Renault Captur rounds a stormy Cape Horn
German skipper Jörg Riechers and his French counterpart Sébastien Audigane passed the Chilean cape in sixth position of the Barcelona World Race, sailing around 2.5 miles off the shore with 35-40 knots of wind
Renault Captur, sixth in the Barcelona World Race, passed the longitude of the mythical Cape Horn (67º 17' 35 W) at 11h48UTC (12h48 +1 in Barcelona, 08h39 -3 in Chile). The team formed by German Jörg Riechers and French Sébastien Audigane have taken 68 days, 23 hours and 47 minutes of racing to reach this milestone since the start from Barcelona on December 31st, 2014. They made a 48-hour technical pit stop into Wellington, NZ, leaving on 23rd February.
For Audigane it has been a hectic birthday (he turned 47 yesterday). It is his fourth rounding of the legendary cape, the southernmost of the three big milestones of the round the world race (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn itself). For Riechers, 46, it is this first time, a big achievement in his career as an ocean racer.
Yesterday afternoon Audigane explained the difficult conditions they saw forecast for the Cape Horn rounding: “Is Cape Horn the road to hell? It could well be that for us. The tropical low to the north of Renault Captur, which has been following us since NZ is in the process of turning into a weather monster. It is running into the Andes, being forced back down south and deepening to 951 mb to become a real hurricane.
"For us it’s a race against the clock. If we’re quick enough we’ll get by just losing a few feathers with winds up to 45 to 50 knots and 7m high waves."
Previewing his fourth rounding of Horn, Audigane highlighted the importance of this legendary cape: “It is a mythical place for sailors. It was the most southerly waypoint in the maritime routes between New York and San Francisco, for instance. It is the third cape of the round the world races, a quite particular place, with big depressions lining up, a wild place and quite hostile”.
After a testing 24 hours, Renault Captur rounded the Horn in 35-40 knot west-south-westerlies, with a relatively ordered sea state ensuring conditions were not overly severe and the duo were able to pass within 3 miles of the famous shoreline.
Renault Captur leaves the Pacific behind and re-enters the Atlantic in sixth position. Ahead of them leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam on board Cheminées Poujoulat made it on 25th February at 00:53 UTC; Neutrogena with Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz and GAES Centros Auditivos with Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín on 28th February at 02:12 and 12:32 UTC respectively; We Are Water crossed on Saturday, 7th March at 22:06 UTC; and just 4 hours 55 mins later, One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton, with Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa, at 03:01 UTC on the 8th March.
Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman on board Spirit of Hungary remain in the Pacific, and could round Cape Horn between the 14th and 15th of March.
Photo: Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane, more than two months racing around the world.