In this issue:
Camper’s pain – Groupama’s gain,
Transat Jacques Vabre – onboard Games,
Garrard WMRT Trophy,
Scuttlebutt Europe – latest issue here,
Six of the best race crews in the world were on San Diego Bay Friday afternoon in final preparation for the start of the America’s Cup World Series – San Diego.
With racing taking place in 6 to 9 knot Southwesterly wind, several teams took advantage of the situation to practice their starts and close-quarters race maneuvering. China Team had a strong day in the two races, posting a win and a second place finish to top the table ahead of Sweden’s Artemis Racing.
“San Diego has a reputation for light airs but today was nice, up in the 8-10 knot range,” said China Team skipper Charlie Ogletree. “We’re strong in the light winds as our helmsman, Andreas Hagara, his specialty is light airs. He’s won a world championship in similar conditions so he’s got a good feel in the light. We’re hoping for good results; we need to learn to race at the front, so we’ll be looking to do as well as we can this weekend.”
On Saturday and Sunday, the racing gets serious, with all nine America’s Cup World Series crews scheduled to race in the Port Cities Challenge. Three fleet races are scheduled each day.
Day 6, The big tack…..
by Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 9:19pm
I felt like a small child in the backseat of a car asking the same question over and over, “are we tacking south yet…. are we taking south yet?”
The reply from Will and Andy each time, “No not yet”
“Don’t know yet” goes their synchronized reply.
“Why not?” I badger.
“Why do you care anyway because when we do we are heading straight for the equator.” Andy McLean fired back with a grin on his face.
Hmmm, a good point- I shut up.
In my defense it was the question on everybody’s lips… We continued to head west and the raw stats were showing us many miles behind our competitors because of the distance to mark.
Seeing big numbers like that becomes unnerving, it has been tense times in the navigation station for sure.
One thing these figures do not take into account however is what we are hoping will be the little nugget of a weather system that’s been in our sights for so many days.
Despite the nerves, in the back of a few minds we are all banking on that with this tack South it will be like turning off a slow bumpy country road, and onto the smooth tarseal of an empty motorway- with no police to slow us down!
Eased the sheets a little… in no time CAMPER is alive.
Water everywhere and speeds in the high teens . Smiles in all directions, mainly due to the fact that finally after so many days we are heading in the direction we need to go.
Alas, overnight the frustrations creep back onboard, we are not quite on the escalator to redemption yet… Again we are in a hole with little wind, and are forced to head west for a bit. Still a lot of hard work to do, still a lot of miles to claw back and still a minefield of bizarre breeze to negotiate through.
At 0700 UTC today, the French team’s rolling of the dice appeared to come up trumps as they had the enjoyment of cruising at 15knots in 15kts of wind, leaving their nearest competitor, Telefónica more than 220nm in her wake.
Telefónica is meandering in much less wind at just 4kts, but is still managing to remain ahead of their unshakable rival PUMA’s Mar Mostro.
It was thought that Mar Mostro would capitalised on its tactic to sail further north towards a new pressure system, gaining more wind and a better sailing angle, but the Spanish have extended their lead from three nm to 10nm in the past 10 hours.
As for what the next 24-hours holds, that’s anyone’s guess. But Groupama’s Franck Cammas is nervous for sure, as today is expected to be the day that decides the fate of his decision to split from the fleet.
Groupama 4 and Franck Cammas/FRA, the leading team in leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race, have two choices: move west quickly and take a big loss to do it, or hold their nerve and sail towards the triangle of doom, the no-go windless area that begins south of the Cape Verde Islands 600 nautical miles ahead, and then make the turn west.
Half Way Mark of Transat Jacques Vabre …. And One Year To Go To The Vendée Globe For Gamesa Sailing Team
Day 8 of the Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre, France to Costa Rica and Mike Golding & Bruno Dubois onboard Gamesa moved into third place on the 0400 position report, before having to succumb to France’s advancing Burton brothers who came up with more breeze. Gamesa returned to the fourth position that they have held for the past 24 hours. Golding and Dubois had an early celebration of passing the half way point of the course, opening a bottle of red wine and sharing a saucisson, as they seek the stronger trade winds which should accelerate them west towards the finish in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
“Yesterday was more frustrating compared with what we had hoped for,” commented Golding. “We sailed rather too deep into the ridge of high pressure and all but stopped for several hours. Perhaps it seems counter-intuitive but in fact light winds means a lot of work for us – hoisting the biggest sails – with the smallest wind range means we are having to constantly monitor where the boat is going in relation to the changes and shifting wind.