By 11th Hour Racing Team
Charlie Dalin (FRA), the two-time IMOCA world champion, will join the only US entry in The Ocean Race for the critical double-pointer leg from Newport, Rhode Island, to Aarhus, Denmark.
The Frenchman, originally from Le Havre but now based in the epicenter of the offshore sailing world in Brittany, France, has had wins or podium positions in all the major offshore sailing races in the past few years, including the 2022 Vendée Arctique Les Sables d’Olonne (1st), the 2022 Guyader Bermudes (1st), the 2022 Route du Rhum (2nd), the 2021 Transat Jacques Vabre (2nd), and the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe (2nd). This will be the first time Dalin has competed in The Ocean Race.
Dalin will join Skipper Charlie Enright (USA), Navigator Simon Fisher (GBR), Trimmer Justine Mettraux (SUI), and Media Crew Member, Amory Ross (USA) for the transatlantic leg.
“Charlie’s track record speaks for itself as one of the, if not the, most successful offshore sailors in recent years,” commented Enright. “He has been a stable mate of ours at MerConcept over the past few years, and we have had the pleasure of sailing with him in the past, but not in a competitive concept. I am very much looking forward to having him onboard with us in this double-pointer leg.”
Dalin commented, “I thank 11th Hour Racing Team for this great opportunity to join them for the next leg of The Ocean Race. It’s going to be a wonderful experience. I know the team well because we have collaborated a lot within MerConcept in the development of our respective boats, and I admire the energy deployed on the project and on The Ocean Race.”
Dalin is looking forward to getting back offshore after coming second in his last major race – the 2022 Route du Rhum – and will be heading back to the Ocean State, and Newport, with his new boat IMOCA MACIF – Santé Prévoyance later this year. “The Ocean Race is a difficult race, and I am delighted to take part in this legendary transatlantic leg from east to west. It is the great classic of this event, and I hope to be able to share my experience and bring some energy and freshness to the crew.”
The Ocean Race’s leg 5 to Aarhus will be critical to the overall Race success of the team – an opportunity to put ten points on the leaderboard for the leg winner. After finishing the last leg into Newport in first position, the team is lying second overall, behind overall race leaders Holcim-PRB. With 20 points on the cards for the final three legs, the top three boats are all in contention to lift the coveted trophy at the finish in Genoa, Italy.
The Ocean Race fleet will set off on Sunday, May 21, 2023 on the 3,500 nautical mile (4,028 miles/6,482 kilometer) leg back to Europe. The Atlantic crossing is the race’s final open ocean leg and marks The Ocean Race fleet’s return to Europe for the first time since leaving Alicante, Spain, on the opening leg on January 15.