southerncross

VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

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Thanks Varan, worth rereading (had also liked Damian Foxall's description of the squid boats at night). Lots in that piece.

No luck here either getting updates on SHKS and VS11.

Did find this about Stealth Mode in the Clipper (48 hrs!) and noted they also rig protective nets in front of the helm.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 9, Day 23: Stealth mode for final stretch

by Clipper Race 15 Apr 07:12 EST15 April 2018

yysw199047.jpg
 

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Dropping stealth this leg from the rules was a good move. Interesting to review Mark Turner's comments, a year and a half ago,  about changing the rules for this edition, to get around the pod racing problem last time.

1 "encourage that risk-taking with amending the point system" --working

2. "consider the use of AIS as the radar system that teams have that effectually used out on the  track real time " --They didn't change this, AFAIK. Doesn't seem to have hurt.

3. stealth mode. --Didn't seem to be much use in past legs, and dropping it seemed no loss this leg. 

4. "don't provide the regular six-hour updates of very detailed weather data just block it out for a period and let the navigators do their own judgments as to know what's going to happen and the way sailings always been" --hadn't heard if this was tried. Pretty radical.

5. "ice gates: let's see if we can push that boundary a little bit further wider and and leave a bit more room to move it for the navigators" --kinda worked, 

 

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Xabi from the airport, a few days ago:

Quote

I am writing to you from the Sao Paulo airport. I have not been home since before the 'Volvo', since September more or less and, although I will not have all the time I would like to be with the family, less gives a stone and more is worth something than nothing, that the truth is that there is a desire and more after a stage that, I admit, since the one in the Southern Ocean in 2005 (which was also very hard and in some boats that were premiered in that edition and had many problems) this has undoubtedly been the most hard.

Man, the 2005 was my first round the world, everything was new to me and you did not know very well what to expect until you lived it. Despite this, it is true that this time it was very windy and for many days in a row ... More wind, very big waves and cold, cold, cold, the Great South did not give you a break!

more at this translated link to the El País Sports site

think he might be remembering the hunger in 2005 . . . .

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Vestas vs Scallwag :  The smart money is on Scally......

Maybe VOR should throw in an extra point for the winner of the delivery crew race. Spice it up for us fans who believe in following leg 7 until the last boat is in Itajai and give the delivery crew a little extra incentive.

 

 

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My money is on Vestas. They had 1000nm to go on April 11th. My estimate is 8kts over the bottom, its been 4 days, 4*24*8 = 768nm, 1000nm - 768nm = 232nm to go. They said early next week on April 13th, which lines up with my estimate, i.e Monday (tomorrow this time) or probably Tuesday AM. The rig is already in Itajai and the boat probably pretty ready to accept it though the rest of the servicing will be a bit rushed I suspect. I give Scally the nod in the next leg over VS11, though VS11 need a win into Newport and I am cheering for them. Scally have a deep team, deep support network (emotionally and financially) and a boat that can be raced as soon as they do some servicing.

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1 hour ago, samc99us said:

The rig is already in Itajai and the boat probably pretty ready to accept it though the rest of the servicing will be a bit rushed I suspect.

Hopefully, with three guys not doing much a lot of the time (only two reportedly driving and trimming V11) they've managed to do more than twiddle their thumbs, although lack of spare parts, running rigging etc. might limit what they could do. Just hope no core problems for V11 or Scally when they arrive. As Scally has been full on sailing all the time, maybe not much time to service. 

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4 hours ago, stief said:

5. "ice gates: let's see if we can push that boundary a little bit further wider and and leave a bit more room to move it for the navigators" --kinda worked, 

Well it didn't "kinda worked" because the reality is that Bouwe got to the Horn first because he stopped using the ice gate zone, instead sailing early for the coast gybing twice to get around and never looked back.  Well only to cover Donger on the approach to Itajai.

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13 hours ago, stief said:

Thanks Varan, worth rereading (had also liked Damian Foxall's description of the squid boats at night). Lots in that piece.

No luck here either getting updates on SHKS and VS11.

