The BIG ONE- CAPE HORN HERE WE COME
- Explorer AU (28) FINALLY crosses Auckland finish line 62 days after Leg 2 start. And Sterna SA (42) finishes 63 days after race start.
- Crews preparing for Cape Horn leg after long festive stopover.
- Excitement builds for Auckland Whitbread Veterans Reunion on January 11th.
- Where to watch Race Start – January 14th, 14:00 hrs. Start line – Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
- Penalties applied to Leg 2 results.
WITH JUST SEVEN DAYS to the start of leg three to Cape Horn of the MCINTYRE OCEAN GLOBE, Explorer AU (28) has finally crossed the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron finish line 62 days after the start of Leg 2. The Swan 57, and her 10 crew, skippered by Mark Sinclair (AKA Captain Coconut) were naturally overjoyed to have finished what has proven to be a challenging leg from Cape Town to Auckland.
Their late arrival on Leg One into Cape Town meant a delayed start for Leg 2, setting the tone for the rest of their adventure. Starting a week behind the rest of the eleven-strong fleet, who left Cape Town on November 5th, was bad enough. Their situation became even more difficult after just three days at sea they were forced to return to Cape Town for repairs after losing their head sail and damaging rigging. Receiving outside assistance meant Explorer was excluded from Leg 2 rankings, forbidden under the Notice of Race.
The rest of the OGR fleet enjoyed what many considered an ‘easy’ Southern Ocean crossing, Explorer was less fortunate weather-wise once finally underway. They were forced to dodge a potentially hazardous storm two weeks into the passage, again, adding days to an already long ocean passage. Arriving without an engine and damaged deck gear and just seven days to the start of Leg 3, Auckland to Punta del Este, the pressure is on to ensure the boat and crew is ready to leave on Sunday 14th.
We are a happy crew to be here that’s for sure, memories well… had a very bumpy crossing of the Agulhas current southeast of South Africa and had a great sail through the Southern Ocean averaging 200 nautical miles in a number of days. We were accompanied by an albatross and had numerous whale sightings including orcas and pilot whales in plenty of big seas and ate too well.. It was slow going across the Tasman Sea trying to avoid a high-pressure system with no wind and lots of spinnaker work. The highlight of the voyage was sailing into Auckland Harbour under a spinnaker and having to sail into our berth in Jellicoe Harbour, as our engine was KAPUT…now the work list !Mark Sinclair, AKA Capton Coconut of Team Explorer
Team Explorer Youth Crew Aucklander Ryder Ellis celebrated his 18th birthday at sea and was on the helm entering Auckland harbour. The youngest member of the OGR fleet told us:
Oh well I’ve had an awesome time and it’s, you know it’s something quite spectacular about sailing into your home country and seeing people you know, had a lot of family out on the boats meeting me out there along the way so that was really awesome awesome to see and I’m pretty glad to be back but yeah had a great time. For the southern ocean experience, it’s awesome, everything I expected but like you know, you always talked about the big waves and the big winds and we got a fair bit of that so that’s what I was looking forward to… Now a nice sleep would be good, uninterrupted, then hang out with my family a bit and maybe a bit of Summer cruising hopefully.Team Explorer Youth Crew Aucklander Ryder Ellis
Sterna SA (42) the final OGR yacht arrived in Auckland on Monday morning. The Swan 53, skippered by Melissa Du Toit, also suffered from a delayed start and had to return for repairs after departure, also excluding them from Leg 2 rankings. They fully intend to start with the fleet next Sunday.
Maybe not the easiest debut for the Southern Ocean, but as far as weather goes we got it pretty easy. At least we got to test the emergency steering for real, there are not many people that can say that. It worked, but it’s broken again now – it’s just another thing to fix. The highlights were the Southern lights, we saw orcas and of course the team and the support we got. I’m feeling all the emotions right now – ecstatic to be here but absolutely gutted to have missed Christmas and New Year.
We’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do. It’s exhausting playing catchup – we’re definitely going to do our best to get out on the 14th for race start.Melissa Du Toit, Sterna Skipper of Leg 2
Meanwhile the rest of the fleet have taken full advantage of the long stopover to explore all New Zealand has to offer. But, with only seven days until the start of Leg 3 the crews have a busy week with briefings, safety checks, provisioning and last-minute maintenance scheduled over the coming days.
Ian Herbert-Jones, first mate on Spirit of Helsinki FI (71) and a 2022 Golden Globe Race skipper , currently sitting in 3rd in Line Honours and IRC ranking is back in the swing of things after touring New Zealand with his family over Christmas.
Everyone is now starting to come back after a nice break and starting preparations in earnest. We did a lot of prep before everyone disappeared and now it’s time to put the boat back together ready to go to sea. Most of the stuff left to do is minor maintenance, the biggest thing we have to do is repair the inner forestay and I now have the new parts in my hand so I just got to make sure it all goes back together.Ian Herbert-Jones, first mate on Spirit of Helsinki FI (71)
French round-the-worlder, Mehdi Cammoun, sailing on Outlaw AU (08), was also hard at work under the strong midday sun prepping for the much-anticipated Leg 3. He’s well and truly ready to leave for Leg 3.
Right now I’m working on the mainsail re-tensioning the battens and checking that all the batten boxes are all good – while listening to Pink Floyd. The stopover was long so we’ve had a lot of time to get our maintenance done. I’m not nervous about Cape Horn, I’m really excited – can’t wait to get going.Mehdi Cammoun, crew of Team Outlaw
Yannick Evenou from France sailing onboard White Shadow ESP (17) is another sailor very excited and anxious about the infamous passage to Cape Horn.
