Russell Brown

R2AK 2018

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1 hour ago, Somebody Else said:

I missed where he said 6 hours.

One can get a lot of rest in 1 hour-90 minutes of REM sleep. Adrenaline can be your enemy, though.

And deadheads and sheets of plywood at night.  

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19 minutes ago, Amati said:

And deadheads and sheets of plywood at night.  

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1 hour ago, D Wayne G said:

Russell didn’t enter the race to WIN IT. His goal was to do better than last year and he is clearly on track for that. It will be tough from here on in to stay ahead of the girls and get the rest he needs as it looks like there will be nice sailing conditions ahead. Speaking from experience I can say that a fast boat with a big crew is really hard to beat. The steak knives though, do look like a possibility and how cool would that be? I feel bad for the boys on Blue Flash. I’m getting a hernia willing them outta there. They still have an hour to get through and it looks like The Pool Room will pull it off. Riveting stuff!

Yes, but his sailing is amazing. Wow!

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He'll march to his own race plan, primarily to get to Ketchikan and pick up his "secret weapon" for a relaxed and enjoyable trip back home with her.

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I'm not sure I understand what Blueflash is up to -- that bay is a good stopping off point to wait for more favorable current (we stopped there in 2016 while waiting for the flood to go to slack), so initially I thought they didn't want to cross at max ebb and were going to wait for a slowdown.  But they're still there hours later... 

I haven't been there during an ebb, so not sure what the eddies are like. I can imagine there's a case where you're getting pushed in and can't get back out like is being discussed here, but that still seems like a stretch...

@ProaSailor: I eat humble pie. You were right about Saturna generally being a better option on Day 1 for most boats (except for the extremely fast pedal boats like PT Watercraft, or the extremely slow boats like Fashionably Late, both of which benefited from the inside route via Active and Porlier pass).  BlueFlash would likely be in the leading group had they taken Saturna.  I thought at the outset there would be more wind on the inside (clearly putting too much faith in EC forecasts for wind on Sunday) -- dead wrong. 

And you're also right that clearly R2AK boats appear able to make it through Seymour even on a strong ebb tide (6-8kts) -- this flies in the face of commonly accepted seamanship advice for Seymour (set mostly by powerboaters who navigate those waters), but the R2AK sailors are another breed, and every race they squeak by well after slack!  In 2017 on the Nacra 20 we chose to hold off passing around 90min after slack, but now I know we should have tried (in fact an F31R made it totally fine).

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1 hour ago, D Wayne G said:

Russell didn’t enter the race to WIN IT. His goal was to do better than last year and he is clearly on track for that. It will be tough from here on in to stay ahead of the girls and get the rest he needs as it looks like there will be nice sailing conditions ahead. Speaking from experience I can say that a fast boat with a big crew is really hard to beat. The steak knives though, do look like a possibility and how cool would that be? I feel bad for the boys on Blue Flash. I’m getting a hernia willing them outta there. They still have an hour to get through and it looks like The Pool Room will pull it off. Riveting stuff!

Better than last year might be good enough to win it. He's keeping good pace given the conditions, including getting his rest. No doubt that having extra bodies aboard would permit sailing 24/7, but if he wants to solo all the power to him...and he still might pull off a victory, doing it 'his' way.

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1 hour ago, Slim said:

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Drivin’ Gougeon,

tides on my brain

sailin’ like a girl, 

don’t you watch my speed......

no trouble ahead,

no trouble at night

wake up in the mornin’

Fresh and right!

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1 hour ago, Foiling Optimist said:

Am I right though this is the most number of lead boats making it through on the first opening? I recall in years one and two the lead boat got through alone. I can't recall last year other than it was closer.

It's interesting to ponder Russell's advantage as a solo skipper in terms of boat weight. It must be really helping him move in the very light airs, which he does so well. I imaging if the breeze stays up the advantage will go towards the FFSLAGs.

 

4 minutes ago, Amati said:

Drivin’ Gougeon,

fast as the wind,

sailin’ like a girls,

don’t you watch my speed!

 

1 hour ago, Foiling Optimist said:

Am I right though this is the most number of lead boats making it through on the first opening? I recall in years one and two the lead boat got through alone. I can't recall last year other than it was closer.

It's interesting to ponder Russell's advantage as a solo skipper in terms of boat weight. It must be really helping him move in the very light airs, which he does so well. I imaging if the breeze stays up the advantage will go towards the FFSLAGs.

On year one only Elsi Piddock got through. On year two 5 or 6 got through. I stopped for four hours in Menzies Bay and that’s about what I missed the steak knives by. Both years the first through won. Can’t remember the stats from last year.

