2021 Transat Jacques Vabre: Daily Download

Follow 11th Hour Racing Team’s two IMOCA racing boats, Mālama and Alaka’i, in the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre, France to Martinique.

11th Hour Racing Team are taking on the 5,800-nautical miles racecourse across the Atlantic Ocean. Sailing onboard Mālama, the Team’s recently launched boat, are co-skippers Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry, with Justine Mettraux and Simon Fisher co-skippering Alaka’i.

Follow us on social @11thhourteam on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook for updates from the team and check in here for the ‘Daily Download’ from onboard our boat and our latest position on the live tracker.

day 22 – NovembeR 28, 2021 – 22:04 AST (Local TIME IN MARTINIQUE)

Race Finish

Today, November 28 at 2204 local (0204 UTC on November 29), 11th Hour Racing Team’s brand new 60-foot race boat ‘Mālama’ crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre in Fort-de-France, Martinique, taking 13th place in the 22-strong IMOCA Class. Starting in Le Havre, France, on November 7, the 60-foot offshore race boat, co-skippered by Charlie Enright (USA) and Pascal Bidégorry (FRA), crossed the Atlantic ocean in 21 days 13 hours and 37 minutes, successfully completing its first major race since launch at the end of August this year. Read more on the finish here


day 21 – NovembeR 27, 2021 – 2250 CET – SKIPPER LOG

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

We left Le Havre 20 days ago. Previous to that, we’d spent 6 nights on the good ship Malama…now, I can safely say, we’ve tripled that…and some, with the potential for 1 more to come because it doesn’t look like we’ll make it in by local curfew tomorrow and we’ll have to wait around til the following morning to get to the dock.

We’ve learned a ton about the boat: performance, handling, systems, how to live…how not to live. We went into this with no expectations, how couldn’t we, we didn’t have any data points. Thank god for that….because who would have expected this!

We could have been the fastest boat, which we were at times, and notched a great result. We could have bailed out for 7000 reasons at various places along the way. But to finish the race, having sailed the last 3000 miles with half a keel….wouldn’t say that was on anybody’s radar!

If you look at the track record of new IMOCA’s doing their first big race during their launch year, it’s not great…and it’s easy to see why. You’re trying new things, you’re trying to move the needle in every area of the boat, the boats are complex, everything’s custom and bespoke. And, you’re generally preparing for something that’s 1 or 2 years away, for most the Vendee Globe and for us the Ocean Race. I give a lot of credit to Apivia for what they were able to do in the 2019 TJV and even more credit to the boats who’ve improved over time and have been able to peaked for their ultimate goal.

It’s a process, and we’re just getting started.

Tonight, we’ll try to get down to course without gybing, although that seems unlikely, in trade winds that continue to be lighter and more lifted than forecast.

Looking forward to all the things that come with being ashore…🚿🛌🍻🍔👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 (Maybe not on that order)…but I wouldn’t trade anything for the time we were able to spend out here.

Adios for now,


day 22 – NovembeR 28, 2021 – 1400 CET

Update from Amory Ross

It will have been a tough night onboard the Mālama for Charlie and Pascal, watching Groupe Apicil and MACSF sail slightly lower and slightly faster in the light air VMG running conditions, much lighter than forecast. This point of sail seems to be an achilles heel for the boat’s current status…

Now just 120 miles from the finish line in Martinique, they are not only racing for 11th place but also a 1900 (local time) curfew cutoff, which if they don’t beat, means they will be spending another night onboard, remaining just outside the marina until curfew is lifted in the morning.

All models have the southeast trades making a triumphant return today, which hopefully helps lift Mālama’s chances of both a strong finish and a pre-1900 finish. Charlie and Pascal are on a line that is well upwind of Groupe Apicil, so to catch them will take something special, but they are only about 10 miles behind MACSF in distance to the finish. With at least another gybe or two in the cards, there is always opportunity for a late push, or a late shift.

Everybody here in Fort-de-France is excited to see them on the dock soon, and after three weeks of sailing – whatever they have left in the tank (figuratively, and literally) – you know they’ll be using out there today!

day 21 – NovembeR 27, 2021 – 1440 CET

Update from Amory Ross

With 350 miles left to Martinique, Charlie and Pascal are on the home stretch. Their lead over Damien Seguin and Benjamin Dutreux on Groupe Apicil is down to just 50nm, with MACSF another 25 behind. With the wind filling from the east and both chasing boats putting in more miles over the last 24 hours, it will take everything they have to hold them off in the race for 11th place.

Charlie’s nightly report last night took a more reflective tone, and I would think much of the final days will be spent looking back at the busy year this race brings to an end. With SiFi and Justine’s unfortunate early exit with a proven performer, and the littany of ‘gremlins’ on the new and untested boat, these TJV results will not reflect the amount and caliber of passion and effort that was put in by all.

It’s difficult to imagine the frame of mind Charlie and Pascal will be in upon arrival. Sailing that boat across the Atlantic is a feat in itself, and successfully managing the host of problems and limited rations an entirely different, arguably more important feat. I remember the return trip with Charlie after the last Transat Jacques Vabre and he was a changed man. You have to believe when the Mālama crosses the line, we will see two very different skippers than the ones who left Le Havre. We’re all looking forward to greeting them, very soon now.

day 21 – NovembeR 26, 2021 – 0100 CET – SKIPPER LOG

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

As the sun sets, again, and we begin what we hope to be our penultimate night on the boat, it’s hard not to be reflective…6 months ago, this boat didn’t have any paint on it…I guess some parts of it don’t have paint on them right now, but that’s besides the point.

A lot of hours, from a lot of good people, went into this project…hopefully getting to Martinique justifies much of the hard work that’s gone into creating this machine, and keeping the greater train rolling down the tracks.This race was always going to be a scramble, it wasn’t on the original schedule when we started building the boat. We dug in, and here we are, 400 miles from the finish.

