Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm brought his Open 60 'Bobst Group-Armor Lux' over the finish line in Table Bay, Cape Town South Africa at 11:59:45hrs local time (GMT +2) this morning.
Stamm completed the 6,880nm leg from Torbay, England to Cape Town, just under the 30 day barrier - a total of 29 days, 21 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds. Yet again the super speedy Swiss skipper has recorded a remarkable reference time and added another win to the scoreboard after his record-breaking transatlantic crossing and victory in Leg 1 of Around Alone from New York USA to Torbay, England.
He was greeted by the crowds and a horde of local media at the docks of the V&A Waterfront after stepping off his boat, and Richard Turner from Champagne Mumm gave Stamm his well deserved Magnum. In a short press conference Stamm, understated as always, said in his simple English: "It was a pretty windy start to the leg with that big low pressure, but I managed to put some distance between myself and Thierry & Emma then. It is tricky to get to Cape Town with the high pressure blocking the way, but now I have arrived I am so happy to be here!"
When asked about what it was like to climb his mast just two days before his arrival, he replied:"You look up and you say to yourself 'I can't do it!' but then you tell yourself the only way to win the leg is to go up the mast, so you climb. But when you are up there at the top, you look down and say 'I can't get down!'"
Stamm now has a month to enjoy the pleasures of Cape Town, which he has never visited before now.
Stamm's closest rival, veteran circumnavigator Thierry Dubois on Solidaires was at 0600hrs this morning 118nm behind Stamm steaming in to Cape Town at an average speed of 16 knots for the last 8 hours. Dubois is controlling his lead over third placed British skipper, Emma Richards on Pindar and lies 91 miles ahead of her.
Pindar is reaching at 10 knots in 'awkward' seas, and Emma is "hanging in there!" as she put it this morning: "Saw the first signs of the coast last night, a huge container ship, passed within a couple of miles. Lucky I had taped on my emergency nav lights to the bow in the evening. My mast head ones and strobe light were blown off in the big storm the first week, I could only see they were gone when I went up the mast last week, and the bow ones finally gave up during the night before last! definitely time to arrive. I just got the position reports in which is very disappointing, but I believe in miracles so I'm off to help make them happen!"
Graham Dalton has been firing his rocket ship Hexagon on all four cylinders, and this morning at 0600hrs GMT lay 178 miles back from Pindar, however it may be all too late for the New Zealander to pinch a podium place after all, as the wind remains stable from the South and he falls into line behind the other two yachts on the same trajectory towards the finish. Only the local vaguaries of the wind shadow under Table Mountain stand in their way.
The latest ETA's (local time = GMT +2hrs) for the next 3 boats are as follows:
Solidaires - 2100hrs local time Wednesday 13th November
Pindar - 0900hrs local time Thursday 14th November
Hexagon - 2300hrs local time Thursday 14th November