Please select your home edition
Edition
ABS24-SailWorld-1456x180-TOP_02

11th Hour Racing Team in final preparations ahead of The Ocean Race

by 11th Hour Racing 17 Nov 2022 08:09 PST January 15, 2023

With two months to go until the start of the 31,700 nautical mile (36,500 miles, 58,700 kilometers) round-the-world adventure - The Ocean Race - US entry 11th Hour Racing Team is in the final preparation stages ahead of the race start on January 15, 2023.

With the exception of two summers in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, the team has been predominantly based out of Concarneau in Brittany, France, since 2019 - a region internationally renowned for its offshore sailing facilities. Over the last two months, the team has participated in several elite and invaluable training sessions alongside other Ocean Race competitors at Le Pôle Finistère (Course Au Large) academy, as well as multi-day offshore training sessions to optimize the team's performance.

After the completion of the most recent training session in October, the team's 60-foot IMOCA, Malama, was lifted out of the water and underwent its final refit, Class Measurement, and safety inspections before the start of the race.

The Class Measurement process is a strictly enforced and compulsory measurement process, managed by the IMOCA Class. To ensure safety in the upcoming Ocean Race, the Class has stipulated that all boats taking part in the race must be re-measured after the Route du Rhum and before the start of The Ocean Race - a process critical to not only ensuring an even playing field, but also the safety of the fleet. 11th Hour Racing Team is the first team to have undergone this to the satisfaction of the Class Measurer - the remaining boats will be measured after the Route Du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe.

"Measurement is an important part of a race campaign, not only to ensure all the boats are Class compliant but also, and more importantly, that they are safe," commented Team CEO, Mark Towill. "We have three brand new IMOCAs in The Ocean Race fleet, and, just like us a year ago when we launched Malama, in the first few months after leaving the build shed a considerable amount of work is done to optimize a boat's performance. It is good to see the IMOCA Class, the Class Measurer, and The Ocean Race all working closely together to ensure the proper protocols are met," Towill concluded.

As additions and reinforcements are made to a boat freshly launched - new appendages are trialed, equipment is put on the boat, adjustments are made to the hull and deck, and the living areas are completed - the boat gains weight. The Class Measurers weigh the hull, the foils, and the mast, and the one design keel undergoes a thorough check.

In addition, the Measurers need to ensure that the boat can be self-righted, so they complete a 90-degree test, pulling the mast down to the water level to determine the center of gravity and ensure the boat can return upright, and also complete a computerized 180-degree test in the event of a capsize.

"When we are racing, each team is another's safety network, particularly when in the Southern Ocean, as we are so far from land, we are reliant on each other in the event of an incident," commented skipper, Charlie Enright. "Measuring all of the boats before the start of The Ocean Race is a critical process that demonstrates safety is at the forefront of decision-making by IMOCA and the race. It will give everyone peace of mind that the boats are safe to undertake a race of these epic proportions," Enright concluded.

While the other IMOCAs in The Ocean Race are in the final stages of the Route du Rhum, for 11th Hour Racing Team the countdown to the start of the race continues, and this Friday, November 18, the team will leave Concarneau and set sail for a three-week training session in Cascais, Portugal, another location famous for its favorable winter offshore weather conditions.

"To have satisfactorily completed the measurement process and to have Malama back in the water is a big moment for the team. It finally feels like the start line - which we have been working so hard towards for so many months - is finally within touching distance," said Enright.

"Our team has sailed for over a year and racked up over 25,000 nautical miles of training onboard Malama. The last few weeks back in the shed have allowed us to complete our final touches, and ensure that she is not only Class compliant, but also safe to undergo the rigors of The Ocean Race.

"Passing the measurement process and leaving Concarneau feels like the final hurdle in the preparation phase of our campaign. This is what we have been building up to since we launched our campaign in September 2019, and I can say with confidence we are showing up to the start line having done everything within our power to be strong competitors.

"Attention to detail is now crucial as we use the days we have left to iron out any creases, improve our onboard processes, and continue to optimize our performance," Enright concluded.

In mid-December, the team will sail Malama from Cascais to Valencia, Spain, where it will be hauled out to undergo final checks before arriving on January 2, 2023, in Alicante, Spain, for the start of The Ocean Race 2022-23.

The 14th edition of The Ocean Race will start from Alicante, Spain on 15 January 2023.

Learn more at 11thhourracing.org.

Related Articles

11th Hour Racing sponsors UpWind by MerConcept
Supporting a more inclusive and diverse offshore sailing community 11th Hour Racing announced today the new sponsorship of UpWind by MerConcept, to recruit, train, and support a team of six female sailors as they compete in the Ocean Fifty offshore sailing circuit. Posted on 13 Feb
11th Hour Racing sponsor Francesca Clapcich
Expanding its work beyond sustainability On the heels of The Ocean Race win by its sponsored team, 11th Hour Racing is expanding its work beyond sustainability and ocean health to champion diversity, opportunity, and access in sailing. Posted on 1 Feb
11th Hour Racing: When the dust settles
The end of the year is always a moment for reflection The end of the year is always a moment for reflection. Even in our wildest dreams, we couldn't have imagined how this year would unfold - from the highs and lows of the race itself, to the incredible welcome home in Newport. Posted on 16 Dec 2023
Top sailing team releases impact report
Detailing the integration of sustainable practices within the four-year campaign Professional US sailing outfit 11th Hour Racing Team has released an Impact Report detailing the integration of sustainable practices within the four-year campaign. Posted on 14 Nov 2023
1th Hour Racing Team - New behind the scenes video
The Art of Branding: 11th Hour Racing Team's vibrant identity by Van Orton Design When art meets performance, the result can be spectacular. The creative duo behind Van Orton Design, Marco and Stefano Schiavon, are proof of this concept. Their vibrant branding took the world stage with 11th Hour Racing Team during The Ocean Race. Posted on 14 Oct 2023
It's a double win for the 11th Hour Racing Team
Adding The Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Trophy to the overall race title 11th Hour Racing Team has won the Genoa In-Port Race, the final battle of The Ocean Race 2022-23, bagging the US team the top spot in the overall In-Port Race Series. Posted on 1 Jul 2023
11th HRT wins with focus on sustainable future
First US team to win iconic race is inspired by commitment to a sustainable future Placing ocean health and sustainability at the heart of all operations, U.S.-flagged 11th Hour Racing Team successfully fulfilled its mission by capturing an historic win in The Ocean Race. Posted on 1 Jul 2023
11th Hour Racing Team wins The Ocean Race 2022-23
After the Jury awarded 11th Hour Racing Team 4 points of redress 11th Hour Racing Team has won The Ocean Race 2022-23, the world's longest and toughest team sporting event - the first time a US team has won in the 50-year history of the Race. Posted on 29 Jun 2023
11th Hour Racing leaves for Genoa
After their shore team was able to effect repairs in 72hrs 11th Hour Racing Team has left The Hague, The Netherlands after its shore team worked collectively to repair its raceboat in less than 72 hours following a no-fault collision soon after the start of Leg 7 of The Ocean Race 2022-23. Posted on 19 Jun 2023
Heartbreak is two-sided coin, a story of 24 hours
It was supposed to be the highlight of the race for 11th Hour Racing Team It was supposed to be the highlight of the race for 11th Hour Racing Team, but just 17 minutes into the final leg, disaster struck. Posted on 17 Jun 2023
Cyclops Marine 2023 November - FOOTERArmstrong 728x90 - A-Wing XPS - BOTTOMC-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOM