The damaged rig on Golden Globe Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede’s Rustler 36 Matmut has weathered two more southern ocean storms during the past week and the 73-year old Frenchman is now within 400 miles of Cape Horn.
He is on course to round America’s southern tip sometime on November 23 and has a 3-day weather window to slip around before the next series of storms approach. He may just make it in time.
Jean-Luc has climbed up the mast five times to check repairs made two weeks ago to the lower shroud tang connections and is satisfied that sailing downwind at least, the mast is safe. Remarkably, Matmut has been averaging between 5.5 and 6.5 knots in recent days with just a headsail set.
“My mast holds up for now, the mainsail has been down for 3 days, and I have only the staysail set, sometimes partially furled. The sea is very strong, so strong that a wave broke the top rail holding my water generator. By some miracle, I managed to catch one part and I am making a repair using the car adjuster for the genoa. I manage quietly, I hope to be in Cape Horn in 3 or 4 days.”