Russell Brown

R2AK 2018

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I’m kind of wondering if Russell is cogitating on what might make a better G32......

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Wild Card is now 30nm ahead - and Russel was maybe in front when he stopped? 

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Here is what happened at Fanny Island wind station last night. 

Screenshot_2018-06-20-09-45-06.png

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1 minute ago, bistros said:

Looks like PT Watercraft may be moving south now.

yes hes moving - will see then - others behind stay put most of them.... 

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At the back of the pack: it looks like Dock Rat is off of the beach.  

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1 minute ago, SeaGul said:

yes hes moving - will see then - others behind stay put most of them.... 

And everyone ahead of him are moving at what would probably be alternative propulsion speeds.

It looks like there is not a lot of wind pressure currently on the water.

 

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Blue Flash must be moving by now, no update for 2 hours. The tide has turned at Kelsey Bay. Nice cove they stayed in, you can see quite a ways down the strait. Some real grade 2+ whitewater around that area with the current sometimes.

http://tides.mobilegeographics.com/locations/3036.html

http://tracker.r2ak.com/

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11 minutes ago, trimejust4fun said:

Here is what happened at Fanny Island wind station last night. 

Screenshot_2018-06-20-09-45-06.png

And before and after that, the wind was in single digits.  Currently E at 1 knot.

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15 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

And before and after that, the wind was in single digits.  Currently E at 1 knot.

If the current is favorable at 2 knots, they've got an apparent wind of 1 knot from the west.

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Someone needs to get an update from Team B4B2 in Nanaimo.  A more interestingly odd and accomplished team on an odd and interesting boat you almost could not imagine.  See: https://r2ak.com/2018-teams-full-race/team-b4b2/

I hope they’ve dealt with the centreboard leak they discovered in Stage 1 and addressed in Victoria.  (We accepted Alex’s bet and raced them to Victoria and lost - I bought Guinness drafts for all!  Except my 14 year old daughter crew :-) )

Wait a sec, I’m sitting in Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal right now, and could get a ferry to Nanaimo!  But wait a sec.  Better, I’ve got Alex’s cell number.  I’ll have to give him a ring or a text and check in

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10 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Someone needs to get an update from Team B4B2 in Nanaimo.  A more interestingly odd and accomplished team on an odd and interesting boat you almost could not imagine.  See: https://r2ak.com/2018-teams-full-race/team-b4b2/

I hope they’ve dealt with the centreboard leak they discovered in Stage 1 and addressed in Victoria.  (We accepted Alex’s bet and raced them to Victoria and lost - I bought Guinness drafts for all!  Except my 14 year old daughter crew :-) )

Wait a sec, I’m sitting in Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal right now, and could get a ferry to Nanaimo!  But wait a sec.  Better, I’ve got Alex’s cell number.  I’ll have to give him a ring or a text and check in

It's a Bayliner, they poached the Hells Angels dock in Nanaimo and they have gay pride sails, what could go wrong? NTTAWWT

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

Someone needs to get an update from Team B4B2 in Nanaimo.  A more interestingly odd and accomplished team on an odd and interesting boat you almost could not imagine.  See: https://r2ak.com/2018-teams-full-race/team-b4b2/

I hope they’ve dealt with the centreboard leak they discovered in Stage 1 and addressed in Victoria.  (We accepted Alex’s bet and raced them to Victoria and lost - I bought Guinness drafts for all!  Except my 14 year old daughter crew :-) )

Wait a sec, I’m sitting in Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal right now, and could get a ferry to Nanaimo!  But wait a sec.  Better, I’ve got Alex’s cell number.  I’ll have to give him a ring or a text and check in

I’m looking at them out my front window. I’ll wonder down and have a chat.

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15 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

I’m looking at them out my front window. I’ll wonder down and have a chat.

Awesome.  Tell him Jud from Team Calico (Stage 1) said hi!

Alex will have some stories, undoubtedly.  He’s done some serious sailing, of course; I just hope their boat’s ok.

(Fond memories of him teaching my daughter how to splice Dyneema on the dock in front of the Empress last Friday, behind our boat, as he was making up little holders for his halyards - the master teaching the eager young!  I love R2AK for moments like this.  He even remembered the name of the person who taught him to splice, back in Falmouth, UK, 60-some years ago!).

135D9413-A81D-4137-8205-424B8C1568AC.jpeg

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The sleeper has awoken!

Russell is now up to 5.9 knots.   Everybody else ahead of him is reporting 2 1/2 to 3 knots boat speed.

It does not take much pressure to get a G32 moving!

- Stumbling

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I hope we get a race report from Team Calico...how your row setup was, how Port Townsend treated you, crossing the shipping lanes, how long you rowed....

Dock Rat at 3.1 knots NNW, go verminator!

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9 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

The sleeper has awoken!

Russell is now up to 5.9 knots.   Everybody else ahead of him is reporting 2 1/2 to 3 knots boat speed.

It does not take much pressure to get a G32 moving!

- Stumbling

He'll make up that lost ground by the end of the day. And he's plenty rested up.

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I'm very impressed with Torrent, aka WaterTriber VeteranVoyager. He's kicking  it up the Vancouver Island side of the Georgian Strait on his SUP. He's still got 23 nm to the Narrows, but he's making 3.5 knots which puts him there this evening at the latest, depending on tides. He'll be the first 100% human powered boat to make it that far. 

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

Awesome.  Tell him Jud from Team Calico (Stage 1) said hi!

Alex will have some stories, undoubtedly.  He’s done some serious sailing, of course; I just hope their boat’s ok.

(Fond memories of him teaching my daughter how to splice Dyneema on the dock in front of the Empress last Friday, behind our boat, as he was making up little holders for his halyards - the master teaching the eager young!  I love R2AK for moments like this.  He even remembered the name of the person who taught him to splice, back in Falmouth, UK, 60-some years ago!).

135D9413-A81D-4137-8205-424B8C1568AC.jpeg

I talked to Megan. They do have a problem with their centreboard case but have fixed it. They plan tp push off this evening. Didn’t meet Alex but I’ll be working at the mast tower in a few minutes alongside them and will make a point of meeting him. Interesting people!

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5 hours ago, TheMorgan said:

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.

 

I'd love to see an upgrade to Yellow Brick trackers.

