Race Control at the Volvo Ocean Race has extended the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone further north after reports of a 60-metre iceberg to the northeast of the Kerguelen Islands.
“We have been getting ice reports every 12 days from Sentinel 1 (a satellite sensor report) about the area around the Kerguelen Islands for the past month. The previous report, 12 days ago, revealed icebergs to the south and southeast of the Islands, which resulted in the original ice limits for Leg 3,” explained Race Director Phil Lawrence.
“But today we learned there is a 60-metre iceberg to the northeast of the Kerguelen Islands. Due to this, we have extended the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone approximately 200 miles to the north and informed the teams of the change.
“The safety of the crews is our first priority. We do not want teams surfing down waves at over 30 knots of boatspeed at night, in an area where we have been told there is a significant risk of encountering ice.”
The original ETA for Leg 3, with arrivals beginning on December 26, is still valid at this time, but will be updated with more accuracy by the middle of next week.
For a reminder of what it was like for the crews to sail through an iceberg zone, listen to this compelling clip with Gordon Mcguire from the 2001-02 race.