh placed The Austrian Ocean Race Project (AUT). The Polish team's nearest rivals - Childhood I skippered by Simeon Tienpont (NED), and the Yoann Richomme (FRA)-skippered Mirpuri Foundation Ocean Racing - are respectively four and six nautical miles behind and ready to pounce on any mistake. But with the chances high of a breeze shutdown tonight on the approach to Genova, at this stage none of the chasing fleet can be ruled out of a leg three podium position.

"We managed to get away from Mallorca and Minorca with the Polish, although they were leading by 10 miles and managed to pull away from the rest of the field by almost you know, 20 miles..." explained Yoann Richomme on board the Mirpuri Foundation boat. "Luck can turn and it's still a long leg to Genoa."

"There's still a lot to fight for," said navigator Will Harris with the fourth-placed AkzoNobel Ocean Race. "We've got Poland who were 22-23 miles ahead of us last night, now that's down to 13 miles. So we'll see kind of how the opportunities come up. But still a whole load of snakes and ladders to play before we get to finish."

Latest estimates predict that the earliest arrivals in Genova would be near midnight tonight, but there is significant uncertainty in that ETA. If the wind holds as it is, the leading VO65s could arrive over two hours earlier. But if the wind dies out as forecast, the boats could be drifting, becalmed, within just miles of the finishing line well into the morning hours.

There will be live coverage of the finishes in Genoa on The Ocean Race YouTube and Facebook platforms as well ashttps://

You can follow the progress of the fleets on the race tracker and through updates at and

The Ocean Race Europe - Overall leaderboard: (after Leg 2)

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

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

Related Articles

Start date confirmed for The Ocean Race 2022-23
Two race fleets will assemble in Alicante, the Spanish home of the Race Two race fleets will assemble in Alicante, the Spanish home of the Race, for the winter holiday period in 2022 before a mid-January 2023 start for leg one of the around the world race. Posted on 24 Nov
The Ocean Race is in the Race to Zero
Joining hundreds of leading sports organisations The Ocean Race is joining hundreds of leading sports organisations across the world in making bold commitments to drastically reduce its impact on the environment. Posted on 20 Nov
The Ocean Race: Two stopovers dropped
The next edition of The Ocean Race will feature the longest Southern Ocean leg in its history. Auckland and China have been dropped as stopovers for the next edition of The Ocean Race. The course for the crewed race around the world has been updated and it includes an epic crossing of the Southern Ocean - the longest leg in the history of the Race Posted on 4 Nov
Relay4Nature arrives in Glasgow
For global climate conference COP26 Nature's Baton, the symbol of Relay4Nature, has been welcomed at the landmark event by Vel Gnanendran, Director for Climate and Environment, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. Posted on 1 Nov
1,000 miles offshore race announced for July
Third annual Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy to include brand-new "A Thousand Miles Race" A 1,000 miles offshore Atlantic race and two new official race records are among the exciting additions to the 2022 Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, which will take place next year in Cascais, Portugal. Posted on 31 Oct
Italia Sailing Team enters The Ocean Race 2022-23
The goal is to give Italian tourism a further boost and enhance the Made in Italy brand During a press conference organised by the Yacht Club Italiano on Sunday evening, the Italian Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, gave his full support for an Italian entry in the next edition of The Ocean Race, scheduled to start in late 2022. Posted on 20 Sep
Boat building industry comes together
To drive action for the planet A new survey by The Ocean Race, the world's toughest test of a team in sport, has found an overwhelming number of people working in the sailing and boat building industry want the field to become more sustainable. Posted on 14 Sep
Ocean Race to call for action to protect the seas
At IUCN World Conservation Congress The Ocean Race, the round-the-world sailing competition known as the toughest test of a team in sport, is set to play a leading role in one of the world's most important environmental conferences. Posted on 2 Sep
Line honours for Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team
In 21st edition of the prestigious Cascais Vela The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team was awarded the trophy for line honours 1st place with its VO65 boat "Racing for the Planet", with a clean sweep of victories in one of the biggest and most prestigious regattas in Portugal, Cascais Vela. Posted on 31 Aug
Spanish fishermen are fighting pollution
Collected waste is used in the manufacturing of sustainable clothing Nacho Llorca, the President of the Villajoyosa Fisherman's Association, shares how pollution is threatening the livelihoods of fishermen all over the world. Posted on 20 Aug
Henr-Lloyd 2021 For the love of foul weather FOOTERCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 2Armstrong-Logo-Only-728x90 gif BOTTOM