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#401 lydia

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:36 AM

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

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

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

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

#402 lydia

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:49 AM

Qingdao and Geraldton Western Australia vie for lead - 07 January 2012
Qingdao has been holding the lead in Race 7 through the last 24 hours but Geraldton Western Australia is gaining ground on the Chinese entry, despite their spinnaker damage, and now the two yachts, barely 20 miles apart geographically have been able to make contact with each other.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#403 Leka

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:46 AM

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

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

Best leg so far and a few miles to go yet.
Looks like GC have screwed up and went too far north and now have to go higher to get around Palau and then back down to the gate at Sarangani.
They are about 9.2N and the gate looks to be about 5.

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

#404 Potter

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:38 AM

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

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

Best leg so far and a few miles to go yet.
Looks like GC have screwed up and went too far north and now have to go higher to get around Palau and then back down to the gate at Sarangani.
They are about 9.2N and the gate looks to be about 5.

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


+1

#405 Leka

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:52 AM

Happy to be proven wrong.
GC have come screaming down to take back the lead, as I presume they had planned all along.
Seems the skipper knows a thing or 2 about ocean racing and tides. Well done.

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

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

#406 lydia

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:21 AM

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

#407 lydia

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 09:35 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Positions at 1200 UTC, Friday 13 January
Boat - DTF*
1 Gold Coast Australia - 1,483nm
2 Derry-Londonderry - 1,493nm (+10nm DTL**)
3 Qingdao - 1,506nm (+23nm)
4 Singapore - 1,508nm (+25nm)
5 Geraldton Western Australia - 1,513nm (+31nm)
6 New York - 1,564nm (+81nm)
7 De Lage Landen - 1,569nm (+86nm)
8 Visit Finland - 1,630nm (+147nm)
9 Welcome to Yorkshire - 1,640nm (+157nm)
10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital - 1,882nm (+400nm)

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

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website

#408 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:32 AM

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

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

Mistletoe watch is

Sam L - Watch leader - UK (RTW)
James R - Assistant watch leader UK (RTW)
David H - Scottish (RTW)
Brett - Chinese (Leg 5)
Hale (Haa Ley) - Turkish (Leg 5)
and me, Lynne Aus (Leg 5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You put one reef in

One reef out
Reef in
Reef out
The rain is all about
You reassess you course having turned around that's what it's all about
Put the yankee 2 down
Put the yankee 2 up
Ease, grind
Ease, grind

Enough to blow your mind!

Do another radar watch and turn around.

That's what it's all about!

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

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

Summary: happy (knackered) little vegimites

Bye Bye <- good for five languages!

OA

#409 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:35 AM

pics here
http://www.clipperro...iaries?item=932

#410 Leka

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

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

Purple shower cap is in stark contrast to the image we have on the SA Calendar (that I still have not seen here yet)!!!
Pics of that would be good.:P

#411 Leka

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:49 PM

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race 7 Finishing Order (All times UTC):

1. Gold Coast Australia 13/01/2012 21:55
2. Derry-Londonderry 13/01/2012 23:14
3. Geraldton Western Australia 14/01/2012 02:29
4. Qingdao 14/01/2012 03:13
5. Singapore 14/01/2012 03:25
6. De Lage Landen 14/01/2012 09:36
7. New York 14/01/2012 12:24
8. Visit Finland 14/01/2012 20:22
9. Welcome to Yorkshire 15/01/2012 03:22
10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 16/01/2012 15:51

#412 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race 7 Finishing Order (All times UTC):

1. Gold Coast Australia 13/01/2012 21:55
2. Derry-Londonderry 13/01/2012 23:14
3. Geraldton Western Australia 14/01/2012 02:29
4. Qingdao 14/01/2012 03:13
5. Singapore 14/01/2012 03:25
6. De Lage Landen 14/01/2012 09:36
7. New York 14/01/2012 12:24
8. Visit Finland 14/01/2012 20:22
9. Welcome to Yorkshire 15/01/2012 03:22
10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 16/01/2012 15:51



#413 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:01 PM

We came 4th!
8 days motoring not wot I signed up for tho that was disapointing
In Batam with bubbles & steak
Back later!

#414 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:16 AM

Moving on to Singapore on 28th next rave starts 4th have lost a kilo per 1000 nm so far!

#415 gimmee

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race 7 Finishing Order (All times UTC):

1. Gold Coast Australia 13/01/2012 21:55
2. Derry-Londonderry 13/01/2012 23:14
3. Geraldton Western Australia 14/01/2012 02:29
4. Qingdao 14/01/2012 03:13
5. Singapore 14/01/2012 03:25
6. De Lage Landen 14/01/2012 09:36
7. New York 14/01/2012 12:24
8. Visit Finland 14/01/2012 20:22
9. Welcome to Yorkshire 15/01/2012 03:22
10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 16/01/2012 15:51


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

#416 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:00 PM

In Sungapore awesome welcome doing a few tourist things & my sister is here too!

#417 DtM

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:08 PM

Where is Lydia?

Can't stomach the food !!

#418 lydia

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:56 AM

Where is Lydia?

Can't stomach the food !!

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

Of course I am at work paying for it now.
I don't get to go to Qingdoa either thanks to the shift in the Etchell Worlds dates.

#419 DtM

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:00 PM

But you will get to be in beautiful Sydney!!!

#420 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

Am I over squalls country or will we get that all the way to Qingdao?

#421 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:17 AM

Off again tomorrow
The biggest deal of the last leg was squalls- this time we'll be going into it
Only 1 person out of 13 I'm not on the same page with so I'm delighted & looking forward to the next 23 days :)

#422 DtM

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:46 AM

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

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

#423 Leka

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:39 AM

Off again tomorrow
The biggest deal of the last leg was squalls- this time we'll be going into it
Only 1 person out of 13 I'm not on the same page with so I'm delighted & looking forward to the next 23 days :)


Come on Ozee, we need some dirt and gossip.
Did they steal your socks, have bad personal habits, refuse to be on time for watch change...........

Can't all be beer and skittles.

Good luck on a podium finish.

Enjoy every minute.
At least you don't have car parking issues!!Posted Image

#424 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:40 AM

Thanks DtM :)
Leka I got a good boat! Besides drunk 20-30 year olds which is just boring, there doesn't seem to be too much going down, we have lost a few to shoulder surgery this leg & I ended up asking for some Physio for a shoulder too. I hear but not confirmed there are some/1 going as they don't think they'll get any more out of the next few legs which would happen in any race 1/2 way & I have heard some/1 going as they are not happy. Again just heard board having meetings to clear the air... All normal in the middle of something like this plus humans!
Challenges for next leg... Barely any kitework if any; some uncharted waters to avoid; some disputed sovereignties; wind over current at the end of Tawainwith big messy waves with no backs, guess the racing might get slow in favour of no breakages cross everything we want 10 boats out the other end unlike "the professionals" who do ocean racing ;) xxx

#425 greasy al

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:27 AM

Thanks DtM :)
Leka I got a good boat! Besides drunk 20-30 year olds which is just boring, there doesn't seem to be too much going down, we have lost a few to shoulder surgery this leg & I ended up asking for some Physio for a shoulder too. I hear but not confirmed there are some/1 going as they don't think they'll get any more out of the next few legs which would happen in any race 1/2 way & I have heard some/1 going as they are not happy. Again just heard board having meetings to clear the air... All normal in the middle of something like this plus humans!
Challenges for next leg... Barely any kitework if any; some uncharted waters to avoid; some disputed sovereignties; wind over current at the end of Tawainwith big messy waves with no backs, guess the racing might get slow in favour of no breakages cross everything we want 10 boats out the other end unlike "the professionals" who do ocean racing ;) xxx


Hey Ozee

Just looked at the race tracker.

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

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

#426 Potter

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:44 AM

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


'Helicopter to airlift injured crew member from Gold Coast Australia - 18 February 2012
A search and rescue helicopter has been dispatched from Taiwan to airlift an injured crew member from Gold Coast Australia, one of the ten 68-foot yachts competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.

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

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

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

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

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

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

#427 Leka

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:02 PM

Where is the love???

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

#428 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:41 AM

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

#429 DtM

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:44 PM

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

#430 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

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

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

CLIPPER 11-12
QINGDAO STOPOVER

* Spectacular farewell ceremony held in Qingdao
* Drummers and thousands of spectators send off fleet
* Race Committee postpones Race 9 start due to poor visibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

Standings after Race 8 Points
1 Gold Coast Australia 83 points
2 Visit Finland 59 points
3 De Lage Landen 57 points
4 Singapore 46 points
5 New York 44 points
6 Geraldton Western Australia 43 points
7 Derry-Londonderry 40 points
8 Welcome to Yorkshire 39 points
9 Qingdao 35 points
10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 17 points

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

#431 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:52 AM

Issue of the day - heels after 9 weeks of boots - eek!

#432 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:10 PM

CLIPPER 11-12
RACE 9: QINGDAO TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
DAY 1

* Delayed Race 9 underway as Clipper 11-12 fleet races towards
mighty Pacific Ocean
* Le Mans start in improved conditions
* Crews settle back into life at sea after unforgettable stopover
in Qingdao

Race 9 of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race is now in full
swing after a Le Mans start for the ten international teams taking part
in the 6,000-mile journey to Oakland, California. Yesterday the Race
Committee decided to postpone the start due to difficult weather
conditions and poor visibility as fog blanketed the fleet just five
minutes from the start in Qingdao.

After a spectacular visit and farewell ceremony held in China's Olympic
Sailing City, where drummers and thousands of spectators flocked to wish
the teams well, the Race Director instructed the fleet to begin motoring
towards a waypoint 25 miles offshore where it was hoped more favourable
conditions would be found.

Lead skipper, Singapore's Ben Bowley, judged the conditions appropriate
this morning and the race got underway at 0235 UTC (1035 local time)
today.