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7 minutes ago, RandyM81 said:

I'd love to see an upgrade to Yellow Brick trackers.

I'm pretty sure they are all 2nd gen Spots, which have a fixed update window of 10 minutes. They are good for about 6 days of 24/7 tracking. YBs have a configurable track interval, but I honestly don't see any reason to go less than 10 minutes. The battery drain goes up with higher frequency updates and seriously, how frequent an update do you need in a 750 mile race?! The R2AK isn't the AC in 50 knot catamarans doing 20 minute heats, after all...

I think the tracking site is pretty good, especially compared to the other Spot tracking site built for the Everglades Challenge.We're all to spoiled from watching our video games any more. So quitcherbitchin' and enjoy the show! :D

 

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Russell at 7 knots. He's going to catch up quite quickly.

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2 hours ago, Norse Horse said:

I hope we get a race report from Team Calico...how your row setup was, how Port Townsend treated you, crossing the shipping lanes, how long you rowed....

Dock Rat at 3.1 knots NNW, go verminator!

I’ve been trying to collect some basic thoughts, so you spurred me to it.
 
We sailed like a girl - almost literally.  Which is to say that, surprisingly to us, our track across was rather similar (but not as straight) to Team SLAG.  We did lose an hour or more trying to figure out how to avoid the “No Go Zone” at the traffic separation inbound/outbound lanes zone turning buoy ‘SA’. Oh well.  I was pleased to see our track compare “favourably” to SLAG because we always imagined our boat points horribly, especially with its old sails.  Sure, it ain’t great, but it ain’t terrible, we now see.  It’s cheap, tough, comfortable, relatively spacious and easy to maintain.  
 
We all, of course, had good weather for the crossing, and probably wouldn’t have gone in winds much over 25 b/c of known boat/gear limitations.  My crew was my 14 year old, a relatively experienced dinghy sailor, but I wanted to keep it a fun learning experience. For nav, we had two cellphones with Navionics (one as backup), plus two USB-charged battery packs - in case we were out overnight. Our goal was to be in before night - achieved!
 
Rowing - very simple (crude!) set up with fixed (not openable) oarlocks that plug into holes (with backing blocks) in cockpit coamings.  12-ish (?) foot carbon fibre oars, generously donated to us. The rowing set up was cobbled together in the last week or two, and I would definitely install proper openable oarlocks/oars that can be more easily removed for next time. Because oarlocks were so snug in the holes, we couldn’t easily remove the oars, and b/c of the cockpit shape, they had to be stored with blades forward.  We didn’t think much of this until, just outside Victoria Harbour, in 15-20+ freshening breeze, we put the rail in the water - normally not a problem!  However, b/c the oars were so low down, and blades pointed forward, the blade on the leeward rail caught the water, vibrating like crazy - and we were terrified it would snap off just before our victory row down the Inner Harbour!  Which would’ve sucked and been embarrassing:-). So - change the rowing set up for next time.  
 
We (fortunately) didn’t end up rowing other than to/from start/finish line.  We seemed to have either enough wind, enough favourable current, or a combination of both (or enough wind to offset an opposing current) to permit us to not have to row.  Thankfully!  (We had very weird favourable current about halfway across, with plenty of swell; sails are up and slatting/slapping away in the swell, but we were doing 3.5 knots!  I.e., it looked like low or no-wind  rowable conditions, what with slatting sails, but we were moving, and on the right direction!)  Again, though, I’d improve the rowing system if going north.  (We’re also crazily brainstorming a pedal drive, but not sure how realistic that would be.)
 
Right when entering Victoria Harbour, under full sail, a cruise ship shook us to the core with a massive horn - we had no prior indication it was leaving!  Tacked around and bided our time sailing back and forth in front of the breakwater, impatiently waiting for massive cruise ship to get its way on - while cautiously eyeing the leeway we were making toward the breakwater. I’m proud of how calmly my kid steered and tacked as we finally had a clear shot into the harbour astern of the ship. We rode the wind and flood tide in, exhilarated, perhaps around 1800.  Sailed as far as permitted, dropped the sails, and had an easy row to the Empress, cheered and gawked at (by water taxi passengers/tourists), exhilarated!  Arrived 1900-ish, 14 hours later.  Phew!
 
Ahead of Team Buckeye (Hurley 17), but behind Team Reliance (Balboa 20, competitive sailors, I think), and Team B4B2 (whose Bayliner was better in the earlier-in-the-day light airs and is easier to row).  I paid off Alex and my bet with Guinness at the pub! :-)
 
Ship traffic:  other than the all-you-can-eat-buffet Alaska cruise ship behemoth, we (thankfully) only encountered one or two ships.  The one I remember most was outbound Puget Sound, and was relatively close, but never a “threat”.  Really glad ships were a non-issue. 
 
Port Townsend was fantastic!  From the fabulous NWMC folks, the Ruckus, to the locals, dockside gawkers (a guy from the Portland, OR Cal 20 fleet stopped by to marvel at our totally modified running rigging set up), and dockside walkers (Steve from Team Fly, maybe R2AK 2017, who I met last year in Comox while cruising, who
stopped by to say hi, and Chris from Team Simplicity, a few years back,
who I also met last summer while cruising, on Hornby, who saw me on the dock in Friday Harbour before delivering the boat down to PT and lent me a solar charger for my phone/nav system with a smile and “see you in Victoria!”.  Splicing lessons from B4B2’s Alex - detailed above.  Great stuff.
 
Overall, a fantastic experience.  Getting down and back was for us a major logistical challenge, three full on weekends to cover 250 miles, but all part of the adventure!  And we learned just how leaky our keel bolts really are :-)
 
A few pics: getting the boat ready at the dock in Point Hudson Marina, Port Townsend; 0.0 knots and 4.5 nm to go to Victoria, dying to get in, fighting tide (we almost bailed on Victoria for the day and headed down-current to Oak Bay instead - glad we didn’t!); the kid bundled up and sailing the last few hours in 15-20+ kt gusts to Victoria.  Excellent!

B344B513-F62D-44A6-9011-1EC1E1704E59.jpeg

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F1F808D6-734A-430E-9CB2-A6E902FCE03D.jpeg

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Those tracker speeds must be very unreliable; Russel have had 4-5+kn on the leader since he start again . but he was 30nm behind and now is 28nm - just 2nm gain...