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Weather.gc.ca, the guys who know Johnstone Strait are predicting typical but not extreme conditions for the Srait starting this evening. If that plays out you will see a very large gap between the first group and the next. Way more than 6 hours if the lead group carries on at least until Telegraph Cove tonight. Already blowing 22 at Fanny Island. Those that get past there tonight are going to make a killing! Things typically mellow out after that and conditions look to be pleasant sailing for the rest of the course. There are other forecasts though but I have faith in gc.ca. 

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7 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

Weather.gc.ca, the guys who know Johnstone Strait are predicting typical but not extreme conditions for the Srait starting this evening. If that plays out you will see a very large gap between the first group and the next. Way more than 6 hours if the lead group carries on at least until Telegraph Cove tonight. Already blowing 22 at Fanny Island. Those that get past there tonight are going to make a killing! Things typically mellow out after that and conditions look to be pleasant sailing for the rest of the course. There are other forecasts though but I have faith in gc.ca. 

Or maybe get snug for the night, and then enjoy great sailing weather?

Or gear up for small craft warnings in the dark?  After how many days in light airs?

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There’s an interesting video of team wright yachts hoisting their spinnaker on FB. They are sailing really deep, with their main wayyyy out. A boat like that should be sailing much hotter angles.

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20 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

 

 

On year one only Elsi Piddock got through. On year two 5 or 6 got through. I stopped for four hours in Menzies Bay and that’s about what I missed the steak knives by. Both years the first through won. Can’t remember the stats from last year.

From my memory in 2016 Mad Dog got through WAY ahead of the rest of the pack.

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Environment Canada is reporting 22kt WNW at Fanny Island .. where the leaders are .. but the boats are not reporting proper SOG for 22 kts of breeze … what gives???

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3 minutes ago, trimejust4fun said:

Environment Canada is reporting 22kt WNW at Fanny Island .. where the leaders are .. but the boats are not reporting proper SOG for 22 kts of breeze … what gives???

Bucking current perhaps?

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13 minutes ago, Tunnel Rat said:

From my memory in 2016 Mad Dog got through WAY ahead of the rest of the pack.

 

6 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Bucking current perhaps?

I stand corrected. Randy was sooooo far ahead we kind of forgot about him!

 

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10 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Bucking current perhaps?

They should have had an ebb all afternoon that is just ending now and virtually no real current for the flood according to Dairiki tides. Maybe its a localized breeze? Wild card posted a video an hour ago and they were hauling ass  reaching with the F-28. How does that happen :-/ ! OK, I am caught up on R2AK days activity. My boat is off the trailer and I need to go paint my bottom. Gorgeous evening in the PNW

 

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13 minutes ago, Tunnel Rat said:

It looks like Russell is putting on his PJs.

Ptarmigan and Lagopolis also.

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In some ways this is like a watching a race no one wants to win.  Fully crewed boats anchoring for rest?  BlueFlash holing up hours before Seymour closed it seems.  

'Splain me the math that puts an SC27 within 3 miles of an M32 after 200+ miles.  It's not like the SC27 are past National Champions or anything.  

I think Russel is going to find himself in a pickle.  As each day passes and he finds himself in the lead again, the pressure will increase to start actually trying to win, then he'll starting wrestling with fatigue as the wind conditions get better and better for making miles.  

It's fun to watch, but aside from Russel (and perhaps the SC27), it seems like a whole bunch of boats making less than awesome decisions along the way.  

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3 hours ago, bistros said:

Russell only races Russell

Russell is the Chuck Norris of this race.

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At this rate Russel will wake up and find himself still in the lead. Looks like WC is going backwards with tide. 

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18 minutes ago, Roleur said:

In some ways this is like a watching a race no one wants to win.  Fully crewed boats anchoring for rest?  BlueFlash holing up hours before Seymour closed it seems.  

'Splain me the math that puts an SC27 within 3 miles of an M32 after 200+ miles.  It's not like the SC27 are past National Champions or anything.  

I think Russel is going to find himself in a pickle.  As each day passes and he finds himself in the lead again, the pressure will increase to start actually trying to win, then he'll starting wrestling with fatigue as the wind conditions get better and better for making miles.  

It's fun to watch, but aside from Russel (and perhaps the SC27), it seems like a whole bunch of boats making less than awesome decisions along the way.  

I think that may be a bit harsh.  I am sure that there is a lot of fatigue, verging on exhaustion across the fleet due to the amount of human powered effort that has gone into the first three days of this race.  I don't think that the previous races had quite such light winds for so long, and I think that those conditions will be more tiring for the crews than any other.

I know that my decision making goes out of the window beyond certain levels of tired.

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16 minutes ago, Roleur said:

In some ways this is like a watching a race no one wants to win.  Fully crewed boats anchoring for rest?  BlueFlash holing up hours before Seymour closed it seems.  

'Splain me the math that puts an SC27 within 3 miles of an M32 after 200+ miles.  It's not like the SC27 are past National Champions or anything.  