In a Le Mans start the yachts form up in a straight line with their
mainsails hoisted and their headsails hanked on and ready to go. On each
of the yachts the crew wait aft of the coffee grinder for the start
signal, at which point they race forward to hoist the headsails and trim
them as quickly as possible.

At this stage of the race, more than half way through their 40,000-mile
circumnavigation, the crews are developing into experienced sailors and
rivalry between the teams is fierce. There are still seven more stages
to be contested and Geraldton Western Australia's crew have proved that
a couple of good results can really make a difference when the
competition is this tight. At the start of Race 7 they were ninth, now
beginning Race 9 they are sixth overall and within a whisker of
overtaking New York for fifth place.

As the crew settle into life at sea again, on board the Western
Australia entry, skipper Juan Coezter and his team started well and
trimmed quickly to give themselves a slight advantage.

Juan reports that despite the challenging weather they will face on this
leg, he and his team are looking once more to capitalise on their
inspiring pace of the last two races.

"This afternoon the wind has filled in and Ben did an amazing job of
lining us all up and organizing the count down."

As he and his crew enjoy an exhilarating power reach Juan adds, "It's
going to be a drag race to the next virtual mark."

The yachts have maintained their line-abreast formation spread across 20
miles from north east to south west with very little between them in
terms of distance to finish. But, as Gold Coast Australia's skipper,
Richard Hewson, remarks, that finish line is a long way away.

The Tasmanian yachtsman was up the rig repairing a snapped topping lift
as the race started and the team found themselves ten lengths behind as
Race 9 got underway.

"There is still 5,600 miles to go in the race so ten boat lengths is
quite insignificant and already we have caught up to the majority of the
fleet and racing hard to get into the lead before we round the south
western edge of Japan and begin making our way across the North Pacific
Ocean," he comments.

"Due to the distance of this race and the conditions we may face, this
race is more about preservation and endurance than boat speed. You need
to finish the race to win it so we will be focusing on safety while
still keeping the best course and speed towards the finish line that we
can safely maintain," Richard adds.

On board Derry-Londonderry, skipper Mark Light, says, "Here we are
again, back on the water, this time heading south easterly out of the
Yellow Sea. Thank you to all who contributed to a fantastic stopover in
Qingdao. It was a spectacular welcome, we experienced superb hospitality
throughout and we were given an equally brilliant send off!

Commenting on tactics for the Le Mans start Mark explains, "Generally
the boat that hoists and trims the quickest will surge forward into
cleaner air and gain the first advantage. We managed to start fairly
well and have already made a couple of places. In these races it is very
important not to lose ground and split with the rest of the fleet in the
first few days and so far so good. Although pretty cold and wet it is
great to be racing again!"

New York skipper, Gareth Glover, agrees, saying "After a great stopover
in Qingdao we were all happy to get racing again but not in the very
cold wind and rain and poor visibility on the start line. It was hard to
make out the start boat and the line and any other yachts that were
around!

"After a few hours motoring south the wind picked up and a Le Mans start
was called. We all made a clear start and are now making ten knots to
the next waypoint with Gold Coast Australia and Visit Finland on our
port side."

New York and Derry-Londonderry are with a group of five teams that are
maintaining a central position within the span of the fleet as they race
south east towards the southern tip of Japan. With them are Welcome to
Yorkshire, Singapore, Visit Finland and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

As the Finnish entry's tactics come into play, skipper, Olly Osborne,
says, "It's good to be racing again and we are making good speeds
towards our waypoint off Japan. The decision to head further offshore
seems to have paid off as we are now into some good breeze and have
hopefully avoided the worst of the fish farms in the shallower water.

"The Le Mans start went very well and proved to be an unusual and
exciting way to start this long race, with the teams each trying to
outhoist each other in the bid to outmanoeuvre the pack. Thoughts on
board are now turning toward the weeks ahead, and the scale of what we
are likely to encounter makes for a slightly pensive mood. But the
conditions are due to improve and we are off to a good start."

Meanwhile, on board Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, skipper Gordon Reid,
says, "After enjoying a truly awesome welcome ceremony including the
skipper's gift of a regal gold cape with a groovy red velvet lining, and
the fabulous hospitality of the people of Qingdao, it was time once more
to step up to the mark, with a fantastic leaving ceremony, including
another outing for the skipper's cape we were waved off to a chorus of
100 drummers and fireworks as we left the marina.

"We made our way to the waypoint in the hope that the visibility would
improve and we could start racing, dodging fish farms, fishing boats and
a whole host of other shipping in the fog as we went. Early this morning
as the fog lifted, we lined up for a Le Mans start and got off the line,
flying in 15 to 20 knots of breeze on a fast reach, quickly topping ten
knots VMG (Velocity Made Good.)"

Eager to gain a place on the podium, Gordon adds, "It's great to be
underway and racing again. We are all looking forward to racing across
the planet's biggest ocean and what I am sure will be the many
challenges that lie ahead. To all of our friends and family back home,
thank you for your continued support and remember, just like we do on
the 'Purple Beastie', keep the faith!"

"This is it, the big one! After a fantastic stay in Qingdao, the Welcome
to Yorkshire team is on its way again, this time to San Francisco Bay,
some 6,000 miles away," enthuses skipper, Rupert Dean.

"We left Qingdao yesterday with happy memories we will treasure forever.
The weather, however, was less kind. Sleet, snow, bitter cold and
terrible visibility dictated the postponement of the start in waters
festooned with ships. Totally the right call, therefore, to motor sail
in the right direction overnight and start the race with the first Le
Mans start of this magnificent round the world yacht race.

With better winds and visibility, the Welcome to Yorkshire team did
themselves good credit in an exciting start. We are now racing, line
abreast with the rest of the fleet on the way to the first waypoint off
Japan, the Saya Misaki light."

With the teams battling to steal a march on their competitors, Rupert
knows there is all to play for.

"Tactically, this first stage is very much a boat speed drag race," he
says. "With fresh reaching conditions, good progress is being made under
full main, staysail and Yankee 1. The crew is adjusting well to the on
board routine and we are racing hard, proudly waving the English flag
for our Welcome to Yorkshire sponsor."

The race across the Pacific looms large in the minds of the people from
all walks of life who are taking part in the Clipper Round the World
Yacht Race. They are all too aware of the isolation and potentially
savage conditions that could be encountered in the vast expanse of the
world's largest ocean.

"I think that many of us are looking at this leg as the biggie; with not
only the most miles but also some of the most challenging conditions we
are likely to face," explains Singapore skipper, Ben Bowley. "It has to
be remembered that when we transited the Southern Ocean, it was at the
start of the Southern Hemisphere summer; whereas with this leg we are
crossing just at the end of the winter.

"Conditions are already a lot colder and this has come as a bit of a
shock having been encamped in a nice warm hotel room for the last two
weeks! Our kettle is rarely off the boil right now and we hope that by
consuming gallons of tea we shall be able to keep our hands and brains
warm enough to keep us one step ahead of the game, oh, and of course out
of the way of hundreds of fishing boats!"

With the team fuelled by all the tea in China and inspired by their
visit to Qingdao, Ben adds, "Qingdao was most definitely the greatest
welcome we have had since race start and for that we would like to thank
all those involved in putting on such a spectacular show. I think that
culturally, too, China has been our most fascinating taste yet of
another nation's rich and diverse peoples and history.

"We have a long way to go yet but with all the boats still essentially
in a line abreast, everyone is pushing hard to get an early advantage.
>From here to the bottom of Japan is looking like being a drag race so
focus must be at it absolute highest to prevent our competitors sneaking
ahead. This is easier said than done in the freezing, foggy and gusty
conditions we are all experiencing presently."

After what can only be described as a rock star reception in Qingdao,
the home port yacht's skipper, Ian Conchie, says, "Heading out into
thick fog off the harbour entrance was a memorable end to what has been
a truly memorable stopover. I cannot thank the people of Qingdao and the
organisers of the stopover enough for their hospitality.

"Whilst we were all disappointed not to have a normal start and give the
spectators a good show, postponing the start was the safe and
seaman-like thing to do as the visibility was so poor. This turned out
to be great for the crew as it gave them a nice gentle re-introduction
to life on board although this morning a few crew members have succumbed
to the dreaded seasickness and cold.

"In the Le Mans start and it looked great to see all the fleet lined up.
We did well getting the sails up quickly but Geraldton Western Australia
managed to get their headsails trimmed a little quicker so gained an
early advantage. Since then we have been duelling with De Lage Landen
and the whole fleet is very close still, heading for the next waypoint
at the edge of Japan."

Meanwhile, on board De Lage Landen, after scoring their first victory in
the race to Qingdao and enjoying the grand celebrations in port, skipper
Stuart Jackson reports that the delay has also given the new joiners in
his crew a chance to settle in to their battle rhythm.

"The farewell from Qingdao proved to be equally as impressive as the
arrival ceremony. With hundreds of drummers and speeches from
dignitaries we slipped lines to fireworks and then disappeared into the
fog! As we motored overnight to regroup for a Le Mans start this morning
it gave the crew a chance to settle into the routine of life on board
before being under race conditions, although not everyone has been
immune to sea sickness, only a few are suffering slightly!

"Having a different style of start was new for all the crew so added
some extra excitement and apprehension to proceedings. We have now been
racing for a couple of hours and all the yachts are making great speed
towards the south of Japan, which we will hopefully reach in a few
days."

As the teams leave behind a memorable stopover and their visiting
friends and family, thoughts are firmly on the race ahead.

Clipper Race Director, Joff Bailey, comments, "This is a notoriously
challenging leg of the race and the crews will be looking forward to
arriving in California. This is one of the toughest and longest stages
of the race. In previous editions the crews have taken quite a pounding
on their Pacific crossing, so they will all be looking forward to the
warm welcome awaiting them in Oakland.

"I am really pleased that 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show will be
hosting the Clipper Race fleet in Jack London Square; it's the perfect
event to showcase our global race fleet."

