In the words of the UNICEF team song, “Here We Go” .. again, as today we finally say goodbye to Cape Town and South Africa. Next stop, fingers crossed, Fremantle Australia. The Leg 2 team have been joined by Tim, Rob, Thomas, Seb, Anne, Andrew Toms and Sophie – or I should say REjoined in Sophie’s case as she only left the team in Punta at the end of Leg 1 – and we have said our planned goodbyes to Gareth, Christian, Sheila, Joe (until he returns for Legs 7 & 8) and Jeremy (until Leg 8). We are back to a (near full) complement of 22.
So, once again on the eve of a race, how am I feeling? Well perhaps not quite as nervous as last time and certainly ready to go. The Southern Ocean is one of the reasons I first signed up for Clipper. I have never sailed in the Southern Ocean, and I will be rounding the Cape of Good Hope for the first time. The Southern Ocean has a fearsome reputation. Clipper have imposed an ice limit for example and yachts are not permitted to sail south of 45S for example. I expect it to be cold, wet, rough and tough. Extremely mentally and physically challenging.
So, what will it be like this time? Again, here’s what the official race magazine has to say:
“Cape Town to Freemantle is also referred to as the Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride. This leg offers some of the most extreme and testing conditions of the entire circumnavigation, with teams dipping into the notoriously strong winds of the Roaring Forties. Once clear of Table Bay, which is stunning but well known for its tricky, fickle wind patterns, teams will head for the first Great Cape, The Cape of Good Hope. It’s then on to the Angulhas Bank, where the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans causes very disturbed seas. Spinnakers are likely to reappear and ocean racing tactics will be in full flow. Teams will discover exactly what the Clipper 70s are made of as they surf downwind on swells higher than buildings.
Despite the gruelling reputation that the Roaring Forties command, this is a place respected by sailors as one of the best places to fully appreciate Mother Nature in her most powerful glory.”
And here is what it looked like in a previous edition
and in the 2017-2018 edition when the Greenings yacht was wrecked off the South African coast and subsequently washed ashore and, very tragically, Simon Spears was washed overboard and drowned from Great Britain…….
Time to go. Here We Go. Wish me luck.
For Diabetes UK and the National Autistic Society see:
and for UNICEF UK see:
Please take a look. Thank you.