After experiencing the emotions of saying goodbye to loved ones, untying lines at the start of this 40,000-mile, eleven month long challenge the fleet will race away from the safety on land.
Ahead is the first major ocean crossing – the Atlantic – and three weeks at sea. Routing towards the Canaries, the weather becomes warmer as you seek the trade winds to take you towards the Equator.
Before that, the first key tactical decision is whether to pass the Canaries to port, starboard or go through the middle of the islands. The surrounding mountains can create a wind shadow for several hundred miles – get it wrong and you will feel the frustration of snail pace sailing.
The trade winds come as a great relief but up ahead another challenge awaits; the dreaded Doldrums with fickle wind holes and sudden squalls that will test your patience to the full. Taking time out to acknowledge King Neptune as you go from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere, the breeze returns but there are counter currents to avoid before South America appears over the horizon.
A famous Latin welcome is the best reward to celebrate your amazing achievement!