Perfect sailing conditions for the competitors as they head South towards the Equator

It is prefect trade wind sailing for the competitors of the Portimão Global Ocean Race as they head south towards the equator. However, unlike the first 10 days of the race, it has not been without mishaps.

On board Kazimir Partners their revelry was rudely interrupted by a loud crash as the boat lurched to a sickening stop. Skipper Lenjohn Van Der Wel sent through a curt message. “At 13:20 (local time) Kazimir Partners hit a whale. We were traveling at 8 knots and came to an abrupt stop. We saw the whale surface behind us. We are not sure on damages yet but will drop the spinnaker and investigate later today. The bow seems intact and believe contact was made in front of the keel. Rudders seem ok? Will keep you updated.”

Fortunately the damage was only superficial and they are back up to speed and in good spirits. “After yesterday’s knock with the whale all appears to be okay,” Peter added. “I do think, however, that the whale is going to report the incident to the African animal abuse agency. We will just have to deal with the consequences.”

On board Team Mowgli co-skippers Jeremy Salvesen and David Thomson are also experiencing an abundance of sea life. Salvesen wrote: “David and I were sitting by the chart table when we heard the distinctive whistling and clicking of dolphins chatting to each other. I guess a thin-hulled fibreglass boat makes for a fine auditorium. We then moved out on deck to see if we could see them.

“The phosphorescence was amazing. The whole boat was surrounded by glistening, sparkling little lights, so much so that it looked as if we were floodlit from below. The dolphins?created their own ‘jacket’ of light so we could clearly see them swimming under the water and jigging about playing with our bow wave. In fact the only time we couldn’t see them was when they came up for air.”

For now only the race leaders, Boris Herrmann and Felix Oehme on Beluga Racer have chosen to sail through the Cape Verde Islands. Second and third placed boats Desafio Cabo de Hornos and Roaring Forty have passed the island group to the west and it looks as if Team Mowgli in forth position might do the same.

On board Desafio Cabe de Hornos Felipe Cubillos is plotting a comeback: “Yes it’s true that we have lost some miles to the German boat, but fortunately for us this situation is being reversed smoothly and since yesterday at 14:00 we have taken 7 miles out of our competitors. If you look at the reports every 6 hours which will see the distance between us getting less.”

Still north of the Cape Verde Islands Nico Budel on Hayai seems attached to the South African boat by a short bungee. Nico’s track for the last few days has been the same as Kazimir Partners and the distance at times closing in and at times losing miles. All we can be sure of is that Nico, the gentleman that he is, will make his move in the clear light of day rather than undercover of darkness.

Leaderboard on 21 October 06:20

Beluga Racer – distance to finish 4438 nautical miles
Desafia Cabo de Hornos – distance to finish 4579 nautical miles
Roaring Forty (SOLO) – distance to finish 4668 nautical miles
Team Mowgli – distance to finish 4751 nautical miles
Kazimir Partners – distance to finish 4952 nautical miles
Hayai (SOLO) – distance to finish 4953 nautical miles