I’m not nervous about Cape Horn, I’m more concerned about the cold. I’m used to big seas, but I’m not looking forward to being too wet and cold.Yannick Evenou, crew of Team White Shadow ESP (17)
But it’s not all work, work, work. One of the most anticipated events planned before the race start is the Whitbread Veterans Reunion on January 11th. As many as 50 Whitbread Veterans have registered to attend an evening of memories, catching up, reliving race days and maybe a drink or two.
Barry Pickthall, AKA Mr Whitbread, and Peter Montgomery, AKA the voice of the Whitbread, will host the evening. A similar event in Southampton saw the biggest gathering of Whitbread veterans in sailing history and we’re hoping to top that in Auckland.
Any Whitbread or Volvo veterans who have not registered and would like to attend please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitbread Reunion details!
6pm-8pm January 11th 2024
Ocean Globe Race Office, The Karanga Plaza Kiosk, 141-177 Halsey Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010.
WHERE TO WATCH THE RACE START: January 14th 14:00 hrs.
On The Day – Group Photos and Yachts slip lines from Jellicoe Harbour, Wynyard Marina at 12:00hr
Race Start – 14:00hr
Start Line – Off the breakwater at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Where to Watch The Start? From the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron the yachts will sail up the harbour to a rounding mark off the Royal Akarana Yacht Club then proceed towards North Head. You can view the action all along the coast from the Yacht Squadron to North Head.
Penalties applied to Leg 2 results:
Report into lost sail and communication breach onboard Evrika
During leg one of the OGR from Southampton to Cape Town EVRIKA LOST A BAGGED SAIL OVERBOARD. This is a breach of NOR 5.1.3. The crew of EVRIKA SENT A PROHIBITED EMAIL COMMUNICATION to their team manager ashore for logistics and family communications. This was a breach of NOR 184.108.40.206.
During strong weather a bagged genoa was secured on the deck of EVRIKA. Some time later the crew noticed it was gone, washed overboard . This fact was reported to OGR WHILST THEY WERE SAILING. As EVRIKA was heading toward Cape Town their arrival had been delayed substantially due to tough sailing conditions. crew accommodation and airfares had been booked and needed to be changed and arrangements made. The crew decided to accept the penalty knowing they would breach the NOR rules by making satellite comms direct to their team. OGR WAS COPIED IN ON THE ONE EMAIL MESSAGE SENT.
EVRIKA lost a sail overboard due to crew error, which was accidental and not intentional THE NOR STATES, that any sails missing at the end of the race receives a 24hr time penalty. No competitive advantage was gained by the loss of the sail. EVRIKA sent a banned email to their shore team that related specifically to flights and AIR B&B ACCOMMODATION and crew flight change issues notifying OGR IMMEDIATELY by being included in copy. No competitive advantage was gained by sending this email.
EVRIKA ACCIDENTALLY LOST A SAIL OVERBOARD. and is given a ‘SUSPENDED’ 8 HOUR TIME PENALTY to their LEG 1 time, subject only to not losing another sail overboard, in which case this 8 hour penalty will become active. EVRIKA transmitted a banned email and is given a ‘SUSPENDED’ 8 HOUR TIME PENALTY to their LEG 1 time, subject only to not making another banned satellite communication, in which case this 8 hour penalty will become active.
Report into L’Esprit d’équipe missing the LEG 2 ICE WAYPOINT
DATA COLLECTED FROM THE OFFICIAL YELLOW BRICK TRACKER AND THE NAVIGATION LOGS OF L’ESPRIT D’EQUIPE CLEARLY SHOW THAT THE ICE WAY POINT WAS LEFT TO PORT BY A DISTANCE OF 4.17MILES ON 27TH NOV. AT 22.34 UTC. THIS IS A BREACH OF THE NOTICE OF RACE 2.5.2. (SEE ATTACHED PICTURE OF TRACKER)
The OGR control became aware of L’ESPRIT D’EQUIPE missing the way point a few hours after the event. OGR immediately sent a message to the boat via SMS SAT PHONE AND YB TEXTING UNIT advising of the error. They were also advised that no penalty would be applied until an inspection of navigation log books could be carried out in AUCKLAND AND THAT NO EXTRA WAYPOINT WOULD BE ALLOCATED AS PER THE NOR. BECAUSE IT WAS CLEARLY A NAVIGATION ERROR AND NOT “WITH INTENT” that the waypoint was missed. THEY WERE FREE TO CONTINUE RACING.
On the 19th DEC. IN THE OGR OFFICE, the navigation logs were inspected and a photo taken (SEE ATTACHED PICTURE) of the critical issue and course around the waypoint. FOLLOWING A DISCUSSION WITH THE NAVIGATOR, it is clear that in the prior three days before the rounding the waypoint, celestial navigation CONDITIONS WERE NOT GOOD AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT PLOTTED POSITION WERE NOT going to be accurate. Importantly there was NO ACCURATE MERIDIAN PASSAGE IN THOSE LAST DAYS to accurately determine latitude. It was clear that care was taken to get the best positions possible under the circumstance, but the waypoint was missed.
The NOR 2.5.2 clearly states that sailing on the wrong side of a Southern Ocean waypoint will incur “UP TO” a three day time penalty. L’ESPRIT D’EQUIPE clearly made a navigation error NOT ALLOWING A LARGER SAFETY MARGIN FOR THEIR ASSUMED AND DEAD RECKONING POSITION. IT IS CONFIRMED THEY MISSED THE WAYPOINT. They did not gain a large competitive advantage by sailing a few miles south of the waypoint.
L’Esprit d’équipe missed the waypoint by 4.17 miles and is given a 12 hour time penalty against their leg two times.