Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW LEADERBOARD

GLOBE40 Leg 5 set sail from Matavai Bay, Tahiti

by Sirius Events 26 Nov 2022 22:34 PST From 26 November 2022
5th leg to Ushuaia ! © GLOBE40

Today at 15:00 hours local time (01:00 UTC Sunday 27 November), the GLOBE40 crews set sail on leg 5 in Matavai Bay to the north of the island of Tahiti, bound for the Argentinean stopover of Ushuaia via the legendary yet feared Cape Horn.

A striking moment in this GLOBE40 project, this start symbolizes a return to offshore racing for French Polynesia, a truly exceptional maritime region thanks to its sheer scale and scope, and the intrinsic beauty and diversity of its islands. Ahead of the skippers lie some 4,500 miles (8,334 km) along the direct route, and doubtless more than 5,000 miles in reality, before they officially earn the title of Cape Horners (with the exception of American Joe Harris who already boasts this particular badge of honour).

An exceptional leg

The coming leg boasts a course that is as unique as it is rare: setting out from the shores of French Polynesia at around 20 degrees south, navigating a large section of the Pacific, powering along the coast of Chile and Patagonia, rounding Cape Horn at 55 degrees south, and then making headway amidst the magnificent backdrop of mountains and wild nature towards the town of Ushuaia via the Beagle Channel, which links the Atlantic to the Pacific and to the centre where the Argentinean resort town is located. This latest voyage equates to a passage of 22 to 24 days according to Christian Dumard's latest weather forecast:

"To kick things off, the competitors will have to carve out a route due south after sailing around the northern edge of the Polynesian atoll, making the most of a fairly moderate SE'ly trade wind, which will help them avoid stumbling into the zone of high pressure, which is blocking the direct course towards the Horn. As a result, their dive due south will involve a four or five-day beat. At 35 degrees south, they'll begin to hook onto the low pressure system sweeping around the area, the centres of which are located between the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties. By heading eastwards towards Cape Horn, they'll remain to the north of these depressions, so they'll be sailing downwind because depressions move clockwise in the southern hemisphere of course. To avoid dropping down too far to the south with its increasingly hostile areas, the skippers will have to negotiate a compulsory waypoint (Chilean Gate) some eight or nine days later at 46 degrees south and 110 degrees west, or around a thousand nautical miles to the south of Easter Island. The passage around the Horn should take place on day 22 to 23. They'll make landfall here during the equinox, the last few days of spring in the southern hemisphere, so it's likely to be a fabulous passage with 17 to 18 hours of daylight. In theory, it's the perfect time to round Cape Horn, but of course the situation there could easily change out of the blue. Naturally, all this is relative, even if it is synonymous with the first few days of summer. The water temperature will still be 6 or 7 degrees: so a chilly ambiance awaits at best..."

French Polynesia reconnects with offshore racing

Historically, Matavai Bay is the site where the great explorers made landfall in Tahiti and the Society Islands: Wallis, Cook, Bougainville, as well as the mutineers from the Bounty in 1788, disembarking here to make the most of this far-reaching bay free of coral reefs. Today, to the north of the bay, stands the Pointe Venus lighthouse, designed by Thomas Stevenson, father of author Robert Louis Stevenson, which is the site where Captain James Cook originally set up his observatory to study the transit of the planet Venus. As a result, the backdrop is steeped in history for the start of leg 5 of the GLOBE40, with the starting signal being fired from a French Navy vessel, the organisation being supported by teams from the Fédération Tahitienne de Voile (Tahitian Sailing Federation) and the Yacht Club de Tahiti. Unsurprisingly, Papeete proved to be a difficult stopover for the crews to leave behind, having discovered virtually all the region's delights and been so touched by the warm welcome from the Polynesians, whose kindness and benevolence are renowned far and wide. Moreover, our press teams got the chance to explore the Society Islands - Tahaa - Raiatea - Huahine - Bora Bora - providing some sumptuous footage for the 26' film, episode 5 of the great GLOBE40 travel saga and round the world adventure. Within the sanctuary of Taputapuatea Marae on the sacred island of Raiatea, the teams asked for a safe passage from the gods for their upcoming voyage, in line with the ancient traditions of these great seafaring peoples, who have populated the whole of the Pacific Ocean aboard their pirogues, from New Zealand to Hawaii to Easter Island.

