It’s not bad for us, we’re not the ones under pressure, we can see the other boat, we’ve certainly got them worried, we’re creeping up on them all the time, it’s going to be a very tight race to the finish line that’s for sure.
I’ve said it before, but it’s pure luck. Just the timing of everything has worked in our favour. The wind has been coming from behind, always pushing us closer to them. The trick now is to get past them, and we need some smart work to do that, and stay there, which will be trickier again. It will be a busy afternoon.
We’re just doing our normal yacht racing. We’re just trying to get advantages from going towards the land, going inshore, offshore, looking at the wind, it’s pure yacht racing, traditional yacht racing, just using our skills to our advantage.
I think we’re OK. We’re pretty comfortable with the sails we’ve got and the way we set the boat up, I think we’ll be pretty good, give we’ve got 10 knots of breeze.
I am, yes I am confident. I don’t know if they’ve got any damage, or missing sails or anything, but it doesn’t seem to be performing too well. At the moment we are confident.
Oh yeah, everyone is chipping in, trimming the sails, shifting the gear flat out, knowing we’ve only got another 12 hours of yachting left.
I can’t believe it. As I said, we had a very lucky run. 400 miles behind you never think you’re going to get back into it. But the early indication was we could, so we kept pushing the boat and here we are.
(best comeback of his career) Yes, it is. I never usually get that far back though. I tell a lie, I’m sure I have been, but it has been a good one.
Everyone has an eye on the other boat, they have sight and want to do their best. No one is panicking, everyone is doing their best and trying to optimise the boat, so there is a happy mood on board. We can do it.
I think we’ll finish more like 2000. The earlier the better for sure, because it’s Friday night!
We’ve been walloped by a massive squall, it was all hands on deck and it was a bit busy, but now we’re pointing towards the finish, 512 odd miles to go, so it’s not too bad.
It was pretty chaotic; we knew we were going to get walloped by something, just not that big. We had to take all the sails down; it wasn’t sailable at that stage. We went into survival mode for a few minutes. It is very sedate now, it’s only 13 knots, we’ve gone to a J4, a small sail, just in case we get a bit more. We’re going to sit on that for a while and just see what happens. It will be light here in an hour or so, and we’ll be able to see the clouds and see where we’re at. We had a J2 up, a medium sized jib, when it hit.
Our immediate thoughts when we heard about "Groupama" were with the crew, it’s a very unpleasant situation to be in. But in terms of the way this legs shaping up it does change things a bit. I don’t’ think it changes our plans a great deal , in terms of what we have to do the next couple of days, but it certainly makes us aware that the leg is by no means over. I mean, that gust we had half an hour ago could have put us in serious jeopardy of finishing. It’s just an indication that on these legs, you get through the bits that are supposedly going to be the most difficult, and all of a sudden you’re in the strongest winds you’ve seen, like half an hour ago, not in the southern ocean. SO, we’ve got to stay on our toes.
In a way, some ways yes, some ways no. We had a long time to look at the weather, and Iker and Capey said we had a good chance to make gains because of the way the weather was shaping up, not because of our speed or anything, but just because the boats behind had more wind. It’s not a great surprise, but it’s kept us on our feet and kept pushing us these last couple of days.
Once we get through this system tonight, it will be a bit more sedate, and I imagine we’ll start drifting into Brazil.
We’re certainly going to give it a good go. It’s going to be in the hands of the weather gods as much as anything else. If we get them in our sights we’ll have a good shot at giving them a run for their money, but it all depends on the weather gods.
We’re OK. We’ve just gone from being cold to warm, so it’s a bit smelly. It doesn’t smell so good. Telefonica, she’s got a few bruises here and there, the shore crew will have a reasonably busy stopover just patching her up. But nothing too bad.
We’ve got to be brutally honest really, it’s just been blind luck really. But we’re back in it, we’re here, and we’re not going to give up. There’s still a long way to go and things are never perfect around here so, there’s plenty of opportunities for something to happen, don’t ask me which way, good or bad, but they’re there.
The next 24 hours is not fantastic, it’s just upwind for quite a long way. But once we’re settled in, we’ll just plug away at it. When it lines us, the variability that might come with that means you take one side or the other, getting lucky again or getting the right side could determine who is the winner.
I’m sure they’re sailing at 110 per cent, but they are sailing each other because they don’t want to give the other boat a chance, so it does give us an opportunity to sail differently. Being in a different place, with forecasts that aren’t quite perfect means we’re in a pretty good place.
It’s certainly easier, the pressure’s not there. It doesn’t matter if we lose 100 miles now, where as if you lose 100 miles when you’re in front its really bad, and it’s really depressing. So we’re in a good position.
The sun made an appearance on "Telefónica"! I don’t remember sailing like this, it was still very cold but the sun was really nice. Anyway, today was the less ‘wet’ day of the past 10 days.
We sailed quite fast at a good rhythm, but Iker believes we will soon reach a front, which will slow us down. We are now about 1,200 miles from the finish and 200 off the first two. It’s not much to get to reach them, but we will keep trying.
The bad news is that yesterday afternoon, there was no dulce de leche anymore. Horacio "gave" us a pot of 1 kg of this Argentinian candy called "Dulce de leche" in Spanish, and it is gone. I asked everyone who did it and nobody answered, but the sweet toothed crew on board are the best bets: Patán and Xabi, Xabi and Patán. To give you an idea, they are the only ones, who open the food bags of the other days to eat the chocolates in advance. Already they have Ñeti’s ones…
Hi there! We’ve been sailing for almost 24 hours. It seems like a long time ago since we had to stop in the Cape Horn to fix our bow. There was Horacio and an incredible team: Alex Nolan, Fernando Sales, Nervio and Cord (all from our shore team), plus the King Marine people, who did very well, and of course Stefano making sure nothing was damaged.
All the material and the people came onboard the boat ‘El Mago del Sur’, skippered by our friend Alejandro ‘ El Mono’. He told us some stories from his land and fed us as if we hadn’t eaten in a long time. THANKS A LOT EVERYONE!
The bad part of all this is that we had to disembark Ñeti, one of our bowmen. He was hit by a wave and was injured since then. It’s better if he recovers in Brazil to be ready for the next leg. GO ÑETI!
The two boats ahead have distanced us a bit, but we shouldn’t lose faith. Anything can happen; we will keep sailing and won’t stop trying.
Here we are, just North of Cape Horn. We got here at night and we hope to be off again in a few hours.
The reinforcements are going well and now we just need to wait for everything to dry and we'll be ready to go. Once we're happy with the job we'll begin sailing again, first making our exit through the islands to get back to the point where we suspended racing yesterday night, some four miles northeast of Cape Horn. From there we'll be sailing up to Itjaí.
When we got here the boat was in the best state we could hope for: the exterior of the hull was intact. Well, we haven't been able to enjoy the scenery much, but it certainly looks like an incredibly beautiful place. This is where people set off from to sail down to the Antarctic.
For the last bit of the leg we'll be sailing without Ñeti, who is going to be flying up to Itjaí to speed up his recovery. About a week ago he took a blow to the back,nothing too serious, but he did have to rest for a coupe of days. As always, it takes much longer to get over these things on the boat, and even though he's fairly ok now, we can't risk him getting injured again because he wasn't back up to 100%. Stopping off for these repairs has meant the possibility of him not finishing the leg with us, which is a real shame for us and for him, but looking at where we are on the leg it's best for him to make a complete recovery and be back in shape for the training ahead of the in-port in Itjaí.
The doctors say there's no reason he can't be back to full strength in ten days or two weeks, which is how long it'll take us to sail up to Brazil, so we've taken the safest option, and although we're sad to see him go, Ñeti will fly with the shore crew from Ushuaia to Brazil to wait for us there.
