OCEAN SPRINT THREE SAFETY AND SPEED GATES EXPLAINED
AS the VELUX 5 OCEANS fleet dive further and further south during ocean sprint three the dangers of encountering icebergs rapidly increases. Hitting a Southern Ocean iceberg could easily spell the end of racing for the skippers, so the VELUX 5 OCEANS race management have imposed two safety gates on this leg.
Unlike the safety gate in ocean sprint two which was imposed to stop the fleet sailing too far from the coast of Australia, the sprint three safety gates ensure they stay away from the floating ice fields of the Southern Ocean.
Leg leader Brad Van Liew is currently around 450 nautical miles west of the first safety gate, a 400 mile stretch along the latitude of 50° south between longitudes 150° west and 140° west. The second gate is located between longitudes 110° west and 100° west along the latitude 52° south.
In order to comply with race rules, skippers are required to pass north of the gates at some point during the sprint.
There is also a timed run during leg three. The skipper that makes the quickest passage between longitudes 135° west and 115° west will be rewarded bonus points at the end of the sprint.