Friday, January 16, 2009

Passing the Horn...

Eight boats are now in the Atlantic Ocean after Dee Caffari, GBR, (Aviva) and Arnaud Boissières (Akenas Vérandas) both passed Cape Horn today. After both were held up at the Horn, to avoid the worst of very stormy northerly winds, they moved off back on course again this morning and early afternoon.

Jean Le Cam and his Cape Horn rescuer Vincent Riou spoke to a packed media conference at the PC Course in Paris, France this afternoon.

Dee Caffari’s celebrations will have to wait, but the British solo sailor passed the longitude of Cape Horn at 1015hrs GMT this morning in eighth place, her third time past the Rock.

It was her first time in the ‘right’ direction – passing west to east, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, but her second time sailing on her own. Caffari was urging Aviva at the limit of the speeds produced by her damaged mainsail to get to the east of the Isla de Estados, making 10-11 knots in 35-45 knots of SW’ly wind with gusts to 55 knots and a barometer which was rising. Caffari reported this afternoon that all was good on board Aviva… ‘though after a month in the Southern Ocean 35 knots feels surprisingly normal’.

Caffari has remained in close contact with Arnaud Boissières throughout and was three miles behind Akena Veranda, making three knots quicker than the French skipper as they ran parallel courses about 40 miles apart.

Brian Thompson, GBR, (Bahrain Team Pindar) left the shelter of the Isla de Estados just before midday too and was making good progress towards the Falkland Islands although he was expecting a very tough afternoon, before the stormy south westerlies are due to abate by around 2100hrs this evening. Read more...