Jeremy Bagshaw, who is in the Chichester Class in the 2022 Golden Globe Race, is averaging 5 knots following the removal of barnacles from his OE32, Olleanna
Barnacles made Jeremy Bagshaw‘s progress across the Indian Ocean painfully slow and eventually forced the 2022 Golden Globe Race skipper to stop in Hobart, Tasmania.
Having lifted out his OE32, Olleanna to remove the barnacles and re-antifoul the hull, he restarted the race in the Chichester Class, for entrants who make one stop.
Bagshaw is currently 10-14 days (1,500 miles) from Cape Horn and says the boat is performing better than ever.
‘She is a completely different boat. Two days out of Hobart, we had a good solid 40 knot blow and it was downhill; the wind from behind, nice big waves. I would have been surfing at 4 knots with barnacles, but in the same conditions I can easily get 8-10 knots now. The boat is fantastic. She goes so much better without barnacles it’s unbelievable,’ he said.
‘Some days I’ve averaged up to 8 knots at times, and other days, 6 knots, but if I take it overall between Hobart and here, I have managed to do over 5 knots average, and most of it has come in the last two weeks.’
The South African solo sailor said seven days of strong northeasterly and southeasterly winds ‘really put a brake’ on his progress across the Pacific; the sea state was also a hinderance.
‘There’s a continuous southwesterly groundswell, and depending on what the wind is blowing you get conflicting swells on top of the groundswell, so it can be very, very disruptive. The wind doesn’t play by a timetable so you are constantly making adjustments, and course adjustments. I tend to plan every manoeuvre well before doing it; I don’t charge around aimlessly too much. You’ve always got to try and keep some energy in reserve. It’s not tiring, it gets a bit exasperating at times when nothing will stay still and everything is just moving backwards and forwards, but other than that it is fine.’
The 60-year-old, who is sailing the only double-ender left in the 2022 Golden Globe Race fleet, shared that up until two weeks ago, the weather in the Pacific had been ‘a real mishmash’. Like the rest of the entrants, he is also receiving regular weather forecasts from Peter Mott at Passage Guardian.
‘It really was not what I’d read about in the novels, but the last 10 days has been very much as expected. I am getting plenty of weather updates – more information that I can process. It is pretty comprehensive and I am very grateful to Peter for that.’
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Olleanna, which was sailed by the Norwegian skipper Are Wiig in the 2018 Golden Globe Race, has not yet been knocked down; Bagshaw has also not had to deploy his warps.
‘I have had weather consistently for a couple of days where I have just been flying a storm jib and everything else has been strapped down. I haven’t had to resort to any storm tactics – drogues or warps – but I have warps set to go if I do need to use them, but I hope not to use them.’
Bagshaw, who has sailed since a child, said he is not concerned about approaching Cape Horn so late in the season.
‘I don’t think there’s any time that is better than another time. The wind change can be more gentle in autumn than in the summer, so I’m hoping that I’ll get a bit of a break there but if I don’t, I don’t,’ he said.
Bagshaw said he was not finding the race lonely; the daily catchup with the rest of the Golden Globe Race fleet means he can have regular contact. He has also seen just one fishing boat since crossing Cape Aguhulus in South Africa, some 8,000 miles from where he is now.
He is disappointed about the lack of wildlife in the Pacific, although has been lucky enough to sail with a pod of 200 dolphins south of New Zealand and three black and white Southern right whale dolphins. Company has also come in the shape of four Southern royal albatross – two adults and two juvenile birds – which flew with Olleanna; moments he will cherish.
For now, Bagshaw is focussing on rounding Cape Horn and making his way up into the warmer waters of the Atlantic.
‘I am really looking forward to getting into flatter water and warmer waters, and a bit more sun, so I can open hatches and let the condensation dry out. Olleanna is not really dry below but it is not ocean water, it is condensation; luckily I have no major problems with mould. Just cooking in the galley and breathing produces a huge amount of condensation so everything is a little bit cold and a little bit damp, but in a couple of weeks time, it will all be nice and dry again.’
Current positions of the Golden Globe Race 2022 skippers on 02 March 2022 at 1100 UTC
Kirsten Neuschäfer, (South Africa), Cape George 36 cutter, Minnehaha
Abhilash Tomy, (India), Rustler 36, Bayanat
Michael Guggenberger, (Austria), Biscay 36, Nuri
Ian Herbert-Jones (UK), Tradewind 35, Puffin
Simon Curwen, (UK), Biscay 36, Clara
Jeremy Bagshaw, (South Africa), OE32, Olleanna
Edward Walentynowicz, (Canada), Rustler 36, Noah’s Jest
Guy deBoer, (USA), Tashiba 36, Spirit
Mark Sinclair (Australia), Lello 34, Coconut
Pat Lawless, (Ireland), Saltram Saga 36, Green Rebel
Damien Guillou, (France), Rustler 36, PRB
Ertan Beskardes, (UK), Rustler 36, Lazy Otter
Tapio Lehtinen, (Finland), Gaia 36, Asteria
Arnaud Gaist, (France), Barbican 33 Mk 2, Hermes Phoning
Elliot Smith, (USA), Gale Force 34, Second Wind
Guy Waites (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha
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