12 international teams on yachts of two classes will show their skills in conquering the ocean waters, passing the route from France to Italy in 3 weeks.
Start of the competition
The first stage of the prestigious Ocean Race Europe competition, designed to demonstrate the skills of teams in racing in the ocean, started on May 29th. 12 high-performance ocean-going sailboats set sail from French Lorient to Portuguese Cascais.
The start of the race took place against the backdrop of good weather conditions and with a light wind, which did not allow any of the participants to prove themselves and get ahead. However, the following night brought a certain amount of tension, as changeable winds demanded concerted efforts from the teams. Passing through Cape Finisterre and entering the Atlantic Ocean, competitors expect stronger winds and more difficult races, but the ability to cope with the capricious ocean conditions is a condition for victory.
At the time of writing, all ships were on the way and everything went off without any incidents. The completion of the first stage is planned for the middle of the week. In the VO65 class, the lead is retained by the Portuguese Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team. And among the yachts of the IMOCA 60 class, on the first day of the race, the American 11th Hour Racing Team retained the championship.
The start of the race was broadcast to a global audience on Ocean Race's digital platforms as well as on the Eurosport channel in more than 20 languages. Spectators will also have the opportunity to follow the progress of the race until its completion.
Ocean Race Europe. Schedule and participants
The Ocean Race Europe race consists of three stages, in which vessels of classes VO65 and IMOCA 60 take part. 12 crews from 9 countries participate in the competition.
The schedule of events is as follows:
- Lorient, France - Cascais, Portugal (start of the stage - May 29th);
- Cascais - Alicante, Spain (stage start - June 6th);
- Alicante - Genoa, Italy (stage start - June 13th).
The end of the race is scheduled for June 19th.
The IMOCA 60 (or "Open 60") class with an "open" design is represented in the race by five teams. These include:
- 11th Hour Racing Team (USA). The yacht is based in Newport, Rhode Island and is led by American skipper Charlie Enright;
- Bureau Vallee (France). Leading the team is French skipper Louis Burton, who finished third in the 2020-21 Vendée Globe single round the world race;
- CORUM L'Épargne (France). The team is led by French skipper Nicolas Trussel, who has won the Solitaire du Figaro singles twice;
- Linked Out (France). The yacht supporting LinkedOut's homeless employment initiative was skippered by France's Thomas Ruyan, who finished sixth in the 2020-21 Vendée Globe race;
- Offshore Team Germany (Germany). At the head of the team is a German athlete Robert Stanzhek, a participant in the Olympic Games.
Seven sailboats are represented in the VO65 class of the race:
- AkzoNobel Ocean Racing (Netherlands). The international team is led by one of the most experienced ocean racers in the world, Australian Chris Nicholson;
- Ambersail-2 (Lithuania). The team is led by Lithuanian skipper Rokas Milevičius, who took part in the 2012 Olympics in London;
- Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (Portugal). Experienced in ocean racing, French skipper Yoann Richomme leads the yacht based in Cascais, Portugal;
- Sailing Poland (Poland). The skipper of the team, which, in addition to Polish sailors, includes professionals from Norway and Denmark, is an experienced Dutch yachtsman Bouwe Becking;
- Team Childhood I (Sweden/Netherlands). The yacht's crew, piloted by Dutch two-time America's Cup winner Simeon Tienpont, represents the child protection organization World Childhood Fund;
- The Austrian Ocean Race Project (Austria). Leading the rookie team at Ocean Race Europe is Dutch skipper Gerwin Jansen;
- Viva Mexico (Mexico). The ship's skipper, Eric Brockmann, is a former World Championship winner in the J70 class.
It is important to note that Ocean Race Europe is not limited to sports only. The organizers aimed to draw the attention of the general public to the problems of the ocean. In addition to the competitions themselves, various scientific symposiums and cultural events will also be held.