World sailors The Ocean Race sail on after stunning week in The Hague

The stopover of The Ocean Race in The Hague was a great success. Tropical temperatures and especially very good winds made for a wonderful week in the harbor of Scheveningen. Ideal conditions for the participating teams of the world’s toughest sailing race. On Thursday afternoon the racing boats set sail again for the final leg to Genoa. Unfortunately, 15 minutes after the start, the IMOCA boat of classification leader 11th Hour Racing was attacked by Team Guyot. Both boats had to return to port with serious damage.

There were no injuries in the collision. Benjamin Dutreux, skipper of Team Guyot, acknowledged fault. “The boat of 11th Hour Racing appeared in front of us and it was impossible to avoid contact, we were too late. I take all responsibility, it’s our fault.”

Charlie Enright, skipper of front-runner 11th Hour Racing, did not want to speculate on the further course of the stage to Genoa. “This is not the way we want to finish the race. Any more than Team Guyot wanted that. We will see what will happen next. This will not be the reason we don’t finish. Whatever has to happen for it, we will find a solution.”

Team Guyot withdrew from the race and offered Enright help in repairing the battered IMOCA. ”We will help them in any way we can,” Dutreux said.

Gerd-Jan Poortman

Tournament director Gerd-Jan Poortman, although the collision visibly affected him as well, looked back on the week in Scheveningen with pride. “The Hague has given a wonderful calling card for sea sailing in the Netherlands.” He spoke of “Caribbean conditions. It was warm, but it was also fantastic sailing weather. We saw the most beautiful In-Port Races of the entire Ocean Race here off the coast of The Hague. These were days that, having visited Scheveningen, you still think back to years later.”

Just under 130,0000 enthusiastic race fans visited the Ocean Live Park in Scheveningen’s First and Second Harbors this week.

Unique conditions

Sailing conditions during the stopover in The Hague were described by experts as ‘unique’. On Wednesday, the spectacular IMOCAs were even able to sail on their foils thanks to strong north-easterly winds. Carried by the wind, speeds of almost 30 knots, just under 60 kilometres per hour, were sailed. As far as Poortman is concerned, “The Ocean Race The Hague 2023 tasted like more. I only hear extremely positive stories around me. It would be wonderful if the next Ocean Race comes to The Hague again.”

Municipality of The Hague

Alderman Hilbert Bredemeijer (Education, Youth and Sport) spoke to the organisers of The Ocean Race about the future. ,,We have told each other that we will evaluate together later, when the race is completely over. It is good to hear what exactly the organisation’s plans are for the next races. In any case, it is clear to The Ocean Race that we are part of this event. What that will look like practically is still unclear. We still have to talk about that here in the city as well.”

Bredemeijer understood from the organisers of The Ocean Race that they were “particularly so pleasantly surprised that every time the sailors visit the city, The Hague chooses to reinvent the event, to choose something new and surprising. That was clearly very much to their liking.” He had also received many compliments from foreign visitors who were in the city for the first time. “The combination of the beach, the port ánd the city had made them mega-enthusiastic.”

The Ocean Race Europe is scheduled for 2025, while another trip around the world is planned for 2027.


Around noon, the VO65 boats and their crews left the port of Scheveningen, with the IMOCAs following later in the afternoon. The VO65 boats will complete their sailing race across Europe in the coming days, sailing three sprint stages. The Polish WindWhisper Racing Team, with Dutch Arianne van de Loosdrecht on board, is in pole position to win the Sprint Cup. Team JAJO, with a largely Dutch crew, inflicted the first defeat on WindWhisper off the coast of The Hague. The boat led the field when leaving the Dutch coast.


For the IMOCAs, a sailing race of roughly 32,000 nautical miles, some 60,000 kilometers, around the world came to an end in Genoa. 11th Hour Racing Team, winner of the leg to The Hague, was leading the fleet, but during the restart, skipper Charlie Enright’s ocean sailor was thus attacked by Team Guyot. Both boats had to return to port. There they are currently lying. The damage is being repaired, after which the pursuit can be started.

In the harbor, two Dutch sailors received much acclaim prior to departure. Rosalin Kuiper called the reception by The Hague “truly insane.” Annemieke Bes expressed hope for a wonderful final chord in Genoa. She will sail the last leg on the boat of Team Holcim and still has a chance to win the final race. It is expected that the first boats of The Ocean Race will enter the port of Genoa on June 25. “It promises to be a stage where a lot of tactical and strategic decisions have to be made.”

Bes called the stopover in The Hague “truly grandiose. It was a wonderfully beautiful week-long show. The atmosphere was tremendously good, the weather was great, of course. And we were able to sail wonderful In-Port Races. It is nice to see that the hard work of the local organization in The Hague has been rewarded. It all made sense.”

More News

11th Hour Racing Team win The Ocean Race

11th Hour Racing Team win The Ocean Race

Team Malizia saves the best for last with a win in Leg 7 of The Ocean Race

Team Malizia saves the best for last with a win in Leg 7 of The Ocean Race

WindWhisper Racing Team wins Stage 3 into Genova to take The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup

WindWhisper Racing Team wins Stage 3 into Genova to take The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup