11th Hour Racing Team has unveiled its crew line-up for Leg 6 of The Ocean Race – the short, three-day coastal dash to The Hague, The Netherlands. Skipper Charlie Enright (USA) has called in France’s Sailor of the Decade, Franck Cammas (FRA), as Trimmer, alongside Navigator Simon Fisher (GBR), Trimmer Francesca Clapcich (ITA), and Pierre Bouras (FRA) as Media Crew Member.
“Franck will bring a fresh intensity as we head towards the end of the race,” commented Enright. “He comes with a lot of IMOCA experience, he is a former winner of The Ocean Race, and this is an 800 nautical mile, three-day leg, kind of like a Solitaire du Figaro, and he won that too! He did some pre-race training with us, so he knows the crew and the boat well, and we look forward to having him join the team.”
Cammas is one of France’s most successful sailors, a previous winner of The Ocean Race as skipper of Groupama in 2012, and a six-time ORMA World Champion. Appointed Sailor of the Decade in 2020, the multihull expert has won every race he has entered with the Groupe Edmond de Rothschild Ultime since 2019 and is currently co-skipper with Jérémie Beyou on the IMOCA Charal 2.
“The Ocean Race is really close to my heart since we won with Groupama in 2012. I’ve been following this edition of the race from the start, and I’m impressed with 11th Hour Racing Team’s fighting spirit on their new IMOCA. I trained with them in Lisbon [Portugal] in 2021 and am looking forward to getting back onboard and learning more about racing IMOCAs fully crewed. Being able to push these boats at 100% is something we can’t do short-handed, and I’m impressed by the speed and the power of the boats.
“I’m also looking forward to racing with the Anglo-Saxon culture there is in the team – that will be new to me in my career, and something very different from the French way of doing things.
“Charlie and the team always have a positive mindset, which makes sailing with them enjoyable, yet still totally focused on pushing themselves, and the boat, as hard as they can. If you look at the current rankings, I think they have a good strategy, and I can’t wait to get going!” he smiled.
Francesca Clapcich returns to the rotating squad of sailors for the final two legs, replacing Justine Mettraux, who has returned to her solo Vendée Globe campaign. “It’s great to be back onboard, especially for the final couple of legs. We are leading, so that is definitely pressure on us for the next few weeks, to stay at the top of the leaderboard,” she commented. “The last leg is super special for me as we’ll be racing into my home country. Sailing into Genoa will be quite emotional, and gives me even more motivation to get there as quickly as possible.
“I love to go fast, so I am always trying to go push a bit faster if possible! The next leg will be a sprint, and definitely closer to the type of sailing I’m used to – coastal racing – pretty tight, quick decision-making, a lot of manoeuvers, and getting back up to speed fast. There will be a lot of sail trimming, and I’ll be staying focused on the speed of the boat, and hopefully freeing up Si Fi [Simon Fisher] to be able to focus on the tactical decision-making.”
Another new face onboard 11th Hour Racing Team is Pierre Bouras, the hugely experienced videographer and photographer, who replaces Amory Ross (USA), who injured his shoulder during the last leg.
“I’m really looking forward to sharing the story of the team as we race to The Hague,” commented Bouras. “Amory has done a great job bringing me up to speed and handing over the reins for this short leg to The Hague. This team tells a great story not only about the race, but also inspiring change for positive action for ocean health – Amory’s boots are big to fill but I can’t wait to set sail.”
11th Hour Racing Team currently tops the overall Ocean Race leaderboard with 28 points, ahead of Team Holcim-PRB by one point, and Team Malizia by four points. There are 10 points remaining in this edition of the race – five apiece for the next two legs.
The fleet of five IMOCAs will leave Denmark’s second city of Aarhus on Thursday, June 8, at 1815 CET [1615 UTC], and the 800 nautical mile (921 mile/1,482 km) hop to The Hague, with a ‘fly-by’ past the German port of Kiel, is expected to take around three days.