by Jo Grindley
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) leg two gets underway this morning at 1000 GMT. Leg one winners BSL prepare to maintain pole position as they head to Wellington in New Zealand, home turf for Ross and Campbell Field.
BSL - Global Ocean Race 2011-12
Ross and Campbell have spent the last week in Cape Town preparing for the second leg of the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race, originally due to start on Sunday 27thNovember, but delayed due to extreme weather conditions until Tuesday 29th November.
This gruelling leg will test both crews and boats as the fleet head into the demanding conditions of the deep south. The Southern Ocean will be awaiting their arrival with freezing winds straight from the Antarctic as they pass under Australia, with the added challenge of avoiding potentially boat damaging ice. In environments like this, the sailors will rely on their fellow competitors should a situation occur.
Both Ross and Campbell are extremely looking forward to getting underway for this next leg, although the threat of ice is prominent, as Ross said three days prior to the start;
'It was a wise choice to postpone the start, there is so much wind here in Cape Town it’s absolutely amazing. However, the major challenge of this leg is the ice; the race committee have so far put on a barrier so no one can sail below 42 degrees south. This is due to change as more ice info will be coming in tomorrow but if it stays, we could be in for a long leg and have to negotiate high pressure coming down from the Indian Ocean as we can’t sail as far south as we perhaps might.'
BSL won the first leg of the Global Ocean Race after 32 days, 17 hours and 13 minutes at sea spanning the 7,300 miles from Palma to Cape Town. But their success was not without challenge; Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron co-skippering Campagne de France provided an arduous challenge for pole position testing both crews to the absolute max.
Ross and Campbell Field are a father and son duo, both very accomplished sailors with thousands of ocean miles behind them, are aiming to win the race together. With one leg win, they have demonstrated their determination to win. However Campbell recognises with the level of competition in the fleet, that will not be an easy task:
'While us and Campagne de France arrived in Cape Town almost 200nm ahead of the rest of the fleet, there isn’t a huge split in performance across the fleet. There are clearly certain boats that perform in certain conditions but with our experience combined, it allows us to possibly have an advantage when it comes to preparation, but all the boats entered in the race have just as much chance as us'
At 10.00 GMT today, Tuesday 29th November 2011, the six boat fleet; many with crew changes, will set off on leg two of this epic round the world challenge. The leg of approximately 7,500 miles will take the fleet approximately one month to complete when they will arrive in Wellington, New Zealand.