Did find this about Stealth Mode in the Clipper (48 hrs!) and noted they also rig protective nets in front of the helm.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 9, Day 23: Stealth mode for final stretch

by Clipper Race 15 Apr 07:12 EST15 April 2018

yysw199047.jpg
 

hey stief, yeah the 68s used to rig a canvas cover with pockets in front of the wheel, and the 70s have always had the mesh. we put the pockets over the top of our mesh, so we always had access to water bottles, sunblock etc. the 70s are much less protected than the 68s, and they in turn were less protected than the 60s.

the mesh is pretty handy when it’s gnarly :D

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5ad46bd349951_Vestasarrival.png.e1a1364cca0ee6535095071459560940.png

 

Vestas will arrive today !

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38 minutes ago, belin zeneize said:

Update :

Vestas almost there at 7.3 knts updated 3 hours ago

Scallywag 9.9 knts updated 30 minutes ago

Scally vs Vestas.pdf

Thanks belin.

Interesting comparison that. Vestas hung right albeit with benefit of starting right and sooner and so got around the dead zone it seems and motored anyway. Scally with maybe a delivery crew and understandably not not quite agressive enough about going on a easterly tour then got caught in the glue of the middle bit of the  high pressure over the last few days. See weather snapshot I posted above for over the weekend.

Scally now has a north east going north air stream then fading as the high goes east to look forward to, so not great and hope they have enough deisel on board to max VMG to Itajai, albeit uncomfortable at times.

Tough tour all round for the catch ups...deliveries are not just fishing off the back, drinking beer  and having a yarn.

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1 hour ago, charisma94 said:

Jack. Mate... you're now analyzing a motor sailer and a VO65 with delivery crew...

Take a few hours off. :D

I bet on ants crawling up the wall....plus emphasise.

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2 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Really nice to see the boats finally getting.

Now to get the stench of diesel out of the poor beast.

Always a fun game! 

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1 hour ago, Rennmaus said:

From their Facebook page

Many thanks for posting. The franken rig actually looks quite efficient, considering what they had available. And colour coordinated too! Well done guys.

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3 hours ago, ctdriver said:

Why the emergency rudder on Vestas?  Did they drop the two permanent rudders and use the emergency to reduce drag?

Watt & Sea hydro generator.

Edit: Sorry forss. I see you replied.

Edited by Sailbydate
Why not?

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7 hours ago, southerncross said:

Reflective. I grabbed these screen shots from previous footage.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 4.37.42 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 4.56.42 PM.png

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12 minutes ago, Sailbydate said:

Reflective. I grabbed these screen shots from previous footage.

Too bad the film quit right before that monster broke.

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1 minute ago, southerncross said:

Too bad the film quit right before that monster broke.

From memory, I don't think it did, Sox. Pretty sure I'd have grabbed that frame too had it done so. Those greybeards are so fascinating aren't they? But not so much when you're under one, I'd imagine.

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1 hour ago, Rennmaus said:

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, the movie:
 

 

All the help that they got in the Falklands from Falkland Islanders and Foxall keeps using the M word in this movie clip and in print. The man in a CUNT.

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3 hours ago, littlechay said:

All the help that they got in the Falklands from Falkland Islanders and Foxall keeps using the M word in this movie clip and in print. The man in a CUNT.

chay that might be Irish v English swipe perhaps?? Regardless it's like being invited for dinner and leaving behind a unflushed turd.

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6 hours ago, Retired Sailor said:

Many thanks for posting. The franken rig actually looks quite efficient, considering what they had available. And colour coordinated too! Well done guys.

Their timing of 9 days indicates they did around 8k average and where they had a reasonable period punching head on under motor a lot slower than that. So my guess it is probably a double digit rig. To go to the effort  of dragging the hydro out seems to support that number too, albeit that was also probably to take load of the engine to max propulsion HP.

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3 hours ago, littlechay said:

All the help that they got in the Falklands from Falkland Islanders and Foxall keeps using the M word in this movie clip and in print. The man in a CUNT.

I didn’t hear what you did!? Can you explain. 

DF is a commensurate sailor and well very spoken yachtsman, having sailed with him, I can assure you he’s not that!!

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28 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

chay that might be Irish v English swipe perhaps?? Regardless it's like being invited for dinner and leaving behind a unflushed turd.

I wondered that or more likely despite the time he spent in the islands he just doesn't get the sensitivity of the issue. 

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8 minutes ago, mad said:

I didn’t hear what you did!? Can you explain. 

DF is a commensurate sailor and well very spoken yachtsman, having sailed with him, I can assure you he’s not that!!