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I've used Spot a lot over the last 7 or 8  years. All the tracker does is measure the distance between the current and most recent check in point and the time differences between them and calculates distance/time. Consider if the tracking interval were one hour to make the math easy: If you're sailing a circuitous path between two points a mile apart at 10 knots SOG and it takes an hour to do it, all the tracker will see is that you went a mile in one hour and therefore your speed is 1 knot. This is particularly noticeable when going upwind and tacking every 10-20 minutes. Compared to a 40 board where you see SOG on the tracker, Spot instead shows you VMG. 

I've seen it with my own tracks is if I have to heave-to for a few minutes to tend to something on the boat, tying in a reef for instance, the speed for that section on the tracker shows a tremendous drop in velocity. Therefore I don't suggest paying too much attention to a single data point and trying to infer very much about the instant situation. 

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30 minutes ago, SeaGul said:

Those tracker speeds must be very unreliable; Russel have had 4-5+kn on the leader since he start again . but he was 30nm behind and now is 28nm - just 2nm gain...

My rough calcs make it about 8 hours to run down Wild Card in a straight line tail chase if Incognito is making double Wild Card's 3.5 nm/h, given a 28 nm starting advantage.  Since there is no such thing as straight lines, and conditions may vary for both, I'd guess longer.

 

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The PT has been tacking all day - lets say at 90 degree angles where the lead boat has been for the most part going in a straight line.  So you would need to subtract 30% of Russell's SOG to get an approximate VMG equivalent - thus he hasn't made up any ground really.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, alymatt said:

The PT has been tacking all day - lets say at 90 degree angles where the lead boat has been for the most part going in a straight line.  So you would need to subtract 30% of Russell's SOG to get an approximate VMG equivalent - thus he hasn't made up any ground really.

 

 

The other boats are tacking too. Only recently have they gotten to more open water. 

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Apropos of nothing really, I’m quite intrigued by Team Liteboat - by the boat, I mean.  Never knew much about them. Saw it at the dock in Victoria - had no idea they were going all the way (“in that thing?!” my outdated mind said).  Extremely small inside, especially for two people.

But they’re doing quite well - well above the Narrows now.  Those guys rock!  C’est fantastique! :-)

For where I live in the Salish Sea, I can now totally see the appeal of habing one for warm season sailing/rowing.  Super easy to keep on a mooring, to trailer out in winter, etc.  And obviously very capable boats!  (I hate to ask what they cost.). Love the concept.  I want one as my weekender/daysailor/maybe one day adventure ride for R2AK (an open Hobie cat is out of the question!)

B729A6D3-F743-4600-98A1-29AACCA89D62.jpeg

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13 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Apropos of nothing really, I’m quite intrigued by Team Liteboat - by the boat, I mean.  Never knew much about them. Saw it at the dock in Victoria - had no idea they were going all the way (“in that thing?!” my outdated mind said).  Extremely small inside, especially for two people.

But they’re doing quite well - well above the Narrows now.  Those guys rock!  C’est fantastique! :-)

For where I live in the Salish Sea, I can now totally see the appeal of habing one for warm season sailing/rowing.  Super easy to keep on a mooring, to trailer out in winter, etc.  And obviously very capable boats!  (I hate to ask what they cost.). Love the concept.  I want one as my weekender/daysailor/maybe one day adventure ride for R2AK (an open Hobie cat is out of the question!)

B729A6D3-F743-4600-98A1-29AACCA89D62.jpeg

Not so different from the Seascape 18 that went a few years ago is it?

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41 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Apropos of nothing really, I’m quite intrigued by Team Liteboat - by the boat, I mean.  Never knew much about them. Saw it at the dock in Victoria - had no idea they were going all the way (“in that thing?!” my outdated mind said).  Extremely small inside, especially for two people.

But they’re doing quite well - well above the Narrows now.  Those guys rock!  C’est fantastique! :-)

For where I live in the Salish Sea, I can now totally see the appeal of habing one for warm season sailing/rowing.  Super easy to keep on a mooring, to trailer out in winter, etc.  And obviously very capable boats!  (I hate to ask what they cost.). Love the concept.  I want one as my weekender/daysailor/maybe one day adventure ride for R2AK (an open Hobie cat is out of the question!)

B729A6D3-F743-4600-98A1-29AACCA89D62.jpeg

The pricing is on Liteboat’s web site. 25,000 Euros ex France. A very cool boat. I want one too!

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Those boys on the SC27 are crushing it. Extending!

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2 minutes ago, ASP said:

Those boys on the SC27 are crushing it. Extending!

I reckon there is a lot of trapeze riding going on right about now.  That has to be a huge help on a boat like an SC27, upwind, in breeze.  If you can keep from falling/getting washed off in the waves.  

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4 minutes ago, Roleur said:

I reckon there is a lot of trapeze riding going on right about now.  That has to be a huge help on a boat like an SC27, upwind, in breeze.  If you can keep from falling/getting washed off in the waves.  

still shouldn't be quicker than an F28 or Olson 30 or Melges 32

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1 minute ago, ASP said:

still shouldn't be quicker than an F28 or Olson 30 or Melges 32

Definitely not.  I'm thinking more about motivation.  When you are winning a race you shouldn't be winning, every little detail starts to matter.  My sense is they are "trying" a lot harder today than they were on Day 1.  

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As much cabin in the Liteboat as this Melges 32! :(

melges-32-melx-audi-19725100110467677057705357684548x.jpg

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They are. PT has only gained abut a mile (per leader board) on them in over an hour but things may be changing.

The wind appears to be shifting more to the west and will build in strength slightly near Vancouver Island. It appears that PT will sail up between Alert Bay and Port McNeill. The ebb current strength is decreasing but past Port McNeill over the shoal it can be pretty strong. The channel gets narrower so more tacking. Don't know if it is sunny there but perhaps a slight shore breeze angle improvement near land.

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1 hour ago, bistros said:

My rough calcs make it about 8 hours to run down Wild Card in a straight line tail chase if Incognito is making double Wild Card's 3.5 nm/h, given a 28 nm starting advantage.  Since there is no such thing as straight lines, and conditions may vary for both, I'd guess longer.

