Sunday, 13 March 2011
Dee and Anna at Cape Horn. Image copyright GAES Centros Auditivos.
- Cape Horn Match Race
- Corbella first female Spanish sailor to race around Cape Horn
- MAPFRE have reeled in 150 miles on Virbac-Paprec 3 in 24hours
- After 71 days regatta fever between trio Neutrogena, Estrella Damm and Mirabaud, only 25 miles between them
by Barcelona World Race media
Theirs was a Cape Horn rounding rich with emotion and satisfaction but peppered with non stop action. The timing could not have been better.
For the GAES girls there was the bonus of being able to see Cape Horn fading through a grey, windswept dusk ahead of the next rain squall being ushered along by the buffeting breeze, and then even getting the full dark-of-night effect with the Cape light blinking adieu through the blackness, saluting their safe passage through the Big South.
Said Caffari: “It was unbelievable. I just cannot believe that after all these miles we were almost match racing around the bottom corner of the world. And right now physically I am exhausted. I worked harder in the last 24 hours than we did in the whole of the Pacific, we did more manoeuvres, more reefs in and out, than we did in the whole Pacific. But it was worth it.”
Anna Corbella - first Spanish woman to race around Cape Horn. Image copyright GAES Centros Auditivos.
But on top of their perfect timing, Anna Corbella becoming the first female Spanish sailor ever to race around Cape Horn, the girls came off best in what Caffari described as a ‘match race at the bottom corner of the world.’
A swashbuckling gybe in front of Hugo Boss, the guys’ lights blinking 1.5 miles or so astern, seems to have been the platform that Caffari and Corbella have been able to build on. Both have been able to ‘cut the corner’, the first pairs to pass through the Le Maire straits and ready to route west of the Falklands but this evening GAES Centros Auditivos has built a gain of 38 miles already over Hugo Boss and has been consistently quicker.
But these small gains may be significant for the moment, but the medium term meteo picture consistently seems to reward this duo with a fast, downwind passage up the South American coast, as the two evolving low pressure systems open up a fast lane north which could see this duo close a lot of time and distance back on the ‘peloton’ group.
The two new low pressure systems, one active one moving off Montevideo and the River Plate, and one to the north evolving fast from Brasil’s Cabo Frio are the key features which will affect the fleet in the Atlantic over coming days. In essence they help send the high pressure east and open the track. But for the leading duo that means a front to negotiate which has swung the breeze round to head Virbac-Paprec 3, but which MAPFRE have yet to really feel. Still making 18-19 knots the gains of Spain’s favourite sailing sons amount to 160 miles since yesterday! Virbac-Paprec 3 still have a comfortable lead of 390 miles and should see the differential stabilise out tonight as MAPFRE start to feel the same effect.
But the battle royal for the moment is the trio Neutrogena, Estrella Damm, Mirabaud. After Neutrogena slowed last night, Estrella Damm got through to fourth. Neutrogena fought back and regained ‘their’ spot on the morning ranking, and then this afternoon it is Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella who are four miles ahead this afternoon, perhaps benefiting from being able to sail closer to their polars than the compromised Neutrogena, making three knots quicker. The top duo of the three are pushing hard towards the active low pressure and will see a spell of strong winds to suffer before they really hit the fast lane.
And this afternoon still only 25 miles separated the trio.
Neutrogena. Image copyright Neutrogena team.
And for Renault Z.E Sailing Team there are few strategic options open to Pachi Rivero and Toño Piris in the short term other than keep plugging upwind, though they did tack on to the more favourable starboard leg, trying now to minimise their almost inevitable losses to the pack immediately behind. As Piris said today
“We are now going at 10-11 knots with the swell from the bow. We have a margin which is a pretty big between us and the fleet behind but really it quite different, but at the moment Neutrogena, Estrella Damm and Mirabaud are sailing with following winds and will really start cutting down the miles while we have our upwind speed inherently limited to 10-11 knots. They will be coming at 15 knots and surfing at 20. When we cross them our advantage will be reduced by more than half. If they get more lucky they could even get right to us, but that is pure conjecture.
Piris revealed today that they had to slow last night to make a small boatbuilding repair to the deck area of Renault Z.E which cost them four hours.
