The Race - 0930 - 13/2/01

Mark Chisnell reports as Innovation Explorer round the Horn

Tuesday February 13th 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Innovation Explorer (green) rounded Cape Horn last night after a bruising experience as the weather turned it on for them. "We've got more or less 40 knots of wind with gusts of 45 knots. There are waves all over the place, fairly tall and very short. The sea is very nasty and it is whiter than it is blue!" reported Elena Caputo from on board yesterday.

Leaders at 0700, 13/2/01

Loick Peyron took his boat round very close to the Cape itself, weaving a tortuous path downwind. Gybing the boat in those conditions of short steep seas and a gale must have been incredibly difficult. But it's another significant test of the seaworthiness of these Gilles Ollier cats that they have passed. Or at least we think they have passed it, there are no reports to the contrary, but Innovation Explorer was down to seven knots this morning.

Club Med (light blue) and Grant Dalton continue their progress north up the Atlantic at pace, and Peyron's struggle to clear Cape Horn has seen the lead stretch to almost a thousand miles this morning.

Weather at 0752, 14/2/01But trouble lies ahead for Dalton, in the shape of the South Atlantic High. Looking ahead to Wednesday morning's forecast (right), Club Med is spearing towards the centre of the high pressure, which is drifting off the South American coast in front of them.

Last night Dalton spoke of a gate closing in front of them, from this forecast it looks like it might have done so already.

The only decent breeze ahead of them looks to be north or north-easterly and that's right on the nose. But the capacity of these boats to wriggle through gaps where others would be trapped has already got them out of similar situations - so let's wait and see.

continued on page two

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