I think Russel is going to find himself in a pickle.  As each day passes and he finds himself in the lead again, the pressure will increase to start actually trying to win, then he'll starting wrestling with fatigue as the wind conditions get better and better for making miles.  

It's fun to watch, but aside from Russel (and perhaps the SC27), it seems like a whole bunch of boats making less than awesome decisions along the way.  

I'm not there, but I suspect several factors may be at play. 1) Possible Damage from hitting logs at night. 2) Crew fatigue from pedaling in addition to sailing the boat. 3) Conditions such that not much progress is made for the energy output. Rest up so fresh when conditions improve.

What I've noticed from following the EC and the R2AK is they're a completely different animal. Really can't judge them from the perspective of a traditional yacht race. That's what makes them so compelling, IMO.

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Thinking back through the previous years...  Elsie, Por Favor, Mad Dog, Jungle Kitty, Madrona, etc...  Those boats pedaled, rowed, and sailed the shit out of this course. This year, there are some very fast boats behind some very not fast boats. 

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7 minutes ago, Roleur said:

Thinking back through the previous years...  Elsie, Por Favor, Mad Dog, Jungle Kitty, Madrona, etc...  Those boats pedaled, rowed, and sailed the shit out of this course. This year, there are some very fast boats behind some very not fast boats. 

Hey Roleur, you forgot Mail Order Bride!

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5 minutes ago, Roleur said:

Thinking back through the previous years...  Elsie, Por Favor, Mad Dog, Jungle Kitty, Madrona, etc...  Those boats pedaled, rowed, and sailed the shit out of this course. This year, there are some very fast boats behind some very not fast boats. 

That's happened every year. Adventure races attract adventurers in addition to sailors and paddlers. And every time there's fast boats that break down, and fast boats that don't manage their crew resources well. The winners, even finishers, are the ones that solve the equation well.

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He wanted to hit Seymour better than last year and shave a day or two off last years time. He's a man with a plan and I don't think he'll deviate too much.

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13 minutes ago, RKoch said:

That's happened every year. Adventure races attract adventurers in addition to sailors and paddlers. And every time there's fast boats that break down, and fast boats that don't manage their crew resources well. The winners, even finishers, are the ones that solve the equation well.

Usually in fast boats.

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1 hour ago, Roleur said:

In some ways this is like a watching a race no one wants to win.  Fully crewed boats anchoring for rest?  BlueFlash holing up hours before Seymour closed it seems.  

'Splain me the math that puts an SC27 within 3 miles of an M32 after 200+ miles.  It's not like the SC27 are past National Champions or anything.  

I think Russel is going to find himself in a pickle.  As each day passes and he finds himself in the lead again, the pressure will increase to start actually trying to win, then he'll starting wrestling with fatigue as the wind conditions get better and better for making miles.  

It's fun to watch, but aside from Russel (and perhaps the SC27), it seems like a whole bunch of boats making less than awesome decisions along the way.  

Russell is not likely to get in a pickle. Russell marches to his own drum and he told me before he left he was focused more on the trip home with Ashlyn than the race. Russell sails for Russell’s own enjoyment not to try and prove anything to others. He basically has nothing left to prove to anyone.

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7 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

Usually in fast boats.

Fast, but often not THE fastest. 

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4 minutes ago, kimbottles said:

Russell is not likely to get in a pickle. Russell marches to his own drum and he told me before he left he was focused more on the trip home with Ashlyn than the race. Russell sails for Russell’s own enjoyment not to try and prove anything to others. He basically has nothing left to prove to anyone.

True until he has a chance to be the first singlehander to win a major ocean race against fully crewed boats. 

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2 hours ago, trimejust4fun said:

Environment Canada is reporting 22kt WNW at Fanny Island .. where the leaders are .. but the boats are not reporting proper SOG for 22 kts of breeze … what gives???

Just checked another source at 8:43 pm and it showed N @ 14 on Yorke Island next to Fanny Island. Like you said, the boat speeds SOG doesn't relate to the wind speed. Still another source on a weather forecast map (not actual but forecasted) shows NE 6 > 8 kts and this would give a better apparent wind speed going the direction they've been going. Then given the 2+ knot flood that would equate to some of the boat SOGs that were reported. The forecast showed the 6 > 8 @ 8 pm running up to Havanna Channel then falling off between WNW 2 > 4 before midnight and of course the flood should be over by then. After that, it's nothing worth sailing until noon. Curious how the forecast will compare with actual tomorrow.

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On 6/16/2018 at 8:01 PM, MisterMoon said:

I wonder how many of the teams analyze the data this much when they're on the water. Maybe they can on the big boats, but the small boat guys and gals have their hands full enough with just sailing, rowing, pedaling, eating, sleeping, peeing and navigating to get too deep into the weeds looking at their screens, so they just tune the weather on the VHF and hope the NWS and EC gets it right. And once they get out of cell range, that applies to pretty much everyone. 