Thanks to all.

Oh yeah, still VMG running in lackluster trades.

Buenas noches,


day 20 – NovembeR 26, 2021 – 1500 CET

Update from Amory Ross

Charlie and Pascal have done a nice job hanging in there with the tricky conditions. They are pushing offshore to the north and maximizing their time reaching through a narrow band of wind that’s moving east-to-west with them. It will help Mālama compress with the boats in front who are still wallowing in the unseasonably light southeast tradewinds of the Caribbean.

While Mālama is, for now, losing the battle for 10th with Nexans – Art & Fenetres, since this time yesterday they have actually gained five miles on Groupe Apicil in 12th and MACSF in 13th, who are now 90 miles and 120 miles behind, respectively, with 600 miles to go until the finish in Martinique.

The atypical tradewinds end by the weekend and the entire fleet should get a nice, consistent boost on the home stretch. While it means that Charlie and Pascal, already light on rations, will finally have a steady breeze to take all the way in, it means they will again face the realities of a boat that isnt able to perform like the rest of them. Exactly how much wind, and when it fills, is hard to say, but it will have a significant impact on deciding where they end up in the standings. And it’s hard to know whether this new wind, filling from the east, is going to do more to bring Mālama back into the frontrunners, or bring the trailers back into Mālama. We shall see! Not long now to go, with a preliminary ETA in Martinique of mid-day Sunday.

day 20 – NovembeR 26, 2021 – 00:00 CET – SKIPPER LOG

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Happy Thanksgiving to all, far and wide! 🦃🦃🦃

Felt more like Groundhog Day onboard, but what are you going to do?

A menu that would normally consist of…Cheese and Crackers…followed by Turkey, a combo of Dark and White meat, gravy, mash potatoes, green beans, maybe some carrots and cranberry sauce…complete with pumpkin pie, ice cream and…🍷…instead, consisted of, dried bananas, a Snickers bar, Freeze Dried CousCous and maybe some cheeky leftover “Equatorial” Rum.

Alas, Thanksgiving is not about the food, it’s about giving thanks for what you have. Made a couple quick sat phone calls home…all is well.

We’re very lucky to do what we do….even if this week we’re doing it on a, currently, rocket-less rocket-ship!

2 days to the barn…VMG running in some lackluster trades.

Gobble Gobble,


day 19 – NovembeR 25, 2021 – 15:30 CET 

Update from Amory Ross

It’s more of the same for Charlie and Pascal as the midday report shows them over 100nm behind the trio they were amidst at this time yesterday. The fleet’s gains have been continuous and consistent, and Mālama now finds itself next to Nexans – Art & Fenetres in the battle for the top 10.

The silver lining is that they are the fastest boat in the fleet at the moment at 17.5kts (1500 CET sked), with spotty winds blanketing much of the Caribbean waters to the east and west. Near Martinique, where LinkedOut finished victoriously this morning, Charal is doing 5 knots and Apivia 9. And Groupe Apicil, the non-foiler in 12th place and 100nm behind, is making only 7 knots through the water. The light and variable winds are halting the procession, for now, but all weather models show the windfield filling by the weekend.

If they can eliminate some miles to the finish now and ‘shrink the track’, it gives the chasing fleet less of a chance when the breeze returns. Time for Charlie and Pascal to make some hay while the sun shines!

day 19 – NovembeR 25, 2021 – 03:30 CET – Skippers log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Today was tough to stomach…watched 3 more boats sail by, with nothing we could do about it.

That said, it’s helped us come to grips with reality…we’re still racing against ourselves, that was the case when we started and that’s still the case now.

With the straight line sailing, life onboard has gotten a bit more predictable, which is nice. Trying our best to enjoy the trade wind sailing…much easier at night, under cooler temps and a bright moon, than during the day under the equatorial sun and blazing heat!…but hey, we need that solar!

3 plus days to go…about to close it down under 1000 to go.

Maybe a couple chips, but looking pretty direct.

The leaders can smell the finish…envious…very well-earned on their part.

Adios for now,


day 18 – NovembeR 24, 2021 – 17:30 CET 

Update from Amory Ross

It’s going to be a tough stretch for Charlie and Pascal on Mālama. After a good run with Corum (and some awesome footage of the two together), the guys have fallen off the pace. Fellow Port La Foret-ers Roman Attanasio and Seb Marsett on the Fortinet – Best Western snuck by last night, and just now – Prysmian Group and the Maitre Coq. These are all foiling boats so it’s not difficult to understand their higher speeds in the straight line conditions out there.

Mālama is now about 1,000 miles behind LinkedOut at the front of the race… It’s incredible how that gap has grown and it must be tough for Charlie and Pascal to envision the front trio finishing sometime 24-36 hours from now, probably imagining themselves right there with them. And now in 10th, once again the gallop of the herd behind will grow. Nexans – Art & Fenetres is just 75nm behind and, at the latest sked, going the same speed, but in the last 24 hours they have shaved 70nm off the gap to Malama.

It’s a helpless feeling, watching it all unfold, but I imagine it’s 1,000x worse onboard! Feeling for the guys.

day 18 – NovembeR 24, 2021 – 02:45 CET – Skippers log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Waking up ahead of Corum was a nice, small victory…but, watching them reach by hours later was a bit disheartening. That said, great to see another boat, had been the better part of a week since we left Arkea Paprec in the Cabo Verdes.

Pretty funny watching Seb showboat around on the bow, in his underwear, engaged in some sort of primal cleaning ritual as they blasted by.

After that, it was gybing downwind in 14 knots…

Heading as I scribe…hopefully the beginning of some point-and-shoot sailing….getting pretty “over” mowing the lawn.

