One to go

360 miles left for Roaring Forty in the Portimão Global Ocean Race

Tuesday June 23rd 2009, Author: Ollie Dewar, Location: United Kingdom
With the three double-handed boats in the Portimão Global Ocean Race moored on the VIP pontoons at the Tivoli Hotel in Portimão after an eight month absence spent racing around the world, one competitor remains at sea: Michel Kleinjans on Open 40, Roaring Forty. In the 0620 UTC position poll on Tuesday morning, the Belgian yachtsman is 360 miles west of Cape Saint Vincent at Portugal’s south-western extremity with a further 23 miles of racing along the coast to the finish line at the mouth of Portimão’s River Arade.

Kleinjans has averaged between six and nine knots over the past day, covering 168 miles in the last 24 hours, riding westerly breeze spinning anti-clockwise from a high-pressure system centred north of Roaring Forty. Weather models suggest that the breeze should remain stable for Kleinjans over the next 24 hours and although spectacular speeds are highly unlikely, there is a possible ETA of Thursday afternoon for the fleet’s solo sailor.

After 18 days of racing from Charleston, South Carolina, Michel Kleinjans is currently sailing into a very busy shipping area as commercial and private vessels enter and exit the Mediterranean via the Strait of Gibraltar 160 miles south-east of Portimão. During Leg 4 from Ilhabela, Brazil, to Charleston, Kleinjans was involved in a collision with a container ship east of Grand Bahama - an impact that caused structural damage to Roaring Forty, but left Kleinjans uninjured. It is clear that he will be on high alert for the next 48 hours to prevent any close encounters.

Earlier in Leg 5, Kleinjans reported a broken D1 shroud supporting the lower section of the yacht’s carbon fibre mast and quickly made temporary repairs, shrugging-off any suggestions that the damage would affect his ability to complete the circumnavigation. He is also handicapped with intermittent communications systems and is without any email capability and can only make contact via satellite phone for brief periods. As soon as Kleinjans makes contact, any communication will be reported.

Leaderboard 0620 UTC Tuesday 23 June:

Double-handed class
1. Desafio Cabo de Hornos – 15d 21h 07m 05s
2. Beluga Racer – 16d 17h 34m 42s
3. Team Mowgli – 17d 18h 59m 55s

Single-handed class
1. Roaring Forty – DTF 383nm Spd 8.9kts

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