NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS

The changes in sailing had been on the horizon for a while. The turning point we can all point to was the last America’s Cup with foiling catamarans.In the Vendee Globe, the boats which have foils are clearly faster.

I believe I read that Joyon cut the jig down on Idec for this attempt; making it an easier boat to handle. Just look at the numbers he is putting up.

THOMAS COVILLE
FRANCIS JOYON

NEW MONOHULL TRANSATLANTIC RECORD

“COMANCHE” CHOPPED OVER A DAY OFF THE TRANSATLANTIC RACORD. GREAT BOAT, GREAT CREW, BUT REMARKABLE ROUTING FROM STAN HONEY

NEW TRANSATLANTIC RECORD
NEW TRANSATLANTIC RECORD

AHEAD OF THE GHOST

BOTH SPINDRIFT AND IDEC ARE AHEAD OF BANQUE POPULAIRE EXITING THE PACIFIC. WITH ABOUT 7,000 MILES LEFT TO THE FINISH AND 15 DAYS.  SPINDRIFT IS ABOUT 500 MILES IN FRONT OF THE RECORD RIGHT NOW AND IDEC IS 175 MILES AHEAD.

NAVIGATING THE HIGH PRESSURE ZONES WILL BE THE TRICK SAILING NORTH IN THE ATLANTIC ONCE AGAIN.

 

MORE TRANSATLANTIC 2015

The remark at the end by Robin Knox-Johnson about having crossed the ocean 6 times with one of his crew. I have had the great privilege of having made 5 crossings with Jack Cummiskey, 3 with Larry Huntington. And crossings with so many of the other competitors; being that this was my 9th.
I am 8 years younger than Robin but Perhaps my last? Who knows.

ROUND BRITAIN AND IRELAND RACE

Quite possibly the best ocean race on the planet.

Pedal to the Metal

Artemis - Team Endeavour with Brian Thompson onboard. Credit: RORC/Rick Tomlinson/www.rick-tomlinson.comDay Three: PM Update

At 1230 BST, Musandam-Oman Sail were 520 miles from the finish of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. To set a new outright World Record, the MOD 70 needs to cross the Royal Yacht Squadron Line by 12:59:14 on 14th August 2014.

Musandam-Oman Sail has been on the charge all morning and last night averaged over 25 knots, hitting a top speed of 35 knots. At that pace the World Record would be broken by over 3 hours.

During the third night of the race, a northwesterly breeze of about 19 knots is expected in the Celtic Sea, which should be enough to keep Musandam-Oman Sail on for the record and make landfall at The Lizard around midnight tonight. During the night, the wind is expected to go lighter and back to the west, which could make for a dramatic last few hours as Musandam-Oman Sail round the Isle of Wight, before crossing the finish line from the east.

Damian Foxall, onboard Musandam-Oman Sail. Credit: Mark LloydDamian Foxall called the RORC Media Team by satellite phone earlier today while racing at full pelt against the clock, past his native Ireland on the MOD 70.

“We are just 15 miles from Blackrock, in sunshine on the West Coast of Ireland. I can see Galway and Connemara to leeward,” commented Damian. “The wind has just lined up beautifully and we haven’t really needed to gybe, so we are just going straight, corner to corner, towards the next mark, Tearaght Island. We have the inkling of an idea that it might be possible, in a dream world, to beat Banque Populaire’s record. We are pushing hard, towards near where I grew up; Bull Rock. With the wind going lighter and to the west, we will be dead down wind, which will mean a lot of gybes, but we will see how tomorrow goes; for now we are keeping alive the idea that we can break the course record.”

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Volvo Ocean 65, Azzam, continues to lead the charge and has extended their lead on Team Campos, skippered by Iker Martinez, to over 30 miles. Ian Walker’s team has a bevy of outstanding drivers, whom Walker praised when he spoke to the RORC Media team by satellite phone.

A wet and wild ride on Volvo Ocean 65, Azzam. Credit: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Justin Chisholm“10 miles until we can bear away at St Kilda and the thrashing will subside,” commented Ian. “It was a tough night with up to 36 knots of wind and sustained periods of 30+. We have continued to push the boat as hard as we can – only once backing off as it felt like we were going to shake everything to pieces. I think it is paying good dividends having so many capable helmsmen, as we are going well. It is pretty intense on the body and mind. Most of the helmsmen’s hands are in tatters for a start!”