The fleet is expected to arrive in Oakland in San Francisco Bay between
1 and 7 April. The Race 9 winning team will be presented with the
Strictly Sail Pacific Clipper Cup on the opening day of the show, 12
April.

ENDS

Positions at 1200 UTC, Monday 5 March 2012

Boat DTF*
1 Gold Coast Australia 5,426nm
2 Singapore 5,429nm (+3nm DTL**)
3 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 5,429nm (+3nm)
4 Welcome to Yorkshire 5,429nm (+3nm)
5 Visit Finland 5,429nm (+3nm)
6 Derry-Londonderry 5,429nm (+3nm)
7 New York 5,429nm (+3nm)
8 Geraldton Western Australia 5,430nm (+4nm)
9 Qingdao 5,431nm (+5nm)
10 De Lage Landen 5,432nm (+6nm)

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

Attached Files



#433 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

Starting the 20/20 hindsight...
Huge difference between those going Round The World (RTW) & us "leggers", the RTW's had to be really driven to do it for whatever reason; promised my dad before he died; no other way to go. Those who didn't have that drive ended up getting off between legs 3-5, whereas groundhog day for me was - how many squalls can there be between here & Singapore or if i don't know if I'm helming or hanging on there are only 7 more days of this left before Qingdao!

#434 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:53 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#435 Leka

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:34 AM

Gold Coast still showing the way here.

OA, Hope you have recovered from your sail by now.
We have changed countries so have been away from the screen for a bit.

#436 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:36 PM

Gold Coast still showing the way here.

OA, Hope you have recovered from your sail by now.
We have changed countries so have been away from the screen for a bit.

Cool - like to hear more about that!

#437 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:37 PM

Just getting used to life on land again seem to be busy all the time!
They are pulling into San Fransisco today!

#438 Dixie

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:27 PM

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

#439 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:08 PM

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

Say hi to Qingdao crew for me!

#440 DtM

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 01:48 AM

Hey Ozee,

Unless I have missed it.

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

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

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

daniel

#441 Sailor90

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:03 AM

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

3 Injured as Wave Overtakes Yacht in Round the World Race

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



#442 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:29 AM

Hey Ozee,

Unless I have missed it.

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

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

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

daniel

been slack 7 struggling to get into "normal" life - will start the dailies again if you want
:)
Whats in my report?

#443 DtM

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:18 AM

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

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

d

#444 SW Sailor

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:19 AM

Link

USCG rescues two in Clipper race, remaining two injured continue racing.

#445 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:37 AM

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

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

d

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

We had 13 on the boat so...
Skipper didn't routinely helm unless we couldn't manage the sail changes with only 5, he did stay up with us when it was hairy & basically slept on the floor fully dressed when it was crap weather - described his role as the bus driver so we did the work

1 mother (cooking & sleeping all night)may get called up to give us a hand
1 on helm
1 always in a harness - they went up pole for the shift & in the case of anyone going over we are all able to walk down the freeboard & do the business
1 had cleaning duties
1 had engineering duties



The hardest physical things were
1 squalls from Aus-Singers
2 wind against tide from Singers - Qingdao

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hands peeled, feet peeled, yachtie bottie peeled.

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

#446 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:30 AM

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

You put one reef in
One reef out
Reef in
Reef out
The rain is all about
You reassess you course having turned around
that's what it's all about

Put the yankee 2 down
Put the yankee 2 up
Ease, grind
Ease, grind
Enough to blow your mind!
Do another radar watch and turn around.
That's what it's all about!

Shower cap photo too big to attach!

#447 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:02 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attached Files



#448 LDH

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:12 PM


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

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

d

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

We had 13 on the boat so...
Skipper didn't routinely helm unless we couldn't manage the sail changes with only 5, he did stay up with us when it was hairy & basically slept on the floor fully dressed when it was crap weather - described his role as the bus driver so we did the work

1 mother (cooking & sleeping all night)may get called up to give us a hand
1 on helm
1 always in a harness - they went up pole for the shift & in the case of anyone going over we are all able to walk down the freeboard & do the business
1 had cleaning duties
1 had engineering duties



The hardest physical things were
1 squalls from Aus-Singers
2 wind against tide from Singers - Qingdao

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hands peeled, feet peeled, yachtie bottie peeled.

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


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

So bamboo beats marino? :)




#449 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:02 AM



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

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

d

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

We had 13 on the boat so...
Skipper didn't routinely helm unless we couldn't manage the sail changes with only 5, he did stay up with us when it was hairy & basically slept on the floor fully dressed when it was crap weather - described his role as the bus driver so we did the work

1 mother (cooking & sleeping all night)may get called up to give us a hand
1 on helm
1 always in a harness - they went up pole for the shift & in the case of anyone going over we are all able to walk down the freeboard & do the business
1 had cleaning duties
1 had engineering duties



The hardest physical things were
1 squalls from Aus-Singers
2 wind against tide from Singers - Qingdao

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hands peeled, feet peeled, yachtie bottie peeled.

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


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

So bamboo beats marino? :)

Bamboo beats QuickDry in heat (25-40 degrees C)
Quick Dry & Merino worked for me in the cooler to cold leg (yes I took my wooly knickers!)

#450 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:32 AM

I reckon by the speed of movement the second one must have been Jane - ouch!



#451 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:47 PM

Question I couldn’t answer out there…

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

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

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

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

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

#452 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:49 PM

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



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



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



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

Strictly Sail
Jack London Square, Oakland
12th @ 1530

OCSC
1 Spinnaker Way Berkeley, 94710
12th @ 1900

Strictly Sail
Jack London Square, Oakland
13th @ 1300

Strictly Sail
Jack London Square, Oakland
14th @ 1300

#453 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:32 PM

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

#454 I'moutahere

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:35 PM

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

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

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

#455 Monster Mash

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 10:59 PM

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

Attached Files



#456 DtM

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 11:04 PM

Thanks Ozee fr your thoughts.

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

#457 Leka

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:06 AM

Good points Ozee.
I have another question.
Was it value for money?
One of the things that always amazes me is the cost in money and time that it costs to do RTW.

#458 LDH

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:24 AM

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

#459 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:42 AM

Poor jane has a ruptured spleen - good job it happened as close to shore as it did - she's a really clam lady all the time
http://www.clipperro...e-news?item=600

#460 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:56 AM

Thanks Ozee fr your thoughts.

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

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

#461 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:58 AM

Good points Ozee.
I have another question.
Was it value for money?
One of the things that always amazes me is the cost in money and time that it costs to do RTW.

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

#462 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:04 AM

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

When I got on they were 1/2 way round so all their teething had been worked out plus they had done Southern Ocean. First time it hit me was when an email came around for the RTW women to have a spa session in Indo wheich was quickly opened to all women. I was told I behaved like a RTW as i was on & off other boats & not just socialising with my own crew.
Some were shocked when i went to say goodbye in Qingdao as they thought I was RTW! I'm faaaaaar from a 20yo party animal as we know!
Definate bonds between the RTW & they really accept each other for what they are & what they bring - thats established when you get on - our crew looked forward to new crews as it mixed up the dynamics for the next leg so it wasn't always the same.
Skip only took 2 guys up the front of the boat for a chat once on my entire trip, they were both RTW & both behaved really well afterwards - had differeing opinions about how they wanted to race.

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

#463 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:09 AM

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

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

#464 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:30 AM


Thanks Ozee fr your thoughts.

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

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

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

#465 DaveK

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:39 PM

Really great insight OA!! Thanks for sharing!

#466 DaveK

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:42 PM

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

#467 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:20 PM

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

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about
~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks
~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days
~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

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

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up

#468 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:22 PM

http://www.youtube.com/user/ClipperRTW

#469 I'moutahere

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:59 PM


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

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about
~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks
~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days
~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

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

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up



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

#470 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:46 AM



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

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about
~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks
~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days
~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

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

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up



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

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

#471 I'moutahere

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:15 AM




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

Legs differ; I just went back thru my paperwork I paid about
~ 480 pounds per week for my leg – 10 weeks
~ 100 pounds per day for training (includes the HL gear) – 32 days
~ 750 pounds in insurance I was insured to the hilt

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

RTW would be ~ 39000 pounds all up



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

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


Tweed Heads. Boats up north.

#472 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:09 PM

Pacific Ocean adventures - 05 April 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#473 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:47 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#474 DB Cooper

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:11 AM

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

Yeah, there's always the Virtual Regatta option.

#475 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:25 AM

Rest and recuperation - 11 April 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golden Gate Yacht Club
1 Yacht Road
San Francisco,
CA 94123

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#476 DtM

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:31 PM

Thank you Ozee for your insights.

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

daniel

#477 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:11 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#478 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:27 AM

Thank you Ozee for your insights.

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

daniel

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

One of the first things we did on the way down to Channel Islands on first training sail was divide into watches (creating competition) & have lots of competitions based around safety, (remembering that some head never sailed before) they were things like
• Clip on at the back jack line & you have to race to the bow & back down the other side – if you are not clipped on for cross overs you have to be on your bum
• Knot tying comps – plus even on the race Sir Robin would have a knot for each leg I’m told, probably same ones over & over, so you can do them in the dark underwater etc., he has a policy that if he’s talking to any crew member anywhere he can ask them to do a bowline on the spot
• Getting each other up to the pole & down again
• Walking up & down the free board in MOB drills

The MOB drills in training were insane. Day one it was “So chaps if so & so went over let’s discuss how we’d get her back”.
After that is was relentless… we had a big fender called “Bob”
Taught how to put a sail up – Bob goes over (full drill each time no shortcuts)
Taught how to put a sail down – Bob goes over
Middle of a meal – Bob goes over
F***ked something up – Bob goes over
2nd spinnaker peel ever – Bob goes over
Middle of the night – Bob goes over
Everyone had a go in the different positions as well

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

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

One of our RTW was an ex North Sea Diver who now manages divers – they go out on a ship that has the hyperbaric chamber on it. He had great team work approach that he would call “The way of the Sea”, when we went forward to do something 3rd reef & storm jib for instance no matter how shitty the weather we all stayed until the last person had finished the last tasks & everything was tidied up – this meant there was no one left up the pointy end struggling on their own while others were in the relative comfort of the cockpit.
I think at the end of the day we had done everything together multiple times (not necessarily with your own crew) & were on the same page so when it came to using those techniques when trouble shooting (broken reefing lines/halyards/mainsail battens/yankee sheets/vang) in the crap weather you just stuck to the SOP’s knew it was not going to happen quickly & stuck together.

