Holcim-PRB first at longitude 143° East!
At 17 hours, 45 minutes UTC time (18 hours 45 minutes French time), they were the first to cross the longitude 143° East (off Tasmania), thus winning the maximum number of attributable points (5 points) on this first leg of the third leg between Cape Town and Itajai.
Since the start in South Africa, it has been a faultless performance for the IMOCA Holcim-PRB. From the start of this long third leg, Kevin Escoffier and his crew have been able to exploit the full power of their monohull to ensure good speed while making the right strategic choices. They quickly caught the first low-pressure system 48 hours after the start, and managed to break away very quickly at the head of the fleet. More than 500 miles of difference were noted on several occasions between Holcim-PRB and its opponents. Even if the last few days have allowed the followers to come back dangerously on the leader, Kevin Escoffier, Abby Ehler, Sam Goodchild and Tom Laperche have managed to maintain a sufficient lead to be the first to cross the longitude 143° East and thus reach the first major objective of this leg.
Already the winner of the second leg in Cape Town, the Holcim-PRB crew strengthened its position as leader in the overall standings tonight and also increased its confidence.
“It was a final sprint, because if at the beginning of the race, we had managed to catch a low pressure and not our competitors, in the end, they recovered a low pressure behind and we were then forced to wait. In fact, we all left almost at the same time even if we managed to keep a "small cushion" of advance. The challenge for us was to keep this cushion until the points gate in Tasmania. I'm very happy with the whole team, which did a good job. We have a boat that is versatile, fast, and we manage to go faster and faster as we discover the boat. So that's a lot of positive points.”
Another satisfaction, Holcim-PRB took advantage of the favorable wind and sea conditions yesterday to blow up the speedometer! The green and blue monohull set the 24-hour speed record in IMOCA by covering 595.26 miles*!
“Another satisfaction, Holcim-PRB took advantage of the favorable wind and sea conditions yesterday to blow up the speedometer! The green and blue monohull set the 24-hour speed record in IMOCA by covering 595.26 miles*! "Over the last few hours, we have all been accelerating thanks to a front and a tidy sea, which is conducive to achieving good speeds. And we are very happy to hold the new record. Our main objective was to be the first to cross this longitude. The record was a tool to be able to go and get it" explains the skipper.”
On board this evening, everyone is very satisfied with the work already accomplished. But the celebrations have been furtive because this third leg is still in full swing. There are still 7 603miles ahead of Holcim-PRB's bows before reaching Itajai, which is now the new goal. The first chaser, Team Malizia, is only136,3miles behind Kevin Escoffier's monohull. The battle is intense and there is every chance that it will last, without respite, until Itajai.The stakes for the rest of the course are crucial, since in Brazil, the first boat to cross the line will win another 5 points. The race continues at high speed in the Roaring 40s where the IMOCA fleet is racing and crewing for the first time.
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