On that note, I was pleased to discover today looking at tracks from Stage 1 that we (Team Calico, Cal 20) pretty much followed Team Sail Like A Girl’s Track (unintentionally; we saw them at the start, then were gone...)  Undoubtedly they analyzed weather, tides, routing, etc. and have a big plotter on board, maybe autopilot.  We were the latter (“the small boat gals and guys” in your post).  Yeah, sure we took 14 hours (and they were like 5).  My crew was a 14 year old, albeit a dinghy sailor one :-) An autopilot would’ve been nice to have?

Calico’s track in green, Team SLAG in grey.

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5 minutes ago, Roleur said:

True until he has a chance to be the first singlehander to win a major ocean race against fully crewed boats. 

You're just spouting bullshit now. Russell is very experienced, and not going to succumb to the red mist. 

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3 minutes ago, RKoch said:

You're just spouting bullshit now. Russell is very experienced, and not going to succumb to the red mist. 

True but in this fleet he might win in spite of himself.

 

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13 minutes ago, Roleur said:

True until he has a chance to be the first singlehander to win a major ocean race against fully crewed boats. 

The R2AK is a very fascinating event, and a challenging adventure that attracts a wide variety of sailors, adventurers and enthusiastic, hopeful novices.  What it is not is a major ocean race.  

 

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While Russell is resting up, FFSLAG is poking along at 0.7 knots. Both doing what their plan dictates.

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I was thinking this evening that the Russell sleeping strategy makes this like an F1 race with people on different pit stop strategies, where there's always that element of uncertainty about whether the guy can really get to the end on those tires, or will he stop? Almost always he has to stop and even the other guy who you were certain didn't have to stop, but occasionally miracles happen. Or, can Russell sail fast enough in the right conditions to get a pit stop ahead of FFSLAG? We are gripped....

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1 hour ago, RKoch said:

I'm not there, but I suspect several factors may be at play. 1) Possible Damage from hitting logs at night. 2) Crew fatigue from pedaling in addition to sailing the boat. 3) Conditions such that not much progress is made for the energy output. Rest up so fresh when conditions improve.

More #3 and #2 in my opinion.  I don't think anyone here who hasn't been through Johnstone Strait on a regular (i.e. windy) day can truly understand how gnarly that passage gets.  I sail on windy SF Bay, and Johnstone Strait is still a kick in the pants (we happened to cross on one of the windiest days of the month in 2016 on the F31, at the windiest time of the day, fun!). 

For the leaders, it's been blowing 22-25kts for the last 4 hours (see https://weather.gc.ca/marine/weatherConditions-24hrObsHistory_e.html?mapID=02&amp;siteID=02300&amp;stationID=XFA), on the nose, probably gusting to 30-35kts, with 2-3kts current against the boats.  So the boats are lucky to be making 2-3kts VMG, and the sea is probably fairly lumpy (though not as bad as when it is wind against tide).  Add in tired crews from all the human power, as someone else pointed out, and how suddenly the wind transitions from <10kts to 20kts+ (it can be in 3-5 minutes as you turn the corner) then it's quickly all hands on deck reefing, with crews that have yet to do that recently, and few places to duck for protection.  Add in the onset of night, and it starts to make sense why you might want to stop.  Normally things ease out around 11pm-3am, so I expects the boats will get moving around then. 

I don't think it's an indication of the crews not wanting to win, more that they are being cautious when they can afford to (particularly the multis, which have a lot more runway to overtake SLAG in the next days).

 

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5 minutes ago, galacticair said:

More #3 and #2 in my opinion.  I don't think anyone here who hasn't been through Johnstone Strait on a regular (i.e. windy) day can truly understand how gnarly that passage gets.  I sail on windy SF Bay, and Johnstone Strait is still a kick in the pants (we happened to cross on one of the windiest days of the month in 2016 on the F31, at the windiest time of the day, fun!). 

For the leaders, it's been blowing 22-25kts for the last 4 hours (see https://weather.gc.ca/marine/weatherConditions-24hrObsHistory_e.html?mapID=02&amp;siteID=02300&amp;stationID=XFA), on the nose, probably gusting to 30-35kts, with 2-3kts current against the boats.  So the boats are lucky to be making 2-3kts VMG, and the sea is probably fairly lumpy (though not as bad as when it is wind against tide).  Add in tired crews from all the human power, as someone else pointed out, and how suddenly the wind transitions from <10kts to 20kts+ (it can be in 3-5 minutes as you turn the corner) then it's quickly all hands on deck reefing, with crews that have yet to do that recently, and few places to duck for protection.  Add in the onset of night, and it starts to make sense why you might want to stop.  Normally things ease out around 11pm-3am, so I expects the boats will get moving around then. 

