On Tuesday it was 11th Hour Racing Team (12:55 UTC) and Biotherm (15:25 UTC) who took their turn passing the iconic landmark and joining the exclusive list of offshore sailors to have rounded the Horn.
The fleet has really split in two now, with Malizia fighting to fend off overall race leader, Team Holcim-PRB and 11th Hour Racing Team holding a slim advantage over Biotherm, but both are nearly a day behind the leading pair.
“It is nice to still be fighting against Biotherm,” said Justine Mettraux on 11th Hour Racing Team, who rounded Cape Horn for the first time.
“There are still 2,000 miles not go after the Cape to Itajaí so still a lot to play for. It is nice to have a bit softer winds, despite it meaning the leaders are moving away from us. We are back to full main, big sails, and trying to get the most of the wind we have at the moment, but they are pretty unstable conditions with a lot of clouds.
“It is cold, though! Hard to dry anything but nice, beautiful lights, birds again because we are getting close to shore. We are seeing more Albatrosses and Petrels which is nice.”
“It’s been tough to have 11th Hour Racing pass us, but today is better – we’re going to pass Cape Horn,” Paul Meilhat said. “The boat is not 100% but it’s not bad. We are really proud of the work we have done. One year ago, we were putting layers in the boat mold and today we are racing past Cape Horn. Already this is a victory.”
Nearly 400 miles north, Kevin Escoffier was getting back into race mode after celebrating his third rounding of the Horn.
“The main challenge is still to get to Itajai,” he said. “The weather can change rapidly. Rather than looking for weather systems that move very quickly and that can change direction, we’d rather go on the northern route. Always protecting the boat and the crew.”
Will Harris on Team Malizia is enjoying the burden of being in the lead, being chased by a Holcim-PRB team that has a perfect points record in the race to date.
“We’ve been sailing our own strategy,” he said. “We’re not at the point where we would match race them. There’s still 5 or 6 days left in this leg – there’s a lot that can happen so we have to sail our own race. The easiest way to finish ahead of them is to give ourselves an opportunity jump ahead by a few miles. We have to do what we think is right and play our own game.”
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