“It was an area which started moving because of the slamming and the tensions. We were working for four hours before we could get going . It is an area on the deck at about amidships which gets all the tension and compression and the sheet loads. All the boats have a critical area there. Midships which where it flexes most but I think we have it on time. I don’t think it will progress” said Piris.
Standings at 12th March 2011 (TU+1) :
1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 at 4185,6 miles de l’arrivée
2 MAPFRE at 390,2 miles du leader
3 RENAULT Z.E at 74,7 miles
4 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 1822,6 miles
5 NEUTROGENA at 1826,2 miles
6 MIRABAUD at 1847,8 miles
7 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at 2537,4 miles
8 HUGO BOSS at 2557,7 miles
9 FORUM MARITIM CATALA at 4660,3 miles
10 WE ARE WATER at 6711,9 miles
11 CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA at 7364,7 miles
RTD GROUPE BEL
Cape Horn. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.
Dee Caffari (GBR) Gaes Centros Auditivos: “It was unbelievable. I just cannot believe thayt after all these miles we were almost match racing around the bottom corner of the world. And right now physically I am exhausted. I worked harder in the last 24 hours than we did in the whole of the Pacific, we did more manoeuvres, more reefs in and out, than we did in the whole Pacific. But it was worth it.
As we rounded Cape Horn we gybed and we had their (Hugo Boss) lights behind us, we saw them gybe back and we gybed back, and I am not really sure why we have been soo much quicker than them, we have not been pushing too hard because we have a batten problem, so we are stuck with two reefs but we thought that we were very slow for a while, but it seems to have paid off. We cut the corner and we lined up with the Le Maire straits at the turn of the tide and we went for it and it looks like they are following this way as well. So I think we were just lucky gaining a place.
I have been closer, but this time we were really lucky and got to see it just before it got dark, so we managed to get some photo and video. And as well in here in the Le Maire Straits it is vey beautiful with lots of bird life, and the island and for once it is nice like that rather than on our bow. It has been quite a nice morning and Anna has seen a bit more of the land down here.
I think what Anna has done is awesome. I am very proud of her and I was saying to her not to underestimate the achievement. Because obviously while we are on board we are very confident we were going to round Cape Horn, but I reminded her that not everyone in the race has managed to do that, so it is great achievement and something I am very proud of. I remember one of the sayings of Mike Golding that the more times you expose yourself to the south and pushing your luck down here then the more chance of something happening, and so I feel very pleased and relieved that I have managed to survive another Southern Ocean and another successful rounding.
I feel as if I am back in synch now! What was really funny was Anna had a gold hoop from her parents to put in her ear for rounding Cape Horn and I laughed because I would have two hoops in each ear now.”
Anna Corbella (ESP) GAES Centros Auditivos: “I am very very happy to get here but I am so proud to have done it. I hope this will inspire many people and many women to do sport and to fulfil their dreams. It is a magnificent experience, like getting to the summit and now you have to make the descent, which itself won’t be easy. We got there about 0030hrs UTC, it was getting dark and there was plenty of wind. We had the rock at eight miles away with poor visibility and many squalls. We were slow at times, not having the ideal sail combination we would have preferred. With too little sail I thought we were going to get there after dark, but with just ten minutes before dark and with a bit of moon, between squalls the cape appeared. It was such an impressive, memorable image which instantly gives you goosebumps. It is the image that you have dreamed about for so long and there it is, we saw the light blinking at us.
As you know we are quite into our celebrations, we had the last cake on the boat, we had a jamon (ham) which a friend had specially packed, some of our dried fruit and we opened a bottle of champagne as well. In between the gybes – and I think we did more gybes last night than we did in the whole Pacific – we had a busy night for food in between the squalls.
At that moment I thought of my parents and I thought they would be sleeping, but they were waiting for the call, and were shouting and had been watching us on the internet. They were shouting so loud that Dee could here them from the cockpit. It was quite amusing. They deserve the joy, they are part of this and it was a beautiful moment. They are the ones who started me in the sailing world and I dedicate this to them.”
