What strategy for the Horn?

After 24 days at sea on this Westabout World Record Attempt, the trimaran Use It Again! team continues its descent along Argentina. Romain Pilliard and Alex Pella, the crew of the circular economy trimaran, have only one thing left in mind, the passage of the mythical Cape Horn, now 700 miles away. A feared Cape, which seems for the moment not to want to fail in its reputation. The duo of Use It Again! team will probably have to wait before Cape Horn opens its doors.

Located at the southern end of Tierra del Fuego, Cape Horn marks the boundary between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific by 56 degrees South. It is one of the most dangerous places in the world since between the Andes and the Antarctic Peninsula, the area creates a funnel effect conducive to strong winds and huge waves, depressions accelerate and their intensity is much stronger than elsewhere. This is the "big piece" of this World Tour agreed to say Romain and Alex before the start. A Cap as expected as it is feared. Many sailors have tried to pass it, sometimes in vain, like Magellan, who preferred a passage further north through the strait that now bears his name. More recently, we remember the crew of Gitana 13 led by Lionel Lemonchois who during his record between New York and San Francisco in 2008 had to shelter for several days in the Strait of Lemaire before tackling the mythical Cape Horn.

« It is January 28th, the situation is not simple, we are going from strong wind to weak wind. We have returned to the 40th South and the situation is complicated, not only to go down to Cape Horn but also to negotiate its passage. We talk strategy all day with Alex and Christian Dumard, our weather router. What strategy should be adopted? Will it be necessary to take shelter at certain times? We cannot sail in too strong headwind because, who says strong wind, says strong sea. We moved the boat quite fast tonight in an already formed sea but we were at the door so everything was fine! This afternoon, we cross an area of softness, it is not very pleasant because the boat does not slip, it hits the waves, then we will again find in the hours that come from the strong wind. It may be necessary to take a little shelter along the Andes Cordillera before Tierra del Fuego to be able to cross the Strait of Lemaire and then consider a passage of Cape Horn which will not be until February 1 or 2. You have to be opportunistic and patient. This is the game of offshore racing, and we stay motivated, we will get there! Says Romain Pilliard, the skipper of the trimaran Use It Again! team