Picture this: you’re racing doublehanded around the world and you’ve just rounded Cape Horn in the lead. After a brief stopover at the bottom of the earth in Argentina to celebrate your leg victory and prepare for the next leg, you begin the next leg and you’re absolutely launched and pointed north towards the next finish in Brazil.
You’ve got boat speed for days and you and your co-skipper are perfectly in sync; you’ve played the weather card right and were the first to reach the new breeze. You extend on your rivals. Conditions are getting warmer and milder and you’re finally able to shed layers and shake the reefs after the long, cold, and windy southern ocean legs. Life is good. Really good.
You’ve just slammed into an unidentified floating object and the boat comes to a screeching, grinding, bulkhead-popping stop. The extent of the damage is unclear, but one thing is for certain; the boat is broken and you now need to get to port to make repairs. In an instant, you’re no longer racing and are in a survival situation and unexpectedly headed to port.
Once you reach port, you haul the boat to discover a laundry list of damage, but nothing fatal to the boat or your prospects of at least finishing the race. Your race around the world has now become a race against the clock to get the boat fixed and get re-started.
That’s exactly the situation that MILAI skipper Masa Suzuki (JPN) and co-skipper Estelle Greck (FRA) have found themselves in during the 6th of 8 legs in the inaugural Globe 40 race. Now in Mar del Plata, Argentina, the team is well underway on completing repairs before they sail to Grenada to attempt to re-join the race for it’s final leg from Grenada to Lorient.
Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, the American entries are going 1-2 with Craig Horsfield and James Oxenham onboard AMHAS leading Joe Harris and Roger Junet on Gryphon Solo II to the finish in Recife, Brazil.
As of this writing, AMHAS has just over 300 miles to go to reach the finish line and Gryphon Solo II is just over a hundred miles back with both boats now reaching along in light to moderate southeast trades that should remain consistent to the finish. Follow along at www.globe40.com for more information on this exciting race, and follow here to learn more about Masa Suzuki and MILAI’s epic saga that is currently unfolding. – Ronnie Simpson.