All Swell That Ends Well
Remember that Sounder article a while back about our silly sailor friend Phil, the Austrian guy who sailed from Cape Town to Rio and back? I sort of figured a journey like that would drain the crazy from his boat. Nope.
On January 3rd I got an email from Phil with the news that he was going to be racing from Cape Town to Rio in the Cape2Rio sailing race starting the following day. To me, this was like someone declaring, “I enjoyed eating 34 hot dogs for lunch yesterday so much that I’m going to do it again tomorrow—in half the time”. I applaud and respect that sort of moxy, so I’ve been waiting with excitement for an update from the high seas.
This morning, that update arrived. The bad news is that the race is prematurely over for Phil and his crew. The good news is that they’re safely back in Cape Town. The full story in Phil’s words:
“Last Saturday at 2.30 pm we crossed the start line in Table Bay and headed to Rio. The weather forecast suggested that we would have a stormy night, but unfortunately the conditions turned out to be more severe than expected. Essentially we headed right into a storm (the nice little spiral you can see in the lower left section of the photo above). The wind really started picking up Sunday morning and continuously increased. After damaging our head sail, destroying a drogue and losing a sea anchor, we were forced to continue with the engine heading back to the coast. We measured up to 58 knot (100km/h) winds and 10m swells. Eventually there were ten boats, more than a quarter of the fleet, that turned around or needed to be rescued. One boat was dismasted and lost a crew member. I am happy to say that we made it back safely without assistance and that it was an exhilarating experience while it lasted. Having to pull out of the race is of course very disappointing. But there will be others.”
Embarking on an adventure is never a promise of completion, but it’s always a guarantee of success. Whatever that means (I just made it up). Hats off, Phil.
Charlie Scott dreams of a great, multi-continental sailing adventure, where the weather is always perfect and there is no hard work involved. Yup, that’s why they call it a dream.