Marco Nannini on the GOR: Storm avoidance measures

Marco Nannini on the GOR: Storm avoidance measures

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

A nasty gale is brewing south of us, the worst of it is headed straight for Cape Horn just at the same time we were due to round the infamous cape. After much debate we decided it was simply too risky for us to carry on heading for such a dangerous randez-vous and have instead slowed down and we'll let the worst of the gale blow through before resuming our course with improving weather behind us rather than the risk of being cornered in a lee shore in nasty waves forming on the continental shelf and no where to run.

In 12 hours the centre of the low should be east of us and moving north eastwards away from us. At this point it should be safe enough to resume our course.

Cessna, the boat currently leading the race has decided to adopt a more aggressive strategy and will try to outrun the depression, rounding Cape Horn ahead of the worst of the storm. We considered this option but ruled it out as we didn't think we could make it in time. We were in second place with effectively little to lose by playing it safe as we certainly were not going to overtake a faster boat in a storm.

Instead, we slowed down by reducing sail, we prepared the storm jib well ahead of time, run the extra lines needed to use our special 4th reef and are now just waiting for the wind to build, it should quickly strengthen with the strongest due here in 12 hours and around Cape Horn in 18-24 hours, with enough room to run we'll head downwind and hopefully make the ride safe with wind and waves reducing well ahead of our new expected time of arrival at the horn.

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