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  • Christine

Helios Places 3rd in Atlantic Crossing Leg 1!

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Team Helios looking fresh shortly after their arrival into Cape Verde

After sailing 850 nm over 5.5 days from Gran Canaria, Helios and crew arrived safely on Nov. 13 at 1:30am GMT into Cape Verde. Thankfully, it was a pretty uneventful sail, with no reported sea sickness, even though the boat began its journey surfing in 2-3m waves and 20-25 knot winds. If you were following the fleet tracker, it was a nail-biter, watching as Helios was towards the front of the pack from the start, despite never committing to competing based on time. The primary goal for Helios was to arrive safely and secondly, to enjoy the good sailing. Both goals were met and then some...

Congratulations Team Helios for a 3rd place finish in the multi-hull division of Leg 1!!!

Helios was honored at an awards ceremony for being the 3rd multi-hull to cross the finish line in Cape Verde out of 22 multi-hull boats. After multiplier factors were applied to even out the playing field, Helios came in 8th place overall out of 73 yachts. Also worth noting is that Helios traveled a total of 888nm, which was on the lower end of the distance spectrum, meaning, Helios sailed extremely efficiently and true to the route. During the entire journey, the engines only had to be fired up once for 15 minutes to make a sail change. Otherwise, the entire Leg 1 journey was entirely driven by sails alone. This award was a huge accomplishment considering Captain Dale has only had his boat since end of July and this was the entire crew's first time sailing across the Atlantic. On top of that, Dale did not sign up to compete, so the focus was not on speed. If it had been, his sail plan would have been far more aggressive.

Helios crew enjoying a meal together. Megan hard at work in her office.

The relatively smooth sailing allotted the crew opportunities to prepare fresh meals, play cards, read books, fish, and play guitar. Helios basically almost sailed itself as the crew only had to change sails twice, thanks to the expert planning of the captain and crew. Each crew member took a 3-hour overnight shift, which allowed one crew member to rest each night without interruption. As we do for all of our sails, crew members rotate kitchen duty responsibilities in terms of cooking and cleaning. There has never been a shortage of good food on Helios...yet.

Team Helios in Cape Verde, gearing up for the next 2,200nm leg across the Atlantic.

What's next?

The crew have been resting, examining the boat for repairs, and provisioning for their upcoming 2,200nm journey to Grenada. On Friday, November 19 at 11:00am GMT, they will set sail again with the fleet for their final leg of the Atlantic Crossing, which will take approximately 12-15 days to sail. Be sure to follow the fleet tracker on this blog to track their progress. Wishing Helios and her crew smooth sailing and a very safe and smooth passage to the Caribbean!


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