Varuna Retires from the RORC Transatlantic Race

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Day 4 Race Update: 1000 GMT 28 November 2017

2017 rtr varuna sternclose jmJens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56, Varuna had a promising race ahead of them before being forced to retire from the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta - the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada © RORC/James Mitchell

In the early hours of Monday 27th November, Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna was leading the charge north of the rhumb line in the RORC Transatlantic Race - the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta - and estimated to be leading the race after IRC time correction. On the YB Tracker, Varuna was observed to turn back towards the Canary Islands and contacted the RORC Race team to report that they had a structural problem.

"Crewman, Michi Mueller reported a problem on the starboard bow at 0520 GMT on Monday 27th November. Varuna was in 20 knots of wind, close hauled in two metre seas," commented Varuna's navigator, Mike Broughton via satellite phone. "We immediately bore away to ease the slamming on the hull and turned the boat downwind. There was water ingress on the starboard bow and we readied our liferafts and grab bags and contacted the RORC Race Team to report the problem. Meanwhile our two boat builders on board fixed a carbon floorboard over the problem area and held it in place with two perpendicular struts, which is holding very well. We are very disappointed to retire from the race and we are heading back to Lanzarote - all crew are well on board."

370 miles of separation - Day Three

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Third day at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race to Grenada - photo from on board Friedrich Boehnert's Xp-50 LunatixAs dawn broke on the third day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the northerly route across the Atlantic looks to be the favourite for many of the 23 teams taking part in the race. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna leads the charge towards the low pressure system which has attracted the fleet to this route. The low has moved further north east than predicted allowing the fleet to take a more direct heading across the Atlantic. To the south, the convergence zone, acting as a barrier to the tradewinds, is the focus of attention for Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS which has chosen the southerly route.

After beating into big seas for most of the second day, CQS tacked south at around midnight last night. To reach the tradewinds, CQS need to cross a convergence zone, an area of scarce wind approximately 100 miles across. The Australian Maxi has pointed their bow towards the coast of Senegal, West Africa and will be hoping to have picked the narrowest gap. By sharp contrast, Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project is 370 nautical miles (682 km) north of CQS, blasting along on a tight reach into the low pressure system and experiencing close to gale force conditions.

CQS Go South - Day Two RORC Transatlantic Race

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Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt -Muratet 54 Teasing Machine at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race  © RORC Race/James MitchellAfter the first night at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race, the vast majority of the international fleet were north of the Canary Islands, negotiating the wind shadow of Gran Canaria and Tenerife created by the unusual southerly wind.

Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS leads the fleet on the water and having now raced over 200 miles and left Tenerife to port, as required by the Sailing Instructions, the next mark of the course is 3,000 miles away. CQS now looks to be taking a different tactical option by leaving La Palma to starboard and going south in a divergence route to the rest of the fleet.

Two yachts have broken away from the chasing pack and look to be heading for the low pressure system north of the rhumb line. The centre of the low is 500 miles away, but they are already feeling the effect as the wind direction and speed becomes unstable, with torrential rain very likely. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna leads the charge, nine miles ahead of Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt -Muratet 54 Teasing Machine. Of the Maxi yachts, Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project is by far the most northerly yacht, whilst Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon is going well, pulling ahead of Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump.

Gentle Start...Not For Long

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2017 rtr cqs start jmLudde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS leads the fleet at the start of the 4th RORC Transatlantic Race; the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta © RORC/James Mitchell

Prior to the start of the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race you could feel the apprehension amongst the 200 competitors taking part. After months of planning and preparation, it was time for the record fleet of 23 yachts from nine different countries to cast off lines and take on the challenge of the Atlantic Ocean. At noon, the starting gun heralded the beginning of the iconic 3,000 nautical mile race from Marina Lanzarote to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

The forecast of fast reaching conditions failed to materialise and despite little breeze, it was a very competitive start. Ludde Ingvall's 98ft canting keel Maxi CQS made the best of the zephyrs to stretch out an early lead, gybing perfectly on the first of many wind shifts to come. Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump made an impressive start at the Committee Boat end of the line, hoisting their huge gossamer white spinnaker, and Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project showed great pace early on.

