The Ocean Race: 11th Hour Racing Team wins in hometown, with Malizia 2nd, closing leaderboard
11th Hour Racing Team won Leg 4 of The Ocean Race, leading the fleet into their hometown of Newport, Rhode Island on a spectacular spring afternoon in New England.
Skipper Charlie Enright was beaming as he stepped ashore, moments after his team held off Team Malizia to cross the finishing line for their first leg win of the event.
“This means so much to all of us,” Enright said. “Timing is everything and to be able to get this result, on this leg, coming to our home base in Newport feels incredible. Everybody on the team played a role and did their part.
“It feels so good to see all the boats on the water and the people here on shore to welcome us and share this with us. We’re grateful for the support and happy we could get the win for everybody.”
It wasn’t an easy leg. Over the 17 days of racing north from Itajaí Brazil, the teams had to manage numerous transitions between weather systems, from the southern hemisphere tradewinds, through the doldrums and into the north Atlantic trades.
A storm just two days out from the finish brought wind gusts over 50 knots and a brutal sea state, conditions that veteran on board reporter Amory Ross described as ‘terrifying’.
And through it all, 11th Hour Racing Team and Team Malizia exchanged the lead over a dozen times, before Enright and his squad emerged with the win Wednesday afternoon.
“This was a great race,” said Team Malizia skipper Will Harris. “It was close racing, which is something we always like, and it sets us up nicely for the legs ahead.”
The results today, combined with overall race leader Team Holcim-PRB having to retire from the Leg after dismasting on day four, mean the top three teams on the leaderboard will be within one point when the transatlantic race starts on Sunday 21st May.
Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm crew is still at sea racing towards Newport, with over 150 miles left to run. Their ETA has slipped into Thursday as the boat is mired in lighter winds.
Leg 4 positions (as at 20:00 UTC on Wednesday 10 May 2023)
1. 11th Hour Racing Team – 5 points
2. Team Malizia – 4 points
3. Biotherm – racing
4. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe – suspended racing
5. Team Holcim-PRB – retired from leg – 0 points