Sailing

11th Hour Racing Team unveils winter 2020 plans in Europe

Team begins its Transatlantic crossing to France after completing training in Rhode Island.

NEWPORT, Rhode Island—The 11th Hour Racing Team has completed its seven-week training program in Newport, Rhode Island, and now embarks on its Transatlantic navigation to Concarneau, France. Crew and team members will perform a winter refit of its IMOCA 60, which they’ll use during the 2022-23 iteration of The Ocean Race, before undergoing more training in early 2021.

Skipper Charlie Enright (USA) will be joined by Simon Fisher (Great Britain), Ron Greenghalgh (Great Britain), Kyle Langford (Australia) and Amory Ross (USA) will be making the Transatlantic crossing aboard the IMOCA 60. Swiss offshore sailor Justine Mettraux will also be aboard the IMOCA 60 for the Transatlantic crossing.

The team and crew planned to depart Newport on Oct. 26.

“It’s getting late in the year and the weather is strong and starting to move faster,” Fisher said in a released statement. “The objective of this Transatlantic is to get as much data as possible on the boat and foul and so we want the right conditions for testing – fast sailing and downwind – which we should have the whole way across.”

They will set up their base in Brittany, France, where the IMOCA 60 was designed and built. Brittany is a hub for France’s offshore sailing world, according to Enright.

“France is the home to offshore yacht racing and so to be immersing ourselves in the culture, among the world’s experts, and to be racing alongside the very best teams, is the perfect opportunity to continue our fast-track introduction to this new class,” Enright said in a statement. “Our current outlook is to be sailing and racing in our new IMOCA next summer.”

The 11th Hour Racing Team had been training in Newport since August. There they did a combination of simulator work to test theoretical foil configurations, day sailing and overnight offshore sessions.

The Ocean Race, which debuted in 1973, is a rigorous sailing competition around the world. It’ll start in Alicante, Spain. Competitors will then head to: Cape Verde; Cape Town, South Africa; Shenzhen, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Itajaí, Brazil; Newport, Rhode Island; Aarhus, Denmark; and, The Hague, Netherlands.

This is the second Transatlantic crossing for 11th Hour Racing and the IMOCA 60; the team crossed the Atlantic Ocean in August, when they received the boat and navigated it across The Pond to the United States.

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