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Team Adventure: The Race
Photograph by DPPI/Jacques Vapillon Hazards and Highlights
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The fleet departed on New Year’s Eve from Barcelona, Spain, and sailed toward the Strait of Gibraltar at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. This first short leg is crucial because the first boat through the strait and into the northeast trade winds of the Atlantic Ocean will gain an edge and be able to get a leg up on the fleet.

The ships will then plunge south, crossing the Equator and entering the southern Atlantic. There they will continue to find favorable winds until they reach the waters surrounding Antarctica.

Once into the westerlies the sailors will ride the strong winds along the waters south of Africa and Australia until east of Tasmania, where they will head north toward the Cook Strait. The ships are required to traverse this waterway between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. They will sail north through the Tasman Sea, pass through the Cook Strait, and then head southeast toward Cape Horn.

From this point at the bottom of the world the race will be a full-tilt sprint to the finish—and possibly the toughest part of the entire trip, with difficult headwinds, pamperos (strong winds that blow off the plains of Argentina) and calm seas marring the way. Once again the ships will pass through the Strait of Gibraltar before finally finishing in Marseille, France.

Although it took Ferdinand Magellan’s party nearly three years to circumnavigate the globe (and Magellan died along the way), Team Adventure hopes to complete the race in 65 days.

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