I never commented on his sailing skills. But obviously doesn't get the politics of the Falklands at all. Or perhaps he does and he is making a statement in which case he should leave politics to the politicians.. He said "Las Malvinas" with some emphasis like he was trying to make a point. As Jack said very much like leaving an unflushed turd! 

Maybe I am being oversensitive but my life has been made quite difficult by the neigbours from hell. 

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4 hours ago, mad said:

I didn’t hear what you did!? Can you explain. 

DF is a commensurate sailor and well very spoken yachtsman, having sailed with him, I can assure you he’s not that!!

3 hours ago, littlechay said:

I never commented on his sailing skills. But obviously doesn't get the politics of the Falklands at all. Or perhaps he does and he is making a statement in which case he should leave politics to the politicians.. He said "Las Malvinas" with some emphasis like he was trying to make a point. As Jack said very much like leaving an unflushed turd! 

Maybe I am being oversensitive but my life has been made quite difficult by the neigbours from hell. 

it felt to me like he had been reminded to say las malvinas by the PR folk, and that maybe explains the emphasis?

he did only say it once, right at the start, and said Falkland Islands loads more.

 

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12 hours ago, forss said:

Interesting that they deployed the hydrogenerator. That implies they were travelling on sail alone at some points. Motoring and recovering electricity via the hydrogenerator instead of just taking it off the alternator is a desperately inefficient trick.

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4 hours ago, littlechay said:

He said "Las Malvinas" with some emphasis like he was trying to make a point.

I would hesitate to to ascribe any deep motive to his use of "Las Malvinas", but considering he is Irish, he may harbour a different view of British rule of foreign parts than many others do.  But like I said,  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume he was more likely just being ham fisted about it.

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4 hours ago, littlechay said:

I never commented on his sailing skills. But obviously doesn't get the politics of the Falklands at all. Or perhaps he does and he is making a statement in which case he should leave politics to the politicians.. He said "Las Malvinas" with some emphasis like he was trying to make a point. As Jack said very much like leaving an unflushed turd! 

Maybe I am being oversensitive but my life has been made quite difficult by the neigbours from hell. 

 

41 minutes ago, audiopixie said:

it felt to me like he had been reminded to say las malvinas by the PR folk, and that maybe explains the emphasis?

he did only say it once, right at the start, and said Falkland Islands loads more.

 

The PR folk and RO spokespeople wouldn't have a fuckin clue as evidenced by their insensitivity before this, namely treating Hong Kong and People's Republic of China as seperate countries.

The clash between Argentina and Britain over sovereign rights has hardly been a secret for the last 200 years and in particular since the Falklands war. Any exposure to the locals views for more than 5 minutes would leave one under no misunderstanding unless they were deaf. They are afterall the ones who provided the assistance.

It is probably a long bow to draw that DF was making a political statement, as in all probability it was ignorance. 

Howeverit is interesting to note that when the Euro Community voted to have Argentina withdraw from the Falklands during the war, Ireland dissented.

If you are into conspiracies then the RO might be interested in keeping Argentina happy for future editions for an unimpeded route and possible stopover options as in the past. There is also the fact that half the RO's money comes from a Chinese company and at present China supports Argentina's claim not Britain's to the Falklands.

So maybe everyone was instructed when mentioning place names to put a halfway bet on each?

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23 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Interesting that they deployed the hydrogenerator. That implies they were travelling on sail alone at some points. Motoring and recovering electricity via the hydrogenerator instead of just taking it off the alternator is a desperately inefficient trick.

It may be inefficient but it is employed to provide more HP for propulsion when battery state of charge is low. This is on account that at full tilt both alternators can suck up nearly half the total rated horsepower, which also happens to be around the max torque available for propulsion at normal motoring RPM.

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8 hours ago, littlechay said:

All the help that they got in the Falklands from Falkland Islanders and Foxall keeps using the M word in this movie clip and in print. The man in a CUNT.

Yeah, makes sense.  An island off the coast of Argentina, in another hemisphere, belongs to England.

Go the Argies!!!!!   We need a case of whiskey and a few exocets to sort the cunts out!

 

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He actually said dirty layers at a cost of Dirty Dorris per layer.

If Dee did the voice over there would be no misunderstanding plus SX would replay that recording over and over imagining Dee was in her school teacher gear.

