Back into the Atlantic

illbruck has rounded the legendary seafaring landmark of Cape Horn

Sunday February 10th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Bearheaded - Steve Hayles reports from Tyco

An eventful night. Having survived the rigours of the Southern Ocean properly, we have just had a very bad period losing to the boats around us through sail damage and other mishaps.

Firstly we were running with a full size masthead chute on in very comfortable conditions when a cloud not visible on radar gave us 35 knots [of wind], which quickly turned the situation nasty.

We had to get the sail down but there was no time to do a conventional 'peel' and change to another smaller chute so we spent a good while bareheaded [with no headsail, just the mainsail] after wrestling the first down in gale force winds.

Having got ourselves up and running again only a few minutes later, the 'new' chute blew up and we were left repeating the same process of having to do a bareheaded change.

None of this takes too long but when the fleet is travelling at around 14 knots, periods with just the mainsail up are large losses. A very disappointing night but in the big scheme of things probably not going to make much in the way of difference at the finish.

Cape Horn will be a welcome sight and we are all keen to get stuck into the next section of the race. One thing you can always be sure of in this fleet is, that there will be a lot more close racing and some dramas to unfold before our finishing position in Rio is decided.

Here we are sailing along without having to wear every item of clothing you possess and still being frozen to the bone.

Steve [Hayles]

Steve Hayles at the chart table

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