Tensions run high as wind and boat speeds hit new lows with the IMOCA fleet crossing an unusually large doldrums.
It's been a difficult 24 hours for the entire fleet as the five IMOCA teams become fully engulfed in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, better known as the doldrums.
The light, fickle winds, random storm cells and clouds that bring sudden puffs of wind along with rain and thunder and lightning, mean days and nights of uncertainty.
The prize for escape is immense - the promise of steady southeasterly tradewinds south of the equator and acceleration towards the final goal, the finish in Cape Town.
Watch Holcim - PRB drifting through the doldrums:
See GUYOT environnement - Team Europe tackle the doldrums:
See Biotherm sail past a waterspout:
Watch 11th Hour Racing Team search for wind:
Team Malizia's Will Harris explains the doldrums:
Historically, the band of light winds that characterise the doldrums is smaller the further west one is. This has dictated the strategy of all of the teams as they left Cabo Verde. But with Cape Town to the east, there was debate over how many extra miles to sail away from the finish in order to have a potentially easier passage through the doldrums.
At the exremes, GUYOT envirionnement - Team Europe has been trying to cut the corner in the east, while Team Malizia hit the traditionally safer option nearly 200 miles to the west. In between, from east to west, lie Biotherm, Team Holcim-PRB and 11th Hour Racing Team.
"We're at the gateway to the doldrums and we're still going fast," said Team Malizia skipper Will Harris on Sunday evening. "We're going twice as fast as the other boats right now and we just need to keep going like this, keep the boat moving. If we get a bit of luck and keep our fingers crossed, maybe we'll catch up some miles. But let's see - the doldrums can do anything."
29 January 2023, Leg 2, Day 5 onboard Biotherm. A tornado under a squall. © Anne Beauge / Biotherm
According to the tracker, 'anything' is exactly what is playing out.
Malizia has slowed down, after making good gains and closing to within 90 miles on the leaderboard and about 50 miles on the north-south axis.
Interestingly, GUYOT environnement - Team Europe has so far escaped punishment for its easterly track and at 1300 UTC is ahead of the fleet both on the leaderboard and as the most southerly boat.
29 January 2023, Leg 2 onboard Holcim - PRB Team. Holcim-PRB making her way through the Doldrums. © Georgia Schofield | polaRYSE / Holcim - PRB
"The doldrums is really wide this time," said Sebastien Simon on GUYOT. "It won't be finished until at least the equator."
"No clouds but no wind," said a subdued Paul Meilhat on Biotherm. "We maybe did only 7 or 8 miles all night. Not a lot. There is also a little bit of current in front, so when there is no wind sometimes we are probably going backwards. But this morning is better."
The equator and the crossing into the Southern hemisphere is still about 100 miles away and depending on your luck, anywhere between 12 and 24 hours in the future.
29 January 2023, Onboard 11th Hour Racing Team during Leg 2, day 5. The first sunrise in the Doldrums brings a different view: towering clouds and occasional rain. © Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race
Leg Two Rankings at 1300 UTC - 30 January 2023
1. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, distance to finish, 3909.4 miles
2. Biotherm, distance to leader, 21.3 miles
3. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to leader, 33.3 miles
4. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to leader, 44.9 miles
5. Team Malizia, distance to leader, 87.7 miles
Ti Potrebbe Interessare Anche
The Ocean Race Leg 3: from Point Nemo towards Cape Horn
It's a drag race towards Cape Horn with the weather beginning to turn. The Ocean Race fleet passed Point Nemo just after 17:30 UTC on...
XX edizione della Regata dei Cetacei. La competizione velica a tutela dell'ambiente...
Educare atleti, adulti e giovani, alla salvaguardia e alla tutela della ricca biodiversità del mar Mediterraneo, uno dei più trafficati al...
The Ocean Race Leg 3: close together, far from home
The Ocean Race is still racing close together as they approach the most isolated place on the planet. The four IMOCAs charging towards Cape Horn...
A Napoli la vela protagonista con la classe olimpica 49er
Vittoria dell'equipaggio della Marina Militare Crivelli Visconti-Calabrò davanti a Marchesini-Semeraro. L’equipaggio Uberto Crivelli...
Campionato Intercircoli 2023: brillano Tekno, Articolo V, Sbanca, Pully e GS Design...
Sabato 18 marzo si è svolta la seconda prova del Campionato Intercircoli 2023, ambientata a sud della Lanterna all’interno del campo “Charlie” messo...
Il J24 La Superba della Marina Militare vince la Regata Nazionale di Anzio
La seconda tappa del Circuito Nazionale J24, ben organizzata dal Circolo della Vela di Roma, si è conclusa dopo sei belle e combattute prove di...
Vesuvio Race, la regata delle isole del golfo
- Sabato 25 marzo da Torre Annunziata a Castellammare 70 miglia lambendo Ischia, Capri, Procida e la Costiera Sorrentina - Quaranta imbarcazioni...
The Ocean Race Leg 3: back up to speed
The fleet is enjoying stronger winds, faster speeds, and incredibly close racing. The four IMOCAs pushing east through the southern...
Spettacolare conclusione a Taranto della prima Regata Nazionale Open Skiff
- Conclusa con il programma completo di 10 regate la 1^ Regata nazionale Open Skiff di Taranto - Condizioni ideali nel Mar Grande per i giovani velisti,...