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    • UnderDawg

      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

      Sailing Anarchy is a very lightly moderated site. This is by design, to afford a more free atmosphere for discussion. There are plenty of sailing forums you can go to where swearing isn't allowed, confrontation is squelched and, and you can have a moderator finger-wag at you for your attitude. SA tries to avoid that and allow for more adult behavior without moderators editing your posts and whacking knuckles with rulers. We don't have a long list of published "thou shalt nots" either, and this is by design. Too many absolute rules paints us into too many corners. So check the Terms of Service - there IS language there about certain types of behavior that is not permitted. We interpret that lightly and permit a lot of latitude, but we DO reserve the right to take action when something is too extreme to tolerate (too racist, graphic, violent, misogynistic, etc.). Yes, that is subjective, but it allows us discretion. Avoiding a laundry list of rules allows for freedom; don't abuse it. However there ARE a few basic rules that will earn you a suspension, and apparently a brief refresher is in order. 1) Allegations of pedophilia - there is no tolerance for this. So if you make allegations, jokes, innuendo or suggestions about child molestation, child pornography, abuse or inappropriate behavior with minors etc. about someone on this board you will get a time out. This is pretty much automatic; this behavior can have real world effect and is not acceptable. Obviously the subject is not banned when discussion of it is apropos, e.g. talking about an item in the news for instance. But allegations or references directed at or about another poster is verboten. 2) Outing people - providing real world identifiable information about users on the forums who prefer to remain anonymous. Yes, some of us post with our real names - not a problem to use them. However many do NOT, and if you find out someone's name keep it to yourself, first or last. This also goes for other identifying information too - employer information etc. You don't need too many pieces of data to figure out who someone really is these days. Depending on severity you might get anything from a scolding to a suspension - so don't do it. I know it can be confusing sometimes for newcomers, as SA has been around almost twenty years and there are some people that throw their real names around and their current Display Name may not match the name they have out in the public. But if in doubt, you don't want to accidentally out some one so use caution, even if it's a personal friend of yours in real life. 3) Posting While Suspended - If you've earned a timeout (these are fairly rare and hard to get), please observe the suspension. If you create a new account (a "Sock Puppet") and return to the forums to post with it before your suspension is up you WILL get more time added to your original suspension and lose your Socks. This behavior may result a permanent ban, since it shows you have zero respect for the few rules we have and the moderating team that is tasked with supporting them. Check the Terms of Service you agreed to; they apply to the individual agreeing, not the account you created, so don't try to Sea Lawyer us if you get caught. Just don't do it. Those are the three that will almost certainly get you into some trouble. IF YOU SEE SOMEONE DO ONE OF THESE THINGS, please do the following: Refrain from quoting the offending text, it makes the thread cleanup a pain in the rear Press the Report button; it is by far the best way to notify Admins as we will get e-mails. Calling out for Admins in the middle of threads, sending us PM's, etc. - there is no guarantee we will get those in a timely fashion. There are multiple Moderators in multiple time zones around the world, and anyone one of us can handle the Report and all of us will be notified about it. But if you PM one Mod directly and he's off line, the problem will get dealt with much more slowly. Other behaviors that you might want to think twice before doing include: Intentionally disrupting threads and discussions repeatedly. Off topic/content free trolling in threads to disrupt dialog Stalking users around the forums with the intent to disrupt content and discussion Repeated posting of overly graphic or scatological porn content. There are plenty web sites for you to get your freak on, don't do it here. And a brief note to Newbies... No, we will not ban people or censor them for dropping F-bombs on you, using foul language, etc. so please don't report it when one of our members gives you a greeting you may find shocking. We do our best not to censor content here and playing swearword police is not in our job descriptions. Sailing Anarchy is more like a bar than a classroom, so handle it like you would meeting someone a little coarse - don't look for the teacher. Thanks.
    • B.J. Porter

      Moderation Team Change   06/16/2017

      After fifteen years of volunteer moderation at SA, I will no longer be part of the moderation team. The decision to step aside is mine, and has been some time in the works but we did not wish to announce it in advance for a number of reasons. It's been fun, but I need my time back for other purposes now. The Underdawg admin account will not be monitored until further notice, as I will be relinquishing control of it along with my administrative privileges. Zapata will continue on as a moderator, and any concerns or issues can be directed to that account or to the Editor until further notice. Anyone interested in helping moderate the forums should reach out to Scot by sending a PM to the Editor account. Please note that I am not leaving the community, I am merely stepping aside from Admin responsibilities and privileges on the site.

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ckozel

Clipper round the world

710 posts in this topic

Lydia, your posting rate is not nearly good enough and it will be brought to OA's attention when she wins this leg !!! :rolleyes:

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Lydia, your posting rate is not nearly good enough and it will be brought to OA's attention when she wins this leg !!! :rolleyes:

I am back in the office tomorrow so rate might improve.

 

Just got an email from OA complaining that she is doing the bow on both watches and had two trips up the rig today.

 

Of course I said harden up, and that she know from sailing with me that bowman are not allowed sleep otherwise they get delusions of ability and think they should steer the yacht.

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Qingdao and Geraldton Western Australia vie for lead - 07 January 2012

Qingdao has been holding the lead in Race 7 through the last 24 hours but Geraldton Western Australia is gaining ground on the Chinese entry, despite their spinnaker damage, and now the two yachts, barely 20 miles apart geographically have been able to make contact with each other.

 

“We managed to raise Geraldton Western Australia on VHF so we were able to congratulate the crew on their spinnaker repairs,” says Qingdao’s skipper, Ian Conchie.

 

“We continued heading north west under white sails until lunchtime today when we hoisted the heavy spinnaker and bore away to try and make some ground on them to the west. The wind keeps changing direction so it is hard to decide if it is better to head west with spinnakers or north west with white sails.

 

“In the meantime we have received lots of messages to congratulate us on holding first place for 24 hours but, as I keep saying, there is a long way to go and with boats to the south and north of us only time will tell which was the right strategy to play. We continue to push hard buoyed by the exciting news that Qingdao has extended their sponsorship for another two races. We will continue to push to try and give them a result to celebrate as well,” concludes Ian.

 

After ripping their medium weight spinnaker right across the middle, the WA team’s sail repair team has swung into action.

 

“The last 24 hours have seen the crew pushing a needle through 24 metres of sail repair. Job completed and we’re just waiting for the right conditions to put up the ‘Luff Bluster’ aka medium weight kite,” says skipper, Juan Coetzer. “The crew have done a fantastic job and all put in overtime to get the task done as well as race the boat hard,” he continues.

 

The north east trade winds are now starting to benefit all of the teams. The yachts are approximately spread across a line running from north to south and at the southern end Derry-Londonderry’s crew are revelling in their third place and have really found their rhythm on board.

 

Mark Light says, “We are sailing very well as a team; our new leggers have shown great enthusiasm and been integrated well to the boat by the very reliable and hard working core crew on board. Lots of our sailing evolutions have gone very well and we seem to have a new sharpness and freshness all around. Add this to the fact that we seem to be making good decisions with regard to sail changes and strategies and we have a reason to be very pleased with our progress in this race!

 

“We have very consistent winds from the east north east and a lovely flat sea state. We are being helped along by the South Equatorial Current which is giving us a shove of about one knot, consistently shown by virtue of our Speed Over Ground higher than our boat speed - about ten knots at present. We are making a good direction, operating about 175nm north of our rhumb line and the intense convection activity, or squalls, has decreased substantially.

 

“On board we are all working hard, keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for a successful finish to this very long and very tactical Race 7,” concludes the skipper of the Northern Ireland team.

 

Just slightly further to their north east Visit Finland is nipping at their heels, with Welcome to Yorkshire and New York joining the group of four. They may well have a better angle on the wind than those to the north of the fleet.

 

“Today has been one of our best runs yet and spirits were high at the lunchtime meeting,” reports Olly Osborne on board Visit Finland. “The squally weather seems to be behind us for the time being and it is great to get our teeth into some reliable breeze. We are currently making a more southerly course which is historically devoid of much in the way of consistent wind, but so far so good as they say.

 

“So as the fleet shapes up for the dash westward toward the bottleneck at the Sarangani Strait it will be a very interesting week from a tactical perspective. The temperature has fallen slightly which is a great relief, and everyone is enjoying a bit of settled weather.”

 

While the weather is more settled, New York’s crew are still experiencing some ups and downs, according to skipper, Gareth Glover.

 

“The ups at crossing the Equator and getting back into the north of the world and downs that we sailed into a wind hole and sat there for over six hours in zero wind until we picked up the forecast north easterlies which we are sailing in,” he explains.

 

“We tried every sail to help us get moving from the wind hole including trying to fly all three kites but in zero wind not even the lightweight kite wound fill and we had to just sit there and watch on AIS as Derry-Londonderry and Visit Finland sailed around us. We are now travelling north west under heavyweight kite and with still 1,300 miles to our next waypoint we will make back the miles we have lost overnight and get into the top three yachts.”

 

No less determined are the crew of Welcome to Yorkshire who celebrated their Equator crossing with a traditional Neptune ceremony. The skipper of the English entry, Rupert Dean, describes the scene.

 

“Our second crossing was different to the first in that half of the crew had crossed before. Known as Shellbacks, they were not required by Neptune to take part in the dodgy rituals. Instead they played an active supporting role cooking up treats, making costumes, filming and washing the accused and decks (more on that later). The Shellbacks were Jim Stamp, Steve Reid, Hannah Richards, Ann Finch, Richard Simons, Richard Williams and Peter Crooke (all round the worlders), accompanied by Richard Gould and Les Hartley, who had been 'christened' previously on other boats.

 

“The accused, known as Pollywogs, were James Bruegger, Kim Rolfe, Matthew Diggle, Matt Cornall, Callum Girvan, Harriet Oglethorpe and Richard Hilson. They were gathered, cowering on deck to await the arrival of King Neptune (skipper), his Queen Amphritite (Ann) and Davy Jones (Steve). After they arrived, amidst much fanfare, the court kicked into action.

 

“Each of the accused was called forward to sit before Neptune, Amphritite and Davy Jones. After drinking a 'truth serum' (chicken Oxo, Branston pickle, chilli sauce and Worcester Sauce mix), they were given the opportunity to defend themselves against their crimes, the evidence for which was gleefully supplied by the Shellbacks. Chief among these, of course, was crossing the Equator without first seeking Neptune's permission. After all were – naturally – found to be guilty, each had to kiss the hands of Queens Amphritite and Davy Jones, before retreating to the poop deck to be covered with ladles of gunk (tomato juice and porridge oats). They were then washed off with buckets of sea water by the Shellbacks and proclaimed to be Pollywogs no more.”

 

There is just one team in the southern hemisphere now but Edinburgh Inspiring Capital is in no great rush to cross the Equator as they continue on their westerly course, says skipper, Gordon Reid.

 

“Last night the squalls continued, presenting us with some challenging conditions, frequent reefing in and out, and numerous head-sail changes between the Yankee 1 and the windseeker as we continued to make the most of the increased wind within the black squall clouds. The moon is almost full and the night sky is bright and full of stars.

 

“Today as the sun rose, unfortunately the wind eased again and we were left drifting in the current for hours, however as we passed under the mini high the wind returned and we now have the north easterly trades, flying under spinnaker at a tasty nine knots.”

 

From the most southerly to the most northerly yacht in the race and Gold Coast Australia has also overcome their sail problems, having spent time reworking a previous repair.

 

“Finally the winds that we have been searching for have arrived without squalls or storms. We are now sailing along at six degrees north, nicely powered up in the direction we want to go,” comments Richard Hewson. “To add to our luxury sail, the counter current that we were experiencing earlier this morning has turned around and is now flowing with us giving us another half a knot speed over ground.

 

“Our medium weight spinnaker has also successfully been re-repaired and is flying beautifully ahead of the yacht, powering her along at maximum speed for the ten to 12 knots of wind that we currently hold. Lisa Blair, Deb Miller, Deb Grant, Chris Hopkins and Brian Stamp took the arduous sewing in turns and bought the ol’ sewing machine back to life to run over the stitching a few more times. Fingers crossed, with the re-repairs it’s stronger than new and will hold up to the test for the next few weeks.”

 

The Tasmanian yachtsman, who had been bemoaning the dearth of wildlife in the early stages of this race, is happier with what he has been seeing in recent days.

 

“As we near the islands of one of the more remote regions of the Pacific there is an increase in the abundance of wildlife with daily sightings of dolphins, and flocks of birds dive bombing schools of fish. We also have the occasional bird trying to steal our Windex which we need to somehow disguise as a predator to scare them away in future. The increase in wildlife is a pleasure to watch and hopefully it remains like that for the future.”

 

It will be interesting to watch the race viewer over the next 12 to 36 hours as Singapore and De Lage Landen, who have continued to press northwards to position themselves for what they hope will be the best of the trade winds, begin to feel the benefits of them.

 

“After almost a week spent under the frustrating influence of the monsoon trough we are now feeling what could be the first signs of the north easterlies, and thank God for that. What an amazing afternoon spent reaching with the kite at speeds over ten knots at all times. The crew spirit is high and the will to fight for a podium position is stronger than ever. Let's wait and see what the next days will bring us,” Stuart Jackson tells the Race Office in his morning report.

 

Meanwhile on Singapore Ben Bowley says, “Our more northerly course is rewarding us with some good steady winds and being becalmed for hours on end is starting to become a thing of the past. It is sorely tempting to start to edge off to the west now that we have signs of the steady trades that have been so elusive this last week. The problem with heading to the west too soon is still present however; turn too soon and we are likely to pay the price further down the line in the form of some much lighter conditions.

 

“The plan has always been to head north until we find the strong trades but seeing most of the fleet start to curve off the west makes our resolution waver from time to time! Time will tell the best course of action but here's still hoping that a little investment now will pay dividends further down the line.

 

“Today has been another blisteringly hot and humid day. The last 24 hours have seen us switch between our light and medium weight spinnakers almost as often as there is a watch change due to the constant fluctuations in the breeze. This has served to make the crew super efficient at the evolution and kite packing now takes around ten minutes as opposed to nearly half an hour at the start of the leg,” signs off Ben.

 

You can find out how to get on board for the Clipper 13-14 Race at the London International Boat Show from now until 15 January. Visit us on stand G102 in the North Hall to meet former crew members and to discover more about the exciting new Clipper 70 fleet which will enter service in the next edition of the race. There are presentations each day at 12.15pm in the Knowledge Box, next to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race stand.

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I know a lot of people do not rate this very high, but this leg is proving to be a good race.

 

Seems some of the other boats are more competitive now and that may be a few new leggers (as in Q's case, OA is obvioulsy adding speed) and/or the other punters having more experience on the boat and have stopped holding on for dear life and actually looking up and out.

 

Best leg so far and a few miles to go yet.

Looks like GC have screwed up and went too far north and now have to go higher to get around Palau and then back down to the gate at Sarangani.

They are about 9.2N and the gate looks to be about 5.

 

All other boats doing well in a good breeze and reasonable conditions it would seem.

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I know a lot of people do not rate this very high, but this leg is proving to be a good race.

 

Seems some of the other boats are more competitive now and that may be a few new leggers (as in Q's case, OA is obvioulsy adding speed) and/or the other punters having more experience on the boat and have stopped holding on for dear life and actually looking up and out.

 

Best leg so far and a few miles to go yet.

Looks like GC have screwed up and went too far north and now have to go higher to get around Palau and then back down to the gate at Sarangani.

They are about 9.2N and the gate looks to be about 5.

 

All other boats doing well in a good breeze and reasonable conditions it would seem.

 

+1

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Happy to be proven wrong.

GC have come screaming down to take back the lead, as I presume they had planned all along.

Seems the skipper knows a thing or 2 about ocean racing and tides. Well done.

 

Not sure what they are doing about the next section, some discussion about suspending racing to get through tricky bits.

 

Guess the loss of the Irish boat last time around is still a bit fresh.

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After the scoring gate they will motor for a bit in small groups with escort, you can guess why. Funnily no one wants to in the group with the American boat!

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Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are currently on day twenty one of race seven, from the Gold Coast to Singapore.

 

Gold Coast Australia has swooped down from the north and into first place, making maximum use of the favourable current and nudging out Derry-Londonderry from the position they had been holding as race leaders.

 

But the team had something of a setback this morning when the yacht broached, breaking a spinnaker pole.

 

'The spinnaker pole is replaceable and we had the heavyweight spinnaker ready to fly again within the hour after doing some minor repairs, although we waited until the sun was properly up and there were no more rogue gusts before a re-hoist. Being Friday the Thirteenth we cannot be cautious enough!' says Richard Hewson, skipper of the Australian yacht.

 

Now with a little more than 100 miles to the gate, where the fleet will suspend racing to safely negotiate the poorly charted waters of the Celebes Sea, the ten teams are fully focused on achieving the best possible elapsed time.

 

They will resume racing as they exit the Sulu Sea. Each of the teams must report the times they cross the suspension and restart gates within three hours of doing so. The team that wins Race 7 will be the one whose time is the shortest for the first part of the race added to the time they take to reach the finish line in Singapore from the moment they start racing again.

 

In addition to the fixed navigation hazards, in these waters fisherman going about their daily lives also make for something of an obstacle course for the 68-foot racing yachts.

 

'Last night we saw the first of many Philippine fishing boats,' Richard reports. 'During the day their colourful paint patterns and interesting construction delight the crew, and at night they have a similar appearance of bright lights of various colours that rarely represent the correct navigation lights. They move randomly (as do we while we sail) and so it makes collision avoidance strategies interesting to say the least, especially when we have a squall charging down on us with a spinnaker up making our sail plan not very manoeuvrable. Still, the fishing boats have right of way so we are ready to drop the spinnaker in an instant to alter course if required,' he explains.

 

In addition to the boats the fisherman drop ‘fish aggravation devices’, three-metre cylinders attached to the sea floor on a two-kilometre line.

 

'The FADs are hard to see during the day when there is more than a one-metre swell and are unlit so are almost impossible to see at night. They act as artificial reefs in more ways than one as not only do they attract fish, but if you hit them in a sailing yacht at ten knots they have the possibility of doing lots of damage. So far today we have seen four FADs and we are keeping a close eye out for more as we sail down the Philippine coast.'

 

Gold Coast Australia’s crew are not the only team to have had a bit of bad luck on Friday the Thirteenth.

 

Geraldton Western Australia’s skipper, Juan Coetzer says their day 'Started off with a bang just before sunrise. We were holding off Qingdao quite nicely when there was banging underneath the boat.

 

'The helm at the time, Ian Geraghty, said he had looked behind the boat after the incident and saw a few logs adrift. This is what we must have hit.

 

'At the same time we got hit by a massive squall. The medium weight kite was up and we had 24 knots of apparent wind doing 12 to 14 knots boat speed. So, the crew jumped into action and dropped the kite as soon as possible. Thankfully it came down in one piece.

 

'The crew who weren’t on deck started in the rope locker, working their way to the aft end of the boat, looking for any possible holes or cracks in the hull. Fortunately all is well and, from a visual check over the side, all looks good as well. One of my standing orders is to check the bilges every hour and this is a good thing, because you can always spot a problem sooner than later.

 

'During this mayhem we managed to tidy up and hoist our heavyweight kite as we thought it may get a little winder today. Great all set, off to bed I go... I was just about to arrive in LaLa Land when there was another bang and the kite released itself from the pole. The crew did a great recovery, dropping, re-woolling and hoisting it again. All in a day’s work!'