Toño Piris (ESP) Renault Z.E Sailing Team:“Everything is OK on board, it is a pretty nice day, we are good and beating against a lot of wind. It is not really typical way up the Atlantic as there is a low pressure system coming up from the south and we will have to tack. Otherwise we would keep going, but this new low has made the strategy more complicated. We will have to go nearer the coast and the rest of the fleet will get closer to us because they have following winds.
We are now going at 10-11 knots with the swell from the bow. We have a margin which is a pretty big between us and the fleet behind but really it quite different, but at the moment Neutrogena, Estrella Damm and Mirabaud are sailing with following winds and will really start cutting down the miles while we have our upwind speed inherently limited to 10-11 knots. They will be coming at 15 knots and surfing at 20. When we cross them our advantage will be reduced by more than half. If they get more lucky they could even get right to us, but that is pure conjecture.
Last night we heard a new noise. We tried to locate the area to repair. It was an area which started moving because of the slamming and the tensions. We were working for four hours before we could get going . It is an area on the deck at about amidships which gets all the tension and compression and the sheet loads. All the boats have a critical area there. Midships which where it flexes most but I think we have it on time. I don’t think it will progress.
It has tacked to the NNW and I am still sweating. It was a full 30 minutes tack and we just finished ten minutes ago. But I am fine. We have a good diet and we had good preparation before Xavi Gargallo so we feel strong. You feel the tiredness of 70 days at sea, it is not like the first day, but it is not so bad. When the others get closer then you get more stressed, but that is part of the game.”
Pepe Ribes (ESP) Estrella Damm:“We are not looking at our rivals, the only thing we watch is the depression that lies ahead. The only thing we want is to position ourselves the best way to not get damaged. It is quite complicated.
It comes with up a lot of wind, it is very strong. There no chance to really see where to go: either go through the middle or stop. To pass it from the north we should stop. Going straight as now we are in danger of going through the eye as in Atu. It could be many hours with 40 knots in tight angle.
"All night we were reaching with 20 knots and the remaining waves from the north, giving some big jumps and bumps”.
Au bonheur des dames
- GAES Centros Auditivos etHugo Boss ont passé le cap Horn de conserve
- Anna Corbella devient la première compétitrice espagnole cap-hornière
- En Atlantique, chacun surveille l’évolution de la dépression qui se forme au large du Rio de Plata
Dee and Anna at Cape Horn. Image copyright GAES Centros Auditivos.
Ce samedi pourra être marqué d’une pierre blanche pour l’équipage de GAES Centros Auditivos. En passant le Horn à 0h45 TU, Anna Corbella devenait la première navigatrice espagnole à franchir le cap en course. Et comme un bonheur n’arrive jamais seul, le seul tandem féminin de la course reprenait l’avantage sur Hugo Boss, leur compagnon de route, depuis l’entrée dans l’océan Indien. En Atlantique, une petite dépression particulièrement creuse occupe les esprits.
Elles ont failli ne pas le voir. En arrivant sur le cap Horn à la tombée de la nuit, les deux filles de GAES Centros Auditivos ont craint de passer le gros caillou dans une atmosphère chargée de grains épais bouchant la visibilité… Mais le rideau s’est déchiré d’un coup laissant apparaître la silhouette hiératique de l’île Horn. Quelques milles plus tard, la nuit étant tombée, c’est le pinceau du phare qui accompagnait les deux coéquipières pour leurs premiers bords atlantiques. C’est, en tout état de cause, une grande fierté pour Anna Corbella d’ouvrir la voie à ses consœurs ibériques.
La navigatrice catalane, particulièrement émue, avait encore visiblement un peu de mal à réaliser le parcours accompli pour en arriver là. Il reste encore deux océans devant les étraves de GAES Centros Auditivos pour considérer l’histoire comme définitivement bouclée. Pour Dee Caffari, ce quatrième passage du cap Horn aura le mérite d’équilibrer les fléaux de la balance qui penchait singulièrement du côté des tours du monde à l’envers puisque sur ses trois passages, Dee en comptait deux d’est en ouest. D’une certaine manière, pour la navigatrice britannique, l’histoire se plait à bégayer puisque deux ans plus tôt, dans le dernier Vendée Globe, elle passait le Horn en compagnie de Brian Thompson qui naviguait sur Pindar, devenu depuis Hugo Boss.