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

 

If you are into conspiracies then the RO might be interested in keeping Argentina happy for future editions for an unimpeded route and possible stopover options as in the past. There is also the fact that half the RO's money comes from a Chinese company and at present China supports Argentina's claim not Britain's to the Falklands.

So maybe everyone was instructed when mentioning place names to put a halfway bet on each?

You could be onto something with that. Buenos Aires used to be a stopover in the old beer race up until the war when it was moved to Punta del Este which is in no way equipped to deal with a stopover. BA could be a good stopover ..... and the race up the channel to the YCA would be entertaining. 

Argentina have probably made representations on the use of the name, they usually do;  which is the pretty much the only reason we make representations. Argentina recently threatened to refuse filming right to National Geographic because they used the term Falkland Islands. 

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Britain should fuck-off out of the Southern Hemisphere.  We have more exocets and they still work.

Go the Argies!

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19 minutes ago, random said:

Britain should fuck-off out of the Southern Hemisphere.  We have more exocets and they still work.

Go the Argies!

And what do you suppose the Falkland Islanders might have to say about it? I suggest you fuck off and mind your own damn business.

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4 minutes ago, Sailbydate said:

And what do you suppose the Falkland Islanders might have to say about it? I suggest you fuck off and mind your own damn business.

Im still backing the Argies.  I'd like to see what happened if Argentina claimed the Shetlands.

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17 minutes ago, random said:

Im still backing the Argies.  I'd like to see what happened if Argentina claimed the Shetlands.

They'd get their sorry arses whipped again, just like they did in 1982.

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England has an excellent track record of invasions.

BRITAIN_2388153b.jpg

21 of the 22 countries that have not been invaded by Britain

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Lucky there's only Scally to come, then we can leave this thread to the children.

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Can posters please not quote random in their responses (and your responses just wind him up)? I have him on all ignore options.  Thanks.

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I don't know what the fuck the CIA have against the Argies, they arm every other country.  Let's give them some serious kit and see how crazy this shit can get!

86843d626de7c5a10b20feabc0894f0e--batman

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47 minutes ago, despacio avenue said:

Can posters please not quote random in their responses (and your responses just wind him up)? I have him on all ignore options.  Thanks.

Agreed. I persisted for some time waiting for any half decent post but sadly, he's an unintelligent troll degrading an otherwise interesting conversation. I now have him/her on ignore and would appreciate others not to rise to the bait ....

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8 minutes ago, Sea Breeze 74 said:

Agreed. I persisted for some time waiting for any half decent post but sadly, he's an unintelligent troll degrading an otherwise interesting conversation. I now have him/her on ignore and would appreciate others not to rise to the bait ....

There was a brief period when he was posting some funny meme's.

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a blink at the wrong time and you will have missed it...

but it did happen...

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9 hours ago, audiopixie said:

it felt to me like he had been reminded to say las malvinas by the PR folk, and that maybe explains the emphasis?

he did only say it once, right at the start, and said Falkland Islands loads more.

 

maybe it has something to do with them being here is south america, although brasil is not argentina and we, in general, don't care much (or anything at all) about the falklands/malvinas shit.

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On 4/16/2018 at 5:05 AM, jack_sparrow said:

I bet on ants crawling up the wall....plus emphasise.

 

6 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

That must have been when I was in a coma.

Perhaps you were busy betting on ants racing a sloth. Ref. perhaps my favorite up thread drift.

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One last comment before Leg 7 officially ends with Scally's arrival. It's a shame that after life with all the boats throughout the leg, and the damage and personal 'stuff' (John Fisher's tragic loss excluded) that occurred, we still don't have a worthwhile video on VOR website or VOR YouTube that actually shows us all (or most of) the things the Boatyard fixed that didn't necessarily get covered during the leg. Plus more coverage of crews ashore in Itajai.

Particularly, I'd like to see some explanation for Vestas11thHour rig failure, i.e. a problem like Dee had, but not seen in time, or something else. Maybe nobody knows or isn't saying.  Mapfre and Akzonobel did a good job of documenting their overcoming of issues with live video, possibly provided by OBRs.

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Retired, it has been nice not having your musings since the race started.

The Vestas rig is on the bottom of the ocean.  Go fetch it and then you might find out.  

 

 

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19 hours ago, Trovão said:

maybe it has something to do with them being here is south america, although brasil is not argentina and we, in general, don't care much (or anything at all) about the falklands/malvinas shit.