 

 

Singapore - Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race - Karl Monaghan/onEdition

 

The current that has been proving so beneficial to Gold Coast Australia should soon start to help some of the other yachts. Singapore, to the north of the group including Geraldton Western Australia and Qingdao, may well be the first to hook into it which would please the team no end, according to skipper, Ben Bowley.

 

He says, 'Things are shaping up nicely for a very close section 1 finish at this up-coming gate. If we had extra 100nm I think there would be a chance for us to maximise on our position and move up into a top three spot; but as things stand now, the rate at which we are catching the guys ahead is not quite fast enough!

 

Spinnaker dramas and squally conditions have not helped our cause either. It appears that all our spectra loops around the boat and on our kites are starting to fail. The ‘cruise’ phase of this race will be a good opportunity to renew the lot and prevent any more ‘surprise’ kite drops. The squalls have been a mixed blessing; sometimes driving us in exactly the right direction at 14 knots and sometimes leaving us bobbing in light airs, forcing us to come up on the wind just to keep some air in the kite.

 

'Another factor serving to compound our anguish is the fact that all eyes are expectantly glued to the Course Over Ground and Speed Over Ground waiting for the magic switch in direction of the current from hindrance to help. I had hoped we would be starting to see this by now. By the looks of it we may end up running fairly deep downwind along the Mindanao coastline which will have the effect of slowing our progress somewhat. Crucially, so long as we put in a respectable finish in this part of the race, we still have every opportunity of coming into our home port standing on the podium. This is something we would dearly love to do and something that I feel that we deserve this race, given how well the crew have been sailing our big red bus these last two and a half weeks.'

 

By the 1200 UTC update Singapore had climbed to fourth place and appears to have finally found the lift from the current that they were looking for.

 

Seeing the Singapore team on the podium when the fleet arrives to a spectacular welcome in front of a VIP audience in Marina at Keppel Bay on 28 January would be a special moment. The team still has a chance to be the first since Clipper 07-08 to win a race to their home port – and only the third in the event’s history to achieve such a feat.

 

Their Chinese rivals, Qingdao, who are also just two miles ahead of them but slightly further to the south, are doing their best to prevent them getting there and, says skipper, Ian Conchie, 'We are continuing to push hard towards the gate. It’s been a busy 24 hours on board with lots of kite changes, lots of squalls and a few breakages to deal with.

 

'Today both the shackle that holds the top of the vang and a block that is part of the vang broke but with some lateral thinking and swift repair work it is all now fixed.

 

'All we can hope is that our competitors are getting the same mix of squalls and lulls as we are. The current plan is to keep heading west to try to take advantage of the current running down to the gate. Also the wind should back as we get closer allowing us to head more directly towards it.'

 

The teams are indeed getting the same treatment, including back marker Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

 

'We are very much in the area of increased convection and are constantly being bombarded by one squall after another,' reports skipper, Gordon Reid. 'With sail changes a plenty, we are working hard just to keep the Purple Beastie moving in the challenging conditions.

 

'After hoisting the big guns (heavyweight kite) and flying it successfully through a nasty squall we noticed it had a small tear, probably as a result of yesterday’s shackle incident, so in the interests of maintaining our sails it had to come down for a quick repair. Now the wind has backed and we are back under white sails until the wind veers to allow a more favourable course.'

 

'We are battling ever changing conditions as we endeavour to keep Derry-Londonderry moving, at pace, in the right direction,' says Mark Light, skipper of the team representing the UK City of Culture 2013.

 

Having been ousted as the leading yacht, Mark continues, 'Being in top spot is definitely the place to be but it is not without its own pressures. We are constantly looking over our transom wondering if we are doing enough, or if other teams are in better conditions, or if we might make that mistake that will cost us. A quick reality check and we soon understand that these pressures are all self-imposed and we are, in actual fact, having a great race and making the most of the conditions presented to us. We know all the other teams are working incredibly hard to overtake us and with that in mind it only serves to enhance our own racing spirit and focus our minds further.'

 

The top five teams are so close in terms of distance to finish that the smallest mistake, misfortune of finding a wind hole or lapse in concentration will have big consequences.

 

It’s something Gareth Glover’s team on New York is all too aware of as they hover in sixth place, waiting to pounce.

 

'The New York crew are still in the race,' writes this morning. 'Over the last day we have come north and picked up more wind and boat speed towards the gate.

 

'As all the skippers and crews know, a lot can happen in that time and we plan on working hard to get back into the top five and then top three by the gate. All that needs to happen is for them to find a wind hole or for us to find more boat speed and we can pull back the lost miles.'

 

Having seen how Gold Coast Australia has played the current, De Lage Landen may well find themselves in an advantageous position to the north of New York.

 

'In the last couple of days we have managed to make up some miles on the rest of the fleet which puts us back in the race for the podium,' notes skipper, Stuart Jackson. 'With less than 250 miles to go the crew is giving everything they’ve got to close the gap with the frontrunners even more. New York is the closest to us at this point and they are also just behind us in the overall ranking, so there is a lot at stake to make up some miles on them.'

 

 

New York - Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race - www.smileclick.co.nz/onEdition

 

New York and Welcome to Yorkshire have been penalised a point each following the Gold Coast stopover.

 

The rules of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race are designed to foster safety at sea and develop high levels of seamanship by encouraging crews to sail conservatively as well as competitively. The Race Committee imposes penalties when teams exceed financial limits for sail and equipment repair and replacement that could have been avoided.

 

New York’s penalty point is for equipment damage while Welcome to Yorkshire’s is for sail repairs.

 

Welcome to Yorkshire and Visit Finland are also very close in terms of distance to finish but again there is a north-south divide, with the English team further to the north.

 

'With lighter winds forecasted to the southwest, we have taken the decision to head north a little in search of a stronger pressure gradient, which we hope will more than compensate for the extra miles sailed,' explains skipper, Rupert Dean.

 

'In a one design fleet such as this it's always difficult to overtake others on boat speed alone, necessitating a calculated strategy to out-flank them instead. Certainly that's what Gold Coast Australia has been dramatically doing to the fleet over the past week, with spectacularly successful results.'

 

While the teams are racing there is always an opportunity, no matter how busy they are, to mark special occasions.

 

'Today has been a particularly memorable one for one of our team: Peter Crooke is our first round the world crew member to have a birthday on board. He's been celebrating in some style with a delicious cake made on board, a homemade card and a large packet of cashew nuts from the team. We've got three more of these on this leg and it's always fun to make a fuss over shipmates celebrating special occasions far from home.'

 

At 40,000 miles, Clipper 11-12 is the world’s longest ocean race and the teams are now half way through their epic adventure, the maritime equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.

 

Calling at 15 ports on six continents, the race not only showcases the tourism offerings of the cities and states that host the event, but allows sponsors to develop trade links as well as cultural and educational connections.

 

In Canada the fleet will return to Halifax where they will be hosted by Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron as they prepare for their final transoceanic crossing of Clipper 11-12.

 

'We are delighted to be hosting the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and look forward to working with the race organisers to plan a memorable stopover,' says George Archibald, Commodore of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

 

Fresh from a short yet challenging sprint from New York the crew members will receive a warm Canadian welcome on their arrival for the pit stop. The yachts are expected to arrive there between 11 and 12 June before beginning the race to Derry-Londonderry on 15 June.

 

'Everyone at the RNSYS is excited to be involved in such a major international event and the ten teams can be assured of a warm Nova Scotian welcome when they arrive ahead of their final transatlantic sprint next June,' he continues.

 

The fleet was previously welcomed by the RNSYC during the Clipper 07-08 Race.

 

Find out more about how to get on board for Clipper 13-14 and beyond by visiting the Clipper Race stand at the London Boat Show from now until 15 January. We are on stand G102 in the North Hall.

 

Positions at 1200 UTC, Friday 13 January

Boat - DTF*

1 Gold Coast Australia - 1,483nm

2 Derry-Londonderry - 1,493nm (+10nm DTL**)

3 Qingdao - 1,506nm (+23nm)

4 Singapore - 1,508nm (+25nm)

5 Geraldton Western Australia - 1,513nm (+31nm)

6 New York - 1,564nm (+81nm)

7 De Lage Landen - 1,569nm (+86nm)

8 Visit Finland - 1,630nm (+147nm)

9 Welcome to Yorkshire - 1,640nm (+157nm)

10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital - 1,882nm (+400nm)

 

DTF* = Distance to Finish, DTL** = Distance to Leader. Full positions are updated every three hours and can be found here.

 

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website

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RACE 7 - DAY 19 - by Lynne Coulsen (Qingdao)

 

Mistletoe Watch 19 Days in. Ni Hao all Qingdao virtual sailors from all us wet ones! Hope all is well in the land of three hourly race viewing and you are all smiling into the New Year

 

Mistletoe watch is

 

Sam L - Watch leader - UK (RTW)

James R - Assistant watch leader UK (RTW)

David H - Scottish (RTW)

Brett - Chinese (Leg 5)

Hale (Haa Ley) - Turkish (Leg 5)

and me, Lynne Aus (Leg 5)

 

We'll be changing our seasonal name soon so we are working on that presently.

 

We have a very international watch as well as the five distinct nationalities, most of us have lived and worked in different countries or been brought up in them. Our dialect of the moment comes straight from the mouth of the last speaker and we have several "pigeon" languages going at once. "Tell to me how many knots we are making?" being a prime example! The "please and thank yous" do not always happen where you expect them if at all; but the intent is just magic, as are hand signals and body language. Our personal space as strangers was gone by the time we had finished "feeding the fish" all those weeks ago.

 

Day times are concentrated on the race, making all we can of helm and trim, as well as adding in extra activities such as splicing and whipping. Sharing activities to the best of our abilities means the girls are hanging onto the spinnaker sheet for 30 minutes whereas the boys manage an hour. Brett is doing great bread and we are anxiously awaiting more fish from David (no pressure mate).

 

The three newbies for Leg 5 are all now good in the upwind helming department for an hour each shift under the calm (most of the time) direction of Sam or James. This means some helmsick moments for the RTWs in those conditions. But downwind under the kite with some narrow margins and lumpy water the helm belongs to the experts until the conditions even out a bit reading for teaching/learning.

 

Sleeping during the day sucks! We have a big industrial fan in the ghetto and mostly can have the hatch open and Sam H will rig up a "scoop" to catch some breeze too. We are mostly sweating in underwear - I'm lying on two towels or have a wet one on me - haven't touched my expensive sleeping bag yet!

 

Night time When we can we get a hot drink in or water/squash/cordial. The watch have taken to Turkish Apple tea like ducks to water and even swear it keeps us regular! It won't be lasting until SNG that's for sure! We also get a little more time for comparing notes on childhood, marriage and our international influences.

 

Adapting Rod Stewart's "I am sailing" to current pastimes is also a regular - 'I am burning/sleepy/hungry'!

 

We seem to be looking at the end of the squalls patch that were making each evening and night seem like Groundhog Day! Sail changes and a good soaking several times a night often put dinner on hold!

 

Thank God there are no mirrors on board as I have taken to whipping out a purple shower cap as the dark clouds get closer - I think if I was RTW I'd have to chop the hair off at the next port - a day and half to dry is just nuts!

 

Squall management 101 (aka mariners version of the Hoki Koki)

 

You put one reef in

 

One reef out

Reef in

Reef out

The rain is all about

You reassess you course having turned around that's what it's all about

Put the yankee 2 down

Put the yankee 2 up

Ease, grind

Ease, grind

 

Enough to blow your mind!

 

Do another radar watch and turn around.

 

That's what it's all about!

 

Ending today, Brett and I have done Downwind Helming Part 1 with David; we've had issues with kites catching on the split pins on the shrouds so we have fixed four and had three in the saloon at the same time taking up most of our off watch!

 

As I watched everyone getting ready for watch tonight, Sam had started his radar and AIS checks early; David and James were discussing the independent state of Kazakhstan (sp?); Hale and Brett were joking about what they would look like if the wore each other’s specs (as you do), and I realised I was singing out loud to James Taylor's "California" at the dinner (OMG the cats are out and no one blinked!)

 

Summary: happy (knackered) little vegimites

 

Bye Bye <- good for five languages!

 

OA

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Thanks Ozzie.

You may not see these comments for a while, but thanks for the update from the boat.

 

Purple shower cap is in stark contrast to the image we have on the SA Calendar (that I still have not seen here yet)!!!

Pics of that would be good.:P

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A bit disappointing, even more so for the other boats that may have had a chance to improve their placings.

 

 

Gold Coast Australia wins Race 7 after Race Committee shortens course - 19 January 2012

Gold Coast Australia has claimed victory in Race 7 of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race after the Race Committee made the decision to shorten the course in the stage from the Gold Coast to Singapore.

 

Extremely light winds which would have prevented the race management team from setting a fair course for the second stage of Race 7, combined with an increased threat of piracy in the Singapore Straits in the light conditions over the Chinese New Year, led to the tough decision. The positions of the yachts at the Celebes Sea Gate, which marked the end of the first phase of the race from Australia, will be taken as the final standings for Race 7.

 

Race Director, Joff Bailey, told the teams at 0700 UTC today, "Race 7 to Celebes Sea Gate from the Gold Coast was certainly long enough at 3,200nm to qualify as a serious race. It was run fairly, you all had chances to make gains and losses and see your tactics play out and I believe it was one of the most interesting races we have run."

 

During the race the lead changed hands a number of times as the ten internationally-backed yachts fought for supremacy with Geraldton Western Australia, Qingdao and Derry-Londonderry all taking their turn to lead the fleet. Gold Coast Australia's tactic of heading much further north than the other nine teams before hooking in to a favourable current allowed them to swoop into the lead in the final miles before the Celebes Sea Gate, which has now become the Race 7 finish line.

 

They beat Derry-Londonderry into second place by just an hour and 19 minutes, and Geraldton Western Australia claimed third place three hours and 15 minutes behind the Northern Ireland entry. Both teams have recorded their best results of the campaign.

 

It was a closely fought race, with both Qingdao and Singapore, who were aiming to be on the podium when the fleet arrives in Marina at Keppel Bay, both in contention for one of the top three places. They finished fourth and fifth respectively; Qingdao's result is a campaign-best result for the Chinese team.

 

Completing the finish order, De Lage Landen finished sixth, followed by New York, Visit Finland, Welcome to Yorkshire and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

 

It is the team's sixth victory of the Clipper 11-12 Race. The result consolidates Gold Coast Australia's dominance of the competition and the team is now 20 points ahead of closest rivals, Visit Finland. Dutch entry De Lage Landen remains in third place overall.

 

The fleet will now proceed to Batam, Indonesia, where they will muster ahead of a spectacular ceremonial arrival in Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore on Saturday 28 January.

 

Ms Wang Look Fung, Director, Group Corporate Affairs at Keppel Corporation, Singapore's Team Sponsor and Host Port Sponsor for the Singapore stopover, said, "Many Keppelites and Singaporeans are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet into Marina at Keppel Bay. The international event will certainly lend colour and vibrancy to Keppel Bay's appeal as a waterfront lifestyle hub with our luxurious homes, a marina playground, and a host of other waterfront amenities including Singapore's only RYA-accredited Keppel Bay Sailing Academy."

 

Race 7 Finishing Order (All times UTC):

 

1. Gold Coast Australia 13/01/2012 21:55

2. Derry-Londonderry 13/01/2012 23:14

3. Geraldton Western Australia 14/01/2012 02:29

4. Qingdao 14/01/2012 03:13

5. Singapore 14/01/2012 03:25

6. De Lage Landen 14/01/2012 09:36

7. New York 14/01/2012 12:24

8. Visit Finland 14/01/2012 20:22

9. Welcome to Yorkshire 15/01/2012 03:22

10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 16/01/2012 15:51

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A bit disappointing, even more so for the other boats that may have had a chance to improve their placings.

 

 

Gold Coast Australia wins Race 7 after Race Committee shortens course - 19 January 2012

Gold Coast Australia has claimed victory in Race 7 of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race after the Race Committee made the decision to shorten the course in the stage from the Gold Coast to Singapore.

 

Extremely light winds which would have prevented the race management team from setting a fair course for the second stage of Race 7, combined with an increased threat of piracy in the Singapore Straits in the light conditions over the Chinese New Year, led to the tough decision. The positions of the yachts at the Celebes Sea Gate, which marked the end of the first phase of the race from Australia, will be taken as the final standings for Race 7.

 

Race Director, Joff Bailey, told the teams at 0700 UTC today, "Race 7 to Celebes Sea Gate from the Gold Coast was certainly long enough at 3,200nm to qualify as a serious race. It was run fairly, you all had chances to make gains and losses and see your tactics play out and I believe it was one of the most interesting races we have run."

 

During the race the lead changed hands a number of times as the ten internationally-backed yachts fought for supremacy with Geraldton Western Australia, Qingdao and Derry-Londonderry all taking their turn to lead the fleet. Gold Coast Australia's tactic of heading much further north than the other nine teams before hooking in to a favourable current allowed them to swoop into the lead in the final miles before the Celebes Sea Gate, which has now become the Race 7 finish line.

 

They beat Derry-Londonderry into second place by just an hour and 19 minutes, and Geraldton Western Australia claimed third place three hours and 15 minutes behind the Northern Ireland entry. Both teams have recorded their best results of the campaign.

 

It was a closely fought race, with both Qingdao and Singapore, who were aiming to be on the podium when the fleet arrives in Marina at Keppel Bay, both in contention for one of the top three places. They finished fourth and fifth respectively; Qingdao's result is a campaign-best result for the Chinese team.

 

Completing the finish order, De Lage Landen finished sixth, followed by New York, Visit Finland, Welcome to Yorkshire and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

 

It is the team's sixth victory of the Clipper 11-12 Race. The result consolidates Gold Coast Australia's dominance of the competition and the team is now 20 points ahead of closest rivals, Visit Finland. Dutch entry De Lage Landen remains in third place overall.

 

The fleet will now proceed to Batam, Indonesia, where they will muster ahead of a spectacular ceremonial arrival in Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore on Saturday 28 January.

 

Ms Wang Look Fung, Director, Group Corporate Affairs at Keppel Corporation, Singapore's Team Sponsor and Host Port Sponsor for the Singapore stopover, said, "Many Keppelites and Singaporeans are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet into Marina at Keppel Bay. The international event will certainly lend colour and vibrancy to Keppel Bay's appeal as a waterfront lifestyle hub with our luxurious homes, a marina playground, and a host of other waterfront amenities including Singapore's only RYA-accredited Keppel Bay Sailing Academy."

 

Race 7 Finishing Order (All times UTC):

 

1. Gold Coast Australia 13/01/2012 21:55

2. Derry-Londonderry 13/01/2012 23:14

3. Geraldton Western Australia 14/01/2012 02:29

4. Qingdao 14/01/2012 03:13

5. Singapore 14/01/2012 03:25

6. De Lage Landen 14/01/2012 09:36

7. New York 14/01/2012 12:24

8. Visit Finland 14/01/2012 20:22

9. Welcome to Yorkshire 15/01/2012 03:22

10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 16/01/2012 15:51

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We came 4th!

8 days motoring not wot I signed up for tho that was disapointing

In Batam with bubbles & steak

Back later!

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A bit disappointing, even more so for the other boats that may have had a chance to improve their placings.

 

 

Gold Coast Australia wins Race 7 after Race Committee shortens course - 19 January 2012

Gold Coast Australia has claimed victory in Race 7 of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race after the Race Committee made the decision to shorten the course in the stage from the Gold Coast to Singapore.

