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The Ocean Race Leg 2 Day 12: Making the turn

by The Ocean Race 5 Feb 13:24 UTC 5 February 2023
4 February 2023, Leg 2, Day 11 onboard Team Malizia. Preparing the weather buoy. Rosalin Kuiper and Will Harris © Antoine Auriol / Team Malizia

It was near midnight UTC on Saturday night when boats in The Ocean Race fleet started to make their first significant move to the east towards Cape Town.

Within an hour, all five teams had gybed to the east and pointed their bows towards Africa.

It's a very close race now with 11th Hour Racing, Team Holcim-PRB, Biotherm and Team Malizia within 25 miles of the lead and spread across about 35 miles from north to south.

More gybes to the south are expected over the coming hours and days as the teams zig zag south and east to navigate around a high pressure system with light winds.

"We're sailing into a high. There's more rotation in the centre of the high but a bit less pressure," said 11th Hour Racing Team skipper Charlie Enright as he laid out the options relative to his closest competition, Holcim-PRB and Biotherm. "We want the best of both worlds."

Watch the decision making process on board 11th Hour Racing Team:

The outlier is GUYOT environnement - Team Europe who made their move over 160 miles to the north, once again looking to cut the corner on their rivals.

The teams have also been deploying drifter buoys that will gather and transmit data to help the scientific community studying climate impacts on the ocean and aiding with weather forecasting. This is an area of the Atlantic Ocean that isn't well-serviced by commercial shipping, so this is a meaningful contribution from the race teams.

Watch Biotherm send out their drifter buoy:

Watch Team Holcim-PRB deploy their drifter buoy:

The ETA for Cape Town is now 12 February.

Follow the latest positions on the Race Tracker

Leg Two Rankings at 1200 UTC - 5 February 2023

1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 2378.3 miles
2. Team Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 9.7 miles
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 15.2 miles
4. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 26.3 miles
5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, distance to lead, 82.0 miles

Team Malizia On Their Scientific Mission

Team Malizia has deployed an Argo float from Malizia - Seaexplorer during The Ocean Race 2023 in order to collect rare data from this remote part of the Ocean.

From the South Atlantic Ocean, 05 February 2023 - In partnership with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and OceanOPS, Skipper Will Harris and Co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper from Team Malizia deployed a scientific Argo float during The Ocean Race 2022-23. At 1450 hours UTC on 4 February 2023, Team Malizia deployed the Argo float from Malizia - Seaexplorer near Brazil (25°30' S, 32°00' W) - the location and its path can be viewed here.

Will Harris, who is skippering Leg 2 of The Ocean Race, replacing Boris Herrmann for this leg, commented: “I studied Oceanography at University and therefore having the opportunity to help scientists better understand the state and condition of our Ocean is really interesting for me. Boris and I deployed a surface drifter during the Transat Jacques Vabre 2019 and Boris also deployed an Argo float during the Vendée Globe 2020-21. It is really an honour to carry this and I believe that carrying this extra weight is worthwhile considering the benefit the data is providing to the scientific community and the climate operational centres.”

The Argo float, an autonomous profiling float weighing about 20 kg, has been deployed in a specific zone determined by scientists and their scientific needs. It will stay around this region for 4-5 years and will automatically send temperature, salinity and pressure data from the top 2,000 m of the Ocean back home every few days. The float was provided by the UK Argo programme.

Martin Kramp, Ship Coordinator at OceanOPS, commented: “We have been working with Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia for many years, it is great that teams like this are willing to help and contribute to scientific knowledge. These instruments are helping scientists to fill in critical observational gaps and collect crucial data in very remote areas. This partnership is very precious especially as these race vessels travel “off the beaten path” and are therefore able to deploy Argo floats in remote areas.”

Like around 4000 others at a global scale, the Argo profiling float Team Malizia deployed will measure temperature, salinity and pressure profiles down to 2,000 m below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean during ten-day cycles. Every time the float surfaces, it will send the collected data to an international data centre where they are freely available for forecasters, climate researchers and other users. During Leg 3 of the race, the team will deploy two surface drifters in the Southern Ocean.

The Argo float was also signed by a school class in Alicante who attend the team’s My Ocean Challenge educational workshop and a group of students in Cape Verde who are studying marine sciences. The idea is to unite and excite the younger generation around science and ocean data.

Team Malizia also carries onboard the Ocean Pack, an automated laboratory, capable of measuring and transmitting valuable Ocean surface data like CO2 to their partners at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) and Ifremer. In 2020/21 Boris Herrmann collected the first-ever nonstop data lap of the world's Ocean and also the most data collected by one vessel in a year. The team intends to continue this tradition by completing another lap of the world in data for The Ocean Race.

The team carries the message A Race We Must Win - Climate Action Now! on the sails of their 60-foot IMOCA race yacht with the mission to inspire ambitious climate action around the world. With their scientific programme, the team can go a step further and really contribute to the understanding of our Ocean, the impact man-made CO2 has on our Ocean, the interdependence of climate and Ocean and where the limits lie.

Team Malizia is strongly supported by its seven main partners: the Yacht Club de Monaco, EFG International, Zurich Group Germany, Kuehne+Nagel, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, and Schütz. These partners band behind Team Malizia to support its A Race We Must Win – Climate Action Now! mission, each of them working towards projects in their own field to innovate around climate solutions.

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