Leaving behind a tragic accident, the race goes on and hotter than ever with several boats trying slightly different approaches to the Horn. Brunel is making a fantastic race, determined to win, maintaining and even increasing their lead over all the others.
Except for Brunel that managed to increase its lead to almost 50nm, all others are very close with Vestas being the fastest on the last 24 hours, winning over everybody and overtaking Dongfeng.
Conditions are strong but better than what was predicted some days ago: mostly between 25 and 30kt. They left behind the worst of the bad weather and their transition to the Atlantic ocean should be done without problems. The same cannot be said about Scallywag that, due to the MOB situation, is almost two days behind.
They will get worse weather than the one that will be experienced by the other boats. I don't know if they have retired from this leg. I did not see any statement regarding that but the tracker is not giving them as racing so probably that's the case. If so, without the pressure to go fast, they will be in a better position to maneuver to avoid the worst of the bad conditions.
Talking about bad conditions and danger you may like to know that a little Westsail 32 is approaching the Horn too, solo sailed by Jerome Rand. Crazy stuff given the conditions on the area. I wish him all the best and lots of luck. That's not the first small boat to have passed the Horn lately.
Even more crazy was the passage of a little Maxus 22. The boat had been modified with a different keel with much more ballast and strengthened. Also a solo sailor on a non stop circumnavigation, the Polish Szymon Kuczyński, that had previously solo sailed the same boat around the world.
Regarding the MOB on Scallywag and the loss of John Fisher, not much more is known. He had, like all the other sailors on the volvo a Spinlock lifejacket that incorporates an AIS MOB with a stroboscopic light. That device is able to pinpoint a MOB position on the boat plotter with a very small margin of error, just some few small meters.
The device has a working life of 24 hours and the signal is received on a 5nm radius. With a 10 hour search it is hard to understand why they could not find him and I continue to think that something went wrong. Did the MOB AIS or the boat AIS receptor malfunction? Was he using the life jacket? As strange as it may seem the race rules don't make mandatory the use of a lifejacket or the use of an harness in any conditions. Look at the photos on the post.