This years coastal classic yacht race from Devonport to Russell at Labour Weekend is going ahead without a main sponsor. I will be once again sailing with Edwin Delaat on Crac-A-Jac, Edwin’s Farr 727. We are racing two handed and thanks to Mike from Sea Safe you can follow us on the web via our Spot GPS Tracker, ( I’ll be posting the link soon ). Mike recently provided a tracker for the Farr 38 yacht Farrago, keeping friends and family updated with progress across the Tasman Sea. Thanks Mike.
In this issue:
The Digest Oracle Racing – latest issue here,
Ocean Racing Magazine – latest issue here,
WindCheck Magazine – latest issue here,
Taken by Pirates,
Volvo Ocean Race Legends,
Sailing for a living,
Vestas Sailrocket – latest update,
Police: No fault in fatal WingNuts mishap,
Scuttlebutt USA – latest issue here,
Under the protection of Almeria’s famous landmark, the Alcazaba fortress that nestles above the bustling Spanish city, the 11 Extreme 40 racing machines are ready to race in Act 8, the penultimate round of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series™.
The WEBcam will be streaming coverage of the Stadium racing live during the event (see the schedule below).
Some of the teams have been out training today on the official practice day including the new multinational team, Team TILT, led by Swiss multihull specialist Alex Schneiter, three-time of the Bol d’Or. He may find some familiarity between his M2 multihull light-wind lake racing to the prevalent light winds in Almeria today. Also out training was Spanish Tornado Olympic medalist Antón Paz with Team Extreme. Paz won gold at the Beijing Olympics and will be a great asset to Roland Gaebler’s team, a fellow Tornado Olympic bronze medalist.
by Jeffrey Gettleman
“It wasn’t really a pretty night,” Rachel Chandler recalled. Small, sloshing waves were coming from the southeast, and a trickle of wind blew from the southwest. There was no moon, and the stars were shrouded by clouds.
The boat was slowly edging away from Mahé, the main island in the Seychelles archipelago, for Tanga, Tanzania, the beginning of a two-week passage across the Indian Ocean. The wind was pushing them farther north than they’d planned to be. With no ships or land in sight, the Chandlers’ 38-foot sailboat, the Lynn Rival, bobbed along all alone.
Rachel, who is 57, was on watch — it was her turn to do the four-hour shift — and her husband, Paul, was asleep below deck. It was about 2:30 a.m., and she sat in a T-shirt and light trousers at the stern, feeling seasick. Because the wind was so faint, Rachel turned on the sailboat’s small engine, which chugged along at five knots, just loud enough to drown out other noise.
By the time she heard the high-pitched whine of outboard motors at full throttle, she had only seconds to react. Two skiffs suddenly materialized out of the murk, and when she swung the flashlight’s beam onto the water, two gunshots rang out.
“No guns! No guns!” she screamed.
The crack of assault rifles jarred Paul awake. He had been sleeping naked — as he often does on tropical nights — and hesitated before jumping out of the cabin. “The first thing I thought,” said Paul, who is 61, “was pirates.”
Within seconds, eight scruffy Somali men hoisted themselves aboard, their assault rifles and rocket-propelled-grenade launchers clanging against the hull. Paul activated an emergency beacon, which immediately started emitting an S.O.S., and then went up on deck. The men stank of the sea and nervous musk, and they jabbed their guns at the Chandlers.
“Stop engine!” they shouted. “Crew, crew! How many crew number?”
One pirate was particularly concerned about anything flashing, and Paul’s heart sank when the pirate stomped below deck and discovered the emergency beacon, blinking like a strobe, and promptly switched it off. The pirates ordered the Chandlers not to touch anything else, and then they demanded a shower.
This was Oct. 23, 2009. The Chandlers would be held for the next 388 days. In the past few years, loosely organized gangs of Somali pirates, kitted out with Fiberglas skiffs, rusty Kalashnikovs and flip-flops, have waylaid hundreds of ships — yachts, fishing boats, freighters, gigantic oil tankers, creaky old Indian dhows, essentially anything that floats — and then extracted ransom in exchange for their return. As a result, the worldwide shipping industry now spends billions of dollars on higher insurance premiums, armed guards and extra fuel to detour thousands of miles away from the Gulf of Aden, a congested shipping lane just off Somalia’s coast leading to the Red Sea. Navies from more than two dozen countries patrol Somalia’s coast, burning around a million dollars of fuel per day. And yet 2011 is on track to be another banner year for piracy, with more than 20 ships already seized, hundreds of seamen in captivity and the average ransom now fetching upward of $5 million, a fortune anywhere but especially in a country with no government and an economy that has been decimated by decades of war. Of all the thousands of people who have been held for ransom, though, few, if any, would endure as long — and as intimate — an experience behind pirate lines as Paul and Rachel Chandler.
LET BATTLE RECOMMENCE: FISHER & PAYKEL JOINS LEGENDS FLEET
Alicante, Spain – Fisher & Paykel, which fought fiercely with fellow maxi ketch Steinlager 2 for the entire 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race, will join her old rival on the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race Legends, the first regatta and reunion for veterans of the first 10 Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Races.
There was no greater rivalry than the one between Fisher & Paykel skipper Grant Dalton and Steinlager 2’s Peter Blake, and their historic round the world battle is now part of sailing legend. The two Farr-designed maxi-ketches first lined up against each other during the 1989 Fastnet Race, just before the Southampton start of the fifth Whitbread Round the World Race. The two boats led the fleet home to Plymouth just 350 metres apart, with first blood going to Steinlager 2 by three minutes and 20 seconds after 68 hours of racing.
