Gunnar Krantz, skipper of Team SEB, is relieved to be back on track after a forced pit stop to repair broken gear

We’ve done it, we have now made a stop at a small island north-east of Madeira and picked up equipment to repair items that did not survive the tough conditions.

Twenty-three miles north-east of Madeira is a small high island called Porto Santo which has a military base on it. Our intention was to ‘hit’ the west point of Madeira but we had a bigger wind shift to the south-west than expected so we opted for a faster course to the south-south-east and headed for the Porto Santo.

Having organised the rendezvous close to the island of Porto Santo, we anchored within one mile of land and received our spare parts.

I guess we have to treat this activity as some sort of investment. We are now 111 miles behind. The funny thing here is that we did discuss earlier in the race whether it was an option to go to the east. Our conclusion was that it would cost around 130 miles in relation to boats using a westerly track and simply, we were not prepared to take that risk. Too big a risk with too big an investment. And here we are.

We can, after repairs are made, continue with full pace. At the same time we are seriously committed to the eastern track and an attempt to get through the Canary Islands and pick up the north-east winds in the south.

Three possibilities, one is that it does not work at all and there will be a lot explaining to do for us. Second option is that it works in relation to the other trailing boats further to the west, Amer Too and djuice. Third one is that somebody likes us up there and we come out as heroes after this.

Nobody knows for sure at this stage how it is going to end. The only thing that is certain is that with a separation of a 150 miles, east to west, the leverage is big for those who get it right.


(skipper Gunnar Krantz)