Marco Nannini on the GOR: 55 knot gusts

Marco Nannini on the GOR: 55 knot gusts

Wednesday February 22 2012 Author: Marco Nannini Location: none selected

We are through the peak of the storm and we're happy to report that we didn't sustain any damage... Our strategy was to slow the boat down and let the worst part of the depression go past us before resuming our course towards Cape Horn so that we would be behind the storm on the approach to the cape rather than be stuck between the storm and rocky cliffs of south America, we held back far enough from the centre hoping for less wind and easier sea conditions and I think we found the right balance, we had sustained winds of 40-45 knots with occasional gusts into the 50-55 range, in line with what we expected, on two occasions we were hit by hailstone squalls, the only piece of advice I can leave you with is "dont look at a hailstone storm!" the small pellets of ice shot into your eyeballs at nearly 100 kilometers an hour really hurt!

We started sailing again during the night and when things seemed to have calmed down further we changed from the smallest of sails, the storm jib, to the larger staysail and increased the area of the mainsail by removing the 4th reef (which leaves exposed only a very small part of the sails) and moving up to 3rd reef... we are now surfing down the waves in 30-35 gusting 45 knots of wind and a rather messy residual sea which hopefully will start to ease over the next 12 hours...

We lost approximately 250 miles to Cessna who still has to face the worst of the storm in the next 6-12 hours, interestingly the strong winds will force them to go east of the Falklands which adds about 100 miles to the course leaving us with a chance of cutting to the inside and perhaps closing some of the gap? Most importantly we're all in one piece and got through with no damage, we're now looking forward to rounding cape horn and moving up to warmer latitudes!!!

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