Puerto Calero Gala Dinner

on . Posted in Race Updates

2017 rtr jjcalero gala jmAndrew McIrvine, IMA Secretary General presents JJ Calero with gifts at the gala dinner © RORC / James Mitchell

Competitors from 23 teams taking part in the RORC Transatlantic Race enjoyed a celebratory gala dinner at Restaurant Amura in Puerto Calero prior to the start. Making the most of one of their last nights ashore, the wine and conversation flowed and crews were treated to a delicious five-course dinner, courtesy of Calero Marinas.

RORC Commodore Steven Anderson, who is competing in the race in his 50ft Bermudian cutter Gemervescence, thanked JJ Calero and all supporters of the race in Lanzarote: “All the boats are prepared and everybody is looking forward to the race. Thank you to the Calero family and the whole team at Calero Marinas. Also to the Canary Islands Government, Lanzarote Tourist Board, Arrecife Council and the Real Club Nautico de Arrecife for all that they have done to support the race, now in its 4th year. We have been made so very welcome, as always, and the RORC wishes all competitors a very good race. We look forward to seeing you at the end of the race in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.”

Representing the Hamburg yacht club - Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) and the special westbound Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, Rear Commodore Walter Gross-Fengels made his thanks: “The NRV is celebrating our 150th anniversary next year and for that reason we planned this unique regatta. We would like to thank the RORC for their support and also take the opportunity of inviting all teams to register for the eastbound race from Bermuda to Hamburg, starting on July 8th, 2018. I wish you all a safe and successful race to the Caribbean.”

 

View the race gallery online at http://gallery.rorc.org/v/2017/rorc-transatlantic-race/

 

Feisty Start Predicted

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2017 rtr bibot jmGerald Bibot analysing the weather scenario for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. He is competing for the second time in his catamaran Zed 6 © RORC/James Mitchell

Gerald Bibot will be competing in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race with his Belgian 42ft Catamaran Zed 6. Gerald is the founder of Great Circle which produces weather routing programme Squid. In 2015 Gerald was the winner of the MOCRA Class, completing the race in just over 11 days and the only team to take a northerly route.

“This is going to be a tricky race compared to two years ago and the options are not balanced between north and south,” commented Bibot. “In 50 scenarios only two routes are going south of the Great Circle Route and 42 are going north, so the probability of a northern route is almost absolute for just about any boat in the race, except possibly a boat that has good performance upwind in light air.”

Safety First

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2017 rtr weekes inspection german

Safety First

The RORC Transatlantic Race Sailing Instructions ensure that all yachts comply with World Sailing's Offshore Special Regulations Category One for safety at sea. In addition, all yachts must comply with RORC Prescriptions and carry a Satellite phone. Anthea and Stephen Weekes have inspected the yachts prior to departure for all four editions of the race.

“The standard is very high and they have all thought through their safety procedures very carefully,” explained Anthea Weekes. “There are professional crews and amateur crews in this race, but they all appreciate going through the checklist. The important thing is that they have all thought about scenarios and they all have a plan.”

2017 rtr weekes inspection

Diverse Fleet, One Goal

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2017 rtr trio outsider cqs aragon mixedOutsider, Tilmar Hansen's Elliott 52 © Sven Jürgensen Fotografie; Ludde Ingvall's Supermaxi CQS © Rick Tomlinson; Marten 72, Aragon - back to defend her 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race title © James Mitchell

Departing from Marina Lanzarote at noon on the 25th November, a record 23 yachts will compete in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race - the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta. Teams will represent nine different nations: Australia; Belgium; Canada; Chile; France; Germany; Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States of America.

The overall winner under IRC will be awarded the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada; 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. A complex weather scenario is predicted for the start making it almost impossible to predict the winner in a highly competitive fleet.

