Please select your home edition
Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - LEADERBOARD

10 boats race out of Aarhus towards The Hague in The Ocean Race Leg 6

by The Ocean Race 8 Jun 19:52 UTC 8 June 2023
Start of Leg 6 in the The Ocean Race © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

The Ocean Race returned to full strength in Aarhus, Denmark as the VO65 fleet rejoined the race for the European legs. On a beautiful Thursday afternoon - sunny skies, warm temperatures, light sea breeze - racing started with the stakes high for both fleets.

First off were the five VO65s returning to race in the second stage of the VO65 Sprint after a three month sabbatical. With two legs of racing left, the VO65 leaderboard is wide open and the stage to The Hague is an important opportunity to collect points. The ETA for the finish is 11 June.

As the afternoon turned to evening it would be the IMOCA fleet on point for an 18:15 start, with the race around the world still wide-open - 11th Hour Racing Team is in pole position, but only one point clear of Team Holcim-PRB. The early evening conditions were extremely light for the IMOCA start, with a new breeze just starting to fill in as the fleet finally left Aarhus behind.

The IMOCA fleet is racing towards the Kiel fly-by, expected to attract over 100,000 visitors and 1,000 boats to the Kiel Fjord on Friday, with an ETA of mid-afternoon on 9 June, before pushing towards the finish in The Hague.

The stopover in Aarhus has been picture perfect, with the glorious late spring weather drawing big crowds down to Ocean Live Park. The local event organisers estimate between 350,000 and 400,000 fans experience The Ocean Race stopover in Aarhus, including over 7,000 school children who took part in the learning programmes on the Sustainability Island activation site.

"The Ocean Race stopover in Aarhus has been a great success. With such a mega event, we bring the whole world to Aarhus, both in the form of foreign guests and extensive media coverage of the event," said Jacob Bundsgaard, Mayor of Aarhus. "In addition to a natural focus on sailing, we have used our status as host city as a catalyst for discussing the continued need for green transition and new solutions.

"At the same time, the event was a great public celebration in a fantastic setting in the harbour area; for example on our Sustainability Island on Pier 2, where schoolchildren and families have had the opportunity to engage with inspiring sustainability projects,"

The Ocean Race IMOCA Leg 6 - start report

Two hours after the VO65s had left Aarhus the 10 knot breeze died to just 2-4knots as the southeasterly sea breeze fought against the northwesterly gradient. This was frustrating and stressful for the IMOCA fleet for their start to a leg that already promises to be extremely challenging, especially during the next 24 hours through the fly-by in Kiel.

With such light conditions all five teams were aiming to minimise manoeuvres which led to a slow drag race into the line, but there was plenty of excitement.

At the committee boat end Team Malizia (GER) were playing an aggressive tactical game with Team Holcim-PRB (SUI) that resulted in Holcim-PRB diving behind the German boat before pushing Malizia over the starting line early, forcing them to restart behind the fleet.

Meanwhile, it was 11th Hour Racing Team and Biotherm that made the best starts with Team Holcim-PRB close behind.

By the first mark 11th Hour Racing Team had extended their lead over Biotherm with Team Holcim-PRB in third. Further back Malizia had overtaken GUYOT environnement - Team Europe.

On the third leg of this square configuration course what wind there was swung through 40 degrees turning the reach into an upwind leg.

Half way down this leg the breeze dropped even further, switching in direction before then dying altogether. As all five boats struggled to make any progress the stress only increased among the teams. All teams knew that in these conditions the first to get the breeze are often able to take a jump on the fleet. The waiting game was nerve wracking.

Slowly, the gradient breeze came in off the land from the north west and when it did the leader board changed as GUYOT environnement - Team Europe overtook Team Malizia.

So, as the fleet cleared the leaving gate and headed out on the leg towards Kiel it was 11th Hour Racing Team that led the field, Biotherm second, Team Holcim-PRB third, with GUYOT fourth and Malizia just behind in fifth.

The ETA in Kiel is mid-afternoon on Friday, with a finish in The Hague expected on Sunday 11 June.

