Approaching the three week point of leg 3, the IMOCA teams are within 20 miles of each other...
On day 20 of racing in leg 3 of The Ocean Race, the competition is incredibly close, with four IMOCAs separated by just 20 nautical miles.
The Ocean Race 2022-23 - 18 March 2023, Leg 3 onboard Biotherm. Sam Davies and skipper Paul Meilhat stacking sails on deck. © Ronan Gladu / Biotherm
The teams still have two weeks of racing to go, but with the positions so close, this weekend is serving as a re-start of sorts.
The lighter conditions which have compressed the fleet together have also given the crews time to complete much needed maintenance and repairs - on boats and people alike.
The Ocean Race 2022-23 - 18 March 2023, Leg 3 onboard Team Malizia. Drone view. © Antoine Auriol / Team Malizia
The wind is forecast to return on Monday and the ETA for Cape Horn is now 26/27 March.
"We have Biotherm just over there and Team Holcim-PRB just down to leeward," said Will Harris from the sunshine on deck of Team Malizia:
"The wind is coming behind us with these clouds," he said, pointing behind the boat. "And if you look in front of us there is nice sunny weather, but that's the high-pressure up ahead with not much wind. That's why we've all compressed and the fleet has really shrunk down together. We're effectively re-starting the race, which is good and bad. We can fight for the lead, but at the same time, we've lost our lead over the ones behind."
Indeed, Malizia enjoyed a few hours at the top of the tracker leaderboard overnight UTC on Friday night, but in reality, all four teams now have the potential to emerge with the advantage by the time the more typical southern latitude conditions return early in the new week.
The Ocean Race 2022-23 - 17 March 2023, Leg 3 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Charlie Enright in the leeward bubble checking the triune of the jib. © Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race
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