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

Short answer = yes

#479 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:52 AM

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

RACE 9 - DAY 26 - by Sean Campbell (Qingdao)
We're now 5,500 miles into the Pacific Leg and much will have been written of sailing tails about Storms, Surfing and Slamming. There are however, other challenges that go with life on board a Clipper 68. So, for all those at home who endure the anguish of the early morning alarm call and the trip to the en-suite and overcome obstacles such as “where are my slippers”, “where is that light switch?, “why has he left that toilet seat up again?”, I thought I'd describe the equivalent dash on board...

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

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

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

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

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

Section One – The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

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

Section Two – The Slippery Slope

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

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

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

Sorted, we now have some grip.

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

Section Three – The Moving Bollards

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

Section Four – Mast Foot Hairpin

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

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

Section Five – The Caber

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

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

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

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

Section Six – The Pole Pit

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

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

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

Section Seven – Galley Hairpin

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

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

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

Section Eight – The Heads

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

Everything going well.

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

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

The Run

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

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

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

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

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

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

#480 DtM

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:35 AM

Again, thank you. That was very insightful.

daniel

#481 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 03:53 AM

Race to Panama starts tomorrow - 13 April 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#482 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:15 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#483 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:13 AM



#484 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:17 PM

RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA
DAY 2

* Crews settle into first night at sea as a few are felled by sea sickness
* Spinnakers flying in steady north westerly breeze
* Teams test inshore and offshore options


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Finland, furthest to the east, is currently leading Welcome to Yorkshire, De Lage Landen and Qingdao who are progressively further west, with just six miles between them at this very early stage of what is likely to be a highly tactical race to Panama.
Rupert Dean, leading the English entry which is currently in second place, says, "Welcome to Yorkshire had a great start, timing the run to the line perfectly. All 17 crew played important roles in this, with Chris Leivers (helm) and Jim Stamp (mainsheet) putting great input into the tactical decision making. With winds gusting up to 30 knots apparent, our 'Pink Lady' was well and truly powered up, flying full main, staysail and Yankee2. Racing, therefore, required slick teamwork as we tacked swiftly onto port, then starboard on approaching the northern leg of the Golden Gate Bridge. From there the challenge was to clear the tower at Mile Rocks without tacking again, which was pretty close, but fully achieved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

Positions at 1200 UTC, Sunday 15 April 2012

Boat DTF*
1 Visit Finland 3,011nm
2 Welcome to Yorkshire 3,014nm (+4nm DTL**)
3 De Lage Landen 3,015nm (+5nm)
4 Qingdao 3,016nm (+6nm)
5 Gold Coast Australia 3,020nm (+9nm)
6 Singapore 3,020nm (+9nm)
7 New York 3,022nm (+11nm)
8 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 3,027nm (+16nm)
9 Derry-Londonderry 3,028nm (+17nm)
10 Geraldton Western Australia 3,037nm (+26nm)

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

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#485 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:16 PM

CLIPPER 11-12
RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA
DAY 3

* Visit Finland plays early Stealth Mode card
* Teams enjoy best racing conditions for more than two months
* Close racing as fleet remains tightly packed


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

Positions at 0900 UTC, Monday 16 April 2012

Boat DTF*
1 De Lage Landen 2,831nm
2 Welcome to Yorkshire 2,831nm (+1nm DTL**)
3 Qingdao 2,839nm (+8nm)
4 Singapore 2,839nm (+8nm)
5 Gold Coast Australia 2,841nm (+10nm)
6 New York 2,842nm (+11nm)
7 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 2,869nm (+38nm)
8 Derry-Londonderry 2,871nm (+40nm)
9 Geraldton Western Australia 2,873nm (+42nm)
10 Visit Finland 2,914nm (+83nm) Stealth Mode, position at 0000 16 April

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#486 DtM

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:18 PM

Can't sleep hey Ozee !!!!! :rolleyes:

#487 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:54 PM

Can't sleep hey Ozee !!!!! :rolleyes:

Have to check the race viewer before i go to work! Hee hee

#488 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:12 PM

I'm making a photobook of my leg & found a photo of me in a squall in the New Year!

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#489 DtM

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:45 AM

Nice look.

With the hair net on you can also work in the galley and not offend oh&s !!!

#490 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:18 AM



#491 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:24 AM

That song makes me miss my Qingdao brothers & sisters on board alot :(

Anyone know what it was before I get teary?

#492 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:10 PM

CLIPPER 11-12
RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA
DAY 4

* Spinnaker wrap for Edinburgh Inspiring Capital
* Gold Coast Australia skipper: "Today has been a truly magnificent day on the water"
* Visit Finland disappointed with result of Stealth Mode


"All that was missing from today was the champagne for breakfast, rosé for lunch and an ice cold G&T for sundowners!"

Singapore skipper, Ben Bowley, is not alone in declaring the last 24 hours one of the best days' racing the teams have had in a long time.

"We have had a spectacular day of near perfect sailing conditions today with steady winds and clear blue skies. The temperature was perfect and the sea state ideal allowing all to be reminded of how wonderful a day can be at sea when Mother Nature is not conspiring to make life tricky!" he adds.

Rupert Dean, Welcome to Yorkshire's skipper, concurs: "All this seems such an incredible difference from the hard-core cold, wet, windy and rough conditions of Leg 6," he says. "Then we were focussed on survival, with the safety of the crew and the vessel taking as high a priority as the racing itself."

Gold Coast Australia's skipper, Richard Hewson, says simply, "Today has truly been a magnificent day on the water."

As layers are shed and bodies and souls warmed by the sun, the lack of energy sapping, cold, wet weather and pounding seas means the crews can focus fully on the racing which remains remarkably close as the yachts head south past Mexico.

For Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, whose crew is pushing hard and determined to show they have what it takes, it may well be a case of less haste, more speed.

"Unfortunately this morning we've had a massive wrap of the kite," explains skipper, Flavio Zamboni. "In fact the thing managed to wrap around itself, the forestay, the inner forestay and the pole up-haul! It took us a while to sort out the mess but in the end we managed to take it down with only minor damage. At that stage I tried to be smart and asked the crew to put the heavy one up in the meantime without hoisting the headsail first. As a result, we nearly wrapped that, too. Because of all of the above we ended up sailing under main only for a few hours which, of course, has benefited the competition.

"The crew of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital is trying really hard, anyway, and we're looking forward to the days to come!" he concludes.

The boats are so close there is only six miles between Qingdao in fifth and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital in eighth place. The team representing Scotland's capital city has been racing the furthest offshore and is the most southerly of the yachts.

Visit Finland emerged from Stealth Mode at the midnight position update and there's an edge of disappointment in Olly Osborne's report this morning.

"Our time in Stealth Mode proved to be very varied with the breezes being light in the most part, although towards the end of the period we have had some great speeds. Clearly emerging in third is disappointing but, with such small distances between the boats, the leaders are still far from being out of reach," he comments.

"We worked very hard to put the boat in the right place tactically during the last 24 hours and headed towards a more inshore position, although the combination of gybe angles led us to pursue a course that was not necessarily the shortest. As always the least miles sailed is often best, and I think we covered a few more than we really needed to.

"However there is a great sense of focus on board and we are making great speeds. The quality of the sailing is second to none, and the leaders are well within our sights. So for the meantime the vibe is good on board, and we will continue to hunt down the lost miles."

Now ten miles behind leader, De Lage Landen, Visit Finland has slipped to fourth as they gybe offshore again.

Stuart Jackson and his team have been able to keep their rivals in visual range, saying, "We were joined in company by Visit Finland today who have been just astern of us for most of the day.

"What a great couple of days' sailing we have been having. Luckily the wind has stayed with us and has not been quite as light as the weather forecasts seemed to show. With the weather that is forecast it looks like we will continue to gybe our way down the Mexican coast."

One of the rules of the Clipper Race prohibits the teams from receiving outside help with their weather routing. As the yachts are identical, carry the same sail wardrobe and the crews are as evenly matched as possible, this makes for a level playing field and thrilling match racing. So every day meteorologist, Simon Rowell, winning skipper in Clipper 2002, sends the latest wind and weather data to the yachts. The big question on every boat is, how long will the wind last as we get further south?

At least another week, is today's forecast as Simon explains, "You're firmly in the flow off the east Pacific high. As you get further south there are a few areas of more consistent breeze, and in the longer term, in about five to seven days' time, a fairly large low is forecast to move through the Gulf of Mexico, which may well give you decent northerlies funnelling across the Central American isthmus east of about 100 degrees west."

"This race is how people dream ocean racing could be, blue sky, pleasant winds, dolphins and whales," says Richard Hewson as his team moves into second place.

"Yesterday evening we gybed away from the rest of the fleet to make some ground to the south with the aim of staying in the belt of wind that is funnelling offshore. Around breakfast time we gybed back towards the shore and it was a nice surprise to see another yacht on the horizon at breakfast and I spoke to Sparky [Mark Light] on Derry-Londonderry who had come in from the offshore group of yachts and was ten miles behind, an indication of how close the fleet is at this point of time.

"The wind eased throughout the day and we changed to our lightweight spinnaker and appeared to make some good ground on the rest of the fleet. It was light wind sailing at its best as the crew made the most of the sunshine and nature, enjoying the performance of dolphins swimming past.

