Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Early advantage to Biotherm as The Ocean Race Leg 4 kicks off on Super Sunday in Itajaí

by The Ocean Race 23 Apr 2023 12:46 PDT 23 April 2023
The Ocean Race 2022-23 - Biotherm during the start of Leg 4 in Itajaí © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

The second half of The Ocean Race is on as the fleet races north out of Brazil

Nearly 350,000 fans visited the Ocean Live Park in Itajaí, Brazil this month to celebrate The Ocean Race stopover.

And on Sunday, Leg 4 of The Ocean Race got under way, as the five-boat IMOCA fleet set out from Itajaí, on their 5,000+ nautical mile adventure towards Newport, Rhode Island, in the USA.

It was a close fought battle at the start of the two-lap inshore section of the race course, with no one wanting to concede an inch to a rival crew.

What appeared to be great starts by 11th Hour Racing Team and GUYOT environnement-Team Europe - with the two boats right on the starting line at full speed as the starting gun fired - turned out be a little too good.

The two IMOCAs were judged to have crossed the starting line a fraction too early and were forced to turn back and restart. It was an expensive mistake which left the way clear for Biotherm to take the early lead ahead of Team Malizia and Team Holcim-PRB.

With around 10 knots of breeze, there wasn't quite enough for full foiling, but the fleet was still making good progress at up to 18 knots of boatspeed.

Biotherm continued to extend its lead, helped in part by a duel for second between the next two boats. By the start of the second lap, Holcim-PRB finally managed to overhaul Malizia for second place, with the two premature starters - GUYOT and 11th Hour Racing - trailing some way behind.

By the end of the inshore section, Biotherm held a very healthy advantage over the fleet, while GUYOT had done a good job of closing the gap to Malizia in front.

Earlier, the sailors were farewelled off the dock in Itajaí by a large and enthusiastic crowd. The Brazilian stopover embraces The Ocean Race family fully and completely and the passion of the people here set a warm tone for the day. Over 315,000 people had visited the stopover heading into Sunday. When the last crowd is accounted for later this afternoon, the final number will be near 350,000.

A further 250 boats were on the water to witness the start and while Paul Meilhat's Biotherm team led the way, he was excited by the prospect of close racing all the way to Newport.

"I think it will be a close race again on this Leg," he said just before docking out. "I mean, when we were at Point Nemo [the most remote place in the world] we had four boats within a mile of each other! That means that it could happen every time. If it happens again this leg I will be happy because we are here for that, we're in this race for close competition."

The Leg from Itajaí to Newport, Rhode Island is just over 5,000 nautical miles and is expected to take up to 17 days, with an ETA around May 9th or 10th.

Follow all the latest on the tracker here.

Related Articles

Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy concludes
The festival of sailing was contested by 700 sailors battling across seven classes The annual Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, which took place in Cascais, Portugal, came to a close on Sunday evening after two days of close and intense racing. Posted on 9 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy Preview
700 sailors ready to race in the 5th edition The annual Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy event is set to get under way this weekend from 5 to 7 July in Cascais, Portugal. Posted on 1 Jul
Bernardo Freitas to skipper Racing for the Planet
In the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy 2024 The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team announces that former team watch captain Bernardo Freitas (POR) will lead the Team in the 2024 edition of The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, in July. Posted on 9 May
The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy preview
A sustainable regatta that will see sailing boats take to the Atlantic coast of Portugal Organised in partnership with the Clube Naval de Cascais, the sustainable regatta will see a large number of sailing boats take to the Atlantic coast of Portugal, to raise awareness and important funds for marine conservation programs. Posted on 24 Apr
The Ocean Race will return to Genova
A key stopover for The Ocean Race Europe in 2025 The Italian city of Genova and The Ocean Race will extend their close relationship with The Ocean Race Europe bringing a fleet of foiling IMOCA race boats to the Mediterranean port in the late summer of 2025. Posted on 24 Apr
The Ocean Race joins world leaders in Athens
Nature's Baton and the Relay4Nature connect at Our Ocean Conference The Ocean Race joined world leaders at the Our Ocean Conference 2024 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, Greece on Tuesday, who had gathered to advance measures to protect and restore ocean health. Posted on 17 Apr
The Ocean Race sails into Athens
For the Our Ocean Conference UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean hands Nature's Baton to Greece's Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Oceans and Coordinator of the conference. Posted on 15 Apr
The Ocean Race and IOC UNESCO collaborate
Contributing towards the science we need for the ocean we want In the lead up to the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference, The Ocean Race today shared the impact of the data collected by teams and sailors through the race's science on board programme. Posted on 9 Apr
The Ocean Race gathers critical polar ocean data
From Antarctica and the Northwest Passage The Ocean Race is providing critical data to international scientists studying the impact of climate change and plastic pollution on ocean health. Posted on 8 Apr
The Ocean Race Europe 2025 will start from Kiel
Aim is to combine this event with the topic of ocean health and protection Organisers of The Ocean Race have confirmed Kiel.Sailing.City as the host of the start of The Ocean Race Europe during a press conference in Kiel on Wednesday morning. Posted on 14 Feb
Doyle_SailWorld_728X90px-05 BOTTOMC-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOMSelden 2020 - FOOTER