SOUTHERN OCEAN BLOG 3: 28.11.19

During this part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, our Marlow ambassador on board 'Imagine your Korea' will be sharing weekly mini blogs during the epic Southern Ocean Race from Cape Town to Fremantle.

In the last 2 weeks we have had three updates from James which give an intense, exciting view of life on-board whilst racing in the world's toughest ocean.

Knockdown!

Our top spreader hits the water, the Yankee 1 (yes a 1!) blankets the water, foam bubbling. The Main follows suit and drapes itself on the blue -white rollers.

As a front moves over wind picks up from 30 knots to approaching 80. We have reef 2 in, thankfully.

Downstairs I watch the few loose things in the saloon launch themselves horizontally across the space. No one is hurt, nothing broken above or below decks. The hail and wind last 15-20 minutes then ease back to a more “normal” 25-30 knots. The reef is shaken out and on we race.

Exciting times indeed. Soon an ominous front approaches from behind again. A super slick reef 2 is put in in five minutes. I watch from the companion way “milk maiding” the reefing lines.

Another severe squall hits, wind up to 70 knots but no knock down. Walls of water, almost solid when they hit move people around the boat. Short tethers have saved many bumps and bruises but a few still happen. Looking at the fleet blogs, we have managed without major damage or injury.

We drop the Main and sail on Yankee 1 alone for a while – much more comfortable and safe while we all take stock. A few tweaks and later the Main is back on reef 3. And I managed to repair another two panels of the head of the Code 2 spinnaker while this all goes on.

Those on galley duty manage to prepare cooked food.  How our Yankee 1 is holding up is a minor miracle – apparent winds of more than 50 knots for a sail with a maximum apparent of 16-18 knots.

The race continues...