Crew Member on GER6300 Haspa Hamburg

on . Posted in Blogs

The race tracker is fascinating as some teams have already tacked and are now heading to south, others seem to hesitate to that move. We are sailing upwind since 36 hours now and trying to figure out when time has come for us tactically to go straight.

In the starlit nights single Squalls eventually come through forcing us to reef and keeping us focussed. The spirit on board is pretty good, but we are all hoping for a sudden wind shift to run downwind into the Caribbean under “Genni” like it was our plan to.

Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

on . Posted in Blogs

After a start in only two knots of wind, we had a glorious first night, surfing at up to 15 knots in gusts of 27 knots towards a waypoint 50 miles north of Tenerife - sufficently far north, we hoped, to avoid the island's wind shadow. We were wrong and spent the next day slopping around in a confused cross swell that continously knocked what little wind there was out of the sails. The only consolation is that we were not alone - the Swan 56 Latona was always within a few miles, often within sight, even though she rates 25 per cent higher.

Once out into clear wind we started with a tight Code Zero reach which quickly turned into a port tack beat. The way south to the trade winds is blocked by a near impenetrable ridge of high pressure, so the only option is to make the most of the wind shifts around a succession of low pressure systems, with our track "gull winging" in and out of each system. Initially it had looked as though there would only be two of these to negotiate, but it now looks as though there won't be a route south until we've passed four low pressures and will finally have northwinds in which we can reach or run down to the Caribbean.

A few boats, including the 100ft super maxi CQS have tried to break away to the south, so far without success. And the succession of lows are predicted to force the tradewinds south of the latitude of the Caribbean, so going south looks like a slow and risky strategy. More than 1,000 miles upwind is definitely not what was in the brochure, but it's still lovely out here - the ocean's a great place and apart from a couple of short, sharp showers, it's bright, warm and sunny. It would just be even better if we had 15-20 knots from behind. For us, as the smallest and lowest rated boat in the fleet, the only potential compensation is that there are some wind holes in the route that may slow the bigger boats ahead of us, but it's a lottery as to who it's going to favour.

Rupert Holmes and Richard Palmer on JPK 1010 Jangada

Crew member on GER7475 Lunatix

on . Posted in Blogs

Day 3

Good afternoon from onboard Lunatix,

First of all, we are all well and everything on board is fine.

Last night started with a bumpy ride along the south side of La Palma, we choose this track after a tiring low pressure zone on the north side of Teneriffa. The plan was to avoid a another mountain made no wind zone. It seem like not many of our competitors choose this track but made their way along the north of La Palma with good speed.

With windspeed of up to 25kn the first half of the night it was quiet intense for the guys on deck and included several times reefing manoveours given to acceleration patches followed by lighter zones.

In the moment we have beautiful upwind sailing conditions with 15kn of windspeed and almost no clouds. Nevertheless this weather patch is not really what you woulexpect from a Atlantic crossing towards the West. But with the nice conditions mentioned, the navigator has no problem to explain to the crew, the upwind sailing may last for a bit longer...

After the intense after start hours and the island hopping style of sailing within the first days, the much cited routine is definitely building onboard Lunatix as well: Questions like "which day is today" as well as the honor our chef Jochen received for smuggling tasty Pasta sauce through the weight check are just some symptoms for that. We look forward to the next days of racing, be it upwind or in the nice downwind conditions which were promised and which we have a slight preference for ;)

The only remaining questions to be decided is the one for the actual day. Though various sources claim we have only been on the water for 48 hours, watch routine and the smell under deck suggest it may have been for a week or longer...

to be continued...

--

Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

on . Posted in Blogs

First 24h

25.11.2017

After an early morning wake up and getting last few things done we finally sailed to the start line, ye-haaa off we are. Weather forecast for the start: big swell and 20kts of wind. Reality: It took us and the rest of the fleet forever to cross the start line and keep the boats moving - 5kts wind and of course from the wrong direction. It was quite a challenge for our skipper Lyssandra to keep the boat moving and at the same time stay away from the others and avoid a collision.

Finally we got a little breeze and gybed our way down the coast of Lanzarote. Everybody had to fight to move the boats either with Spinnakers up or not. We were flying our Gennaker for the first time, till it got dark and everybody did a great job. Classical situation, the wind picks up as soon as the night sets in. We had good 20kts and quite a big swell. Great sailing! Nicole, is at her first bluewater experience and she was so fascinated from all the fluorescent plankton, not only in the wake of the boat, but also when you flush the toilets!!!

Nicole and I are in the same shift. And swisslies like to have a nice breakfast. She this morning she cut some fresh fruits and prepared a nice muesli. Unfortunately we had strong wind and 4m swell from the side. ooooooooh and ups. Yes! As you know bowls with food do not stay at their place on a boat unless you hold them. Fruit salad on the floor :-0 

I started with a forecast story and i will end with another one. All the forecasts said there would be a big wind-hole north of Tenerife (due to the southerly wind). hahahha. We had to put 2 reefs in 25kts of wind and 30 degree heel. I Like this kind of wind-holes, smile. Now we passed Tenerife and are heading south.

Nice healthy fresh salad made by skipper on deck all together and sailing into the sunset.

Everybody is getting used to be on the boat and to the watch system.

Oooh now I have to go, have to cook dinner tonight -

Thalita and Hatha Maris Crew.

Crew member on GER7475 Lunatix

on . Posted in Blogs

Hello,

All good onboard Lunatix.

The starting procedure with almost no wind was a bit tricky and everybody got back to handshake distance ones more. The current in combination with a lack of boatspeed lead to the deployment of bumpers here and there but it all went well and we made our way over the line without damages.

Right now a bit more wind would be delightful but the mood is good and we are slowly making our way alongside the majestic cost of Lanzarote.

Stay save and tuned!