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Holcim-PRB shipped on a cargo vessel bound for Newport

by Team HOLCIM - PRB 3 May 2023 09:07 PDT
Team Holcim-PRB - The Ocean Race © Marin LE ROUX | PolaRYSE | Team Holcim-PRB

It was under a blazing sun that the Holcim-PRB technical team present in Rio worked all day yesterday to allow the IMOCA to be loaded on board a cargo ship before sunset. Only 3 days after its arrival in the bay overlooked by the Corcovado, the monohull was able to take the road early this morning to Newport, the starting city of the next leg of The Ocean Race.

This is a new step in the race against the clock in which Kevin Escoffier and his team are launched. The skipper is relieved to see his boat making its way to the United States, but he knows that nothing is won yet.

"Since the dismasting, we have been working hard to be able to be in Newport. The logistics team has done a tremendous job. We've looked at so many possible routes and scenarios... While it may seem easy to put an IMOCA on a cargo ship, it's not so easy in the conditions we're sailing in. The whole team is committed and focused on the same objective. What we achieved in Rio by putting Holcim-PRB on a cargo boat as quickly as possible is a strong symbolic part, but there is still a lot to do. The IMOCA was loaded on this cargo ship yesterday. The operation was completed at around 19:00 local time (midnight French time). The cargo left this morning and should arrive just before the start in Newport" comments Kevin Escoffier.

The holiday, May 1st, has slowed down the operations concerning the mast which must leave as soon as possible. For the time being, the spar is still waiting in France but it could be shipped on a cargo ship this week. "The mast will arrive earlier than the boat in Newport. The team will have to fully equip it in terms of rigging, radar, safety equipment..." adds the skipper. Every minute saved will be very precious until May 21, when the fifth leg to Aarhus starts.

"It's already a small miracle to have been able to find a cargo ship for the boat, and to have it leave so quickly. The operations are progressing for the mast. If we get to Newport on time, it will be the result of a lot of hard work by the whole team. And I'll just be happy" concludes Kevin Escoffier.

It is only then that the competition will resume for Holcim-PRB. The extremely close race between the boats still competing on the fourth leg leaves all the possibilities open for the next leg of the general ranking. But Kevin is only looking at the cartography with one eye. Excluded from this battle, he is only thinking about getting back into the game as soon as possible. Then again, all hopes will be allowed. This is where all the members of the Holcim-PRB project are currently drawing all their energy.

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