I love your country to bits..nearly stayed for ever..but I must say your ambilivancy towards anything potentialy serious is quite understandable, appreciated and even quite infectious I must admit.

For instance the other week while your ex President was hiding out from the cops to avoid a jail court order and being hunted down, the entire country it seems was in uproar because the weather girl on national TV fronted up wearing trousers and a turtle neck that night.

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10 hours ago, Retired Sailor said:

Particularly, I'd like to see some explanation for Vestas11thHour rig failure,

 

7 hours ago, DtM said:

The Vestas rig is on the bottom of the ocean.  Go fetch it and then you might find out.  

DtM I have discovered a new form of Yoga for accepting with grace and total humility the most moronic of posters here, without first responding in frustration

You first crouch nude on all fours in a grassy field devoid of any man made influences like power lines, fertiliser out of a bag or even a plough hauled by a combustion engine powered tractor (bunch of Amish dudes wearing funny hats hauling one by hand is OK)....you are at this stage expecting some sort of zen cloud to envelope you.

Unfortunately that is all a complete waste of fuckin time and you are now a really weird nude guy who is tresspassing in someone's paddock.

So you then devise the the most complicated Morning Mary going, drink one or more, albeit it is only 7.00am.. then continue bringing the useless fuckers to account.

I love Yoga and all things natural sponsored by Smirnoff.

Maryland-Bloody-Mary_final.jpg

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Another perspective of the race and leg from TTOP 'rookie' 

Quote

Francesca Clapcich, 30 from Trieste Italy, is sailing aboard Turn the Tide on Plastic for every leg of this Volvo Ocean Race (VOR).

Clapcich has been sailing dinghies since she was a teenager, first in the Laser Radial, in which she competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She then followed this up by moving over to the 49er FX, in which class she won the 2015 World Championship and went on to compete in Rio 2016, finishing fifth.

“Obviously I come from a performance background, during in port races, I am the mainsheet trimmer, with very much a speed focus, talking to the driver about the numbers and then offshore we all do a bit of everything,” Clapcich says.

“I had done very little offshore sailing prior to the VOR and I know having done all seven legs so far I have improved a lot. It’s really nice to sail with a full team, I am used to sailing with smaller crews, everyone is coming from different experience and I have learned a lot from sailors who have been more offshore focused.

“After seven legs, as a group we have improved a lot, our leader board results are not showing that yet, but on the water, we have gained a lot of respect.

“We have been working hard on making sure our shift handovers are better on mode and conditions, as we are trying to push the boat as hard as possible.

Maybe future Volvo races will be done in a boat with some foils, maybe a little less wet that the boat we have now.

‘Will I want to do another VOR? I don’t really know. I am 30 now and to have a family would be good. I did a lot of years of Olympic campaigns, it absorbs so much energy and it’s so self-focused. The VOR is an amazing experience, but it too absorbs a lot of energy and it’s a huge effort for your partner or your family who are waiting for you. During the last leg a lot of people at home were worried for us.

“But on the other side, I’d like to come back, having learned so much, to race with more confidence, but I don’t know if I want to put family through the worry of me being out there for more than 20 days each month. So, we will see.

clipped from http://www.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/volvo-ocean-race/volvo-ocean-race-rookie-perspective-3-francesca-clapcich/

 

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^^^ Thanks stief...everyone forgets there is a lot of Francesca Clapcich's in this edition..maybe another ingredient which makes it so much better than the last one, but still difficult to explain why.

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Extended versions of the mast track failure.  Shows the frustration of the crew and the difficulties they encountered.  Some of the best footage I've seen.

 

 

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5 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

I love your country to bits..nearly stayed for ever..but I must say your ambilivancy towards anything potentialy serious is quite understandable, appreciated and even quite infectious I must admit.

For instance the other week while your ex President was hiding out from the cops to avoid a jail court order and being hunted down, the entire country it seems was in uproar because the weather girl on national TV fronted up wearing trousers and a turtle neck that night.

Well, yeah, the idiosyncracies(sp?) of Brasil and its people.

About the criminal that used to seat on the presidential chair, it was all a big farce, a smoke screen for his idiotic fanatical followers/supporters to believe he is some kind of deying/revolutionary type who only surrenders under his own terms. What those lying pieces of shit really wanted to happen was confrontation with the police and blood on the streets, maybe even a corpse so they could create a “martir”. Well, it didn’t go their way because the judge and the federal police were smarter than that. I really hope the conviction of the former president is a very important step for Brasil to become a place where the law is the same for everyone, no matter what.

