11th Hour Racing Team Takes All in Ocean Race 2022-2023
09/05/2023 | posted by Christine Duggan
As the proud and official rope supplier to 11th Hour Racing Team, Marlow Ropes heartfully congratulates 11th Hour Racing Team for taking first place in not only The Ocean Race, but also The Ocean Race In-Port Series 2022-2023.
Originally, one of five teams in pursuit of the prestigious Ocean Race Trophy, 11th Hour Racing Team set sail from Alicante, Spain in January, embarking on a six-month, 32,000-nautical mile circumnavigation of the globe ending in Genova, Italy. The journey reads like a video game, with the competitors overcoming challenges from equipment failures to giant seaweed flotillas and unexplained orca ‘attacks.’
After six grueling legs, enduring rough waters and strong winds (and sometimes no wind), the team’s IMOCA 60 boat, ‘Mālama,’ was involved in a no-fault collision in the final offshore leg, just 17 minutes after the start. The race results fell into the hands of the World Sailing International Jury. On 29th June 2023, the panel awarded 11th Hour Racing Team four points of redress – based on its average performance in the previous legs – landing them in the first-place position ahead of Team Holcim-PRB. Although it wasn’t the finish anyone expected, it nonetheless earned 11th Hour Racing Team status as the first American-flagged boat to be victorious in what is considered the world’s longest and toughest team sporting event.
The team’s title sponsor, 11th Hour Racing, is an international organization based in Newport, RI, that harnesses the power of sport with an innovative approach to inspire solutions for the ocean. Its mission is to work to mobilize sailing, maritime, and coastal communities to create systemic change and restore ocean health.
11th Hour Racing Team leaders Charlie Enright and Mark Towill not only demonstrate outstanding performance on the water but also steadfast dedication to the environment in which they ‘play.’ The Hawaiian names bestowed upon their two boats demonstrate this commitment –‘Mālama’ meaning ‘ to care and protect’ and ‘Alaka’i’ meaning ‘leadership.’
As part of the Racing with Purpose sustainability programme and a world first for racing boats, 11th Hour Racing Team was equipped with OceanPacks to collect environmental DNA samples from the water during the race. The eDNA samples, one of the most advanced methods of determining ocean health and biodiversity, were sent for analysis by scientists who were able to find a significant link between latitude and the volume of ocean bacteria that break down plastic – key information to help fight the marine plastic crisis.
Sam Vineyard, Marlow Ropes USA Leisure Marine Sales Manager, commented on the rope company’s relationship with 11th Hour Racing Team: “Marlow USA has been working with Charlie and Mark since 11th Hour first began, and it is fantastic to see the efforts of the entire team pay off in the first win for a US team in the Ocean Race with its long and storied history of offshore racing, Congratulations to the entire team of sailors, riggers, boat builders and support staff as well as their families for supporting their dreams.”
For the race, Marlow supplied 11th Hour Racing Team with high-performing lines from the Marlow Grand Prix custom-made series, ensuring the highest quality and durability within sailing. Marlow also supplied Blue Ocean Dockline, made from recycled materials, working together with the team to minimize waste by providing lengths that are exact to the boat’s specifications and needs.
“Having Marlow run rigging gave our team total confidence knowing that we were working with the highest quality product made by the best in the business, who are industry leaders in introducing the latest sustainable products made from recycled materials,” said Mark Towill, 11th Hour Racing Team.
We applaud Charlie Enright and Mark Towill on this historical win and thank them for sharing their devotion to sustainability with Marlow Ropes.
11th Hour Racing has put together the following video summarizing their campaign and our impact across all facets of the team. Watch “11th Hour Racing Team | A winning campaign in a nutshell” below.