Leg 1 – Alicante, Spain to Mindelo, Cabo Verde

15 January 2023, IMOCA Leg 1 Start in Alicante: 11th Hour Racing Team

A ‘baptism of fire’ is how skipper Charlie Enright summed up Leg 1 of the Ocean Race, a 2,401nmleg from Alicante, Spain, to the Cabo Verde island of São Vicente. There was no opportunity for 11th Hour Racing Team to ease its way into this race. Even before the fleet had left the Mediterranean they were struggling to make way against winds in excess of 50 knots [57mph/93kmph], forced to make running repairs to the boat as they battled through the worst of the stormy conditions. Once out into the Atlantic Ocean, Leg 1 turned into more of a drag race towards the Cabo Verde Islands. 11th Hour Racing Team finished in second place behind Team Holcim-PRB, just 2 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds ahead. 

Result: 2nd
Duration: 5d 13h 50m 45s
Distance sailed: 2,401 nautical miles [2,763 miles or 4,447 kilometers]
Crew: Enright, Fisher, Clapcich, Bouttell, Ross
Top speed: 38.1 knots [44mph or 70 kmph]
Max wind: 52.9 knots [60.8mph or 98kmph]
Longest distance sailed in 24h: 538.6 nautical miles [619 miles or 997 kilometers]
In-Port Race result: 2nd

Leg 2 – Mindelo, Cabo Verde, to Cape Town, South Africa

31 January 2023, Onboard 11th Hour Racing Team during Leg 2 from Sao Vicente, Cabo Verde, to Cape Town, South Africa.
Simon Fisher tries to decode the latest weather while Charlie Enright, at the helm, scratches his head with confusion.

The 6,500 nautical miles from Mindelo, Cabo Verde to Cape Town, South Africa, took the best part of 18 days, yet the finishing order remained uncertain until the final hour before the finish. After working their way through the fickle Doldrums and crossing into the southern hemisphere, the fleet battled each other across the broad expanse of the South Atlantic. However on the final approach to Cape Town the fleet compressed and the final 24 hours saw six lead changes. Effectively it was a restart of Leg 2. In the end Team Holcim-PRB took the win, followed closely by Biotherm. 11th Hour Racing Team completed the podium, finishing an agonizing 25 minutes off the winning time. 

Result: 3rd
Duration: 17 days, 20 hours, 35 minutes, and 40 seconds.
Distance sailed: 6,514.01 nautical miles [7,565 miles or 12,175 kilometers]
Crew: Enright, Fisher, Clapcich, Bouttell, Ross
Top speed: 35.2 knots [41mph or 65kmph]
Max wind speed: 36.9kn [42mph or 68kmph]
Longest distance sailed in 24h: 574.4 nautical miles [661 miles or 1,064 kilometers]
In-Port Race result: 2nd

Leg 3 Cape Town, South Africa, to Itajaí, Brazil

The Ocean Race 2022-23 – 07 March 2023, Leg 3 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. The team watches as the outer layers of carbon are ground away, displaying the true extent of the cracks.

‘Grueling’ was Charlie Enright’s word for Leg 3 from Cape Town, South Africa through the Southern Ocean to Itajaí, Brazil. Enright had predicted even before the departure that the month-long passage would be a war of attrition. He was proven right in more ways than he would have liked or could have predicted. Broken battens in the mainsail, two damaged rudders, damaged foil downlines, as well as a huge rip in the mainsail, time and time again the team had to dig deep for creative solutions to complete the long list of repairs while racing. After 37 days, 20 hours, 10 minutes, and 23 seconds, the team completed their 14,840 nautical mile [17,077 mile or 27,483 kilometer] race through the Southern Ocean, the longest ever leg in the 50-year-history of the race. While a third place on this double-points leg might have been disappointing, the team had to remind themselves that there were many times when it looked like they would never finish the leg at all. Surviving the ‘war of attrition’ was a victory in itself.

Result: 3rd
Duration: 37 days, 20 hours, 10 minutes, and 23 seconds
Distance sailed: 14,840 nautical miles [17,078 miles or 27,484 kilometers]
Crew: Enright, Fisher, Mettraux, Bouttell, Ross
Top speed: 36.3 knots [42mph or 67kmph]
Max wind: 52.5kn
Longest distance sailed in 24h: 594.7 nautical miles [684 miles or 1,101 kilometers]
In-Port Race result: 1st

Leg 4 – Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island

11th Hour Racing Team take home their first win in their home town of Newport, Rhode Island.

Lying in third place overall after the first three legs, 11th Hour Racing Team pressed the ‘mental reset’ button. They used the stopover in Itajaí to regroup and steel themselves for Leg 4, a 5,500 nautical mile race towards the team’s hometown of Newport, Rhode Island. If ever there was a leg that Enright and Co. wanted to win, this was it. Over the 17 days of racing the crew faced multiple weather system transitions as they sailed through the southern hemisphere tradewinds, past a surprisingly benign Doldrums, and onwards into the North Atlantic tradewinds. The final 600 miles of the leg delivered some of the strongest winds of the race, with 12 hours of 40 knots plus, gusting over 50 knots. Much as the team would have liked to take their foot off the gas to help keep Malãma in one piece, the threat of Team Malizia breathing down their necks forced the US crew to keep on pushing hard all the way. Exhausted and elated, 11th Hour Racing Team was first to cross the finish line, beating second-placed Malizia home to the Ocean State by just 31 minutes and 41 seconds.

