Hanging around Cape Horn waiting for storm to pass....

After spending 38 days in the Southern Ocean, celebrations go on hold as three sailors await a storm hurtling towards them from the Pacific.
Dee Caffari reports a nervous anticipation is in the air’.

‘Strategy to avoid the worst of the weather has been discussed by the skippers involved, the race direction and Meteo France. Thankfully we all agreed on the same course of action. The aim is to hang out around Cape Horn and the centre of the low will pass overhead, then we will experience south-east to south-west strong winds as we get the cold feel of the west of the low as it tracks east.

‘Slowly with much reduced sail we can follow it from about tomorrow afternoon hoping for it to move ahead of us. This should hopefully see us miss the worst of the weather. I am currently 30 miles off the Chilean coast seeing glaciers and mountains reaching into the sky. It really is an awesome sight. I am being heading quite dramatically at the moment, which may be a sign of things moving a little faster than expected.

‘I went on deck to trim the sails to upwind and saw numerous dolphins playing around the bow. I haven’t seen that sight since the Atlantic so it must be a good sign! With taffeta ribbons streaming from my mainsail, it will be relieved to go into 4 reefs for a rest. I just need to be extra careful with the fibres so they do not get damaged in the blow coming. All being well I should be through the worst of it all late tomorrow night. In the mean time it will be a testing twenty four hours, then we can celebrate Cape Horn.’
Dee Caffari (Aviva) in her daily message

Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) rounded Cape Horn yesterday morning (Thursday) at 3h15 GMT, passing just two miles offshore from the legendary rock at the end of South America after running down the jagged, inhospitable coast of Chile.  He reported later that he had seen some small islands which were not marked on his chart. Thompson should have had a spectacular view as the reward for the last few days of intense pressure in 50-60 knots winds, but he expects to be hit Friday by this tropical storm which has barreled across the Pacific and will affect Steve White today.