Record RORC fleet ready in Marina Lanzarote

on . Posted in Race Updates

2017 rtr marina lanzaroteRORC Transatlantic Race & Atlantic Anniversary Regatta yachts docked at Calero Marinas - Marina Lanzarote

The start of 4th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race – the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta - is just a few days away and crews from the record fleet are making their last preparations prior to the 3,000 mile race. Twenty-two teams with sailors from all over the world have gathered in Arrecife’s Marina Lanzarote, excited at the prospect of taking the challenge of racing across the Atlantic. For several of the young competitors in the race, this will be their first transatlantic crossing, but for others, like legendary Spanish six-times round the world circumnavigator and Volvo Ocean Race sailor, Guillermo Altadill, the RORC Transatlantic Race will bring the number of his Atlantic crossings to 19!

Marina Lanzarote has been looking forward to the RORC Transatlantic Race ever since the last event a year ago. We are all in and ready for it,” smiled José Juan Calero, Calero Marinas Managing Director. “For us it is exciting and amazing to see how the event is growing each year, with more boats and competitors from many different countries. This year we are hosting both the RORC Transatlantic Race and the RC44 regatta and both are enjoying the atmosphere at Marina Lanzarote, sharing the environment and the hospitality. All of our team will be doing their best to ensure that all the competitors have everything they need for the race.”

Marina Lanzarote is already bustling with activity prior to the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday, with competitors making use of the excellent facilities at the state-of-the-art marina. Varuna, Jens Kellinghusen’s German Ker 56, Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine, and Roman Guerra’s Volvo 70 Monster Project were making excellent use of the 820-tonne crane and dry dock.

Teasing Machine arrived from Malta last week on a cargo ship after a demanding Rolex Middle Sea Race,” commented Teasing Machine's Volvo Ocean Race winning tactician, Laurent Pages. “We didn't have any major failures in the race, but it has been very useful to check under the boat in Marina Lanzarote before that start of the RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday. In the next 24-36 hours our container will be shipped from here to Grenada in the Caribbean, so we are concentrating on preparing that today. We will be going out testing the boat later today and for the final couple of days we will be focusing on the tactics and strategy for the race.”

Grenada crests the ocean wave, signing four-year contract with Royal Ocean Racing Club and Camper & Nicholsons

on . Posted in Race Updates

Pure Grenada Text

Pure Grenada to host the finish of RORC Transatlantic Race until 2020

2017 Grenada RORC Signing Phil Gammon GTA

L to R: Francine Stewart, Marketing Manager, Grenada Tourism Authority; Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive, Royal Ocean Racing Club; Patricia Maher, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority and Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Michael Boyd © Phil Gammon/GTA

rorc transatlantic race logoPure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean has signed an agreement with The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas Limited to host the finish of the prestigious transatlantic yacht race for the next four years. Competitors will depart from Calero Marinas Marina Lanzarote to tackle 2,995 nautical miles before arriving at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, with this year’s start date confirmed for Saturday 25 November.

Mammoth to Minute

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2017 msr cqs kaLine Honours favourite for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race, part of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, is Ludde Ingvall's 98ft Maxi, CQS © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

The fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start from Marina Lanzarote on 25th November 2017, bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. The IMA Transatlantic Trophy will be awarded to the first monohull to complete the race and three powerful Maxi yachts can be considered favourites for the prestigious trophy: CQS, Sorceress and Monster Project are all very capable of beating the race record set in 2015 by Jean Paul Riviere's Nomad IV of 10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds.

By contrast, Jangada is the smallest yacht in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. At just 33ft (10.10 metres) and sailing Two Handed, it is estimated that Jangada will take 19 days to complete the 2,995 nautical mile race.

Ludde Ingvall's 98ft Maxi CQS from Australia is a front-runner to take Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Ingvall has thousands of racing miles under his belt, notching up 15 transatlantic crossings; his most famous Transatlantic Race was in 1997. As skipper of Nicorette, Ingvall broke the 92-year old record set in 1905 by Charlie Barr's Atlantic.

"When you are a young kid dreaming of racing, the Transatlantic Race is a very special one. I have enjoyed them all; it is a great adventure and very historic. You become part of something that has been going on for hundreds of years. To share that experience with your crew and other boats is really unique, and I feel very privileged to be doing this race," explains Ingvall. "For this race we have a rather young crew. Many will be crossing the Atlantic for the first time and they are excited to race in an organised fashion."

