Clipper – update,
Artemis – Mini650
Cowes on line – Mike Golding Racing IMOCA 60,
Geoff Holt – Christmas shopping,
Cayard and Hutchinson Join Team Artemis for Louis Vuitton Trophy,
Life on board is really pretty simple with all the little things filling up the day, but when the sea is up a little, then even the simplest task becomes an adventure. But the little things are keeping me more than happy. Food, talking with everyone back home, plotting our position to see how far we’ve come each day, music and standing behind the dodger watching the sun go down have become the highlights. Sure I’m missing everyone back in Australia a little, but mostly I’m having the time of my life out here! Bring on the next challenge!My sleep patterns are becoming a little strange as we keep going east and in to new time zones. I’ve got four different clocks all on different times zones, just to confuse myself! I’ve been sleeping less and less at night and more in the mornings and eating when I feel like it. Maybe I should call it Pink Lady time because it really is like we’re off in our own little world. Well that is apart from all you guys who are out here with me!Anyway thought I’d finally get round to explaining the power systems on Ella’s Pink Lady. Power is pretty important stuff because it runs the satphones, HF radio, computer, navigation equipment and possibly most importantly thestereo! But saying that we’ve also got to be able to survive without it all.If there was ever a power problem and when it comes down to it, all we really need is some wind (preferably 15knots behind us with sunshine lol). Hopefully it never comes to it but I’ve got sextant on board and know how to use it just in case.
The bets have been placed and now it remains to be seen which of the tactical gambles will pay off as the ten teams competing in Clipper 09-10 race from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town.
In between the 68-foot ocean racing yachts and the finish line is a 900-mile wide scoring gate – which just happens, at the moment, to be sitting over an area of high pressure and the light winds it brings – and the South Atlantic High Pressure system which, depending on how the teams play it, could be their trump card – or the one that causes them to fold.
Sea sickness has disappeared from Uniquely Singapore and skipper Jim Dobie reckons he and his crew are in a good position to make the scoring gate – and the finish line in Cape Town.
He says, “The plan to head south for stronger winds and better angles is beginning to take shape. Looking at the weather it seems the high is developing nicely and, with lows pushing up from the south squeezing and funnelling the wind, we should be getting a nice ride soon enough taking us east. How low do we go? Well we certainly want to make the gate, so no lower than 40S until then and after that it’s a case of speed versus shorter distance. That really is the decision: how much distance you cover versus how much speed you get.”
Cork’s crew have put their money on the southerly option as the winning tactic. Skipper Richie Fearon says, “The wind has eased off on us and come around more to the east and we are just waiting for the wind to come around that bit more for the spinnaker to go up. We are looking forward to the boat flattening out as we go off the wind and stop living at an angle.”
Of course, being a competitor above all else, the skipper of the Artemis Mini was also quick to comment on his performance, and could not hide a certain degree of disappointment regarding his 13th place in the second leg: “I went too far east which comes down to a tactical mistake, there’s no way around it.” Fair enough, we would be tempted to say, but Ollie found himself struggling with electronic problems making weather data and positions acquisition a bit tricky. The Mini Class is very strict when it comes to the navigation apparatus allowed on board and a good old fashioned black-out is never far away in those conditions!
Basically,” added Ollie, “it was after the Doldrums, when my instrument problems started, I stuck to my notes which were based on all the weather patterns analysis I had done ashore in preparation for the race. I was sailing a tighter angle than my rivals and, of course, I did not see them bear away and head straight for the finish line. I was on my own in the east because on paper the ideal route takes you 150 miles off Recife. It’s funny to see that Francisco Lobato (overall winner in Ollie’s class), with whom I had worked on weather analysis before the start, was also tempted by the offshore option but he quickly realised, thanks to his gear being in working order, that the theoretical models we had both studied did not apply this time!”
Still very tired when we spoke with him 48 hours after his arrival in Bahia, Ollie Bond was nevertheless making the most of those emotional moments, taking the measure of the journey: “The result is one thing, but I’d say that having made it to the finish line is a major achievement in itself. All the skippers who reached Brazil share that and it’s quite strong.
A return to Le Havre for Golding
Arriving in Le Havre for the final build up to his sixth consecutive Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic race, British skipper Mike Golding is relishing an imminent return to racing on his Open 60 Mike Golding Yacht Racing.
Credit: Lloyd Images
“It has not been easy to get ready in time. It has been a heavy schedule with the Extreme 40 and preparing the ’60’ but it has been nice to get back on the Open 60 and the boat is going well. With the re-fit and everything it has been maybe a little bit ‘lastminute.com’ but we are here and I think the boat is in good shape and we are in good shape and I am really looking forward to going racing again.”
Golding sounded buoyant and pleased as he brought Mike Golding Yacht Racing into Le Havre along with his Spanish co-skipper Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso. “It certainly is good to be here. It was never a foregone conclusion we would do this race, and it was on and off a bit, so it feels particularly good now arriving here. It really puts the stamp on our participation,” Golding remarked after completing an aerial photo and video shoot prior to entering the famous start port in France.
A small positive to emerge from Golding’s unfortunate dismasting while leading the last epic edition of the Vendée Globe is that the Open 60 has a number of new, replacement sails. Mike Golding Yacht Racing has a new mainsail, fractional spinnaker, and new Solent headsail.
Just over a week ago, the Spinal Unit in Salisbury where I was treated immediately after my accident, celebrated its 25th anniversary (I was one of the first patients admitted and spent 10 months there) ). It was opened in 1984 by Charles & Diana, in fact their photos still hang in reception either side of a commemorative plaque and the unit even carries his name, the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre. So, which Royal to ask back 25 years later to celebrate it’s quarter century? I guess there was a lot of discussion at the highest level, after all, you couldn’t have Charles and Camilla with a photo of Di hanging on the wall behind them could you? Someone somewhere made an inspired choice and opted for Edward, Earl of Wessex. I’d not met him before but he seemed a decent enough chap with a strong family resemblance, even his mannerisms are like his siblings, the hand-wring, the cufflink-twiddling…!!
Right, off to do some Christmas shopping now. I’m not going to get many other opportunities before we go.
Cayard and Hutchinson Join Team Artemis for Louis Vuitton Trophy.
If you haven’t made up your mind who you are going to support in the upcoming Louis Vuitton Trophy, then here is a suggestion. Why not back Torbjorn Tornqvist’s team Artemis (SWE)? The team, which has competed in the TP52 World’s and the RC44 circuit includes some big names including some American stars.
Torbjorn Tornqvist, founder and CEO said:
“We’ve built a solid team and have enjoyed racing in the TP52 and RC44 classes to date. We are now looking forward to the Louis Vuitton Trophy – it is an excellent opportunity for Artemis to compete against the world’s best sailing teams.”
The team for the Louis Vuitton Trophy will include, Paul Cayard (USA) and Team Manager Jared Henderson (NZL), Terry Hutchinson and Morgan Larson (USA) who have joined Artemis as helmsman and tactician respectively.
“Artemis has been on a continuous path of growth in the sport of sailing over the past four years. The Louis Vuitton Trophy is a new challenge for our team. We have a lot of respect for all the teams that we will face in Nice and look forward to the opportunity to race against them.”
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