Longer..... And as much as I would like Russell to win, by the time he catches Wild Card, he will need another pit stop.... He will always be behind the eight ball in this tortoise and hare scenario and I congratulate him for hanging in there for so long. I will also be delighted to be proved wrong.

i was expecting "The Girls" and "Blueflash" to be well away by now, but they have both made big mistakes.

i also think that the quality and efficiency of the human propulsion installation is key in a light weather race like this. Having 2 girls wobbling about off the stern in a lightweight boat like a Melges 32 can't be good for boat speed, especially in a slop.

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5 minutes ago, Sailor John said:

They are. PT has only gained abut a mile (per leader board) on them in over an hour but things may be changing.

The wind appears to be shifting more to the west and will build in strength slightly near Vancouver Island. It appears that PT will sail up between Alert Bay and Port McNeill. The ebb current strength is decreasing but past Port McNeill over the shoal it can be pretty strong. The channel gets narrower so more tacking. Don't know if it is sunny there but perhaps a slight shore breeze angle improvement near land.

It can be good sailing up past Alert Bay and Sointula but the breeze there tends to spread out past Malcolm Island as you get into the open sea and turn north.   And the weeds can be everywhere.   And the currents can reverse there once again. 

I kind of liked the move up through Blackfish Sound.  Never sailed that route, but it looks like a nice geographic option.

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You are allowed to use traps in R2AK?  So no ISAF regs then - I guess it truly is anything goes. 

I hadn't really thought about it before, but would explain how the  Marstrom 32 qualified a few R2AKs ago.  No PFDs or any other safety equipment required?

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Back yesterday about the time when Russell was going to put in for the night I mentioned in my post #1036 that the flood was abut to end and the ebb start, plus a bit more wind ahead and then a lull until about noon today and that is basically what happened. It was a long day yesterday but if he could have somehow muscled a tad more strength to just go a bit further then rest up until like he did today one would have be further ahead. It's really easy sitting here with the Internet where one can check currents, winds, and forecasts ... how to they do it in the R2AK? Is "flight following" allowed or is that considered support?

Given the current situation it appears the Alert Bay route will help shave some time off the leaders at the cost of more tacking work.

Edit: I've got a lot of work to do and I'm not getting anything done!

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Interesting route Russell is taking. I wonder if he's planning a quick nap at Port McNeil, and then leaving at night with a good breeze?

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14 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

You are allowed to use traps in R2AK?  So no ISAF regs then - I guess it truly is anything goes. 

I hadn't really thought about it before, but would explain how the  Marstrom 32 qualified a few R2AKs ago.  No PFDs or any other safety equipment required?

I would think Canadian Coast Guard regs are like US, in that PFDs must be carried. Other safety gear probably required by the event.

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35 minutes ago, Sidecar said:

Longer..... And as much as I would like Russell to win, by the time he catches Wild Card, he will need another pit stop.... He will always be behind the eight ball in this tortoise and hare scenario and I congratulate him for hanging in there for so long. I will also be delighted to be proved wrong.

i was expecting "The Girls" and "Blueflash" to be well away by now, but they have both made big mistakes.

i also think that the quality and efficiency of the human propulsion installation is key in a light weather race like this. Having 2 girls wobbling about off the stern in a lightweight boat like a Melges 32 can't be good for boat speed, especially in a slop.

I agree Rob.  Perhaps part of Russell's calculus is that the crewed boats can't operate 24/7 forever in a low wind - high human propulsion race.  It is not a question of if rather when they will run their resources dry.  Russell's big effort in preparation this year was to engage Rick Willoughby to help him increase efficiency and performance of his propellor drive unit - by all reports he's done just that.  He's incorporated a lot of the things we talked about last year in the post mortem - shaft drive, belts etc.

Experience may come into play as well.  Russell has safely done this route during the race on Incognito and also cruising on Jzerro.

I'm not certain of people making "big" mistakes, but I do think the big multihulls and weapons like the M32 just don't have the same advantages in lighter winds.  All those bodies are heavy and moving the big hulls is a lot of work when the wind is non-existent.

It'll be interesting to watch.     

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1 minute ago, bistros said:

I agree Rob.  Perhaps part of Russell's calculus is that the crewed boats can't operate 24/7 forever in a low wind - high human propulsion race.  It is not a question of if rather when they will run their resources dry.  Russell's big effort in preparation this year was to engage Rick Willoughby to help him increase efficiency and performance of his propellor drive unit - by all reports he's done just that.  He's incorporated a lot of the things we talked about last year in the post mortem - shaft drive, belts etc.

Experience may come into play as well.  Russell has safely done this route during the race on Incognito and also cruising on Jzerro.

I'm not certain of people making "big" mistakes, but I do think the big multihulls and weapons like the M32 just don't have the same advantages in lighter winds.  All those bodies are heavy and moving the big hulls is a lot of work when the wind is non-existent.

It'll be interesting to watch.     

the m32 was a weapon in light air. Any bit of breeze where it could build a whisper of apparently it would fly a hull and get the hell out of dodge

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40 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

You are allowed to use traps in R2AK?  So no ISAF regs then - I guess it truly is anything goes. 

I hadn't really thought about it before, but would explain how the  Marstrom 32 qualified a few R2AKs ago.  No PFDs or any other safety equipment required?

see here: https://r2ak.com/equipment-specs/

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In the past update Russell got killed (distance-wise). There must be some really light wind or a serious back eddy, or something as SOG really dropped.

Left Shift re Blackfish Sound: I think that must be one of the main Inside Passage routes as it gets a lot of traffic, from tugs towing barges to cruise ships. I don't have pleasant memories going through there - seems there has always been something. On the other hand, going the Alert Bay route which is narrow, went through in low-level fog, the kind when you look up and can almost see blue sky type, and a cruise ship passed me in the narrow southern part. That was scary. A cruise ship target on radar sometimes doesn't show up a whole lot different from some other traffic.

Uh-Oh ... the tide has turned in Alert Bay. Russell is going to get hammered! In the past 2-hours there hasn't been any distance gained on Wild Card or FFSLG. This is going to get ugly.

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I don't know what y'all thinking but given the remainder of the course, the forecast, and respective crews, I'll take the F28 (trimaran). 

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46 minutes ago, RKoch said:

I would think Canadian Coast Guard regs are like US, in that PFDs must be carried. Other safety gear probably required by the event.

