The skipper of Pen Duick VI, Marie Tabarly and her crew are the first entrants to cross the finish line in Leg 3 of the Ocean Globe Race

Marie Tabarly, the Breton skipper of Pen Duick VI, has not been shy in expressing her frustration during the Ocean Globe Race.

First, there was a protest hearing after a seal broke on the team’s comms bag. Inconclusive evidence was also presented to Race HQ that the What’s App account registered to Marie Tabarly was active after the start of the first leg of the race; all modern communications equipment is banned in the retro race.

This landed the team with a 72-hour time penalty.

The weather has also been far from ideal, with Marie Tabarly stating that the lack of heavy weather means that Pen Duick VI has not been performing to the optimum.

People celebrating on board the deck of a boat

Celebrations as the crew of Pen Duick VI take line honours in Leg 3. Credit: Rob Havill/Ocean Globe Race

The French team crossed the finish line of Leg 1 in fourth place and Leg 2 in second place. In the IRC rankings, Pen Duick VI is currently third.

But, Marie Tabarly and her crew now have something to celebrate, with Pen Duick VI taking line honours in Leg 3 in the Ocean Globe Race.

The 73ft Bermudian ketch made its way into Punta del Este at 15.55 UTC yesterday, having spent 30 days racing from Auckland, New Zealand.

Pen Duick VI has been the clear favourite to win Leg 3; the team was the first to round Cape Horn, and then nearest rival, Translated 9 had to divert to the Falkland Islands for repairs to their cracking hull, forcing them to withdraw from Leg 3.

People on the dock watching the Pen Duick VI yacht and her skipper Marie Tabarly

The crowds turned out to see the arrival of Pen Duick VI. Credit: Don McIntyre/Ocean Globe Race

Speaking from Punta del Estate, Marie Tabarly said: “A victory is a victory, to win a race, you first have to finish it.” We win by keeping his boat and crew intact. I would have preferred to have this rivalry with Translated 9 until the end, but maybe they pushed too hard, there’s a lot of maybes. We managed to keep the boat intact, finish this stage and win it.”

Marie Tabarly has never made a secret of wanting to win, and openly said that she felt “robbed” in Leg 2 due to the northerly waypoint in the Indian Ocean.

She always wanted to beat Pen Duick VI‘s time in the 1981 Whitbread Round the World Race, but knew this was not possible due to the weather conditions and the race’s waypoints.

Continues below…

Leg 3 was the most important leg for Marie Tabarly, and the one she wanted most to win, believing it was “made for us.”.

The daughter of Éric Tabarly also had a score to settle, given her father had raced Pen Duick VI in the original 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race, but was forced to retire after the yacht dismasted twice – once in the Leg 1 and then again in Leg 3.

Spirit of Helsinki, Neptune and Maiden, being skippered by Heather Thomas, the only other female skipper in the Ocean Globe Race, are currently battling for second place in Leg 3, and are expected to arrive either later today or tomorrow.

Marie Tabarly and her crew of Pen Duick VI celebrating winning Leg 3

Marie Tabarly and the crew of Pen Duick VI are currently in third place in the IRC rankings. Credit: Don McIntyre/Ocean Globe Race

Meanwhile, at the back of the fleet, the crew of Explorer have had to replace steering cables, after losing steering just over 100nm from Cape Horn.

The team had to hove-to under storm trysail in heavy winds, gusting up 55 knots with 7m breaking seas, and waited until light and calmer weather before starting repairs.

They installed their emergency steering whilst splitting the crew into three to begin work on the cables.

By 17:00 UTC they’d completed the work and reported they were back making progress to Cape Horn, which they hope to pass later today or tomorrow.

The crew of Translated 9 are currently preparing the Swan 65 for transportation to Punta del Este for repairs, with the aim of taking part in the final leg of the Ocean Globe Race – from Punta del Este to the UK.

Positions of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race fleet – Leg 3: Auckland to Punta del Este at 1200 UTC on 14 February 2024. These positions will change under the IRC rating. Line honours are shown below. 

Pen Duick VI (France) – Finished

Still racing:

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


Translated 9 (Italy)
Godspeed (USA)

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