After four days at sea from Lorient, France, to Cascais, Portugal, the first leg of The Ocean Race Europe has concluded with a nail-biting finish. The Austrian Ocean Race Project finished first in the VO65 fleet with just 15 seconds separating the top three finishers. In fact, all seven boats in the VO65 fleet finished within six minutes of each other, even after days on the open ocean and a critical tactical decision about rounding an exclusion zone.
Nicolas Troussel’s CORUM L’Epargne, which has apparently recovered well from a dismasting that resulted in an early abandonment in the 2020-21 Vendeé Globe, took the gold in the IMOCA 60 fleet, just narrowly beating out the American 11th Hour Racing Team.
The Ocean Race Europe is a new event on the pro circuit, providing a competitive opportunity for the Ocean Race sailors in the off-season and more opportunities for Europe’s fan base to see their favorite teams in action. Likely because this event is much shorter and therefore less expensive to participate in, this European circuit has a number of crews from countries that haven’t recently been represented in offshore racing, including Mexico, Poland, Lithuania and Austria.
In addition to the three legs that comprise the offshore portion of this event, there are also costal races on the schedule. The top three teams in these races will earn “bonus points” that contribute to their overall score.
The results for Leg 1 are as follows:
1st: CORUM L'Épargne
2nd: 11th Hour Racing Team
4th: Offshore Team Germany
5th: Bureau Vallée
1st: The Austrian Ocean Race Project
3rd: Team Childhood I
4th: Sailing Poland
5th: AkzoNobel Ocean Racing
6th: Viva México
7th: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team
For more on The Ocean Race Europe, visit theoceanrace.com