Before the start of the first leg of The Ocean Race, the teams are working through the program of the race management. Two days after the first scoring race, the Inport Race from Alicante, the five Imocas were now sent out on the track for the Practice Race. The Coastal Race is of no significance for the scoring, but included a series of system checks for the teams to be prepared for the 1900 nautical mile leg to Cabo Verde on January 15.
The GUYOT environnement – Team Europe has to face the challenge of not being able to start its engine at the moment. Already on Sunday, the machine had sputtered and spewed white smoke. Since then, the Tech Team has been waiting for the delivery of a spare part. For the short test race, the RIB drivers had to be particularly careful when docking out and docking in. For the race, the failure of the engine would be fatal, as this ensures sufficient power supply for the electrical systems on board.
Skipper Benjamin Dutreux remains calm despite the tight schedule: “We think we can fix the problem on Wednesday.” For the Practice Race, in addition to the obligatory tasks of communicating with the Race Management and testing the emergency systems, there was also another opportunity to test boat and crew coordination. For this purpose, in addition to the crew for the first leg with Benjamin Dutreux, Robert Stanjek, Annie Lush and Phillip Kasüske, Támara Echegoyen and Anne-Claire Le Berre were also on board.
In good sailing conditions with 10 to 14 knots of wind at the Costa Blanca, the black yacht of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe got off to a good start, then concentrated on working through the protocol, refining the crew work and once again putting the A2, the racing sail for light to medium winds to use. “It was a good day to test everything, to also try the different crew constellations and practice maneuvers. We were able to work through some important topics on the to-do list. The watermaker is running, the electronics are working. Now the engine remains as a big item on the list. Of course, there are always new topics to add – but this is fine tuning now,” said skipper Benjamin Dutreux. “We will continue to work day by day in preparing the boat. But it was great sailing today. We got on the foils and had boat speed of just over 20 knots.”