Cape Horn is just over 1000 miles away, but they will be hard-earned miles…
The teams have the end of the hardest part of the longest leg in the history of The Ocean Race in sight.
On Friday afternoon UTC, the most iconic of landmarks to offshore sailors – Cape Horn – lies just over 1000 miles to the east.
But those miles won’t come easily. Gale force winds and 6-8 metre seas are on the menu for the weekend, before the sailors can expect to pass Cape Horn on Monday morning.
Team Malizia is 10 miles ahead of Team Holcim PRB with both boats to the north of Biotherm and 11th Hour Racing Team, some 50 miles behind to the southwest.
“We’re attacking the last long downwind leg towards Cape Horn, with the last low pressure system that will take us as far as the Horn,” said Team Holcim-PRB skipper Kevin Escoffier.
“We’re going to gradually climb into conditions that are more like the South, with about 30-35 knots of wind and seas that will reach seven meters. Solid conditions, as you would expect from coming this far. The important thing now is to take care of the boat, take care of the crew and stay in touch with the competitors. Fast, but not furious.”
In fact this is in line with another memorable reminder the crew of 11th Hour Racing Team has come up with: “Nothing silly before Chile.”
It seems all are in agreement that after a month at sea, the main goal must be getting out of the southern latitudes safely and with boats in good shape for the final push north to the finish in Itajaí, Brazil.
The weather forecast is for conditions to escalate on Saturday with trailing winds near 35 knots, gusting into the mid-40s, and a sea state over 6 metres, before moderating slightly on Sunday and again into more a manageable state for the actual passage of Cape Horn on Monday (UTC).
The latest news is at www.theoceanrace.com and you can follow sailing’s greatest round-the-world challenge on Eurosport with every leg departure live and on-demand on discoveryplus.com or Eurosport.com