Marco Nannini on the GOR: 60degS

Marco Nannini on the GOR: 60degS

Saturday February 18 2012 Author: Marco Nannini Location: none selected

In a few miles we'll touch the latitude of 60 degrees south, it sounds quite frightening but my cure is to remember that when I sailed the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland in 2010 we were in higher latitudes in the northern hemisphere, I guess what makes here so overwhelming is the sense of isolation but if you say to yourself i'm sailing around the Shetlands it does not sound quite as horrible! We are 1000 miles from Cape Horn and as soon as the wind will turn it should soon become a fast ride to our next stop.

The battle with Cessna continues on the high seas, yesterday our opponents decided to break the cover and tacked north-east for about 8 hours. We welcomed their move as we know that as long as we are in the same winds we cannot beat a latest generation boat. It's like a very slow game of chess where each move takes days to show it's merits or prove to be an error. For those who don't know, Conrad Colman's boat is an Akilaria RC2, we sail the previous version, the Akilaria RC1 from the same designer (Marc Lombard) and the same yard (MC-Tec). Both would have a lot of explaining to do to their customers if the newer design wasn't faster. We have had a bit of luck with the weather helping us catch them when they got away after the first 10 days of racing, now, upwind we can still play cat and mouse but soon when the wind will shift and we'll be reaching we will struggle to keep the same speeds. For now, we're doing our best to get in the lead and we can always take it from there.

We have to report a broken sheave on the boom end sheave box, this caused one of the reefing pennants to damage the carbon sheave separators, not a big deal but will make reefing a slightly lengthier manoeuvre. We also mysteriously broke one of the mainsail cars, not an issue in light winds but we have to hope this will not prove to be a problem in the heavy downwind conditions we expect later at the horn...

Day by day the job list inevitably builds up with a little new issue that will need to be addressed in Punta before the restart of the next leg, the main one being the torn A2 Spinnaker, but also some other maintenance jobs on the staysail and mainsail such as the broken car probably result of the week long dreadful upwind work earlier in the leg... So once again I wish to thank those who are helping me to continue racing with your paypal donations at www.marconannini.com/help

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