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Team Malizia - The final push through the Southern Ocean

by Team Malizia 30 Mar 00:07 PDT
Navigator Nicolas Lunven looking worried with Boris Herrmann © Team Malizia / Antoine Auriol

We are in the final week of the Southern Ocean Leg of the iconic Ocean Race, with the teams estimated to arrive on 2nd April 2023 in Itajaí, Brazil. The end of this race looks to be an exciting one though: Team Malizia is currently still in the lead but only by 10 nm at the time of writing, with Team Holcim-PRB still hot on their heels.

Since co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper suffered a concussion four days ago and is still recovering, the team are down a vital member of the crew and have had to change their shift patterns. Skipper Boris Herrmann and co-skipper Will Harris are alternating watches every four hours to leave co-skipper Nicolas Lunven free to spend hours on the computer as "The Brain", running the weather routing options and expertly navigating them to the finish. Although tired, the three of them are just happy that Rosie is recovering and putting their full focus on sailing as hard as possible towards Itajaí.

This is no easy feat as currently the wind is incredibly variable, switching from zero knots up to 51 knots within a matter of minutes. This is coupled with an incredibly confused sea state that is making sailing very tricky. The team are having to stay incredibly focused on the autopilot in order to maintain course and safety during these extreme conditions.

Many people think of Cape Horn as the most challenging part of the world to sail in, however, coming round the corner in these conditions may be the trickiest part of the race yet. In relation to the race with Team Holcim-PRB, Will Harris commented: "We have been sailing our own strategy. We are not at the point where we would match race them. There are still five or so days left in this leg - there is a lot that can happen so we have to sail our own race. The easiest way to finish ahead of them is to give ourselves an opportunity to jump ahead by a few miles. We have to do what we think is right and play our own game."

Anything could still happen in this race with all the teams pushing hard to make up the miles, they will have windy conditions for the next day, in about 24 hours Malizia and Holcim will have to contend with lighter winds as they edge ever closer to their final destination.

The Malizia shore team is already set up and ready to greet the crew; their yacht, Malizia - Seaexplorer will be hauled out for an intense two week refit period before the start of Leg 4 on 23rd April 2023 towards Newport, USA.

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