An increasingly honed competitive spirit

Despite the Polynesian charms though, the competitive spirit of the GLOBE40 continues to reign supreme. Indeed, with just two points separating the top 3 crews (SEC HAYAI / AMHAS / MILAI Around The World), it is likely that the winner of the upcoming leg will take pole position in the overall ranking. That is unless GRYPHON SOLO 2 or WHISKEY JACK, two crews which are honing their skills more and more with every leg, decide to shake up the current podium. With precious little separating the finishers (34' in Auckland after 7,000 miles, 7' in Papeete after 2,600 miles), the competitive tension is omnipresent in this race, especially during a leg where it will be vital to strike a balance between speed and prudence in this risky navigation zone. To further whet the appetites of the skippers after the official finish of leg 5, at the entrance to the Beagle Channel, the teams will vie for the TIERRA DEL FUEGO TROPHY, the outcome of which will be decided on the finish line off the port of Ushuaia.

A big thank you to all the partners who have made this stopover in French Polynesia possible: The Polynesian government and its various departments, the Town of Papeete, the Papeete Port Authority, Tahiti Tourisme and AIR TAHITI NUI, who got us to Polynesia in its wonderful planes. And to Stéphanie Betz, from the Société Archipelagoes, organiser of the Tahiti Pearl Regatta, who kindly opened up the doors to this region she's so familiar with.

Related Articles

Globe40 penultimate leg has started
Slipping along in the trade wind to the island of Grenada At 15:00 hours local time today, the GLOBE40 skippers took the start of the 7th and penultimate leg of the event, which will lead the fleet to the island of Grenada in the West Indies. Posted on 5 Feb
GryphonSolo2: Globe40 Leg 6 finish!
Yesterday in Recife, Brazil at about 2 in the afternoon local time Just wanted to send out a quick note to say we finished Leg 6 yesterday in Recife, Brazil at about 2 in the afternoon local time. Posted on 30 Jan
GryphonSolo2 off the coast of Brazil
Careening through the waves with all gear and sails stacked to windward As I write this we are steaming towards Recife, Brazil at 11 knots of boatspeed with just over 300 miles to go to the finish. It is a wet and wild ride at night with a beautiful half-moon and many stars. Posted on 30 Jan
Globe40 Leg 6 Finish
Ahmas wins in Recife in the Brazilian heat The Anglo-American team AHMAS (Class40 n degrees 127) crossed the finish line of leg 6 of the GLOBE40 in Recife Saturday at 11:48 p.m. local time. Posted on 29 Jan
GryphonSolo2: USOs impact Globe40 fleet
Leg 6 has been a bit slower than expected thus far due to light winds We are now on Day 11 of Leg 6 of the Globe40 RTW race. This Leg is about 3,600 miles long from Ushuia, Argentina to Recife, Brazil, and we have about 1,800 miles to go, so we are about halfway. Posted on 18 Jan
GryphonSolo2: Holiday wrap - Start of Leg 6!
It has been a busy couple of weeks since we arrived in Ushuia Happy New Year to all- I hope everyone is off to a good start in 2023. It has been a busy couple of weeks since we arrived in Ushuia on the last leg from Tahiti on December 19. Posted on 10 Jan
Globe40 Leg 6 Start in Ushuaia
A sprint to Brazil for the fleet Leg 6 of the GLOBE40 departed Ushuaia today at 10:00 hours local time. With the first competitor making landfall at the heart of the Argentinean region of TIERRA DEL FUEGO on 16 December, participants in the GLOBE40 have relished this stopover. Posted on 8 Jan
GryphonSolo2: Around Cape Horn and Leg 5 Finish
Joe, Roger and GS2 made it around the infamous Cape Horn on December 18 I am writing to report that Joe, Roger and GS2 made it around the infamous Cape Horn on December 18, 2022. Posted on 23 Dec 2022
Milai - The Cape Horn and Leg 5 Champion
The Franco-Japanese crew finish the fifth leg of the Globe40 Today at 20H54 hours UTC the Franco-Japanese crew of MILAI Around The World was first across the leg 5 finish line at the entrance to the Beagle Channel, which leads to the Argentinean town of Ushuaia. Posted on 17 Dec 2022
GryphonSolo2 set for Cape Horn rounding
745 miles from the famous landmark on the final approach Its getting pretty real down here at 55' South latitude as we are 745 miles from Cape Horn on the final approach. Posted on 16 Dec 2022
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 002 gif BottomLloyd Stevenson - T2Artefact 728x90px BOTTOMJ Composites 2022 - J99 FOOTER