Thank You

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I don't know how many people who were actually involved in the America's Cup event visit this forum, but I'd just like to post a big thank you to everyone who was involved in any aspect of the Bermuda America's Cup and happen to read this...

I'm prompted to write this because I find I have been suffering withdrawal since the event finished - I enjoyed every bit of the racing, incidents and intrigue so much. I know there has been plenty of whingeing about aspects of the event on here, but if there is one truth in life it's that you can't please everybody all the time. There were some things I didn't like, but overall the good things vastly outweighed the bad, and I enjoyed the entire "roller coaster ride".

I am really looking forward to the next Cup whether it be in multis, monos, foiling or otherwise and really hope to see as many of the teams as possible back again. In the mean time I have to be satisfied with watching some of the team's event highlight videos etc from Bermuda.

Skippers, shore crews, sailors, Bermudans, broadcasters, bloggers, volunteers, ACEA event managers, billionaires, course managers, caterers, good guys, bad guys...

Thank you all for making May/June 2017 so damn entertaining!


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Yep. Don't you love it when half a dozen rich sailors become so infatuated with the Cup and sailboat racing in general that they tear up hundreds of millions of dollars and just throw it into the ocean?

i guess a few have rationalized they are involved in a business start-up - hence fronting a loss is a legitimate risk. But we all know that's absurd don't we. 

In the end, it's all about the mystery of sailing, and the devious trick that sailing plays on the human brain. 

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Here's a Birthday Wish that I sent today to my father. Please be gentle, just wanted to honor him.



Happy 80th Birthday, Dad!


I hope you enjoy some chocolate ice cream or other favorite treats and have a very happy day.


I also hope and pray you will understand and enjoy hearing Mom reading some of this back to you.


Love and Best Wishes

J & J




Cape to Rio

Anthony G


Rolling down to Rio   and does she ever roll. Since we lost our mast this morning the yacht has been wallowing through an arc of about 90 degrees, with stores and spares clashing about below deck like a Jamaican steel band. But at least we're moving again, plodding under jury rig towards the Southwest African coast. A gull with a broken wing.


I still can't believe we're out of the race. Months of preparation, anticipation, farewell parties, pipe bands and telegrams. The excitement of the start, with 128 yachts from 18 nations thrashing out of Cape Town for the wide South Atlantic   now, two days out of Table Bay, we're the first casualty of the Rio race.


I close my eyes and see again the mast coming at me. Fifty feet of heavy aluminum extrusion, snapped in two, plunging into the cockpit in a tangle of torn sails and twisted stelel rigging. I had come on watch at dawn to relieve skipper Siggie Eicholz at the helm. Huge grey seas, spray spewing of the crests in the fresh south easter, the boat heavily reefed but driving hard and surfing down the huge waves. And as the sun rises astern we see, silhouetted in its orange disc, a sail. ”Mein Gott,” says Siggie. “He’s catching us. Got to go faster. Shake a reef out of the main."


With the extra sail area, the boat is tobogganing wildly down the swells. I lash up my oilskins and take the wheel. One needs to be fit and practiced to hold a 10 ton, 40-foot yacht on course under these conditions. Within minutes, disaster. We cream down a swell and into the back of the one ahead. A heavy shackle holding the backstay   which supports the mast - snaps under the strain, and the rig whips forward under the huge pressure of the wind on the sails. I try to swing the boat around to take the strain on the forestay, but she's slow to respond. The mast snaps halfway up, and as we round up into the wind, crashes backwards. I duck instinctively, and the wrecked spar hits the stern rail behind me, and falls overboard to starboard.


We fire a distress flare to attract the attention of the yacht astern. She stands by while our five man crew battles to haul the spars aboard and lash them to the rail: an hour of hard labour, with the boat rolling wildly. We have a 15-foot  spinnaker pole which will have to serve as a jury mast to get us back to land, now more than 200 miles away. We don't have enough fuel to motor back. Another hour of feverish work and we have the pole rigged up, a storm jib lashed to it as a sail.


Since the backstay was also our radio antenna we no longer have contact with the race’s guard ship Protea. But Zenzeli,  the boat we saw behind us, hails us with the news that she has reported our position to Cape Town Radio   a  naval crash boat will come out from Saldanha Bay bringing extra fuel. We tell Zenzelli we’ll be OK, and having done all she can she races off after the rest of the fleet. We steer east towards Port Nolloth at less than three knots. I hope the navy tells my wife and kids.


January 17

We're under way again   a week behind the but still in the race. The crash boat never found us, so we sailed on, reaching Port Nolloth two days ago. Damned lucky with the weather. Because of our limited speed and maneuverability under jury rig, we had to use nearly all our fuel while motoring to dodge huge oil tankers in the busy shipping lanes at night. It’s like Main Street out there. Our landfall was south of Port Nolloth, and we inched up the forbidding Skeleton Coast under sail alone. An onshore gale would have wrecked us for sure. Had about a pint of fuel left when we entered harbour.


