11th Hour Racing Team takes victory in The Hague
Leg 6 victory opens up a small margin on the race leaderboard for 11th Hour Racing Team.
The result was in doubt until the final moments of leg 6, with 11th Hour Racing Team along with Team Holcim-PRB and Team Malizia racing within shouting distance of each other during most of Sunday morning.
The final approach to The Hague required one short upwind section where the boats were criss-crossing within metres with each tack, but skipper Charlie Enright's 11th Hour Racing Team held their nerve and made the final turn south with a small lead they would manage to hold through the finishing line.
"They crossed ahead of us, we were actually behind with about 25-30 miles to go," Enright said in disbelief at the intensity of the racing. "But a big thanks to everyone on board just never giving up the fight and digging in and always believing..."
"Even when the other guys kept coming into us from behind, I think we just thought we were not gonna let them win that way. But what an unbelievable race all of these teams sailed - Holcim-PRB, Malizia, Biotherm, GUYOT. This was a tough, treacherous race course. Everybody deserves congratulations for their finish here in The Hague."
Just 12 minutes behind, Team Holcim-PRB crossed the finishing line after fending off a late charge from Team Malizia who crossed just over a minute later. The top three boats in the fleet were within 15 minutes.
"This was a very intense leg,"said Team Holcim-PRB skipper Benjamin Schwartz. "We pushed as hard as we could and now we have to focus on the final leg into Genova."
The results leave the Holcim-PRB team trailing 11th Hour Racing Team by 2 points on the overall leaderboard. Malizia is a futher four points behind.
"Mixed feelings for us on this leg," said Will Harris. "Obviously happy to have been able to catch up so much in the last part of the leg, but we would have liked to grab at least one more point."
The reception in The Hague was overwhelming for Team Malizia's Dutch crew member, Rosalin Kuiper, who has grown into a star here over the course of the Race.
"This has been such a special day to be here with all of this support from friends and family," she said. "I've devoted a third of my life to professional sailing and being able to share this with all the people who have supported me is amazing."
Moments after the Malizian boat crossed the finishing line, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands climbed on board to welcome Rosalin and the Malzia crew.
Not far behind the leading trio, Paul Meilhat's Biotherm secured a fourth place finish over Benjamin Dutreux and his team on GUYOT evironnement-Team Europe, who returned to for the race to The Hague following a dismasting on leg 4.
IMOCA Scoreboard after Leg 6
1. 11th Hour Racing Team -- 33 points
2. Team Holcim-PRB -- 31 points
3. Team Malizia -- 27 points
4. Biotherm -- 19 points
5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe -- 2 points
The Ocean Race Europe 2025 will start from Kiel, Germany
Organisers of The Ocean Race have confirmed Kiel.Sailing.City as the host of the start of The Ocean Race Europe during a press conference in Kiel on Wednesday morning. The event is scheduled to start on 10 August, 2025.•••
Get ready for 2024 as the IMOCA Class takes on two Transats and the Vendée Globe
After a spectacular 2023 season, that saw more miles sailed by more sailors in more races than ever before in the IMOCA Class, 2024 now lies ahead – a year that will dominated by two solo transatlantic sprints and then t…•••