GSC – To Finish First You Must First Finish

Cole Brauer – 21/01/2024

Some of you have been asking, posting and commenting about what my plan is to go around the Horn. For the past 10 days now my team and I have been monitoring the weather around the Horn knowing that these storms were going to be there. We made a plan about 4 days ago to start to slow down to allow the models some time to start to agree. 2 days ago we discussed radical direction change for the boat and I. And last night we gybed south to take on that change. This morning I gybed with the north breeze and started heading southeast only to gybe back to starboard in a couple hours from the time this blog post goes live. The models are slowly starting to agree but now it’s time to be safe. If these storm stall or slow down I could be in a pretty horrible place, upwind with nowhere to run. But my team and I are not surprised by this. We knew this a long time ago that this could happen.

We are not going to push to thread the needle between the two systems (the one hitting on the 22nd and the one hitting on the 24th. We are going to navigate through the upwind portion of the one hitting on the 24th (by going slow and staying further south in the lighter winds: I will hopefully only have light winds upwind instead of full blast if I was to be further east). But as some of you have seen on the internet that yes this is a race but I am looking at a much bigger picture here. After I round the horn: I still have another entire month of race track and those conditions are not just downwind like in the southern ocean; they are upwind, reaching and downwind meaning I will need all my sails, and I will be pushing harder thus putting more strain on the gear, sails and rig. I don’t think anyone is more frustrated at these decisions to slow down and alter direction than I am but it is just part of it. Wise humans have said: to finish first you must first finish.

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