As the second in port race of the day got underway the sea breeze had built to 18km/h providing a more solid and steady conditions for the IMOCA fleet. The square configuration course was set at three laps.
As the clock counted down the first decision for crews was focussed on the sail configuration. Judging whether the breeze had built to its peak or whether there was more to come was the key pre-start decision. After that, judging the time on distance approach into the start was critical.
Biotherm and Team Holcim-PRB were closest to the start line as the clock counted down and appeared to be struggling to kill their pace.
Meanwhile, having started their run from further back 11th Hour Racing Team (USA) looked like they could maintain more of their momentum.
But as the gun went it was Biotherm that timed their approach and speed build perfectly to hit the line at the leeward end at pace, gaining the initial advantage as the four boats made their way up the first leg.
By mark 1 Biotherm led with Team Holcim PRB in second, 11th Hour Racing Team third and Team Malizia in fourth.
Leg 3 saw Biotherm stretch their lead over the fleet on the long reach back down towards the bottom of the course.
Given that Biotherm only arrived in Aarhus late on Saturday night after a difficult and frustrating transatlantic leg made their dominant performance all the more impressive.
Judging when to tack on leg 4 to lay the next mark was another key decision to ensure no distance was given away. Once again Biotherm picked the perfect spot and gained over the rest of the fleet as a result. On the second lap they had drawn out to 640m ahead of Holcim PRB.
Towards the end of the second lap Biotherm delivered another perfect rounding of marks 3 and 4 to extend their lead even further. Behind them life wasn’t easy. With a strong incentive to try to cut the distance to the upwind mark there was a temptation to tack too early. Team Holcim-PRB almost fell foul of this but got away with it, Team Malizia didn’t and ended up squeezing up to the mark losing more distance as a result.
On the final lap it was more of the same from Biotherm with a perfect performance stretching the lead even further to take the in-port win in Aarhus.
Meanwhile, 11th Hour Racing team took distance out of Holcim-PRB to the point that on the downwind leg at the top of the course there was an opportunity for Charlie Enright’s team to gain a place. But sailing low in an attempt to catch Holcim-PRB on the give way port tack slowed their progress too much and gave away distance.
Team Holcim PRB finished second, 11th Hour Racing Team third and Team Malizia fourth.
IMOCA – Aarhus In Port Race – Results
1. Biotherm – 5 points
2. Team Holcim-PRB – 4 points
3. 11th Hour Racing Team – 3 points
4. Team Malizia – 2 points
5. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe – 1 point
1443 local time / 1243 UTC: It’s been a great afternoon for Biotherm. After only arriving at Ocean Live Park in Aarhus at 2100 last night, Paul Meilhat’s team is putting on a clinic during today’s In Port Race. After two laps, they’ve extended into a commanding lead, with Team Holcim-PRB chasing and 11th Hour Racing Team fending off a persistent Team Malizia.
1426 local time / 1226 UTC: After one lap of the three lap race course, it’s still Biotherm leading over Team Holcim-PRB. 11th Hour Racing Team holding off Team Malizia for third place.
1415 local time / 1214 UTC: It’s Biotherm ahead of Holcim-PRB and 11th Hour Racing Team, with Team Malizia pushing hard to get back into it.
1410 local time / 1210 UTC: Racing is underway in the Aarhus In Port Race for IMOCA. It’s Biotherm off the line with the lead – brilliant start by Paul Meilhat, with Team Holcim PRB and 11th Hour Racing Team close behind.
1355 local time / 1155 UTC: The wind is up to 10 knots now in the race area with the IMOCAs ready for a 1410 start.
1320 local time / 1120 UTC: The IMOCAs have completed their dock out ceremony and are out on the race course area ahead of their In Port Race with a 14:10 start.
1248 local time / 1048 UTC: VO65 RACE REPORT
While a week of wall to wall sunshine had provided perfect conditions for team preparations, the forecast for the in-port race looked set to be tricky for all. A building sea breeze from the south east looked set to press against the gradient breeze from the opposite direction through the morning, reducing the net wind speed for the start of VO65 in port race.
By the start at 1205 local that was indeed what was happening as a light 7km/h SE breeze developed across the course.
As the seconds counted down to the start, initially it was WindWhisper Racing Team (POL) that appeared to have the early momentum although a round up manoeuvre at the pin end slowed them down. Instead, it was Team JAJO (NED) that got the best start delivering a perfect time on distance run into the middle of the start line.
A few minutes later WindWhisper had built their pace once again to pull themselves into the lead
By the first mark, WindWhisper led, followed by Team Jajo who rounded 16 seconds behind. In third place it was Viva Mexico closely followed by Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team (DEN).
After a short reaching top leg it was a gybe at mark 2 for a longer broad reaching leg back down towards the start area.
So far the manoeuvres had been kind to the boat speed with bear aways and gybes helping to keep the speed on. Keeping momentum was critical.
Leg 4 was an upwind affair and it was here that crews came under a great deal more pressure to maintain their pace.
For WindWhisper a well timed approach and a slight gust provided a smooth mark rounding. The same was true for Team Jajo as the pair stretched their lead on the rest of the fleet.
When it came to the tack to reach mark four, both boats delivered perfect executions, helped by a slight increase in the breeze.
Meanwhile further back, there was a tight battle between third placed Viva México and Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team as the pair duelled for mark 4 with less than a boat length between them.
The second lap of the course didn’t provide any passing opportunities and skipper Pablo Arrarte’s WindWhisper Racing team held of Team JAJO for the win. It was a flawless performance and a great win for the Polish team as VO65 Sprint reignites.
VO65 Sprint – Aarhus In Port Race – Results
1. WindWhisper Racing – 6 points
2. Team JAJO – 5 points
3. Viva Mexico – 4 points
4. Trifork Mirpuri Racing – 3 points
5. Austrian Ocean Racing / Team Genova – 2 points
6. Ambersail – did not start – 0 points
1245 local time / 1045 UTC: It’s a win for WindWhisper Racing over Team JAJO… Full results to follow.
1235 local time / 1035 UTC: We’re heading into the final lap of the race course with WindWhisper in command.
1225 local time / 1025 UTC: It’s still WindWhisper Racing with skipper Pablo Arrarte leading the fleet, with Team JAJO close behind. Viva Mexico working to hold off Trifork / Mirpuri Racing and Austrian Ocean Racing / Genova trailing the fleet.
1210 local time / 1010 UTC: It’s a beautiful start by WindWhisper Racing in the building sea breeze. They have squeezed ahead of Viva Mexico and Team JAJO.
1200 local time / 1000 UTC: We’re into the start sequence for the VO65 fleet. Wind is in the 4-5 knot range.
1130 local time / 0930 UTC: As we approach the 12:05 start time, the wind is beginning to settle in from the Southeast. It’s light – 4 to 5 knots – but building.
1030 local time / 0830 UTC: As the VO65 fleet docks our for their in port race, Gerwin Jansen, the skipper of Austrian Ocean Race powered by Team Genova, sums up the feeling in the VO65 fleet: “We’re so happy to be back. We’re ready to go and can’t wait to get racing again!”
0900 local time / 0700 UTC: It’s a bright sunny morning in Aarhus – again – as Denmark’s city of smiles continues to put on a show for The Ocean Race teams.
The VO65 fleet returns to resume the VO65 Sprint and they are first up on the schedule today with racing at 12:05 local time.
The IMOCA fleet follows with a 14:10 local time start.