As St Patrick's Day unfolded for the crew of Cheyenne this morning, thecontinuingly frustrating goal of rounding the infamous Cape Horn looked promising for later this afternoon. A little luck of the Irish could certainly help.
Yesterday was another 'character builder' as a further piece of the mainsail track, this time near the top of the 143' carbon fibre mast, came adrift in the morning and the big main was reduced to first reef. (A further repair will be required, along the lines of Sunday's repair at the 1st reef point, but the team are confident to effect this fix over the coming days without losing excessive time.)
Continued light winds from the enveloping Low made progress slow until Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately winds began to pick up as the Low passed to their South and Steve FOSSETT and team have been driving steadily for the Cape at 15-18 kts for the past 15 hours or so. 278 miles were eventually logged for the past 24 hrs, and the big cat remained 1272 miles (about 3-1/2 days) ahead of the 2002 RTW record pace of Orange.
Leaving this last of the 3 big Capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn) to port is expected for later today - then comes the drive North - much of it upwind - trying to maintain this lead and break Orange and skipper Bruno PEYRON'S 2002 record (64 days, 8 hours, 37 mins, 24 secs) from Ouessant - Ouessant.
Watch captain Brian THOMPSON: "After the Horn it looks like we have a couple of good days sailing up past the Falklands and then we are looking at potentially light and variable conditions from there up the South American coast. After about 30S we should pick up the beginnings of the trade winds and be moving until the equator..."
Brian THOMPSON'S full report, and Cheyenne's full position are available on the Fossett Challenges website at the address below.