Violent conditions delay Route d'Or attempt

Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew have been forced to postpone their rounding of Cape Horn and seek shelter for a few days along the Tierra del Fuego near the mouth of Lemaire Channel.

“We sailed into the channel, but the seas were too rough so we decided to turn around and seek shelter toward the north. We’re currently heading that way with 3 reefs,” said Olivier Wroczynski. “For the past few days, we had been keeping an eye on this low-pressure system, which is going to sweep across the tip of South America at the end of the weekend. Then yesterday, the weather files looked more promising, and we thought we might be able to round the Horn Saturday evening. But this morning the forecast took a turn for the worse: winds of 40-45 knots, gusting between 60 and 70, are expected during the night from Sunday to Monday. We can’t handle that.”

Team Gitana, although disappointed, is maintaining a positive attitude: “Sure, we would have preferred not to stop, but we’ll take advantage of the proximity of the Tierra del Fuego coast to admire the stunning landscape at this end of the world,” said Wroczynski, the dean of Gitana 13’s crew.

Lemonchois and his team will get back on the road to San Francisco as soon as a window opens in the weather allowing them to cross into the Pacific Ocean.