The solo sailing blog: Rounding Cape Horn

Alex Thomson
alex 2 300x225 The solo sailing blog: Rounding Cape Horn

Alex Thomson tests equipment on his monohull (Getty Images)

At 02.38GMT this morning I achieved a new milestone as I rounded Cape Horn, it is a huge achievement for me and the team behind me. This is the third time I have rounded Cape Horn but the first on my own. But there has been no time to relax and enjoy the moment – in fact quite the opposite. There are about 15 icebergs around this area and although I have their location from the race office as well as my radar, passing through in the dark is a daunting feeling. I passed within 0.8 miles of one this morning but saw nothing.

I am going to be really glad to leave the Southern Ocean behind me over the next few days but there is still a long way to go. The conditions don’t look easy ahead and the amount of strain put on the boats through the Southern Ocean could really begin to tell. But I have had one focus throughout this entire race – to finish. I will do everything I can to achieve that goal.

I’m currently sitting in fourth position, 238 miles behind Jean-Pierre Dick in third, 588 miles behind Francois Gabart in first, and 1,300 miles ahead of in fifth position. My strategy over the last week has paid off performance wise as I am stretching out from those behind while catching the guys in front.  Third place is only 20 hours ahead and the leaders a little over two days, neither in insurmountable. The leg up the Atlantic is only 7,000 miles, so going fast but also remaining prudent – to ensure I finish it my New Year’s resolution!

It’s my son, Oscar’s birthday on Monday, I am so sad not to be there with him to celebrate and see him excited by his birthday. It feels more poignant than Christmas and New Year but hopefully I can continue in the way I have been going and see him soon.

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