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A nice 2nd place for Holcim-PRB for the In-Port Race in Aarhus

by Team HOLCIM - PRB 4 Jun 2023 18:25 BST 4 June 2023
Holcim-PRB - The Ocean Race © Yann Riou / polaRYSE / HolcimPRB

Aarhus has been living to the rhythm of The Ocean Race for several days now, as the Danish are clearly passionate about sailing. The entire town was celebrating today for the In-Port race. A large crowd in the village, numerous boats on the water and families along the dykes admired the ballet of the four IMOCA boats... The scene was set for this sporting and sunny Sunday in a bay which more often sees light sailing boats.

The crew of Holcim-PRB responded to the challenge with a splendid performance on this short course around four buoys. Even though, Benjamin Schwartz, Yoann Richomme, Abby Ehler and Martin Le Pape were only able to sail together for two hours this morning before docking out for the race at 2:15pm. In a light breeze of about ten knots, they got off to a second place behind Biotherm, better placed on the line. What followed was a fine sequence of manoeuvres. Thanks to fluid communication on board, the crew of Holcim-PRB managed to hold off the repeated assaults from their pursuers, 11th Hour Racing Team and Team Malizia. After an hour and a half of racing, Benjamin Schwartz, Yoann Richomme, Abby Ehler and Martin Le Pape crossed the line in second position. It's a great source of satisfaction for the entire team and a confidence booster for the four sailors, who will dock out on Thursday for Leg 6 of The Ocean Race.

In the overall In-Port ranking, 11th Hour Racing Team is the leader ahead of Team Malizia. Holcim-PRB is fourth, tied on points with Biotherm, in third place. This ranking will be used to decide the winner between the boats in case of a tie for the big finish in Genoa.

Words from the crew

Benjamin Schwartz (skipper):

"It's a first sail before tacklingLeg 6. We tried to get into the race in terms of manoeuvres. Our rivals put us under a bit of pressure as they were quite close at times. We did everything we could to keep our distance from them. I'm really proud of the team and it's great to finish second after just two hours of sailing with the team. It's a great job!"

Abby Ehler:

"It went really well on the water when you think that it was a new crew. There wasn't much wind, which was quite favourable for us in this context. We communicated well on board and it was pretty fluid. We got off to a good start and that's important on this type of course. We did a series of good manoeuvres. We just didn't manoeuvre as well on the second lap, which meant we lost a bit of ground. Finishing second is a really great result. We're really pleased. The next stage will be intense. It's going to be a short race and we'll be racing close together. We'll see what's in store! "

Yoann Richomme:

"It was interesting sailing today. A lot could have been decided at the start so we tried to negotiate it well. Biotherm was in a better position. We then tried to limit the gap. It was a good moment on the water. We communicated well with Ben, Abby and Martin, a bit in 'Frenglish' (laughs). Abby was understanding because we sometimes had to do a bit of translating. Martin only met up with us this morning, but he tried to get into the swing of things straight away and he did a good job too. The next stage promises to be exciting. I'm looking forward to it!"

Martin Le Pape:

"It went pretty well. We're very happy to have come second. It was a bit of a baptism of fire for Yoann and I. We didn't see much, especially me. I was on the inside, with the column and the piano. I was focused on what I had to do and in those moments, you don't have time to give your opinion on anything. And that's fine. Communication was very fluid and that's very important for the future. We found each other straight away and got on really well. We've got characters that allow us to do that and that's great!"

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