"At sunset the wind picked back up and we are now sailing along on port gybe towards the rhumb line and the island of Guadalupe with the rest of the fleet to our north. We now have some fantastic wind which should stay with us throughout the night and hopefully give us some more miles on the rest of the fleet."

Welcome to Yorkshire is sticking like glue to the Australian yacht, Rupert remarking on the difference between this and the last race.

"How times have changed! These days the focus is on constant and careful trimming of the spinnaker and measured movements of the helm, in order to keep our racing home moving as fast as possible. With the wind from the north north west pushing us exactly in the direction we wish to go, focus is on which gybe is the best to be on. There's little to choose between them, explaining the wide longitudinal spread of the fleet at present."

Racing under medium weight spinnaker, Rupert adds, "Sea conditions are slight and predictable, making moving around above and below decks easy."

Qingdao, maintaining their fifth position, have crossed paths again with Singapore and now have another team in their sights.

Ian Conchie says, "We headed towards the coast last night before gybing out this morning and heading south again. The crew are now getting used to flying the kite and we have been making good progress all day.

"This race looks like it will be a close one as the fleet is still close together as we run down the coast, with both inshore and offshore routes seeming to offer the same speed at the moment. The interesting part will come when we get further south and the wind drops. In the mean time we continue to chase our old friends Welcome to Yorkshire who have been sailing very deep downwind all race so far."

Meanwhile, the crew of Singapore - lack of champagne and G&T aside - have been having a near-perfect day in the Pacific Ocean.

"Our evolutions today have been near textbook and the crew have been doing a fine job of keeping the boat moving in the right direction and speed all day long. I am almost holding my breath waiting for Lady Luck to throw a spanner in the works and ruin what has been a stunning race so far. I'm sure it shall come in about 48 hours' time when the wind starts to leave us as we approach the tropics once again. Fingers crossed that we have made it through the Scoring Gate by then!

"It's good to see the fleet still so tight as we cross gybes back and forth. There are definitely times when inshore is seeing a little better pressure and others when those who have stayed a bit further out are making good gains. Our tactic of striving down the middle of the fleet seems to be working out well, giving us options to hedge our bets depending how the rest of the fleet is getting on. Our only problem now is that someone seems to have placed the island of Guadalupe directly where we want to go. Presently we have not decided which side to pass but I'm sure over the next few hours the wind will shift slightly making the decision for us.

"Today has been one of our best at sea for a long time and we hope to have a couple more the same before the sweatiness starts!"

The Scoring Gate is still 600 miles away. In this race the gate is narrow at just 50 miles wide, which means the yachts will have to come close together to funnel through it. But it is not compulsory, so the teams can choose to go for the bonus points or bypass it altogether in favour of attempting to achieve a higher finishing position in the race.

In the meantime the decisions are which kite to fly, which gybe to be on and whether to leave the island of Guadalupe to port or starboard. But, while the temptation might be to relax into the fabulous conditions, concentration is absolutely key to not falling behind in this race.

"We have made good progress over the last 24 hours flying our faithful medium weight spinnaker 'Jack' (the Ripper). Conditions have been superb; we have had between 12 to 15 knots of true wind coming from the north north west," reports Mark Light from on board Derry-Londonderry.

"This, together with a favourable Californian current of about three-quarters of a knot, has given us a perfectly flat sea and therefore great downwind spinnaker sailing conditions. Everybody on the boat has had the chance to helm and received coaching to stand us in good stead for the future. For some it is the very first time helming under spinnaker, so, different from our first dark night at sea, the crew are now motivated, slightly more experienced and feeling more confident about downwind sailing.

"Given the fact that this is going to be a very close fought race and any small lapse of concentration can cause a major hassle there is a certain amount of pressure associated with helming a Clipper 68 under spinnaker. All the crew have done exceptionally well and shown great levels of concentration which in turn has shown in our race position.

"We initially ignored the temptation to head inshore with most of the fleet and are now sailing in a constant band of pressure, therefore giving us a good steady flow of wind pushing us down towards Mexico. I am happy that we are in a fairly good position to make the most of our conditions knowing full well that before long the wind will begin to desert us in the coming days."

Juan Coetzer, skipper of Geraldton Western Australia, just ahead of Derry-Londonderry, is also happy with the progress of the crew who joined the boat in Oakland for the USA coast to coast leg of the race.

He says, "Perfect sailing conditions today: downwind, sunshine, dolphins and the crew are beginning to peel off the thermal layers. The new crew have experienced their first kite peel, from the medium to the lightweight kite, and completed a successful gybe. The good news is that we have picked up Singapore on AIS, and this morning they were 19 miles away, and now, just ten miles. The maintenance regime still carries on with daily checks and services. Just before the medium kite drop, we spotted a small rip in the medium, so now it's repaired again ready to go."

They are trucking along nicely on New York, too, after the sail repair team got to work on an old rip in one of the spinnakers yesterday, quickly getting it back into service.

"We are heading south under full mail and have been peeling from one kite to the next most of the day as the wind came and went," reports Gareth Glover, whose crew have dug out shorts and t-shirts from the bottom of their bags as the weather warms up.

"We have Singapore on our starboard and Qingdao on our port and Gold Coast Australia around 10nm in front of us so we still have a group of yachts together racing offshore. We did not take the gamble of heading into shore too much and hope our middle of the road tactic will pay off for us until we get further to the south where going inshore may pay."

The first teams are expected to reach Panama between 9 and 10 May.

ENDS

Positions at 0900 UTC, Tuesday 17 April 2012

Boat DTF*
1 De Lage Landen 2,644nm
2 Gold Coast Australia 2,649nm (+6nm DTL**)
3 Welcome to Yorkshire 2,652nm (+8nm)
4 Visit Finland 2,654nm (+10nm)
5 Qingdao 2,661nm (+17nm)
6 Singapore 2,664nm (+20nm)
7 New York 2,666nm (+23nm)
8 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 2,667nm (+23nm)
9 Geraldton Western Australia 2,678nm (+34nm)
10 Derry-Londonderry 2,680nm (+37nm) Position at 0600 17 April

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#493 Tunnel Rat

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:24 AM

That song makes me miss my Qingdao brothers & sisters on board alot :(

Anyone know what it was before I get teary?

Bruno Mars - You can count on me.

Full disclosure - I know it because of my daughters i-pod collection - it has been scrubbed off mine! :ph34r:

#494 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:03 AM


That song makes me miss my Qingdao brothers & sisters on board alot :(

Anyone know what it was before I get teary?

Bruno Mars - You can count on me.

Full disclosure - I know it because of my daughters i-pod collection - it has been scrubbed off mine! :ph34r:

Thank you BOTH in that case!!!

#495 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:45 AM

CLIPPER 11-12
RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA
DAY 5


* De Lage Landen maintains lead after gambling on inshore route
* Spinnaker woes for Qingdao and Visit Finland
* Lighter winds forecast as fleet approaches Scoring Gate

Five days into the race from Oakland to Panama just 29 miles separate the distances to finish of the ten 68-foot yachts competing in Clipper 11-12, the world's longest yacht race. They are spread in a line approximately 140 miles long running from south west to north east.

De Lage Landen remains in the lead after decision to pass to the east of the island of Guadalupe off the Mexican coast.

"It seems that we were the only boat to sail east of the island of Guadalupe but we emerged with our position intact," reports skipper, Stuart Jackson. "I decided to continue the shortest course from our inshore position towards the Scoring Gate and, despite concerns about light airs in the lee of the island, we managed to keep our momentum going with the lightweight spinnaker. However, only 22 miles separate the top eight boats in the fleet so I'm sure we will see lots of changing positions."

Gold Coast Australia has slid down the leader board after the team underestimated the wind shadow in the lee of the island.

"The decision was made to take the western side after the wind picked up after sunset last night and the boat felt a bit too loaded up steering the angles required to pass the island to the east," says Richard Hewson.

"At sunrise Guadalupe loomed in the sea mist and cloud and as the day warmed up we got a good look at the rugged, mountainous island as we sailed 15nm along its western coast. After we passed south of the island a tactical error was made when we thought we were out of the lee of the island. As a result the wind dropped from the 18 knots that the rest of the fleet was sailing in to ten knots. To add to the error the wind backed, leaving us no choice but to sail to the east.

"The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to sail out of the lee of the island, losing many miles to the other leading yachts. Finally at sunset the wind picked back up and veered to its predicted direction and we are sailing well, trying to make up lost ground.

"At the moment the fleet is very close and we can see five other yachts in our vicinity giving us good motivation to sail well throughout the night as we set ourselves up for the next light wind phase of the race."

While Gold Coast Australia battles to get back into a podium position as the distances between the yachts get smaller, Derry-Londonderry's crew have been enjoying the "magical conditions" and working their way into second place.

"We had been flying our medium kite, 'Jack' (the ripper), all day before the wind finally started to decrease once we passed the Isla de Guadalupe. This happened just as the sun was setting and we performed a textbook spinnaker peel down to our lightweight kite. A spinnaker peel is probably the most advanced sailing evolution there is and it is great to see an evolution with such a high capacity for error being executed precisely and quickly. It has also given us the chance to carry out a few running repairs, patching a couple of small holes in 'Jack' and repairing a spinnaker guy.

"We have managed to force our way up into second place and feel that we are in a great position to push and challenge for top spot. But with the wind decreasing as we push ever south we may need a little bit of luck from the wind gods themselves."

The wind is likely to ease off today and bring light conditions to the fleet for the next 36 to 48 hours before filling in again. The trick will be to find the corridors of breeze to maintain momentum towards the finish line and each of the teams' tacticians believe they know where best to find it - from De Lage Landen in the east to Edinburgh Inspiring Capital furthest to the west, where they may well find the breeze holds up for longer.

