Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Global Ocean Race - Financial Crisis leave the Southern Ocean

by Oliver Dewar on 26 Feb 2012
A spot of sightseeing for Marco Nannini in Le Maire Strait - Global Ocean Race 2011-12 Financial Crisis
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) fleet are on the 27th day at sea on the third leg of racing from Wellington to Punta del Este.

The trio of boats still racing are split between the South Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. At midday GMT on Saturday, fleet leaders Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel are 119 miles off the coast of Patagonia with Cessna Citation making good pace towards the finish having broken through light headwinds. Holding second place, Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon cut the corner with Financial Crisis emerging from Le Maire Strait at 23:00 GMT on Friday, leaving the Southern Ocean just before nightfall in the South Atlantic.

South-west of Cape Horn at 58S, the South African duo of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire on Phesheya-Racing have tapped into following breeze in the semi-static, Southern Ocean high pressure system that has dogged their passage to the Felipe Cubillos Cape Horn Gate, but are making good progress: 'The barometer has been absolutely flat on about 1024mb for over 48 hours, maybe even 72 hours now,' reported Nick Leggatt on Saturday morning. 'The wind has gradually backed into the south as we have rounded the bottom of the high necessitating a gybe early this morning,' he continues. 'In fact, as we skirt the south side of the high pressure the weather has been remarkably stable and yesterday evening we hoisted the A4 spinnaker.'

At 12:00 GMT on Saturday, Phehseya-Racing was averaging 8.8 knots with 355 miles remaining until crossing the Felipe Cubillos Cape Horn Gate. As Leggatt celebrated his birthday on Friday, Phesheya-Racing dropped to 59S – the deepest the South Africans have ventured into the Southern Ocean: 'As a matter of interest, in terms of latitude we are only 120 miles north of Elephant Island, the scene of perhaps the most famous Antarctic survival story, where Sir Ernest Shackleton's crew sheltered for months while he took a small, wooden, open boat and some colleagues to seek help from the whaling station at South Georgia,' Leggatt explains.

The strangely benign conditions just north of Antarctica look set to continue for the near future: 'Overnight we had some fog, but that cleared by the morning and we were left with the usual dreary grey Southern Ocean sky,' says Leggatt. 'The wind has generally been very light, though we have had some periods with stronger gusts where we have made good speeds despite hooking a large raft of kelp around a rudder.'

With the South African team’s Cape Horn ETA bid for the Navigation Prize standing at 02:18 GMT on Monday, the confused conditions ahead remain a handicap: 'We’re still not completely clear of the high pressure, though we are now reaching quite fast in a southerly breeze,' continues Leggatt. 'We still anticipate some variability in the wind tomorrow before it swings back to the west ahead of an approaching cold front that should take us the rest of the way to Cape Horn.'

Meanwhile, 560 miles to the north-east, Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon had emerged from Le Maire Strait between Tierra del Fuego and Isla de Los Estados spending four hours in the 16-mile long channel and keeping to the mainland shore: 'Sighting land was quite special,' says Nannini. 'These are stretches of land you only get to read about in books and that I will probably never see again unless I do another yacht race around the world!' he adds of the extraordinary backdrop after four weeks at sea without landfall. 'The steep cliffs of Tierra del Fuego are snow-capped even now, in summer, and everything looks quite wild and barren,' explains the Italian skipper. 'The strait has a bit of a reputation for its strong currents and overfalls, so much so that most yachts racing up this way tend to pass to the outside and east of the Isla De Los Estatos, but we figured we had good weather and could do with some sightseeing after so many days with just water around us,' he adds.

Tide and current data for the strait is patchy and hard to find, but Nannini and Ramon got lucky: 'The current increased steadily until it reached nearly five knots,' continues Nannini. 'It’s a good job we didn't arrive at the wrong time of the day as the wind was so light that there's no way we could have gone against the flow,' he admits. 'A few hours later we had been spat out into the Atlantic and as the current faded away, we drifted slowly for a while before a gentle wind started to fill the sails.' At midday GMT on Saturday, Financial Crisis was on port tack in light headwinds from the high pressure system centred above the Falkland Islands 200 miles to the north-east.

Leading the fleet 355 miles to the north of Financial Crisis and with 809 miles to the finish, Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel on Cessna Citation had broken free of the light airs from the Falkland’s high pressure system and were making good speed towards the predicted strong, following breeze from the low pressure system to the north which may provide a fast finish for the Kiwi-South African duo.

GOR leaderboard at 12:00 GMT 25/02/12:
1. Cessna Citation DTF 809 8.9kts
2. Financial Crisis DTL 355 7.6kts
3. Phesheya-Racing DTL 952 Global Ocean Race website
North Technology - Southern SparsHenri Lloyd 50 YearsKilwell - 4

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Hoisted on their own petard
Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear... Now it was not that long ago that we wondered if there were some genuinely Shakespearean elements beginning to appear in World Sailing’s premier event, the Sailing World Cup. In that time, a flurry of material has espoused all manner of joyous points including travel grants and prize money. That’s terrific and the hope is that somehow this will overcome the tyranny of distance for Melbourne
Posted on 9 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
So, thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 4 May