Globe40: Winners of the longest leg

Published on August 22nd, 2022

(August 22, 2022) – After 35 days 10 hours 42 minutes and 42 seconds of racing, Craig Horsfield (USA) and Oliver Bond (GBR) aboard Amhas took line honours in Mauritius in this the second and longest leg of the GLOBE40 round the world race. The five-boat fleet started on July 17, with the Anglo-American crew crossing the finish line today at 02:42:42 (UTC).

Racing from Cape Verde in the North Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, via the doldrums, the equator, the Saint Helena High and the Cape of Good Hope at 38° South, the GLOBE40 sailors enjoyed an absolutely epic passage throughout the theoretical 7,667 nautical mile course, which is sure to go down in the history of circumnavigations of the globe under sail.

“It was a long old trip to get to this stage, longer than we’d banked on before the start,” the duo explained. “We broke this hefty leg down into four chunks. Prior to setting sail, the leg seemed so daunting that we decided we had to deal with it one section at a time.

“The first two-day chunk of the race was a short and fast passage through the Cape Verde archipelago. It was very enjoyable with some excellent sessions slipping along at pace. Over the second section, the South Atlantic and the Saint Helena High, an in-depth analysis of the strategy was necessary to negotiate this tricky passage.

“The third chunk, which took us around the tip of South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope, was physically tough as we encountered a difficult sea state and very cold temperatures at times. The final section in the Indian Ocean was very arduous too. We had thought that it was going to be the easiest part of the leg, but it was actually the toughest of them all.”

The Anglo-American skippers certainly secured victory with real flair. On the pace from the opening miles, they were rarely more than thirty miles astern of their Japanese rival and leader Milai as they dropped down the South Atlantic. Indeed, they continued to push hard despite the physical and mental strain of racing over such a long distance, together with the tough seas and weather conditions encountered along the way and a steady stream of technical glitches.

Constantly hounding their rivals, the duo was poised to pounce as the Masa Suzuki and Andrea Fantini were forced to make a pit-stop in South Africa to effect major repairs on Milai. Moving up into the lead as the fleet rounded the Cape of Good Hope, they controlled the remainder of the race.

“Our strategy essentially involved staying in contact with the front of the fleet,” noted the winners. “When we were offshore of Brazil, about to hang a left towards Cape Town, we wanted to be among the front runners. From there, our game plan was to get down to the South without incident and then launch onto a high-speed sprint across the Indian Ocean. In practice, however, we had to adapt our strategy somewhat.

“We accelerated a little more than planned in the South as we slugged it out with Milai. Next, once we’d moved up into the lead, we were able to manage our race according to what was happening out on the racetrack, altering our plans to preserve the boat as our rivals tried to catch us up. As such our road map evolved according to where we were at in the race.

“On two occasions we switched option to cover a fellow competitor, wasting half a day at one point just to get ourselves in a position which prevented them from overtaking us. It would have been quicker to plug away eastwards, but if we’d encountered a problem, they might have had an opportunity to snatch the win, so we decided to take that option out of the equation. That’s how we managed the finish, even though it meant that we sailed less quickly at times.”

They were also keen to shine a spotlight on the excellent camaraderie amongst the competitors.

“One of the highlights so far has been the great communication between the boats, especially between Masa (Milai) and Mélodie (Whiskey Jack), as they tried to resolve their technical issues. Despite the fierce competition, and even though we love doing battle out on the water, it’s great to share the experience. We love helping one another out. If a problem arises, if someone breaks something, everyone’s sorry for them.”

The Dutch pairing on Sec Hayai looks poised to secure second place in this leg tomorrow.

Race detailsEntriesTracker

First Leg Results:

The inaugural Globe40 is an eight leg round the world race for doublehanded Class40 teams. As all legs count toward the cumulative score, the longer distances more heavily weighted. The first leg, which took seven to eight days to complete, had a coefficient 1 while the second leg is ranked as a coefficient 3 leg. The race is expected to finish March 2023. Seven teams were ready to compete, but a Leg 1 start line collision eliminated The Globe En Solidaire with Eric and Léo Grosclaude (FRA) while the Moroccan team of Simon and Omar Bensenddik on IBN BATTOUTA retired before the Leg 2 start.

Tangier, Morocco – June 26

Leg 2 start: Sao Vincente, Cape Verde Islands – July 17
Leg 3 start: Port Louis, Mauritius
Leg 4 start: Auckland, New Zealand
Leg 5 start: Papeete, French Polynesia
Leg 6 start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Leg 7 start: Recife, Brazil
Leg 8 start: St Georges, Grenada

Lorient, France

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