I don't think it's an indication of the crews not wanting to win, more that they are being cautious when they can afford to (particularly the multis, which have a lot more runway to overtake SLAG in the next days).

 

Good one. I concour. Been there many times.

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45 minutes ago, RKoch said:

While Russell is resting up, FFSLAG is poking along at 0.7 knots. Both doing what their plan dictates.

The flood tide is coming to an end and then it'll be an ebb. Even as the wind becomes lighter the new ebb will help out. With the cool night-time temperatures the captain should put a couple of the crew out there to pedal. 

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1 hour ago, RKoch said:

While Russell is resting up, FFSLAG is poking along at 0.7 knots. Both doing what their plan dictates.

I suspect, but do not know, that since Team SLAG is carrying a big sponsor’s name, there is likely an expectation for them to push it hard.  And if Russell is under any pressure to push hard, it’s likely just his own.

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1 minute ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I suspect, but do not know, that Team SLAG, carrying a big sponsor’s name, is likely under some sort of pressure to push it hard.  And if Russel is under any pressure, it’s likely his own.

A single handler obviously must sleep at some point. Regardless of commitments to sponsors or whatever a large crew can have people sleep whenever convenient. In general large crews are hard for small crews to compete with. Most non stop two or three up crews in the R2AK experience hallucinations at some point. 

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8 hours ago, Alex W said:

That would be unfortunate.  It is possible to anchor there, but it is awfully exposed.  They've been there a long time now.

 

Yes, very unfortunately, Team Dock Rat is up on the beach.

This evening in a thread of FB comments somewhere -which I can’t find now- there was a pic of his boat up on the beach.  Drifted with currents, I think, then said gale (his word) in J de F at night blew him ashore.  Said a soft beach, hoped/didn’t think boat damaged.  Don’t know more.  Hope NWMC provides update and that he’s ok.  

 

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1 hour ago, D Wayne G said:

True but in this fleet he might win in spite of himself.

 

That is a possibility, but I doubt he will abandon his plan to try for it, but it could happen.

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1 minute ago, kimbottles said:

That is a possibility, but I doubt he will abandon his plan to try for it, but it could happen.

Pretty sure that’s what I said.

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All the front monos are going now at 22.50. 

Russel have had som good luck with his stops as the others didnt go so far during his stops - but after the John. St.  there will be less of this - and a night good breeze can give them 60nm while hes resting. 

 

Why Blue Flash didnt go through... would like the reason for that.

The multis - except - G32 -isnt impressing too much - but these are not racing boats - its more to the cruising side - and in the very light downwind stuff -is not easy to outsail reasonable fast monos. That said it seems like some of them are good finding holes... Hopefully after J.Straight - they will be more in their favorite conditions. 

 

Then also the Melges 32 - compared to some others mono - as others said - isnt that impressive either.... 

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2 hours ago, Roleur said:

True until he has a chance to be the first singlehander to win a major ocean race against fully crewed boats. 

I don’t think he cares about that, but he might just having a winning strategy and pull it off anyway.

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2 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

Pretty sure that’s what I said.

Yup, that’s how I read your comment.

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11 pm PDT and the tracker shows a few of the littlest sailboats in the fleet, Team Reliance (Balboa 20, w/ 2 crew), Team Buckeye (Hurley 17, w/ 2 crew), and Team Teewinot (26’, 4 crew) still sailing.

That takes some “guts” for the doublehanders at this time of night, or if not guts, energy to stay awake and keep going after a long day. Wow.  

Sisters showing ESE 15 right now - good for them to get north easily!

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13 minutes ago, SeaGul said:

All the front monos are going now at 22.50. 

Russel have had som good luck with his stops as the others didnt go so far during his stops - but after the John. St.  there will be less of this - and a night good breeze can give them 60nm while hes resting. 

 

Why Blue Flash didnt go through... would like the reason for that.

The multis - except - G32 -isnt impressing too much - but these are not racing boats - its more to the cruising side - and in the very light downwind stuff -is not easy to outsail reasonable fast monos. That said it seems like some of them are good finding holes... Hopefully after J.Straight - they will be more in their favorite conditions. 

 

Then also the Melges 32 - compared to some others mono - as others said - isnt that impressive either.... 

Trust me. Nothing about Russell’s strategy or performance to date has anything to do with “good luck”. The guy is a maestro. Will the conditions up track allow him the same opportunities? Maybe not. He will continue to impress. I agree. The fleet of ( other) multihulls continues to unimpress and likely will continue to do so.

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2 hours ago, D Wayne G said:

Hey Roleur, you forgot Mail Order Bride!

How could one forget MOB #10

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Glad to see the kids on Blue Flash will be the next boat through. They blew it on their decision to stop but may manage to put some miles on a couple of sleepyheads up track. No steak knives in the offing for them though.

