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Volvo Ocean Race: Blair Tuke on his Southern Ocean experience

by Sail-World.com/nz 8 Apr 2018 19:36 PDT 9 April 2018
Day 10 on board MAPFRE, Blair Tuke steering with massive cold and waves behind, 27 March, 2018 - Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

Leg 7 of the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race was widely reckoned to have been one of the toughest Southern Ocean legs ever.

Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist and America's Cup winner, Blair Tuke (NZL) outlines his thoughts on the torrid leg in which the then overall leader MAPFRE had to pull into a bay on the southern end of Cape Horn. The 13 hour stop cost them four and a half days after the delay got them on the wrong side of a high pressure zone and they were plagued with light winds for the 2000nm from Cape Horn to the finish in Itajai.

"The waves were much,much bigger than on the leg before. It was much colder. Without having had the other Leg under my belt it would have been pretty full on. It was another step up from that."

"We were compromised but would have liked to have been able to push harder."

"When one of those big fronts comes through it is cloudy and dark, so you have no horizon. When you are driving, you are driving with no horizon and are driving down these waves that you cannot see and doing 30knots plus and just with your instruments and keeping the boat under your feet. It's pretty full on, and then daybreak comes - and you can see the size of the waves you back off a little bit. It's an amazing place for sailing."

See the full video below:

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