The first stage The Ocean Race Europe had a exciting denouement on the Portuguese coast of Cascais. The winners in classes VO65 and IMOCA 60 they were decided in the last moments of the journey A four-day program that began in the French city of Lorient.
After closing the first stage, the teams will have a well-deserved rest today and tomorrow in Cascais, before compete on Saturday in a coastal regatta como parte del Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy. La second level of the competition will start on Sunday and will put heading to Alicante. In the Alicante city, the fleet will do scale from June 9 to 13, before embarking on the last stage that will take you to the Italian coast of Genoa.
Intense end of stage
A thrilling finish on the VO65 monotypes made him The Austrian Ocean Race Project, skippered by Gerwin Jansen, will achieve a remarkable victoria coming from behind to overcome, for just six seconds, al Lithuanian team Ambersail-2 de Rokas Milevičius.
“It’s crazy that we won this super intense regatta“Jansen said from the helm, moments after crossing the finish line.” Did you see that? Four ships in a row. What a wild regatta. We are super happy! ”.
Later, already on the dock, he added: “We are the rookies, the young team, we don’t have much experience… The last 30 miles were very intense, It was incredible. We keep fighting and this has been the result! ”.
15 seconds behind, on third place, the Team Childhood I of the Dutch patron Simeon Tienpont, and all seven ships in the fleet finished within six minutes.
In the meantime, in the IMOCA class, the CORUM Savings by Nicolas Troussel took the victoria, ahead of 11th Hour Racing Team the Charlie Enright and second place, and the LinkedOut by Thomas Rouillard in Third place.
“It was an intense regatta… and we knew that everything could be decided here how everything can be decided in Alicante and then in Genoa, in the last stage, ”said Troussel. “Anyway we are very happy with this victory, we fought very hard and the end was magical for us.”
The cruising speed, in a straight line from the Atlantic crossing beacon, he had held overnight for both classes. But, around 06:00 hours (UTC) on Tuesday, the entire fleet began to compress when the crews of the IMOCA 60 and VO65 started to strategically position to surround the great exclusion zone that blocked his way to the finish line.
In the VO65, the portuguese ship Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, leader from the start, was the the only one who chose the northern route, Meanwhile he rest of the fleet got ready to go around the southwest corner out of the exclusion zone.
Final decisive miles
The last 40 miles stage saw how the positions of the classification changed incessantly, almost with every new gust of wind.
Things were even more unpredictable in the last 15 miles, when the fleet slowed down in light winds from a cold front heading towards the Portuguese coast.
A division among the six VO65 from the south, put Sailing Poland, Team Childhood I and The Austrian Ocean Race Project slightly higher, while AkzoNobel Ocean Racing, Ambersail-2 and Viva Mexico gybed south for a better angle for final approach.
When the ships converged again in the last two miles, the equality era tremendous Come in the austrians, Ambersail-2 and the Team Childhood I, while racing towards the goal.
In the end, It was The Austrian Ocean Race Project, a new team with a relatively young and inexperienced crew, who he was ahead to achieve victory on the Ambersail-2, second, with the Team Childhood I completing the podium.
Proof of the incredible intensity of the regatta on the VO65 monotypes is that all seven crews finished just six minutes apart, after four days of open water sailing.
The canary Simbad Quiroga, in the ranks of Sailing Poland, was delighted at the finish line. “We had a heart attack ending, very exciting, we did not expect that the end of the front would be so complicated. It has been an incredible accordion effect, we entered the first boats ten seconds apart. You have to be happy because it has been crazy ”.
By contrast, Willy Altadill saw how his team, the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, the triumph eluded him in the last miles. “We have had a small failure that has cost us dearWe were leading the entire stage but not being in the right place at the end cost us the race. We are going full and we have sailed well; now it’s time to go full throttle in all that remains ”.
The choice of the route, decisive factor
The competition among the five IMOCA 60 It was also highly contested, although a special mention to the crew of Offshore Team Germany, led by the experienced ocean navigator Robert Stanjek, who recovered a handicap of more than 100 miles to take the lead on the final approach to Cascais, then finish in fourth place.
The decision on which route to follow around the exclusion zone was the decisive factor in the final classification of the IMOCA 60 in the first stage of The Ocean Race Europe.
The Valley Office by Louis Burton, the CORUM Savings and the 11th Hour Racing Team they seemed willing to veer north, but a last minute change of mind from CORUM L’Épargne, and the 11th Hour Racing Team drove them down south.
Even though this move initially seemed bad for the French and American teams, in the end it worked well for themas they managed to get around the exclusion zone fast enough to be able to overtake Offshore Team Germany and LinkedOut of Thomas Ruyant, who had opted for the southernmost route.
1º: CORUM L’Épargne
2º: 11th Hour Racing Team
4º: Offshore Team Germany
5º: Valley Office
1º: The Austrian Ocean Race Project
3º: Team Childhood I
4º: Sailing Poland
5º: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing
6th: Long live Mexico
7º: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.