Adios for now,


day 17 – NovembeR 23, 2021 – 14:30 CET

Update by Amory Ross

Day 17 of the Transat Jacques Vabre and Charlie and Pascal have done well to hang with Corum. After passing them overnight with a favorable shift and some better angles (see yesterday’s report) – Corum eventually ground Mālama down and re-took sixth place this afternoon. You have to imagine, psychologically speaking, engaging in this kind of 1-on-1 sailing would be a motivating exercise for the guys, with the confirmation that even in a handicapped state they’re still a threat.

Otherwise, there is a consistent theme to many of Charlie’s nightly emails to race HQ: managing resources. Today is day 17, and routing from Le Havre showed a race duration of 18 days. So, when Mālama left for Martinique she had 18 days of food and water and supplies for two people. They are still 1,500nm away from the finish… It’s hard to imagine stretching one day of food into that distance but from experience, it’s a process that begins days, if not weeks prior.

The keel issue has made things extra difficult for Charlie and Pascal. There are three ways to charge onboard. 1, solar. You need the sun. 2, hydro generator you drop in over the back. Complex system and you need to be going fast. 3, the ol’ reliable : your engine. But the way the engine is designed to get water – through an intake on the keel fin – is no longer working. So they are feeding the engine, with which you charge the batteries when the sun isn’t out or you’re not going fast, with water via the ‘wetbox’,  which is essentially a pool of ocean at the top of the canting keel that you can access from inside the boat. It’s unconventional, but clearly a creative lifeline for them right now.

So 1500 miles to go. Sure they’re feeling the heat in many more ways than one!

day 17 – NovembeR 23, 2021 – 01:15 CET – Skippers log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Can’t get there from here…

We’ve been dealing with a square breeze down the exclusion zone with an anticipated left shift in our future.

It’s made for a lot of gybes and no semblance of normalcy.

Keel remains a hindrance, making vibrations of a similar pitch, now at lower speeds.

That said, performance seems better…relatively speaking…off the wind, than it did reaching.

Couple more hot days to go!

Monitor onboard energy, and water…2 very related things.

Signing off for now,


VMG Running in 18+ knot SE’lies.

Adios for now,


day 16 – NovembeR 22, 2021 – 15:30 CET

Update by Amory Ross

There is not a whole lot that has changed in the last 24 hours. By now Charlie and Pascal can probably hear the footsteps of the closest boats in the rearview, but they have done a good job working with what they have to make up some fast miles towards Martinique. Overnight, Mālama was sailing equal speeds to the competition but a fraction lower for a better overall VMG, or velocity-towards-Martinique. It’s clear they haven’t lost the fight, gybing a handful of times to stay flush with the coastal exclusion zone rather than lazily stray too far north.

In the context of racing a compromised boat, these conditions are perfect for minimizing high loads but being able to push a little harder. They are however at the mercy of the wind gods for the foreseeable future, and these 10-15 knot downwind conditions – which are ‘easy’ on the boat – will soon give way to a reach in the coming days. Reaching is a more loaded point of sail, which puts more stress on things like the rig, foils, and keel, so their ability to push like they currently are will be diminished and they may again see the surrounding boats begin to accelerate.

They are doing their part to control what they can control! The rest will just have to play out for them.

day 16 – NovembeR 22, 2021 – 01:00 CET – Skippers log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

I said it in my daily update video, and I’ll say it again here….Fernando looks like Jurassic Park…absolutely stunning!

Rounding it was a big milestone for us given the condition of our yacht. Any semblance of civilization is a welcome sight when your wobbling around out there!

And now, I present you with….the second transatlantic of this transatlantic!

2k plus miles to go, in Easterly Trades…like a combo TransPac / Caribbean 600.

Boat seems marginally better downwind than it did reaching across…less stress on everything…but then again, maybe that’s just me wanting that to be the case…

Corum passed us last night, which hurt….knowing there was nothing we could do.

Hopefully we can keep the damage to just that between now and the finish. We’ll be pushing hard to keep our position, but we know we’ve got a lot of good sailors and a lot of good boats behind us…and that we’re doing our best to nurse a lame duck, at the moment.

VMG Running in 18+ knot SE’lies.

Adios for now,


day 15 – NovembeR 21, 2021 – 15:15 CET

Update by Amory Ross

After two weeks of racing, Charlie and Pascal have rounded Fernando de Noronha and will soon be on their way north, gybing along the South American coast to the finish in Martinique. While the Brazilian turning mark should feel like a milestone, the home stretch, it is instead the beginning of a new chapter for them and the Mālama as the game shifts to a defensive, conservative mindset.

At 70% speed – the next week will be a tough one. That arbitrary number represents the maximum speed the boat can physically go without a smooth keel fin, but also a number that prevents further risk to the boat. The vibration Charlie mentioned when the boat tries to exceed 70% can potentially cause new problems, elsewhere. So they will have to keep a close eye on the numbers and work to sail as fast as the boat will allow them.

On a positive note, the southeast tradewinds are looking particularly soft at the moment. The Caribbean weather models show nothing more than 10 to 13 knots, a lighter-than-usual forecast for the region. This will help the guys because #1, the boat won’t want to go 30+ knots if it’s not super windy, and #2, the competition wont be going 30+ knots; the gap in speeds to the healthy boats will be less. There is no doubt Mālama is compromised, but the lighter the winds, the better their chances are at holding off the group behind. Corum was the first to get around this morning, and there will surely be others, but Charlie and Pascal are still very much in the race.

day 15 – NovembeR 21, 2021 – 00:15 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

We’ve been dealing with a lot of breakages throughout the course of this race, such is the nature of a new boat on an action packed and competitive track like this one.

None of these “little incidents” compares to what we went through yesterday. While reaching along in what I will refer to as a typical doldrums squall, we hit 28 knots of BSP with the J2 and a Full Main. Shortly thereafter, the boat essentially tripped over itself and we were no longer able to achieve speed.

Assuming we’d caught something, we proceeded to try and “broach” it off the keel. When that didn’t work, we backed down…and then backed down again. I took a look in the endoscope and saw what I thought was a line.

