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Stalled At Cape Horne

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  • Stalled At Cape Horne

    NEWS : DAY 28
    February 1, 2022
    Tomorrow at Cape Horn?

    That's it, Romain Pilliard and Alex Pella, accompanied by Christian Dumard their router and meteorologist on land, finally seem to see a weather window to launch an assault on the mythical Cape Horn. Still sheltered from Tierra del Fuego in the north of the Strait of Lemaire where they have taken refuge since Sunday evening, Romain and Alex will try to cross Cape Horn tomorrow Wednesday in the day. A dreaded stage of this Upside Down World Tour and oh so symbolic in the lives of sailors.

    This Tuesday, as evidenced by their trajectory on the map, Romain and Alex are currently at the extreme eastern tip of Tierra del Fuego to let a new gust of wind from the Southwest pass at more than 35 knots. From tomorrow, the duo will try a first approach to Cape Horn in wind a priori maneuverable, but the big question remains the practicability of the sea which promises to be very formed after the passage of the front on Tuesday. Once Cape Horn has passed, again, uncertainties remain: will they be able to set sail on the Pacific crossing or will they first have to take shelter along the Chilean coast?

    « Today, we are preparing as for a big event... But we don't know what kind of event. We just know that it is navigation and that it is a mythical course to pass: the Horn. The holy grail of all navigators, and what is more, from East to West. How many have gone sailing? If Neptune and Eole are lenient with us, there will be two more tomorrow. But it's not just a cape at sea, it's also a cape of the Use It Again project! initiated with Aurélie, my wife, 6 years ago, a commitment to a better future. A desire to bring people together, encourage change and inspire. For a few days, we have been in the middle of an environment that seems, almost virgin, we are surrounded by hundreds of birds, giant algae (kelp) grow as they please at the bottom of the ocean, the air is cold and pure, and even the water that comes out of our desalinator seems to be spring water. What have we done to our Earth? Let's at least try to preserve our Ocean. Our planet should bear this name since there is much more water than earth, and it is water that is the source of life on Earth.Finally, almost a month that we are gone, there is no routine, boredom or weariness because every moment is different: colors, lights, sea, reflections, its condition... it's magical. Only one thing still surprises me: it seems endless, it is only a continuity of navigation, gliding, there is no break, no pied-à-terre to take a break and go eat a good salad with a good beer. Maybe I'll become a merian then... See you tomorrow," Romain Pilliard has just sent to his team.

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Its A Process: Going The Wrong Way Isn't Easy

    NEWS: DAY 31
    5 February 2022
    The calm before the storm

    In the middle of the fjords of Patagonia, Romain and Alex are taking their troubles patiently in Cook's Bay where they have been sheltered since Friday morning while waiting to leave this big depression which is coming from the Pacific and which will sweep the tip of the South America at the very beginning of the week. Although the two sailors are enjoying very calm conditions for the moment, it is not necessarily restful since they are forced to tack and maneuver constantly. For the time being, it seems impossible to leave before Wednesday, hoping that the weather files will evolve favorably!

    NEWS : DAY 30
    4 February 2022

    Stand-by at the entrance of the Beagles Canal

    After the passage of Cape Horn on Thursday, Romain and Alex progressed in the North along the Chilean coast. As feared for a few days by Christian Dumard, the router on land, Mother Nature has decided not to give respite to our sailors who are again forced to take shelter in Cook Bay at the entrance to the Beagles Channel (south of the Strait of Magellan). This channel separates the large island of Tierra del Fuego from the islands Hoste and Navarino to the south. Its western part belongs to Chile, and its eastern part forms the boundary between Argentina to the north and Chile to the south.

    The situation has not evolved favourably to consider continuing. Christian Dumard, advised them to take shelter for safety reasons in Cook Bay and take the opportunity to repair.

    NEWS : DAY 30
    3 February 2022
    They did it!

