The Ocean Race Leg 3: Cape Horn is now behind our sailors but its significance was immense
by Ed Gorman / IMOCA
by Ed Gorman / IMOCA
Cape Horn is now well behind the sailors in this edition of The Ocean Race, as leader Team Malizia battles Holcim-PRB for the stage win at Itajaí.
But none of them is going to forget that seminal experience, as they surfed from the Pacific into the Atlantic, past the most feared headland in world sailing.
Throughout the centuries Cape Horn been a symbol of hope, danger and deliverance and in this race it also felt like the point of validation – the moment when the idea of fully-crewed IMOCAs racing around the world came of age.
The Southern Ocean passage from Cape Town demonstrated that these super-fast foilers can produce compelling racing in the toughest seas on the planet. They have covered unprecedented distances and produced closer racing than we have ever seen before, with the lead regularly changing hands and all four contenders in sight of each other at Point Nemo.
© Antoine Auriol / Team Malizia / The Ocean Race
Throughout this passage, the goal for every man and woman on board was Cape Horn. It was a personal target to compensate for all the privations of racing in the Big South and, in competitive terms, it was all about getting to that headland in one piece, with a boat in a fit state for the remainder of this leg to the Brazilian coast.
At Class IMOCA we checked in with two sailors to get their personal impressions of what Cape Horn meant to them, both of them first-timers going past the rocky outcrop at the tip of Tierra del Fuego.
On Biotherm, currently the back-maker, 450 miles behind Team Malizia, the hugely experienced and successful Figaro sailor, Anthony Marchand, had clearly thought deeply about it. “Before being a matter or personal pride, I am happy for the team,” he said.
“We managed to get through most of the pitfalls of the Deep South to reach this ‘cape of deliverance,’ as I call it…this Cape Horn."
© Amory Ross / 11 Hour Racing Team / The Ocean Race
“And also, it’s a proud moment for me personally as a sailor because it’s a symbolic passage,” he continued. “The fact that I went through it with The Ocean Race, a very symbolic international event for me, which was the stuff of dreams for me as a child – and the fact that I went round Cape Horn for the first time thanks to this Biotherm project – are two satisfying and pleasurable moments combined.”
But Marchand, 38, cautioned that the Horn was also just a turning point when it comes to the race, and there is a lot of that still to come.
“We’re only halfway through The Ocean Race in terms of points, so Cape Horn is just a symbolic point of passage and we still have to keep the machine moving forward,” he said.
On Kevin Escoffier’s Holcim-PRB, which led for so long on this marathon leg from Cape Town, the young Southern Ocean debutante Tom Laperche sent us a video from the cockpit as he answered our questions. Once again, passing that great headland was full of meaning and significance for Laperche, 25.
© Julien Champolion | Polaryse / Holcim - PRB / The Ocean Race
“It’s great to have rounded Cape Horn,” he said. “It’s a great experience. After a long time sailing in the South Sea, it was a first for me. There were a lot of images in my head, and then especially Cape Horn, turning left, feeling that it’s warming up quickly but, at the same time, you feel that after this passage of Cape Horn, we’re going to have some tough and more complex conditions.”
Laperche had been hoping he would see the outcrop of rock and the lighthouse and he was not disappointed. “We could see the Cape Horn lighthouse,” he said. “It was very nice to pass by at the end of the day and see those beautiful colours and the large cliffs falling into the water. It went by quickly, as we moved on and continued towards the finish at Itajaí.”
The 2022 Figaro winner was able to look back on his first experience in the Big South, knowing that he has learned an enormous amount. “It was a great experience because we spent a long time on board with a crew in the southern seas, where you live with the rhythm of the weather phenomena, in patterns that we don’t know in the North Atlantic, so it’s interesting,” he said.
He added: “It was a pleasure to see that things were going well on board, that we had mastered the boat and the weather conditions – we made some mistakes, there are small things to improve, but I’m very happy with the experience.”
Read the full story at IMOCA
Ed Gorman / IMOCA
Cover photo © Ronald Gladu / Biotherm / The Ocean Race
Ti Potrebbe Interessare Anche
Il viaggio e la rotta scientifica di Giovanni Soldini sbarcano online e diventano...
L’icona della vela, da sempre impegnato nella salvaguardia ambientale, protagonista di un progetto multicanale per mostrare attraverso un viaggio...
The Ocean Race: 11th Hour Racing Team win Leg 5, grab overall lead in The Ocean Race...
Skipper Charlie Enright's smile was as bright as the early morning sun in Aarhus, Denmark on Monday morning as he led his 11th Hour Racing Team to a first...
Compagnia della Vela: 2^ edizione ''Salone Nautico Venezia Cup''
Domenica 4 giugno nell'ambito degli eventi organizzati dal Salone Nautico di Venezia si terrà la 2^ edizione del "Salone Nautico Venezia Cup". Regata...
The Ocean Race: Aarhus - Finish - 11th Hour Racing Team win Leg 5
Eurosport will be producing a live, RAW, arrivals show for the winning boat that can be accessed free of charge through the player in their race blog...
Il team dello Yacht Club Costa Smeralda vince il Vela & Golf
Porto Cervo. Si è conclusa ieri la diciassettesima edizione del tradizionale Vela & Golf, evento che combina lo sport della vela con il golf. Due...
Cala dei Sardi: concluso il XLII Campionato Italiano Open J24, La Superba si riconferma...
Argento a e bronzo per Bottadritta e per Giulietta della Flotta sarda J24. Cugnana (Olbia). Dopo dieci prove combattute e spettacolari, disputate...
2^ Regata velica dei gemellati Club Panathlon afferenti alle quattro Repubbliche...
Era la fine di giugno 2021 e le restrizioni sanitarie imposte a difesa dal Covid costringevano a limitare la propria libertà di uscita. È...
The Ocean Race Leg 5: Pressure on as leaders duel into Aarhus
Change may be coming to The Ocean Race. Since the opening leg from Alicante, Spain to Cabo Verde, skipper Kevin Escoffier and his rotating...
The Ocean Race Leg 5: Biotherm breaks shroud, mast secure
Skipper Paul Mielhat has reported that the Biotherm IMOCA has broken the main shroud (the cable attached on the outriggers that supports the mast) on the...