In a last ditch effort to figure out what was going on, we tacked the boat, hove to with the keel to leeward and went over the side to inspect.

It wasn’t a rope at all, it was the intake tube that lives in the aft keel fairing…and the aft keel fairing itself, was gone.

Since then, we’ve been limping toward Fernando with limited sail in an effort to limit vibration.

We can no longer sail at more than 70 percent of the boat’s ability because we’re missing 1/3 of the keel surface and because it seems like the safest course of action.

These things don’t happen in an instant, who knows how long it had been going on.

With our trip extended, we’re doing our best to finish with what we have onboard.

Pascal and I have gone from cut throat ocean racers, to yacht preservers and an odd couple experiencing the South Atlantic and soon to be Caribbean like no one else ever has before.

We’re doing about 15 knots toward the turning mark, which happens to be the closest point of land, as well…

Stay tuned sports fans….8 days to Martinique, somehow, someway…

Signing off from the good ship Malama…



day 14 – NovembeR 20, 2021 – 15:00 CET – Skippers Log

Update from Amory Ross

It has been a slow 24 hours for Charlie and Pascal onboard Mālama as they continue to reach south towards the turning mark at Fernando De Noronha, 300 nautical miles away.

The unfortunate reason for their slower pace is that Mālama has sustained damage to the non-structural fairing of its keel fin. The alloy keel is a one-design component, the same on every IMOCA, and the composite fairings fore and aft allow water to flow smoothly around the structure. This fairing damage is causing a vibration when sailing at high speed and so to manage it, they are sailing slower than “race pace,“ probably around 70% of full speed, as they head towards the finish in Martinique.

The next 24 hours will only bring stronger winds approaching the Brazilian coast, so Charlie and Pascal will be busy managing the increasing speeds that brings. It will be hard for them to watch the fleet catch up and, in many cases, sail by, but knowing them – Mālama will be fighting tooth and nail, at 70%, for every mile left to Martinique.

day 13 – NovembeR 19, 2021 – 01:15 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Has the time finally come, are we headed down to course?

We’ve been 20 degrees high of all predicted models for the last 36 hours.

As you can imagine, this has led to frustration and a loss of miles.

3k to go, still pushing hard ready to pounce on the next opportunity.

Meanwhile, with 8 days to go, trying to make sure we’re rationing food, water and fuel accordingly…maybe not in that order or importance.

Adios for now,


day 13 – NovembeR 19, 2021 – 15:00 CET 

Update from Amory Ross

Charlie and Pascal finally broke free from the doldrums In the early hours of the morning and are now reaching to Fernando de Noronha in the steady southeast trades at 17 knots. In the end, the doldrums could have been worse, as Mālama is only about 60nm behind Arkea Paprec, who, at the doldrums entrace, was relatively even. But 4th through 6th lost BIG to 1st through 3rd, and are now in a hole that looks difficult to dig out from. Apivia, Charal and LinkedOut entered the doldrums 100nmm in front but that figure has ballooned to more than 300nm, and they will continue legging out until the second doldrums crossing. There may be no stopping them…

Tactically, the race goes quiet. It’s ‘straight line sailing’ to Fernando, so managing the correct sail combination and constant attention to trim will be essential. Once around Fernando, there aren’t all that many decisions left to be made either, as the course north to Martinique is limited by the doldrums on one side and South America on the other; it’s another narrow corridor to transit.

If there is solace in any of the above, it’s that Charlie and Pascal should feel better about the threat from the rest of the fleet that’s chasing. Mālama should extend on 7th, and they should also feel good about their chances in the race for 4th, Initiatives Cœur just 70nm away, right on the bow.

day 12 – NovembeR 18, 2021 – 14:30 CET

Science with Si Fi

Back at home after Alaka’i was dismasted on Day 3 of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Simon Fisher, gives us a deep dive into the Doldrums, explaining what they are, the strategy for crossing through this vast stretch of the Atlantic, and the current state of the IMOCA fleet. Watch the video here.

Update from Amory Ross

Mālama’s hard miles have only, unfortunately, gotten harder. Their line south is well east of Arkea Paprec and Initiatives Coeur, and they have been the slowest of the top six for most of the last 24 hours. It will also get worse before it gets better for Charlie and Pascal as the leaders slowly start to leave the doldrums and step out into stronger southeast trades, propelling them all the way to Fernando de Noronha and the corner of Brazil.

Having been in that situation a few times, you feel utterly helpless watching the leaders sail away. Mālama’s easterly lane could have saved them some miles but ultimately the gamble has not paid off and the wider crossing puts them at risk of falling out of touch entirely. There’s nothing they can do but keep the chin up and use the weather they have around them – clouds, squalls, etc – to connect the dots and get south. They also need to decide whether it is more important to protect their lead over the rest of the fleet and cover, or gamble again to rejoin the leaders. It’s hard not wondering whether they are spending their time looking behind or ahead…

While the race course looks stable and consistent all the way to Fernando, they should get another crack at the doldrums on the way back up the coast to Martinique, so optimism is still a virtue. But the next few days will require some serious mental fortitude as they watch the gap to the front grow.

day 12 – NovembeR 18, 2021 – 00:30 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Not the greatest 24 hours for Mālama tracking enthusiasts.

Weather didn’t quite end up like we’d planned.

Been falling behind the routing since Cabo Verde…seem to have now, just, staved off that pattern.

Traditionally, west is best…but this year looks a bit “unconventional”

Trying to put the pressure on our threesome between now and Fernando.

