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Holcim-PRB takes the lead on the road to Cape Town

02 | 02 | 2023
While Guyot Environnement had the lead in the Doldrums thanks to a shift to the east, Holcim-PRB has now dislodged him from his leadership position. In terms of distance to the finish, the two IMOCA boats are in fact tied, but the Swiss boat is taking advantage of its more westerly position to symbolically take the lead in this second leg of The Ocean Race. From now on, it is important to maintain speed and ensure the right positioning. This weekend will be important for the rest of the route to South Africa.

Kevin Escoffier and his crew, Sam Goodchild, Tom Laperche, Susann Beucke and Georgia Schofield (OBR) appeared at the head of the fleet at 16:00 (French time). As the five IMOCA boats bypass the St. Helena High by sailing along the Brazilian coast, the battle is raging and the tactical game is in full swing. Last night was intense, with manoeuvres and adjustments being made on board Holcim-PRB in unstable trade winds. The crew didn't give up. They had to manage the squalls on board a boat that was reaching at high speed and be vigilant to be able to continue this road to the south without breaking something. "The weather conditions have strengthened overnight. We had some rain and we are working on our speed, to go as fast as possible" explains the skipper, Kevin Escoffier.

Holcim GO CIRCULAR at The Ocean Race, Leg 2_Day 7, Tom Laperche on board

The main goal over the next few days is to maintain this southern course and place themselves strategically in preparation for a low pressure front that the fleet will have to deal with on Sunday evening. Only then will Kevin and the crew of Holcim-PRB be able to finally put some east in their route to Cape Town. While there are still 2,900nm to go, this 2nd Leg is far from being won, but the women and men of the GO CIRCULAR project are delighted to be back in good speed and to be in contact with the front of the fleet after a particularly slow passage of the equator.

On board the green and blue IMOCA, the heat is still overwhelming. Sam Goodchild laughs:

The heat is difficult to deal with, especially when the engine is running. As soon as we can open the portholes, it feels good! Regarding the next days, we are a bit worried to see how it will go with the boats positioned further west. But we are where we are and we will do our best. Everyone is doing well on board. We're looking forward to getting further south so the air can cool down a bit. The same conditions with 10 degrees less and we'd be the happiest!
Holcim GO CIRCULAR, Leg 2_Day 4, Susann Beucke

This second leg of The Ocean Race is definitely exciting! Life on board is settling down more definitively after a short first leg. The crews are playing at their best lever aboard IMOCA boats with impressive performance. Only Malizia seems to be penalized by foil problems. There are still 9 to 10 days left for Kevin and the whole team to hope making a difference and enter Cape Town Bay in 1st position.

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