Malizia left Plymouth on Wednesday, 14th of August, and in the meantime, after 5 days at sea, the crew has reached the latitude of the Azores Islands. Everything is going according to plan on board and the crew are enjoying the crossing over to New York. So far, so good: 2000 nautical miles to go!

Malizia picking up speed shortly after having left Plymouth. Photo: Andreas Lindlahr.
Great atmosphere as Malizia leaves the harbour and heads out to sea. Photo: Andreas Lindlahr.
Cheering crowds… Photo: Andreas Lindlahr.

A cheering crowd on the piers waving to Malizia, a fantastic atmosphere around the harbour and a happy crew: The moment of departure off Plymouth is simply unforgettable. In moderate winds, Malizia headed into the English Channel on a south-westerly course, passing Lizard Point at dusk, accompanied by dolphins.

 

Sailing into the first night, accompanied by dolphins… Photo: Team Malizia.

On Thursday morning (15th of August), Malizia had already entered the Bay of Biscay after having sailed the first 150 nautical miles of the journey. Even though the first night at sea was “bouncy and rough”, Pierre and Boris reported that almost everyone got some sleep. Considering the sea state, the skippers added that everything was happening slow motion – from getting dressed to cooking porridge – but the crew was getting used to life on board in confined space. In the evening hours, Malizia eventually reached the northern edge of a small high pressure system in the centre of the Bay of Biscay and tacked, heading west-northwest throughout the following night.

Malizia in the Bay of Biscay heading south-west on Thursday.
Happy crew: Everyone getting used to life on board and Imoca 60 sailing. Photo: Team Malizia.

Friday, the 16th of August, promised to be a grey, very windy and fairly uncomfortable day at sea. A strong south-westerly wind inevitably meant beating upwind as Malizia made way on her north-west course. “Everyone is feeling slightly seasick, but nothing too bad or unexpected. We are taking things easy and waiting out today for the conditions to calm a bit”, reported the crew around midday. In fact, Malizia expressly avoided the higher gusts exceeding 30 knots by tacking back to a south-westerly course at the right time.

Grey skies, rain, increasing winds… Friday was an uncomfortable day at sea. Photo: Team Malizia.
High spirits after a tiring upwind leg the day before. Photo: Team Malizia.

As expected, the wind and sea state calmed down on Saturday: “After a rough day at sea, the team are all happy and feeling much better. No one has been sick, but we all felt a bit off”, was messaged from the crew. Greta summarised her experience after the first days on the Atlantic Ocean as follows: “Life on board Malizia II is like camping on a roller coaster!” Throughout Saturday, the crew made very good progress, sailing in ideal conditions and boat speeds hitting the 20 knots mark. Malizia – the sailing roller coaster!

Hold on Svante! A nice roller coaster ride in Malizia’s cockpit. Photo: Team Malizia.
Nice catch, Boris and Nathan! Photo: Team Malizia.

Perfect sailing conditions continued during the following day, too. Spirits were high, as the daily report proves: “We are getting ready for a nice Sunday meal, while we are heading into the high pressure with the Code 0 and staysail set up. It’s warm and the wind is decreasing. Last night, we still did 24 knots, sometimes surfing on a long swell under the bright moon. Everyone has been sleeping really well. Greta and her team sleep all night through and chat all day with Pierre. The team has tuned into this special lifestyle of rollercoaster camping. No one would have believed they enjoy this. It’s pleasant and all good so far!

At the present time, Malizia is nicely positioned north of the Azores, more precisely north of Graciosa Island, sailing on the southern side of a stable high pressure system in a moderate, easterly breeze. The team will continue heading in the direction of Flores Island (westernmost island of the Azores archipelago) for the next hours and eventually gybe back northwest to profit from the favourable easterly flow pushing them nicely towards New York.

Malizia position update on Monday, 19th of August.

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Yannick Kethers

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