3rd Leg: Start- December 31st
8,370 Nm.
Finish approximately February 24th 2024

Australasia to
Rio de Janeiro

Departing on (or hopefully!) just after New Year’s eve this leg is the part of the race where the rubber meets the road.  Heading across from Africa the boats will descend perhaps to 45 degrees South which will bring strong challenges for crew and vessel alike. 

However, as we start out from Cape Horn we will be very aware that our final destination will require us to dive to 56 degrees South and make our way through the legendary waters of Cape Horn.  

Long discussed in hushed tones, Cape Horn deserves its reputation as one of the most technically, physically and structurally demanding stretches of water in the world. As weather and waves circumnavigate the world in the Southern Ocean they are passing through a region that is 2000m deep and 2000Nm wide. However, as the tip of South America thrusts into the Southern Ocean it creates a much reduced, 700Nm wide passage (the Drake Passage) with sections that are less than 200m deep. 

This clearly gives skippers cause for consideration as the overall net effect of these geological structures is to funnel the power of those enormous weather systems into a very small area causing waves to become much steeper and winds to be accelerated.  This once again is why we are insisting that our skippers have experience of this region and can keep their vessel and crew safe by applying hard won experience rather than ‘making it up’ on the fly. 

Once the big turn to the North is completed and the Andes mountains block the worst of the weather the hardest part of the race will be behind the boats leaving them with a long, technical and highly exciting sprint North to Rio de Janeiro.