A fast start with a long, final offshore leg 3 ahead from Alicante to Genova for The Ocean Race Europe.
Conditions were ideal for the start of Leg 3 in Alicante, Spain with the IMOCAs putting on a foiling spectacle as the VO65 fleet split, setting up an early tactical battle.
The points spread among the top three teams in both the VO65 and IMOCA 60 classes could not be closer as the fleet left Alicante for the final offshore stage on the new professional yachting event.
In the seven-boat VO65 class Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR) and AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (NED) are in first and second, tied on 11 points, with Sailing Team Poland (POL) in third, just one point behind.
Remarkably, the scores in the five-boat IMOCA 60 class are even tighter, with the top three teams – LinkedOut (FRA), Offshore Team Germany (GER) and 11th Hour Racing Team (USA) – all sitting on nine points.
The course for leg three took the fleet away from the start line off the Alicante city front, first upwind to the Alicante exit mark where the yachts bore away towards mark two, located off the nearby Tabarca Island.
From there the crews are now free to choose their own fastest routes north through the Mediterranean to Genova.
In the VO65s AkzoNobel Ocean Racing made the best of the first beat, taking an inshore route that saw them lead at the Alicante exit mark, with Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Team in second and Viva Mexico third.
In the IMOCA 60 class Robert Stanjek’s Offshore Team Germany (GER) took full advantage of their non-foiling configuration to rocket up the first beat to lead at the Alicante exit mark from 11th Hour Racing Team (USA), skippered by Charlie Enright, in second, and Louis Burton’s Bureau Vallée (FRA) in third.
Based on the forecast for predominantly light winds the crews are expected to take up to four days to complete the course, and are estimated arrive in Genoa on Thursday June 17.
The Ocean Race Europe – Overall leaderboard (after Leg 2)
1. LinkedOut — 9 points
2. Offshore Team Germany — 9 points
3. 11th Hour Racing Team — 9 points
4. CORUM L’ Epargne — 6 points
5. Bureau Vallée — 3 points
1. Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team — 11 points
2. AkzoNobel Ocean Racing — 11 points
3. Sailing Poland — 10 points
4. The Austrian Ocean Race Project — 9 points
5. Team Childhood I — 8 points
6. AmberSail-2 — 7 points
7. Viva México — 5 points