211 days and another Cape Horner
211 days, 23 hours and 12 minutes is the time it took Jean-Luc Van Den Heede to complete his sixth circumnavigation and twelfth Cape Horn rounding in the 2018 Golden Globe Race. His record is safe this year, even if the course has changed somewhat. A fast-cruising programme for the boss these days, even if round the world racing still tickles him a bit (when he is not touring the country with his rock band, that is)!
In the North Atlantic, Kirsten pulled a card off her sleeve with a tack to the north that allowed her to sail directly to Les Sables d’Olonne for 8 hours, shaving 15 miles off Abhilash overnight! She is clearly in regatta mode, and this morning is on course at 320°, a closer tack than yesterday with better VMG. Abhilash, 3° further north, is enjoying the long tack close-hauled in the trade winds, but even more so to have found a pack of muesli after 8 months at sea, a welcome change from popcorn!
Simon (CH) between the leaders is in great shape, too much sun (he has made up curtains for Clara) and not enough books, but he still has the right speed on the right course given the conditions. Captain Gugg has passed the latitude of Natal downwind and has not yet entered the doldrums. Jeremy (CH) 5° south of the tropics is finally enjoying champagne sailing conditions, downwind in medium wind, surfing the southern waves in the sun, heading towards Salvador da Bahia, a thousand miles away. A taste of paradise.
It’s not the same atmosphere in the roaring 50s. Ian, upwind in little air, is unaware that he will be tomorrow evening in 27 to 40 knots of northerlies, which is not Puffin’s favourite point of sail. Last but not least, a big shout-out and massive congratulations to #GuyWaitesSailing, no longer in the GGR, who is now south of the Isla de Hornos in 20-40 knots of westerlies, is realising an elusive dream that was nearly snatched away from him many times. Great sailor, great guy, and an out-of-this-world determination. Big up Guy!