Equipment required for R2AK. There is a safety inspection of every boat in Port Townsend before everybody leave.

https://r2ak.com/equipment-specs/

 

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Nice video above. Told my wife I'm gonna sign her up for the girls boat next year. 

PT SOG has picked up to 4.7 kts and is abeam of Alert Bay so shouldn't take long to get past the worst of it, not that the next couple miles past Malcom Island is easy. The good news is the wind on the Vancouver Island side will be stronger than where the leaders are so there is hope for PT.

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16 minutes ago, Sailor John said:

In the past update Russell got killed (distance-wise). There must be some really light wind or a serious back eddy, or something as SOG really dropped.

Left Shift re Blackfish Sound: I think that must be one of the main Inside Passage routes as it gets a lot of traffic, from tugs towing barges to cruise ships. I don't have pleasant memories going through there - seems there has always been something. On the other hand, going the Alert Bay route which is narrow, went through in low-level fog, the kind when you look up and can almost see blue sky type, and a cruise ship passed me in the narrow southern part. That was scary. A cruise ship target on radar sometimes doesn't show up a whole lot different from some other traffic.

Uh-Oh ... the tide has turned in Alert Bay. Russell is going to get hammered! In the past 2-hours there hasn't been any distance gained on Wild Card or FFSLG. This is going to get ugly.

Been past Alert Bay quite a few times, heading to Port Hardy and/or Cape Scott.  Usually quite pleasant right there, all the way up to the end of Malcolm.   Then less so out in the open.  More wind to LOTS more wind; less wind to NO wind.  Just not my favorite place, feels odd somehow.   And when the current turns by Alert Bay, its a struggle.  We've gone right around the town front to catch the eddy several times...Hope Russel can get there. 

But way ahead of the Nahwitti Bar.  Best part of this race is that it doesn't go there.

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14 minutes ago, ASP said:

the m32 was a weapon in light air. Any bit of breeze where it could build a whisper of apparently it would fly a hull and get the hell out of dodge

You are right of course, but confusing the Marstrom 32 cat with the Melges 32 monohull yacht.

i reckon the Melges 32 is missing some basic boat speed somehow, their track is OK, apart from a couple of holes they managed to sail into, which others missed. Bizarre that they can't keep up with an SC27, even if they are trapezing... And they are not the first ones to do it. Foundation Jungle Kitty trapezed in 2016? there may be others.

@bistros i have been on the inside of the design loop on Russell's new pedal drive and will be staying with Rick Willoughby for a couple of days next week...

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RKoch,

Yes we have mandatory safety equipment requirements in Canada.

But they are not enforced by the Coast Guard. They have no authority.

The agency responsible is the police. Local, provincial and federal.

Up to $1200 Canadian per person for non-compliance.

$200 for no PFD or lifejacket alone, depending on the situation.

It's all on public record so Google it if interested.

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9 minutes ago, Sidecar said:

You are right of course, but confusing the Marstrom 32 cat with the Melges 32 monohull yacht.

i reckon the Melges 32 is missing some basic boat speed somehow, their track is OK, apart from a couple of holes they managed to sail into, which others missed. Bizarre that they can't keep up with an SC27, even if they are trapezing... And they are not the first ones to do it. Foundation Jungle Kitty trapezed in 2016? there may be others.

@bistros i have been on the inside of the design loop on Russell's new pedal drive and will be staying with Rick Willoughby for a couple of days next week...

The results from Swiftsure give an additional data point, SLAG was almost 5 hours behind the top J105 on ELAPSED time. Look in the Cape Flattery results  

http://www.swiftsure.org/results/swiftsure-2018-results/

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3 minutes ago, Sidecar said:

You are right of course, but confusing the Marstrom 32 cat with the Melges 32 monohull yacht.

i reckon the Melges 32 is missing some basic boat speed somehow, their track is OK, apart from a couple of holes they managed to sail into, which others missed. Bizarre that they can't keep up with an SC27, even if they are trapezing... And they are not the first ones to do it. Foundation Jungle Kitty trapezed in 2016? there may be others.

@bistros i have been on the inside of the design loop on Russell's new pedal drive and will be staying with Rick Willoughby for a couple of days next week...

The shared discussions and information about pedal drives earlier in this topic were tremendous. It's clear that Russell's new drive is working really well, so I hope that Rick will be feeling good about his help in influencing it's design. And we can assume so is the unit that the Wild Card's are using, which was the one that the Burd's used in their win last year. Once again we are seeing that the human propulsion part of this race can be a game changer.

And the other factor that's being demonstrated yet again is the ability to make progress under sail in light winds. As mentioned above, the Mad Dog's in the Marstrom 32 cat seemed to be able to make something of nothing in light airs with their big jib. It is on of Russell's strengths too. The video of him zooming past team Global last year clearly demonstrated how well his boat sails in light airs.

All that being said, it doesn't look like Russell will be able to catch the leaders again today before he stops for the night. I kind of suspect that he won't be seeing them again, although really it depends so much on how the weather plays out.

So what's the thoughts on the best route to take up to Bella Bella this year?

cheers, Andrew

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Completely impressed by the SC27 and how they are making that boat go.  The difference between the SC and Olson and the Melges is perhaps that the Melges is just too overloaded.  It's a boat that likes to slide along in light stuff and break loose in the heavy, but it's performance curve is based on keeping it all pretty light.  2-3 extra people, extra gear, food and water, two pedal stations all add up to a lot of extra weight that push its SA/D numbers back into the ordinary range.   

They might not be having as much fun, but they would be ahead of the game if they had gone with a smaller team. 

(And if they hadn't tried the Saturna end-around.)

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Cool video above. We leave on Sunday from Silva Bay to Port Harvey. Would like to have been up there now. The B4B2 boat, a Bayliner, or US Yacht 18. I was about to say something earlier, but assumed they would have noticed they can take on water, in choppy conditions, and with a bit of load on board. Up high in the CB trunk as I recall. Had a customer almost sink one back in the eighties. Hope they get it fixed.

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5 hours ago, D Wayne G said:

I talked to Megan. They do have a problem with their centreboard case but have fixed it. They plan tp push off this evening. Didn’t meet Alex but I’ll be working at the mast tower in a few minutes alongside them and will make a point of meeting him. Interesting people!

