Spanning 4,845 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa to Albany, Western Australia, the crew of LMAX Exchange flaked their sails in victory Nov. 22, earning their second win in the global Clipper Round the World Race and placing them third overall in the fleet of 12 boats.
The Wardan Whip, as the leg was named, threw a large bucket of uninviting sea conditions at each team, making the passage the stuff of legend for many of the sailors involved.
The crew of LMAX, reeling from a first leg victory and then a late start after necessary repairs, gave a fine showing in the face of nautical adversity. Skipper Olivier Cardin said a lot of different conditions challenged the crew during this last leg, according to a press release.
“The first day we had a big storm and managed to weather it well by being in an easterly position in the fleet,” he said. “We all expected storms and waves, and it was always wet on deck and down below.”
Cardin added that the conditions were not as extreme as he had expected and that they were able to push the boat through.
“We are a very tough team and we know we can take a lead and hold onto it,” he said.
LMAX and the other boats negotiated 36 hours of storms at the beginning of the race, followed by confused seas, 80-knot gusts and even light seas in their bid for the glory of fetching Albany first. Crew member Gabrielle Barthelemy said she was happy to be in Australia, but that she kind of misses the southern ocean.
“The first storm was very hard and I got seasick for the first time, but I adapted well to the conditions after that and I learned a lot,” she said.
The crews will next race along the southern end of Australia to Sydney. That race kicks off Nov. 28.
Photo credit: Clipper Round the World Race