Flying high in second place

It is currently very close racing for Malizia and Holcim PRB - we saw the gap between the two narrow to 0.5nm during the night! Holcim is positioned further to the south which could be a better position due to having to travel slightly less miles (due to the curvature of the earth). Although, over the last 24h Malizia has travelled over 500nm and Holcim around 450nm so there is definitely a chance for our team to catch up.

Southern Ocean 15th March 2023: Antoine Auriol the team’s onboard reporter sent a drone up today to capture the boat flying through the ocean. Boris Herrmann, Will Harris and Rosalin Kuiper are all awake and commentated over the epic drone shots of the boat at full speed. The smiles and high energy on board is palpable with the team in good spirits after their scoring gate points win and the repair they completed a few days ago a distant memory. 

Click to view this here: Flying through the ocean (c) Antoine Auriol

For the next 24 hours the fleet will remain in good pressure with almost all their time on a port gybe, we might see some short gybes south on starboard for tactical positioning but if anyone does this I suspect it will be for very short periods of time. This is basically a drag race to the east, which will create some exciting close moments during the leg!

Late on the 16th and into the 17th the fleet will start compressing into a ridge of high pressure with lighter winds at around 15kts but this should still be consistent wind from a NNW direction with the boats still pushing east on port gybe. This means the team should still be able to sail fast in these conditions but they will be fighting for the miles over the coming days. 

Late on the 18th the fleet starts to cross the ridge of high pressure and there will be a +/- 24 hour period of very light winds as everyone tries to get across this area of light variable winds. By the 20th the high pressure starts pushing north and the fleet will be getting into better breeze from the west but it will be a game of gybing right on the edge of the ice exclusion zone to stay in the best breeze.

The teams won't do this but to give an example the routing has them gybing at every isochrone (this would mean every 3 hours). However, this is a clear indication that it would make sense for them to stay right on the edge of the exclusion zone, this is the best area of wind but also very tiring work for the sailors who have to wake each other in order to do clean and quick manoeuvres.

By our estimation it will be two weeks until they make it to Cape Horn and currently from our on land routings we estimate an ETA in Itajai of +/- 4th April 2023.

Source: Press info Team Malizia