    At 12:55 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, Romain Pilliard and Alex Pella managed to cross the mythical Cape Horn from East to West aboard the trimaran, Use It Again!, despite extremely difficult conditions. The two sailors fought well upwind, tacking for 36 hours against very heavy seas and in 30 to 40 knots of icy wind. The difficulty of passing Cape Horn from East to West is definitely not a myth! This is another successful moment for the Franco-Spanish duo and their circular economy trimaran, during this attempt to set the Westabout World Record Attempt, and achieved against the prevailing winds and strong currents, which began on January 4 in Lorient.

    Pride and happiness for the two Cap-Horniers!
    Although Alex Pella has already rounded Cape Horn "upright" four times, this is the first time that Romain Pilliard has approached this mythical cape, as well as, the first time that he has sailed in such distant latitudes (56 degrees South). After 29 days and 18 hours of sailing from the starting line of this Westabout World Record Attempt (located between the island of Groix and the Kerroc'h lighthouse), they are now here at "Cap-Horniers," and ready to attack a new ocean - the Pacific.

    “We are living a mythical moment of this course! We have just passed Cape Horn less than 30 days after leaving Lorient-Ile de Groix. We have passed the longitude of Cape Horn and it is an exceptional moment. I am very moved because it is my first Cape Horn! This is the dream of many sailors around the World. We have had some pretty tough conditions on Use It Again! upwind for quite some time since we have been on the Round the World Reverse from East to West. Cap-Hornier from East to West has another flavor…it's a lot of emotions, with an indescribable happiness experienced around this island, which is the southernmost land of Latin America before Antarctica.… The road continues on this Westabout World Record Attempt ”, rejoices Romain Pilliard.

    “I am very happy, passing Cape Horn always brings a lot of emotions, even when you have already passed it 4 times! Moreover, I believe that if I crossed it 1000 times, it would be exceptional each time because it is a place rich in maritime history. It is the passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific…a lot has happened in these waters. This excites me! It was very difficult to cross the point with he currents and the headwind…we made square edges and we succeeded. There is no doubt, it is easier to pass this Cape Horn upright!” Explains Alex Pella, co-skipper of the trimaran Use It Again!

    A look back at a 36-hour epic moment under high tension
    “After 48 hours of standing-by north of Tierra del Fuego in order to let the first storm pass over Cape Horn and prepare the trimaran for this delicate round-the-world stage, Romain Pilliard and Alex Pella set off on Wednesday morning in the Strait de Lemaire, thus beginning a long and difficult descent towards Cape Horn. "We have 44 knots, the sea is rough, 4 meters of hollow, and in short, it hits hard so we grit our teeth and hope that the boat does not suffer too much", Romain sent to his team. After a first edge in the Strait of Lemaire, the sea is impassable, they turn around towards the coast, and after discussion between the two men, they decide to go there anyway by tacking to the coast to have less open deep sea. Living conditions are particularly difficult for sailors. “We live like animals…we sleep sitting up in the beanbag with the survival blanket to keep warm. I have 7 layers on me and I'm freezing. It's intense ! You come out of the siesta and you say shit to yourself, this is still happening”explained Romain last night.

    As for the immediate future? Hard to say again! A huge depression is coming from the west in the South Pacific, with sea and wind conditions that would seriously hamper their progress. Romain and Alex, accompanied by Christian Dumard, their router on land, will again make choices in the hours to come, the possibility of seeking shelter along the coast is not excluded. To be continued… …


    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      Abuse It Again Team Goes Aground In Patagonia

      UPDATE AT 5:00 P.M.
      Update at 5:00 p.m.

      The Chilean Navy is on site and after assessing the damage and setting up a towing protocol to get out of the uncharted area, they managed to put Use It Again! afloat. The trimaran is progressing alone under motor in the South of the island of Olga towards the entrance to the Beagle Channel. The Chilean Navy always escorts Romain and Alex in case of trouble. The wind is rising to more than 30 knots in the area.


