The Ocean Race: battle in the South Atlantic, the Imoca’s toward Tristan da Cunha. VIDEO

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The ocean race 2023
Bowmen at work on the bow of the Imoca 60 Holcim PRB

There was no shortage of twists and turns in this second leg of The Ocean Race, the crewed round-the-world race from Cape Verde to Cape Town, reserved for Imoca 60s only. The equatorial calms were as always a watershed, and out of these had come intesta, with a very easterly position, Guyot Environment. The last few hours have witnessed a resounding reversal, with the St. Helena anticyclone scattering the fleet’s positions.

The Ocean Race, leg 2 – St. Helena’s intervention.

The high pressure that characterizes a portion of the South Atlantic Ocean is named St. Helena, after the island of the same name where Napoleon was sent into exile. This windless zone widens and narrows depending on the periods and the depression systems that compress or shift it from the south, but in recent weeks it has been particularly extensive.

The Ocean Race fleet was obliged to contour around the St. Helena anticyclone, seeking a course that would ensure a good approach toward Cape Town but passing away from the windless “swamps” of the Santa.

Guyot as mentioned was the boat furthest east, closer to the high pressure, while the other 4 Imoca 60s had passed through the equatorial calms further west, lingering longer. From this position, however, they benefited from a more consistent wind than Guyot and ended up overtaking the leader easily. From first place in the rankings Guyot has now slipped to fifth and last, confirming that with St. Helena one must go “careful.”

Toward Tristan da Cunha

The fight at the front of the stage is tight, with the top three Imoca’s packed within just 5 miles: 11th Hour Racing, Malizia and Holcim PRB are the leading trio, slightly more detached and farther north is Biotherm, Guyot closes the line up 300 miles behind.

The fleet is about to pass the remote Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island, small remote islands in the South Atlantic, and is doing so at “insane” speed averages: riding a depression with northerly winds between 20 and 30 knots, the Imoca 60s are sailing at 25-knot speed averages, and will soon attack 500 miles in 24 hours. Cape Town is 1,800 miles away, with an area of little wind to cross before the finish that to date seems wide and is located just offshore of South Africa.

The Ocean Race leg 2 – The most beautiful videos

 

 

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