Quite a welcome. I had rigged a temporary antenna, and although our signal was weak it vas picked up by the powerful German salvage tug Atlantic, with its sensitive receivers. So Port Nolloth had heard we were coming, and lined the dockside as we limped in. The mayor, the harbour master, the hotel keeper, the manager of the fish canning factory, the police chief   and scores of fishermen and their families. They proved to be a friendly, helpful crowd. A harbour crane lifted the wrecked rigging out of the boat and we untangled it on the wharf.


Two days of solid work, a new section, 300 rivets and a couple of pints of epoxy glue later, the mast was a good as new. We stepped it again last night – a tricky job with the boat rising and falling with the swells that wash across the bar. The harbour channel was too dangerous to leave at night, so we set sail again at first light this morning.


January 21

This is supposed to be a light-weather race but I guess the wind gods haven’t been told about that. We have been heading north to ride the trades, but so far have had more wind then we need. Had a wild watch from midnight to 4:00 am, the boat surfing down the breaking waves in the dark at 12 knots or more. We’re determined to catch the fleet, now several hundred miles ahead of us. Not the hot-shot French boat Ondine perhaps, but the tail-enders. So we push her hard, carrying sails better suited for the lulls, not the squalls, and risking a broach or a gybe at any time that could take the mast out of her again. When you drive a boat above her design speed, it takes brute force to hold her on course. Now and then we take a green sea right over the deck. They slosh own the hatches; even the bunks are sodden. 


Yesterday at dusk we lost a spinnaker pole overboard, and turned back to retrieve it.  But it took five  minutes or more to drop the sails and stop the boat, and when we started the  motor we couldn't make any headway against the wind and the huge seas. If that had been a crewmember lost overboard, we would never have got him back either. I vow never to go on deck  alone at night without wearing a safety harness.


We've torn several sails, including a spinnaker that several times split its seams in a squall. Each time it took me hours to sew it up with needle and thread.The sea will find out and exploit any weakness of gear    or crew. But we are averaging 160 nautical miles noon to noon   not bad for a heavy cruising  boat this size. 


January 25

The trade winds at last. What magnificent sailing: wind steady in strength and direction, day and night. Suddenly it's warm, dry and comfortable. Lovely watch last night, steering west by Orion as the moon dissolved into its own reflection. Even on moonless nights the star¬light is so bright that one can make out the horizon, the clouds overhead, even the sail numbers. The brighter stars leave rivulets of light on the water,rad¬iating from the boat like spokes to the dark skyline. I can see how people get hooked on a life like this. It is how I imagined tropical sailing would be   except my vision always incl¬uded isalnds, palm trees, coral reefs. Here there is only the sea, a perfectly smooth, curved horizon. The only life is an occasional school of dolphins, and the silver flash of flying fish startled by the bow wave. I stand at the helm, reciting Masefield, Anglo-Saxon sea poems, and sing¬ing sea shanties as we cleave our way towards Rio. Great stuff:


January 28

Five hungry men to feed, and no wife, mother or mistress to do the cooking. So we take turns, with  results that sometimes turn the stomach. It’s worst when the going is rough. This morn¬ing I decided to make scrambled eggs: 15 of them. Put the mixing bowl on the counter top and tried to crack the eggs into it as it slid past back and forth. Not very successful. So I put the bowl on the floor between my feet, which steadied it except that whenever the boat lurched the mixture slopped out onto the floor. Scooped it up  with a spatula. The specks of blue carpeting added a colourful touch to the dish. 


Peter's eggs are the worst: hard and rubbery.  After I complained yesterday he brought me a   magnificent omelette. Light and fluffy, it stood all of two inches high. But the taste! He'd put three tablespoons of baking powder in to make it rise. While making dumplings the other day, Peter lurched with the boat and poured methylated spirits into the batter. Then he put a match to the meths. Omelette flambee! Peter did his national service as a cook in the Air Force. Good things an air force doesn't fly on its stomach. Last night Raymond, making pancakes for dessert, slipped and poured the batter into his sea boots. Looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was watching, he poured it back into the bowl. We pretended not to notice. Siggie’s favourite meal is spaghetti in tomato sauce – eaten cold out of a can. We have just run out of beer. I have the last one, hidden in my bedroll.


Am I ever going to eat out in Rio!


February 3

Fantastic! At 16:15 Peter, at the helm, cries out "Land ahead." .And there it is, the silhouette of Isle Trindade. We have come almost 3, 000 miles and it has appeared just about when and where our sextant navigation predicted it would. Our first sight of land for three weeks. We pass Trindade by night, giving it a wide berth. It's a rugged, ragged volcanic rock, almost three miles long. The island rises vertically out of the sea, which breaks violently along its shores. The only inhabitants are tortoises, crabs and thousands of sea birds. Even better news: We haven’t seen any other yachts, but the guard ship tells us by radio that we have passed several of the laggards. Roll on Rio!


February 11

Cross the line off Copacabana Beach early this morning and have just moored at the luxurious Rio yacht club in the shadow of the Sugar Loaf. No time for detailed diarizing: I’m going ashore for a genuine FRESH water shower, a COLD beer, and the BIGGEST STEAK Rio can offer.


It’s been a long way.


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11 hours ago, ~Stingray~ said:

Here's a Birthday Wish that I sent today to my father. Please be gentle, just wanted to honor him.


Awesome logbook/diary, love it.
Happy B-day from me too

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