Please select your home edition
Coast Guard Foundation LEADERBOARD 2

The halfway point in the Globe40's longest leg

by Sirius Events 3 Aug 15:04 PDT 3 August 2022
Start of the second leg of the Globe40 between Sao Vincente (Cape Verde) and Saint Louis (Mauritius) , in Mindelo (Cape Verde) , on July 17, , © Jean-Marie Liot / #Globe40

Today, the front runners in the GLOBE40 round the world yacht race reached the halfway point in this second leg having covered 3,600 miles since setting sail from Cape Verde on Sunday 17 July, which equates to an average speed of 9.1 knots for the top duos. Indeed, they now have 3,500 miles left to go until they reach the leg two finish in Port-Louis in Mauritius. The entire distance for this leg is the equivalent of two back-to-back Route du Rhum transatlantic races!

The first week of racing after leaving Mindelo involved a long sprint towards the African coast in search of a SE'ly trade wind, whilst the second section towards the South Atlantic consisted of a seemingly endless beat spanning nearly two weeks, with a brief but lively passage through the doldrums and across the equator. A fairly relaxed section of racetrack ensued with an average of around fifteen knots of breeze and balmy temperatures offshore of Brazil, together with a few little tactical pitfalls dotted along the course. For the past few days, the skippers have launched onto the third phase of this epic leg, having gradually gained some ground to the east to get around the Saint Helena High and make towards South Africa, which is still some 1,500 miles ahead of their bows.

Currently sailing downwind, the pace has accelerated across the fleet and the skippers have had to raise their game as they try to adapt their strategies to what is a complex situation, slinking along in a corridor of breeze between 2 windless zones of high pressure. Inevitably, the duos will be keen to make hay while the sun shines as the door at the end of the corridor may well be closed, leaving them to punch into headwinds with the threat of their first gale under the tip of South Africa.

The competition remains intense then with the fierce duel between MILAI Around The World and AMHAS continuing to rage, still just twenty miles or so separating the duos, which is precious little after 3,600 miles of racing. Astern of them, WHISKEY JACK and GRYPHON SOLO 2 are embroiled in an equally closely fought contest. In fact, their proximity, just 6 miles apart yesterday evening, meant that they were able to speak to one another via VHF. Meantime, SEC HAYAI remains in an intermediary position between the two groups, lying in wait for a favourable weather scenario, which would enable them to catch up with the head of the fleet again.

For the crews, the long days spent in T-shirts in the trade wind are over as the temperatures begin to plummet and the days become shorter. Everyone's minds are now focused on the next major passage around the tip of South Africa. A key milestone in this race, it comes with some trepidation, even though it will be followed by a swift climb up towards Madagascar, RĂ©union and Mauritius. In theory, there is less of a risk in this final section of the course of encountering strong winds, but it may well prove complicated to negotiate given the multiple weather strategies required to hook onto the numerous and diverse systems.

There is still a long way to go in the very unique spirit of the event that has been created since Lorient, as race director Christophe Gaumont describes it to us:

"Halfway, almost 3 weeks...3 weeks monitoring the position reports, tweaking the polars, monitoring the grib files... the fundamentals that are par for the course!But also 3 weeks of sharing the adventure of the crews at sea, experiencing a similar temperature range, a mixture of the European heatwave and the trade wind of the southern hemisphere...Over time, the regulatory daily email has been fleshed out, going from a cryptic "All's well aboard, nothing to report", to longer sentences, proper exchanges to talk about technical complications firstly, then onto daily life... But also the ups and downs now, the doubts and the little pleasures of life aboard...

Time has passed, a sense of trust has been built up, and we are entering the moment of truth, with the approaching chill, the longer nights... and with the journey into the unknown as the lows roll in, the exchanges are becoming increasingly frequent...

It's all about keeping in contact with land for some, keeping in contact with the sea for the rest of us. Still another half of the course to go before we hook up with one another again in Mauritius! "

Find out more at

Related Articles

GS2: Dodging a Major Gale
Getting through the Agulhas Current Today's update revolves around two events- dodging a major gale and getting through the Agulhas current. Posted on 15 Aug
GS2: Approaching Cape of Good Hope
Big news here on GS2 from the high seas Big news here on GS2 from the high seas is that we passed the halfway point on this epic Leg 2 of the Globe40 a few days ago, which means we have sailed more than 4,000 miles from the Cape Verde Islands over the last 3 weeks Posted on 9 Aug
GryphonSolo2: Slogging in the South Atlantic
An update from a Globe40 Race competitor who has beanbag problems We are slogging our way southward in a fresh South'Easter. The wind is highly variable in both direction and strength, so we are doing our best to stay on course and go fast. Posted on 30 Jul
GryphonSolo2: Past the Doldrums / equator passing
One week into Globe40 leg which started from Sao Vicente As I write we are only 93 mile from the equator - about to pass from the North Atlantic to the South Atlantic. Eating peanut butter on crackers as well, which is not helping the keyboard! Posted on 26 Jul
GryphonSolo2 Globe40 Leg 2 start
A quick "best of" list of things we enjoyed over the two-week layover On Sunday we started Leg 2 of the Globe 40 from Cabo Verde to Mauritius. But before I dive into that, I'd like to provide a quick "best of" list of things we enjoyed over the two-week layover in Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente. Posted on 19 Jul
Destination Southern Hemisphere for the Globe40
Leg 2 starts from Mindelo Bay on the island of Sao Vincente in the Cape Verde archipelago The start of the second leg of the GLOBE40 got under way today at 15:00 hours local time in Mindelo Bay on the island of Sao Vincente in the Cape Verde archipelago. Posted on 17 Jul
GryphonSolo2: Wrap of Globe40 Leg 1
Prepping for Leg 2 in Mindelo, Cabo Verde Islands Sorry it has been a while since my last post. We finished Leg 1 from Lorient, France to Mindelo, Cabo Verde Islands. Posted on 8 Jul
Express victory for Milai in Leg 1 of The Globe40
The Japanese crew of Masa Suzuki and Koji Nakagawa cover 1884 miles in 7 days Making the finish this Sunday in the marvellous Mindelo Bay at 15.25 hours local time, the Japanese crew of Masa Suzuki and Koji Nakagawa covered 1884 miles in 7 days 2 hours and 25 minutes at an average speed of 11.06 knots. Posted on 3 Jul
GryphonSolo2: Threading the needle
Coming to you live from the Canary Islands I am coming to you live from the Canary Islands, just off the European coast, where we will soon be attempting to thread the needle through a very narrow passage between the islands of Tenerife and Canarias. Posted on 30 Jun
Globe40 Race: Rudder-munching Killer Whales
A mob of orca killer whales decided to play a game of 'snap the rudder' While the soon-after-the-start collision between the French and Canadian boats highlighted the hazards and obstacles above the surface, other competitors in the Globe40 Race would have been more mindful of the enemy below. Posted on 27 Jun
McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER