Friday, April 01, 2005

Taking a beating in the Southern Ocean

Tremendous log entry in Yachting World from Paul Kelly, skipper of Team Save The Children. They're on leg four of the 2004/5 Global Challenge in the Southern Ocean and Paul's entry provides a nice window into the type of conditions many of us have read about, but few experienced. The 2004/5 Global Challenge is comprised of twelve teams sailing identical 72 foot steel yachts out of Portsmouth in the UK. Billed as the world's toughest yacht race, the course takes them around the world the 'wrong way', against the prevailing winds and currents, stopping in Buenos Aires, Wellington, Sydney, Cape Town, Boston and La Rochelle before returning to Portsmouth in the UK some 10 months later. On March 31 (yesterday) Team Save The Children were under 5 knots at sunrise. By 2000 last night a cold front swept through with 50 knots and lumpy seas. I've read many accounts of the roaring 40's, but each time I hear about sailors meeting the challenge I'm entranced. Having been in my fair share of rough conditions offshore I have a sense of what it must be like but the sheer hostility of the southern ocean environment must be very imposing. Here is another terrific entry from Eero Lehtinen, skipper of competitor SAIC La Jolla.

No comments: