Race: November 26th to December 17th Days 21
5062 Nautical Miles
The fifth leg is 5062 nautical miles from Papeete to Ushaia, which is regarded as the world's southernmost city. Team MILAI will cross Cape Horn, which is known as a "sailor's graveyard" due to its strong winds, large waves and hazardous icebergs.
Suzuki(left) and Estelle (right) sail in the fifth leg
Set off from Tahiti in a breeze
The boat was stagnant due to windless weather
After a two-week break in Tahiti, team MILAI was so ready for the fifth leg. I (Suzuki) am sailing with Estelle Greck in this leg, a French sailor who has a lot of experience on offshore race. She offered advice and guidance for me about the Mini-Transat since 2018. This leg is very tough because we will cross Cape Horn, which is known as a "sailor's graveyard" due to its strong winds and hazardous icebergs.
9 race sails are allowed in Globe 40. We can choose what we need on each leg. The forecast said that there would be little wind in the first five days, but it would be windy from the second half of the fifth leg. We decided to choose race sails for strong winds. It was bad for us in the first few days. We set off from Tahiti in a breeze. Soon after our boat was stagnant since we entered windless area. Some of you who checked the map tracker of Globe 40 (Map tracker - globe40) may already know that we fell behind other teams temporarily due to that windless weather.
However, the situation changed after we passed through the windless area. We started sailing faster and being in the first place with the light wind. However, we still have 3,000 miles to go. We are trying our best to distance ourselves from the following boats.
Took turns sewing the broken race sail.
Mairu-kun has been being together with MILAI!
The temperature dropped from 30°C to 10°C as we went south. When we passed Cape Horn, the temperature was only 5°C.
Besides temperature, wind speed and waves were getting stronger. Sometimes the wind speed was more than 20m/s. The waves were over 5m. We had to keep a certain speed while sailing. In that bad weather, our race sail was broken. To win the race and to sail safely, Estelle and I took turns fixing it for more than 24 hours. Furthermore, there were other troubles such as pulpit damage and minor problems. We could only take temporary measures until we reach Ushuaia.
However, the wind speed suddenly dropped when we got near Cape Horn. On December 16, we successfully passed Cape Horn and entered the final stretch.
Mountains are covered with snow
Arrived in Ushuaia at the top on December 17
Ushuaia is located about 70 miles from the entrance to Beagle Channel. The mountains on both sides of the strait were still covered with snow and the cold wind were blowing at 25m/s or more. However, this kind of sailing, surrounded by nature, was a very new experience for me (Suzuki).
On December 17, we arrived in Ushuaia with a warm welcome from the race committee and sailors who are traveling the world like us.
Although twenty days sailing is not very long, I could feel the subtle changes in wind speed and wave height as we went down to latitude 56 degrees south. Even there were kinds of troubles such as broken race sails and autopilot breakdown, it was a good experience. We will spend the New Year holidays in Ushuaia and will sail to Recife, Brazil on January 8.