Crew member on MLT100 Nomad IV

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Hi,

Please find below news from Nomad IV to publish on the blog with the picture attached :

From Nomad IV :

After a correct departure, we hesitated between the Northern and the southern way until the last moment, so that we moved a littlle too much to the West for the Southern route.

So we reached the southern route with the wind on the beam, that preventing us increasing our advance in the race.

Today we are stopped by a no-wind weather but we keep our spirits up.

Our russian guests were permitted to use a troll-line and miracle ! they did fished a dolphinfish !

We are now trying to leave this no-wind area at a speed of 3 knots, without Code Zero as we chose this IRC Jauge option.

We hope the other nice competitors behind won't sail faster.

More than ever, the race is going on !

From Jean Paul RIVIERE - 30-Nov-2015 - 3.00 pm.

Crew member on BEL606 Zed 6

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Just jibed, at last we are not heading NNW anymore. Finally sailing on a

"bord

approchant" as we say in French.

Wind is,... as forecasted with any good program ;-) it turned 120° TWD, and

will keep on

turning right gently for the next 24 h, then accelarate brutally its

rotation for a

classical front passage, somewhere 33N 32 W in about 45 hours. We should

then tack to

another 400 miles SB tack before leaving this north route and start a long

broad reaching

to Grenada. What make situtation for the next 48 hours somewhat easy is

that both ECWF

and GFS are quiet similar, routings are perfectly overlaying.

The boat is fantastic! Very fast, and very sensible to any tuning. We stay

very safe, sheets off the self-tailing and mostly in hands all the time. So

it is a bit more demanding than a class4O.

We got the posmaxsea this morning, MODs are in the trades, 200 NM closer

than us to finish, it will be interesting to see how many days they will

lead us in the end. And who knows?...

Just heard that Gonzalo stopped in the Canaries for a rudder repair and

re-started? That's good news, we have similar speeds on some angles, so it

is important for us to have her as a benchmark on both sides of the ridge.

All well on board.

Crew member on 03 Phaedo 3

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

This section between the Canaries and the Cape Verde Islands has got to be one of the most perfect places in the world to sail,... Warm water, moderate winds, flat seas and no squalls should make the favorite sailing cocktail.. We are enjoying it, but at the same time there is an incredibly tight race with our sister MOD70 Concise...

Last night we both sailed through an area of light winds, with winds down to as low as 2 knots for us, and never more than 10 knots all night… The stars were incredibly bright, and reflecting in the calm waters.. A beautiful sight, but we would rather have had more wind! We think that we had slightly less wind than Concise and on 2 consecutive position sheds, 4 hours apart, we lost large amounts of miles to them... It was tense times, coaxing every bit of speed out of the boat, to get to the stronger wind we knew was lying in wait to our south. We were pretty relieved at the 8am shed, just after dawn, to see that we had stopped loosing miles and were matching pace..

Since sunrise the wind has slowly picked up and it is perfect downwind sailing this afternoon as we approach the westernmost of the Cape Verde Islands..

Today squadrons of flying fish are taking off to escape us as we charge towards them at 20 knots.. Just a few minutes ago, We just passed a cruising yacht on their way to the Caribbean, sipping on cold drinks, but we would rather be on this machine, less comfortable but so much faster..

This morning we winched Henry up to the top of the mast to check everything was fine...It all was ok, so he paused to take some pictures and videos.. And the obligatory 'top of the rig at 20 knots' selfie..

So still all to play for on our 3000 mile match race.. Too close to call right now. Lets see our relative position when we gybe west later.

Bye for now....My turn to drive -yes!

Crew member on 03 Phaedo 3

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

We had a great week in Lanzarote, getting lots of preparation jobs done on the boat with our race crew and with wonderful help from Marina Lanzaote and the RORC team...Big thanks from all of us on board..

Its been an action packed first 24 hours of the RORC Transatlantic for the 6 of us.

The start had perfect conditions for the downwind leg to Puerto Calero.. In the last 4 minutes we had some exciting jostling for position with Concise, 2 giant multihulls match racing for the favoured pin end start on port. Concise had a great start at that pin, and we were just behind , but with more speed, and were able to overtake to windward within a minute. We all played by the rules, and I think it would have given the spectators a good show!

Then we had a really clean sail down to Calero amd then around the wind shadow tp the south of Lamzaorte with a fair lead over Concise...Then it was a broad reach over to round Tenerife which we passed at sunset.. Then the downwind fun started in the acceleration zone between Tenerife and Las Palmas.. Wind up to 27 knotss and a really short steep sea...No moon till later and a cloudy sky meant it was fuil concentration on the helm to go fast, but not too fast so that you would not faceplant into the next wave...

Till the end of the Canaries we had the position of our competitors every 30 mins but after midnight there was a gap till 8 am and Phaedo3 and Concise diverged and we now have about 50 miles of lateral separation as we head towards the cape verdes on a reach to get south to the tradewinds..

Which route wins out, which weather model is more accurate for this section to the Cape Verdes, will be decided by tomorrow evening. Watch the tracker to find out! Then the long downwind gybing duel will start from the Cape Verdes to the finish in Greneda...

All going really well on board, and everyone into the watch sysem and catching up on sleep after the big push to get though the variable and windy conditions last night..... Lunch today in the sunshine was a buffer of ryvita with ham and cheese for starters and then nutella and peanut butter spooned on the ryvita for dessert...A veritable feast!

More news tomorrow!

Crew member on GBR70 Concise 10

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

44 hours into the 2015 RORC Transat and finally we have a bit of time to reflect on the race so far.

We started well, managing to get ourselves between Phaedo and the line. Coming in hot on port to th pin end, we won the start pushing Phaedo off the line. Unfortunately this was short lived, Brians experience came into play moments later, thier early deploy of the Gennaker allowed Phaedo to sail over the top of us.

So the chase was on, the green boat sailed really well for the first few hours, a combination of new 3di raw sails, carrying less spares/weight and experience allowed them to pull away. Lessons learnt here, our extra crew member and spare Gennaker didnt help with such weight sensitive boats, but decisions were made with the big picture in mind (Getting the boat to the other side and learning our modes).

The first night proved to be really exciting, we picked our way through the islands using the wind funnel between Tenerife and La Palma to extend to the south west. The wind built to about 30+ Knots, which for us VMG running means two reefs and the big Gennaker and sustained boat speeds of over 32 knots. Made all the more interesting by the clouds masking the moon, so it really way pitch black night. Short gybing to stay in the pressure kept everyone on deck and rather wet with a continual hosing of spray.

By the final gybe south into lessening pressure everyone was pretty ready for a couple of hours kip. Not that that is particularly easy with the boat bouncing around like a stallion at 30 knots.

The next strategic move and arguably the most important of the race was how to get south into the trades. A high level low was manipulating the gradient and making for some pretty tricky tick winds to the west. We spotted this early and worked hard on a more southerly lane making the most of the more pressure to the east. So far this seems to be paying off, Phaedo have slowed and allowed us to claw back some precious miles.

The sailing has been absolutely incredible so far, these boats just chew up the miles. At the moment we have flat calm seas, 13 knots of breeze and are comfortably sitting at 20 knots of boat speed. Even better that that is the fact that we sailed all night in shorts and T-Shirts. Sailing in the Solent is going to be pretty hard after this!

Life down below is getting a little bit to warm though, the joys of carbon boats with no ventilation. The off watch at the moment is occupied with fixing a temperamental water maker and keeping the calorie intake up with lots of freeze dried.

So the next 24 hours are going to be really telling, its a drag race to the trades, hopefully we get there first.