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Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - YY LEADERBOARD

Oz tells the story..The Race..Team Legato..around the corner & away!!

by Barry Pickthall on 13 Mar 2001
As Tony Bullimore and his crew continue to head northwards, chasing their
Polish rivals on Warta Polpharma and the April 2 deadline to finish in
Marseilles, Paul Larson, TEAM LEGATO's Australian watch leader recounts a
memorable rounding of Cape Horn on Sunday.

'Lights...Cameras.. Action!!!

For so long it had just been a waypoint in our minds. Something to be
rounded, hopefully safely, and then left behind as quickly as possible. Now
here I was steering TEAM LEGATO at breakneck speed, on course under a cloud
shrouded full moon. Far from being a moment to be dispensed with quickly, at
a constant 25-32 knots, this was a moment to savour.

We're doin' it boys, we're doin' it!!!

Fifty miles from the Cape, bearing of 70 degrees true, steaming in on a
broad reach in 30 knots of breeze with 2 reefs and a staysail up, TEAM
LEGATO is hitting her straps. After some of the slow painful miles just
gone, this is bliss. I'm yelling at the top of my lungs 'Eat this'
(referring to our nearest competition), each time we smoke off at over 30

Mike Gettinger is standing by in the cockpit and Tony is down below
navigating when I notice a light to starboard winking through the squalls
and waves. Gotta be a boat thinks I. Hang on... doesn't look like navigation
lights to me.... Matter of fact it's showing all the characteristics of a
lighthouse. What the...????? As far as I knew we only had to leave the Horn
to starboard and that was it. Now I'm rocketing up the wrong side (to my way
of thinking) of a lighthouse! Of all places Larsen...

Mike is now on deck, Tony is checking it out and the radar is switched on
etc. etc. We got all hands on deck, dropped sails and hove to whilst we re-
assessed our position. It turns out that the light was marking the largest
of a group of islands called the 'Islas Diego Ramirez' and they were further
west than we expected. They are pretty poorly marked on both charts
electronic and paper. These little 'dirtbergs' live right on the edge of the
continental shelf which now in turn caused the sea state to rise
considerably. Big squalls were coming through with winds just under 50
knots. Lying side on, the spray is peeling across the decks in stinging

We gingerly make our way north under bare poles before taking off again
downhill towards the Atlantic. The wind is now touching 50 knots and with
only the staysail up we are still managing bursts up to 27 knots! We decide
not to pass as closely to the Horn as we would have liked. Damn it, I really
wanted to see it. The conditions certainly aren't disappointing us, as it is
freezing cold, howling, grey and lumpy with poor visibility.

Freddy Dahirel spots it first off our port beam. The unmistakable outline of
Cape Horn can be made out through the gloom of low scudding cloud. Perhaps
this is how she should be seen. There's a rush of excitement as everyone
runs for their cameras and momentos. The night's action had left us not as
well prepared for this occasion as we might have hoped but what the hell.
There it is in all its bleak glory. The bane of yachtsmen for centuries, the
Everest of Capes. Forget the race for a moment and enjoy the here and now.
We made it!'

Leading positions at 07:00 GMT today
1. Club Med Finished Marseilles 19:56GMT 4.03.01
2. Innovation Explorer Finished Marseilles 11:32GMT 6.03.01
3. Team Adventure +2,972 miles - Cape Horn 28.02.01
4. Warta Polpharma +1,550 miles - Cape Horn 02.03.01
5. Team Legato +3,484 miles - Cape Horn 11.03.01
6. PlayStation - RETIRED 14.01.01

For action pictures of Paul Larson and other members of the crew, and audio
feeds from TEAM LEGATO, contact Barry Pickthall at the Team Legato Race
Mobile Phone: +44 (0) 7768 395719
Office +44 (0) 1243 555561 Fax: +44 (0)1243 555562
E.mail: Web site:

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