11th Hour Racing Team victorious as Ocean Race arrives in Newport

Two boats collided just 17 minutes into the final, 10-day leg of the around-the-world Ocean Race on Thursday, sending first-place Newport-based 11th Hour Racing back to port in The Hague, the Netherlands, with a gaping hole in its carbon fiber hull. 

NEWPORT – A Rhode Island native officially lead the Ocean Race into the Ocean State on Wednesday.

Amid bellowing horns, Rhode Island native Charlie Enright sailed the 11th Hour Racing Team to victory in Leg 4 of the around-the-world Ocean Race, arriving in his home port of Newport at Fort Adams State Park at 2:41 p.m. on Wednesday about a half-hour in front of Team Malizia.

The six-month, seven-leg, 32,000-nautical-mile Ocean Race began its 11-day stopover in Newport on Tuesday. It will be the race’s lone North American stop. The race began in Spain on Jan. 15 and finishes in Genoa, Italy, on July 1.

After an in-port race, the boats will leave Newport on May 21 for Aarhus, Netherlands.

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Thousands of spectators were on hand to witness the first arrival, with more than 100,000 additional attendees expected in the coming days. Sail Newport is once again the race’s official stopover co-host, sponsored by BankNewport and 11th Hour Racing. Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read said this year the stopover will be packing more events into a shorter time frame.

Enright and 11th Hour Racing earned full points on Leg 4. Team Malizia is projected to earn 4 points or a second place finish.

Only three of the five teams made a successful trek from Itajai, Brazil, to Newport on Wednesday. Previous race leader Holcim-PRB dismasted on April 27 and had to ship the boat to Newport, where all competitors will now converge during an 11-day layover coinciding with the opening of the Live Ocean Park Village that will welcome visitors free of charge from May 13-21.

Team Malizia, which remained neck and neck with 11th Hour Racing through most of the fourth leg, was victorious in Leg 3 from Cape Town to Brazil. The third boat – Biotherm – is projected to finish about six hours behind the leaders and arrive Wednesday evening.

Overnight, the GUYOT environment – Team Europe crew dismasted about 600 miles east of Newport and is now “evaluating the next steps.”

“We have one final fight with 11th Hour Racing Team, one final push, and I think we can be very happy with how we’ve sailed so far,” Team Malizia skipper Will Harris said in a  statement on Wednesday. “We just have to enjoy these last few hours at sea and we can look forward to a nice welcome in Newport. No matter how it goes, we can be happy with how we sailed and knowing we’ve given it everything we’ve got so far.”

Interested spectators unable to make it to Newport’s racing village can access live updates at www.theoceanrace.com/en/racing/tracker.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Christopher Allen is a PBN staff writer. You may contact him at Allen@PBN.com.

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