Pen Duick VI, skippered by Marie Tabarly, is the first of the Ocean Globe Race fleet to round Cape Horn during Leg 3

Pen Duick VI has rounded Cape Horn, just hours ahead of Ocean Globe Race IRC leader, Translated 9.

The French crew have been neck-and-neck with their Italian rivals since the start of Leg 3 in Auckland last month.

Skippered by Marie Tabarly, Pen Duick VI rounded the landmark just 2,5nm offshore at 04:51 UTC today, in a 25-knot north-westerly wind, gusting 45-knots, and 2.5-3.5 metre seas.

MArie Tabarly at the helm of Pen Duick VI boat

Marie Tabarly at the helm of Pen Duick VI. Credit: Martin Keruzorel

Marie Tabarly has expressed her frustration at the weather during the race, describing the lack of wind as “painful”, arguing that Pen Duick VI needed stronger winds to show off his true performance.

It seems the Weather Gods answered Tabarly’s prayers as conditions also saw the 73-ft Bermudian ketch achieve a new speed record of 28.3-knots.

Celebrations after rounding Cape Horn. Translated 9 still leads the IRC rankings. Credit: Translated 9/Ocean Globe Race

Celebrations after rounding Cape Horn. Translated 9 still leads the IRC rankings. Credit: Translated 9/Ocean Globe Race

Translated 9, co-skippered by Golden Globe Race finisher Simon Curwen and Marco Trombetti rounded Cape Horn 5.5 hours later with 15-knot northerly winds, gusting 20-knots, and 2 metre seas. They sailed just 0.5 miles from the coast of Cape Horn.

Translated 9‘s shore crew posted on their social media sites shortly afterwards.

“Around 10:30 UTC, our crew of courageous human beings rounded Cape Horn, achieving one of the most coveted accomplishments that sailors around the world dream about!”

Currently, just miles separate the two yachts, with Pen Duick VI expected to finish in Punta del Este in south-east Uruguay in six days. However, under the IRC handicap, Translated 9 is two days clear of Tabarly and her crew.

Continues below…

The rest of the Ocean Globe Race fleet has now split behind the leaders, with Maiden, Neptune, Spirit of Helsinki and the 55-ft Swan Triana  – one of the smallest boats left in the race – expected to reach Cape Horn on Thursday.

They have all experienced winds over 35-knots on approach, although have reported no damage.

A boat being sailed in overcast weather

The crew of Galiana WithSecure have had to make repairs to their Code 0. Credit: Team Galiana WithSecure / OGR2023

“We pass a low-pressure system and find ourselves back in Indian conditions: 50 knot gusts and 6m swell. The Horn has to be earned!” tweeted Neptune.

The second pack is led by L’Esprit d’équipe, White Shadow and Galiana WithSecure, with just 24nm separating the three yachts, followed by Outlaw and Evrika.

Many of the crews are reporting having to carry out sail repairs.

A person in wet weather gear sailing a yacht

Strong winds of over 35 knots have led to sail damage for some of the Ocean Globe Race fleet, including Outlaw. Credit: Outlaw/OGR2023

“Had a total blow out of the Cinia Code 0 at 6am with the sail in the sea under the bow. Whole luff, leach & head torn off. Will be fixed by 7pm,” tweeted Outlaw.

“At 7pm Alex cut the last thread and put away the sewing machine with Viivi as they had promised. Code 0 fit to fight again” tweeted Galiana WithSecure.

This second pack has missed out on the unpredictable seas experienced by the two boats at the rear of the fleet – Sterna and Explorer.

“Dodger took on a rogue wave, bent the forward tube and forced it aft, ripping the inside zip pocket, but you should see what what that waves looks like” joked Sterna.

A woman in a orange emersion suit on a boat

Explorer crew, Catheryne Langford gets into the groove while testing her immersion suit on Explorer. Credit: Explorer/ OGR2023/24

The crew of Explorer, led by Golden Globe Race skipper Mark Sinclair, have been using up their supply of duct tape to ensure they make it to Punta del Este in time for the start of Leg 4 on 5 March.

“Compass knocked off binnacle during boarding wave. A roll of duct tape later, it’s only SLIGHTLY crooked. 5 degrees won’t matter, right?” Then “Cold, dark night in the Southern Ocean. Broke the mizzen halyard = a problem to be solved in the morning after a nice cup of tea” tweeted Explorer.

Positions of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race fleet – Leg 3: Auckland to Punta del Este at 1600 UTC on 06 February 2024. These positions will change under the IRC rating. Line honours are shown below. 

Pen Duick VI (France)
Translated 9 (Italy)
Maiden (UK)
Neptune (France)
Spirit of Helsinki (Finland)
Triana (France)
L’Esprit d’Equipe (France)
White Shadow (Spain)
Galiana with Secure (Finland)
Outlaw (Australia)
Evrika (France)
Sterna (South Africa)
Explorer (Australia)

Godspeed (USA)

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