Rupert Dean, the skipper of Welcome to Yorkshire, comments on the varying tactics of the other yachts which, he says, are split into three groups.

"Today it is the west that has done the best, followed by De Lage Landen in the east, in terms of miles sailed towards the finish. This is because there appears to be a little more of a pressure gradient here compared to the centre. Much of this is due to the proximity of Guadalupe and which, although small, is mountainous and has its own wind shadow to the south south east. This particularly affected Gold Coast Australia which has been racing in sight of us. This morning she 'hardened up' on port gybe, sailing into this windless zone, before gybing back onto starboard to fall behind us this afternoon. Since then, we've both been heading south east on port, heading for the Scoring Gate with what little wind we have.

"Meanwhile on deck, we've been sailing under clear sunny and starry skies. Temperatures continue to rise and this evening we saw the most amazing meteor burst through the atmosphere. It doesn't matter how many years one spends at sea, for Mother Nature still has the capacity to surprise."

Singapore continues to pursue a central course among the fleet and is neck and neck with New York.

"Another excellent day on the water punctuated by several kite evolutions to keep everyone just busy enough," reports Ben Bowley. "Although we have been sailing now for only a few days it feels like weeks and everyone has settled nicely into the routine of life aboard. We have positioned ourselves well for our run into the Scoring Gate and now hope that we can keep in the slightly stronger band of wind out west long enough to pull some ground in on our rivals. A special well done today to our nipper, James Thomas, for spending over an hour up the rig today with an angry kite nipping at his heels to sort out our top spreader end cap protection. Fingers crossed the wind holds for long enough for us to make it to the gate before dying out completely!"

That is the fervent hope of Gareth Glover and his team. The skipper of the American entry says, "The north westerly winds keep us heading south towards the Scoring Gate and, as we sailed past Guadalupe, Singapore passed half a mile behind us on starboard gybe. We had a good chat on the VHF and went on our way. Just as we got to the south of the island Visit Finland came into view as they gybed over in front of us. There is still over 300nm to go until we get to the Scoring Gate and we must try to keep New York moving in the light airs to come in the next few days.

"This morning we wrapped the medium weight kite around the forestay as we were trying to sail too deep downwind. One of the crew had to go to the end of the pole to it sort out and a new kite was back up in less than 20 minutes."

Yesterday Edinburgh Inspiring Capital's crew had a few issues as they tried to be a little too hasty in their desire to beat the other teams. Today it is the turn of Qingdao, who decided to stay offshore to avoid any wind shadows around Guadalupe. How many of us have been in the situation where a minor error leads to a bigger mistake and another one and before you know it, the only way out is to stop and start all over again?

Ian Conchie describes what happened when a spinnaker evolution started badly and just got worse.

"All was going well until at sunset the wind picked up a little bit. To look after our medium weight kite I decided to change to the heavy, even though I thought the wind would only last a short while. The first drop went fine but as we hoisted the heavyweight kite we realised it had been packed wrongly so we had to drop it quickly. During the drop it went into the sea so we had to let the halyard go and stop the boat to recover it, but we managed to do this quickly so the sail wasn't damaged. We did manage to bend a stanchion post though. (There goes our perfect maintenance budget I fear.)

"We quickly repacked it and hoisted it again, only to get the halyards tangled, but we were able to fly it while we sorted out the boat and, two hours after we started it all, we smoothly changed back to the medium weight! All in all hard work but hopefully we didn't lose much time to the other boats."

Visit Finland's crew have been dealing with spinnaker issues of their own and the old Clipper Training mantra 'Chafe is the enemy' is coming back to haunt them.

Olly Osborne explains, "Things have not been altogether ideal for us during the last 24 hours having suffered from a series of problems with our spinnaker gear which forced us to drop our spinnaker for some time whilst we made repairs to sails and running rigging. The continual downwind sailing puts a lot of strain on the ropes and poles and it is very surprising how quickly they can chafe through."

Meanwhile Geraldton Western Australia's sail repairer has been pressed into action after they spotted a rip in their lightweight spinnaker.

"A small tear was noticed in the light weight kite, so a change to the medium was required - followed-on by a gybe. Taking the long way around the Isla de Guadalupe has been our strategy today as we thought the wind may have been lighter around the island," says Juan Coetzer.

"Everyone on board is doing really well, contributing to our boat's speed and success in some way."

Stuart Jackson concludes, "It has been a pretty perfect day on board with beautiful sunshine by day and an awesome light show by night. We are still being accompanied by scores of dolphins, we were treated to fresh tuna for dinner, and after more than 30,000 miles of racing we discovered one of our crew could bake excellent Belgian chocolate cake."

The Clipper Race crews never fail to surprise with their hidden talents. People from all walks of life and more than 40 countries have signed up to the challenge of a lifetime, pushing their mental and physical boundaries further than they ever thought possible.

If you think you have what it takes to become a Clipper Race crew member, berths are available now for Clipper 13-14, the ninth edition of the event which will see the introduction of a brand new 12-strong fleet of 70-foot yachts. For more information click on www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

ENDS

Positions at 0900 UTC, Wednesday 18 April 2012

Boat DTF*
1 De Lage Landen 2,453nm
2 Derry-Londonderry 2,457nm (+4nm DTL**)
3 Welcome to Yorkshire 2,460nm (+7nm)
4 Gold Coast Australia 2,461nm (+8nm)
5 Singapore 2,469nm (+16nm)
6 New York 2,469nm (+16nm)
7 Qingdao 2,472nm (+19nm)Position at 0800 18 April
8 Visit Finland 2,472nm (+19nm)
9 Geraldton Western Australia 2,475nm (+22nm)
10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 2,483nm (+30nm)

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

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#496 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:13 AM

Qingdao are in fi4rst place & Gold Coast are 9th
Go Qingdao - must mean the 4th position getting to Singapore had nothing to do with me tho!

#497 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:56 AM

Spinnaker wraps as fleet races towards Scoring Gate - 19 April 2012

The Clipper 11-12 Race fleet is tightly packed as the teams approach the Scoring Gate, which is making for some thrilling racing. The more westerly boats are closest to the western end of the gate with less than 100 miles to run and, provided the wind holds up, should be able to reach it within the next 24 hours.

However it is not a compulsory mark of the course and some teams may decide to forego the temptation of the additional points on offer in favour of staying in the narrow corridor of wind to speed them on their way to greater riches at the finish line.

For two of the teams, devastating spinnaker wraps have blighted their race in the last 24 hours.

Flavio Zamboni, skipper of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, describes how he and his team dealt with the situation on board.

“Yesterday evening, just after sunset, we had another wrap in the medium weight spinnaker which required all night to get sorted.

“The first attempt at sorting it out was, as usual, sailing the boat on the opposite gybe to reverse the air circulation behind the main. We hadn't realised, though, that the spinnaker was not just wrapped around itself and both stays but it was, in fact, snugged underneath the point where the inner forestay attaches to the mast. That was preventing the spinnaker itself from moving freely and getting unwrapped.

“Unfortunately, while sailing on the opposite gybe we crashed gybed twice and on one occasion the central winch in the snake pit must have got caught by the vang, resulting in the drum being ripped off its base.

“The second attempt was going up the rig to release the head and on the outboard end of the pole to release the tack, hoping that that would allow the kite to spin more freely.

“That was not the case so the third attempt was to go back up to untwist it manually, turn by turn. I was up the rig for hours wrestling the bloody thing trying to get it undone. For the best part of that time it looked like I was winning until I got to a point where the kite was so tightly wrapped I really wasn't sure I was doing the right thing to get it undone.

“I got to the stage I couldn't think straight any more, was drenched in sweat and getting cold and was starting to suffer from cramps, too. So I asked the guys to take me down to have a bit of a break and plan the next move.

“I thought that, because of the way the kite was hanging from the forestay, securing a line to its head to retrieve it and one loose and working the twists from the bottom could possibly work. When the on watch crew sent me up the mast for the third time at first light I was not looking forward to it, I must confess. Good news was about to come, though. In fact, as I reached the top of the wrap and started hauling in the head to secure it to a line fed from the deck the whole thing just fell off along the forestay! As soon as that happened the guys were all over it, steering the boat to avoid running it over and retrieving it from the water, virtually undamaged!

“When they lowered me down on deck it was all happening to get the boat fully powered up again and start chasing the rest of the fleet. Last night's crew effort and attitude was outstanding and, after recovering from such a difficult situation, morale on board is higher than ever.”

Singapore’s crew can take heart from Edinburgh Inspiring Capital’s recovery… they too are battling their own spinnaker demons.

“As I type we currently have two crew members up the rig trying to sort out a monster kite wrap,” Ben Bowley tells the Race Office this morning. “I can't begin to explain my frustration at what is costing us nearly three miles per hour on our competitors. The wrap has been in for at least an hour now and at the rate things are going we shall be lucky to have the kite down by dawn. Our dream sail has turned into a messy nightmare of twisted sails, halyards and rigging. I can't type for long as my first priority is to get this sail sorted before it causes yet more damage. Wish us luck.”

So far the team has not suffered too badly, still in fifth place, but they will need to ensure the situation is remedied quickly to avoid further losses.

In addition to the spinnaker wraps, today has seen something of a shake up in fleet positions. As they approach the dog leg in the course the distances to finish (DTF) are calculated via a waypoint off Cabo Frio at the southern end of the Baja California peninsula to avoid DTF being calculated in a straight line across land.

“Two yachts in particular have shown bold moves,” notes Welcome to Yorkshire’s skipper, Rupert Dean. “In contrast to the majority of the fleet on port gybe, De Lage Landen has run for some time on starboard, transforming her position as most easterly boat in the fleet to being central and west of us. Sailing the other direction is Gold Coast Australia which has hardened up on port and headed radically inshore to occupy De Lage Landen's former outpost. It's anyone's guess as to what is going on in Richard Hewson's canny mind at present. Perhaps he intends to play the land sea breezes closer inshore. As with all of us, he will be weighing up the risks of positioning for points at the short term Scoring Gate, against those from the longer term race result.

