Leg 2 got underway from Cape Town in light conditions, but heavy going conditions are forecast
After a blustery in port race on Saturday, the start of leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi got off to a painfully slow start. Seconds after the gun went it was Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi that took an early lead as the fleet crawled its way across the start line and out of Table Bay under code zeros.
Shortly after the start, the conditions started to build allowing the fleet to power its way offshore.
A short while into the around the cans element of the start of leg 2, the breeze started to build to provide champagne sailing conditions. But while the disciplined and uneventful start procession dominated the opening minutes, teams’ longer term focus will have been on the forecast for more boisterous, potentially boat breaking conditions within the first 24 hours.
Winds of up to 30 knots might not sound too much for a VOR fleet, but add this to the notorious sea state to the south of Cape Town, whipped up by the meeting of two separate oceans and the legendary Agulhas current that runs at between 3-5 knots, and the prospect for the next 24 hours could be extremely challenging.
But for the time being, a few hours after the start, conditions remained modest while tensions stayed high.
In the meantime, the bigger issue facing the organisers is the logistics of shipping the entire fleet from a secret location somewhere along this leg to another secret location shortly before Abu Dhabi. CEO Knut Frostad explains the detail including some worst case scenarios for this most unusual leg.