Today Team SCA passed the mystical and legendary Cape Horn, the Southern headland of America, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean.
When passing the Horn at 1142 GMT the crew paid a tribute to their late coach Magnus Olsson (‘Mange’) who passed away close to two years ago, at the age of 63.
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,” says Anna-Lena Elled, Team SCA Onboard Reporter.
Sailing through the strait between South America and Antarctica is widely regarded as one of the major challenges of yachting. The waters around Cape Horn are particularly hazardous, due to heavy winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs.
“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,” says 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.
It is not about to get any easier for Team SCA. The team still has a couple of days of heavy weather conditions before they get further north into the warmer climate and close to Brazil. Davies says the goal for them is to get back into race mode.
“We’ve had a heinous sea state, a big low, and it’s been really hard to get the boat going fast as its been ploughing out of control into the waves so we have been limited a lot by that over the past week.
There are a lot of things we are happy to leave behind but at the same time its massive memories for us, and a great experience,” says Sam Davies.