As always, in the end going from being ok as he is now to being able to put his body under extreme strain without feeling any problems needs a reasonable time to achieve. We hope Ñeti going to get that from now until we set sail again in Brazil.
Ñeti is doing well and is in good spirits and you can all imagine that he, more than anyone, is really disappointed at not being able to complete the leg, but it's definitely the right choice for the future.
Let's see if these reinforcements dry quickly and we can shoot out of here.
I'll let you know how things are going later on.
It's Ñeti Cuervas-Mons, one of the “Telefónica” bowmen here.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to round legendary Cape Horn for the first time, but unfortunately it was bittersweet as a few days ago when a wave crashed down onto the deck it dragged me along with it causing a lower back injury affecting my sciatic nerve, which has made for some very uncomfortable sailing ever since. I even had to spend a couple of days in a bunk resting. Thankfully, as always, I was wearing my safety harness, so the blow was a lot less serious than it could have been... However, since we're making this stop to repair the bow, together with Iker and our team doctor, Pablo Díaz Munio, we've decided that it would be best for me to disembark here at the cape in order to speed up the recovery process, which would definitely be a lot slower on board and I might even risk not being at 100% for the next leg.
So, in a couple of hours' time, much to my own disappointment, but I feel I'm taking a responsible decision here, I'll say goodbye to my fellow crew and hope to greet them in Itjaí when I'll be fully recovered and ready to get back in the race!
Warm regards from Cape Horn,
This a really incredible place and sunrise was beautiful. Now it's raining, but even so, it's great to be here. It's a shame we can't enjoy it more.
As soon as we got here yesterday, we gave Horacio and the shore crew guys a hand as far as we could. Once our help was no longer of any use, we had something to eat. “Mono”, the captain of the boat our crew travelled with, was waiting for us with a piece of meat that I can assure you was delicious. After that we collapsed, exhausted, as it had been a long time since we'd had any rest. We're now waiting for them to finish so that we can set off again.
Hi everyone. We are now near Cape Horn, we've got some decent wind conditions and not too much swell, so we're hoping to get there relatively quickly.
We have decided to make a quick stop at Cape Horn to reinforce the damaged section of the hull and to get back in the race as quickly as we can.
The area around Cape Horn is a labyrinth of islands and this time they'll be help us to get some shelter so that we can work more effectively on the boat, with no movement and with the boat dry.
The rules state that if you stop it must be for a minimum period of 12 hours, so we'll try to get it all done within that time frame. First we'll check if the outside of the hull is still intact. If it is, which I hope it is, we'll position ourselves so we're shielded, just behind the island of Cape Horn, to be able to work comfortably.
The rules also state that if you pay the 12 hour penalty you are entitled to external assistance, so our technical director Horacio and the shore crew will be giving us a hand with repairs.
If all goes well, we'll try to carry out the repairs without stopping off on land to avoid the stretch up to Ushuaia, which would mean another 100 extra miles. Horacio's sailing from Port Williams now in a 50-foot steel sailboat which will bring them to the cape. We'll meet there to take shelter so that we can make the reinforcements to the area of the bow that's been affected.
It's a shame that we have to stop, because even with the obstacles we've had, the boats in front are only 15-18 hours away, but since we don't know exactly what we're up against further ahead we've preferred to reinforce the damaged area and so get back to racing pace as soon as we can.
Once we've finished the repairs we'll be aiming to get back to full speed. “Puma” and “Groupama” may not push forward so much over the next few hours but their lead might be just too much for us to catch them before we get to Itajaí.
Even though the gap seems insurmountable, the climb up to Brazil has some tricky points and we are likely to come across a complicated high that might shake things up, and that's given us a bit of hope that they may be stopped in their tracks ahead and we could catch up with them. You can always dream that something good might happen, right?
I'm happy, because for now we're still pushing forward and we're still racing, despite the problems that have cropped up. I hope that “Abu Dhabi” and “Camper” get lucky with the weather and they can get to somewhere where they can carry out repairs.
I must thank the Chilean and Argentine authorities for their help and assistance, as well as the Spanish Navy and Vice Admiral Jaime Rodriguez-Toubes, the Spanish Navy sailing delegate.
We've come sailing from New Zealand, the shore crew has left Argentina and we're meeting in Chilean waters, so if we'd had to take the time to do all of the paperwork we'd have to spend a lot longer than we'd planned at Cape Horn.
We're all well here on board and looking forward to moving back into the Atlantic and putting the Pacific behind us, which dished up some of the biggest waves we've ever seen.
It's always a source of satisfaction to round Cape Horn, and while this time it's slightly different, it's an important moment all the same on our round the world adventure.
Lots of things are going to happen over the next few days, so I'll try to keep in touch and let you all know how they're going.
Warn regards from all aboard “Telefónica”
56.13 S 75.25 W
Sea temperature: 6.9º C.
We are sailing on port tack and almost towards Cape Horn. Right now we are pointing north, but we expect the wind to change. The weather forecast says the wind will start to drop down now and will pick up to 30 up to 40 knots tomorrow. It’s not interesting for us as there could be more waves and the boat could be damaged. Iker says the weather changes a lot in a very short time so we will see what happens.
We are sailing really fast (average over 20 knots), but it's a pity cause we could go way faster. Pepe did a great job with the repairs and it's sure that we won't have a problem until the port.
On the other hand, the logistics are really complex and Horacio Carabelli’s effort is incredible. We told him what we needed from the boat and he prepared everything and is waiting for us in Ushuaia with a team ready to fix the boat as quickly as possible.
It’s important to arrive to Brazil as soon as possible: points are at stake, more rest, more time to prepare the boat, etc.
The boat is good. We are able to sail quite well but we don’t want to go faster because we are afraid of having more damage. We are just trying to keep sailing and doing some miles to the Cape.
We are planning to round Cape Horn and then go to the port.
(How long to complete repairs?)
It is difficult to know. We would like it to be quick but you have to take your time to do the job properly. It is very difficult to know how long it will take.
(How confident are you of completing the leg?)
We are confident 100 per cent. (laughs) Obviously something could happen but we are in pretty good shape. We cannot sail as fast as we would like but it shouldn’t be a problem at all to continue the leg. Something worse could happen -- things can always go wrong.
Certainly in the situation we are in and having to do this repair it is going to cost us some time but we should be fine to complete the leg.
(Repair done before Abu Dhabi catches up?)
That’s what we would like. It all depends and you never know but I think that is going to happen. We have to yet round Cape Horn and get to the port but we hope we are going to be able to do it.
Anyway there are almost 2,000 miles to go to Itajaí so we can get the repairs done and then it will be a long race to the finish.
Hi there! I guess you know that we took the decision to stop in Ushuaia, some 60 miles from Cape Horn. The boat is fine and so are we, but given the racing situation, it’s better to do a short stop to fix the damaged area and keep on. It’s not an easy decision, but we think it’s for the best.
For the three have never been there (“Ñeti”, Zane and I), it’s not necessarily nice to stop, but we cannot change anything. Right now the two leaders are escaping a little and we have to start looking at the ones behind, meaning “Abu Dhabi”, which is at a considerable distance but is starting to get closer.
Here we are, sailing as fast as we can without damaging anything and in very cold conditions. In about four days we will reach our first destination and we hope the conditions won’t be too bad. We are sailing downwind on a starboard tack.
We have to defend the leg’s podium and our provisional lead in the overall standing, which we worked so hard for. We are 1,400 miles away from the stop, and then about 1,800 miles to Itajaí. We are confident that everything will be fine.
MCM Team Telefónica
Here on Telefónica we continue to sail the Southern Ocean. As I said yesterday, the conditions are improving, although the cold is getting worse (and I don't know when it will end).
Normally on deck there are four people: watch captain, bowman, trimmer and pitman. And every two hours there's a change in the watch - two come on and the two who were in their place come off. In that way, you work four hours and then go into rest for another four, during which time you eat, get changed, sleep, etc. Well, the cold is so extreme that the four who are on deck are taking it in turns to go inside, have something hot and go out again. After two hours on deck, you start being unable to feel your hands, feet, etc.