La bande des quatre reconstituée
En Atlantique, l’attention des navigateurs est focalisée avant tout par la dépression très creuse qui s’est formée sur l’Argentine. Dans sa partie sud, les navigateurs peuvent bénéficier de régimes de vents de sud. La tentation est donc grande de venir chercher la dépression pour bénéficier au plus tôt de vents portants. En revanche, ce même système génère des vents extrêmement violents sur sa bordure occidentale, puisque les fichiers annoncent un vent d’ouest pouvant dépasser les 60 nœuds. Toute la finesse de navigation consiste donc à savoir négocier au mieux cette dépression pour gagner sur la route sans se faire piéger. À bord de Renault Z.E., Antonio Piris ne cachait pas que cette situation était plutôt inconfortable. En lutte pour le podium, Tonio Piris et Pachi Ribero voyaient avec inquiétude leurs poursuivants revenir sur leurs talons. Il y a fort à parier que derrière les deux leaders, un groupe de quatre bateaux relativement compact soit en marche pour le podium. C’est en tous les cas, l’espoir que doivent cultiver respectivement Neutrogena, Estrella Damm et Mirabaud.
En plein Pacifique, la bagarre continue entre We Are Water et Forum Maritim Catala. Gerard Marin et Ludovic Aglaor semblent avoir adopté un mode de navigation très conservateur ces derniers jours et cèdent un peu de terrain à Jaume Mumbru et Cali Sanmarti. À Wellington, Juan Merediz et Fran Palacio affirment toujours leur volonté de vouloir boucler cette Barcelona World race malgré la somme des difficultés auxquelles ils doivent faire face. Mais le temps court et l’automne austral se fait de plus en plus présent. Entre volonté de repartir et la prudence qu’impose l’incertitude d’un Pacifique de plus en plus tourmenté, le dilemme devient chaque jour plus pesant. Entre gestion des émotions et analyse froide de la situation, les deux équipiers de Central Lechera Asturiana ont de quoi occuper leurs prochains jours d’attente.
HUGO BOSS. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.
Classement du 12 mars à 15 heures (TU+1) :
1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 à 4185,6 milles de l’arrivée
2 MAPFRE à 390,2 milles du leader
3 RENAULT Z.E à 74,7 milles
4 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team à 1822,6 milles
5 NEUTROGENA à 1826,2 milles
6 MIRABAUD à 1847,8 milles
7 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS à 2537,4 milles
8 HUGO BOSS à 2557,7 milles
9 FORUM MARITIM CATALA à 4660,3 milles
11 WE ARE WATER à 6711,9 milles
12 CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA à 7364,7 milles
ABN GROUPE BEL
Ils ont dit :
Anna Corbella, GAES Centros Auditivos :« je suis vraiment très heureuse et fière et j’espère que mon aventure va inciter d’autres femmes espagnoles à aller au bout de leurs rêves. C’est comme si l’on était arrivé au sommet d’une montagne. Mais je sais que la redescente peut aussi être parfois difficile. Mais ça faisait des années que j’en rêvais, alors merci à mes parents qui m’ont toujours soutenu et merci à Dee sans qui je ne serais pas là aujourd’hui. »
Juan Merediz, Central Lechera Asturiana : « On a deux objectifs : être capable de remettre en état le bateau et le ramener ensuite à Barcelone pour boucler cette histoire. On est en train de réparer les voiles et on attend pour un nouveau gréement. On veut vraiment rentrer à Barcelone. On sait que la traversée du Pacifique risque d’être tardive, mais d’autres bateaux ont déjà passé le cap Horn au mois d’avril. On risque d’avoir froid, mais on souhaite naviguer en toute sécurité. »
Renault ZE. Image copyright Maria Muina.
Antonio Priris, Renault Z.E.: «On se rend compte que l’écart que l’on avait pu creuser et qui nous paraissait assez important va peut-être se réduire à rien. Actuellement on marche à 11-12 nœuds contre le vent quand nos concurrents directs avancent à plus de 15. Donc on est un peu soucieux. On a dû procéder à une réparation sur le pont : ça nous a pris quatre heures environ, mais c’est réglé et la réparation devrait tenir jusqu’à l’arrivée.»
Barcelona World Race