Dafydd Hughes tactically uses Ice Limit “Buffer Zone”

The GSC regulations include a “soft” Ice Limit, a “Buffer Zone,” and a “Hard” Antarctic Exclusion Zone for safety. Other events use fixed lines or points to keep fleets away from drifting icebergs or growlers. Hard lines can force skippers to tack or gybe in difficult conditions near exclusion zones, as weather is unpredictable. In the GSC, entering the Buffer Zone is initially penalty-free, allowing skippers to choose the best time for maneuvers, such as waiting for daylight or a wind shift. Boats can stay in the Buffer Zone for up to 72 hours without penalty, after which they incur a one-hour penalty for each additional hour spent there. Entering the Antarctic Exclusion Zone results in an immediate 48-hour penalty, plus two additional hours for every hour inside. Daffyd Hughes tactically used these rules to time his gybe during a wind lull to avoid reducing sail.