Global Challenge: Fierce Battles For Position

Regatta 2023

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Global Challenge: Fierce Battles For Position
Global Challenge: Fierce Battles For Position

Video: Global Challenge: Fierce Battles For Position

Video: Global Challenge: Fierce Battles For Position
Video: iRacing Global Challenge (Brands Hatch) Battle for position 1 2023, May

Birgit Obermüller

On the first stage of the Global Challenge, the twelve participating yachts fight hard for positions. It doesn't matter whether it is about winning the stage or giving up the red lantern.

Actually, all sailors had thought that after crossing the equator and passing the often windless Doldrums (Kalmen), their positions would have stabilized. But the twelve crews are very motivated and give everything to make up one or the other place.

"Samsung" emerged victorious from the Doldrums, but could not hold this leadership for long. Again, tactical weather decisions were important, as was the case around the Cape Verde Islands, where the fleet was divided. "Samsung" opted for the further east route in the hope of stronger winds, "VAIO" and "Barclays" followed the great circle route more. That paid off and "VAIO" took the lead.

Just a few days later, however, the crew on "VAIO" made a tactical mistake. Shortly before Rio they wanted to avoid a high and sail along the coast. However, the rapid weather changes and changing wind directions, which were very unusual for the time of year, ruined the plan. "Barclays" took the lead, closely followed by "Samsung". The "VAIO" sailors did not give up, however, and on Tuesday morning they were able to recapture second place 16 nautical miles behind "Barclays" by taking another route close to the coast and again leaving "Samsung" 44 miles behind them.

There are also battles for positions in midfield. Since the Cape Verde Islands, so now for over 14 days, the three yachts "BP Explorer" (with the German Holger Bindel), "BG Spirit" and "Spirit of Sark" (with Jürgen Dieris and BarbarSturdy) have a head-to-head Head race with guided tours that change almost every day. A few days ago "BP Explorer" clearly led the group of three, but then lost 20 nautical miles to "BG Spirit" overnight.

In an email, a "BP Explorer" crew member reported on "the worst night and day" of the race. Several sudden wind changes in strength and direction - from 10 knots of tail wind to 35 knots of head wind within 15 minutes and vice versa - forced them to change sails countless times. They almost destroyed their most important spinnaker (flanker) as it wrapped around the forestay. In addition, the hose had torn loose while hoisting the spinnaker and caught in the rudder blade. It took several hours to free the rudder while the yacht was bobbing in a 15 knot wind, unable to maneuver without a sail. The option to send a diver into the water in the middle of the night has been discarded for safety reasons. Overnight the crew lost 20 miles on "BG Spirit" and thus lost a place.

But today, Tuesday, "BP Explorer" and Holger Bindel took fourth place back. "Spirit of Sark" with Jürgen Dieris and BarbarSturdy do not give up and continue to fight for third place.

"Me To You" with Birgit Obermüller (see also portrait in YACHT 20/04) has trimmed the sails hard and successfully in the last ten days. They were finally able to shake off their constant persecutors "Pindar". This is now sailing 154 nautical miles behind them. In addition, Birgit Obermüller's crew came within striking distance of "Imagine it. Done" and "Team Stelmar", so that they could work their way up from 10th place to 8th place. All three yachts have a relatively large west-east distance, so that they could have very different weather conditions and can make up a lot of miles, but also lose many miles.

In terms of weather, the last part of this stage was very unusual. Instead of constant spinnaker sailing with T-shirts and shorts, the crews often had to change into their oilskins and fight their way through the waves in over 25 knots of wind and 30 degrees incline. A foretaste of the next stage around Cape Horn, where the temperatures will be up to 30 degrees Celsius lower.

The mood on the twelve yachts is excellent. Nevertheless, everyone is looking forward to arriving in Buenos Aires, where there will first be a lot of beer, huge steaks, a real shower and a soft bed. The first yachts are expected in Buenos Aires on Friday morning. (Rainer Seifert)

Placements on Tuesday morning (and distance to the goal)

1. Barclays Adventurer - 610 nautical miles 2. VAIO - 633 nm3. Samsung - 658 nm4. BG SPIRIT - 681 nm5. BP Explorer - 692 nm6. Spirit of Sark - 729 nm7. SAIC LJoll- 782 nm8. Imagine It. Done - 879 nm9. Team Stelmar - 891 nm10. Me to You - 902 nm11. Pindar - 995 nm12. Team Save the Children - 1,313 nm

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