Currently broad reaching in 10 knots…and plenty of air temp!


day 11 – NovembeR 17, 2021 – 14:30 CET

Update from Amory Ross

It has been a tough stretch for Charlie and Pascal. They were the easternmost boat of the top six and have been consistently slower on the run south, currently going downwind at just 7 knots after a mid-day gybe. Unfortunately for Mālama, the lead three are into the trades and reaching into the doldrums at 12 knots. First place LinkedOut is now 250nm away, and Prysmian Group just 90nm back in seventh. The peleton cometh…

Their options are still pretty limited. They need to get west to get south and the longer it takes to do so, the more time the leaders already there have to extend. Of course, they are extending into relative fickleness, and the chance for a parkup at the front and subsequent fleet compression is always in the cards…
One can only hope!

The bigger picture for the IMOCA fleet and what lies ahead.

day 10 – NovembeR 16, 2021 – 19:30 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Another day, another Atlantic island chain gone by…today it was the Cabo Verdes.

We split with Arkea, they came up from behind us on a FRO and have opted for a more westerly, round the outside, route.

We went through, got a bit of compression push, but less than we’d hoped…no shadows though, for now.

Back in gradient breeze, our pace has slowed.

Initiatives Coeur crossed our bow as I’m penning this…wish it were a bit closer.

Starting to get HOT…

VMG running in 10-12 knot NNE’lies



day 10 – NovembeR 16, 2021 – 17:00 CET

Update from Amory Ross

Now in the midst of the Cabo Verdes archipelago, life onboard Mālama will be far more active than their last 24 hours of straight-line sailing. They have already gybed once, just 3 miles off the Boa Vista beach, and there will be at least a few more needed to get south and west around the cluster of mid-Atlantic volcanic peaks.

Locked with Arkea Paprec for most of the last few days, the two have finally split ways in the battle for 5th, with Seb and Yann choosing to go north of Boa Vista, through the middle of the island chain, while Charlie and Pascal have opted for the southern road, following the leaders around the outside.

In general, the lead pack of six have left the African coast and begun their trek west to where the doldrums are narrowest. Given the island obstacles, Mālama’s options are – for the time being – limited, but the race track will soon open up again. Deciphering the northeast trades and choosing a bridge across the doldrums will bring some difficult decisions, but also the opportunity for leverage on the frontrunners. Once again, staying in touch with the group is paramount as they head into what is undoubtedly the riskiest segment of the course.

The bigger picture for the IMOCA fleet and what lies ahead.

day 9 – NovembeR 15, 2021 – 18:42 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

What a difference 24 hours makes…

Conditions-wise, it’s gotten much lighter…and fleet-wise, we got some LEVERAGE here people! It’s conceivable that we have boats 1000 miles apart before the doldrums, with routings, that for now, say they should arrive at the same place at approximately the same time…what are the odds of that really happening, anybody’s guess?

We changed sails today, and knocked some stuff off the worklist, vs adding to it, for a change…

Just saw our friends from Arkea Paprec come over the horizon and gybe on our line…should make tonight interesting, at least in French on the VHF.



day 9 – NovembeR 15, 2021 – 15:30 CET

Update from Amory Ross

An interesting 24 hours for Charlie and Pascal. They, along with Arkea Paprec, managed to find a way offshore and in doing so clawed their way back into the same stretch of ocean as the leaders. Apivia is 70 miles west but only marginally farther south, and LinkedOut is 60 miles ahead, directly on the bow. Charal swapped sides and is closer to Africa with Initiatives Cœur; both seem to be struggling in the lighter inshore winds. Both Mālama and LinkedOut gybed around 1000UTC, evidence that they prefer to stay offshore if possible, where the wind is a little more east than north, giving better sailing angles on the dive south.

The top six are now firmly into the influence of the northeast trades, which typically provide a far more consistent ticket to the Doldrums. But this season in particular, they are dull and broken up. It looks like it will be a patchy and complicated course, but even now it’s too early to tell where the fleet will choose to cross. Not that it’s any true indication, but the multihulls set up west of the Verdes and we may well see the IMOCA fleet at some point head that way. If you cross to the east you are dead downwind to Fernando, but in strong wind. If you cross to the west, you are reaching into Fernando, but it will take a lot of work to get west.

It’s a major decision to make and I am sure Charlie and Pascal are pouring through every model and every option, all the time. Ultimately, it may come down to what the leader chooses to do. With everybody so close at the top, you potentially have more to lose than gain by doing your own thing!

day 8 – NovembeR 14, 2021 – 18:03 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Very cool to sail so close to Western Sahara today…wish there was a little more velocity, with some more lefty, but nothing’s perfect.

Leaders went well offshore, seems as though their short term routing is pretty fixed, we might have another option emerging…we’ll see.

VMG running in 16 knots of breeze.

Hopefully some good rest tonight…..



day 8 – NovembeR 14, 2021 – 14:45 CET

Update from Amory Ross

There is a split in strategy at the top of the fleet, the first time this race it’s clear that skippers are confident in “going their own way.” The leading threesome of Apivia, LinkedOut and Charal have managed to get west through this morning, while Inititatives Coeur, Arkea Paprec and Malāma have chosen the east, down the coast of Africa. I’m no navigator extraordinaire but it does seem the offshore lane has more longevity into early this week, and when the eastern trio have to gybe out, there will likely be some losses incurred.

Charlie and Pascal have already gybed three times as of mid-day, each maneuver costly in itself, while the western trio continue to run downwind, unobstructed and in maximum pressure, all three sailing in excess of 20 knots. It may have been one of those cant-get-there-from-here situations, but either way, the top three have gained on 4 through 6, with Apivia currently 90 nm away, dead ahead of Malāma’s bow.

On a positive note, the rest of the fleet is 200 miles back, so the threat from behind is fading. It does appear the top six will soon arrive at the northeast trades with everything still to play for, and the Doldrums looming large – just under 1000 nm away.

day 7 – NovembeR 13, 2021 – 20:03 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

A day to dry out, strip off the thermals, enjoy the scenic island views…and to dig into the work list that’s been building since the moment we started!

Made a couple fixes, but took some steps backwards in other areas…nonetheless, all good for learning the boat.