Result: 1st
Duration: 17 days, 2 hours 26 minutes, and 41 seconds
Distance sailed: 5,882 nautical miles [6,769 miles or 10,893 kilometers]
Crew: Enright, Fisher, Clapcich, Foxall, Ross
Top speed: 33.4 knots [38mph or 62kmph]
Max wind: 45.8kn [53mph or 85kmph]
Longest distance sailed in 24h: 560.6 nautical miles [645 miles or 1,038 kilometers]
In-Port Race result: 2nd

Leg 5 – Newport, Rhode Island to Aarhus, Denmark

The 3,874 nautical mile leg from the team’s hometown Newport, RI, U.S. to Aarhus, Denmark was far quicker than any of the predictions. 11th Hour Racing Team led the charge across the Atlantic for the majority of the leg, with the front three boats posting record-breaking 24-hour distances. Traveling at such high speeds brings its own risks, as the crew found to their cost on May 25 when 11th Hour Racing Team activated their Hazard Button to alert Race Control and the wider fleet they had hit something, suspected to be a marine mammal or megafauna. As the boat lurched to a sudden stop, Amory Ross (USA), the team’s media crew member, and Charlie Dalin (FRA), the double IMOCA World Champion who joined the crew for this transatlantic leg, were both injured.  The crew had to dig deep into their emotional and physical tanks to keep Malãma ahead of the chasing pack. 11th Hour Racing Team was first to arrive in Aarhus after a rollercoaster 7 days 8 hours 41 minutes, and 49 seconds across the Atlantic.

Result: 1st
Duration: 7 days 8 hours 41 minutes, and 49 seconds
Distance sailed: 3,874 nautical miles [4,458 miles or 7,175 kilometers]
Crew: Enright, Fisher, Mettraux, Dalin, Ross
Top speed: 38.9 knots [45mph or 72kmph]
Max wind: 42.6 knots [49mph or 79kmph]
Longest distance sailed in 24h: 620.0 nautical miles [713 miles or 1,148 kilometers]
In-Port Race result: 3rd

LEG 6 – Aarhus, Denmark, to The Hague, The Netherlands

The intensity ramped up even more for the 915 nautical mile coastal sprint from Aarhus, Denmark, to The Hague, The Netherlands. Franck Cammas, France’s Sailor of the Decade, joined the crew for this leg, which also included a fly-by past the German city of Kiel where thousands of spectators came out to cheer the IMOCA fleet on its way to The Hague.

With all the navigational challenges so close to shore, navigator Simon Fisher (GBR) admitted that this was one of the most stressful so far. A tacking duel with Team Holcim-PRB was one of the defining moments of such a short but race-critical leg. Skipper Charlie Enright said he was taking nothing for granted until they crossed the finish line in first place, making this 11th Hour Racing Team’s third leg win in a row. Although they were 2 days 18 hours 11 minutes, and 52 seconds at sea, Enright reckoned no one managed to grab more than five hours of sleep during the leg.

Result: 1st
Duration: 2 days 18 hours 11 minutes, and 52 seconds
Distance sailed: 916.5 nautical miles [1,054 miles or 1,697 kilometers]
Crew: Enright, Fisher, Cammas, Clapcich, Ross
Top speed: 34.7 knots [40mph or 64kmph]
Max wind: 34 knots
Longest distance sailed in 24h: 426.4 nautical miles [490 miels or 789 kilometers]
In-Port Race result: 2nd

LEG 7 – The Hague, The Netherlands to Genoa, Italy

With a two-point advantage at the top of the leaderboard ahead of Team Holcim-PRB, 11th Hour Racing Team were geared up for one last push on the final leg with 2,500 nautical miles to race from The Hague, The Netherlands to Genoa, Italy. 

Just 17 minutes after the start, however, and everything changed in an instant. 

Coming to the end of the two-lap inshore departure section of the race, Mālama was hit by competitor GUYOT environnement – Team Europe. The collision from GUYOT’s bow punched a large hole in the aft section of the boat. Thankfully there were no injuries, although extensive damage to both boats saw them return to port in The Hague and both forced to retire from the leg.

11th Hour Racing Team’s shore crew worked day and night over the next 72 hours in a race to get Mālama seaworthy again. After more than 600 combined hours of work and non-destructive testing analysis of the repair by an independent surveyor, the team was given the all-clear not only to deliver the boat to Genoa, but to take part in the final In-Port Race on Saturday, July 1.

Meanwhile, 11th Hour Racing Team requested redress from the World Sailing International Jury at a hearing in Genoa after the finish of the race. After a morning of deliberations, the Jury awarded the team average points for the leg – putting 4 points on the overall leaderboard – securing the very first win for an American team in the 50-year history of the race.

Result: Retired
Delivery duration: N/A
Distance sailed: 3,874 nautical miles [4,458 miles or 7,175 kilometers]
Crew: Enright, Fisher, Bouttell, Clapcich, Ross
Top speed: 38.9kn
Max wind: 42.6k
Longest distance sailed in 24h: 620.0 Nm
In-Port Race result: 1st

11th Hour Racing Team celebrating winning the Ocean Race 2022/2023 – 29 June, 2023