Here is the latest entry in the B4B2 blog http://berrimilla.com/wordpress/thumb-twiddling-in-the-tropical-north/ -

"Real Medicinal Compound in a pretend Irish bar in Nanaimo while the rest of the fleet seems to be parked. We came in to lift the boat and hang her in the slings for an hour while we transmogrify the centreboard system but it ain’t going to happen easily and not a showstopper so onwards with the tide very early tomorrow. Lots of small mods to the mighty Bobbles as a result of experience so far and she rocks. My hands haven’t rowed 60 odd miles for a long time and incipiently blistered so giving them lots of TLC while I can. Rowing through Dodd Narrows was interesting. The tide tables need a PhD in babelspeak to interpret and we were about an hour adrift. Examiner permitting, we’ll try 24/7 for a day or 2 to catch up and do some experimentation with reality. Meantime, assume we’re hove to for another 15 hours or so and cross ‘em please. Bobbles looking tiny on the marina in the photo. Updates if and when…"

It needs some experience to interpret.  Real Medicinal Compound = alcohol.  Transmogrify = alter.  Bobbles is the nickname they have given to B4B2. babelspeak is complicated wording.  The Examiner is the general weather and sea conditions .  If you have a long time to spare, dive into the two circumnavigation blogs which can be found on the same page - gobsmacking!

I am pretty sure they will not win, but I am also pretty sure that they will get to Ketchikan and then complete the delivery to Nome.

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1 hour ago, Sidecar said:

You are right of course, but confusing the Marstrom 32 cat with the Melges 32 monohull yacht.

i reckon the Melges 32 is missing some basic boat speed somehow, their track is OK, apart from a couple of holes they managed to sail into, which others missed. Bizarre that they can't keep up with an SC27, even if they are trapezing... And they are not the first ones to do it. Foundation Jungle Kitty trapezed in 2016? there may be others.

@bistros i have been on the inside of the design loop on Russell's new pedal drive and will be staying with Rick Willoughby for a couple of days next week...

The Marstrom 32 is a beast, they recently lapped Jamestown RI (NYYC Annual Regatta) in just over an hour  - for reference  the IRC 72 Maxi Proteus did it in 1:51.

I think your point on the Melges 32 is correct unfortunately.  We could regularly get the Melges going over 2 knots just rocking it with no sails up, and that boat should fly in light air. I am not sure they have gone and done some of the optimization they could have done outside of the class rules for sailing in the light air beating and reaching for R2AK as I have sailed the Melges in distance races where we carried a laminate masthead genoa off the pole (with a pole strop) and then a very tight reaching A0 (see photo). Even with the large amount of crew they should be able to get the back end up and flying in light air if you built the right specialized sails.... 

With regard to the G32 - I did much of the rigging and all the sails for most of the 12 original boats in '91, these are screamers.  I am really happy to see one back out sailing after all these years... Now if we could just get the Gougeon light air rocket Adrenalin (wood F40) to do it .... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQpTkLm6T3U

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 9.08.43 PM.png

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i agree.... And any sailboat in R2AK which isn't flying a big masthead to bowsprit light weather genoa, like Russell and Mad Dog/ Randy Miller is missing a big trick. Forget the ratings, they don't count in this race......

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56 minutes ago, Sidecar said:

i agree.... And any sailboat in R2AK which isn't flying a big masthead to bowsprit light weather genoa, like Russell and Mad Dog/ Randy Miller is missing a big trick. Forget the ratings, they don't count in this race......

I've made several big light air headsails (call them screachers or jib tops, I use the latter) for no-rating events. Dimension/Polyant's Code Zero line (CZ) is ideal cloth....also has the bonus of being really inexpensive and surprisingly durable. Works well for stay sails, too.

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54 minutes ago, DHFiend said:

The Marstrom 32 is a beast, they recently lapped Jamestown RI (NYYC Annual Regatta) in just over an hour  - for reference  the IRC 72 Maxi Proteus did it in 1:51.

I think your point on the Melges 32 is correct unfortunately.  We could regularly get the Melges going over 2 knots just rocking it with no sails up, and that boat should fly in light air. I am not sure they have gone and done some of the optimization they could have done outside of the class rules for sailing in the light air beating and reaching for R2AK as I have sailed the Melges in distance races where we carried a laminate masthead genoa off the pole (with a pole strop) and then a very tight reaching A0 (see photo). Even with the large amount of crew they should be able to get the back end up and flying in light air if you built the right specialized sails.... 

With regard to the G32 - I did much of the rigging and all the sails for most of the 12 original boats in '91, these are screamers.  I am really happy to see one back out sailing after all these years... Now if we could just get the Gougeon light air rocket Adrenalin (wood F40) to do it .... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQpTkLm6T3U

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 9.08.43 PM.png

Adrenalin?  Jesus......

actually, any of the formula 40’s would be amazing.  And frightening.  And really cool.

why did they give them up?

I’ve got a few flying drifters that are excessively powerful.  I may need smaller ones in anything over 2-3 knots- even reaching-  we were crossing Haro on a mid reach in 3-5 knots with white sails (main and blade)which was a bit pokey, so I put up the ~ 165 % and we were over at  20 degrees doing a bit better than 8 knots.  Wild.

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The Gougeon's built some amazing boats, that is for sure. I'm struck that the F40 looks very 'current' in a lot of ways, and one might argue that the G32 bow strategy is what many current flat out boats have come to adopt too.

I just looked up the specs on the SC27, Olson 30 and Melges 32 as I'm not at all familiar with any of them. They all three seem cut from a similar cloth, just getting bigger, and heavier, as you progress up. All 2-3+ x the weight of the G32 though. I had wondered about the crew weight of the Mel 32, but in the Wiki entry for the boat it's noted that there is a *maximum* crew weight because heavier crews do better (as rail meat I presume). Agree about the transom too, I remember Dad telling a story 50 years ago about racing their GP14 downwind in light airs. Mum went forward to do something and all of a sudden they started gaining because they lifted the transom. So they tried to both nonchalantly move forward. I suspect they could be dragging the stern based on one of their videos that says they're sleeping under the cockpit. And with the pedal drives and peddlers as well.

It seems that regardless of the boat the R2AK checklist now must include: pedal drive, light air headsail, extra reef points (and maybe back-up oars for non solo boats).

