On his way home after rounding Cape Horn

Golden Globe Race

Three notorious Capes are rounded in the Golden Globe Race,  Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn. A message from Slats showed that he had encountered the first ship at sea 'FIRST BOAT AT SEA AND REAL CLOSE '. The weather forecasts  were bad for Slats. Another message from Slats 'PRETTY WINDY A GOOD 50 BUT IM VERY MUCH IN CONTROLE'. He managed to stay away from the worst part of the storm by sailing in the lee of the country. Later he send a message:  'I ALSO SEE MOUNTAINS WITH SNOW BIG ONES'.

On day 153 Mark Slats, second in the Golden Globe Race, rounds out the notorious Cape Horn. Slats is now on his way 'home'. The finish at Les Sables d'Olonne, France is the next and last last point in the race for Mark. There is not that much information about the rounding of Slats yet. While rounding the Cape, just before 06:00 UTC Sunday morning, Slats spoke to Ian, an ham operator in Melbourne Australia. For Ian it was not possible to do a recording due to poor radio conditions. There has been geomagnetic storm activity which might cause problems with radio communications for a few days. However, Mark told Ian that It has been a rough ride, but Mark was sounding good. Only a Stormjib has been torn. Slats has an extra Stormjib on board and will try to repair the damaged sail.

In the run-up to Cape Horn, Mark had contact with the ham operator three times a day. He provides Slats with weather reports recorded and e-mailed by Mark's mother, updates from friends and family, and encouragement from fans around the world. When Slats is having hard times a voicemessage  with encouragements that can be seen on Slats Facebook page are read. After a day of 7-10 contact with the ham operator will stop. The range then makes it impossible to make contact. Slats does not have modern equipment on board, so there is no 'normal' contact with friends and family. 

The ham operator also gives Slats Jean-Luc van den Heede's position every now and then.
 Van den Heede, raceleader, rounded Cape Horn 9 days earlier. The Frenchman was about 1250 miles ahead of Slats. In the meantime Slats is still hunting for Jean-Luc. The gap between Mark and JEan-Luc is still about 1000 miles. Both have 5800 and 6800 miles respectively to go. Van den Heede is sailing with damaged mast and rigging. When both sailors do not suffer any further damage, we'll not know who will win the race until the last few days.

Pressrelease by Karen Hogenbirk | Hogenbirk Support Marketing & Communications
Photo by Dick Koopmans