Atlantic Double

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2017 RFR Varuna Kurt Arrigo

Set for an Atlantic circuit: Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna will be representing Norddeutscher Regatta Verein in the RORC Transatlantic Race © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

 Start Leg 1 - RORC Transatlantic Race
Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada

A record entry is expected for the fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, starting at Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands, on 25th November, 2017. Close to 25 teams are expected, racing a huge variety of ocean going yachts. Nine different nations will be taking the challenge, competing 3,000 miles to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada, West Indies.

Marking a special year, the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race makes up one half of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR). The second race, organised by the RORC and Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV), starts from Bermuda on 7th July 2018 and finishes in Hamburg, the home port of the NRV, celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Marina Lanzarote prepares for transatlantic race fleet

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2016 rtr start jmThe spectacular volcanic island of Lanzarote makes an impressive backdrop for the RORC Transatlantic Race and Marina Lanzarote will once again host the start of the Atlantic-bound fleet © RORC/James Mitchell

Start Leg 1 - RORC Transatlantic Race
Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada

Setting off on an epic Atlantic race on Saturday 25 November from Marina Lanzarote, the 4th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race is the lengthiest race in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's offshore calendar. This year the westbound race, hosted by Calero Marinas forms the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR) held in celebration of Hamburg-based Norddeutscher Regatta Verein's (NRV) 150th anniversary in 2018 and the 50th year for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS).

Destination Grenada
The joint jubilee celebration, in partnership with YCCS, originally had a scheduled finish in their British Virgin Islands base, but this has now proved impossible due to the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the region.

"It is extremely sad news that the recent natural disasters have decimated the Virgin Islands making it unviable to take the race to YCCS on Virgin Gorda, BVIs," explains RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen. "The RORC Committee in consultation with the YCCS and NRV have therefore decided to finish the race in Grenada and we look forward to returning to Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina who have warmly welcomed competitors and our race team for the past three events."

For those competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 - celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018 - the first leg of the AAR acts as a challenging annual feeder race, as well as a great way to race across the Atlantic in company to take part in the Caribbean winter circuit. The Caribbean Sailing Association accentuates the importance of sailors continuing with plans to bring boats to race in the Caribbean regattas this season as it is the best way to help rebuild tourism and the lives of those affected.

2017 Notice of Race

on . Posted in Race Updates

2017 RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race

The Notice of Race for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race is now available to download here. This year's race is organised in association with the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda and celebrates their 50th anniversary. The race starts 25th November 2017 in Lanzarote and finishes at the YCCS yacht club in Virgin Gorda. The race also makes up one half of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, with the second race organised by the RORC and NRV starting in Bermuda on 7th July 2018 and finishing in Hamburg.

pdf2017 RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race2.71 MB27/01/2017

 

Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

on . Posted in Blogs

Title: The final run to the finish

Rupert Holmes and Richard Palmer on JPK 1010 Jangada in the 2017 RORC

Transatlantic Race

Postion 12.03N 56.55W

Boat speed 8-12.5 knots

Wind ENE 15-22 knots

Air temperature 31.4C

Weather Sunny with 20% clould cover

We now have well under 300 miles to the finish and are holding a lead of

a couple of days both in our class and for the two-handed prize. The

past 48 hours have seen a mix of a fast downwind blast under S4

spinnaker - the wave shape has become much more conducive for surfing

and we've regularly had sustained speeds above 10 knots. However,

disappointingly the boat speed plot in the Expedition navigation

software reveals that the 12.5 knot peaks contribute next to nothing to

Jandaga's average speed.

The wind has been tending to ease in the afternoons, and come slightly

aft, making for good progress under the S4. Overnight it increases and

comes slightly further ahead, which makes for spirited progress and lots

of fun. However, we're also conscious that more incidents happen in the

early hours of the morning than at any other time, so we've dropped the

kite at some point between dinner time and midnight. We may have a

substantial lead on the water right now, but to get Jangada's name on

the trophies we still have to finish the race.

