By Brian Hancock
Let’s talk about wind chill.
We all know what that means. If you are on a ski slope you can feel the breeze for sure, but I want to let you know, when you are talking about winds that are coming straight off Antarctica blowing 30 knots, then you will get to know what real wind chill is. And much of the OGR fleet is finding a strong southerly wind that found its origins in Antarctica. With a little bit of penguin farts carrying in on the breeze; that’s racing around the world for you.
It’s cold. I can add some adjectives here (if I knew what an adjective was), but let me tell you from experience, it’s getting a tad bit chilly down there where the great OGR sailors are plying their trade. And the difference is this; a ski slope in Aspen (I have been there) can get chilly and will make you bundle up more than usual, and the cold usually drifts on by, however a cold blast from Antarctica cuts right through everything and chills you to the bone. Yes, that’s real saying, and that’s, I’m sure, where it came from.
The leaders are enjoying (figuratively speaking) some decent weather. It has been a fickle Southern Ocean Leg 3 for this OGR fleet and every now and then they get a break. Right now there is no break allowed for the middle of the pack. They are doubling up on their socks and gloves and hoping for the best.
Triana is first in Adventure Class, first in IRC and covered 180 nautical miles in the last 24 hours. Now that’s cooking along like an Italian Nonna preparing her pasta dinner for a family of fifteen. White Shadow, led by the masterful Jean-Christophe Petite is leading the Sayula Class and averaging 9 knots. It’s all good out on the race course. The sailors are being fed, some are looking to be wed, I am still stuck in bed hardly able to see, not really true, but it makes for a great line. In fact I can see just fine now that those drops have worn off. I should never have driven home yesterday. I have never done any kind of drugs in my life but the traffic lights sure did look kind of cool. They were bright and spinning in circles.
So the next time you feel “chilled to the bones” think of the great sailors in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race, put your feet closer to the fire and enjoy the heat. I’m going to have a hot cup of sweet and sour soup that always warms from the inside (I always add chilies) and enjoy their adventure vicariously.
Sail safe OGR sailors. Keep your foot on the gas and keep trucking along. Cape Horn is getting closer each and every day.