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2 minutes ago, trimejust4fun said:

How could one forget MOB #10

I guess we are all forgettable.

 

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Regarding #2 and #3 above, the heat is quite out of the norm right now which is quite something when paddling in current. I SUPed out to a dolphin about 4nm from Jericho at the end of Point Grey Monday night (i.e. that one at the western tip of the Spanish Banks mud flats). There was an absolute river coming in dropping my Velocitek indication from ~7km/h in still water to 2.8km/h. Rounding it was like being in one of those pools where you swim in place and the water rushes past. The thing is it's so much hotter than normal right now that doing this kind of thing you dehydrate and get tired faster than you are expecting. With just enough breeze to keep you sort of cool you don't notice it until you really notice it. These guys will be getting tired fast and going through a lot of water as well, which may necessitate extra pit stops.  It's so hot the usual thermal wind patterns aren't even working normally, at least here in Vancouver. 

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20 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

Trust me. Nothing about Russell’s strategy or performance to date has anything to do with “good luck”. The guy is a maestro. Will the conditions up track allow him the same opportunities? Maybe not. He will continue to impress. I agree. The fleet of ( other) multihulls continues to unimpress and likely will continue to do so.

I agree - Russel have his strategy - and if the conditions decide to cooperate thats a + . 

 

For now the multihull world have to rely on a singlehander that is not interested in winning or a F28 with two elderly men and two young women...  - meanwhile the Pear Shape thing are just floating around somewhere nearby...

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At 23.40 it seems the F28 feels the pressure - and are going out to battle.... And The Blue goes throught Seymour...

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and by updating tracker - the Cat is going through - and Swan Song...

 

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Only 7nm from Ptarmigan to SLAG and Ptarmigan is doing 7kts, so maybe they didn’t loose too much...

Fanny island reported 24kts at midnight which is on the high side - should normally have started quietening down now, though it can take a few more hours...

I had downloaded ~3 years of June historical data for Fanny before doing R2AK 2017, to understand the patterns so we could make smart game time decisions on the Nacra 20 - turns out we went through around midnight and never saw more than 10kts...!  But the late afternoon & evening near-gale wind patterns for Johnston strait are really consistent as far as weather patterns go...

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Not sure what has happened to Dreamcatchers.  They had about a 3-5 mile lead over Sea to Sky when the Seymour gate opened.

STS passed them about a mile before the entrance then went flying through the throat of Seymour at 8.5 kts.  STS has about a 5 mile lead over them now. 

Meanwhile Dreamcatchers is sailing West into a bay at 2.5 kts.  Breakdown or did they bail on going through Seymour near max ebb?

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Sail like a Girl getting rolled by a a SC27 upwind in big breeze.

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at 05.00 - both other monos have passed the Girls - that are at 0,5kn - problems? Blues are sneaking up on Russel doing 6kn - but he may be going soon... Wrights -have they give up? F28 also closing at the Girls - 4nm behind now...

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2 hours ago, ASP said:

Sail like a Girl getting rolled by a a SC27 upwind in big breeze.

Who would've thunk it possible?  No one tell Buddy Melges - at 88 it is possible he'd blow a gasket.  Wake up Russell! - they are all milling aimlessly around looking for leadership out there.

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If there aren’t any breakages then there is no excuse

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11 minutes ago, bistros said:

Who would've thunk it possible?  No one tell Buddy Melges - at 88 it is possible he'd blow a gasket.  Wake up Russell! - they are all milling aimlessly around looking for leadership out there.

Well, well. A whole new ballgame. Obviously I didn’t see that coming. Guess I’ll just watch and can the predictions. Russell may be on the course. His tracker hasn’t updated since 05:00. 

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The "Race" tab on each boat's status popup is showing the "24hr Run" value this morning:

Team             24hr Run
=========================
Wild Card          115 mi
Lagopus            114 mi
PT Watercraft      112 mi
Sail Like a Girl   107 mi
Ptarmigan          100 mi
BlueFlash           94 mi

 

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Girls maybe in survival mode- downreefed  - cold and freezing - not much protection on that boat - the others are better at that upwind struggle at night. They like the multis are better off reaching...

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Yes, very unfortunately, Team Dock Rat is up on the beach.

This evening in a thread of FB comments somewhere -which I can’t find now- there was a pic of his boat up on the beach.  Drifted with currents, I think, then said gale (his word) in J de F at night blew him ashore.  Said a soft beach, hoped/didn’t think boat damaged.  Don’t know more.  Hope NWMC provides update and that he’s ok.  

 

The photo is buried in comments, so I'm posting a copy here. 

7FA092F2-82E9-4A0B-B775-1B9CF109B466.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, JoeBleaux said:

Did Russel’s tracker stop working? His boat appears as a ghost on my tracker screen.