Wednesday night we reverted to sailing slightly low of the course under

a poled out No4 jib; last night we were sailing a little high under Jib

Top and Genoa Staysail. Tonight looks promising for the A5 small

asymmetric spinnaker - if so, we will have used every sail on the boat,

with the exception of the storm sails and delivery mainsail.

Despite the race having taken significantly longer than expected, our

provisions have lasted well. We will finish with a couple of day's

supply of water left, we've only just consumed the last of the fresh

veg, there's still cheese, ham, chorizo, gazpacho, plus a couple of

breakfasts, along with plenty of snacks and evening meals.

Nevertheless, we're still both looking forward to the finish in Grenada,

which should be around midnight local time on Saturday December 16...

Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

on . Posted in Blogs

Dec 13th 2017

Swiss night - Raclette time

As we had a swiss day yesterday the blog will also be written in swiss

dialect from the Valais. Sorry guys.

Geschter isch en hundskumume Segeltag ufum Atlantik xi. Zum Zmorge es feins

Birchermuesli schwizerart mit epis weniges frische Fricht, also in dischem

Fall trochuni Dattle und Wiberini. De gmietli in e Tag schtarte miteme

tschinger Kaffee und jedi het ebiz ire Zig erledigt, Biecher laesse,

Soitaire spiele, Chibelduschi, Waetter embricha lade etc. Fer emal isch nix

kaputt gange oder suscht zum flicke xi, ohh Wunder. Ds Meer het schich

stattli beruehigt im Verloeif vom Tag und wier, d Niflora und ich, hei

beschlosse hite isch e guete Tag der es feins Walliser Raclette. Yep, aes

Raclette mitsch ufum Putz, hueerra guet! (heisst im Fall nit guet, ich cha

mit dem yankee Computer kei Umlaut mache und d Autokorrektur tritt mi fasst

ine Wahnsinn). Wilwer nu gad di Zit umgstellt hei (alle 15 Degrees isch en

noeji Timezone) het das gat guet gipasst mit dum Schichtwaexel. Das ja ufum

Meer meischtens flott windet isch nu schwierig xi es Platzji ds xfine fer

ds Rechaud Grill Oefeli. Hei de iner Galley (Bordchuchi) im Waeschbecki dri

ds Raclette gebrutzlet. Mmmmmh isch das fein xi säg ich ew! Aes Raclette

mitsch ufum Atlantik - einmalig!

Und de isch ja scho wieder Nacht xi (ha sowieso ds Gfuehl aesch immer eswie

Nachtschicht hie, smile) und ischi Schichte ds zweit fer zwei Stunde sind

wieder los gange. Isch nu ximli happig 2 h segle, no problem, aber de numu

2 h Schlafenszit, inklusive ins Bett ga, WC, uefstah und alege natirli. Da

bisch froh wens wieder hell wird und die dri Stuender afaent und ds fein

Birchermuesli schon wieder ufum Menüplan steiht, smile.

SAIL, EAT, SLEEP AND REPEAT!

Ok friends and followers a short summary in english. Yesterday we had a

beautiful normal day on the sea starting with a delicious Birchermuesli and

‘fresh’ fruits, dried dates and raisins. After a proper italian coffee

everybody did their thing, reading a book, playing Solitaire, bucket

showering or downloading the weather report. Nothing broken, nothing to

fix. Niflora and I decided today would be a good day to have a Swiss

Raclette as the weather calmed down and we also changed the time (every 15

degrees is a new timezone). Since we are on a sailing boat and we

definitely have wind now it was quite tricky to find a place to make

Raclette with a tea lights oven. The sink in the Galley was the best place

for it. Mmmmmmh it was just delicious and sooo unique - a Swiss Raclette in

the middle of the Atlantic - awesome!

And there we go, it is night again (I have the feeling somehow it s always

nightshift time). Its a bit intense to sail 2h and then only have 2h off -

including going to bed, toilet, get up and get dressed again. It makes you

happy to see the daylight again and go back to the 3h shift. Voila there is

the Birchermuesli again, smile.

