Playing cards in Global Solo Challenge
Published on January 22nd, 2024
(January 22, 2024) – Phiilppe Delamare (FRA) continues to lead the 2023-24 Global Solo Challenge on his Actual 46 Mowgli, still the only entrant to have made the turn at Cape Horn, and now ascending the South Atlantic alongside São Paulo, Brazil.
In her approach to Cape Horn, Cole Brauer (USA) in second place on her Class40 First Light has had to look at the bigger picture and knows that to finish first you first must finish. In her case, her patience and seamanship is being tested by a scenario where sailing too fast could lead her to being stuck in between two heavy storms with potentially nowhere to run for respite.
A little frustrated by the developing scenario but fully aware of the risks she would otherwise face with her 40ft light displacement racing boat, Brauer and her shore team have opted to draw a route that will see her rounding Cape Horn just behind the second storm, rather than attempting to squeeze between the two that are forming on her route. This will inevitably help Delamare further consolidate his first place.
On sailing up the South Atlantic, the French skipper has encountered several complex weather scenarios that slowed him down. First a passing of a storm that he decided to avoid, then a light patch where Mowgli was stuck even drifting backwards. This allowed for a very big part of his advantage to be eaten up by the brilliant young American skipper.
However, now the situation is somewhat reversed, with Brauer unable to press on as fast as she would certainly love to do and Delamare who seems to have unlocked the path to a motorway of favorable winds which should take him past Salvador and near to Recife in Brazil.
Delamare still has to sail over 5000 miles, and once past the Doldrums, he may probably face several days of testing and tiring upwind conditions in the north easterly trade winds, which are not favorable on the way back to Europe, before having to negotiate the final approach to Europe which will be shaped by the belt of low pressions in the north Atlantic.
The number of variables will be steadily decreasing for Delamare, and whilst the South Atlantic can bring its difficulties, the remainder of the course focuses around the risk of equipment breakages due to boat fatigue and the timing and wind circulation from edge of the north east trade winds to the approach to the Iberian peninsula.
DNS: Peter Bourke – Class40, Imagine
DNS: Ivan Dimov – Endur37, Blue Ibis
DNS: Curt Morlock – IMOCA, 6 Lazy K
DNS: Volkan Kaan Yemlihaoğlu – Open 70, Black Betty
RTD: Juan Merediz – Class40, Sorolla
RTD: Dafydd Hughes – S&S 34, Bendigedig
RTD: Ari Känsäkoski – Class40, ZEROchallenge
The inaugural Global Solo Challenge 2023-24 seeks to be a budget-friendly solo, non-stop race around the world. Using a pursuit format for the 2023-24 race, 20 entrants from 34 to 70 feet have start times between August 26 to January 6 from A Coruña, Spain, with the first boat to return deemed the winner.