Sailing Team Poland and Team Germany are setting the pace in the third and final leg of The Ocean Race Europe from Alicante in Spain to Genova in Italy.
Sailing Poland, skippered by The Netherlands' Bouwe Bekking with Norway’s Aksel Magdhal as navigator, has broken through the light zone to get into better breeze and is now sailing at 10 knots compared to 6-7 knots for their closest competitors.
Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, led by Yoann Richomme with fellow Frenchman Nico Lunven navigating, also benefitted from being first into the new breeze and considerably extended the gap between them and the chasing pack in the VO65s class.
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Racing in two classes – seven identical one-design VO65s and five development rule IMOCA 60s – the crews representing nine countries made a fast exit from Alicante last Sunday afternoon in 15 knot-winds.
Das Ocean Race Europe geht in die entscheidende Phase
Image credit: Getty Images
The VO65 class has made the best progress having made it past the Spanish islands of Mallorca and Menorca overnight.
The IMOCA fleet has been dominated by Team Germany with their closest competitor 80nm behind.
Since yesterday evening the German yacht managed to pull away into a lead over the four foiling IMOCAS – Louis Burton’s Bureau Vallée (FRA) in second, Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team in third, Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut in fourth, and Nicolas Troussel’s CORUM L’Epargne (FRA) fifth.
Robert Stanjek, from Team Germany, said: “We never planned to split from the other IMOCAs.
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“But all of our weather routings were all north of the Balearics.
"So to us it was obvious we go this way to the coastline. Some of the others did as well.
"But then somehow we found a lane where we were lifted brutally away from the fleet.
"Within a few hours the separation was so big… It was never our plan to split, but a chance opened and we took it."
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