 

Extremely light winds which would have prevented the race management team from setting a fair course for the second stage of Race 7, combined with an increased threat of piracy in the Singapore Straits in the light conditions over the Chinese New Year, led to the tough decision. The positions of the yachts at the Celebes Sea Gate, which marked the end of the first phase of the race from Australia, will be taken as the final standings for Race 7.

 

Race Director, Joff Bailey, told the teams at 0700 UTC today, "Race 7 to Celebes Sea Gate from the Gold Coast was certainly long enough at 3,200nm to qualify as a serious race. It was run fairly, you all had chances to make gains and losses and see your tactics play out and I believe it was one of the most interesting races we have run."

 

During the race the lead changed hands a number of times as the ten internationally-backed yachts fought for supremacy with Geraldton Western Australia, Qingdao and Derry-Londonderry all taking their turn to lead the fleet. Gold Coast Australia's tactic of heading much further north than the other nine teams before hooking in to a favourable current allowed them to swoop into the lead in the final miles before the Celebes Sea Gate, which has now become the Race 7 finish line.

 

They beat Derry-Londonderry into second place by just an hour and 19 minutes, and Geraldton Western Australia claimed third place three hours and 15 minutes behind the Northern Ireland entry. Both teams have recorded their best results of the campaign.

 

It was a closely fought race, with both Qingdao and Singapore, who were aiming to be on the podium when the fleet arrives in Marina at Keppel Bay, both in contention for one of the top three places. They finished fourth and fifth respectively; Qingdao's result is a campaign-best result for the Chinese team.

 

Completing the finish order, De Lage Landen finished sixth, followed by New York, Visit Finland, Welcome to Yorkshire and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

 

It is the team's sixth victory of the Clipper 11-12 Race. The result consolidates Gold Coast Australia's dominance of the competition and the team is now 20 points ahead of closest rivals, Visit Finland. Dutch entry De Lage Landen remains in third place overall.

 

The fleet will now proceed to Batam, Indonesia, where they will muster ahead of a spectacular ceremonial arrival in Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore on Saturday 28 January.

 

Ms Wang Look Fung, Director, Group Corporate Affairs at Keppel Corporation, Singapore's Team Sponsor and Host Port Sponsor for the Singapore stopover, said, "Many Keppelites and Singaporeans are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet into Marina at Keppel Bay. The international event will certainly lend colour and vibrancy to Keppel Bay's appeal as a waterfront lifestyle hub with our luxurious homes, a marina playground, and a host of other waterfront amenities including Singapore's only RYA-accredited Keppel Bay Sailing Academy."

 

Race 7 Finishing Order (All times UTC):

 

1. Gold Coast Australia 13/01/2012 21:55

2. Derry-Londonderry 13/01/2012 23:14

3. Geraldton Western Australia 14/01/2012 02:29

4. Qingdao 14/01/2012 03:13

5. Singapore 14/01/2012 03:25

6. De Lage Landen 14/01/2012 09:36

7. New York 14/01/2012 12:24

8. Visit Finland 14/01/2012 20:22

9. Welcome to Yorkshire 15/01/2012 03:22

10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 16/01/2012 15:51

 

"Extreme chance of piracy in Singapore Straits" You gotta be kiddin ! Have any of you Euro fags sailed Asia ? I've cruised and chartered my own yacht, raced in all the regional regattas and crewed seismic and supply boats in Asia for the past 40 years without one incident ! On the contrary, fishing boats enjoy a chat and most often will give you a basket of their catch. You wimps need to HARDEN THE FUCK UP !.

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Where is Lydia?

 

Can't stomach the food !!

Next year is my sailing year and I get a new boat for that!

 

Of course I am at work paying for it now.

I don't get to go to Qingdoa either thanks to the shift in the Etchell Worlds dates.

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Off again tomorrow

The biggest deal of the last leg was squalls- this time we'll be going into it

Only 1 person out of 13 I'm not on the same page with so I'm delighted & looking forward to the next 23 days :)

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Wait until the dead of night and ........................

 

Enjoy and good luck. Podium for you on this leg.

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Off again tomorrow

The biggest deal of the last leg was squalls- this time we'll be going into it

Only 1 person out of 13 I'm not on the same page with so I'm delighted & looking forward to the next 23 days :)

 

Come on Ozee, we need some dirt and gossip.

Did they steal your socks, have bad personal habits, refuse to be on time for watch change...........

 

Can't all be beer and skittles.

 

Good luck on a podium finish.

 

Enjoy every minute.

At least you don't have car parking issues!!smile.gif

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Thanks DtM :)

Leka I got a good boat! Besides drunk 20-30 year olds which is just boring, there doesn't seem to be too much going down, we have lost a few to shoulder surgery this leg & I ended up asking for some Physio for a shoulder too. I hear but not confirmed there are some/1 going as they don't think they'll get any more out of the next few legs which would happen in any race 1/2 way & I have heard some/1 going as they are not happy. Again just heard board having meetings to clear the air... All normal in the middle of something like this plus humans!

Challenges for next leg... Barely any kitework if any; some uncharted waters to avoid; some disputed sovereignties; wind over current at the end of Tawainwith big messy waves with no backs, guess the racing might get slow in favour of no breakages cross everything we want 10 boats out the other end unlike "the professionals" who do ocean racing ;) xxx

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Thanks DtM :)

Leka I got a good boat! Besides drunk 20-30 year olds which is just boring, there doesn't seem to be too much going down, we have lost a few to shoulder surgery this leg & I ended up asking for some Physio for a shoulder too. I hear but not confirmed there are some/1 going as they don't think they'll get any more out of the next few legs which would happen in any race 1/2 way & I have heard some/1 going as they are not happy. Again just heard board having meetings to clear the air... All normal in the middle of something like this plus humans!

Challenges for next leg... Barely any kitework if any; some uncharted waters to avoid; some disputed sovereignties; wind over current at the end of Tawainwith big messy waves with no backs, guess the racing might get slow in favour of no breakages cross everything we want 10 boats out the other end unlike "the professionals" who do ocean racing ;) xxx

 

Hey Ozee

 

Just looked at the race tracker.

 

You guys should probably tack soon, what with that island in front of you and all.

 

ps mr adventure claims to be losing weight at a rate of knots. not sure about his diet, but have been instructed to invite him over for duck. he appears to have suffered a relapse of his long dormant one design syndrome, however getting our arses handed to us at the the worlds might be that which'll heal what ails him.

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Ouch! This is not going to be easy to deal with.

 

 

'Helicopter to airlift injured crew member from Gold Coast Australia - 18 February 2012

A search and rescue helicopter has been dispatched from Taiwan to airlift an injured crew member from Gold Coast Australia, one of the ten 68-foot yachts competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.

 

Tim Burgess, 30, a researcher from Petersham, NSW, Australia, has broken his left leg above the knee. The incident happened on the foredeck during a headsail change.

 

Skipper, Richard Hewson, informed the Race Office by telephone at 0200 UTC. He reported that Tim was in good spirits and had been given morphine and was being looked after by nurses and fellow crew members, Deborah Miller, from Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, and Deborah Grant, from Malanda, Queensland.

 

De Lage Landen, which was eight miles away from Gold Coast Australia at the time, had already diverted to assist if necessary as they have two doctors among the crew. The Race Office has asked De Lage Landen, to stay with Gold Coast Australia while they proceed towards Tan Shui in Taiwan, as requested by the Taiwanese Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC).

 

If it is possible in the tough conditions, the helicopter will airlift Tim from the yacht and take him to hospital in the capital, Taipei.

 

The Clipper Race fleet is currently battling strong north easterly headwinds of approximately 30 knots after passing through the Luzon Strait to race up the east coast of Taiwan to Qingdao, China. The sea state is extremely challenging, with steep four-metre waves.

 

Gold Coast Australia was approximately 600 miles from the finish line when the incident happened. The rest of the crew on board are safe and well.'

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Where is the love???

 

OA must be close to having a cold glass of bubbles soon.

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We came last but loved it- feel about 90 everything hurts - have done over 50 hours helming under storm jib & 3 reefs. Not sure if it's helming or hanging on! Need 12/24 sleep! If any pics come thru check the salt on foulies for those who actually get kn front of the mast!

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Hey Ozee it is time for some in depth reporting from you. :rolleyes:

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Hey Ozee it is time for some in depth reporting from you. :rolleyes:

First night in my own bed last night - work this am - on the way!

 

CLIPPER 11-12

QINGDAO STOPOVER

 

* Spectacular farewell ceremony held in Qingdao

* Drummers and thousands of spectators send off fleet

* Race Committee postpones Race 9 start due to poor visibility

 

The Clipper 11-12 Race fleet has departed Qingdao today. The spectacular welcome ceremonies the individual teams received upon their arrival at the Olympic Sailing Centre was exceeded by an even more lavish departure ceremony shown live on Chinese television.

 

The red carpet was rolled out for the ten skippers and crew from the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet. Draped in their yellow silk ceremonial cloaks and white hats, each skipper was presented with a colourful combat flag displaying the name of their team.

 

Ian Conchie, skipper of home port entry Qingdao reflects on his days in port saying, "The interest from everybody has been amazing. Whether it has been from the officials, the media or the many residents that have stopped us in the street, everyone has just been so interested in getting to know us and find out more about the Clipper Race."

 

Amongst the Chinese dignitaries attending the departure ceremony was Madam Zang, Honorary Chairman of Qingdao Yachting Association, who wished the teams good luck on the forthcoming race. She said, "The arrival of the fleet adds to the dynamism of Qingdao, the Sailing Capital of China, and offered an opportunity to citizens to experience the charm and excitement of this top global sailing event. I wish you a safe and fast voyage across the Pacific Ocean."

 

The Clipper 11-12 Race fleet then left the marina to the sound of drums and thousands of cheering locals, as well as the sights of dragon dancers and fireworks. However, an icy blast brought snow showers sweeping across the Olympic Sailing Centre just before the boats slipped their lines and headed out for the start line in reducing visibility.

 

"Between setting the start line and the ten minute signal, visibility on the water deteriorated to less than half a mile. At times we could not see the pin end of the start line. After a short postponement to see if conditions improved, I decided that it was unwise to start the race with the low visibility," says Race Director Joff Bailey.

 

The ten Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race entries are now making their way to a waypoint approximately 25nm offshore. When conditions allow, the nominated lead skipper Ben Bowley from Singapore will line the yachts up and start Race 9. This is now expected to be Monday morning (local time).

 

The fleet is expected to arrive in Oakland, California between 1-7 April and will be hosted by the 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show in Jack London Square. The winning team of Race 9 will be presented with the "Strictly Sail Pacific Clipper Cup" on the opening day of the show, 12 April.

 

ENDS

 

Standings after Race 8 Points

1 Gold Coast Australia 83 points

2 Visit Finland 59 points

3 De Lage Landen 57 points

4 Singapore 46 points

5 New York 44 points

6 Geraldton Western Australia 43 points

7 Derry-Londonderry 40 points

8 Welcome to Yorkshire 39 points

9 Qingdao 35 points

10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 17 points

 

Once Race 9 starts, full positions are updated every three hours and can be found at www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

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CLIPPER 11-12

RACE 9: QINGDAO TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

DAY 1

 

* Delayed Race 9 underway as Clipper 11-12 fleet races towards

mighty Pacific Ocean

* Le Mans start in improved conditions

* Crews settle back into life at sea after unforgettable stopover

in Qingdao

 

Race 9 of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race is now in full

swing after a Le Mans start for the ten international teams taking part

in the 6,000-mile journey to Oakland, California. Yesterday the Race

Committee decided to postpone the start due to difficult weather

conditions and poor visibility as fog blanketed the fleet just five

minutes from the start in Qingdao.

 

After a spectacular visit and farewell ceremony held in China's Olympic

Sailing City, where drummers and thousands of spectators flocked to wish

the teams well, the Race Director instructed the fleet to begin motoring

towards a waypoint 25 miles offshore where it was hoped more favourable

conditions would be found.

 

Lead skipper, Singapore's Ben Bowley, judged the conditions appropriate

this morning and the race got underway at 0235 UTC (1035 local time)

today.

 

In a Le Mans start the yachts form up in a straight line with their

mainsails hoisted and their headsails hanked on and ready to go. On each

of the yachts the crew wait aft of the coffee grinder for the start

signal, at which point they race forward to hoist the headsails and trim

them as quickly as possible.

 

At this stage of the race, more than half way through their 40,000-mile

circumnavigation, the crews are developing into experienced sailors and

rivalry between the teams is fierce. There are still seven more stages

to be contested and Geraldton Western Australia's crew have proved that

a couple of good results can really make a difference when the

competition is this tight. At the start of Race 7 they were ninth, now

beginning Race 9 they are sixth overall and within a whisker of

overtaking New York for fifth place.

 

As the crew settle into life at sea again, on board the Western

Australia entry, skipper Juan Coezter and his team started well and

trimmed quickly to give themselves a slight advantage.

 

Juan reports that despite the challenging weather they will face on this

leg, he and his team are looking once more to capitalise on their

inspiring pace of the last two races.

 

"This afternoon the wind has filled in and Ben did an amazing job of

lining us all up and organizing the count down."

 

As he and his crew enjoy an exhilarating power reach Juan adds, "It's

going to be a drag race to the next virtual mark."

 

The yachts have maintained their line-abreast formation spread across 20

miles from north east to south west with very little between them in

terms of distance to finish. But, as Gold Coast Australia's skipper,

Richard Hewson, remarks, that finish line is a long way away.

 

The Tasmanian yachtsman was up the rig repairing a snapped topping lift

as the race started and the team found themselves ten lengths behind as

Race 9 got underway.

 

"There is still 5,600 miles to go in the race so ten boat lengths is

quite insignificant and already we have caught up to the majority of the

fleet and racing hard to get into the lead before we round the south

western edge of Japan and begin making our way across the North Pacific

Ocean," he comments.

 

"Due to the distance of this race and the conditions we may face, this

race is more about preservation and endurance than boat speed. You need

to finish the race to win it so we will be focusing on safety while

still keeping the best course and speed towards the finish line that we

can safely maintain," Richard adds.

 

On board Derry-Londonderry, skipper Mark Light, says, "Here we are

again, back on the water, this time heading south easterly out of the

Yellow Sea. Thank you to all who contributed to a fantastic stopover in

Qingdao. It was a spectacular welcome, we experienced superb hospitality

throughout and we were given an equally brilliant send off!

 

Commenting on tactics for the Le Mans start Mark explains, "Generally

the boat that hoists and trims the quickest will surge forward into

cleaner air and gain the first advantage. We managed to start fairly

well and have already made a couple of places. In these races it is very

important not to lose ground and split with the rest of the fleet in the

first few days and so far so good. Although pretty cold and wet it is

great to be racing again!"

 

New York skipper, Gareth Glover, agrees, saying "After a great stopover

in Qingdao we were all happy to get racing again but not in the very

cold wind and rain and poor visibility on the start line. It was hard to

make out the start boat and the line and any other yachts that were

around!

 

"After a few hours motoring south the wind picked up and a Le Mans start

was called. We all made a clear start and are now making ten knots to

the next waypoint with Gold Coast Australia and Visit Finland on our

port side."

 

New York and Derry-Londonderry are with a group of five teams that are

maintaining a central position within the span of the fleet as they race

south east towards the southern tip of Japan. With them are Welcome to

Yorkshire, Singapore, Visit Finland and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

 

As the Finnish entry's tactics come into play, skipper, Olly Osborne,

says, "It's good to be racing again and we are making good speeds

towards our waypoint off Japan. The decision to head further offshore

seems to have paid off as we are now into some good breeze and have

hopefully avoided the worst of the fish farms in the shallower water.

 

"The Le Mans start went very well and proved to be an unusual and

exciting way to start this long race, with the teams each trying to

outhoist each other in the bid to outmanoeuvre the pack. Thoughts on

board are now turning toward the weeks ahead, and the scale of what we

are likely to encounter makes for a slightly pensive mood. But the

conditions are due to improve and we are off to a good start."

 

Meanwhile, on board Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, skipper Gordon Reid,

says, "After enjoying a truly awesome welcome ceremony including the

skipper's gift of a regal gold cape with a groovy red velvet lining, and

the fabulous hospitality of the people of Qingdao, it was time once more

to step up to the mark, with a fantastic leaving ceremony, including

another outing for the skipper's cape we were waved off to a chorus of

100 drummers and fireworks as we left the marina.

 

"We made our way to the waypoint in the hope that the visibility would

improve and we could start racing, dodging fish farms, fishing boats and

a whole host of other shipping in the fog as we went. Early this morning

as the fog lifted, we lined up for a Le Mans start and got off the line,

flying in 15 to 20 knots of breeze on a fast reach, quickly topping ten

knots VMG (Velocity Made Good.)"

 

Eager to gain a place on the podium, Gordon adds, "It's great to be

underway and racing again. We are all looking forward to racing across

the planet's biggest ocean and what I am sure will be the many

challenges that lie ahead. To all of our friends and family back home,

thank you for your continued support and remember, just like we do on

the 'Purple Beastie', keep the faith!"

 

"This is it, the big one! After a fantastic stay in Qingdao, the Welcome

to Yorkshire team is on its way again, this time to San Francisco Bay,

some 6,000 miles away," enthuses skipper, Rupert Dean.

 

"We left Qingdao yesterday with happy memories we will treasure forever.

The weather, however, was less kind. Sleet, snow, bitter cold and

terrible visibility dictated the postponement of the start in waters

festooned with ships. Totally the right call, therefore, to motor sail

in the right direction overnight and start the race with the first Le

Mans start of this magnificent round the world yacht race.

 

With better winds and visibility, the Welcome to Yorkshire team did

themselves good credit in an exciting start. We are now racing, line

abreast with the rest of the fleet on the way to the first waypoint off

Japan, the Saya Misaki light."

 

With the teams battling to steal a march on their competitors, Rupert

knows there is all to play for.

 

"Tactically, this first stage is very much a boat speed drag race," he

says. "With fresh reaching conditions, good progress is being made under

full main, staysail and Yankee 1. The crew is adjusting well to the on

board routine and we are racing hard, proudly waving the English flag

for our Welcome to Yorkshire sponsor."

 

The race across the Pacific looms large in the minds of the people from

all walks of life who are taking part in the Clipper Round the World

Yacht Race. They are all too aware of the isolation and potentially

savage conditions that could be encountered in the vast expanse of the

world's largest ocean.

 

"I think that many of us are looking at this leg as the biggie; with not

only the most miles but also some of the most challenging conditions we

are likely to face," explains Singapore skipper, Ben Bowley. "It has to

be remembered that when we transited the Southern Ocean, it was at the

start of the Southern Hemisphere summer; whereas with this leg we are

crossing just at the end of the winter.

 

"Conditions are already a lot colder and this has come as a bit of a

shock having been encamped in a nice warm hotel room for the last two

weeks! Our kettle is rarely off the boil right now and we hope that by

consuming gallons of tea we shall be able to keep our hands and brains

warm enough to keep us one step ahead of the game, oh, and of course out

of the way of hundreds of fishing boats!"

 

With the team fuelled by all the tea in China and inspired by their

visit to Qingdao, Ben adds, "Qingdao was most definitely the greatest

welcome we have had since race start and for that we would like to thank

all those involved in putting on such a spectacular show. I think that

culturally, too, China has been our most fascinating taste yet of

another nation's rich and diverse peoples and history.

 

"We have a long way to go yet but with all the boats still essentially

in a line abreast, everyone is pushing hard to get an early advantage.

>From here to the bottom of Japan is looking like being a drag race so

focus must be at it absolute highest to prevent our competitors sneaking

ahead. This is easier said than done in the freezing, foggy and gusty

conditions we are all experiencing presently."

