After 16 days and over 3,000 miles of racing in Leg 3 of the Global Ocean Race (GOR), the recent pain continues for Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel as Cessna Citation remains glued to the sea in dead calm conditions at 55S with Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon charging in from behind with Financial Crisis and getting ready for a close battle to the Felipe Cubillos Cape Horn Gate at the southern tip of South America. As the fleet leaders battle with light airs, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire have been heavily-reefed and hitting big speeds west of the bluQube Scoring Gate with Phesheya-Racing.
Having gained a further 140 miles in the past 24 hours, Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon are closing in on the leading Class40 with Financial Crisis as Cessna Citation languishes in a high pressure ridge.
“We’ve been lucky with the wind as it has stayed with us far longer than was forecast,” confirmed Ramon on Tuesday morning as Financial Crisis rendezvoused with Cessna Citation at the southern end of the high pressure ridge stretching for 750 miles diagonally across the Southern Ocean. “It is incredible that although we’ve barely had 15-17 knots of breeze, the air is so cold and heavy that it weighs more and loads-up the boat.”
The overall conditions at 55S are beginning to extract a heavy cost from the Spanish sailor. “We’re less than 3,000 miles to the finish line in Uruguay, but having raced over halfway around the world, it doesn’t seem so far,” continues Ramon. “This is lucky, as the whole of my left side is covered in bruises having slept in a bad position as the boat slammed around and I’m looking forward to a soft mattress!”
At 15:00 GMT on Monday, Nannini and Ramon were just over three miles off Colman and Kuttel’s starboard quarter. “The cold is truly horrible right now,” Ramon reports. “Whenever we have to trim sails it takes forever to warm up again and your hands never really recover,” he explains.
As of Tuesday, Financial Crisis was 1,400 miles from Cape Horn and around 1,000 miles north of the Abbot Ice Shelf in the Chilean sector of West Antarctica.
“Every time I go up on deck, I think I’m going to come face-to-face with an angry penguin!” adds Ramon.
For the complete story, go to www.globaloceanrace.com.