Oh, and sorry for the thread hyjack – the paragraph above probably belongs to PA.

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46 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Extended versions of the mast track failure.  Shows the frustration of the crew and the difficulties they encountered.  Some of the best footage I've seen.

Agree. So much there still to think about thanks to the subtitles. Had missed this part with the machine trans earlier:

Ñeti: "I’m not going to take the headboard car out of the mast track because if we broach, . . . 

5ad76ac9e5fa2_ScreenShot2018-04-18at9_51_18AM.png.984828ee78ca94f9d0efa0fe4125c63c.png

. . .  we can break the mast very easily."

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3 minutes ago, stief said:

Ñeti: "I’m not going to take the headboard car out of the mast track because if we broach, . . . 

That stood out.

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12 hours ago, DtM said:

Retired, it has been nice not having your musings since the race started.

Glad you enjoyed the silence, I only come here to get information lacking elsewhere. As for the mast failure, I'd hoped for a more insightful comment than yours which,  though true, was not profound. Glad Scally's nearly there.

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NEW YORK TIMES

After a Man Was Lost at Sea, the Volvo Ocean Race Scrutinizes Safety Measures

By CHRIS MUSELER APRIL 18, 2018

merlin_136073118_593cc10e-4876-4ceb-9b99

John Fisher, a safety officer on the Sun Hung Kai-Scallywag in the Volvo Ocean Race, was lost at sea after going overboard last month. CreditJeremie Lecaudey - Volvo Ocean Race/EPA, via Shutterstock 

Libby Greenhalgh was wedged into the navigator’s seat below decks on the Sun Hung Kai-Scallywag when the helmsman shouted repeatedly, “Man overboard.”

It was before dawn on March 26, and 35-to-45-knot westerly winds had been violently thrashing the competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race for weeks, since they left Auckland, New Zealand, and headed for Itajaí, Brazil, in the seventh leg of the round-the-world event.

The helmsman hit the red man-overboard button at the wheel, which records the boat’s GPS location. But in those frantic moments, the button was not depressed for the compulsory four seconds it takes to record the spot.

Greenhalgh instinctually locked in the boat’s coordinates — 1,400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn in the Southern Ocean — into her navigation software, which shows the boat’s track on a digital chart. That was roughly the position where the crew’s safety officer, John Fisher, 47, was knocked over the side of the boat.

Rapidly calculating in her head how Fisher would drift in the frothy, cold peaks of the waves, Greenhalgh drew a search pattern on her screen. Fisher was miles behind by the time the boat was under control and pounding back upwind into the waves.

Greenhalgh directed the crew, shouting into the intercom. Four and a half hours later, with no sign of Fisher or the inflatable buoy and life ring the crew deployed, she radioed Race Control in Alicante, Spain, that they were suspending their search.

Making sense of the tragedy has been difficult for even these elite, professional sailors. The Volvo crews are drilled relentlessly on recovery of a person overboard, and the latest locator beacons are provided to each sailor. Sailors are also given inflatable harnesses with tethers to clip into the boat.

Still, sailors continue to die while racing at sea. Fisher is the second sailor fatality in an ocean race in the past five months. In November, the same stretch of water claimed the life of Simon Speirs, 60, a crew member in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for amateur sailors. In that accident, the clip for Speirs’s safety tether broke and he was washed overboard. He was recovered but had died of apparent drowning and was buried at sea.

Although the risk of going overboard will never be eliminated, race officials and crews said, Fisher’s loss revealed several safety areas to be addressed, including redundancy in new technologies, to help in preventing people from going overboard and in recovering lost crew.

“I’ve seen worse conditions,” David Witt, the skipper of Scallywag, said about the weather during Leg 7 in a recent phone interview. “But never so consistently, so relentlessly, for so long.”

Yachts leaving Auckland, New Zealand, on March 18 to begin the seventh leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. Spanning 7,600 nautical miles, the leg took the competitors through the treacherous Southern Ocean.CreditHannah Peters/Getty Images AsiaPac 

The 7,600-nautical-mile leg, which started March 18, covered the most dangerous stretch of the race, where rapidly changing depressions spin unimpeded in the Southern Ocean between Antarctica and Cape Horn. Winds this year rarely dropped below 30 knots and often exceeded 40, considered gale force.