 

After what can only be described as a rock star reception in Qingdao,

the home port yacht's skipper, Ian Conchie, says, "Heading out into

thick fog off the harbour entrance was a memorable end to what has been

a truly memorable stopover. I cannot thank the people of Qingdao and the

organisers of the stopover enough for their hospitality.

 

"Whilst we were all disappointed not to have a normal start and give the

spectators a good show, postponing the start was the safe and

seaman-like thing to do as the visibility was so poor. This turned out

to be great for the crew as it gave them a nice gentle re-introduction

to life on board although this morning a few crew members have succumbed

to the dreaded seasickness and cold.

 

"In the Le Mans start and it looked great to see all the fleet lined up.

We did well getting the sails up quickly but Geraldton Western Australia

managed to get their headsails trimmed a little quicker so gained an

early advantage. Since then we have been duelling with De Lage Landen

and the whole fleet is very close still, heading for the next waypoint

at the edge of Japan."

 

Meanwhile, on board De Lage Landen, after scoring their first victory in

the race to Qingdao and enjoying the grand celebrations in port, skipper

Stuart Jackson reports that the delay has also given the new joiners in

his crew a chance to settle in to their battle rhythm.

 

"The farewell from Qingdao proved to be equally as impressive as the

arrival ceremony. With hundreds of drummers and speeches from

dignitaries we slipped lines to fireworks and then disappeared into the

fog! As we motored overnight to regroup for a Le Mans start this morning

it gave the crew a chance to settle into the routine of life on board

before being under race conditions, although not everyone has been

immune to sea sickness, only a few are suffering slightly!

 

"Having a different style of start was new for all the crew so added

some extra excitement and apprehension to proceedings. We have now been

racing for a couple of hours and all the yachts are making great speed

towards the south of Japan, which we will hopefully reach in a few

days."

 

As the teams leave behind a memorable stopover and their visiting

friends and family, thoughts are firmly on the race ahead.

 

Clipper Race Director, Joff Bailey, comments, "This is a notoriously

challenging leg of the race and the crews will be looking forward to

arriving in California. This is one of the toughest and longest stages

of the race. In previous editions the crews have taken quite a pounding

on their Pacific crossing, so they will all be looking forward to the

warm welcome awaiting them in Oakland.

 

"I am really pleased that 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show will be

hosting the Clipper Race fleet in Jack London Square; it's the perfect

event to showcase our global race fleet."

 

The fleet is expected to arrive in Oakland in San Francisco Bay between

1 and 7 April. The Race 9 winning team will be presented with the

Strictly Sail Pacific Clipper Cup on the opening day of the show, 12

April.

 

ENDS

 

Positions at 1200 UTC, Monday 5 March 2012

 

Boat DTF*

1 Gold Coast Australia 5,426nm

2 Singapore 5,429nm (+3nm DTL**)

3 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 5,429nm (+3nm)

4 Welcome to Yorkshire 5,429nm (+3nm)

5 Visit Finland 5,429nm (+3nm)

6 Derry-Londonderry 5,429nm (+3nm)

7 New York 5,429nm (+3nm)

8 Geraldton Western Australia 5,430nm (+4nm)

9 Qingdao 5,431nm (+5nm)

10 De Lage Landen 5,432nm (+6nm)

 

*DTF = Distance to Finish, **DTL = Distance to Leader

post-23213-079358800 1331068209_thumb.jpg

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Starting the 20/20 hindsight...

Huge difference between those going Round The World (RTW) & us "leggers", the RTW's had to be really driven to do it for whatever reason; promised my dad before he died; no other way to go. Those who didn't have that drive ended up getting off between legs 3-5, whereas groundhog day for me was - how many squalls can there be between here & Singapore or if i don't know if I'm helming or hanging on there are only 7 more days of this left before Qingdao!

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Welcome to Yorkshire deals with 'the mother of all wraps' - 06 March 2012

 

Gold Coast Australia has pulled ahead of the tightly packed fleet taking part in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. The ten yachts are still roughly in a line running north east to south west as they race through the East China Sea towards the southern tip of Japan and the open Pacific Ocean.

 

It has been a busy 24 hours for the Australian entry which has experienced a night of sail changes and dodging the East China Sea’s local fishing boats for the second time in this series.

 

Skipper, Richard Hewson, says, “Yesterday afternoon the wind veered as predicted and we set our heavyweight spinnaker allowing us to pull away slightly from the rest of the fleet who were at the time still very tightly bunched. After the sun set and at watch change a combination of gusty winds, freezing conditions, fog and a few nervous crew gave us enough reason to drop the spinnaker and run with the Yankee 1 throughout the night.

 

“This would be a decision we would definitely not regret as throughout the night there were a number of close encounters with unlit nets and vessels that did not show up on radar or AIS. After one such encounter I was called on deck as our speed had significantly decreased and the helmsman was having trouble maintaining course. We discovered that we were trailing a large net or line and had no option but to sail head to wind and try to shake the net off the keel and rudder. After ten minutes and various attempts, which included sailing the 68-foot yacht backwards like a dinghy, we finally managed to shake off the most significant part of the net, though I would not be surprised if there are still remnants under the hull. We will not be able to determine this until the weather further abates.”

 

Richard adds, “The manoeuvre of shaking the nets cost us a lot of time, and allowed the other yachts to catch up, though I'm sure they all had their fair share of obstacles last night. Later in the morning as the winds moderated we saw Welcome to Yorkshire sail across our bow with their kite up, a looming sight, seeing the pink yacht sailing under full sail in the mist. As the wind began to abate and the sky cleared slightly we also set our heavyweight spinnaker and have been heading east at good speed ever since.”

 

"A very fast start to this race sees Derry-Londonderry up into the top four leading boats and flying along under full main and heavyweight spinnaker at average speeds of eleven knots,” reports the Northern Irish entry’s skipper, Mark Light.

 

“An exciting night found us deep downwind with our Yankee 1 flying. It is against race rules to pole out this large headsail so to gain some more ground downwind we decided to ‘goose-wing’, or sail with the Yankee flying on the opposite side to the mainsail without the use of a pole. This requires a high degree of precision from the helm in order to keep both sails full.”

 

Commenting on the busy waters that surround China and Japan, Mark adds, “All was going well until we were greeted with the sight that no yachtsman wants to see, the bow of a huge tanker appearing out of the gloom!

 

“This monster ship, although close, seemed to be clearing down our starboard side then all of a sudden and to my horror, turned straight towards us! I immediately turned to starboard sharply, heading up into wind and pulling our Yankee across to the correct side to take serious avoiding action.

 

“We cleared by 200 to 300 metres then watched as Singapore had to do exactly the same severe manoeuvre clearing by only 100 metres or so. This was way too close for comfort! I learnt after that Gold Coast Australia had to crash tack to avoid the same vessel.”

 

Singapore skipper, Ben Bowley, describes the same heart-stopping incident, saying, “A combination of freezing fog, fishing boats, large commercial vessels has made navigation a little hazardous. We elected to spend the night under white sails even though the wind was just about ok for the heavy kite. In retrospect this was an excellent idea because having to make sudden course alterations under spinnaker with new inexperienced crew, at night, would have been more stress than I think we could have managed! We set up to hoist the kite at first light today only to find ourselves ensnared in yet another fishing fleet and a huge tanker had decided to make a large course alteration directly toward us. This is the absolute last thing you ever want to see bearing down on you out of the fog: 100,000 tons of steel and oil. We took evasive action and ended up less than 200 metres past his stern. Not the best way to start the day.

 

"After this we were able to gybe over and finally get the kite hoisted. The rest of the day has been spent constantly tweaking ‘Vicky’ [sticky Vicky – the crew’s nickname for the spinnaker due to the amount of repair tape she now sports] to get the best possible course and speed out of the boat. We've had some fantastic surfing conditions and the boat has been flying along. The sun had even made a few brief appearances and conditions have been conducive to coaching up some of the new leggers at helming under spinnaker. I'm sure tonight shall bring more nautical dodgems but for now we are happy to be seeing VMG (Velocity Made Good) of generally over ten knots.”

 

Things have not quite been going to plan on board Welcome to Yorkshire. The team was neck and neck with Gold Coast Australia in the lead at the midnight position report but shortly afterwards found themselves grappling with what skipper, Rupert Dean, describes as “the mother of all wraps”: the team’s heavyweight spinnaker wrapped around the inner forestay in tricky helming conditions.

 

Describing the scene, Rupert reports, “Our precious sail was trapped 80-foot up the rig with no means of getting it down. Chris Leivers and Jim Stamp bravely volunteered to go up to unwrap it, a feat made impossible by the 20 plus knots apparent wind blowing across the sail, big waves and the sheer size and power of the sail. Before returning to the deck, Chris unclipped the double halyard to bring it down with him. At least that would mean two less lines for it to tangle around.

 

“Thoughts now turned to more extreme measures. Cutting the sail down was one we didn't wish to pursue. Another possibility was to remove the entire inner forestay from the rig, lowering it and the sail together to be unwrapped on deck, again a far from simple operation in a big seaway. In the end we gybed the mainsail, which we needed to do anyway to attain better VMG, and deliberately steered the boat deep downwind, to encourage the kite to unwrap itself with the wind blowing the other way. Mercifully it worked and, with a bit of tugging from the foredeck, the sail at last slid down the stay onto the deck.

 

“For the Welcome to Yorkshire crew and me this was the worst spinnaker wrap we had ever experienced. Dealing with it was pretty stressful and very tiring. Thankfully the crew, sail and boat are all in one piece, we haven't lost too many miles on the opposition and we are fit to race again.”

 

Crew taking part in the Clipper Race can sign up to take on the whole 40,000-mile circumnavigation or one or more of the individual legs of the race. The extreme challenge of racing across the planet’s largest ocean is hugely popular and consequently a large number of new crew took their places amongst the teams in Qingdao at the start of the transpacific race. As they find their sea legs and get up to speed this provides an additional challenge for the teams, particularly in heavy weather.

 

On board New York, skipper Gareth Glover, explains, “The wind filled in, turned and started to come from our stern. Kite or pole out the head sail was the call, and with a lot of new crew on board we went for a poled out Yankee 2 which worked well, and most of the fleet must have been thinking the same as most were under the same sail plan as we were. They were still in range on AIS but the visibility was still down to only a few miles at best.

 

“As first light came we decided to go with our heavyweight kite which gives us more boat speed but there is a limit to the crew who can helm in around 20 knots of wind, running deep downwind with the pole far forward. It was going well until the kite clipped the back edge on the rig and ripped down the side. The crew are now working on repairing the kite so we can get it back flying again. It was great to see how the crew who have been on from the start helped the new crew get on with getting it all sorted fast and safely to get us racing again.”

 

Every facet of life on board an ocean racing yacht requires teamwork and the crew that works best together is very often the team that comes out on top.

 

As they weave their way through cargo ships and fishing fleets, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital’s skipper, Gordon Reid, notes, “For some of our new joiners it has been a tough few days, given the freezing temperatures and the slightly lumpy sea state. Everyone on the crew now seems to be settling into life on board and we are all looking forward to passing Japan and making our way into some nice deep blue ocean once more.

 

“With the wind veering slowly towards the north, we gybed across on to a port tack early this morning and now that the wind is a lot more consistent in its direction and speed we are going for a spinnaker hoist. This should set us up nicely for the Sata Misalki mark and allow us to come back on the breeze as it continues to veer. As we approach the next mark it will hopefully start to warm up a little in the Kuroshio (Black Snake) current which flows north from the warmer South China Sea along the south coast of Japan.”

 

Gordon adds, “With over 5,000 miles still to go the fleet are very much still in a tight group and regular banter is exchanged between the skippers as we navigate our way south east and onwards.”

 

Qingdao’s crew have spent the last 24 hours completing a series of sail changes to gain ground on their competitors, mindful of the new hands on board.

 

Skipper, Ian Conchie, says “With plenty of wind we spent the night with the Yankee 1 and full main and managed to hold some good speed. I decided not to hoist the kite in the night as the conditions were not ideal for a first kite run with new crew. This may have cost us some distance but it’s a long way to go and we didn't want to risk damage too early on.

 

“We hoisted the kite just before lunch today and as the fog lifted we could see both Visit Finland and De Lage Landen in the flesh rather than just as targets on the radar system. The fleet is still fairly close; all of us are in VHF range of each other and Skipper FM is full of chat and warnings of ships and fishing boats although, listening to the conversations, it seems that some of the fleet have had more issues than us with the shipping.

 

“We continue to head towards the southern tip of Japan and if we keep our current speed should round the corner sometime tomorrow. I think the whole fleet is praying for a change of wind when we get there though as currently it is showing a beat up the coast of Japan and, with the memories of the seas off Taiwan still in everyone’s minds, we are hoping for better conditions.”

 

In the meantime, though, according to Geraldton Western Australia’s skipper, Juan Coetzer, “It is still a drag race to the first virtual mark, weaving and dodging through fishing fleets, lobster pots, and high speed container ships.

 

“Last night the new crew on board experienced their first headsail change of this race, from a Yankee 1 to a Yankee 2 and this morning Nik Brbora had to go up the mast to clean our wind indicator as the pollution in China has caked our indicator black and at night you cannot see the reflectors which means we couldn’t use the wind instruments at night.”

 

De Lage Landen’s skipper, Stuart Jackson, reports that his team are glad to be racing after the foggy and snowy departure from Qingdao.

 

“We got off to a great start and it was good to get going to stave off the very cold conditions that we were experiencing! It was also the first taste of true ocean racing life for our new crew, and old, who are settling down for our long journey to San Francisco.”

 

“Everyone seems to be finding their feet on board today as the early fatigue of getting back into a watch system wears off,” reports Visit Finland skipper, Olly Osborne.

 

As the Finnish team continues to jockey for position Olly adds, “We have made some good distance since we started yesterday and the whole fleet is still very close. Most boats are in sight of one another and the competition is heating up as we all charge east under our heavyweight spinnakers.”

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Gold Coast still showing the way here.

 

OA, Hope you have recovered from your sail by now.

We have changed countries so have been away from the screen for a bit.

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Gold Coast still showing the way here.

 

OA, Hope you have recovered from your sail by now.

We have changed countries so have been away from the screen for a bit.

Cool - like to hear more about that!

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Just getting used to life on land again seem to be busy all the time!

They are pulling into San Fransisco today!

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Really cool to see the crew come off the dock last night at Jack London. Congrats to you all on your ocean crossing. Sorry US Customs took so long....

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Really cool to see the crew come off the dock last night at Jack London. Congrats to you all on your ocean crossing. Sorry US Customs took so long....

Say hi to Qingdao crew for me!

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Hey Ozee,

 

Unless I have missed it.

 

Where is your report !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Seems like this last leg was long and hard (like Lydia, or so he says !!!).

 

I miss your putting the daily reports up here so now I have to go to the race website.

 

daniel

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Edit, just saw there is already a thread on it.

 

3 Injured as Wave Overtakes Yacht in Round the World Race

 

For a sailor on the ocean, there is perhaps nothing more bone-chilling than the sight of a skyscraper-size wave gathering to engulf your boat.

 

A crew of 13 seafarers experienced that on Saturday when an enormous wave crashed into their yacht, seriously injuring three people onboard during a storm in the Pacific Ocean, some 400 miles off the California coast. The wave hit the vessel with such force that it swallowed up the 68-foot boat’s steering wheel and mounting as well as some of its communications equipment, the authorities said.

 

“The sea was alive with rage,” said Juan Coetzer, the South African skipper of the yacht, the Geraldton Western Australia, one of 10 yachts participating in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race that began last July in Southampton, England.

 

“Just before the sun came up, a monstrous foaming swell broke over our stern,” he went on, adding: “We had no steering, and crew were falling all over the boat.”

 

 

 

By Sunday afternoon, the United States Coast Guard was on its way to rescue the injured crewmembers, most of whom are not professional sailors. According to a statement from Clipper Ventures — the company that organized the race – the injured include Jane Hitchens, 50, a doctor, and Nik Brbora, 28, a software engineer, both from England, as well as Max Wilson, 62, from Australia. A fourth man, Mark Burkes, 47, also from England, was not seriously injured, as was originally believed.

 

“We understand that one person is more severely injured than the other two, but we’re not exactly sure what the injuries are,” Petty Officer Third Class Barry Bena, a Coast Guard spokesman, said by telephone.

 

An earlier rescue effort by the Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing was foiled when weather conditions prevented the team from parajumping to the scene from a search-and-rescue aircraft. Instead, medical supplies were dropped to the boat, which the Coast Guard calls the Clipper Venture 6. Another rescue vessel was then diverted from Alameda, Calif., to help the injured boaters. That vessel, the Coast Guard Cutter Berthoff, is carrying a Jayhawk helicopter.

 

Petty Officer Bena said around 3 p.m. that the rescue boat was in range but was still waiting for better weather conditions before a rescue swimmer would be sent in to assess the situation and determine what further action to take.

 

He said the crew’s own actions did not seem to be at fault in the accident. “The weather can become unpredictable at any moment,” he added. “They can only do so much. Beyond that, it’s just out of their control.”

 

The racing yachts were on the sixth leg of seven on their yearlong, 40,000-mile international sea adventure. The next part of the race is scheduled to take them through the Panama Canal, up between the Caribbean nations of Cuba and Haiti, and eventually to New York. From there, the participants will begin the final leg of their journey, and head back to England, arriving in July of this year. This is the eighth round-the-world race that Clipper Ventures has organized since 1995.

 

As of Sunday afternoon, Clipper Ventures said, all but one of the other nine vessels in the race had arrived safely at Oakland, Calif., where they will remain until the next leg of the race begins April 14.

 

“The North Pacific has lived up to its expectations,” Ian Conchie, the skipper of another racing yacht, the Qingdao, said in a statement after arriving on dry land for the first time in weeks. “Anyone who thought this would be full of champagne and sunny sailing doesn’t realize what the North Pacific in winter can be like.”

 

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Hey Ozee,

 

Unless I have missed it.

 

Where is your report !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Seems like this last leg was long and hard (like Lydia, or so he says !!!).

 

I miss your putting the daily reports up here so now I have to go to the race website.

 

daniel

been slack 7 struggling to get into "normal" life - will start the dailies again if you want

:)

Whats in my report?

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Can we have a report on your experiences on your two legs please.

 

You can have a sealed version as well if you like !!!!

 

d

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Can we have a report on your experiences on your two legs please.

 

You can have a sealed version as well if you like !!!!

 

d

OK...

2 watches 4/24 on & off except a dog leg where everyone was awake from 11am-3pm most of the work go done in this time, during the dog leg one watch wold do 2 hours up on deck & then we'd swap. Not all the boats do it this way.

 

We had 13 on the boat so...

Skipper didn't routinely helm unless we couldn't manage the sail changes with only 5, he did stay up with us when it was hairy & basically slept on the floor fully dressed when it was crap weather - described his role as the bus driver so we did the work

 

1 mother (cooking & sleeping all night)may get called up to give us a hand

1 on helm

1 always in a harness - they went up pole for the shift & in the case of anyone going over we are all able to walk down the freeboard & do the business

1 had cleaning duties

1 had engineering duties

 

 

 

The hardest physical things were

1 squalls from Aus-Singers

2 wind against tide from Singers - Qingdao

 

Aus-Singers...

