Steve FOSSETT and crew aboard Cheyenne made a 478 nm run yesterday, but not all of the almost 20 kts hourly average speed went directly towards the destination, Cape Horn, as the big cat was forced NE by a large Low pressure system passing to their S.
The past few hours, however, have seen them turn directly SE as they prepare to catch the High moving eastwards behind the Low.
The past 2 day's NE heading have thus seen Cheyenne sacrifice nearly a day of their lead over 'phantom' rival, the equivalent day position of 2002 RTW record holder Orange (which was at 54S at the end of their Day 32, but substantially to the West. However, Orange also had to gybe North to 51S over their next 3 days before turning to the Cape). Estimated lead over Orange 2002 is now 1815 miles.
To add to the challenge, the spinnaker halyard has broken and that sail will probably not be useable again until after Cape Horn. As Steve Fossett wrote this morning:
"Now more trouble. The spinnaker halyard broke and this big sail was draped over the deck and being pulled into the water. 'All hands' managed to muscle it back on board and get it stowed below. The winds are building as our first storm front is approaching and it is too rough to send someone to the top of mast to get the halyard back in so we are done with the spinnaker. Our jibs will be our downwind headsails between here and Cape Horn.
In addition to being slower, we also have a worse angle to the waves. Already a wave has come over the side and knocked down the helmsman Guillermo Altadill and the other crew on deck. Guillermo had the wind knocked out of him and may have bruised ribs but continues on his sailing watch. It's dangerous on deck.
The wind and seas will build over the next 24 hours. We will be hunkered down in survival mode until this major cold front passes over us. These are the conditions the Southern Ocean is known for."
Today's Cape Horn fact: On 29 January 1616, Cape Horn was named by Captain Willem Corneliszoon Schouten of the ship Unitie for his birthplace of Hoorn, a small town near Amsterdam. He was looking for an alternative passage to the Magellan's Strait and to the Cape of Good Hope in order to reach the Far East.