Sailing around the world, a Formidable Challenge! A Double-handed Yacht Race Record of GLOBE 40 Sailing around the world, a Formidable Challenge! A Double-handed Yacht Race Record of GLOBE 40


Race : October 27th to November 9th Days 13
2710 Nautical Miles

LEG 4 is 2710 miles from Auckland to Papeete. There is high demand for tactical plans since every team will be sailing against the easterly trade wind.

November 4, 2022
A tight battle with the top 2! MILAI won a narrow victory over great rivals ①


Heavy rain at the start of the fourth leg

The fourth leg is 2710 nautical miles from Auckland to Papeete. This time, I (Koji Nakagawa)take part in it with Suzuki following Prologue and the first leg. Unlike before, now is the time for MILAI to catch up. I want to make every effort to take the lead on this leg for getting good results in the whole race.

It was right in the middle of the second repair of the keel when I arrived in Auckland. With the efforts of our team and other staffs, the MILAI (boat) went from nothing (no mast, no keel) to standby state at great speed.

Although I was a little down at the beginning of this leg due to the forecast of rain, we lucked out and were able to avoid repeated tacking in narrow passages from the start line to the outside of the bay.

The start line is under the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It is also just in front of the clubhouse of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which is New Zealand's leading yacht club with an illustrious history and still the official home of the America's Cup. We wanted to sail at steady speed for safety as usual. However, we were caught in a tight battle with the first and second ranked teams that resulted in the American team (AMHAS) being pushed off the line and the Dutch team(SecHayai)being recalled to the start line. Taking advantage of it, MILAI was able to take the lead at the start. (The start is a common trouble spot. As we had two collisions with other boats right after the start in the earlier races, we always try to put safety first. )

After that, we passed south of Rangitoto Island and Great Barrier Island. Then we entered the Southern Ocean. From there a upwind of 20〜30knot had been blowing. MILAI was overtaken again by AMHAS and SecHayai and tried to chase them. On November 2, AMHAS (1st place) and MILAI (3rd place) were the first two teams chose to tack. AMHAS got to return on port tack and SecHayai tacked 3 hours later. MILAI and SecHayai returned on port tack once with the wind, while all teams gradually went to starboard tack. At that time, we had covered 40% of the total upwind distance of about 1,000 nautical miles in a straight line.

November 7, 2022
A tight battle with the top 2! MILAI won a narrow victory over great rivals ②

Heatstroke is a killer (Nakagawa)

Sailing to Bora Bora in the dark

Before sailing on starboard tack*, the moving direction was due east, so there were no temperature fluctuations. However, this situation changed when the direction turned due north. It means the days started getting hotter while sailing to the lower latitudes.
*Starboard tack: when the wind is coming over the starboard side of the boat

I(Nakagawa) am not good at sailing from cold to hot places, and I often forget to take off my clothes, so this time I paid attention to that. However, even with more attention than before I did suffer from mild dehydration. Thankfully, I had been through the same thing in the leg from Morocco to Tangier, so I was able to manage my physical condition well.

As for the rankings, there was no change (AMHAS in 1st, SecHayai in 2nd, and MILAI in 3rd) . However, from the second half, as the wind direction gradually turned south, we were able to stop sailing in the close-hauled position. It was a change working in MILAI’s favor. We succeeded in closing the distance with SecHayai and getting ahead of them on November 5. The distance between MILAI and SecHayai was just a few nautical miles. We were almost moving forward side by side and communicating with each other via VHF. Team SecHayai is a great rival but every one of them is also our good friend.

There were about 1,000 nautical miles to go before the finish. Team AMHAS was doing so great that we were not able to get ahead of them before reaching the waypoint of the fourth leg, Bora Bora Island. In addition, SecHayai (5 nautical miles behind) was catching up with us. It was more important for us to keep the current position than attempting to be first.

I imagined that it would be an enjoyable voyage to Bora Bora like leaving the rivals behind and overlooking the beautiful island while sailing. However, the reality was that we had been on high tension and arrived there before sunrise due to the fierce competition.

November 11, 2022
A tight battle with the top 2! MILAI won a narrow victory over great rivals ③

Seeing a double rainbow after a squall

Although it was a tight battle, MILAI finished this leg in the 1st place

When we left Bora Bora Island, we were 30 nautical miles from AMHAS. They were far away so that we could not find them on AIS. In addition, the tracking system of Globe 40 is only updated every 4 hours, which means we could not get any location information of AMHAS until then. However, at least we could check out the location of the following team, SecHayai, by AIS. Our top priority was avoiding being overtaken by them.

The wind speed was 10 knots. The sea ran high so we could not move forward fast. What was worse, there was a squall at sunrise. We could not slack off just a little bit. After kept sailing on high tension for a while, AMHAS suddenly appeared on AIS and they were very close to us. Moreover, there was a shift in the wind due to the squall, which was very in our favor. The top three were getting closer and closer and there was a fierce battle once again within 3 nautical miles of each other on 9 November. If anyone made one little mistake, he would lose the chance to win this leg. We were sailing for more than twenty hours without any sleep and won a narrow victory over AMHAS (2nd place).

MILAI had a lot of luck along the way. However, it was very tough and both of Suzuki and I fought very hard. Although physically and mentally exhausted, we are very happy that we won a victory over great rivals. It gives us a lot of confidence for the next leg.

November 25, 2022
Enjoy the tropical paradise of life in Tahiti after an intense race!

After finishing the fourth leg, I(Suzuki) spent about two weeks with Koji in Tahiti, French Polynesia. We enjoyed great homemade food from local chefs for the first time in a long time!

We took a road trip to the south end of Tahiti and became a lot more relaxed after an intense race.

At the Race Village, there is a replica of a catamaran that Polynesians used to ride on. I really respect people who traveled from Hawaii to Tahiti on this kind of boat in an age when there was no GPS.

There are a lot of cruising catamarans in the marina. In addition, there are many islands in Polynesia that are rich in nature. Everyone enjoys spending their time going around them.

As we do not need any maintenance this time, we have much more time to relax. MILAI (boat) looks very beautiful with sunset. The mountain on the opposite shore is the island of Moorea.

Came to the island of Moorea. It is truly a paradise.

Coral spreads from the beach. The clarity of the sea is amazing.

Mairu-kun is traveling around the world with MILAI. We have collected key chains at each port of call. We are looking forward to the next destination and will try our best to get good result!