And duly noting the info about the CZ cloth in case I ever get to the luxurious position of being able to consider something like that.

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1 hour ago, DHFiend said:

The Marstrom 32 is a beast, they recently lapped Jamestown RI (NYYC Annual Regatta) in just over an hour  - for reference  the IRC 72 Maxi Proteus did it in 1:51.

I think your point on the Melges 32 is correct unfortunately.  We could regularly get the Melges going over 2 knots just rocking it with no sails up, and that boat should fly in light air. I am not sure they have gone and done some of the optimization they could have done outside of the class rules for sailing in the light air beating and reaching for R2AK as I have sailed the Melges in distance races where we carried a laminate masthead genoa off the pole (with a pole strop) and then a very tight reaching A0 (see photo). Even with the large amount of crew they should be able to get the back end up and flying in light air if you built the right specialized sails.... 

With regard to the G32 - I did much of the rigging and all the sails for most of the 12 original boats in '91, these are screamers.  I am really happy to see one back out sailing after all these years... Now if we could just get the Gougeon light air rocket Adrenalin (wood F40) to do it .... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQpTkLm6T3U

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 9.08.43 PM.png

Adrenaline is for sale in Thailand right now.

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17 minutes ago, Banjo5 said:

The Gougeon's built some amazing boats, that is for sure. I'm struck that the F40 looks very 'current' in a lot of ways, and one might argue that the G32 bow strategy is what many current flat out boats have come to adopt too.

I just looked up the specs on the SC27, Olson 30 and Melges 32 as I'm not at all familiar with any of them. They all three seem cut from a similar cloth, just getting bigger, and heavier, as you progress up. All 2-3+ x the weight of the G32 though. I had wondered about the crew weight of the Mel 32, but in the Wiki entry for the boat it's noted that there is a *maximum* crew weight because heavier crews do better (as rail meat I presume). Agree about the transom too, I remember Dad telling a story 50 years ago about racing their GP14 downwind in light airs. Mum went forward to do something and all of a sudden they started gaining because they lifted the transom. So they tried to both nonchalantly move forward. I suspect they could be dragging the stern based on one of their videos that says they're sleeping under the cockpit. And with the pedal drives and peddlers as well.

It seems that regardless of the boat the R2AK checklist now must include: pedal drive, light air headsail, extra reef points (and maybe back-up oars for non solo boats).

And duly noting the info about the CZ cloth in case I ever get to the luxurious position of being able to consider something like that.

 You should get in touch with Don at Yager Sails- he makes a really good case for nylon for the drifting flyingsails, and they work for us....

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Amati said:

 You should get in touch with Don at Yager Sails- he makes a really good case for nylon for the drifting flyingsails, and they work for us....

 

 

Nylon is good if it's really bouncy and sloppy. But if you have any intent of carrying it close-hauled, it stretches badly out of shape in not very much wind. 

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28 minutes ago, D Wayne G said:

Adrenaline is for sale in Thailand right now.

 

22 minutes ago, Amati said:

 You should get in touch with Don at Yager Sails- he makes a really good case for nylon for the drifting flyingsails, and they work for us....

 

 

Yup Adrenalin is for sale 110 Aus, restored in a box, new sails.  Shipping to any seaport included!

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5 minutes ago, RKoch said:

Nylon is good if it's really bouncy and sloppy. But if you have any intent of carrying it close-hauled, it stretches badly out of shape in not very much wind. 

Well, if it’s a drifter........?

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Once again, Russel's SPOT Tracker has failed to check in.

Two hours out of date this time...

Suppose it'll be off all night again?

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36 minutes ago, Amati said:

Well, if it’s a drifter........?

A drifter good for 0-2 close-hauled. The CZ cloth is the same price, and good 0-8 apparent. 

I made the headsail in this video from CZ cloth. 1.9oz/yd.

 

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20 minutes ago, BarfBag said:

Once again, Russel's SPOT Tracker has failed to check in.

Two hours out of date this time...

Refresh your browser once in awhile - every hour or two:

port_mcneil.jpg.ec09bba660d5f5872d693f5534d53912.jpg

 

Meanwhile, Wildcard is charging out into Queen Charlotte Strait.  Three monohulls leading the fleet.

queen_charlotte_strait.thumb.png.98b018a6722521df38993d92b3738976.png

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How cool would it be if Widcard (Craigslist boat) won AND took the buyback? Twenty grand right there!

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No buy-back this year. But winning it in that boat would be amazing. If you look close, they have an old reaching strut as a sprit. Not a big bucks entry.

 

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1 hour ago, Banjo5 said:

......It seems that regardless of the boat the R2AK checklist now must include: pedal drive, light air headsail, extra reef points (and maybe back-up oars for non solo boats).

And duly noting the info about the CZ cloth in case I ever get to the luxurious position of being able to consider something like that.

it could be any drive, but it needs to be efficient and placed in a good position on the boat, not hanging 5 ft off the stern. To this end, i reckon it is easier to fit a good HP system to a multi than a mono. Also, i think the broader multi platform helps in sloppy becalmed joggle, which you invariably get somewhere along the way in R2AK.

As for light CZ headsails, I had a Code Zero on my Beneteau 27.7 which i carried across a 6 knot tide in north Brittany some years ago in zero TWS, a complete glass out, but i was still doing over 6 knots boat speed and was heeled 12 to15 degrees, fully powered up. the locals motored over to look, they couldn't believe it. Point is in R2AK, tide wind will almost always be on the nose, so it means you will be beating a lot of the time in a glass out, so you need something like CZ cloth... If the tide wind is behind, you need a proper kite and should be in the shallows/back eddy somewhere..... or anchored and resting.

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Code Zero

Code Zero Laminates

Initially developed for offshore racing but gaining popularity in club and buoy racing. Code Zero’s are similar to asymmetric spinnakers but are flatter in shape, performing like a light air genoa. Recognizing that conventional spinnaker fabrics have insufficient stretch resistance to work in these conditions, DIMENSION-POLYANT developed this dedicated lightweight laminate line to match the application. The Code Zero line is unmatched in strength to weight in use. The original Code Zero fabric from DIMENSION-POLYANT continues to offer options for off-wind needs to both the offshore racer and the performance orientated cruiser.

