Globe40: Onward towards Cape Horn
Published on November 26th, 2022
Papeete, Tahiti (November 26, 2022) – Today at 15:00 hours local time (01:00 UTC, November 27), the GLOBE40 crews set sail on leg 5 in Matavai Bay to the north of the island of Tahiti, bound for the Argentinean stopover of Ushuaia via the legendary yet feared Cape Horn.
Ahead of the five doublehanded Class40 teams lie some 4,500 miles along the direct route, and doubtless more than 5,000 miles in reality, with the passage estimated at passage 22 to 24 days according to Christian Dumard’s latest weather forecast.
The course sets out from the shores of French Polynesia at around 20° south, navigating a large section of the Pacific, powering along the coast of Chile and Patagonia, rounding Cape Horn at 55° south, and then making headway towards the town of Ushuaia via the Beagle Channel, which links the Atlantic to the Pacific and to the center where the Argentinean resort town is located.
“To kick things off, the competitors will have to carve out a route due south after sailing around the northern edge of the Polynesian atoll, making the most of a fairly moderate SE’ly trade wind, which will help them avoid stumbling into the zone of high pressure which is blocking the direct course towards the Horn,” explained Dumard.
“As a result, their dive due south will involve a four or five-day beat. At 35° south, they’ll begin to hook onto the low pressure system sweeping around the area, the centers of which are located between the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties. By heading eastwards towards Cape Horn, they’ll remain to the north of these depressions, so they’ll be sailing downwind because depressions move clockwise in the southern hemisphere of course.
“To avoid dropping down too far to the south with its increasingly hostile areas, the skippers will have to negotiate a compulsory waypoint (Chilean Gate) some eight or nine days later at 46° south and 110° west, or around a 1000 nautical miles to the south of Easter Island. The passage around the Horn should take place on day 22 to 23.
“They’ll make landfall here during the equinox, the last few days of spring in the southern hemisphere, so it’s likely to be a fabulous passage with 17 to 18 hours of daylight. In theory, it’s the perfect time to round Cape Horn, but of course the situation there could easily change out of the blue.
“Naturally, all this is relative, even if it is synonymous with the first few days of summer. The water temperature will still be 6 or 7°: so a chilly ambiance awaits at best…”
With just two points separating the top three crews (SEC HAYAI, AMHAS, and MILAI Around The World), it is likely that the winner of the upcoming leg will take pole position in the overall ranking. That is unless GRYPHON SOLO 2 or WHISKEY JACK, two crews which are honing their skills more and more with every leg, decide to shake up the current podium.
With precious little separating the finishers (34 minutes in Auckland after 7,000 miles; 7 minutes in Papeete after 2,600 miles), the competitive tension is omnipresent in this race, especially during a leg where it will be vital to strike a balance between speed and prudence in this risky navigation zone.
To further whet the appetites of the skippers after the official finish of leg 5, at the entrance to the Beagle Channel, the teams will vie for the TIERRA DEL FUEGO TROPHY, the outcome of which will be decided on the finish line off the port of Ushuaia.
Race details – Entries – Tracker
Note: The scoring format gives extra value to the longer legs.
Standings (after four of eight legs):
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 – September 11
Leg 4 start: Auckland, New Zealand – October 29
Leg 5 start: Papeete, French Polynesia – November 26
Leg 6 start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Leg 7 start: Recife, Brazil
Leg 8 start: St Georges, Grenada