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The Maiden Factor Blog

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Sal’s Ocean Globe Race Analysis: Start of Leg 2 of the Ocean Globe Race

Today, Sunday, I was lucky enough to witness the Start of Leg 2 of the Ocean Globe Race, on a glorious day in the amazing city of Cape Town. The stopover was successful, in that all the job lists and routine maintenance was completed but despite Maiden being in the lead group when they arrived, there was little time for rest. The crew were busy right up to leaving the dock.

It started in a pleasant 12 knots of wind, with Maiden playing the start cautiously. There is no point risking a dangerous start when you have over 7250 miles to sail! The start was into Southerly Winds, so they are once again sailing upwind. The bigger Pen Duick soon took the lead thriving on the upwind conditions.

Maiden is hanging on in the following pack, with her nemesis from the previous leg, Translated 9, in combat once again. There will be careful planning onboard for the change that will soon come in the weather. After a brief period with light airs, they are going to come in contact with the first of the Lows that the Southern Ocean is famous for.

Lows in the Southern Hemisphere spin clockwise, so the boats, having had advance warning from forecasts obtained ashore, will be trying to position themselves on the top of the low to get a good following wind. This will greatly increase the daily mileage - and provide some exciting sailing. The weather systems and waves in the Southern Ocean roll round the world under all the land masses, making the weather extremely active and provide the best sailing in the world for the adventurous sailor. The crew of Maiden will be setting into a routine and planning their navigation for the change in the weather. A careful eye on the barometer provides advance warning of the approaching low.

My trip to Cape Town has given me time to get to know the crew much better. They are an impressive bunch with great work ethic and determination.

Most of all, they are a very close team and I know that they will be watching each other’s backs, which counts for a lot in the inhospitable environment that they are going into.

- Sal