• Aramid warp insert
• 50x50 taffeta
• Technora® Black X-PLY® 

Code Zero: Productinfo (PDF Document 440 KB)


 

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ProaSailor,

I had refreshed my browser, all the other boats were showing a current time stamp, just Russel's was two hours old.

My auto refresh works just fine without the need to manually refresh, I did anyway, a few times, and it just hung.

Then, after three hours, it updated.

Fickle

No one else noticed?

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At 21.20 - The leaders are 37nm in front of Russel that seem just to take a rest - so he will not move for som hrs - leaders doing 2-3kn so it can be near 50nm when he start moving again. We must rely on the F28 that is stealth now - but should be close to the leaders. More reaching soon could make the F28 going...

 

See there talk about weight - and light wind sailing. Agree the Melges are heavy - Russel perfect almost - but one more - and going all the time  would been better I guess. The tris - max 3 people in this light stuff.  Wright has moved abit ....

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I’m starting to think they should have launched the race 2 weeks ago, closer to 2017 timing... 

Watching this light airs crawlfest is like watching a 24hr boxing match where the two protagonists are exhausted and realistically no one is winning regardless of whoever is ahead on points.  I have the utmost respect for the boats who are pushing it against all odds, currents, heat, and exhaustion, but it is rather pyrrhic!  

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58 minutes ago, bacarat said:

No buy-back this year. But winning it in that boat would be amazing. If you look close, they have an old reaching strut as a sprit. Not a big bucks entry.

 

Not a big bucks entry for sure, but that pole a carbon fiber sym pole from a C&C37XL(?) I believe. I think the design brief on the black kite they have flying off it was for 'fast and scary big'. If they get favorable winds for using that big kite and trap, maybe 130TWA and 15knts? Something too deep for the tri to leg out on and too light for the heavy melges to step up in, I wouldn't count those crazy fuckers out yet. Unfortunately AFAIK they didn't end up with a code zero or any real reacher so as they turn the corner it could become a sufferfest  

 

Send it Wild Card!

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By the way, doing the math, we're 3 days 10hrs in and the leaders have covered approx 255nm since Victoria (taking pretty straightlines between key points along the track), with another 315nm to go, or approx 45% of the way there.  It is a record slow race indeed!

As far as I can tell, the forecast remains light through to early Sunday at least.  EC forecast for Central Coast from McInnes Island to Pine Island (where leaders are right now) is SW 5-15kts through Thursday, light Friday becoming 5-15kts in the afternoon, light again Saturday increasing to 10-20kts.  S Hecate Str is better near-term - 10-20kts SE-SW but then variable 5-15kts Friday and Saturday.  And N Hecate / Dixon Entrace are similar 5-15kts next few days, until Sunday when it fills in southerly 15-25kts (hooray!).  Given how overstated the forecasts have been, subtract at least 5kts for the average conditions in the day.

Has anyone noticed EC rarely ever forecasts "light winds"...

Sounds like boats might want to go outside to Bella Bella based on the above, but will be interesting to see what they do in practice.  Hecate in the light is very sloppy and hard to pedal/row and trim sails in...

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So...looking to the back of the pack...

Did Dockrat clear US customs when he went 'ashore' on San Juan island?

If so, he'll need to 're-enter' Canada too.  I suppose if he has a Nexus card, he could have just called it in...

Inquiring minds want to know (cuz it'd be bad to piss off US Customs, especially as a participant in the R2AK) 

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If they get SW around 5-15 - the f28 can go rather fast..... Melges too ...

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If the breeze kicks up tonight, I hope Russell is rarin' to go. Would like to see him get back in it.

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14 hours ago, bistros said:

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).

When I last used them, it was a "feature" that they would shut down after 24 hours.  They didn't want to consume battery power and satellite bandwidth for a tracker that someone forgot to turn off.  Any halfway decent embedded device will feature a watchdog timer to reset it if it doesn't detect correct operation, which is concept you're describing.

8 hours ago, MisterMoon said:

I've used Spot a lot over the last 7 or 8  years. All the tracker does is measure the distance between the current and most recent check in point and the time differences between them and calculates distance/time. Consider if the tracking interval were one hour to make the math easy: If you're sailing a circuitous path between two points a mile apart at 10 knots SOG and it takes an hour to do it, all the tracker will see is that you went a mile in one hour and therefore your speed is 1 knot. This is particularly noticeable when going upwind and tacking every 10-20 minutes. Compared to a 40 board where you see SOG on the tracker, Spot instead shows you VMG. 

I've seen it with my own tracks is if I have to heave-to for a few minutes to tend to something on the boat, tying in a reef for instance, the speed for that section on the tracker shows a tremendous drop in velocity. Therefore I don't suggest paying too much attention to a single data point and trying to infer very much about the instant situation. 

I'm surprised at how primitive the trackers appear to be.  Perhaps their power budget is so low that it contains what they can do?

For SOG vs VMG, consider a boat taking even beats upwind.  If the two points are the start and end of a beat, the speed will be the SOG.  But if the two points are shifted to be in the middle of successive beats, still the same time apart from the same track, now they are VMG.  If one has an 80° tack angle, that's 8 kt vs 6.12 kts.  Suppose a boat is taking 20 minutes beats with multiple trackers reporting every 20 minutes, but not in phase.  One at :00, :05:, :10, etc.  The tracker synced to the start of a beat will consistently report 8 kts, and the one in the middle of beat 6.1 kts, and the others somewhere in between.  Even though they are all in the same boat!

A GPS can generate a far more precise measurement of instant velocity using doppler.  That could be bundled with the position to allow boat speed to be compared.

For a vessel travelling in a straight line for a while, a position and accurate velocity might well allow a more accurate estimation of current position than an increased update rate, while using much less bandwidth.  A dynamic update rate, based on how much the boat's actual course has deviated from the course estimated from the last update, would be much more efficient that simply updating a simple position every 2.5 minutes instead of every 10.  For a beating boat, what you'd want is for the tracker to send an update every time the boat tacks.

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45 minutes ago, RKoch said:

If the breeze kicks up tonight, I hope Russell is rarin' to go. Would like to see him get back in it.

Russell doesn't like hitting deadheads at night... Also depends on what the tide is doing....... Meanwhile, "The Girls" are grinding down Wild Card......

Actually they have just hit the front.......

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