SAIL, EAT, SLEEP AND REPEAT!

Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

on . Posted in Blogs

Dec 10th 2017

Happy Happy Birthday Sammi

Big day today - we have a birthday child onboard. While Sammy went back to

have a little sleep after the early watch we started to decorate the boat a

little bit for her birthday. Lyss baked a tasty chocolate wave cake (as I

am not allowed to bake anything anymore on a boat after one almost on fire

and one cake actually on fire on the last crossings) and Nicole drew up a

creative birthday card. As we are kind of a gourmet crew, with Francesca

as our titled Master Chef, I set to prepare a beautiful lunch. Salmon (we

did not catch that here in the middle of the Atlantic) with boat-grown

sprouted rocket and Philadelphia lemon crostini, accompanied by a healthy

Feta Tomatoes and basilicum salad, also grown on the boat by Master

Gardener Sammi.

Sammi, who has been suffering from sea sickness the whole trip, for once

has great day, feels good, and eats her birthday meal and cake! (Sarah-

she did not open her present until today, it looks great on her!) Beautiful

weather, finally good wind, nice food, and some great stars. Happy birthday

may all your wishes come true.

Thalita

Dec 11th 2017

What to wear while sailing

When you are about to cross the Atlantic, you know you need foul weather

gear, a red light head torch, a sleeping bag, your tool, boots/sailing

shoes, a lifejacket etc… but you would be surprised how many experienced

sailors ask “what should I bring to wear?”

So you put together the joining instructions and send them off to the crew

before the trip, and there! first thing they ask, again, even if it is

detailed down to the very last pair of underwear. If you are wondering,

this is not just women. Any delivery trip, same thing.

Finally, really, how long does it take to get some wind, we have some great

breeze. Since yesterday we have a constant 20-25kts of wind and a steady 3m

swell from more or less astern and once in awhile a bigger one, making for

some interesting speed competitions (by the way it does not count if you go

11.8kn, even with a reef in, if you are off course!)

Great sailing, constant sunshine, so it is definitely getting warmer every

day. Everybody is happy about the weather.

This said, we have had several wardrobe transmutations the first two weeks-

Week 1, while we were sailing upwind with 27-30 kn of wind:

Daytime: long warm merino layer top and bottom, usually light pants on top,

supersocks, vest and the jacket if it is cloudy

Nighttime: long warm merino layer below, supersocks, vest/sweater, foul

weather gear/ the jacket - and a hat

Week 1, while we were becalmed - don’t ask, no wind, as in 0.00kn:

Daytime: pants/ 3/4 length layer, running t-shirts, slowly undressing as

the day warmed up more

Bikinis for swimming while becalmed… and then quickly clothes on

again

Nighttime: long merino warm layer below, supersocks, the jacket

Week 2: finally getting some wind -woo hoo sometimes it is 10kn!, but

getting warmer

Daytime: shorts, t-shirts.. and bikinis!

Nighttime: 3/4 length layer, long sleeves and the jacket

(underwear… to each their own, you should see our bucket laundry, full

selection available!)

Lyssandra

Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

on . Posted in Blogs

Title: The wrong kind of waves!

Rupert Holmes and Richard Palmer on JPK1010 Jangada

Position 11.27N, 47.45W

Boat speed 7-10 knots

Wind ENE 18-22 knots

Air temperature 29.7C

Sea temperature 32.1C

Weather 9/10 clear skies with bright sun

Instead of the 3,000 miles of glorious downwind surfing we were

promised, we started with calms, then days of headwinds, squalls and

more light airs. As a result, we've had to go well south compared to

traditional routes to get into solid tradewind conditions.

Even then, we're not getting the sustained easy surfing you might expect

thanks to a confused sea and wind-driven waves that have such a long

wavelength that most refuse to crest. A couple of days ago we gave up on

running with the S2 and S4 spinnakers, as the sea state meant we had to

sail more than 35 degrees off the flat water downwind polars just to

keep wind in the sail.

