11th Hour Racing Team
With exactly one month to go, the five IMOCA teams taking part in The Ocean Race 2022-23 have congregated in Europe, dotted around the Spanish coastline ahead of the Alicante assembly deadline of January 2, 2023.
After several weeks of training in Cascais, the sailing team delivered Mālama to Spain, where she is now out of the water, in beautiful Valencian sunshine, as she undergoes the final refit ahead of the race start on January 15, 2023.
Although the sailors are the ones racing the boat come January, this next period of work lies on the shoulders of the shore team and support crew. The baton of pressure is relayed, and the obsession of leaving no stone unturned, and no job list unfinished, is very real and felt by all.
“There is always something to look out for,” explains shore crew member Fin Clarke. “You can be given a simple job such as cleaning or emptying the boat, but the reality is, at that point in time, you are the closest person to the hidden, sometimes unchecked parts of the boat, deep in the hull, and there is always something to be found. No matter how long the job list, it can always be longer.”
After a short visit home to spend the last time with friends and family for a while, the sailing team will congregate once again in Europe for the short delivery to Alicante on December 30, 2022.