Team Holcim-PRB collected maximum points as they led the IMOCA fleet through the Leg 3 scoring gate at 17:45:38 UTC on Sunday.
It means it has been a successful 24 hours for the team, skippered by Kevin Escoffier, as Sunday morning saw them set an IMOCA distance record of 5929.26 nautical miles.
“The rhythm of these last hours of racing has been set by a big push to the scoring gate and this first set of points for leg 3,” Escoffier said. “We built a big lead early this leg, but the others caught a favourable weather front and there was nearly a re-start a few days ago. But we managed to hold on to a bit of a lead through it all, which we really wanted to keep for the scoring gate.
“Yesterday (Saturday) the sea state was manageable enough that the IMOCA speed records kept falling. For us, we are very happy to get the record even if that wasn’t the goal, but an objective towards the goal of leading at the scoring gate.
“We keep learning about this boat and finding ways to go faster and faster.”
Adding five points to their total so far, Escoffier and his team-mates have a perfect score on the leaderboard with 15 points, having won the first two legs.
Second place is still up for grabs for this gate, as Boris Hermann (Team Malizia) edged ahead of Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team.
“We have had some super-tight racing today,” said Malizia’s Will Harris. “We’ve just managed to overtake them. They’re absolutely flying, but luckily we’ve managed to go a little bit faster.”
Biotherm is 40 miles further back after falling away on Saturday.
“After working our way through Biotherm last night it was Malizia’s turn to do the same to us this afternoon,” crew member Amory Ross said on Sunday. “They seem to be able to carry more sail and keep their bow up, presumably with the shape of their hull, and while we struggled in the waves to keep from nosediving they were able to sail at the same speed but lower.
“We watched as they sailed down to us, around our bow, and then continued on in a more southerly direction.”
There are more than 7500 nautical miles remaining before the finish line at Itajai, Brazil, and half the points are yet to be awarded.
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