After a long, cold and icy leg from Auckland to Argentina, djuice rounded the treacherous Cape Horn on February 10 at 1801
After a long, cold and icy leg from Auckland to Argentina, djuice rounded the treacherous Cape Horn on February 10 at 1801 in relatively mild conditions. In sixth place at the time, djuice was only 111 miles from the leader, illbruck. After sailing almost 4,000 miles, it has been a remarkable achievement of the entire fleet to remain so tight through icebergs, growlers, high winds and dangerous seas. At 1000 this morning, (12 February), there were only 94 miles separating the top six boats.
Sailing north into the warmer Atlantic waters djuice opted for the easterly route around the Falkland Islands. Although 35 miles longer, the breeze looked stronger and has paid off for djuice in the short term – moving into fourth place, ahead of a still tightly packed fleet. With Amer Sports One, who also chose the easterly course, djuice has been sailing between 1-2 knots faster. Currently, the dragons are 12 miles behind Tyco in third. Team News Corp is currently seven miles behind djuice in fifth place.
Not out of the woods yet, the dragons, along with the rest of the fleet, are waiting to see if the move pays off. Ahead, the fleet is facing an area of low pressure developing off the coast of Argentina with lighter winds extending well offshore. Moving further north the winds will be north-northwest at about 20 knots. Tactically, this means djuice and Amer Sports One who are east of the rhumb line may have to beat later on.
However, weather models are fickle by nature and have already divided the fleet in two so the real results will not be evident until crossing the line in Rio de Janiero.
Wounded Dragon Espen Guttormsen, in Oslo nursing a damaged knee, said “I am happy djuice is going east of the Falkland Islands because the weather is so unpredictable in the part of the world. It is better off playing the short-term gains than trying to predict 4-5 days ahead. It’s still wide open what is going to happen.”
Racing aside, skipper Knut Frostad looked back on the Southern Ocean stint and has expressed his alarm and concern over what he considers blatant damage to the ozone layer and the resulting global warming.
“I have more understanding of the work Sir Peter Blake was doing to protect our waters,” said Frostad. “I can see first hand the damage that is being done and I’m not impressed. I don’t know where the solution lies but for now I want to bring attention to what is happening down here in the Southern Ocean. People need to sit up and take notice.”