Guo Chuan around Cape Horn
In his bid to become China's first sailor to circumnavigate the globe singlehanded, Chinese sailing star Guo Chuan rounded Cape Horn in Chile 0100 GMT on 19 January to became the first Chinese sailor to round the maritime world's most famous landmark on a non-stop singlehanded round the world odyssey.
“This is my Mount Everest at sea and a moment I will relish forever”, said Chuan as he passed the Horn.
48-year-old Guo Chuan set off from his hometown of Qingdao, China on 18 November. Over the last two months, he has experienced a string of hard times onboard, ranging from equipment failures, a fishing net barrage off the Chinese coast, a fast-moving tropical storm and falling into an area of no wind a few days after entering the southern hemisphere.
Since he sailed into the Southern Ocean a few weeks ago, low temperatures, combined with a high humidity, have become a new challenge. Nevertheless, both his onboard problem-solving skills and the strong support of his shore team have tided Chuan over any difficult times he has experienced.
“Although the circumnavigation is just half way through, I feel more confident to complete the whole journey after experiencing all the difficulties and reaching Cape Horn today”, Chuan said.
Chuan visited Cape Horn the first time in February 2009 when he served as media crewman aboard Green Dragon, a Chinese and Irish joint entry in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race. As he did last time and other offshore sailors routinely do whenever they pass Cape Horn waters, Guo opened a bottle of rum and lit a cigar for celebration.
After Cape Horn Guo will next travel to a waypoint set off the Argentine coast (in order to compete his official lap of the planet) before headed towards the Cape of Good Hope. Aboard his Class40 he expected to travel 21,600 nautical miles in about 130 days, before he returns to Qingdao.