Yes.  If you hover on a boat icon it tells you the last update.  His last update was at 5am. 

This has happened in other years with different boats (and I've seen in with Swiftsure, where the same system is used).  It seems to come back after a few hours.

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Must be gnarly in Johnstone St...several boats are stopped, slow going for those underway.

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27 minutes ago, BarfBag said:

This SPOT Tracker system needs a review or an upgrade... to AIS.

I think power drain and range would make that a non starter for something like a kayak or a beach cat.

I think the gen 3 spots go into some power save mode if they detect no movement. It would be cool if they upped the update interval on the spots and the tracker to their maximum though. 2.5 min I think.

 

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No wind on Johnstone Str right now - even Fanny Isl says only 1kt, and that’s the windiest section on average...

Where SLAG and others have been for the last few hours is often whisper calm in the early AM after midnight, so the leaders are back to a human power game.

I think it’s unfair to compare the boats raw speed once you hit pedaling/rowing conditions. Each boat’s speed is defined by their human power system and the crew’s willingness to sweat and use it. It’s been pretty clear for a long time that Wright has basically no human power system, SLAG and Ptarmigan have average ones and perhaps not gung-ho about using it, while Wild Card and other “slower” boats in the leading pack either have good systems or are more willing to do the hard work. 

It takes a special motivation to see 20nm of flat calm ahead and choose to row/pedal at 2kts, and even more if you go only 1kts.  But you can make some small mileage, catch a current, find some fresh wind around a corner, and generate surprising mileage gains. 

Keep in mind Russell’s system makes it look easy.  The others are likely at much higher % effort to eek out 2kts. See some of the FB videos

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7 minutes ago, galacticair said:

No wind on Johnstone Str right now - even Fanny Isl says only 1kt, and that’s the windiest section on average...

Where SLAG and others have been for the last few hours is often whisper calm in the early AM after midnight, so the leaders are back to a human power game.

I think it’s unfair to compare the boats raw speed once you hit pedaling/rowing conditions. Each boat’s speed is defined by their human power system and the crew’s willingness to sweat and use it. It’s been pretty clear for a long time that Wright has basically no human power system, SLAG and Ptarmigan have average ones and perhaps not gung-ho about using it, while Wild Card and other “slower” boats in the leading pack either have good systems or are more willing to do the hard work. 

It takes a special motivation to see 20nm of flat calm ahead and choose to row/pedal at 2kts, and even more if you go only 1kts.  But you can make some small mileage, catch a current, find some fresh wind around a corner, and generate surprising mileage gains. 

Keep in mind Russell’s system makes it look easy.  The others are likely at much higher % effort to eek out 2kts. See some of the FB videos

Thanks, I don't have weather available.

FFSLAG has a double pedal system on stern and plenty of bodies to rotate, so they should be able to maintain decent human powered speed. Agreed the boats power systems vary widely in efficiency. And boat weight and wetted surface enter into the equation, so the smaller lighter boats should have a bit of an advantage. No one is going to get anywhere near hull speed, so length isn't much of an advantage.

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My guess is Russell is where his tracker says he is, waiting for morning breeze to put in a long day in the better wind up north. 

Or his tracker turned off into power saving mode, yes. 

But snooozing and letting everyone go ahead at 1-2kts sounds like Russell’s MO. 

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Just took a peek at AIS traffic - Ptarmigan and Wild Card are both reporting.  Didn't see anything for FF_SLAG or Incognito.  Doubt Russell would even consider it - he's an analog guy that isn't comfortable in the digital world.  In one of Jim Brown's stories about Russell, Jim was surprised that Russell had caved to convention and bought a handheld VHF while sailing the Atlantic from Bermuda to Long Island Sound in Kauri.

Solar was getting much cheaper (before impending Trump Tariff Wars) so power isn't the problem it once was.

I'm certainly frustrated with the timeliness and questionable accuracy of the SPOT system in use.  How tough would it be to implement a countdown real time interrupt-driven program to restart the damned things?  The code isn't rocket science to write.  People's lives are involved here (and not just tracker junkies).

 

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Lagopus has the lucky oars from West Coast Wild Ones...I read somewhere about a marathon some of them did in Howe Sound, where you bag the peak of every island and have to self propell or sail to each one.

Likely lots of floaties in the water in Johnstone from the heat wave induced freshet and a surprising amount of shipping at night.

http://tracker.r2ak.com/

 

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Reposting Fanny Island weather station link: https://weather.gc.ca/marine/weatherConditions-24hrObsHistory_e.html?mapID=02&siteID=07010&stationID=XFA

Watch this like a hawk to know conditions in the usually windiest part of Johnstone Str. 

Lightstation reports can also be useful, though not as frequently updated: 

https://weather.gc.ca/marine/weatherConditions-lightstation_e.html?mapID=02&siteID=06800

Watch Chatham for conditions N of Seymour Narrows, as boats turn the corner towards Fanny Isl.

