Monaco Yacht Club team Malizia-Seaexplorer have arrived second in Newport, USA, closing the gap on The Ocean Race leaders Team Holcim-PRB.
Holcim had constructed a sizeable lead early on, but that has dwindled during the last two rounds. The team encountered problems after the departure from Itajaí, Brazil, and lost their mast, which forced a withdrawal from the race.
And they weren’t the only team to pull out during the 5,500 nautical mile voyage up the Americas’ Atlantic coast. Guyot Environment-Team Europe also lost their mast two days before the end of the stage after finding themselves bang in the middle of the most ferocious storm of the race so far. No team members were hurt in either incident.
Malizia-Seaexplorer within 32 minutes of victory
Benefitting from other teams’ misfortunes was the Monegasque team, Malizia-Seaexplorer, who, skippered by Will Harris, ran a clean race. They jostled for the lead with 11th Hour Racing throughout, but after over 17 days of racing, missed out on the victory by just 31 minutes and 41 seconds.
The race is hotting up. Malizia are now level on points with 11th Hour Racing, and both are now just one point behind Team Holcim-PRB, whose lead at one point looked unassailable.
A return to Europe
“What an incredible stage; such a tight battle, and then to finish just 30 minutes behind 11th Hour Racing! I am very proud of the team that ran an incredible race and did a fantastic job. Now, we’re really in the fight in the overall standings,” said Harris.
Whilst Harris will still be onboard the Malizia-Seaexplorer during the next round, which begins on 21st May, Boris Herrmann will return as skipper. The flotilla, whose journey began in Alicante in January, will soon return to Europe. The fifth stage will reach its conclusion in Aarhus, Denmark.