Instead we have a poled out jib and mainsail - an easy old-school

arrangement that allows us to point dead downwind at Grenada. An initial

screening of progress after dropping the kite showed a 4 per cent

decrease in boat speed, accompanied by a 5 per cent drop in distance

sailed - in otherwords a small net gain. Importantly, for a race of such

marathon proportions it has also significantly reduced wear and tear on

the boat, fittings and sails.

The other frustration is huge amounts of weed that wraps around both

rudders and the keel. In day light it's possible to steer around the

biggest clumps, but at night impossible. An advantage of running without

a spinnaker is that the frequent luffs head to wind to allow the boat to

back up and clear the foils are much easier if you don't have to drop

the kite first, especially as we are double-handed.

A wind shift this evening will see us gybing onto starboard for the

final run into the finish. Hopefully the new wind will break up the

patches of weed... and the forecast wind angles look promising for a

fast blast with the A5 spinnaker.

Routine on board continues as before, although less time is needed to

analyse weather and routing options as we close on the finish. There are

also minor changes to diet as the last of the fresh vegetables are

almost gone.

The routing software suggests we will finish sometime between Saturday

evening and theh following morning local time. We're pushing for the

former on the premise that Grenadan rum will taste better on a Saturday

night than a Sunday morning.

Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

on . Posted in Blogs

This from a couple of days ago...

Weed!

Weed to left of us. Weed to the right of us.  Streaks of weed.  Lilly pad plates of weed 10 feet in diameter.  Weed around the rudders - both of them, which need clearing every 20 minutes!  Weed around the keel - spinnaker down and reverse the boat to clear.  Weed at night that you can't see.  I'm fed up with weed!

Even the weed stick is feeling the pressure.  Fine in UK waters, but not a match for this tropical weed. Now clearly under-engineered, the weed stick has had several modifications.  A corner bracket cut out from a chopping board to support the bend. The main shaft lashed to a broom handle.  And rope to cover the hook so we don't scratch the rudders too much.  Fortunately, now that we are into more choppy seas with winds building to 20kts, the weed seems to be more disperse and we are not having to clear rudders so often. Just as well, as we don't carry a spare weed stick.

Looking forward to a downwind run for the final 1,200nm to Grenada.....

Richard & Rupert

JPK1010 Jangada

Crew member on GER7475 Lunatix

on . Posted in Blogs

Regards from Lunatix!

The days are passing by and we actually dont really know when we last posted anything to this blog so we will have a quick summary of our past days: They have been a variation of all sorts of weather, from as little as 4kn of TWS up to 30Kn everything hit us in a well served mixture. For the remaining days on the water we would like to point out that we prefer 20 to 25kn of TWS and would be delighted if we get this weather very soon, to surf towards the finish line. More than 25kn is not necessary and we we figured out that even on a brand new boat you get pieces to break apart if you push to hard. In our case the Tylaska at the end of the guy went out of service when a big gust hit us. As usual something like this happens during the dead of night and set us back quiet a bit until we where ready to set the kite again and continue under full speed.

We are in the beginning of the third week and according to our plan we should already enjoy Rum and the beautiful island of Grenada but as the fleet can tell, the weather conditions showed to be so beautiful, we just wanted to enjoy some extra days on the Atlantic!

We liked to admit we also accepted outside assistant last night by an eighth crew member: "Larry" as we named him, is a 40 cm big seabird (don´t ask us about the types of seabirds) which circumsailed Lunatix a dozen times yesterday evening before finding the courage to land on our deck (to windward- good job Larry). He proofed to be a fast-learner and even kept a cool head during two night-time gybes including all hands on deck and the neccesary moves and commands during the pitch black night, Larry just wouldn´t leave the scene. Unfortunately he doesn´t seem to be a great team player, leaving the scenery at early morning before breakfast and leaving a huge portion of sh*** on the starboard deck- not cool Larry!

Now we are back on track with our original 7 headed crew and enjoy the last hours of that race. Though the experiences being remarkebly, we still sail under the mindset of race sailors, which means that the last days and hours of the race- as beautiful as they might be- need to be minimized! Need another argument to get to Grenada as fast as possible? Well think about steak and rum !

All safe and sound but thirsty!

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