In the next 24 hours it is expected that Enda O’Coineen will sail around the notorious Cape Horn on his journey to complete a solo lap of the planet.
O’Coineen set out from Les Sables d’Olonne in France on 6th November 2016 to compete in a round the world race called the Vendee Globe. On New Year’s Day 2017 Enda’s race came to a dramatic end when his mast came crashing down some 180 miles south of New Zealand.
Having sailed more than half way around the world O’Coineen was determined to finish the lap of the planet. Another competitor in the Vendee Globe was forced to retire into New Zealand and following some discussions it was decided that the French and Irish teams would merge to create ‘Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland’ with the mission to sail back to France to unofficially finish the race.
This historic rounding will be only one of a few recorded times that an Irish sailor has rounded the infamous Cape Horn alone. He will be followed in a few weeks’ time by Annalise Murphy as she races around the globe as a crew member of one of the Volvo Ocean Race teams.
Speaking about historic rounding O’Coineen said: “Cape Horn is one of, if not, the most feared pieces of land to round on the planet. And it is certainly living up to it’s reputation as I approach with 60kph winds and roaring seas hurtling me towards the great cape. This will hopefully be the coldest and wildest weather I will encounter as I then turn north and start the final leg up the Atlantic Ocean and into Les Sables d’Olonne to finish what I started.”
“It’s hard to explain why I put myself in this position, alone, cold, and exhausted as the bottom of the earth but as any sailor or adventurer knows as soon as you reach your destination and accomplish your goal you quickly forget about the hardship. Right now I am living on the edge, moment by moment. Having the joint backing of two teams and flying both the Irish and French flags is an honour. The work of Le Souffle du Nord and the Atlantic Youth Trust keeps me motivated during the lows.”
For live tracking of O’Coineen’s voyage visit www.teamireland.ie