In their book, Sailing Legends, a history of the Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Races to be launched during the Legends event, sailing journalists Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall describe the round the world scrap between the two New Zealand skippers like this:
“The loss of their mizzen mast didn’t help Dalton and his crew on leg one, but going south early on the next leg did. Fisher and Paykel led for 26 days, until light weather took its toll and Steinlager 2 was first into Fremantle, Western Australia.
“On the leg to Auckland, the two boats were seriously close all the way, then some admirable boat handling by Blake’s crew saw her triumph.
Volvo Ocean Race Legends Sir Peter Blake Trophy for the overall winner.
Photo IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race
How to Build a Career in Yacht Racing.
Keep your mates close.
That’s the advice of most people who have made a career out of the sport of sailing. Despite a move towards a more professional industry over recent years, becoming a top, paid, sailor is about networking with the right people and luck – with a fair bit of talent.
Before we go on – a distinction needs to be made between Olympic sailing and ‘everything else’. There are some national sailing associations that do a good job of identifying talent and creating the “ladders” for those sailors to climb to be successful. But most sailors won’t make the Olympics – or they might make the Olympics for one cycle – then what? There are also a couple of programs like the Artemis Offshore Academy that make things a little more structured.
Making money from racing sailboats is one chapter in a new book by Sue Pelling – ‘Sail for a Living.‘ The book covers a range of opportunities in sailing, including charter, support services, even working on superyachts, but how racing sailors manage their careers is something we have been thinking about for a while – and we are not the only ones.
Many sailors have taken the first step – accepting that in order to succeed, being good at sailing is not enough – you als0 need to be good at business: marketing yourself, raising sponsorship, making the right commercial choices.
Mike Golding says in ‘Sail for a Living’ :
Without question, the possibilities of making a living from sailing are increasing as the sport develops a wider appeal to sponsors… The sport is quite cliquey in the UK however, which is bad – a legacy of the past – so you still need to know the right people to get the right opportunities.
Ian Williams has been frustrated by the changing nature of sailing. Like many sailors who have the America’s Cup as an end-game, he has invested time in learning how to match-race. Williams has had the rules changed on him twice – he invested time in becoming a good Soling sailor, only to have that class dropped for the Olympics. He is now building his expertise in multi-hulls in order to match his skill-set with the new rules of the America’s Cup.
Yacht Racing is still on a journey from amateurism and Corinthian values to a commercial, professional sport, but it is yet to create processes that exist in ‘real’ professional sports – very few (not one?) sailors have professional management that represent them commercially. There is little or no scouting for new talent by teams because teams don’t have the longevity of a football franchise. Instead, sailors have to teach themselves the business of yacht racing.
GOR leaders break out of the Doldrums
As the double-handed Class40s in the Global Ocean Race (GOR) negotiate the Doldrums, the fleet leaders were closing-up rapidly 360 miles north of the Equator while the chasing pack scurried west to avoid an area of light airs ballooning towards the fleet from the south-east.
The Franco-British duo of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron had a tortuous night on the fleet leader, Campagne de France, with speeds dropping to between two to four knots while the New Zealand father-and-son team of Ross and Campbell Field in second with BSL made double the speed of the leaders despite being less than 15 miles astern and closed down the distance deficit to just nine miles at dawn on Monday – the closest the two boats have been since sailing north of the Canary Islands ten days ago.
Conrad Colman and Hugo Ramon in third on Cessna Citation had a fast night on Sunday, digging into easterly breeze and gaining 11 miles on the leading pair of Class40s overnight, trailing BSL by 78 miles on Monday morning. In fourth place, 330 miles south-west of the Cape Verde Islands and furthest east in the fleet, Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs on Financial Crisis dropped to three knots early on Monday morning losing 20 miles to Colman and Ramon overnight and with a more gentle descent towards the Doldrums, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire on Phesheya-Racing in fifth place dropped a handful of miles to the Dutch duo of Nico Budel and Ruud van Rijsewijk with Sec. Hayai as the two Class40s continue to head west and avoid the intense squalls and dead calms frustrating the leaders 430 miles to the south.
Police: No fault in fatal boat mishap
CHARLEVOIX, Mich. — The crew of a sailboat that capsized on Lake Michigan during a July storm acted properly and no one is at fault in the mishap that killed two people, a Michigan sheriff said Friday.
Charlevoix County Sheriff Don Schneider said his 11-week investigation found that skipper Mark Morley and crew member Suzanne Makowski-Bickel died of blunt force trauma to the head after their sailboat WingNuts overturned during the Chicago-to-Mackinac Island race July 18. A medical examiner’s report also listed drowning as a secondary cause. A competing vessel rescued the other six crew members from the lake.
“It was just a tragic accident,” Schneider told the Petoskey News-Review.
Wind gusts were estimated at 80 mph or higher when the boat capsized. Schneider said the crew had prepared for the storm by wearing personal floatation devices and tethering themselves to the craft.
They weren’t immediately concerned when the boat rolled 90 degrees at the peak of the gale because it previously had righted itself from similar rolls, he said. But this time, “the vessel continued to roll and capsized.”
Crew members told investigators they struggled to free themselves from the tethers in the pitch darkness, Schneider said.
“The tethers became entangled in the rigging, causing them to be held down under the water line as the vessel tossed and rolled by the wave action,” his report said. “The tethers had to be released or cut by a fellow crew member to free them.”