As the sun goes down we can see the civilized lights of Grand Canaria…going to be a while before we feel civilized again, but maybe a change of underwear on the horizon? Ah, the pleasures…

Running in 13-15 knot Northerlies, trying to stay in touch…going to be better for the leaders for the next couple days, after that…anyone’s guess.

Adios for now…got some couscous hydrating.


Pascal Bidégorry onboard 11th hour racing team malama during the transat jacques vabre
Onboard 11th hour racing team malama during the Transat Jacques Vabre.

day 7 – NovembeR 13, 2021 – 1400 CET

Update from Amory Ross

After a few days of considering best strategies to tackle the Canary Islands, today the fleet will transit the tricky region and undoubtedly there will be winners and losers.

Malāma had a really strong Friday, the lowest and fastest of the front pack, covering 450 miles in 24 hours. We are seeing some early promise from the platform and, while Charlie and Pascal have had their hands full with plenty of new-boat-itis repairs, it seems more and more like they will never be out of contention with a little bit of runway to let the boat roll.

Closing the gap to the leaders (Just 20 miles from Apivia) this morning, Malāma got caught on the wrong side of a left shift and was the first of the top-five to have to gybe to stay west of Lanzarote. It will be the first of a few gybes for them before squeezing through the narrow passage between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria and the long traffic separation zone to keep clear of. Once through, it will be difficult to avoid the large wind shadows from the volcanic islands that extend far to the southwest. Making things more difficult, will be the lighter winds coming off the African continent to the east.

Looking south towards the Ultimes, there is a lot more race track to explore before having to interpret the northeast tradewinds. Once clear of the Canaries, they are relatively free of obstacles until Cape Verdes, 750 miles away. That is not to say that the miles will be easy, as the weather models show some pretty big holes littering the road south. If Charlie and Pascal can stay close for now, the Doldrums (which seems larger by the day) presents new opportunities for all.

Mālama's position at 14:00 CET on 13 November.
The IMOCA fleet navigating through the Canary Islands.

day 6 – NovembeR 12, 2021 – 21:15 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Fighting west for the last 18 hours…

LinkedOut, Charal, Initiatives, and Arkea Paprec appear to have taken the elevator…looks like us and Apivia took the stairs.

Feels like we did 20 gybes last night; every muscle associated with gybing is “fatigued”…if you need me in January, I’ll be in PT!

Headed south to manage Canaries…how you might ask?…TBD.

Lot still to play for in this early section…

Running along in 15 knots

Adios for now,


day 5 – NovembeR 11, 2021 – 1700 CET

Update from Amory Ross

There has been a good deal of shaking and moving at the front of the IMOCA fleet today. Some big differences in speeds and lots of gybes indicate a few minor holes in the windfield and some more strenuous sailing. Apivia finally relinquished their pole position at the front to LinkedOut first and then Charal second, and Mālama and Initiatives Cœur are making up some ground on the leading trio further to the east. It appears everyone will be leaving the Madeira Archipelago to starboard, but the next 12 hours will require some precise planning so as not to fall into the more localized wind shadows and eddies that could adversely affect the southerly progress towards the Canaries.

With “lots of little things” onboard broken, Charlie and Pascal have been busy using the straight-line sailing to their advantage and sound relieved to have tackled at least some of the low hanging fruit.

The outlook for the next few days remains relatively unchanged: stay in the lane with the strongest wind and keep the bow pointed south towards the mark. Though in theory that’s a simple strategy, in reality it’s much more complex, as clouds can wreak havoc in a hurry. Staying nimble and ‘changing lanes’, with an eye on the horizon, could be the difference between significant gains and significant losses.

Meanwhile, back in the Bay of Biscay, Alaka’i has departed A Caruña with Si Fi and Juju onboard, headed back to the team’s French hub at Port La Fôret. They are expected to arrive Monday.

Simon Fisher and Justine Mettraux onboard Alaka'i as they depart A Coruńa for Port La Forêt France after being dismasted in the Transat JAcques Vabre.
Si Fi and Juju are all smiles as they depart A Coruña for Port-la-Forêt, France.

day 5 – NovembeR 11, 2021 – 2017 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Very special 11/11 check in.

Having just visited Omaha Beach, Veterans Day will forever have a different meaning.

Lucky to do what we do thanks to the sacrifices of those who came before us.

The coincidental 11 thing…is pretty cool, too.

Starting to feel “normal” aboard despite ongoing issues…

Looking to our east we see Lisbon, people base out of there for winter training…temps ↗️😁!

18 TWS (true wind spind)…135 TWA (true wind angle)…Gybing…all the synoptic/brochure type stuff…could use a little sun tho…esp. for our fuel situation, stay tuned.🤞🤞🤞



day 5 – NovembeR 11, 2021 – 1400 CET

Update from Amory Ross

With Alaka’i safely tied up to the dock in A Coruña, attention turns to Charlie and Pascal back out on the race track…

Since rounding to the west of the Finisterre TSS [Traffic Separation Scheme – a ‘no go’ zone], the top six have ‘held court’, so to speak. Apivia and LinkedOut, sitting 1 and 2 respectively, have had a good tussle at the front while Charal and Initiatives Coeur are 40 miles back fighting for 3rd. 25 miles behind them, Mālama has done well to overtake Arkea Paprec through sheer boatspeed, with the two teams virtually identical in strategy, gybing together throughout the night and morning. It is a an additional 60 miles to Fortinet – Best Western, and the rest of the fleet, so the top six (or the three pairs) have some wiggle room. Conditions have been good, and consistent, with winds steady at 10-15 knots. These are marginal foiling conditions, but well suited to Mālama’s current configuration.