      Romain and Alex ask for assistance

      At 6:00 am FR this Wednesday, February 9 (1 hour local), Romain Pilliard, skipper of the Trimaran Use It Again! engaged on the Westabout Record World Attempt with the Spanish navigator Alex Pella, informed his team on land that the trimaran Use It Again! had washed up on the rocks in Cook Bay. The sailors were not injured and a Tug of the Chilean Navy was to arrive on site in the early afternoon French time to help them get back afloat and assess the damage with the aim of then going to the nearest port.

      After their passage of Cape Horn, last Thursday, Romain Pilliard and Alex Pella were since sheltered in the canals of Patagonia to let pass a big depression blocking the road to the Pacific.

      The explanations of Romain Pilliard, skipper of Use It Again! :

      "It was 1am local when a loud noise woke me up. The boat came to a standstill. I immediately understood… We took the helm in turn, ensuring our respective shifts, sailing in Cook Bay during the night to be in place on February 9 for a new depression and before a possible exit window on the 10th to the Pacific. The weather conditions were still good, we were under reduced sail, we were progressing at 6 knots in Cook Bay. Alex was on shifts, and it was my turn to rest. After more than a month at sea, fatigue built up and Alex landed inside and fell asleep. It's a real nightmare! I don't really have the words. I am devastated. I try to evacuate and focus on the urgency of the moment. But I find it hard to believe what happened to us. At that time. Under these conditions. The trimaran is literally laid on the rocks, we are stuck in a mouse hole with rocks all around us. It's surreal to be there. To experience that. After what we have been through in the last few days. We prepared the boat to get out of here, sent a video to the Chilean Navy so that they could get us out of there in the best conditions and as quickly as possible before the arrival of the depression and without damaging the boat too much. The area is not mapped, the exit will be complicated. We are not injured, we will take the boat out of there, put it to safety, the rest we will see."

      The crew of Use It Again! having requested assistance, the Record cannot be homologated. As for the continuation of the World Tour à l'Envers, it will be necessary before considering anything, to carry out a complete inventory of the boat.



      At 6am FR (1am local) this morning, the trimaran Use It Again! ran aground in Cook Bay. The skippers are not injured, they have put on their survival suits and are safe.

      The trimaran is immobilized on the rocks but has no waterway at the moment.

      The night is still dark for a few hours the skippers have secured the trimaran and are waiting to be able to assess the damage.

      In connection with their team on land, Romain and Alex exchange with the local authorities to get out of this situation as soon as possible.

      More info in the day.

      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        "Abuse It Again" seems befitting!


        • #5
          Eulogy From Ushuaia

          Hello to all, two important information to share with you today, you who have been following us for several weeks.

          The first, the boat: the damage caused by the rubbing of Use It Again! on the rocks are more severe than we imagined, especially on the central shell.
          Exchanges with the Trimaran architect and technical experts require the release of the Trimaran water in Ushuaia in order to quickly hire a central shell safety site.

          The bow and centerboard are also damaged but their structures do not appear to be affected. The propeller shaft seat is broken and could damage the central hull even more. There is no choice, we have to get the boat out of the water and there will be a lot of work!

          The second information concerns my team-mate: Alex has decided not to continue this Tour du Monde reverse. He left again Sunday evening in Spain. I took note of his choice.

          I wish I could give you better news but I'm not giving up and I'm determined to do everything to continue the adventure starting by saving this boat a second time! The first one was in 2016: this beautiful legendary trimaran was abandoned on a quay in Brest in a pitiful state... Since then, thanks to the Use It Again team! and from our partners, we offered her a second life. She made a Route Du Rhume, hundreds of miles in the Mediterranean and a few days ago, she was reconnecting with the Cape Horn... I will not let go... I will not let her down.

          Very soon, to share with you the next adventures of Use It Again! at the end of the world. My mission for the day in Ushuaia, to change the pontoon trimaran",
          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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