Squalls

Basically it was groundhog day mainly evenings & nights as the water sucked into clouds cooled - you could see them coming

 

We had 1 person on radar watch as well judging the size & reporting where & how far away

 

On this leg we were going down wind with kite up - so as soon as clouds were likely it would be up the pole ready for a drop & basically you stayed up there until the drop & then until they were ready for you to come down & someone was keeping an eye on you, someone else easing the winch.

 

I didn't helm too much as everyone was nervous they or I would screw up (thats my only regret out of the whole thing that i didn't insist & just have someone sitting beside me - I'll probably never do that again)

 

Basically just before the squall hit we took it all down & then put it all back up in varying stages depending on wind speed.

 

Was very warm on this leg so we didn't wear foulies just got drenched about 4-6 times on the night 4/24 shifts, hung your clothes up & put another outfit on when you woke up - 3 shorts & t shirts on the go, rinsed every night & yes we had shower gel & shampoo on deck. I have thick long hair which i would have cut off if I was going around the world & i used to pop a (purple of course) shower cap on as the wind got up ready for the rain. usually the rain was going sideways & hurt like stink but you were so involved in getting the sails down there wasn't too much of a fuss about that.

 

My shoulder started to play up coming into Singers, from getting myself onto the pole (I'm older than Tuffie) & when we got there I found out that 3 people had been taken off other boats & had rotator (sp) cuff surgery. I played the old lady card & asked for physio so I got a massage every day on insurance & didn't have to go to the spa for that!

 

Hands peeled, feet peeled, yachtie bottie peeled.

 

I lost about 6kg in 32 days but must have gained some muscle somewhere. Don't bother with the expensive sport bras ladies cause they don't fit after 1/2 way & be prepared to sleep & be seen in all your underwear - all black looks matching & not dirty. Bamboo stuff is great, has time to dry - the technical quick dry stuff just feels slimy all the time.

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Squall management 101 (aka mariners version of the Hoki Koki)

 

You put one reef in

One reef out

Reef in

Reef out

The rain is all about

You reassess you course having turned around

that's what it's all about

 

Put the yankee 2 down

Put the yankee 2 up

Ease, grind

Ease, grind

Enough to blow your mind!

Do another radar watch and turn around.

That's what it's all about!

 

Shower cap photo too big to attach!

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Geraldton Western Australia expected in port early this morning local time - 02 April 2012

 

The end of the Pacific Ocean is in sight for the battered, weary but very determined crew of Geraldton Western Australia after two dramatic days on board their 68-foot ocean racing yacht. The team is expected to arrive in Jack London Square, Oakland, at approximately 1am tomorrow, (0800 UTC/0900 BST) after a gruelling 6,000-mile journey across the vast, forbidding expanse of the world’s largest ocean.

 

On Saturday, as they were 400 miles off the California coast,a huge wave broke across the back of the boat injuring four of those on board. Last night the two most seriously injured, Jane Hitchens, 50, a doctor from Kent, UK, with suspected broken ribs; and NikBrbora, 29, a software engineer from London, UK, with a suspected pelvic sprain, were transferred by small boat to the state of the art US Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf. Earlier the crew had made the decision not to attempt an airlift because of the conditions.

 

Video footage from the US Coast Guard shows the huge swell both vessels had to contend with during the rescue operation.

 

Jane and Nik are due to arrive at the Coast Guard facility at Alameda in San Francisco Bay on board the USCG Bertholf at approximately 3pm local time (2200 UTC/2300 BST) this afternoon and will be transferred by ambulance to hospital in San Francisco.

 

Meanwhile, Max Wilson, 62, who also has a suspected rib injury, and is determined to finish the race under the Golden Gate Bridge, and Mark Burkes, 47, whose back injury is not as serious as initially thought, have remained on board with the rest of the crew. They are now making good progress towards Oakland under their secondary steering system which they immediately set up after the massive force of the wave took out their wheel and steering column.

 

Messages of support for the crew from all over the world have been tweeted and posted on the official Clipper Race page on Facebook and Tourism Western Australia’s team in London said, “We can’t even begin to imagine the situation on board but wanted to send our best wishes to you all and belief that the team’s strength and tremendous courage, led by Juan [Coetzer], will get you safely to the US.

 

“We will closely follow your Race News and updates awaiting the safe arrival to shore.”

 

The team is expected to arrive in Jack London Square, Oakland, at approximately 1am local time on Wednesday morning (0800 UTC/0900 BST).

 

Last night three other yachts completed the longest individual stage of the 15-race 40,000-mile competition, arriving to a warm welcome in Oakland.

 

De LageLanden’s crew, who had their own drama earlier in the race when one of their crew members was injured close to Japan, fulfilled their promise to her as she left the boat and did not finish last.

 

The team completed the course in seventh place and immediately set about celebrating their achievement, which also sees them climb above Visit Finland to second place overall in Clipper 11-12.

 

Olly Osborne, the skipper of Visit Finland, which drops down to third place, explained just how tough it was in the North Pacific.

 

“It’s been relentless,” he said. “It’s certainly been very demanding, more so than any other race that we’ve done. The objective for the leg for me was finishing. Coming in ninth wasn’t our best result, but I think it was all about getting through it and getting here in once piece.

 

“At times I felt the sea state was quite threatening and you get a cross swell, especially at nightwhen it’s pitch black and you don’t see it coming. We took a few serious wallops. Visit Finlandwas never fully knocked down, but you just wonder when the next one is coming and you think, oh no, someone is going to get done in – but you don’t, you survive.

 

“Coming into the finish we saw the sun for the first time in the last month and we did about 27 knots coming into a big breaking wave. It was just an epic feeling; quite exhilarating. Then the Golden Gate Bridge appeared – a wonderful sight!”

 

Finnish round the world crew member, RiikkaPuustinen, was also thrilled to reach in Oakland.

 

“The arrival was absolutely fantastic and such a contrast. We have spent one month in grey, miserable, wet, horrible weather across the whole Pacific Ocean and then upon our arrival we have beautiful sunshine and we did our speed record, due to the swell just before the gate, as we surfed at 27 knots of boat speed. It was such an amazing finish to the whole journey.

 

“Even though we are finishing ninth, I can’t be unhappy, because this time it felt like it wasn’t about the race, it was about the endurance and just making it across in one piece with no injuries.”

 

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital’s crew also wasted no time in celebrating their arrival in port, finishing four hours behind De LageLanden and two before Visit Finland. Tales of adventure, what happened and what might have been were swapped long into the night by those who can now note in their log book an ocean crossing few will ever complete.

 

Eight arrivals in a little over 24 hours shows how closely the teams are matched three-quarters of the way into the world’s longest yacht race, and the final podium positions when the ten yachts return to Southampton on England’s south coast on 22 July are still very much up for the taking.

 

Gold Coast Australia scored an additional point in their bid to take the Clipper 11-12 title by winning the Ocean Sprint time trial. Their time of 25 hours 53 minutes and 42 seconds for the distance between longitudes 142 degrees west and 136 degrees west could not be beaten. Singaporecame the closest with a time of 27hours 29minutes and 58seconds for the 275-mile distance.

 

Today Ms Wang Look Fung, Director, Group Corporate Affairs for the yacht’s sponsor, Keppel Corporation, sent skipper Ben Bowley and his crew a message:

 

“Congratulations on a well-executed race!” she said. “Despite the grueling conditions that the Pacific Ocean is known for, the team has exemplified the Keppel Can Do! spirit and overcame all odds to secure a commendable podium win.

 

“Keppelites are proud to be associated with the spirit of achievement, tenacity, perseverance and teamwork that saw the whole crew through the ups and down in this leg that is the toughest in the whole race.”

 

The fleet will be berthed at Jack London Square until 14 April and will be hosted by the 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific boat show. Gold Coast Australia’s crew will be presented with the Strictly Sail Pacific Clipper Race Cup when the show opens on 9 April.

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Can we have a report on your experiences on your two legs please.

 

You can have a sealed version as well if you like !!!!

 

d

OK...

2 watches 4/24 on & off except a dog leg where everyone was awake from 11am-3pm most of the work go done in this time, during the dog leg one watch wold do 2 hours up on deck & then we'd swap. Not all the boats do it this way.

 

We had 13 on the boat so...

Skipper didn't routinely helm unless we couldn't manage the sail changes with only 5, he did stay up with us when it was hairy & basically slept on the floor fully dressed when it was crap weather - described his role as the bus driver so we did the work

 

1 mother (cooking & sleeping all night)may get called up to give us a hand

1 on helm

1 always in a harness - they went up pole for the shift & in the case of anyone going over we are all able to walk down the freeboard & do the business

1 had cleaning duties

1 had engineering duties

 

 

 

The hardest physical things were

1 squalls from Aus-Singers

2 wind against tide from Singers - Qingdao

 

Aus-Singers...

Squalls

Basically it was groundhog day mainly evenings & nights as the water sucked into clouds cooled - you could see them coming

 

We had 1 person on radar watch as well judging the size & reporting where & how far away

 

On this leg we were going down wind with kite up - so as soon as clouds were likely it would be up the pole ready for a drop & basically you stayed up there until the drop & then until they were ready for you to come down & someone was keeping an eye on you, someone else easing the winch.

 

I didn't helm too much as everyone was nervous they or I would screw up (thats my only regret out of the whole thing that i didn't insist & just have someone sitting beside me - I'll probably never do that again)

 

Basically just before the squall hit we took it all down & then put it all back up in varying stages depending on wind speed.

 

Was very warm on this leg so we didn't wear foulies just got drenched about 4-6 times on the night 4/24 shifts, hung your clothes up & put another outfit on when you woke up - 3 shorts & t shirts on the go, rinsed every night & yes we had shower gel & shampoo on deck. I have thick long hair which i would have cut off if I was going around the world & i used to pop a (purple of course) shower cap on as the wind got up ready for the rain. usually the rain was going sideways & hurt like stink but you were so involved in getting the sails down there wasn't too much of a fuss about that.

 

My shoulder started to play up coming into Singers, from getting myself onto the pole (I'm older than Tuffie) & when we got there I found out that 3 people had been taken off other boats & had rotator (sp) cuff surgery. I played the old lady card & asked for physio so I got a massage every day on insurance & didn't have to go to the spa for that!

 

Hands peeled, feet peeled, yachtie bottie peeled.

 

I lost about 6kg in 32 days but must have gained some muscle somewhere. Don't bother with the expensive sport bras ladies cause they don't fit after 1/2 way & be prepared to sleep & be seen in all your underwear - all black looks matching & not dirty. Bamboo stuff is great, has time to dry - the technical quick dry stuff just feels slimy all the time.

 

Fantastic Ozee! Ive been waiting for something like this from you too :D

 

So bamboo beats marino? :)

 

 

 

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Can we have a report on your experiences on your two legs please.

 

You can have a sealed version as well if you like !!!!

 

d

OK...

2 watches 4/24 on & off except a dog leg where everyone was awake from 11am-3pm most of the work go done in this time, during the dog leg one watch wold do 2 hours up on deck & then we'd swap. Not all the boats do it this way.

 

We had 13 on the boat so...

Skipper didn't routinely helm unless we couldn't manage the sail changes with only 5, he did stay up with us when it was hairy & basically slept on the floor fully dressed when it was crap weather - described his role as the bus driver so we did the work

 

1 mother (cooking & sleeping all night)may get called up to give us a hand

1 on helm

1 always in a harness - they went up pole for the shift & in the case of anyone going over we are all able to walk down the freeboard & do the business

1 had cleaning duties

1 had engineering duties

 

 

 

The hardest physical things were

1 squalls from Aus-Singers

2 wind against tide from Singers - Qingdao

 

Aus-Singers...

Squalls

Basically it was groundhog day mainly evenings & nights as the water sucked into clouds cooled - you could see them coming

 

We had 1 person on radar watch as well judging the size & reporting where & how far away

 

On this leg we were going down wind with kite up - so as soon as clouds were likely it would be up the pole ready for a drop & basically you stayed up there until the drop & then until they were ready for you to come down & someone was keeping an eye on you, someone else easing the winch.

 

I didn't helm too much as everyone was nervous they or I would screw up (thats my only regret out of the whole thing that i didn't insist & just have someone sitting beside me - I'll probably never do that again)

 

Basically just before the squall hit we took it all down & then put it all back up in varying stages depending on wind speed.

 

Was very warm on this leg so we didn't wear foulies just got drenched about 4-6 times on the night 4/24 shifts, hung your clothes up & put another outfit on when you woke up - 3 shorts & t shirts on the go, rinsed every night & yes we had shower gel & shampoo on deck. I have thick long hair which i would have cut off if I was going around the world & i used to pop a (purple of course) shower cap on as the wind got up ready for the rain. usually the rain was going sideways & hurt like stink but you were so involved in getting the sails down there wasn't too much of a fuss about that.

 

My shoulder started to play up coming into Singers, from getting myself onto the pole (I'm older than Tuffie) & when we got there I found out that 3 people had been taken off other boats & had rotator (sp) cuff surgery. I played the old lady card & asked for physio so I got a massage every day on insurance & didn't have to go to the spa for that!

 

Hands peeled, feet peeled, yachtie bottie peeled.

 

I lost about 6kg in 32 days but must have gained some muscle somewhere. Don't bother with the expensive sport bras ladies cause they don't fit after 1/2 way & be prepared to sleep & be seen in all your underwear - all black looks matching & not dirty. Bamboo stuff is great, has time to dry - the technical quick dry stuff just feels slimy all the time.

 

Fantastic Ozee! Ive been waiting for something like this from you too :D

 

So bamboo beats marino? :)

Bamboo beats QuickDry in heat (25-40 degrees C)

Quick Dry & Merino worked for me in the cooler to cold leg (yes I took my wooly knickers!)

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Question I couldn’t answer out there…

 

In the Celbes Sea we got ink over the deck squirted by a squid (68 foot boat)

 

The ink came from about 3 foot above the waterline up the freeboard (usually stands about shoulder height on me on a dock – have to use springers if you are climbing up the side)

 

In front of the mast it made it to about 2 foot from the other side with plenty of fluid.

 

At least 2-3 litres & I’m used to people bleeding big time.

 

Q: how big was the squid – none of us heard anything it was just there in the morning so we think we hit it

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With the drama of the North Pacific over for another race, the crews of all ten Clipper Race yachts are now safely in California. The dramatic scenes of the last few days brought the size and scale of the challenge that the crew on the Clipper Race face, clearly into focus. Before taking part in the comprehensive training programme, 40% of the non-professional sailors on this unique event had never sailed before. It is testament to their bravery, skill and strength of character that they deal with all levels of adversity, and as a team, overcome it. Whether this is the stifling heat and no wind areas of the doldrums, or the icy, mountainous seas in the Pacific. Every physical and mental challenge imaginable, and sometimes unimaginable ones. Having raced across the North Pacific myself, I know first-hand how the crew will be feeling right now. The first beer tastes amazing. The first steak delicious. The first hug from friends and family is draining and up-lifting at the same time. What is hard to put into words though, is the feeling of euphoria, of personal accomplishment, of knowing that you just raced across the largest ocean on the planet.

 

 

 

For the crew now, there is some respite. Time to gather thoughts, fix boats, relax and recuperate and get ready to go again. On 14 April the boats will be heading to the start line to race to Panama for the start of Leg 7. The next few days will be a blur of parties, boat maintenance and site seeing – after such a gruelling race, where better to be than California!

 

 

 

Next week the Clipper Race fleet will be centre stage at Strictly Sail Pacific, the west coast’s largest sailing only boat show. Boats will be open for members of the public to look around on 12 and 13 April during show times. Crew members will be on hand to talk about their own experiences.

 

 

 

There will also be a series of presentations about the race –

 

Strictly Sail

Jack London Square, Oakland

12th @ 1530

 

OCSC

1 Spinnaker Way Berkeley, 94710

12th @ 1900

 

Strictly Sail

Jack London Square, Oakland

13th @ 1300

 

Strictly Sail

Jack London Square, Oakland

14th @ 1300

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I'd love to make a photo book of my trip - I made a note of the Long & Lats at UT midnight every day. Does anyone know of a way I can plot them & then turn it into a jpeg or something?

Thanks chaps

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I'd love to make a photo book of my trip - I made a note of the Long & Lats at UT midnight every day. Does anyone know of a way I can plot them & then turn it into a jpeg or something?

Thanks chaps

You will need a navigation program for the computer. Plot the positions as waypoints. Then use the "snip" that comes with later windows versions and save it as a jpeg or PNG file.

 

edit ... its Lat & Long. Not the other way around.

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I sailed over to Jack London Square yesterday to see the boats. Very impressive. I don't get around 68 footers that often so the robustsness of the boats and gear really struck me. I was invited onboard Edinburgh and got a tour below deck. These boats are very industrial down below. No teak or even wood as I recall. Two water tight doors. Captians quarters (cramped) was aft and off limits to crew. Depending on amount of crew some had to hot bunk. Big 125 hp deisel mid ship,1600nm range, galley and nav station to stbd. Heads stbd and port, first come first served. No showers below, washing was done topside. Apparently this will be the last race for these boats as new 75 footers are being built in China and they will have assy spinnakers.

Minutes after I left the Coast Guard Cutter with wounded crew sailed by and can only imagine it got lots of claps and cheers. It was a good day .

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Thanks Ozee fr your thoughts.

 

Was it harder than you thought it was going to be?

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Good points Ozee.

I have another question.

Was it value for money?

One of the things that always amazes me is the cost in money and time that it costs to do RTW.

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Oh, another question. Was there a level of divide between crew who were on for the full round the world and people who were only on for a leg? Was there any level of divide between people who had sailed a lot prior vs people who hadn’t sailed at all? How does that all mash out between people on the crew as the race goes on?

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Thanks Ozee fr your thoughts.

 

Was it harder than you thought it was going to be?

No I knew it would be really intense periods - I was really out of breath on some of those sail chages 7 we worked out that i'd do the hanking while the boys lifted sails to me sometimes - skipper called me a harness monkey so i was up & down the pole alot on the first leg & i had to go up the mast to help pull sail down to put a reef in if i wasn't on another position - I couldn't pull from below effectively. So I was happy to do that no matter what the weather wereas someof the others didn't want to.

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Good points Ozee.

I have another question.

Was it value for money?

One of the things that always amazes me is the cost in money and time that it costs to do RTW.

I thought so, I would have paid that for the holiday of a lifetime - I paid fortnightly for over a year & the insurance was a big sting but as you can see its well used!

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Oh, another question. Was there a level of divide between crew who were on for the full round the world and people who were only on for a leg? Was there any level of divide between people who had sailed a lot prior vs people who hadn’t sailed at all? How does that all mash out between people on the crew as the race goes on?

When I got on they were 1/2 way round so all their teething had been worked out plus they had done Southern Ocean. First time it hit me was when an email came around for the RTW women to have a spa session in Indo wheich was quickly opened to all women. I was told I behaved like a RTW as i was on & off other boats & not just socialising with my own crew.

Some were shocked when i went to say goodbye in Qingdao as they thought I was RTW! I'm faaaaaar from a 20yo party animal as we know!

Definate bonds between the RTW & they really accept each other for what they are & what they bring - thats established when you get on - our crew looked forward to new crews as it mixed up the dynamics for the next leg so it wasn't always the same.

Skip only took 2 guys up the front of the boat for a chat once on my entire trip, they were both RTW & both behaved really well afterwards - had differeing opinions about how they wanted to race.

