Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajaí. Skipper Xabi Fernández.

Hi all,

It has already been a few days without writing much from the boat. It has been so much going on that it has not been easy at all.

Tough leg this one, for many reasons of course: emotionally, physically hard on the boat and gear… As usual the Southern Ocean has been a hostile place to sail, or simply to stay.

It has been the coldest one of the last editions and weather ways it has been up there too. For us in MAPFRE, starting with a problem in the mast in day 2 or 3, I don’t remember anymore, it has been challenging. How much to push, how much to safe… Obviously we have pushed hard and we have been lucky enough to make it to the Horn in quite a good position. 

24 hours ago, when the main broke in two pieces, it was hard for us. Our idea was to keep pushing to the Falkland Islands and try to repair things a bit more there, but the main couldn’t hold anymore.

As we had planned before the start of this leg -and like we did in the last two editions of the race-, we had a team in Ushuaia ready to step on a boat and meet us in Cape Horn or somewhere close to do some repairs of needed. Once again our team was there, just 20 nm away from where we suspended racing, so the plan could not work any better.

We glued the track properly and hopefully fix the mainsail good enough to make the whole way to Brazil. We will need to see if it makes it or not.

Today bad news came from Vestas 11th Hour Racing, who has dismasted, a consequence of the hard Southern Ocean we have just left behind.

The weather is not great for us from here to the finish, and it looks we might get there several days after the leaders… We just can do whatever is good for us and then wait and see what the chances are to get closer to any other boat.

The spirit is good on board and we are happy with our performance, as we are aware of the problems we have been dealing with since the very beginning of the leg.

We will be shortly in Brazil, ready for a good rest and another massive push for the last third of the race.

Best regards,

Xabi.