We have a lot of cold weather gear and while it's very good it's still not enough. Pablo says he feels like we're many degrees below zero and Joca is the same. The sea temperature is now down to nine degrees. I complain a lot about not being able to come and enjoy things outside because I have to spend so much time inside the boat but right now I think I'm a bit better off than my team mates.
We’re alright, we’re battling on. We’re nursing a slightly damaged bow and we’re just battling on and making sure we don’t do any more damage to it. We could push harder but we think that could lead to further problems. We’re just pulling along here and making sure we don’t do any more damage.
We’ve had two guys in the bow for a week, it feels. Pepe’s been in there for a week just trying to patch it up. We are going to keep going as it is and see how it all looks. Time will tell. It looks stable at the moment and at the pace we are going we are in good shape. We will just have to see how it fares as the next few days unfold.
We’ve had good typical Southern Ocean weather – nice big waves, plenty of breeze, cold enough to make you know where you are, plenty of action. Wave size is a very difficult thing to judge because down here you get some big waves and big swell but then you get a lot of waves created by local winds, so you end up with a boiling, uncontrollable sea that can get you in awful trouble. We’ve been a victim of that a couple of times during this trip -- fortunately not too much damage but enough to make you very aware that it’s a very dangerous place to be.
(On the video)
That’s just one piece of the action – we miss a lot of it. We had one incident early on in the leg where it was dark and we couldn’t get any video but it was much more scary. A wave smashed into our side and didn’t do a great deal of damage but certainly scared the hell out of us. Those things happen daily really. It was nice to catch that one, and no-one got hurt. I was actually on deck when that happened and it was crazy. Down below was mayhem as well. People were thrown out of their bunks but other than a few bruises no-one was hurt. Other scenarios aren’t as pretty. It’s a reminder about what a wild place it is.
(Weather to Cape Horn)
We’re expecting more wind. At the moment it’s quite sedate, the sea state is a lot less wild, the breeze is down to about 25 knots. It’s quite manageable. In fact I was on deck about three hours ago and there was a clear sky above us and we saw some stars. That’s not normal for the Southern Ocean. It’s pleasant sailing at the moment but damned cold.
(Looking at Abu Dhabi?)
Sure, anything can happen. They have had a rotten time sitting around in no wind but very shortly they will be on their train and charging along. We have to be very careful about where they end up. 1,000 miles sounds like a long way but it could all change quite quickly.
"It’s not something you’d say you loved.
It’s not as cold as I remember, because the ice limits have pushed us a bit further north. But that’s still going to change as we continue on.
We’ve had some minor damage, but nothing major. We’ve lost speed on sail changes and things like that, just because you want to take it easy and not see a man wash overboard. Everyone’s got a few bruises, and no one’s getting a lot of sleep.
Right now it’s relatively simple straight line sailing, but we’ll get to a certain point when that will change. We’ve been reaching, but to a larger extent surviving.
Pretty soon we’re going to gybe and it will all change again. The end of the ice limits will be a complete game changer and then it’s a question of how hard you want to make it.
It will be a major change, it’s almost like a restart. Everyone will then have a judge their own capacity, it will be wide open. I think the boats will continue to remain close until we get there too, so it’s going to be interesting when the ocean opens up to us. Where do I think we’ll position ourselves when we reach that point? At the front! We’ll just continue as we are now, we’re pretty happy, we’re not going to take any risks or go hunting for the big breezes.
Right now we’re at about 90 per cent of our capabilities, we’ve got a bit in reserve.
We’re happy with where we are, a lot happier than where we were before. But we’re still pushing, but we’re mindful that there’s a long way to go yet.
There’s not much at all between us and Groupama, and there’s so many things in the way here, it’s a real minefield of dangers so anything can happen out here and we’ll be ready when it does."