[VIDEO] Volvo Ocean Race: Awe and Celebration Around the Horn

Groupama and PUMA have both rounded Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America, on their way from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. Telefonica joined them in reaching the Horn, but have pulled into the pit lane in order to make some necessary repairs.

Amory Ross, the MCM onboard PUMA, had this to say about the wonders of rounding the southernmost point of land in the entire world:

Cape Horn looked like any other rugged seaside outcropping on the horizon, jagged and torn from years of constant battering much like the kind we just spent twelve days enduring. As we approached though, sailing past snow-capped mountains and a brilliant red sunrise, I began to realize that the Horn’s spectacle is not in its beauty but its significance.

This is Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America, and the southernmost point of land on Earth. It is cold, dark, and raw, and the living is tough. And as impressive as the rock stood, it stands for so much more: it represents total challenge and rewards those who accept it responsibly.

I would guess there are fewer people who have sailed around Cape Horn the way we have, suffering what we did, than who have climbed Mount Everest. And looking at that ominous island today, I realized that I pushed myself and my limits well beyond the point I ever thought possible…not even close. Odds are, most everyone who first journey’s around that point feels a similar prick of pride.

So yes, today we sailed by a big black rock with green stuff growing on the side. But today we also accomplished something great. That Southern Ocean leg was one for the ages, and we made it here together.

We did it the right way, the safe way, and we had fun doing it. Handshakes, smiles, cigars, and a swig of rum confirmed that there was something to celebrate—something very different for everyone—and then we were on our merry way again, eyes aimed north towards Brazil.

But after all the revelry, when I put my camera down below to start on lunch, I realized I never really took the time to remember, to look with my eyes. So I walked up on deck, stood by the back rail, and watched Cape Horn fade into the distance.

So far, Groupama, PUMA, and Abu Dhabi are the only teams still actively racing on the leg. Team Sanya is in the process of shipping their boat to Miami, and CAMPER is less than 1,000 nm from Puerto Montt, Chile, where they plan on stopping for repairs. Telefonica, as noted earlier, is also in the process of making repairs.

Photo by Yann Riou / Groupama Sailing Team / Volvo Ocean Race.

Report time: Sat, 31 Mar 2012, 10:05:15 UTC

Pos Team
DTL
(Nm)
DTLC
(Nm)
Speed
(KTS)
DTF
(Nm)
1
GPMA GPMA
0.00
0

6.4
1677.7
2
PUMA PUMA
37.20
15

11.4
1714.9
3
CMPR CMPR
1404.20
5

16.3
3081.8
4
ADOR ADOR
1733.40
12

13.1
3411.1
Team Sanya SNYA
Did Not Finish
Team Telefónica TELE
Suspended Racing
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