The final sprint of the Ocean Globe race begins

The Spirit of Helsinki boat sailed the third leg of the Ocean Globe Race from Auckland in New Zealand to Punta del Este in South America. The crew landed in Uruguay on Friday a week ago. The boat arrived at the stage harbour in second place after a tough race, as the French boat Pen Duick VI arrived already on Wednesday. The race’s third leg was the most challenging but a fantastic experience for many crew members. After participating, we received 12 new Finnish Southern Sea sailors and Cape Horn circumnavigators, including our CEO, Tommi Uksila. Climecon congratulates!

“The start day in Auckland on the 14th of January was fantastic. The sun was shining, and there was a nice breeze. We weren’t quite on the first line but in full swing right behind the first ones. Thanks to the higher hull speed and large sail area, we caught up with the others and were soon in the lead. We headed southeast according to the routing instructions we received before the start. Then, we encountered light winds. We tried to interpret the weather forecasts, and they indicated high pressure and light winds ahead. High pressures are in the south, and low pressures are in the north. That is, just the opposite of what is usually found in the South Sea. We got stuck in them, and according to the location information of other boats obtained from radio conversations, we had already been frozen from the tip and slower than us, but the boats that had chosen the southernmost route had caught up with us. There was some frustration. The situation was not helped because we broke 2 spins in one day, one of them S2 beyond repair. If you look at it from the point of view of experiences and stories to tell, the situation was much more wonderful. There were a lot of albatrosses and petrels in the sky. The weather was mild, and the sun was shining. Nights full of stars. We were in shorts and enjoyed sailing at its best. And best of all, we got fresh fish on the boat,” Tommi Uksila describes the atmosphere of the third leg.

Sailing around the legendary Cape Horn was an amazing experience and, at the same time, the highlight of the competition. Circling Cape Horn can be described as Mount Everest for sailors. The tour of Cape Horn was celebrated as befits it, with the whole crew cheering on deck and the Finnish flag “hoisted.”

“Land Ahoy” was heard from deck 8.2. At 11:30 UTC, one of the crew members was the first to see the cliffs rising from the misty sea. I asked, just in case, if we were really at Cape Horn and the confirmation would come. The crew comes on deck from anywhere. Laughter, joy, emotion, tears, hugs, congratulations, and enchanted glances towards this southernmost tip of South America, admired, respected, and feared by sailors,” says Tommi.

Another significant point in this section was the passing of Point Nemo in the Pacific Ocean. The imaginary point is the point on Earth, which is the longest distance to land. The ISS space station is also a shorter distance away.

The final and fourth legs of the Ocean Globe Race begin on the 5th of March. “Projects have to be taken care of to the end, and with that attitude, we get the job done. It’s going to be a really tough race,” Tommi comments. The navigable distance from Punta del Este to the finish line in Southampton is 6,550 nautical miles, just over 12,000 kilometers. The first boats are expected to finish between 1 and 10 April. “After the bug leg, it will be great to return to normal everyday life. It feels really good, even though the experience has been absolutely amazing,” he continues. The excitement builds up!

 


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