Now that they are out of the Bay and the complex coastal conditions, the game simplifies significantly. There is a very clear band of wind surrounding the Azores high and they’ll be looking to maximize southerly progress by staying in the strongest winds at optimum angles. Venture too far east and while winds my be stronger, you are more downwind and sailing greater distance. Venture too far west and you spend more time at better angles, but you risk getting too close to the high and sailing away from the stronger winds. Finding the middle ground will be key to ensuring a fast, efficient course towards the Madeira archipelago, about 450 miles away.

By now the skippers will be spending a lot of energy trying to interpret the north east trade winds, which ebb and flow with every passing week, and the place they choose to stop their westerly progress and head south, away from the Azores high towards Fernando and the Equator. Over the next 24 hours, expect Charlie and Pascal to lean on the boat, foil and sails to close the gap. You don’t want the top two, in particular, to leg out any more than they already have.

Top sixth, and seventh.

day 5 – NovembeR 10, 2021 – 0100 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

So dreadfully sorry to hear about our teammates bad news…I am light on details, but glad everyone is safe…we had an eventful day, in many ways, but none of it compares.

Currently gybing down the Iberian Peninsula in 20 knots.


day 4 – NovembeR 10, 2021 – 1800 CET

Update from Amory Ross

It was another busy day of picking through a Bay of Biscay that, according to reports from onboard, would giveth as often as taketh. The swirling, variable winds courtesy of the slow east-moving ridge made consistent speeds difficult and the distance between boats was stretching and retracting like a rubber band, all day. By the middle of the night however, Apivia was benefitting from the first influence of Finisterre winds and they were quickly off downwind at 20 knots towards the corner of Spain, less than 10 miles from the coast.

Almost 50 miles behind was LinkedOut and Initiatives Coeur, and another 40 back, Malamā, Charal and Arkea Paprec. Now that the bulk of the fleet is making its way towards steadier downwind conditions, the next few days will be about staying in the strongest vane of wind, minimizing maneuvers, and sailing fast. Malamā, sitting in 5th, executed six gybes this morning and have just rounded the northern flank of the FInisterre traffic seperation zone.

From there, it’s a long run south towards the Portugese island of Madeira with good winds forecasted all the way. Though the leading duo, Apivia and LinkedOut, are almost 60 miles in front, Malamā and the second pack are well separated from the rest of the fleet to the northeast. For the time being at least, the risk of losing touch with the leaders has been well mitigated. Now it’s time to see what the new boat with it’s downwind-purposed foils, can do.

day 4 – NovembeR 10, 2021 – 1502 CET – ALAKA’I DISMASTED

At 14:02 UTC today, November 10, we were informed by Simon Fisher and Justine Mettraux onboard 11th Hour Racing Team Alaka’i that their mast has come down. Both sailors are safe and uninjured and they are working on stabilizing the situation onboard. As updates become available they will be shared here.

day 4 – NovembeR 10, 2021 – 0330 CET – Skippers Log

Simon Fisher onboard Alaka’i

Having finally cleared the coast, yesterday started as a day that felt rich with opportunity.  From our more easterly position it seemed as though there was a chance we would be able to recover the lost miles from the previous night. It seemed as this was going to be the case. As we worked our way south, more and more boats appeared on the horizon and the gap to the leaders came down once more.

However, no sooner than we had begun to think that the breeze was finally becoming more steady, the wind field around us collapsed and our opposition who felt so easily within reach slipped away over the horizon.

As we wrestled to break free of the light winds, the frustration built once more and what had started so positively began to feel like nothing more than a cruel form of torture. Despite fighting with all that we had, hour by hour and position report by position report, our opposition sailed away while we drifted from one calm to the next.

Our only consolation was that as we drifted close to the continental shelf we were able to enjoy an ocean teeming with life.  Whales cruised by, and dolphin after dolphin played around our hull and foil as we slowly moved through the water.

It is a dark night tonight, and although we cannot see further than the bow we can at least feel that the new wind cannot be far away as the boat is beginning to get thrown around by the sea state.  Hopefully it shouldn’t be long now until we finally reach some more consistent breeze which will at last bring us some faster sailing and hopefully the opportunity for a little more rest.

Tomorrow will be a new day and a fresh chance to start catching up once more.

Si Fi

Watch the Day 3 onboard update here.

The opposition off in the distance.
Sunrise views brought on a promising start to the day for Alaka'i.

day 3 – NovembeR 9, 2021 – 2200 CET – Skippers Log

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Frustrating conditions. This ridge is toying with most of us…a couple boats seem to have poked through.

Seen a lot of Charal today, at one point we were both doing 8 knots at Finesterre, a quarter mile apart. Both upwind on different tacks.

Saw LinkedOut for a couple minutes…they got a couple gusts, sailed their boat well through the transitions, then they were over the horizon.

We feel fast, and like we’re making good decisions.

After 2 good scheds [position updates] we’re currently…slatting [sails flapping back and forth due to know wind]. Story of the day!

Adios for now.

Watch the full Day 3 update from Charlie and Pascal below.

day 3 – NovembeR 9, 2021 – 1530 CET

Update from Amory Ross

It’s ironic that the notoriously windy Bay of Biscay, blustery home to the team for the year and source of many a productive training sessions, is proving so fickle and complicated!

Finally free and clear of the tidal headache at Ushant, Apivia led the way south into an equally as messy Bay of Biscay wind-field. In the end, crossing the ridge and opting for more consistent southwesterly winds to the west proved too big a risk. The wind would be coming from the wrong direction and you’d essentially be in your own lane until the Azores. So the fleet has instead opted for a bit of a minefield to the south that gets significantly better by mid-day Wednesday. Easterly winds build near Finisterre and should give the leaders a nice downwind push around the corner and out of French waters. From there they will hug the Portugese coast and begin the procession southwest around the Azores high towards the Equator.