Brian Thompson, skipper of IMOCA 60 Artemis-Team Endeavour, contacted the RORC Media Team as they rounded Out Stack. At their current projected finish time, Artemis-Team Endeavour will break the IMOCA 60 record, set in 2010, by over 24 hours.

“We haven’t gone upwind since the start and, as we arrived at Muckle Flugga, the breeze switched around 180 degrees and we still haven’t!” explained Brian. “I have held the overall record three times, including onboard Banque Populaire, so to add the IMOCA record would be fantastic. It’s looking hopeful; four years ago it took Artemis two and a half days to get up to the top of the course, so we are already 12 hours ahead of their track. Apart from some bad sea-state plugging the tide at Great Yarmouth, we have been up to full pace. Right now, we are just taking it a leg at a time but we think we will be in Cowes for a Sunday Roast.”

The competitors’ blogs tell the story of the race through the words and pictures sent back by the fleet and one of the more humorous stories is told by Jankees Lampe’s whose Open 40, La Promesse, is leading IRC One and currently 150 miles from Muckle Flugga. Earlier today, the Dutch skipper blogged about the culinary delights on board and the special dietary demands of his fellow Two-Handed crew.

Bart Boosman’s famous omelette (breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, whenever)

1. onions 2. onions 3. Red Leicester (cheddar) 4. eggs 5. pepper & salt 6. onions

ICE AND WIND

“Spindrift” ex “Banque Populaire” on standby for an Atlantic record.

Spindrift 2: All dressed up but no wind to go

The maxi-trimaran Spindrift 2 left La Trinité-sur-Mer, France on May 26, arriving on June 3 in Newport, Rhode Island where the team has remained on standby to break the crewed 2880 nm North Atlantic record from New York to Lizard Point.

Led by co-skippers Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, they seek to better the record of 03:15:25:48 set by their 40m (131.23-feet) trimaran in August 2009, known then as Banque Populaire 5. To be successful, their average speed must be in excess of 32.94 knots over the distance.

But now, after seven weeks on standby in Newport, there has still been no suitable weather window for which to launch their assault. As Guichard explains, these accomplished sailors have no choice but to accept the wait, unusual as it may be for an elite sportsman.

“Despite enduring the standby at home, as opposed to on the quayside, we are fully alert and mentally ready to drop everything and jump on a plane as soon as possible,” explains Yann, who sends a message to his teammates every day to keep them informed about the latest conditions.

“Dona and I are obviously following the weather very closely. Together, with team navigator Erwan Israël, we check the two daily American and European forecast updates. The first come in before 5am and, whilst there is still not really a departure window on the horizon, we inevitably check each weather update religiously. We are as ready as we can be with a good technical and sporting potential, but the weather is out of our hands. That is what makes record attempts so frustrating…but also so special. When you are on standby, it can at times be stressful, as any athlete waiting for a big match can understand. In addition, we know that when the day of reckoning comes, once we get out on the ocean, conditions will be extreme.”

Among the obstacles blocking the route has been drift ice in the Labrador Current. A harsh winter has meant that icebergs are lasting longer than normal, and while they are slowly melting, the large ice sheets are only disappearing gradually from satellite photos.

The other obstacle has been the Azores High, an anticyclone centred over the Azores and spread like an insurmountable mountain across the entire North Atlantic.

“To make the crossing in record-breaking conditions you have to leave ahead of a depression on the American coast and ride it up to Newfoundland, where you pick up another and accelerate for the rest of the crossing. You then have to stay in front of the system, which must not catch you up or wane before you reach the finish line,” adds Erwan Israël. “With such a huge, powerful anticyclone at the moment, the depressions are not making any headway, and neither can we!”

The team is prepared to remain on standby through to mid-August if necessary to find a suitable departure window. Updates here: www.spindrift-racing.com/atlantic

JUNE 22, 2014

The competitors in the Bermuda race are still waiting for the southwesterly breeze to fill as forecast; moving slowly in any direction to achieve forward motion until then. No record times in this race. RACE TRACKER BY YELLOWBRICK

Meanwhile, I am a long way from it all; in Sonoma.

BERMUDA RACE 2012
BERMUDA RACE 2012
GLIDING IN THE HEAT
GLIDING IN THE HEAT
EARLY MORNING
EARLY MORNING
ON THE ROAD
ON THE ROAD
LAVANDER
LAVANDER