“As the yachts jostle for position in the approaches to the Scoring Gate, playing their 'chess moves' one by one, the fleet is starting to compress, which will make for very exciting racing indeed. Certainly on Welcome to Yorkshire the sense of urgency is palpable and the crew have been trimming like mad to get every available fraction of a knot out of the light winds around us. Isn't that what's racing all about?”

Richard sheds some light on his team’s decision to head inshore, although is keeping quiet about whether they will make an assault on the Scoring Gate or bypass it altogether.

He says, “Gold Coast Australia began the day with good wind from the north west that gradually eased throughout the day. The tactical decision was made to head closer into the coast in search of wind and as we sailed higher angles to the rest of the fleet we were making good speed to the east.

“We passed 13nm astern of De Lage Landen around midday and continued to the east while De Lage Landen sailed to the south towards the Scoring Gate. While the wind has not backed as I was hoping it would, we now have good winds to take us down the coast and hopefully the fruits of our tactics will ripen over the next few days.”

“The fleet is still very tight and nearly everybody in VHF range. This is possibly the closest race of the series so far and everybody is sailing extremely well in the beautiful sailing conditions,” he adds.

Geraldton Western Australia has now assumed the lead, just a mile ahead of De Lage Landen, their focus on keeping the boat moving as fast as possible paying off as they make their run for the gate.

“The same patterns have been appearing over and over again,” says Juan Coetzer. “However the wind is going to die off eventually. Another day, another kite peel and a gybe. The crew are getting to grips with these complex evolutions, and doing them well. We have made up some good ground by sticking away from the island. At the moment it seems to be a big sprint for the Scoring Gate and the boat that keeps moving will be the one to reap the rewards.”

Stuart Jackson explains how the De Lage Landen crew have been able to maintain their position as one of the front runners in the decreasing wind.

“The race to the gate is hotting up with all the fleet closing in rapidly, so only time will tell whose tactics will pay off for the sought after points. Unfortunately this evening the breeze has died off significantly and we are having to sail angles closer to the wind to keep any reasonable boat speed. It looks like we are in for a few days of light winds now so even greater concentration is going to be needed to keep the boat moving.”

“Today has been much more productive from a sailing point of view and we have had much good use out of our lightweight spinnaker,” reports the man in charge of Visit Finland, Olly Osborne. “The breeze has been pretty consistent and everyone is working really hard to get the most out of the small amount of gradient wind.”

The Finnish team has recovered from their own spinnaker problems earlier in the race to begin moving up through the rankings again. And Qingdao has also benefitted from their westerly position in the ten-strong fleet racing towards Panama.

“Our tactic of staying offshore before gybing in seems to have started to pay dividends as we have moved back up the leader board but, with the fleet so close, it could all easily change as we see the various different plans unfold,” comments skipper, Ian Conchie. “For the moment we feel we are well placed to keep pushing on to try and achieve a good result but the wind can be a fickle master. We just sailed through a very light patch and try as we could we couldn't match the speed that Singapore held for the same time which serves as a warning for us.

“All eyes are on the Scoring Gate now as everyone wants the extra points but has to decide if it is tactically worth it or better to focus on overall race strategy.”

That’s the thinking on board New York where skipper, Gareth Glover, admits his team is unlikely to make it to the Scoring Gate in the top three so their attention is on the bigger picture.

“We have been racing under the same kite all day with Visit Finland just a few miles away. The focus has been on helming and trimming which the crew have been at non-stop all day, trying to work fractions of a knot from New York, trying to keep Visit Finland at bay and catch up the front runners before the Scoring Gate.

“There is only 140nm to the western end of the gate from our position at this time and it looks like we will not get there in the top three from where we are so we are now looking past the gate and putting ourselves in a better place for when the wind goes lighter still.”

“There is some great racing going on out here!” according to Derry-Londonderry skipper, Mark Light. The team representing the UK City of Culture 2013 went into Stealth Mode at 1800 yesterday and will reappear on the Race Viewer at 1800 UTC today.

“The winds are very light and full concentration is required at all times,” he continues. “We are currently surrounded by Clipper 68s: De Lage Landen, Singapore, Qingdao and Welcome to Yorkshire are all visible on our AIS (Automatic Identification System) and none more than 14nm away from our position.

“We are flying our lightweight spinnaker and full main while trying every trick in the book to squeeze every ounce of speed from our boat. Tonight the winds are very fickle indeed and it is also very dark making helming even more difficult. Due to wind shifts and tactics we have already performed two spinnaker gybes in the last four hours and will probably carry out a third before daybreak.

“We are currently operating under our cloak of invisibility for 24 hours and are doing all we can to outfox the competition. It is strange to be in Stealth Mode and to see the odd flicker of tri-colour lights dotted randomly around our horizon. We should also be within reach of the Scoring Gate later today – providing what little wind we have stays with us – and it is clear that it is going to go right down to the wire!”

In long distance ocean racing, where the teams are at the mercy of Mother Nature, nothing is ever a foregone conclusion. One thing is certain, however: with 2,300 miles still to cover in the race from Oakland to Panama, it’s still all to play for.

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#498 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:52 PM

CLIPPER 11-12
RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA
DAY 6

* Thrilling racing as tightly packed fleet approaches Scoring Gate
* Monster spinnaker wraps for Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and Singapore
* Gold Coast Australia and De Lage Landen strike out in opposite directions

The Clipper 11-12 Race fleet is tightly packed as the teams approach the Scoring Gate, which is making for some thrilling racing. The more westerly boats are closest to the western end of the gate with less than 100 miles to run and, provided the wind holds up, should be able to reach it within the next 24 hours.

However it is not a compulsory mark of the course and some teams may decide to forego the temptation of the additional points on offer in favour of staying in the narrow corridor of wind to speed them on their way to greater riches at the finish line.

For two of the teams, devastating spinnaker wraps have blighted their race in the last 24 hours.

Flavio Zamboni, skipper of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, describes how he and his team dealt with the situation on board.

"Yesterday evening, just after sunset, we had another wrap in the medium weight spinnaker which required all night to get sorted.

"The first attempt at sorting it out was, as usual, sailing the boat on the opposite gybe to reverse the air circulation behind the main. We hadn't realised, though, that the spinnaker was not just wrapped around itself and both stays but it was, in fact, snugged underneath the point where the inner forestay attaches to the mast. That was preventing the spinnaker itself from moving freely and getting unwrapped.

"Unfortunately, while sailing on the opposite gybe we crashed gybed twice and on one occasion the central winch in the snake pit must have got caught by the vang, resulting in the drum being ripped off its base.

"The second attempt was going up the rig to release the head and on the outboard end of the pole to release the tack, hoping that that would allow the kite to spin more freely.

"That was not the case so the third attempt was to go back up to untwist it manually, turn by turn. I was up the rig for hours wrestling the bloody thing trying to get it undone. For the best part of that time it looked like I was winning until I got to a point where the kite was so tightly wrapped I really wasn't sure I was doing the right thing to get it undone.

"I got to the stage I couldn't think straight any more, was drenched in sweat and getting cold and was starting to suffer from cramps, too. So I asked the guys to take me down to have a bit of a break and plan the next move.

"I thought that, because of the way the kite was hanging from the forestay, securing a line to its head to retrieve it and one loose and working the twists from the bottom could possibly work. When the on watch crew sent me up the mast for the third time at first light I was not looking forward to it, I must confess. Good news was about to come, though. In fact, as I reached the top of the wrap and started hauling in the head to secure it to a line fed from the deck the whole thing just fell off along the forestay! As soon as that happened the guys were all over it, steering the boat to avoid running it over and retrieving it from the water, virtually undamaged!

"When they lowered me down on deck it was all happening to get the boat fully powered up again and start chasing the rest of the fleet. Last night's crew effort and attitude was outstanding and, after recovering from such a difficult situation, morale on board is higher than ever."

Singapore's crew can take heart from Edinburgh Inspiring Capital's recovery... they too are battling their own spinnaker demons.

"As I type we currently have two crew members up the rig trying to sort out a monster kite wrap," Ben Bowley tells the Race Office this morning. "I can't begin to explain my frustration at what is costing us nearly three miles per hour on our competitors. The wrap has been in for at least an hour now and at the rate things are going we shall be lucky to have the kite down by dawn. Our dream sail has turned into a messy nightmare of twisted sails, halyards and rigging. I can't type for long as my first priority is to get this sail sorted before it causes yet more damage. Wish us luck."

So far the team has not suffered too badly, still in fifth place, but they will need to ensure the situation is remedied quickly to avoid further losses.

In addition to the spinnaker wraps, today has seen something of a shake up in fleet positions. As they approach the dog leg in the course the distances to finish (DTF) are calculated via a waypoint off Cabo Frio at the southern end of the Baja California peninsula to avoid DTF being calculated in a straight line across land.

"Two yachts in particular have shown bold moves," notes Welcome to Yorkshire's skipper, Rupert Dean. "In contrast to the majority of the fleet on port gybe, De Lage Landen has run for some time on starboard, transforming her position as most easterly boat in the fleet to being central and west of us. Sailing the other direction is Gold Coast Australia which has hardened up on port and headed radically inshore to occupy De Lage Landen's former outpost. It's anyone's guess as to what is going on in Richard Hewson's canny mind at present. Perhaps he intends to play the land sea breezes closer inshore. As with all of us, he will be weighing up the risks of positioning for points at the short term Scoring Gate, against those from the longer term race result.

"As the yachts jostle for position in the approaches to the Scoring Gate, playing their 'chess moves' one by one, the fleet is starting to compress, which will make for very exciting racing indeed. Certainly on Welcome to Yorkshire the sense of urgency is palpable and the crew have been trimming like mad to get every available fraction of a knot out of the light winds around us. Isn't that what's racing all about?"