Two distinct groups. Leaders to SW, second group to NE.
Current lead group. 12 miles between 11.1 and 11.2.

day 3 – NovembeR 9, 2021 – 0200 CET – Skippers Log

Simon Fisher onboard Alaka’i

Today has been a long day, as the sun rose this morning we were battling against the current whilst trying to thread our way efficiently through the rocks. As the sun set again this evening we found ourselves still doing the same as we slowly pick our way around the French coast in light winds.  It seems like the coastline is determined to maintain its grasp on our boat as each of our attempts to work our way offshore seem to be thwarted by dying breeze.

This evening was particularly painful having managed to pull ourselves ahead of Charal and LinkedOut we found ourselves sucked down the channel du four.  It is one thing to make a decision to go in a direction and it not work out. It is something all together more frustrating to know where you want to go, but find yourself unable to get there as the wind and current refuses to play ball. To add insult to injury, we had to watch our opposition disappear through the very gap we were aiming for.  This was the story as we struggled to get around the corner at Ushant.  It remains to be seen if we will pay the price for our southerly detour or if it turns out to be a happy accident that puts us in good shape as we fight our way towards the next ridge of high pressure in the Bay of Biscay. With the current slowly turning against us once more, and the Chaussee de Sein setting itself as our next obstacle, we will have to wait and see.

I look forward to finally breaking free of the coast in the hope that it brings me the opportunity of a little more rest. We can be happy however that we are continuing to make progress and our boat is all in good shape.


day 2 – NovembeR 8, 2021 – 1600 CET

Tune into the daily update from Charlie Enright onboard Mālama. Charlie talks through the new boat ‘gremlins’  that him and co-skipper Pascal Bidégorry are facing in the first 30 hours of the race.

day 2 – NovembeR 8, 2021 – 1400 CET

Tune into the daily update from Simon Fisher onboard Alaka’i. Twenty four hours into racing and 10 miles from rounding Ushant, the team is in close company with Charal and our very own Mālama.

day 2 – NovembeR 8, 2021 – 0800 CET

Update from Amory Ross

First night at sea. After a pretty chaotic race start that saw very little time to set up and get organized – as evidenced by the fact that nobody was near the starting line – both boats managed to get out of Le Havre free and near the front of the fleet. It seems half the battle on these days is just finding some space and settling in.

It gets a little more complicated when you have to consider conditions and forecasts that favor an early lead. In a steady breeze field you can rest assured that you will have an opportunity to catch up, but with lots of variability, someone can easily find their way through the confusion and “break away,” so much so that they are a weather pattern ahead and unreachable from the start. This scenario had (has) potential. The 15-20 knots the fleet left in was down into the teens by Cherbourg and slowly died overnight. As they sailed west along the north coast of France they gradually left the pressure and entered a north/south ridge of virtually no wind. Compounding issues overnight were the complex currents, which continue to plague the fleet through this morning.

Apivia is well out in front, a position they have become accustomed to holding, but they too are currently drifting backwards at less than one knot. Charlie and Pascal showed good speed early to stay in touch with the leaders, but may have overstood the Cherbourg layline a bit to allow some of the boats to the south back in the game. Since rounding, they again showed paced to climb into podium position before running into the windless wall. Sifi and Juju also got off to a solid start and were well and truly in the thick of it around Cherbourg, rounding 8th. They have managed to eek their way through the field in the tricky conditions this morning and are just two miles east of Charlie and Pascal. It is not a stretch to say Apivia is confidently first and Mālama and Alaka’i are fighting for second and third.

The breeze slowwwwwwly starts to fill from the west, but the line of pressure almost perfectly dissects the channel and it doesn’t look to be any more than 10-15 knots. So the next question for the fleet is how far north you go to get it. There is a good chance the farther north you go the more committed you are to the north and west, whereas somebody who can make a more southerly route work could be off towards Portugal with many less miles to sail. Either way, the course is … as they say in France … super complicate. Once the wind gradually fills later today and into tomorrow, they have some major decisions to make approaching Ousseant, but this mornings’ AROME weather model (a favorite of the French community) makes the southern route seem much less appealing. One thing that seems certain is the NW ridge will remain a feature through the week.

The IMOCA fleet's position at 8 AM CET, November 8.

day 2 – NovembeR 8, 2021 – 0038 CET – Skippers Log

Simon Fisher onboard Alaka’i

All good onboard Alaka’i, its good to have the start and the first marks behind us, we are now able to settle into our offshore sailing mode. However any sleep looks unlikely in the near future as we work our way round the Cherbourg peninsula.

The current is now hard against us and the wind is puffy and gusty which means the boat requires our full attention to get the best out of it. The wind is gradually easing but the gusts make it difficult to contemplate a bigger sail.

The truth is the next two days ahead are probably going to be some of the hardest in the race but due to light winds, not extreme conditions. It will take all we’ve got to connect up to wind which will deliver some decent downwind conditions and we don’t want to get left behind. We are clinging on tightly to the coat tails of the newer generation boats currently.

Hopefully once we are round the corner and sailing down past the Channel Islands we might get some conditions where we can pull a bit back on them.

Charlie Enright onboard Mālama

Hectic start for us, plenty of gremlins aboard. Wild times with the tide at Cherbourg…only have SOG and we’re touching 25 knots in plenty of adverse tide. Neck and neck with LinkedOut and Charal. Apivia is surgical.

day 1 – NovembeR 7, 2021 – RACE START

Off to the races! 15-20 knots of breeze and a confused sea state, 11th Hour Racing Team’s Mālama and Alaka’i crossed the start line of the Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre, France.

By the time the fleet approached the top turning mark, half the teams had shaken their reef and were flying a full main. Facing a strong current as we make our way through the English Channel, the breeze will continue to taper overnight.

Where to position ourselves in the English Channel? That is the question and the first tactical decision our sailors will be faced with. Go to the north, there may be better breeze sooner. Head south and the pressure comes later, but but with the advantage of a better angle to escape into the Bay of Biscay.

Rewatch the livestream from the race start in English here and French here.