The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint - start report

Having dominated both previous in port races the pressure was on Pablo Arrarte's WindWhisper Racing Team (POL) to deliver a repeat performance for Stage 2 of the VO65 Sprint.

In contrast to the very light conditions earlier in the week when they last raced, the breeze was 10 knots across the course at start time.

At the start, WindWhisper Racing Team jumped the gun and were forced to return back to re-start. Gerwin Jansen's Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova (AUT/ITA) were penalised for an infringement at the start and had to take a penalty, sliding back behind the fleet.

This left Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team (DEN) and Team JAJO (NED) to lead the field along the first leg with Viva México (MEX) in third.

At the first mark it was Team JAJO that rounded ahead with Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team close on their stern.

After the second lap and as the fleet headed off to the northeast on the start of the offshore leg, it was Team JAJO that had not only held onto their lead but extended it to more than 400m.

Behind them the competition was close with Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team in second, Viva México in third with WindWhisper Racing Team nipping at their heels in fourth and Austrian Ocean Racing powered by Team Genova in fifth as the fleet passed through the final inshore gate.

From there it was north into the late afternoon sun.

The latest positions are on the Race Tracker and the leaderboard is available at

Related Articles

The Ocean Race takes action at COP28
Calling for a sea change at United Nations Climate Change Conference The Ocean Race is at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, to call for the ocean to be a key consideration in the vital climate negotiations and to highlight how sport and business can help to make a positive difference for the planet. Posted on 30 Nov
The Ocean Race to collect rare data in Antarctica
The analysis of tiny microplastics (down to 30 microns) has never been done before in Antarctica The Ocean Race is driving an Antarctic science mission in which vital data about the health of the ocean will be gathered at the southern fringes of the planet, where information is extremely sparse. Posted on 28 Nov
11th Hour Racing is World Sailing Team of the Year
The first American team to win The Ocean Race has been recognised Skipper Charlie Enright was on hand to pick up the Team of the Year prize at the World Sailing annual awards night held in Málaga, Spain on Tuesday evening. Posted on 15 Nov
A Voyage of Discovery: The Ocean Race documentary
Viewers are taken behind the scenes and given 'all access' to live the drama of the toughest race A three-part documentary featuring a deep dive into the lives of the sailors and teams competing in The Ocean Race 2022-23 will be released on Friday 3rd November on Eurosport. Posted on 2 Nov
Link up with Team Nexans - Art et Fenêtres (II)
The Ocean Race to support ocean science during the TJV The Ocean Race is supporting Team Nexans - Art et Fenêtres (II) in the collection of vital ocean data during the Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV), which sets sail this weekend from Le Havre, Normandy. Posted on 27 Oct
Whitbread Round the World Race 93-94 Official Film
The first race to feature the new Whitbread 60 class By the 1993-94 edition, the Whitbread Round the World Race had already transformed from an adventure imbued with Corinthian spirit to a professional sport where food, bedding and clothing were being optimised for performance not comfort. Posted on 22 Oct
The Ocean Race and Cabo Verde team up
Signing a Memorandum of Understanding to protect and restore ocean health Following a successful stopover and hosting of The Ocean Race Summit in January 2023, Cabo Verde and The Ocean Race will focus on protecting and promoting ocean health through sport and science... Posted on 20 Sep
Call for recognition of inherent ocean rights
Made by The Ocean Race and global partners The Ocean Race, the Government of Cabo Verde and US-based Earth Law Center present principles to guide a new relationship with the ocean. Posted on 19 Sep
eDNA data collection in The Ocean Race
Scientists found a link between latitude and the abundance of ocean bacteria that break down plastic Environmental DNA, known as eDNA, one of the most cutting-edge ways to measure ocean health and biodiversity, was collected during The Ocean Race 2022-23 in a world first for racing boats. Posted on 16 Sep
Winner of the 2023 Magnus Olsson Prize announced
English navigator Simon 'SiFi' Fi won The Ocean Race with 11th Hour Racing Team The following is sent on behalf of the Magnus Olsson Memorial Foundation. Posted on 5 Aug
Selden 2020 - FOOTERGJW Direct 2020 FOOTERNorth Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER