Cape Horn tonight

But no sigh of relief for Stamm and le Cam in the Barcelona World Race

Tuesday February 24th 2015, Author: Helen Fretter, Location: none selected

Mythical, revered, renowned, legendary.....but above all for competitors in the Barcelona World Race, Cape Horn is a time for extra care and caution. While observers and race fans may be poised to share and enjoy race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat passing the maritime world's most famous landmark this evening, Swiss co-skipper Bernard Stamm of race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat was clear that there will be little time for celebration or reflection on board as they leave the Pacific.

"It will be much like we celebrated the new year. Just because we pass Cape Horn we will not stop operating the boat as it is where there is a lot of work to do. We will be happy when we will be passed, we will tell a story or two. But we will keep going on our merry way."

Passing the most southerly tip of South America also marks the 'left turn' up the Atlantic, engendering the feeling of being homeward bound. If the race is broadly split over three months, then they are two thirds done. 'All' that is left is the final three to four weeks from Cape Horn to the finish line off Barcelona's W-Hotel.

Stamm reminded us that they are not out of the woods yet - in fact they still have five our six days to get north of the Roaring Forties, but these days are suffused with the knowledge that - after five weeks of relentless dampness, chill and days of strong winds in the southerly latitudes - a prelonged period of warm weather and settled trade winds are on their horizon.

His note of caution is not without foundation. His first rounding of Cape Horn was while leading Around Alone in 2003, ironically also on 24 February. Approaching Cape Horn 12 years ago to the day, his IMOCA 60 Bobst Group-Armor Lux fell off a huge wave and cracked the head of the keel. Stamm managed to effect a temporary repair, but had to make pitstop into Port Stanley. And of course co-skipper Le Cam's 2009 Vendee Globe experience when his yacht losts its keel and he had to be rescued from the upturned hull of his yachts, weighs on his own mind.

The ETA for Cheminées Poujoulat off Cape Horn is around 2300 this Tuesday evening. That timing means Stamm and Le Cam will pass in the dark of evening local time. They have kept their foot off the accelerator as much as possible to preserve their boat and themselves.

Winds are set to remain in the westerly to give them a fast, direct passage down the Le Maire Straits between Staten Island and Tierra del Fuego and then west of the Falklands.

Cheminées Poujoulat's lead over Neutrogena is about 1060 miles. In turn Neutrogena and third placed GAES Centros Auditivos remain locked only 43 miles apart in terms of DTF. Renault Captur in sixth is recovering small miles on fifth placed One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton after re-starting from Wellington early yesterday morning.

Later this afternoon or early evening Spirit of Hungary, sailed by Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman, will arrive in Bluff, South Island, NZ to start its technical pit stop.

Top of Fa and Colman's jobs list is the replacement mast track car, but Colman talks of tooling up for keel and electrical repairs. He wrote: "Its currently blowing 44 knots in the passage of a little cold front. Visibility is almost nil thanks to the driving rain, and its supposted to be summer in the southern hemisphere! Despite of our cold welcome, we are excited to touch down in Bluff in less than 12 hours to start our pit stop. My uncle Gray has collected spares for sails, electronics and keel components and we'll meet up with our famliy technical crew soon after we get in."

From on board We Are Water, Willy Garcia reported: "We are a little bit tired, but it is okay. Really we have downwind conditions with the wind very astern and so we have to gybe many times. Every gybe means half an hour of effort day and night and so we are little bit tired.
From Tuesday on we can see that One Planet One Ocean is near us but they have better winds to do a more direct course. All that we can do is sail as fast as we can with the winds that we have . On the other hand to cross the Pacific Ocean with a boat 200 miles from us is good for us.

"A few days ago an object hit the rudder and we broke a piece of the rudder. And so the day after we had to repair the carbon fibe and so now the rudder is 100% useful.

"We climbed to check the mast to check everything is okay. I checked the spreaders, and runners. But when I was at the top of the mast the autopilot failed and we did a Chinese gybe and it was a little bit scary. Nothing broke and we are okay. We have to cross the Pacific now and for the next few days it will be downwind.  The boat is good, some little things to repair but everything is good."

Positions at 1400 UTC
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) at 7049 miles to finish
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) + 1061 miles to leader
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marin) + 1102 miles to leader
4 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 3159 miles to leader
5 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 3374 miles to leader
6 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 3949 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 4467 miles to leader
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top