Dee Caffari and Dee Caffari, Skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation “Turn the Tide on Plastic” boat, leads 70% of her crew into the Southern Ocean for the first time. Frederico Melo, one of the Portuguese sailors, is among them.
Dee Caffari and her crew left Cape Town with Leg 3 to Melbourne underway. For 70% of Caffari’s crew, it will be their first time sailing in the Southern Ocean, the most remote and hostile region on the planet under conditions they have never experienced. The Southern Ocean is notorious for some of the toughest conditions with extreme cold, wind and big waves but equally it is extremely well known in ocean racing for providing some of the best sailing on the planet.
For “Turn the Tide on Plastic”, it will be a balance between speed, performance and safety. The lack of experience in the Southern Ocean means the crew have to quickly gain insight and a feeling for when it is right to make changes, when you can push the boat and when you can’t. This can make all the difference.
Caffari, has embraced the challenge, “I have great support in both Liz Wardley and Martin Strömberg, who bring invaluable experience to the team. And while our team lacks experience in the Southern Ocean, we have very skilled and adaptable sailors onboard who have a lot of offshore miles. Together we have a wide skillset and can learn quickly.”
Perhaps equally important to taking on the Southern Ocean is that as Caffari says, “they’re young and they’re hungry for it. I’m not sure they know exactly what they’ve let themselves in for but I’m sure just like the rest of us sailors who have been in the Southern Ocean, they’ll find it to be some of the best and worst sailing they will ever do.”
There are two crew changes for “Turn the Tide on Plastic”. Bleddyn Mon (WAL) has stepped onboard, giving Henry Bomby (ENG) time for some R&R and Elodie Mettraux (SUI) is substituting for Annalise Murphy (IRL). Mon had trepidations ahead of the Leg, “I think it would be strange not to. The next leg will be my longest time at sea by threefold and we’ll be in the Southern Ocean of all places, so I am basically going into the unknown.” After being slightly buried by the other boats at the starting line in Cape Town, the team negotiated a short triangle course before departing into the open ocean. They had a good upwind leg in the short-course and followed this up with hard work by everyone through the transitions around Camps Bay.
Cape Town put on a show for the farewell, with the glamorous backdrop of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head in clear view and blue skies. Conditions were ideal, with the famed Cape Doctor wind blowing at 20-25 knots. Strong winds and a forecast over the first week promises for an exciting leg.
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