Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Global Ocean Race Class40 Phesheya-Racing enter South Atlantic

by Oliver Dewar on 29 Feb 2012
Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire celebrate rounding Cape Horn - Global Ocean Race 2011-12 Phesheya Racing
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) fleet continue racing from Wellington to the third leg finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Having rounded Cape Horn early evening GMT on Monday, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire have taken Phesheya-Racing through Le Maire Strait between Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados joining Cessna Citation and Financial Crisis in the South Atlantic after 30 days in the Pacific Ocean’s high latitudes.

However the final 1,300 miles are proving to be as challenging as the 5,000 miles in the Pacific for the trio of Class40s that continued racing from Wellington, New Zealand. At the head of the fleet, Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel have experienced stop-start sailing with Cessna Citation as they close in on the coast of Argentina for the final 180 miles to the finish line on the northern shore of Rio de la Plata, while further south in second place, Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon on Financial Crisis have been hammered by headwinds north-west of the Falkland Islands but, finally, the breeze has gone right.

On the South African Class40, Phesheya-Racing, rounding Cape Horn on Monday evening was a momentous occasion for Phillippa Hutton-Squire. While Nick Leggatt has now logged six passages around the cape, it was a debut rounding for Hutton-Squire: 'We never thought we would make it when we were becalmed the last few days, but we pushed hard in the last 24 hours between the hail storms, snow and icy winds,' says the first South African female sailor to skipper a racing yacht around Cape Horn.

Leggatt and Hutton-Squire sighted Horn Island’s western peak from 27 miles to the south: 'From here the excitement and happiness set in on board!' reports Hutton-Squire. As the sun began to set at 56S, Phesheya-Racing arrived three miles off the cape. 'It’s a very jagged coastline with sheer cliffs and no trees,' she notes. 'The birds had increased in numbers and the dolphins had come out to ride our bow.' However, the magic moment was interrupted as the satellite phone began to ring, the VHF suddenly crackled into life and the AIS warning light started to flash busily after a month with barely any shipping activity.

As Leggatt and Hutton-Squire noted the position and course of a large cruise liner packed with adventure tourists rounding the cape, the Chilean Navy lighthouse keeper on Horn Island contacted the South Africans. 'They asked us to alter course as we were in Chilean waters and wanted to know where we were going,' explains Hutton-Squire. As Phesheya-Racing cracked off heading north-east and close to Deceit Island, the duo opened a bottle of champagne they had failed to open during GOR leg two: 'As it was blowing a gale on Christmas Day we delayed opening the bottle to New Year’s Eve, but another gale came through,' says Hutton-Squire. 'We first made a toast to the boat for getting us this far, then poured a bit in the ocean for Neptune, then I made a toast to Nick, for if it wasn't for him, I would still be sitting at home,' she adds.

Leggatt and Hutton-Squire sailed downwind with their A4 and full main, entering Le Maire Strait shortly after 06:00 GMT on Tuesday, exiting the 16-mile wide channel four hours later and entering the South Atlantic: 'Leaving the Pacific behind us is a big relief,' confirms Hutton-Squire, although reality has yet to set in. 'Having crossed the Pacific to Cape Horn is a major achievement and I can't believe that I’ve made it,' she admits. 'There have been some really hard times, difficult moments and generally it has been rather tough,' says the 28 year-old circumnavigator recalling the series of heaving-to manoeuvres in brutal conditions. 'There were a couple of times that I thought we were going to have to bail out, but where would we go?' she wonders. 'We had to come this way and we’ve made it across the Pacific as a team!'

Meanwhile, 470 miles to the north of Phesheya-Racing at 15:00 GMT on Tuesday, the environment on Financial Crisis was improving: 'Conditions have got a bit better and it’s just good enough to remove my drysuit briefly,' reported Hugo Ramon on Tuesday morning. 'We’re still trying to squeeze every knot we can out of the very tired Financial Crisis and she gave us a couple of scares,' says the Spanish sailor. 'First, a block exploded and a few seconds later, the primary autopilot suffered brain death, although a few hours later the unit suddenly woke up from its coma without any help from us,' says Ramon.

On Tuesday afternoon, Financial Crisis was 220 miles off the coast of Patagonia and the solitude of the Southern Ocean was over. 'It’s pretty strange that having spent a month in the empty and remote latitudes of the Pacific, we’re now in a zone of intense commercial traffic,' Ramon continues. 'It’s a bit like moving straight from a retirement home in Valldemossa and going directly to a rave in Magalluf!' he jokes. 'There are a lot of massive supertankers in the area that are too big to go through the Panama Canal and have gone round Cape Horn, although I hope they don’t wear the traditional Cape Horn earring in their left ear as I somehow doubt the experience is the same on a massive ship.'

With 730 miles remaining to the finish line and around three to four days of racing in leg three remaining, Hugo Ramon has been reflecting on the GOR: 'It’s now beginning to sink in that this adventure is coming to an end,' says Ramon, who will leave Financial Crisis having completed leg three. 'I know that I have to focus on finishing this adventure before starting a new one, but I can’t help thinking that I’d like to do this all over again, maybe even sailing solo.'

For the leading Class40, Cessna Citation, sailing 30 miles off the Argentine coast on Tuesday afternoon, the route across the 120-mile wide mouth of Rio de la Plata to the finish line in Punta del Este on the river’s northern shore is forecast to be blocked by a period of light winds giving a finish line ETA of Wednesday afternoon local time.

GOR leaderboard at 15:00 GMT 28/2/12:
1. Cessna Citation DTF 182 8.4kts
2. Financial Crisis DTL 551 6.8kts
3. Phesheya-Racing DTL 1032 Global Ocean Race website

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
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 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Naiad/Oracle SupplierT Clewring - GenericSchaefer 2016 660x82