Yacht Class n°33 (June-July-August 2023)

Having left Alicante in January, the Ocean Race is continuing its journey. After winning Leg3 and finishing second in the following stage, the Monegasque boat Malizia – Seaexplorer can still claim the victory in the last European stages.

Written by Aurore Teodoro – Photos : Antoine Auriol / Team Malizia

A lot has happened since our last issue. The third leg of The Ocean Race had just left Cape Town (South Africa) and set course for Itajai (Brazil) for the longest crossing ever contested on this crewed round the world race with stopovers: 12 750 nautical miles, or 23 613 kilometres in the Southern Seas. An incredible stage that saw the competitors, including Malizia-Seaexplorer, sailing within a radius of ten miles or less for several days. An unhoped-for situation for Team Malizia that had to put up with two incidents at the beginning of the race (loss of a headsail and a 30 cm crack in the upper part of the mast, repaired under extreme conditions), the Monegasque boat managed to catch up in this endurance stage.

After passing first the score line south of Tasmania, then the Cape Horn, the Monegasque crew was neck-and-neck with Holcim – PRB, the leader in the general ranking. Malizia-Seaexplorer finally managed to distance her rival two days before her victorious arrival in Brazil, thanks to a violent storm, with gusts of 50 knots, the crew handled perfectly, while Kevin Escoffier’s boat crash gybed and suffered damage.

Unbearable suspense

Neck and neck, an expression that could also be used to describe the next leg, as this crossing between Itajai and Newport (Rhode Island, USA) also offered some intense moments. After a few days of changing conditions, the leader Holcim-PRB dismasted leaving the way clear for her competitors with, at the front, a battle between Malizia, skippered by Will Harris, and Charles Enright’s 11th Racing Team, respectively second and third in the general ranking before this stage. Both crews had to stay on their toes as less than 15 miles separated them in the final hours of sailing, with the American boat winning, followed less than thirty minutes later by Malizia-Seaexplorer.
Plenty for a confident start of the next stage, from Newport to Aarhus (Denmark) on May 21st. This 3 500 nautical mile (6 482 km) journey across the Atlantic brought the crews back to Europe. They will then continue with a three-day leg from Aarhus to The Hague (Netherlands) on June 8th, via Kiel (Germany), followed by The Hague – Genoa leg, where the grand finale will take place. After the competition, Boris Herrmann will make a stopover in Monaco to present the brand new Malizia-Seaexplorer.

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