 

sailing before - had never sailed a 68 fotter before in their team environment with their norms - just got up the pole & mast quicker & asked different questions on the helm, knew my own limitations better & my limitations in bad weather - remebered how to do sail evolutions because they made sense to me - I didn't have to be watched or told ALL the time at the beginning

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I sailed over to Jack London Square yesterday to see the boats. Very impressive. I don't get around 68 footers that often so the robustsness of the boats and gear really struck me. I was invited onboard Edinburgh and got a tour below deck. These boats are very industrial down below. No teak or even wood as I recall. Two water tight doors. Captians quarters (cramped) was aft and off limits to crew. Depending on amount of crew some had to hot bunk. Big 125 hp deisel mid ship,1600nm range, galley and nav station to stbd. Heads stbd and port, first come first served. No showers below, washing was done topside. Apparently this will be the last race for these boats as new 75 footers are being built in China and they will have assy spinnakers.

Minutes after I left the Coast Guard Cutter with wounded crew sailed by and can only imagine it got lots of claps and cheers. It was a good day .

Showerhead is the tap on the port head & there is a foot pump to get rid of it! Please go to any boat with people 7 they will show you around - if you get to Qingdao say hi for me & have a look!

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Thanks Ozee fr your thoughts.

 

Was it harder than you thought it was going to be?

No I knew it would be really intense periods - I was really out of breath on some of those sail chages 7 we worked out that i'd do the hanking while the boys lifted sails to me sometimes - skipper called me a harness monkey so i was up & down the pole alot on the first leg & i had to go up the mast to help pull sail down to put a reef in if i wasn't on another position - I couldn't pull from below effectively. So I was happy to do that no matter what the weather wereas someof the others didn't want to.

Going upwind i used to sqweak at the top of a wave cause i knew there was nothing on the other side & i had to rip the wheel over to get us down the back of the wave sideways rather than slam off it (we got bad boy points for slamming & setting off alarms! Winner cleans out lazarette on their own in the next port). At one stage i could only do that for 20 mins at a time & the boys were doing 40 - I'd just go in between & give them a break - some of the leggers & even a RTW stopped helming for a few days in that weather/tide side on to Taiwan

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I have to ask..... how much does this cost per leg?

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I have to ask..... how much does this cost per leg?

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about

~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks

~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days

~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

 

Except for the insurance this all got rolled together & I had to be paid by the June before the race started, so I chose to pay fortnightly over a year/18months

 

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up

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I have to ask..... how much does this cost per leg?

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about

~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks

~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days

~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

 

Except for the insurance this all got rolled together & I had to be paid by the June before the race started, so I chose to pay fortnightly over a year/18months

 

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up

 

 

 

AU$60,000. I could think of more comfortable ways to travel around the world for that amount of money. QE2 for example. But each to his own.

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I have to ask..... how much does this cost per leg?

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about

~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks

~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days

~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

 

Except for the insurance this all got rolled together & I had to be paid by the June before the race started, so I chose to pay fortnightly over a year/18months

 

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up

 

 

 

AU$60,000. I could think of more comfortable ways to travel around the world for that amount of money. QE2 for example. But each to his own.

Hello - where are you at the moment - approaching winter says you should be South & heading North soon - is that right?

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I have to ask..... how much does this cost per leg?

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about

~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks

~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days

~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

 

Except for the insurance this all got rolled together & I had to be paid by the June before the race started, so I chose to pay fortnightly over a year/18months

 

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up

 

 

 

AU$60,000. I could think of more comfortable ways to travel around the world for that amount of money. QE2 for example. But each to his own.

Hello - where are you at the moment - approaching winter says you should be South & heading North soon - is that right?

 

Tweed Heads. Boats up north.

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Pacific Ocean adventures - 05 April 2012

 

Spending close to a month at sea, racing across 6,000 miles and daily facing waves the size of buildings is a challenge few will encounter in life but for those willing to throw down the gauntlet, the satisfaction upon completing such an adventure is truly unique.

 

“Everyone said I was crazy for doing the Southern and Pacific Ocean,” declares Qingdao crew member, David Holloway.

 

“But I wanted to do the two big ones. I originally thought the Southern Ocean was the big one until Joff Bailey (Clipper Race Director), described the Pacific as wetter, colder and longer!

 

“It was the challenge I was looking for, I really wanted to be tested and I really was,” continues David, who took on two of the world’s fiercest ocean just three years after suffering a heart attack.

 

“Geraldton Western Australia felt the full force of it and it brings it home to you that there’s only 100 miles difference you can be in a very different weather system. We had a lot of wind and a lot of water, but it could of easily that bit more which is always at the back of your mind.

 

“In terms of the adventure I think it’s an amazing experience. A friend came to see us off in Qingdao and he said he had two things to do fill in his tax return and apply for the Clipper Race. I really think anyone would find it great and met their expectations.

 

“I’ll be definitely be seeing the team into Southampton, as we were sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge I was feeling quite sad, very pleased to be here, but sad to be leaving.”

 

Also part of the Qingdao crew who took on the Pacific Ocean was 39-year-old, Sean Campbell.

 

“It’s as big as everyone says it is for sure,” explains Sean.

 

“Quiet a hell of a leg, a lot of heavy weather. I was asked a similar question earlier and I likened it to the world’s biggest fairground ride, imagine a 6,000 mile rollercoaster, cross that with a log flume and then cross that one more time with the old motorcycle wall of death who are pined by gravity. If you could put all three of those things together on a 6,000 mile race that would be pretty much the Pacific Ocean.

 

“One thing that was a standout memory for me, David and I were on watch it was 3 or 4am and like a lot of the Pacific it was pitch black, we hardly saw any stars or moon for weeks on end.

 

“The boat was flying away at some pace, if you imagine being strapped to the top of a freight train as it goes into a tunnel that’s the kind of sensation we had, something else just extraordinary.”

 

During the stopover in Oakland, San Francisco Bay a diverse programme awaits the crew and skippers of the ten-strong fleet, including being part of the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show hosted in Jack London Square. Sponsors will also be using the Clipper Race as a platform for promotion, to do business and build relationships with Californian businesses.

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New skipper for Edinburgh Inspiring Capital in Clipper Race - 05 April 2012

 

Italian yachtsman, Flavio Zamboni, is to take over as interim skipper of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital the Scottish entry in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, which is currently in Oakland, San Francisco Bay at the end of the Pacific Ocean crossing.

 

Flavio, a 38-year-old yachtsman, who was born in Venice and lives in Southampton, UK, has a competitive racing background. He won the first ever RORC Caribbean 600 Race in 2009, and has been notching up a number of ‘first in class’ results in a variety of regattas in Europe and the Caribbean. As an experienced skipper of large yachts he has numerous Atlantic crossings under his belt, and has also competed in the Tall Ships Race on a boat run by the Italian Navy.

 

Furthermore Flavioknows what is required of the world’s longest yacht race, having worked for Clipper Training for the last two years, training crew members to prepare them for the rigours of ocean racing and has been working with Clipper Ventures in a freelance capacity since 2006.

 

He said, “I am looking forward to meeting the Edinburgh Inspiring Capital crew and discussing with them their goals for the next few races. I hope I can help them fulfil their potential. We will have a week or so on shore before the start of the next race to Panama, which will give us some time to get to know each other. I hope we will be able to take the boat out sailing for a day to help with the settling in process.”

 

Born in Venice, Flavio graduated from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia with a degree in Law before becoming a professional sailor. He has brought a little Italian flair to Southampton, UK, where he now lives and can be seen riding around on his Honda Hornet.

 

He adds, “As an Italian, I can guarantee to improve the quality of food on board!”

 

Flavio joins Edinburgh Inspiring Capital in Oakland, California, ahead of the start of Race 10 of Clipper 11-12. He replaces Gordon Reid who has been skipper since race start in the UK and has stood down for personal reasons. Flavio will be interim skipper until a permanent replacement can be appointed.

 

The fleet will set sail for Panama, on Saturday 14 April.

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AU$60,000. I could think of more comfortable ways to travel around the world for that amount of money. QE2 for example. But each to his own.

Yeah, there's always the Virtual Regatta option.

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Rest and recuperation - 11 April 2012

 

After an action packed race from China to Oakland, San Francisco, the crews taking part in the Clipper 11-12 Race, the world’s longest race at 40,000 miles, are busy preparing for the next race to Panama.

 

Race 10 starts on Saturday at 1400 local time (2100 UTC) and several crew members have taken time out from general boat maintenance to get to know their temporary home, the city of Oakland.

 

Visit Oakland, treated a group of crew members from each of the ten ocean racing teams to a guided tour of the city which included a hike around the Redwood Regional Park, lunch at the Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill and a visit to Dashe Cellars for wine tasting.

 

“We’re walking through the Redwood Forest, walking through trees which are hundreds of years old, the smell is fantastic. I’d forgotten I actually miss trees after nothing but oceans!” explains Welcome to Yorkshire crew member, Ann Finch during the trip.

 

The next race of Clipper 11-12, Race 10 to Panama, will start off fast and furious but as the temperature rises the wind start to drop as changeable conditions along the coast of central America and as the fleet near the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone or Doldrums) take effect.

 

The last thousand miles will be sailed in light and fickle winds potentially requiring a shortened course as the Clipper fleet head towards a date with the Panama Canal.

 

Friends, family members and supporters have all been invited to watch the Race 10 start from the Golden Gate Yacht Club, home of the 34th America's Cup, who have kindly offered to start the race from their deck. It guarantees to offer the best view of the start for the ten-strong fleet departing San Francisco Bay for the race to Panama.

 

Golden Gate Yacht Club

1 Yacht Road

San Francisco,

CA 94123

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Thank you Ozee for your insights.

 

Did you always feel comfortable that your crew had the ability (experience) to deal with particularly heavy weather?

 

daniel

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"We humans can never beat the sea" - 12 April 2012

 

“If anyone doubted the awesome power that the oceans can unleash, the wave smashing into Geraldton Western Australia in the final stages of the leg from Qingdao to Oakland should be proof enough that we humans can never beat the sea,” explains Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the Clipper Race’s founder and Chairman.

 

“The damage to the boat and injuries to the crew members were very regrettable but not avoidable in the circumstances of a rogue wave. The members of the crew have an experience that few other sailors have, or want to have! And this does not just happen to small boats.

 

“Some years ago a giant wave smashed into the QE2, breaking over the bridge way above the sea level. We learn, train and gain experience so we can limit the effects of rogue waves, but we cannot rule them out of our contingency planning,” continues Sir Robin, who became the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968.

 

“But now, repairs completed in California, the crews aboard the fleet can hopefully look forward to a more benign leg to Panama.”

 

The next race of Clipper 11-12, Race 10 to Panama, will start off fast and furious but as the temperature rises the wind start to drop as changeable conditions along the coast of central America and as the fleet near the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone or Doldrums) take effect.

 

Friends, family members and supporters have all been invited to watch the Race 10 start from the Golden Gate Yacht Club, home of the 34th America's Cup, who have kindly offered to start the race from their deck. It guarantees to offer the best view of the start for the ten-strong fleet departing San Francisco Bay for the race to Panama.

 

You can race the same course as the Clipper 11-12 Race fleet from your arm chair by playing the Virtual Clipper Race.

 

While crews taking part in Clipper 11-12 are battling on bucking foredecks to change a headsail in pitch darkness, high winds and rough seas, the same manoeuvre in the game is achieved by a simple click of the mouse!

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Thank you Ozee for your insights.

 

Did you always feel comfortable that your crew had the ability (experience) to deal with particularly heavy weather?

 

daniel

From day one training its “safety never takes a day off” constant vigilance about winch techniques, life jacket on at all times above deck, training to do everything as safe as possible.

 

One of the first things we did on the way down to Channel Islands on first training sail was divide into watches (creating competition) & have lots of competitions based around safety, (remembering that some head never sailed before) they were things like

• Clip on at the back jack line & you have to race to the bow & back down the other side – if you are not clipped on for cross overs you have to be on your bum

• Knot tying comps – plus even on the race Sir Robin would have a knot for each leg I’m told, probably same ones over & over, so you can do them in the dark underwater etc., he has a policy that if he’s talking to any crew member anywhere he can ask them to do a bowline on the spot

• Getting each other up to the pole & down again

• Walking up & down the free board in MOB drills

 

The MOB drills in training were insane. Day one it was “So chaps if so & so went over let’s discuss how we’d get her back”.

After that is was relentless… we had a big fender called “Bob”

Taught how to put a sail up – Bob goes over (full drill each time no shortcuts)

Taught how to put a sail down – Bob goes over

Middle of a meal – Bob goes over

F***ked something up – Bob goes over

2nd spinnaker peel ever – Bob goes over

Middle of the night – Bob goes over

Everyone had a go in the different positions as well

 

I was up the pole once – I can’t remember what happened but we did something wrong & I watched our skipper turn around to get Bob. He didn’t realise that by this time Bob was wearing a life jacket & was tethered to the boat as well as being lashed to the stanchion, so he’s yelling “I know who did this”, there is kite everywhere & I had to come down from the pole AND do the MOB! There are some days when pulling the old lady card doesn’t work, especially when you are giggling all the way!

 

In heavy weather our boat was conservative, luckily for me we were over ½ way round & the Round The Worlder’s (RTW’s) had worked out their strengths & got to know who they would take up to the bow when it was just shitful & all fairness had gone out of any system of turns. I know that night & day were different even tho the weather was probably the same – I’d be happy travelling with one hand on the guard rail & one on my tether during the day but reverted to travelling on my knees/bum at night for whatever reason at night

 

One of our RTW was an ex North Sea Diver who now manages divers – they go out on a ship that has the hyperbaric chamber on it. He had great team work approach that he would call “The way of the Sea”, when we went forward to do something 3rd reef & storm jib for instance no matter how shitty the weather we all stayed until the last person had finished the last tasks & everything was tidied up – this meant there was no one left up the pointy end struggling on their own while others were in the relative comfort of the cockpit.

I think at the end of the day we had done everything together multiple times (not necessarily with your own crew) & were on the same page so when it came to using those techniques when trouble shooting (broken reefing lines/halyards/mainsail battens/yankee sheets/vang) in the crap weather you just stuck to the SOP’s knew it was not going to happen quickly & stuck together.

 

How the skippers don't rip things out of peoples hands in training I will never know - they are great. Again at sea ours was always ther for us - supervising form the hatch or would take a position to help either free someone up or work with someone esp doing things for the first time/trouble shooting.

 

Short answer = yes

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How to get out of bed & on watch in heavy weather - no wonder i got my shoulders checked when i got back!

 

RACE 9 - DAY 26 - by Sean Campbell (Qingdao)

We're now 5,500 miles into the Pacific Leg and much will have been written of sailing tails about Storms, Surfing and Slamming. There are however, other challenges that go with life on board a Clipper 68. So, for all those at home who endure the anguish of the early morning alarm call and the trip to the en-suite and overcome obstacles such as “where are my slippers”, “where is that light switch?, “why has he left that toilet seat up again?”, I thought I'd describe the equivalent dash on board...

 

“Sean, Sean, it's time!, time to wake up” I hear as I come to. “What time is it?” I ask. “Half past” the retort. “Half past what?” I ask (it could be 10am, 6pm, 10pm or 2am depending on which watch we're on – I have lost track and have no idea).

 

“10 [pm]” floats back. I acknowledge, finding the gear which means go straight to getting ready to get on deck as opposed to one of the others in the gearbox:

 

- get ready to eat cereal and porridge before getting ready to go on deck - get ready to eat Chinese chicken noodles with a topping of smashed up TUC biscuit crumbs (our tuck bag got left in the Ghetto (the crews sleeping quarters) and fallen on a few times!)

 

- get ready to eat chinese chicken balls with rice and soy sauce before getting ready to go on deck.

 

OK, so no food this wake up (often a relief as bunk to chicken balls in three minutes was never my favourite!) just 30 minutes to be on deck. I was lucky enough to draw “The Penthouse” bunk which although highly desirable as it's in the area to the rear of the Ghetto on the starboard side of the boat out of the main corridor and also out of the way of wet sails being dropped down from the deck above, is also furthest away from the Companion Way steps and the deck. Right, let's get woken up properly and go, it's time to run the Getting Ready Gauntlet, reminiscent of an episode of the TV show Total Wipeout...

 

Section One – The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

 

Now awake. Sit up and reach over to undo the Lea Cloth (the cloth sidewall we put up each night to stop us rolling out of our bunks) and slide feet out of bunk taking care to ensure that my bottom is still mid-bunk and anchoring me against the boat which is heeled over at 45 degrees (with us being on starboard tack this morning I am on the “High Side” of the boat and and am looking way down to the floor). Whoa, duck and swerve! Legs from RTW'er Terry appear over my head and then socks place themselves on the side of my bed so that he can get down from the bunk above. I dodge the legs and reach over for my mid layer tops (stored in a wrapped up dry bag to try and keep them less wet than everything else) and pull these on crouching below the bunk above. Next, mid-layer salopettes and boots. Out of reach, I need to brave The Slippery Slope...

 

Section Two – The Slippery Slope

 

Up and out of bed reaching out in front down the 45 degree slope for the “scaffolding” type pole that holds in the spinnaker sails. Feet down on the floor.

 

Oh No! Socks wet straight out of bed. The Slippery Slope is indeed slippery as it's covered in water from wet sails coming down the hatch and water coming up from the bilges underneath when the boat has rocked in the night.

 

Oh No! The boat heels. Wet socks have no traction. Crash! I arrive at the other side of The Slippery Slope faster than anticipated. Relocate shoulder, unhook mid layer salopettes from carabina (they need hanging each time they come off to keep them off The Slippery Slope and less wet), pull on salopettes, hunt for boots under the other Watch's sleeping bags (moved from bed to allow hot-bunking and stored in bivvie bags to try and keep them less wet), find boots and pull onto wet socks.

 

Sorted, we now have some grip.

 

Decision time. To [ab]use the words of the Great Bard “To Pee or not to Pee? That is the question”. Having won the battle to hydrate during the last watch, To Pee is the course decided. Right, to The Heads along “The Course”. Next up is The Moving Bollards...

 

Section Three – The Moving Bollards

 

Jess and Bill are out of their bunks and reaching around for salopettes and sleeping bag bivvie's. Jess is never in the same position and a decision needs making over whether to navigate her to Port or Starboard. She falls to Port on the “Low Side”, I go high, grabbing at the horizontal scaffolding poles that are the frames of our bunks (there are no grab handles in this section) and ease round without collision. Result! The second bollard looms into view, David is always on the Port side leaning against the locker. Timing is everything here, a heel can get embarrassing. I wait and go, over the high side of David, no grab handles so I put my hands either side of David's head on the locker, I hope for stability, I get it, I go (a big heel at this point can mean a big embrace and a kiss of the Big Man's big beard), I pass at great speed. We are both relieved. Onto Mast Foot Hairpin...

 

Section Four – Mast Foot Hairpin

 

Having navigated The Moving Bollards, accelerating past the beard I am carrying too much pace into the left hander, Mast Foot. I secure my left hand on the grab rail and try and hit the brakes.

 

Oh No! The boat heels. I accelerate faster round the Hairpin. Crash! I arrive at the other side of Mast Foot Hairpin faster than anticipated. Relocate shoulder, prepare for the next section, The Caber...

 

Section Five – The Caber

 

Tricky section this, no grab rails just bunk poles to navigate whilst walking along the edge of the rolled up Yankee 1 sail.

 

Even more tricky when wet this one and nothing much to hold onto. It's another section that relies upon timing rather than strength this one. I wait, calculating the heel and rolling moment, wait my moment and go. Am doing well, half way along.

 

Balancing on the sail Caber, hands out just in case but not sure what good they'll do. Nearly, nearly there...

