The time of rest and repair is over. This afternoon at 14:10 local time (19:10 CEST), the five teams of The Ocean Race will start the prologue for the fourth leg. The Inport Race from Itajaí/Brazil will test crews and yachts in race mode for the 5500 nautical mile leg to Newport/USA, which starts on Sunday at 13.10 local time (18.10 CEST). For GUYOT environnement – Team Europe it is the return to racing after the abandonment of the third leg. The yacht has already proven itself in the Pro-Am races of the past few days after the major repair and detail work, and the team around skipper Benajmin Dutreux is fired up to catch up with the fleet.
Together with co-skipper Robert Stanjek, Sébastien Simon, Annie Lush and onboard reporter Gauthier Lebec, Dutreux will take a combative approach to the Inport race today and then also start the leg on Sunday. “Everyone is fine, the boat has been in good shape in the Pro-Am races. We are happy, we also tested the spinnaker again. It all looked very good. Everything is ready for the leg,” says Dutreux and explains with a view to the Inport Race: “We expect light winds. It all depends on how the thermals develop, but lately the sea breeze has been absent. It certainly won’t be that spectacle like in Cape Town. We are ready!”
Co-skipper Robert Stanjek says the same: “The team is extremely thirsty and hungry for success. For the next leg over 5500 nautical miles, we expect to sail 17 to 18 days.” At the same time, the hope is alive to make it to the podium in the circle of five teams. “But it will be another difficult leg. We are sailing through very hot regions. It’s hard to bear on the black ships with temperatures below deck of maybe 60° Celsius. It’s not always easy to perform at our best. In the North Atlantic, however, we have climatic conditions like at home.”
With predominantly reaching conditions on the course to the north, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe is expecting a fast race in which the yachts will sail close to their top speed.