The Ocean Race go back to the sea This Wednesday, at 7:10 p.m. (Spanish time), the starting signal from Cape Verde to the second stage of this round-the-world tour and the five IMOCAs that are in contention 4,600 nautical miles (8,520 kilometers) await them to Cape Town (South Africa). The VO65s no longer compete in this stage and they will not return until the sixth, when the fleet is back in Europe. The IMOCAs will now cross the equator and head south to reach Cape Town, marking the 12th time the race has stopped at the southern tip of Africa. (it will be the most visited scale). This will also be the first of the three stops where the boats will be taken out of the water for maintenance.
But for this there are still many days ahead to navigate and Kevin Escoffier’s Team Holcim-PRB, who won the first stage (Alicante-Cape Verde), will seek to maintain the lead. “We have known for a while that the boat is quite fast, or at least competitive with respect to the others. The main thing is that I am very happy with the team. For us it was the first time we had sailed together in the open sea. We had a lot of fun on board, we were in a very good mood and on top of that we had a good result. But it was the first. It does not mean anything. There is still a long way to go and we are focusing on the next challenge”, explained Escoffier. This second stage seems tactical, especially at the beginning because light winds from the Northeast of 5 to 8 knots are expected. Weak trade winds are likely to affect the fleet on its way down towards the doldrums (very light wind zone near the equator), which will cause a slow start. The teams are already making their calculations, although everything indicates that winning the west can be key to efficiently passing the doldrums. “With the fall of the trade winds, the doldrums get a bit bigger. It will take us three or four days to get there and the wind should pick up again. Getting out of here and starting that rebuild efficiently is very important,” he said. simon fisher, of the 11th Hour Racing Team.
In this second stage there will be a Important crew dance because four of the five teams have made substitutions. One of them has been a Team Malizia that is now betting on Will Harris as skipper instead of Boris Herrmann, who completed the first stage. The only team that plans to make no changes and repeat the lineup is Biotherm with Paul Meilhat, Anthony Marchand, Amélie Grassi, Damien Seguin and Anne Beauge. “I think it’s important for us to have the same team because we have a lot of things to learn. If we change the minimum settings, including people, it is easier to see what impact the changes have and learn from them,” Meilhat added. All ready to go.