 

Oh No! The boat heels. I'm off balance but quicken my step across The Caber. Nearly there, Crash! Made it but was off centre and collided with the edge of Bulk Head Door. Relocate shoulder, prepare for the next section, The Pole Pit...

 

Section Six – The Pole Pit

 

Also known as the Saloon, this area provides seating for crew and is where most congregate at watch change to put on or take off their foulies manipulating salopettes with out-stretched legs. Quick assessment - 8 “Poles” in total belong to 4 crew.

 

Grab rails only available on the left here and up high – it's an awkward stretch up off balance. I go, holding on off-camber picking my way between the outstretched poles.

 

Oh No! The boat heels. I'm off balance with one foot in mid air. I look down for a space between the Poles. I find one and plant foot in a hurry. It comes down awfully close to Chris but fortunately misses “PJ's” Pride and Joy. I am relieved that the lineage of Pateman-Jones has survived! I near the end of the Poles and ready for another awkward left hander, The Galley Hairpin...

 

Section Seven – Galley Hairpin

 

Need to be careful on this one, can often be traffic here. I round it successfully and climb the hill towards The Heads.

 

Oh No! The boat heels. I'm off balance but have my left hand on the final grab rail. I pivot on it through 180 degrees.

 

Crash! Back to the wall of The Heads. Relocate shoulder, prepare for entry.

 

Section Eight – The Heads

 

I'm in to this confined space with miniature loo. Salopettes down and able to relieve the hydration from last watch.

 

Everything going well.

 

Oh No! The boat heels. I'm off balance on the High Side but heading for the Low Side. My head is going to go straight through the curtain (we don't have a door on the WC) and my trousers are round my ankles! Crash! My shoulder catches the door frame. I avoid the Ultimate Fall (out into the Saloon in full glory). Relocate shoulder, thank Lucky Stars!

 

Oh No! I remember I haven't packed my sleeping bag away in my bivvie and the other watch crew member (Aggie) won't be able to use the bunk. There's nothing for it...

 

The Run

 

How much of my 30 minutes have I left before being on deck? Can I make it? Yello's The Race goes through my head, I'm off...

 

Out of The Heads, rounding Galley Hairpin as a right hander, through The Pole Pit, across The Caber, round Mast Foot Hairpin as a right hander, through The Moving Bollards, onto the Slippery Slope.

 

Oh No! The boat heels. Crash! I arrive at the other side of The Slippery Slope faster than anticipated. Relocate shoulder, stretch into The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, stuff sleeping bag into bivvie. Breathe.

 

Right, back again... Out of The Hanging Gardens, over Slippery Slope, through Moving Bollards, round Mast Foot Hairpin, across the Caber, through The Pole Pit to the end – The Companionway steps.

 

All that's left now is to remove boots, get into foulie salopettes, get back into boots, put on the foulie smock with no zip and no apparent holes for cuffs or collar, put on life jacket and head up The Companionway steps to the deck – Ta Da! On time, just!

 

Oh No! It's my turn to wear the safety harness today. It's down below. I turn, the boat heels. Crash!...

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Again, thank you. That was very insightful.

 

daniel

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Race to Panama starts tomorrow - 13 April 2012

 

“Thermal layers give way to sunscreen on this highly tactical leg,” warns Race Director Joff Bailey.

 

Race 10 start on Saturday 14 April at 1400 local time in Oakland, San Francisco Bay (2100 UTC).

 

“The big question facing crews is whether to take the inshore or offshore route. The Californian Current flows south but the helping hand this gives the fleet can be counteracted by heating effects from the North American land mass which might change the winds unfavourably.

 

“This race down to Panama starts of fast and furious but as the temperature rises the wind start to drop as changeable conditions along the coast of Central America and as the fleet near the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone or Doldrums) take effect,” continues Joff.

 

The last thousand miles will be sailed in light and fickle winds potentially requiring a shortened course as the Clipper Race fleet head towards a date with the Panama Canal.”

 

Friends, family members and supporters have all been invited to watch the Race 10 start from the Golden Gate Yacht Club, home of the 34th America's Cup, who have kindly offered to start the race from their deck.

 

It guarantees to offer the best view of the start for the ten-strong fleet departing San Francisco Bay for the race to Panama.

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Clipper Race fleet starts 5,500 mile US Coast-to-Coast challenge - 15 April 2012

 

The ten strong fleet competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race left Jack London Square in Oakland today with hundreds of fans cheering them on in the warm spring sunshine, before heading out to San Francisco Bay for the start line escorted by US Coast Guard cutter Sockeye.

 

Friends, family members and supporters gathered to watch from the Golden Gate Yacht Club, home of the 34th America's Cup, which kindly provided facilities to start the race from their deck at 14.00 local (21.00 UTC).

 

There was a highly charged competitive atmosphere out on the water in the shadow of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. So much so that three boats crossed the line prematurely and were ordered to circle back to cross it again.

 

This gave Visit Finland an early lead, hotly pursued by the only US entry New York and the Chinese team from the Olympic sailing city of Qingdao as they jostled for position racing under the bridge, back out into the Pacific Ocean, and head south towards Panama.

 

Welcome to Yorkshire, Derry-Londonderry, De Lage Landen and Geraldton Western Australia followed, with Gold Coast Australia, Singapore and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital behind after being called back by the Race Committee to perform the required penalty by crossing the start line for a second time.

 

The Clipper Race is the world’s longest at 40,000 miles. This stage is the tenth of 15 races. Ahead lies a 5,500 mile leg from California on the US West Coast to New York on the East Coast via the Panama Canal.

 

Heading for his home port is Gareth Glover, skipper of New York. He said, “Nobody has yet won the race into their home port, but we aim to do so, passing the Statue of Liberty first. But it’s so open at the moment and the boats are very close together. We will be pushing very hard to at least get a top three finish overall, which would be a great achievement.”

 

The race down to Panama is quite a contrast to the challenges faced in the North Pacific. Juan Coetzer, the skipper of Geraldton Western Australia, which was hit by a large rogue wave just 400 nautical miles from the finish in San Francisco Bay, was pleased to have his boat repaired and be back racing.

 

Before leaving the marina he said, “The sail is back on the boom, we have our steerage back in and we are all ready to go. The whole crew are very excited to get back to sea and focus on racing again.

 

“The next few days I’m expecting some nice downwind sailing. It is a race of two halves and we are going to try to be at the top of the runnings, definitely on the downwind part, and then try and get any points we can get.”

 

Four crew members were injured when the rogue wave hit the boat with two evacuated for medical treatment by the US Coast Guard. Nik Brbora, a 29-year-old software engineer living in London had a pelvic strain injury but was discharged from hospital last week and is now back aboard the Geraldton Western Australia.

 

The dedicated round the world sailor said, “It feels a bit strange to be back on board. Last time I got off the boat I was transferred onto a US Coast Guard cutter, so it is good to be back on land and start from San Francisco Bay again. I’m very happy to be back.

 

“I’m still a little bit sore, but I will be fine. You can’t think about the incident, but move on and focus on all the good things and the great experiences we have had during our long journey so far.

 

“The leg ahead is also a bit easier than the Pacific, so I’m feeling good. We are racing down to the Panama Canal and everyone is very excited about that. We will leave the Pacific behind us and go back into the Atlantic and everyone is very excited about heading home - quite an emotional step for us all.”

 

The first boats are expected to arrive in Panama around 7 May after which they will transit the Panama Canal before commencing Race 11, for the final 2,100 miles to New York.

 

This is the world’s longest ocean race. It started in Southampton, UK on 31 July 2011 and will end there on 22 July 2012 after taking almost a year to travel over 40,000 miles visiting 15 ports of call on six continents.

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RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA

DAY 2

 

* Crews settle into first night at sea as a few are felled by sea sickness

* Spinnakers flying in steady north westerly breeze

* Teams test inshore and offshore options

 

Well into their first night at sea after two weeks ashore in Oakland, where they rediscovered their land legs, some of the crew taking part in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race are finding their sea legs have yet to appear and a number of them have been laid low by sea sickness.

 

It can affect new joiners and hardened round the worlders alike but soon passes - although at the time it might feel like it will never end - and the crews will be back up to full strength for the race from Oakland, California, to Panama.

 

A close-fought and lively start under the Golden Gate Bridge saw three of the yachts cross the start line ahead of the gun and, judged to be OCS (On Course Side) were told to round the end of the line and cross the start line again to exonerate themselves.

 

Since their departure from San Francisco Bay two distinct sets of tactics have opened up with New York hugging the Californian coast line while the other nine teams head offshore. New York's tactic of staying close to the coast of North Africa in Race 2, way back at the start of Clipper 11-12, earned them third place in that stage. Will the coastal strategy pay off a second time?

 

"After our best start to a race, hitting the pin end of the line at full speed with full main, stay sail and Yankee 2, we ran into the shore line and tacked for the Golden Gate Bridge and just managed to pass in front of Qingdao before we tacked over. They just got under the bridge before us by half a boat length but as we raced out into the bay we took the lead. But this was not for too long; as the wind lightened and began to come from the stern we dropped back behind De Lage Landen and Qingdao," reports skipper, Gareth Glover.

 

Gareth also explains that after their strong start an error when they were getting the heavyweight kite ready to hoist saw the sail go overboard. Fortunately it was recovered and in the meantime the team poled out the Yankee 2 - but not before the rest of the fleet had sped by, taking a good five miles from them.

 

By contrast, on one of the three yachts deemed OCS, skipper Flavio Zamboni, who took command of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital in Oakland, reports, "The situation on board is really good. We're currently sailing under poled out headsail and enjoying it! After a pretty lively start, the crew is settling in the watch system again. The other boats are all around so the on-watch crew is keeping focused to match their speed."

 

With the exception of New York, the other nine yachts are very tightly packed as they race south, enjoying the north westerly winds that should be with them for the next three days, according to fleet meteorologist, Simon Rowell.

 

Visit Finland, furthest to the east, is currently leading Welcome to Yorkshire, De Lage Landen and Qingdao who are progressively further west, with just six miles between them at this very early stage of what is likely to be a highly tactical race to Panama.

Rupert Dean, leading the English entry which is currently in second place, says, "Welcome to Yorkshire had a great start, timing the run to the line perfectly. All 17 crew played important roles in this, with Chris Leivers (helm) and Jim Stamp (mainsheet) putting great input into the tactical decision making. With winds gusting up to 30 knots apparent, our 'Pink Lady' was well and truly powered up, flying full main, staysail and Yankee2. Racing, therefore, required slick teamwork as we tacked swiftly onto port, then starboard on approaching the northern leg of the Golden Gate Bridge. From there the challenge was to clear the tower at Mile Rocks without tacking again, which was pretty close, but fully achieved.

 

"Since exiting San Francisco Bay, the fleet has been power-reaching south east on starboard tack, making good speed. We elected to bear away south first to hoist the heavyweight spinnaker, a strategy later adopted by competitors to the east."

 

De Lage Landen's skipper, Stuart Jackson, echoes many of the skippers' comments this morning, saying, "We would like to extend our thanks to all those involved in giving us a great reception and hosting us so well in Oakland."

 

Stuart continues, "After a great break ashore we are under way again heading down the west coast of the US to Panama. With the crew fully rested we enjoyed perfect conditions for the race start, so swiftly made our way out under the Golden Gate Bridge. We were given a rousing send off from a large boat full of De Lage Landen members who came down to support us.

 

"Everyone has quickly adjusted back in to life at sea and the watch system. Thankfully the weather is looking like it may be kind to us for a few days as we are already enjoying a spinnaker run in around 20 knots of wind and enough swell to enjoy a little surfing."

 

Qingdao's crew are also enjoying the surfing and few more canvas than the other yachts at the race start, before being among the first teams to hoist their spinnaker shortly after the start, and skipper Ian Conchie thinks it paid off.

 

"We decided to take a gamble with our sail selection and go with the Yankee 1 and were the only boat to risk it," he says, adding, "The start was great fun with all ten boats close as we approached the line. We tacked soon after the line and headed for the bridge in close company with De Lage Landen and Welcome to Yorkshire.

 

"The beat up to the bridge and out of the bay was interesting as our sail selection meant we were slightly over powered. But once we started to bear away it came into its own and we started to make some gains. As we reached down the coast the wind continued to veer, allowing us to hoist the kite and we powered south."

 

The other two teams who were OCS at the start, Singapore and Gold Coast Australia, recovered and are neck and neck in the middle order.

 

"If anyone thought that the start of this leg would be an easy cruise down the coast then they had another think coming!" comments Ben Bowley, skipper of Singapore. "Having started a few seconds early (if one is not occasionally OCS then one is not trying hard enough, so I hear) we had to round the only available end of the line to exonerate our little transgression. This still did not have much of a detrimental effect on our performance as by the time the rest fleet passed under the bridge we were back with the pack. The whole Bay Area looked picture postcard stunning in the crisp clean air and bright sunshine. I was sad to be leaving California and all her welcoming residents so soon (although, it does feel fantastic to be back on the water!).

 

"Once under the bridge the conditions became really rather lumpy and confused with a large amount of residual swell that was threatening to turn into big surf even a couple of miles offshore. With all the extra weight of over 50 days' food and an extra five crew and associated kit, the boat took to her new classification of submarine very well. We punched straight through several waves that swept the boat from stem to stern with a ruthless, bubbling efficiency, leaving some of the new crew a little wide eyed. We have now lost a few members to sea-sickness but with conditions due to abate over the next few days, I'm sure we shall be up to full strength before too long. For now though, we are straight back into it with Vicky [spinnaker] up, no moon, big swell, no Windex and new crew to contend with. I am happy with our current position within the fleet and hope that if we can keep everything together for this first 24 hours under spinnaker then we shall see ourselves well placed by daybreak."

 

Gold Coast Australia has a few crew down with sea sickness as well and opted not to take the spinnaker option straight away.

 

"At the first change of watch more of the team were feeling fit and we were able to hoist our heavyweight spinnaker and sail a more southerly course," reports Richard Hewson, the skipper. "There is a bit of a swell running in from the north west making helming difficult but the boat feels a lot more stable with the kite up. The wind has already started to moderate, though there is the occasional gust of 30 knots which makes life a bit more exciting. Hopefully this wind will stay with us for the next few days so we can make some good ground to the south.

 

"The fleet remains relatively close and at the moment we are battling it out for first place amongst a number of other yachts. It is fantastic to be in eyesight and VHF range as we all charge down the coast towards Panama. This race has some interesting tactics ahead, and it will be interesting to see who plays the shore and who heads to sea as the information from local sailors shows advantages at different times to support each theory. At this stage I will keep the tactics of Gold Coast Australia under wraps, so keep checking the race viewer for regular updates!"

 

While Richard wonders which of the two options will be more favourable in the sprint south, New York is occupying the inside lane while Geraldton Western Australia has opted for the outside and is currently the back marker.

 

Neck and neck with the fleet approximately half way between San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles, Derry-Londonderry and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital are matching each other and, says Mark Light, skipper of the Northern Ireland entry, "It's good to be racing again."

 

He adds, "At the start there were some tremendous swells heading into the bay as the mass of water was squeezed up and over Four Fathom Bank and thrown into the bay. At times our boat was more like a submarine than a racing yacht! We made good speeds and once clear of the land found that the conditions settled and the wind moved aft.

 

"We are pretty deep downwind right now, flying our full mainsail and poled out Yankee 2 with 20 knots of wind coming from the north west. Unfortunately we have the usual few crew partially down with mal de mer and so the sensible choice through this first night at sea has to be a poled out headsail instead of spinnaker. It is a pretty dark night, without moon and, as normal, the temperatures are still rather chilly so layers are still the order of the day. We know this will not last and expect things to change fairly quickly as we head ever further south."

 

>From a northern California spring the teams will find the temperatures rapidly warming up and the winds becoming flukier the closer they get to Panama, a few degrees north of the Equator, during the course of the next few weeks.

 

ENDS

 

Positions at 1200 UTC, Sunday 15 April 2012

 

Boat DTF*

1 Visit Finland 3,011nm

2 Welcome to Yorkshire 3,014nm (+4nm DTL**)

3 De Lage Landen 3,015nm (+5nm)

4 Qingdao 3,016nm (+6nm)

5 Gold Coast Australia 3,020nm (+9nm)

6 Singapore 3,020nm (+9nm)

7 New York 3,022nm (+11nm)

8 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 3,027nm (+16nm)

9 Derry-Londonderry 3,028nm (+17nm)

10 Geraldton Western Australia 3,037nm (+26nm)

 

*DTF = Distance to Finish, **DTL = Distance to Leader Full positions are updated every three hours and can be found at www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

 

Become a fan of the Clipper Race on Facebook:

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CLIPPER 11-12

RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA

DAY 3

 

* Visit Finland plays early Stealth Mode card

* Teams enjoy best racing conditions for more than two months

* Close racing as fleet remains tightly packed

 

As the Clipper 11-12 fleet races past Los Angeles, there are as many twists as you'd find in the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster as the drama of the race begins to unfold.

 

The race viewer today looks quite different to its appearance 24 hours ago as the teams work the winds along the California coast to their best advantage. Yesterday the 68-foot yachts were largely grouped together on an offshore track with the exception of New York, who had chosen to play the local breezes and currents close inshore, and Geraldton Western Australia, who were the furthest offshore to the west. Those two have rejoined the main pack, while Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and Derry-Londonderry are enjoying their own Celtic duel about 50 miles to the west of the rest of the teams, and Visit Finland went into Stealth Mode at the midnight position update.

 

"Race 10 is off to a flying start for Visit Finland as we enjoy some great downwind sailing conditions along the Californian coast," reports skipper Olly Osborne. "Today has been a good warm up for the crew as we slowly re-adjust to the watch system and get into some good spinnaker work. This race has a completely different feel to it after our last experience of the Pacific, and we are enjoying the chance to compete again with all minds focused on the course and trim.

 

"The fact that we will not be too far offshore on the way down the coast brings another dimension to the tactics of the race, with coastal winds and currents to consider, and the thought that the worst of this ocean is behind us is also heartening.

 

"We have decided to use one of our Stealth Mode periods early in this race to give us the best chance to maintain our position while the winds are favourable, and will be working hard during the next 24 hours to make the most of it. So for the meantime all is looking good on board, and we have our sights set on re-gaining our second overall place."

 

As well as the ten points on offer for the winner of Race 10 there are three, two and one bonus points available to the first teams through the Scoring Gate, just off the bottom of the Baja California peninsula, and a further point to the fastest to cover the time trial distance in the Ocean Sprint.

 

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital's crew are going all out to get as many of those points as they can, and skipper, Flavio Zamboni, is prepared to go out on a limb to do it.

 

"The last 24 hours have been pretty busy and great fun on board," he says. "After the sea state eased off last night, since we were losing too much ground to Singapore, I thought it was time to stop being conservative.

 

"In fact, after a start that had seen us OCS (On Course Side) - I mean, you've got to try, haven't you? - we had been still very much in the hunt after all. However, through the night we were losing too much ground to the boats in front so I asked the crew to get set for a spinnaker hoist.

 

"The call was for the medium weight which was quickly brought onto the foredeck only to find out that, as it happens, it had come back from the loft bricked and it wasn't ready to hoist. So we decided to put another one up instead. We sent the heavyweight aloft for a bit of a training session and politely asked the other watch, who were starting their shift, to pack the medium - thanks guys!

 

"So they did, in the early hours of this morning, and after that it was time to peel. After much preparation and briefing, Georg Schille was all geared up to go onto the outboard end of the pole and do all sorts of thing with his gear - a man on a mission! I'm not entirely sure how many cameras and video recording devices there were on deck, what I know is that Georg and the rest of the crew did a really good job, the medium kite went up, the heavy one came down and the boat started going, on average, half a knot faster!

