Getting close to Africa’s western coast, aside from not being a logical choice as in typical seasonal weather should mean finding headwinds and opposing currents, not to mention the not entirely unlikely chance of pirate attacks. However, if weather systems are displaced from their normal position the fastest route may take skippers further inshore.
Even though pirates are known to mainly target cargo ships, attacks on yachts are not unheard of.
During your first solo races, the switch from monophasic to polyphasic sleep can be very hard. It can take up to 3-4 day of adaptation, this effectively means that for shorter races you never even get to see the benefits. During longer races on the other hand, after the third or fourth day we will notice that our body has adapted. We no longer feel the same impulse for sleep as direct correlation with day and night.