Two of the seven teams retired during the punishing leg. Vestas 11th Hour Racing arrived in Itajaí on Monday under a makeshift rig after being dismasted past Cape Horn. The Mapfre team, the overall race leader entering the leg, finished fifth after having to anchor off the coast of Chile to repair a mainsail that had ripped in two, and is now second over all, behind Dongfeng.

Scallywag sailed into Puerto Montt, Chile, on April 3, and most of the crew flew home to be with their families. But the team plans to start the next leg, to Newport, R.I., on Sunday.

The loss of the sailor was the second in recent Volvo Ocean Race history. The Dutch sailor Hans Horrevoets went overboard in a North Atlantic gale during the 2005-6 edition. He was about to put on his harness when a wave swept him away at night.

“Nothing’s guaranteed when you are on the water,” Richard Falk, the Royal Yachting Association’s director of training and qualifications, said during an interview last winter regarding the Clipper fatality. “Our take on training is giving as much knowledge and trialing to make better decisions. What can never be done is completely eliminate the risk.”

In the Volvo Ocean Race, crews are given R.Y.A. safety training and inflatable harnesses with single or double tethers. According to the Scallywag team, Fisher had unclipped his tether to move forward from the cockpit when the boat, moving at 20 to 30 knots, surfed down a wave and accidentally jibed. Fisher was thrown overboard, and crew members believe he was knocked unconscious.

For the first time, every Volvo crew member received a Yachtmaster certification from the R.Y.A. And Greenhalgh said that training allowed her team to gain control of the boat and return to the area where Fisher went overboard.

Professional ocean sailors have been criticized for being cavalier and not clipping into the boat or not wearing a harness, as can be seen in onboard images and videos.

In January, Witt and the Scallywag crew were targets of this criticism when the youngest crew member, Alex Gough, 24, fell off the boat during Leg 4 in benign conditions during daylight. He was clearing a sheet while hanging over the side without wearing a harness.

An upset Witt, in a video from onboard after the recovery, said: “You should, one, either be tethered on, or, two, at a minimum, tell the driver what you’re doing so he knows. He didn’t do either of those.”

Hans Horrevoets, a crew member aboard ABN AMRO II, died during the 2005-6 Volvo Ocean Race after being swept overboard. CreditMartin Stockbridge/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 

In a phone interview from Race Control in Alicante, the race director, Phil Lawrence, said: “It’s always the responsibility of the skipper and crew to wear the equipment. We have recommendations, but we can’t enforce it when they are a thousand miles away.”

Greenhalgh, who helped propel Scallywag to a victory in Leg 4, said clipping in all the time was not realistic on almost any offshore boat.

“When you go to move about the boat, you can’t tell me there isn’t a fraction of a second where you’re not clipped in,” she said in a phone interview from her home in England last week.

The conditions the night Fisher was lost were some of the worst she had seen, she said.

“The sea state was the size of mountains,” Greenhalgh said. “You’d ask yourself, ‘Is that an island or a wave?’ ”

Zooming in on digital charts and satellite phone communications with rescue services were a challenge, she said. But it was not communication failures that hindered the search for Fisher. It was that Scallywag’s Automatic Identification System, or A.I.S., was broken.

This edition of the race is the first to provide personal Automatic Identification System beacons for the crews. The system is used on commercial and recreational ships to observe boats on navigation screens to avoid collisions. Personal A.I.S. instantaneously puts a person overboard target on the screens of the ships within several miles of the victim.

For Scallywag, this lifesaving new technology went away when, two days out of Auckland, the boat’s lone A.I.S. antenna at the top of the 100-foot mast was damaged in the strong winds.

“If we had our A.I.S., we would have found him,” Witt said. “I’ve learned that redundancies in this system is an example of change, like a second antenna.”

He added that he believed the race’s safety procedures worked well but that “we waste an awful lot of time and money” on safety equipment that is not as useful as a second antenna would be.

Lawrence, the race director, said the skippers meet at each stopover to review safety procedures and equipment, and investigate accidents. Such a meeting is scheduled for Friday.

“Race procedures can change after each race, even each leg,” he said. “We will take into account new techniques, new technologies.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/18/sports/volvo-ocean-race.html

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