 

"Since then we have been matching the speed of the boats in front. Now it's a matter of where we think we're gonna get more breeze and whether it's gonna be advantageous to go there to get it. My line of thinking is that we wouldn't make up any ground by simply following the rest of the fleet so we're taking a bit of a gamble here..."

 

Trailing Edinburgh Inspiring Capital by just a few miles on the western side of the course, Derry-Londonderry's medium weight spinnaker didn't appear quite as the crew had expected it to either, but a gamble of their own on some speedy teamwork did the trick, reports skipper, Mark Light.

 

"We are racing along well, heading due south en route to Panama. At first light this morning we hoisted our medium weight spinnaker. The spinnaker hadn't been packed properly in the bag since it was last removed for sail repair; it had been folded neatly but not secured with wool to prevent it filling with wind and opening prior to the full hoist. With the fairly light conditions we took a gamble and prepared everything before executing a very rapid sweat and successful hoist of the spinnaker without re-packing.

 

"We have since had the spinnaker flying all day, making good progress, while we periodically wind on and release the halyard to protect against our Public Enemy Number One: chafe.

 

"The wind has been progressively increasing in strength and is now allowing us some very good speeds running very deep downwind. I think with every boat in the fleet probably flying the same sail plan this is going to be a very tight and close-fought race to the finish."

 

With Visit Finland in Stealth Mode, De Lage Landen is now the front runner on the leader board, just a mile ahead of Welcome to Yorkshire, and the team, in common with the rest of the fleet, is enjoying the marked difference in conditions between this race and the previous one across the Pacific.

 

"We have had some beautiful sailing conditions on board De Lage Landen as we head down the Californian coast," says Stuart Jackson, the skipper. "I think we saw more sun today than we did on our entire Pacific crossing so the remaining crew are enjoying being dry. The new crew have been given an immediate introduction to spinnaker work and reacted very well to a broken strop this morning. We have had Clipper 68s on either side of us since race start and all seem to be making good progress south.

 

"During the crew briefing Joff Bailey, the Race Director, mentioned the amount of wildlife on this stretch of coast and it was our resident Australian, Heather Reed, who was the first to spot the circling shark in the clear blue water. We have also seen dolphins and seals."

 

Welcome to Yorkshire is too far away from De Lage Landen for the crew to spot them, although there is just one mile difference between their distances to finish.

 

Rupert Dean, skipper of the English yacht, reports, "A great day had by all on Welcome to Yorkshire today as we sail downwind in moderate conditions towards Panama. With the few crew affected by seasickness recovered from yesterday, the team is settling in to our new three watch system, which is radically different to the one employed to date.

 

"The new crew are settling in well with the established team and today has been very busy as we alternate between the medium weight heavyweight kites in order to effect some repairs to the former. Whales have already been seen and the VHF radio has been alive with chit-chat between skippers about the great start in San Francisco Bay and the tactical options open to us as we sail along the North American eastern seaboard. It's great to be racing again in close company. Long may this continue!"

 

Qingdao and Singapore are in even closer company with the crews working hard to keep their yacht moving as fast as they can.

 

"We've had a fantastic 24 hours of continual kite flying on the big red bus. All three of our spinnakers have had a thorough airing in a bid to keep us moving at maximum pace," explains Ben Bowley on Singapore. "Sadly, though, we have not seen our position within the fleet change much as the central part of the fleet is still sailing in a rather tight pack together.

 

"It's great to have a large number of boats in VHF and therefore AIS range for us to keep an eye on how we are doing versus the competition. We gybed over this morning to start heading back inshore when things started to go a little lighter and have spent the day on port gybe making excellent ground to the south east. We would have liked to gybe a little earlier this morning but with a few crew still down with sea sickness and darkness enveloping us, the smart money was to wait till the dawn watch change."

 

 

Like Stuart, Ben is happy with the way his team is handling the massive spinnakers which are about one and a half times the size of a tennis court and immensely powerful.

 

He continues, "I have been very impressed how well the evolutions have gone today considering (bar one brief period at the start of the last race) we have not flown a kite in anger for nearly two months! Here's hoping this is a sign of things to come on this race and that we will be able to keep the boat driving hard with no mistakes. Tonight sees us charging along with Mabel (our medium) up and Qingdao in visual range. We hope to be past them by sunrise if all goes well."

 

"The lovely sailing conditions that greeted us as we cleared San Francisco Bay have continued all day," comments Ian Conchie, Ben's opposite number on Qingdao. "This has involved lots of kite work as we have had to gybe and change kites as we press south.

 

 

"This has been a baptism of fire for the new crew as we push hard to maintain and improve our position. We know that the wind will drop off at some point so it is important to try and get a good position before it does."

 

As half the teams head south east Gold Coast Australia is among the other half of the fleet on a southerly course but the team doesn't appear to have quite found their racing groove yet.

 

Skipper, Richard Hewson, tells the Race Office, "Throughout the night Gold Coast Australia could not compete with the speed of the other yachts up the front of the pack and unfortunately lost a few miles on the leaders, Visit Finland. In the early hours of the morning conditions favoured a gybe, however with some of the crew still down with seasickness and others tired after the first day at sea and the adjustment of body clocks to watch times I decided to postpone the gybe until the morning and kept with the central pack of the fleet.

 

"At the first watch change in the light of the morning we peeled from the heavyweight spinnaker to the heavily repaired medium weight and then put in a gybe to the east to place ourselves in better wind over the next few days. It was hoped the other yachts in our pack would continue south, however they were soon to follow our tactic and also gybed to the east."

 

Unhappy with the speed of the yacht, Richard dropped a video camera over the side to check for fishing line or seaweed that might be fouling the hull.

 

Finding nothing, he says, "With some more fine-tuning we managed to get the boat back up to speed. For the remainder of the day we were running in beautiful sunny conditions at similar speeds to the boats around us and also managed to make a couple of miles on the leader, Visit Finland."

 

Keen to avoid any more damage to the team's precious spinnakers Gold Coast Australia switched down to their heavyweight kite before dusk, "A wise choice for dark nights with a random following sea," explains the Tasmanian yachtsman.

 

"The other yachts around us appeared to be flying their medium weight spinnakers before sunset and may have a small speed advantage, but looking at the speeds at the time of writing there is not much difference and at this stage of the race it pays to play it safe as the medium weight spinnaker will be extremely valuable in the later half of this race when conditions become lighter and we cannot afford to rip it again."

 

New York's sail repair team has already been at work on their medium weight spinnaker after gybing back out to sea to rejoin the main group of yachts.

 

"In the last 24 hours we have had all three kites up and down, poled out head sails and almost a reef in the main, making life very busy for the crew of New York," says skipper, Gareth Glover.

 

"Whilst our medium weight kite was up an old rip opened so after we dropped it a small team has been working in the saloon to stick it back together.

 

Maintenance, too, on board Geraldton Western Australia, where they quickly got to grips with the situation.

 

"Just before night we discovered stands five strands in our steering cable had broken," recounts Juan Coetzer. "So we sailed conservatively through the night and at first light began stripping the steering apart. All done now, the medium kite has been hoisted, and it's gonna be pedal to the metal from here on in. As you may already know our motto is, 'Harder, Faster and Quicker'."

 

The 3,300-mile race from Oakland to Panama is expected to take a little over three weeks with the first yachts due to arrive in the Central American country on 9 or 10 May.

 

ENDS

 

Positions at 0900 UTC, Monday 16 April 2012

 

Boat DTF*

1 De Lage Landen 2,831nm

2 Welcome to Yorkshire 2,831nm (+1nm DTL**)

3 Qingdao 2,839nm (+8nm)

4 Singapore 2,839nm (+8nm)

5 Gold Coast Australia 2,841nm (+10nm)

6 New York 2,842nm (+11nm)

7 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 2,869nm (+38nm)

8 Derry-Londonderry 2,871nm (+40nm)

9 Geraldton Western Australia 2,873nm (+42nm)

10 Visit Finland 2,914nm (+83nm) Stealth Mode, position at 0000 16 April

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Nice look.

 

With the hair net on you can also work in the galley and not offend oh&s !!!

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That song makes me miss my Qingdao brothers & sisters on board alot :(

 

Anyone know what it was before I get teary?

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CLIPPER 11-12

RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA

DAY 4

 

* Spinnaker wrap for Edinburgh Inspiring Capital

* Gold Coast Australia skipper: "Today has been a truly magnificent day on the water"

* Visit Finland disappointed with result of Stealth Mode

 

"All that was missing from today was the champagne for breakfast, rosé for lunch and an ice cold G&T for sundowners!"

 

Singapore skipper, Ben Bowley, is not alone in declaring the last 24 hours one of the best days' racing the teams have had in a long time.

 

"We have had a spectacular day of near perfect sailing conditions today with steady winds and clear blue skies. The temperature was perfect and the sea state ideal allowing all to be reminded of how wonderful a day can be at sea when Mother Nature is not conspiring to make life tricky!" he adds.

 

Rupert Dean, Welcome to Yorkshire's skipper, concurs: "All this seems such an incredible difference from the hard-core cold, wet, windy and rough conditions of Leg 6," he says. "Then we were focussed on survival, with the safety of the crew and the vessel taking as high a priority as the racing itself."

 

Gold Coast Australia's skipper, Richard Hewson, says simply, "Today has truly been a magnificent day on the water."

 

As layers are shed and bodies and souls warmed by the sun, the lack of energy sapping, cold, wet weather and pounding seas means the crews can focus fully on the racing which remains remarkably close as the yachts head south past Mexico.

 

For Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, whose crew is pushing hard and determined to show they have what it takes, it may well be a case of less haste, more speed.

 

"Unfortunately this morning we've had a massive wrap of the kite," explains skipper, Flavio Zamboni. "In fact the thing managed to wrap around itself, the forestay, the inner forestay and the pole up-haul! It took us a while to sort out the mess but in the end we managed to take it down with only minor damage. At that stage I tried to be smart and asked the crew to put the heavy one up in the meantime without hoisting the headsail first. As a result, we nearly wrapped that, too. Because of all of the above we ended up sailing under main only for a few hours which, of course, has benefited the competition.

 

"The crew of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital is trying really hard, anyway, and we're looking forward to the days to come!" he concludes.

 

The boats are so close there is only six miles between Qingdao in fifth and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital in eighth place. The team representing Scotland's capital city has been racing the furthest offshore and is the most southerly of the yachts.

 

Visit Finland emerged from Stealth Mode at the midnight position update and there's an edge of disappointment in Olly Osborne's report this morning.

 

"Our time in Stealth Mode proved to be very varied with the breezes being light in the most part, although towards the end of the period we have had some great speeds. Clearly emerging in third is disappointing but, with such small distances between the boats, the leaders are still far from being out of reach," he comments.

 

"We worked very hard to put the boat in the right place tactically during the last 24 hours and headed towards a more inshore position, although the combination of gybe angles led us to pursue a course that was not necessarily the shortest. As always the least miles sailed is often best, and I think we covered a few more than we really needed to.

 

"However there is a great sense of focus on board and we are making great speeds. The quality of the sailing is second to none, and the leaders are well within our sights. So for the meantime the vibe is good on board, and we will continue to hunt down the lost miles."

 

Now ten miles behind leader, De Lage Landen, Visit Finland has slipped to fourth as they gybe offshore again.

 

Stuart Jackson and his team have been able to keep their rivals in visual range, saying, "We were joined in company by Visit Finland today who have been just astern of us for most of the day.

 

"What a great couple of days' sailing we have been having. Luckily the wind has stayed with us and has not been quite as light as the weather forecasts seemed to show. With the weather that is forecast it looks like we will continue to gybe our way down the Mexican coast."

 

One of the rules of the Clipper Race prohibits the teams from receiving outside help with their weather routing. As the yachts are identical, carry the same sail wardrobe and the crews are as evenly matched as possible, this makes for a level playing field and thrilling match racing. So every day meteorologist, Simon Rowell, winning skipper in Clipper 2002, sends the latest wind and weather data to the yachts. The big question on every boat is, how long will the wind last as we get further south?

 

At least another week, is today's forecast as Simon explains, "You're firmly in the flow off the east Pacific high. As you get further south there are a few areas of more consistent breeze, and in the longer term, in about five to seven days' time, a fairly large low is forecast to move through the Gulf of Mexico, which may well give you decent northerlies funnelling across the Central American isthmus east of about 100 degrees west."

 

"This race is how people dream ocean racing could be, blue sky, pleasant winds, dolphins and whales," says Richard Hewson as his team moves into second place.

 

"Yesterday evening we gybed away from the rest of the fleet to make some ground to the south with the aim of staying in the belt of wind that is funnelling offshore. Around breakfast time we gybed back towards the shore and it was a nice surprise to see another yacht on the horizon at breakfast and I spoke to Sparky [Mark Light] on Derry-Londonderry who had come in from the offshore group of yachts and was ten miles behind, an indication of how close the fleet is at this point of time.

 

"The wind eased throughout the day and we changed to our lightweight spinnaker and appeared to make some good ground on the rest of the fleet. It was light wind sailing at its best as the crew made the most of the sunshine and nature, enjoying the performance of dolphins swimming past.

 

"At sunset the wind picked back up and we are now sailing along on port gybe towards the rhumb line and the island of Guadalupe with the rest of the fleet to our north. We now have some fantastic wind which should stay with us throughout the night and hopefully give us some more miles on the rest of the fleet."

 

Welcome to Yorkshire is sticking like glue to the Australian yacht, Rupert remarking on the difference between this and the last race.

 

"How times have changed! These days the focus is on constant and careful trimming of the spinnaker and measured movements of the helm, in order to keep our racing home moving as fast as possible. With the wind from the north north west pushing us exactly in the direction we wish to go, focus is on which gybe is the best to be on. There's little to choose between them, explaining the wide longitudinal spread of the fleet at present."

 

Racing under medium weight spinnaker, Rupert adds, "Sea conditions are slight and predictable, making moving around above and below decks easy."

 

Qingdao, maintaining their fifth position, have crossed paths again with Singapore and now have another team in their sights.

 

Ian Conchie says, "We headed towards the coast last night before gybing out this morning and heading south again. The crew are now getting used to flying the kite and we have been making good progress all day.

 

"This race looks like it will be a close one as the fleet is still close together as we run down the coast, with both inshore and offshore routes seeming to offer the same speed at the moment. The interesting part will come when we get further south and the wind drops. In the mean time we continue to chase our old friends Welcome to Yorkshire who have been sailing very deep downwind all race so far."

 

Meanwhile, the crew of Singapore - lack of champagne and G&T aside - have been having a near-perfect day in the Pacific Ocean.

 

"Our evolutions today have been near textbook and the crew have been doing a fine job of keeping the boat moving in the right direction and speed all day long. I am almost holding my breath waiting for Lady Luck to throw a spanner in the works and ruin what has been a stunning race so far. I'm sure it shall come in about 48 hours' time when the wind starts to leave us as we approach the tropics once again. Fingers crossed that we have made it through the Scoring Gate by then!

 

"It's good to see the fleet still so tight as we cross gybes back and forth. There are definitely times when inshore is seeing a little better pressure and others when those who have stayed a bit further out are making good gains. Our tactic of striving down the middle of the fleet seems to be working out well, giving us options to hedge our bets depending how the rest of the fleet is getting on. Our only problem now is that someone seems to have placed the island of Guadalupe directly where we want to go. Presently we have not decided which side to pass but I'm sure over the next few hours the wind will shift slightly making the decision for us.

 

"Today has been one of our best at sea for a long time and we hope to have a couple more the same before the sweatiness starts!"

 

The Scoring Gate is still 600 miles away. In this race the gate is narrow at just 50 miles wide, which means the yachts will have to come close together to funnel through it. But it is not compulsory, so the teams can choose to go for the bonus points or bypass it altogether in favour of attempting to achieve a higher finishing position in the race.

 

In the meantime the decisions are which kite to fly, which gybe to be on and whether to leave the island of Guadalupe to port or starboard. But, while the temptation might be to relax into the fabulous conditions, concentration is absolutely key to not falling behind in this race.

 

"We have made good progress over the last 24 hours flying our faithful medium weight spinnaker 'Jack' (the Ripper). Conditions have been superb; we have had between 12 to 15 knots of true wind coming from the north north west," reports Mark Light from on board Derry-Londonderry.

 

"This, together with a favourable Californian current of about three-quarters of a knot, has given us a perfectly flat sea and therefore great downwind spinnaker sailing conditions. Everybody on the boat has had the chance to helm and received coaching to stand us in good stead for the future. For some it is the very first time helming under spinnaker, so, different from our first dark night at sea, the crew are now motivated, slightly more experienced and feeling more confident about downwind sailing.

 

"Given the fact that this is going to be a very close fought race and any small lapse of concentration can cause a major hassle there is a certain amount of pressure associated with helming a Clipper 68 under spinnaker. All the crew have done exceptionally well and shown great levels of concentration which in turn has shown in our race position.

 

"We initially ignored the temptation to head inshore with most of the fleet and are now sailing in a constant band of pressure, therefore giving us a good steady flow of wind pushing us down towards Mexico. I am happy that we are in a fairly good position to make the most of our conditions knowing full well that before long the wind will begin to desert us in the coming days."

 

Juan Coetzer, skipper of Geraldton Western Australia, just ahead of Derry-Londonderry, is also happy with the progress of the crew who joined the boat in Oakland for the USA coast to coast leg of the race.

 

He says, "Perfect sailing conditions today: downwind, sunshine, dolphins and the crew are beginning to peel off the thermal layers. The new crew have experienced their first kite peel, from the medium to the lightweight kite, and completed a successful gybe. The good news is that we have picked up Singapore on AIS, and this morning they were 19 miles away, and now, just ten miles. The maintenance regime still carries on with daily checks and services. Just before the medium kite drop, we spotted a small rip in the medium, so now it's repaired again ready to go."

 

They are trucking along nicely on New York, too, after the sail repair team got to work on an old rip in one of the spinnakers yesterday, quickly getting it back into service.

 

"We are heading south under full mail and have been peeling from one kite to the next most of the day as the wind came and went," reports Gareth Glover, whose crew have dug out shorts and t-shirts from the bottom of their bags as the weather warms up.

 

"We have Singapore on our starboard and Qingdao on our port and Gold Coast Australia around 10nm in front of us so we still have a group of yachts together racing offshore. We did not take the gamble of heading into shore too much and hope our middle of the road tactic will pay off for us until we get further to the south where going inshore may pay."

 

The first teams are expected to reach Panama between 9 and 10 May.

 

ENDS

 

Positions at 0900 UTC, Tuesday 17 April 2012

 

Boat DTF*

1 De Lage Landen 2,644nm

2 Gold Coast Australia 2,649nm (+6nm DTL**)

3 Welcome to Yorkshire 2,652nm (+8nm)

4 Visit Finland 2,654nm (+10nm)

5 Qingdao 2,661nm (+17nm)

6 Singapore 2,664nm (+20nm)

7 New York 2,666nm (+23nm)

8 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 2,667nm (+23nm)

9 Geraldton Western Australia 2,678nm (+34nm)

10 Derry-Londonderry 2,680nm (+37nm) Position at 0600 17 April

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That song makes me miss my Qingdao brothers & sisters on board alot :(

 

Anyone know what it was before I get teary?

Bruno Mars - You can count on me.

 

Full disclosure - I know it because of my daughters i-pod collection - it has been scrubbed off mine! :ph34r:

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