VOR. Team SCA Round Cape Horn & Pay Tribute to Their Late Coach

VOR SCA round cape horn 9aa763b31710f234_800x800arTeam SCA passed the mystical and legendary Cape Horn where the Pacific Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean. When passing the Horn the crew paid a tribute to their late coach Magnus Olsson who passed away close to two years ago.

A wreath with hundreds of small messages and greetings to Magnus, written by many of his friends at the memorial ceremony in Stockholm in June 2013, was placed in the water off Cape Horn.

“We have been looking forward to sending all our love to our coach Magnus Olsson, a great sailor and sportsman, but most importantly a very special personality who is no longer is with us,” said Anna-Lena Elled, Team SCA Onboard Reporter.

“It is a big relief to get round Cape Horn which seemed to have been getting further and further away from us over the last week. It’s been pretty tough with the breakages and electronic problems, so it’s a moment we’ve been looking forward to. We have just put the wreath in the water in memory of our coach, Magnus, and have waved goodbye to him. We hope he is watching and proud,” said skipper Sam Davies, after rounding the notorious Horn.

For Magnus Olsson, who sailed around the Horn six times, it was one of the places at sea he loved most.

The last time Mange sailed around Cape Horn was March 17 in 2009 when he was the skipper on Ericsson 3 in Volvo Ocean Race. It was the longest leg in the history of the race, from Qingdao in China to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Ericsson 3 was the first boat to Rio and Magnus himself regarded the win as one of the biggest achievements in his sailing career.

‘A big relief’
Jonno Turner caught up with Sam Davies after they had rounded Cape Horn.

It’s a big relief to get round Cape Horn which seemed to have been getting further and further away from us over the last week.

It’s been pretty tough with the breakages and electronic problems, so it’s a moment we’ve looked forward to. We’ve just put a wreath in the water at Cape Horn in memory of Magnus Olsson, our coach. We’ve waved goodbye to him, we hope he’s watching and proud.

We’re still looking after each other and the boat to get past the next 48 hours. It’s going to be pretty windy ahead of us and everyone’s pretty tired and cold. But it’s not going to be anything we haven’t already seen this leg so we’re quite well practiced. We know we’ve got just a few more days of the tough stuff and then it really will start warming up. That keeps everyone going.

I think we’ve had lots of different battles. We had quite a big Chinese gybe which was really a wipeout. We broke our fractional sail which is the sail we needed for the Southern Ocean. I think the fact that we didn’t have that sail kind of let us down for the rest of the time.
But it was quite a good team building exercise. Sometimes you find your limits that way and that’s how you get better and better, and stronger and stronger.

I don’t think anyone regrets that moment, it’s all part of our learning experience. That was a pretty tough moment for all os us and it made us realise that our boat and sails aren’t indestructible, so maybe we took a bit more care for a couple of days after that before we got back into sailing the boat properly.

In the middle of the night we were having 40 knot snow squalls, it wasn’t easy conditions to sail the boat in. Relentless conditions – we’ve had a heinous sea state, a big low, and it’s been really hard to get the boat going fast as it’s been ploughing out of control into the waves.

It’s been frustrating for us because we know we can sail the boat faster but we were limited by the sea state a lot over the last week. Then you know you’re going to be down here for longer, cold for longer, and everyone’s pretty tired.
There are a lot of things we’re happy to leave behind but at the same time it’s massive memories for us, and a great experience.

For sure, we’ll be stronger as a team going forward into Leg 6. There were some girls today saying as we went round Cape Horn today ‘that’s my first and last time!’, but I think by the time we get to Itajaí they’ll have forgotten that and they’ll want to go round again!

It’s been a really good experience as a team. I’m really happy with how the team has performed. We’re a mixture of people who’ve been here before, but not in these kind of boats, with these sails, and this race really is different with one-design boats, so even those of us who have been in the Southern Ocean before, we’re in new territory ourselves.

Those who have been here before are bringing our experience of how to survive down here, and the girls who haven’t are bringing their racing experience and helping push the boat as hard as we can. Everyone’s stepped up really well and we’ve managed to keep sailing the boat as we know how to.

Right now there’s only 25 knots, that’s nothing – we’re expecting up to twice that in the next 24 hours! We’ll see if that materializes.

We’re all set up to look after the boat and ourselves through this windy section. With our small sails up!