Ocean Race – Roaring along at top speed

All four race boats are in the Roaring 40s, with speeds to match

Team Holcim-PRB continues to hold a 500-plus mile lead on leg 3 of The Ocean Race, but the pursuing pack of three is making small gains by pushing forward at record-breaking pace.

11th Hour Racing Team posted a 544.63 nautical mile run over the 24 hours ending in a period ending just after midnight Saturday night. Should that figure be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC) it would be a new certified record for the IMOCA class.

See more here

“It seems the final tally from midnight to midnight UTC, right up to the point we gybed, was 544 nautical miles and an average boatspeed of 22.7 knots, which (unofficially) would be good enough to beat the current standing 60-and-under monohull record for distance sailed in 24 hours, held by Alex Thompson on his IMOCA Hugo Boss,” writes Amory Ross from 11th Hour Racing Team. “Typically, these records are set in the south Atlantic and the North Atlantic, but we’re excited to have been able to take advantage of a little fine fortune and mother natures’ red carpet, an a glorious day of sunny, fast sailing!”

Climb aboard 11th Hour Racing Team

With the potential record-breaking run, Charlie Enright’s team has pulled into a dead heat with Biotherm for second place, with Team Malizia just 50 miles further back.

At the head of the fleet, on board Kevin Escoffier’s Holcim-PRB team, the crew has been working to fix a tear in their J2 headsail, applying a patch over the damaged material.

“This morning we also noticed some damage to the leech line on the mainsail so we dropped the sail to fix that and now we are going to take advantage of the relatively flat sea state to work on the J2,” said Abby Ehler.

“It’s a really hard fix to do – Sam is trying to hold on, but it’s not ideal. Hopefully we get something on there that will at least stop the tear from getting bigger and then we’ll be back on our way.”

Watch the repair here

Also getting stuck in to the job list is the GUYOT envrionnement Team Europe technical team, after their boat arrived in Cape Town overnight.

The boat will be hauled ashore and the damaged area will be examined and the rest of the hull will be subjected to NDT (non-destructive testing). After that, the repair plan can be designed.

“We want to join the fleet in Itajaí as soon as possible,” said skipper Benjamin Dutreux. “We are happy that the team was expecting us here. Everyone wants the boat back in the water as soon as possible. We now have to wait for the investigations and see how long the repairs will take.”

The latest position are on the Race Tracker

Follow the racing at www.theoceanrace.com and www.eurosport.com/sailing/

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