Richard du Moulin enters Atlantic Ocean

Thursday, May 01, 2003
On 23 April former INTERTANKO Chairman Richard du Moulin, sailing non-stop from Hong Kong to New York, celebrated a major milestone as Great American II navigated clear of the dangers of South Africa's treacherous Agulhas Current and entered the Atlantic Ocean.

Richard du Moulin, together with skipper Rich Wilson, reported that their 53-foot trimaran Great American II was just 74 nautical miles south of Cape Town, enjoying moderate winds and seas as they headed northwest for New York before a following breeze. In their 11-week-long 15,000-mile voyage the sailors are aiming to break the 154-year-old passage record set by the extreme New York clipper ship Sea Witch, which raced her cargo of tea to Manhattan's waiting markets in 74 days.

"It feels like we have been trying to round Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the African continent, for the entire voyage," Richard du Moulin reported. "The past week has been an endless battle against winds that were too light or too strong, and always from the wrong direction: west. With the Agulhas Current pushing us strongly we were always able to make positive distance every day, but the westerly winds against the current sometimes made for very unpleasant waves."

It is well known that the sea conditions in the strong-flowing easterly current on the Agulhas Bank can be appalling when powerful westerly winds generate giant, steep waves with a confused wave pattern. Huge ships have been known to break in half and, comparable to rogue waves, there are rogue holes that ships can plunge into. Richard du Moulin estimated they were 90 miles ahead of the position reported for the Sea Witch, which also rounded the Cape on her 37th day at sea.

If Great American II can beat Sea Witch's pace, the boat will arrive in New York sometime in the week of 26 May.

For more information visit their website www.sitesALIVE.com

(Source: Intertanko)

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