Watch Scarlett, Pine Isl and Egg Isl for conditions around Cape Caution. 

In between these it’s anyone’s guess, but typically conditions are lighter than at these reporting locations, which are pretty exposed. 

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13 hours ago, Tunnel Rat said:

It looks like Russell is putting on his PJs.

 

37 minutes ago, galacticair said:

My guess is Russell is where his tracker says he is, waiting for morning breeze to put in a long day in the better wind up north. 

For 13+ hours in the same location?  That would be sandbagging and fake drama, wouldn't it?

This talk of sailing his own race is gagging me a little bit...  If he didn't care at all, then why bother entering the race?

P.S.  Fog, lack of wind and adverse current (combined) are valid reasons to stay parked.

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14 minutes ago, Norse Horse said:

Lagopus has the lucky oars from West Coast Wild Ones...I read somewhere about a marathon some of them did in Howe Sound, where you bag the peak of every island and have to self propell or sail to each one.

Likely lots of floaties in the water in Johnstone from the heat wave induced freshet and a surprising amount of shipping at night.

 

I've also heard stories of the ultra marathons the Lagopus guys do. They should be able to make some good gains while the winds low. I don't envy them though, an O30 makes a poor rowboat (but an even worse SUP). Looks like the tides about to flip in everyone's favor and help suck the leaders up course.

Go the Lagopus! 

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6 minutes ago, swangtang said:

I've also heard stories of the ultra marathons the Lagopus guys do. They should be able to make some good gains while the winds low. I don't envy them though, an O30 makes a poor rowboat (but an even worse SUP). Looks like the tides about to flip in everyone's favor and help suck the leaders up course.

Go the Lagopus! 

I don’t know Ken (Lagopus) beyond emailing him before Stage 1 trying to see if we could hitch a ride down with him from Vancouver to PT, when our transportation logistics were getting tricky at the last minute.   We then chatted on the dock in Victoria, he told me doesn’t race per se, and only bought the O30 for R2AK.  So -  very nicely done so far, Lagopus!!

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16 minutes ago, ProaSailor said:

 

For 13+ hours in the same location?  That would be sandbagging and fake drama, wouldn't it?

This talk of sailing his own race is gagging me a little bit...  If he didn't care at all, then why bother entering the race?

photograph-05-of-laid-back-hare.jpg

I believe that Russell is more of a 'lièvre nonchalant' (laid back hare).   When he's on, he really on.   Once he gets to a point that he feels that the effort to results ratio is not favorable, time to pull over, cook a good meal and sack out, until conditions improve.

If I ever track down a G32, I think that would be a good boat name - lièvre nonchalant'

- Stumbling

 

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See the latest live video from FF_SLAG, sounds like quite a night of a gale front and now fog and calm. They look and sound beat, so the idea that with 8 crew you can be 'well rested' isn't necessarily the case.

I also noted the comments of 'lots of logs', which puts credence to wanting to be able to see them coming, and Russell's strategy.
And finally comments on how crazy fast Russell is, both under sail and power. So it's clear he has a well sorted boat, and is totally in the heads of the other teams!

Once again this race is showing how you need to be ready for weather throughout the spectrum from flat calm to survival level gales.

It's going to be really interesting to watch this continue to play out. It never gets old, or predictable.

cheers, Andrew

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Russels tracker has updated at 8.30 - same spot...

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39 minutes ago, ProaSailor said:

This talk of sailing his own race is gagging me a little bit...  If he didn't care at all, then why bother entering the race?

...exactly.   What nonsense.    People with 'nothing to prove' find races annoying.  <_<

 

13 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

 

I believe that Russell is more of a 'lièvre nonchalant' (laid back hare).   When he's on, he really on.   Once he gets to a point that he feels that the effort to results ratio is not favorable, time to pull over, cook a good meal and sack out, until conditions improve.

If I ever track down a G32, I think that would be a good boat name - lièvre nonchalant'

- Stumbling

 

Yah, I could see that.  It'd be a good style for a S'hander,,, make hay when you can,, rest hard when things, like the current, arent goin yer way.  :mellow:

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I tend to think of the R2AK as more of a 'challenge' than a race, despite the name. Everyone who enters has their own motivations. For some it's to finish first, for others it's just finishing. I suspect for most it's something in between, to set a personal time goal and beat it, or to beat a particular competitor or set of competitors. Either way it's as much of a personal challenge as it is a group one. I bet if you talk to the people who do it, you'll find that among the cohort of finishers there isn't really much more glory in finishing first than finishing last. Just the fact you made it to the end puts you in the company of equals. At least that's how it goes in the similar events I've participated in. I do stuff like this just for the tshirt... :) Can't wait until I can get on a R2AK myself. 

 

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