A crew member from Pen Duick VI was recovered from the water during the start of Leg 4 of the Ocean Globe Race; two other boats hit buoys

The tidal and sea conditions at the start of Leg 4 of the Ocean Globe Race proved tricky for some of the 13 teams, with boat collisions and a man overboard situation for one of the entries.

A crew member from Pen Duick VI was recovered from the water shortly after the start at Punta Del Este, although details of the incident have yet to be made public.

Both the crew from Maiden and Spirit of Helsinki confirmed to Ocean Globe Race HQ that the man overboard was from Pen Duick VI and that the person was recovered; Maiden‘s crew threw a horseshoe buoy into the water for the casualty.

A horseshoe lifebuoty having been thrown into the water for a man overboard during the start of Leg 4 of the Ocean Globe Race

The horseshoe lifebuoy being returned to Maiden‘s crew. Credit: The Maiden Factor-Kaia Bint Savage

Race organisers are still waiting for further clarification from Pen Duick VI‘s skipper Marie Tabarly.

In a tweet, the crew of Pen Duick VI said: “All crew onboard is ok, just one a bit to eager who needed to cool down a bit. we picked him up very fastly and were back ahead of our beloved T9 right after.”

At the time of the incident, the fleet was experiencing 15 knots southwesterly headwinds, gusting to 25 knots, and a lumpy 3-4 metre swell.

The yachts were tightly packed at the start which led to the crew of the Swan 53 Trianna narrowly avoiding hitting Evrika.

The Swan 65 ketch hit a marker buoy and speared it with the boat’s bowsprit.

Meanwhile, the crew of Explorer reported the Swan 57 suffered “cosmetic damage” after hitting a port navigation buoy; the yacht slid up onto it before dragging past.

Evrika during the start of leg 4 of the OCean Globe Race

A lucky escape for Evrika after hitting a buoy. Credit: Matias Capizzano

The start of Leg 4 is the first time the entire fleet has started together since the beginning of the round the world yacht race in September.

Translated 9 was the last boat to leave the dock for the start line.

The Swan 65 and her crew arrived the day before the start having been forced to abandon Leg 3 and stop at the Falkland Islands to make repairs after two cracks appeared in the stern section of the boat’s hull.

Repairs have also been made to the yacht’s engine after a problem developed with the transmission.

A yacht with a large spinnaker sail

Maiden’s newly painted spinnaker. Credit: The Maiden Factor-Kaia Bint Savage

At the start of Leg 4, the combined IRC results mean the French team, Triana has a seven-day lead over nearest rivals Maiden, which sported a hand-painted spinnaker at the start.

The long underwater profile of the Swans will favour upwind conditions but tactics will still be key for taking the Leg 4 crown.

The first yachts are expected across the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line off Cowes on around 9-10 April 2024.

Continues below…

Commenting on the start of the final leg, the founder of the Ocean Globe Race, Don McIntyre, said: “What an amazing start that was. It’s just fantastic to see the fleet set sail again, and a fleet that includes seven former Whitbread yachts. Every one of those yachts has a special history and story, as does every crew member on board.

A yacht in stormy seas

All of the crews faced challenging conditions at the start of Leg 4. Credit: The Maiden Factor-Kaia Bint Savage

“These crews have a big challenge ahead of them before they cross the finish in Cowes but that is what they’ve signed up for. I’ve said it before but I’m very, very proud of what each and every one of those sailors setting sail today has achieved. They are showing the world that now, any sailor can race around the world via Cape Horn.”

Combined IRC results ahead of the start of Leg 4

Triana (France) 185d 4h 9m 9s (corrected elapsed)
Maiden (UK) 192d 7h 23m 59s (corrected elapsed)
Galiana with Secure (Finland) 192d 13h 4m 37s (corrected elapsed)
Spirit of Helsinki (Finland) 195d 10h 55m 18s (corrected elapsed)
Outlaw (Australia) 197d 18h 45m 10s (corrected elapsed)
Neptune (France) 200d 2h 18m 1s (corrected elapsed)
Pen Duick VI (France) 200d 7h 49m 37s (corrected elapsed)
Evrika (France) 200d 21h 0m 19s (corrected elapsed)
L’Esprit d’Equipe (France) 202d 0h 0m 38s (corrected elapsed)
White Shadow (Spain) 203d 2h 10m 59s (corrected elapsed)

Retired during a leg
Translated (Italy)
Sterna (South Africa)
Explorer (Australia)
Godspeed (USA)

Positions of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race fleet – Leg 4: Punta del Este to Cowes at 1200 UTC on 06 March 2024. These positions will change under the IRC rating. Line honours are shown below. 

Maiden (UK)
Neptune (France)
Outlaw (Australia)
Pen Duick VI (France)
Translated 9 (Italy)
Galiana with Secure (Finland)
Triana (France)
L’Esprit d’Equipe (France)
White Shadow (Spain)
Spirit of Helsinki (Finland)
Evrika (France)
Explorer (Australia)
Sterna (South Africa)


Godspeed (USA)

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