At the approximate halfway point of Race 2: The Commodore’s cup, from Portimão to Punta del Este, the teams have been appreciating the exceptional sailing conditions and many, on the sixteenth day of racing, have celebrated crossing the equator and reaching the Southern Hemisphere.

“A new day, a new month, a new season and a new hemisphere!” Said Dare To Lead Skipper Guy Waites after crossing the equator at sunset on 30 September.

He added: “A small offering was made to King Neptune, just enough to keep the peace, a baptism of our good ship CV27 Dare To Lead for taking good care of us and a slice of home baked fruitcake thanks to my sister Heather, baked to our long standing family recipe, delicious we all agreed! It seemed appropriate that we witnessed the sun setting on the Northern Hemisphere, September and autumn, and today, the dawn rising on the Southern Hemisphere, October and spring. In one single moment we have transcended winter.”


IMAGE: Skipper Guy Waites steps in as King Neptune as the Dare To Lead team cross the equator

On board Zhuhai the milestone was marked at 0323UTC on 1 October with music, freshly baked ‘equator cake’ and all hands on deck to witness the occasion. Skipper Nick Leggatt explained: “Apparently King Neptune has been busy welcoming some of our competitors to the Southern Hemisphere, so he asked to be excused from tonight's festivities in order that he could get some rest. He assures me that he will make it to our daily crew Happy Hour at lunch time, when the Pollywogs can officially be initiated as Shellbacks.”

IMAGE: Zhuhai and the 'equator cake'

At the back of the fleet, Imagine your Korea, Punta del Este and GoToBermuda are all thankful to be free of the Doldrums Corridor but it has not been easy. David Immellman, Skipper of GoToBermuda, explained: “The wind was backing and veering through about 20 degrees, making it a very active beat, not to mention building and dropping through 5-8 knots of wind speed. After the gate we had found the wind stayed in the south, unlike what was predicted, so we have had to push hard on the wind, losing speed to height as we had to move away from the light airs ridging in from the north again. After dark the wind finally started to back and we could start to head more south than west, so long may that last.”


IMAGE: Dare To Lead crew member wears his equator crossing shirt - can you spot the route?

Imagine your Korea has experienced similar frustrations but Skipper Mike Surridge said: “The boat seems to be relishing her regained freedom, settling into a deep groove and hurrying south with little effort required from her crew. It has been tough to watch the others pulling further ahead as we worked hard for our slow progress out of the southern gate - but we were reminded this afternoon that, competition aside, we're enjoying some exceptional days of sailing.”

At the other end of the leaderboard the leaders, Visit Sanya, China and Qingdao, have reached the start of the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint and as both are experiencing similar consistent trade winds and a moderate sea state competition between the two remains fierce.

Conditions are looking favourable for the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint. Which of the eleven teams will be able to clinch the final bonus points of Race 2? Keep a close eye on the Race Viewer to follow the progress of the fleet.

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