Richard sheds some light on his team's decision to head inshore, although is keeping quiet about whether they will make an assault on the Scoring Gate or bypass it altogether.

He says, "Gold Coast Australia began the day with good wind from the north west that gradually eased throughout the day. The tactical decision was made to head closer into the coast in search of wind and as we sailed higher angles to the rest of the fleet we were making good speed to the east.

"We passed 13nm astern of De Lage Landen around midday and continued to the east while De Lage Landen sailed to the south towards the Scoring Gate. While the wind has not backed as I was hoping it would, we now have good winds to take us down the coast and hopefully the fruits of our tactics will ripen over the next few days."

"The fleet is still very tight and nearly everybody in VHF range. This is possibly the closest race of the series so far and everybody is sailing extremely well in the beautiful sailing conditions," he adds.

Geraldton Western Australia has now assumed the lead, just a mile ahead of De Lage Landen, their focus on keeping the boat moving as fast as possible paying off as they make their run for the gate.

"The same patterns have been appearing over and over again," says Juan Coetzer. "However the wind is going to die off eventually. Another day, another kite peel and a gybe. The crew are getting to grips with these complex evolutions, and doing them well. We have made up some good ground by sticking away from the island. At the moment it seems to be a big sprint for the Scoring Gate and the boat that keeps moving will be the one to reap the rewards."

Stuart Jackson explains how the De Lage Landen crew have been able to maintain their position as one of the front runners in the decreasing wind.

"The race to the gate is hotting up with all the fleet closing in rapidly, so only time will tell whose tactics will pay off for the sought after points. Unfortunately this evening the breeze has died off significantly and we are having to sail angles closer to the wind to keep any reasonable boat speed. It looks like we are in for a few days of light winds now so even greater concentration is going to be needed to keep the boat moving."

"Today has been much more productive from a sailing point of view and we have had much good use out of our lightweight spinnaker," reports the man in charge of Visit Finland, Olly Osborne. "The breeze has been pretty consistent and everyone is working really hard to get the most out of the small amount of gradient wind."

The Finnish team has recovered from their own spinnaker problems earlier in the race to begin moving up through the rankings again. And Qingdao has also benefitted from their westerly position in the ten-strong fleet racing towards Panama.

"Our tactic of staying offshore before gybing in seems to have started to pay dividends as we have moved back up the leader board but, with the fleet so close, it could all easily change as we see the various different plans unfold," comments skipper, Ian Conchie. "For the moment we feel we are well placed to keep pushing on to try and achieve a good result but the wind can be a fickle master. We just sailed through a very light patch and try as we could we couldn't match the speed that Singapore held for the same time which serves as a warning for us.

"All eyes are on the Scoring Gate now as everyone wants the extra points but has to decide if it is tactically worth it or better to focus on overall race strategy."

That's the thinking on board New York where skipper, Gareth Glover, admits his team is unlikely to make it to the Scoring Gate in the top three so their attention is on the bigger picture.

"We have been racing under the same kite all day with Visit Finland just a few miles away. The focus has been on helming and trimming which the crew have been at non-stop all day, trying to work fractions of a knot from New York, trying to keep Visit Finland at bay and catch up the front runners before the Scoring Gate.

"There is only 140nm to the western end of the gate from our position at this time and it looks like we will not get there in the top three from where we are so we are now looking past the gate and putting ourselves in a better place for when the wind goes lighter still."

"There is some great racing going on out here!" according to Derry-Londonderry skipper, Mark Light. The team representing the UK City of Culture 2013 went into Stealth Mode at 1800 yesterday and will reappear on the Race Viewer at 1800 UTC today.

"The winds are very light and full concentration is required at all times," he continues. "We are currently surrounded by Clipper 68s: De Lage Landen, Singapore, Qingdao and Welcome to Yorkshire are all visible on our AIS (Automatic Identification System) and none more than 14nm away from our position.

"We are flying our lightweight spinnaker and full main while trying every trick in the book to squeeze every ounce of speed from our boat. Tonight the winds are very fickle indeed and it is also very dark making helming even more difficult. Due to wind shifts and tactics we have already performed two spinnaker gybes in the last four hours and will probably carry out a third before daybreak.

"We are currently operating under our cloak of invisibility for 24 hours and are doing all we can to outfox the competition. It is strange to be in Stealth Mode and to see the odd flicker of tri-colour lights dotted randomly around our horizon. We should also be within reach of the Scoring Gate later today - providing what little wind we have stays with us - and it is clear that it is going to go right down to the wire!"

In long distance ocean racing, where the teams are at the mercy of Mother Nature, nothing is ever a foregone conclusion. One thing is certain, however: with 2,300 miles still to cover in the race from Oakland to Panama, it's still all to play for.

ENDS

Positions at 0900 UTC, Thursday 19 April 2012

Boat DTF*
1 Geraldton Western Australia 2,285nm
2 De Lage Landen 2,286nm (+1nm DTL**)
3 Qingdao 2,289nm (+4nm)
4 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 2,296nm (+11nm)
5 Singapore 2,300nm (+14nm)
6 Welcome to Yorkshire 2,300nm (+15nm)
7 Visit Finland 2,320nm (+34nm)
8 New York 2,325nm (+40nm)
9 Gold Coast Australia 2,346nm (+61nm)
10 Derry-Londonderry 2,388nm (+102nm) Stealth Mode: position at 1800 18 April

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#499 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:11 AM

Our stuff is at 4.55 - now I've been on the news!


#500 Ozee Adventure

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

CLIPPER 11-12

RACE 10: OAKLAND TO PANAMA

DAY 9

* Concertina effect comes into play as chasing pack closes in

* Five miles separate leading four teams as temperature rises in race to tropics

* Race office monitoring ash plume from erupting Mexican volcano


A concertina effect has compressed the fleet over the last 24 hours as the rear markers gained ground on the front runners, piling on the pressure with over 1,750 miles left to run to the finish. There is now just 55 miles between all ten teams, and the top four boats are separated by only five miles as they battle for every last fraction of a knot in the race towards Panama City.

On Visit Finland, Olly Osborne reports that the heat is on as his team tracks towards the tropics once again. "Today the midday heat was noticeably uncomfortable," he said.

"It's exciting to be racing within only a couple of miles of one another and the crews are anxious to see some gains being made. It goes to show how close the fleet are as the boats further back close the gap with the front of the pack," Olly said.

"The gulf separating Baja California from mainland Mexico is proving to be quite tricky to cross as the wind is becoming more and more fickle in the open water," he added, noting that trimming the spinnaker day and night is the most challenging task to ensure they get the most out of what little breeze there is.

On De Lage Landen, Stuart Jackson said his team's progress has been slow in light airs and he has been feeling the pressure of the teams closing in from behind.

"With the wind decreasing before us and the boats behind us gaining miles it seems the fleet is still as close as ever. Welcome to Yorkshire appeared over the horizon and passed within a mile or so of our stern before continuing inland," Stuart said.

"The forecast for the next few days remains light and so boats are heading off the rhumb line in search of wind - it remains to be seen which direction will be the most successful," he added.

The De Lage Landen crew has also been preparing themselves for the searing temperatures that lie ahead with a team haircutting session.

"Pete Smith and I set up shop for haircuts armed with scissors and clippers so the crew are now perfectly groomed and ready for Central American temperatures," Stuart said.

On Welcome to Yorkshire, skipper Rupert Dean is also reflecting on how close the teams are after well over a thousand miles of ocean racing.

"It certainly illustrates how close and competitive the racing is between the crews of these fabulous one design yachts," Rupert said, adding that De Lage Landen and Visit Finland had appeared over the horizon, with Stuart Jackson and his team passing just 1.5 miles ahead.

"After the last leg, where we only saw one Clipper briefly over a 28-day period, it's great to be able to race against competitors we can actually see. For the crews and skippers it focuses the mind, making everybody realise the importance of good trimming and slick evolutions," he said.

Gold Coast Australia is currently the most southerly boat and skipper, Richard Hewson, reports that he has been finding the wind "a little unpredictable".

He said the westerly winds yesterday enabled his team to sail a "fantastic course" but instead of veering throughout the afternoon as forecasted it just swung towards the north before midnight.

"The wind on the course appears very patchy, and some of the yachts behind us are having a fantastic ride making up some good miles on us," he added.

Meteorologist Simon Rowell, who provides all ten teams with the same weather information on a daily basis to ensure a level playing field, said that developments over the next few days would be largely dependent on help the teams get from the land.

"As they go down the long and sometimes steep coastline they will get quite strong katabatic and funneled winds at times, so the skippers will need to keep a good eye on the contours of the land shown on the charts," Simon said.

Simon is also monitoring plume of volcanic ash, which is being blown in an easterly direction following the eruption of the Popocatepetl volcano, located 50 miles from Mexico City, in recent days.

"Its plume is blowing due east right now and dispersing quite quickly, so any ash will go east first before being picked up by any northerlies coming down from lows in the Gulf of Mexico. If the volcano stays at its current level of activity I don't think it will have much, if any, short-term effect on the local weather for the fleet as the ash concentrations will be pretty low by the time they reach that area," Simon said.

Eruptions from the Popocatepetl volcano began to grow larger a week ago as columns of ash began pouring from more than 60 openings in the 17,886-foot high cone. Mexico's National Disaster Prevention Center said one string of eruptions on Friday included at least 12 eruptions in two hours. Popocatepetl's last major eruption was in 2000, which resulted in 50,000 people being evacuated.

Like all the skippers, Richard Hewson on Gold Coast Australia, is paying close attention to reports provided by Simon Rowell about the plume of volcanic ash.

"Who knows what a cloud of ash could do to the predicted weather systems and possible sea breezes that will hopefully take us down the coast when the gradient pressure diminishes. Only time will tell what the effect of the volcano will have and the team on Gold Coast Australia send our thoughts to those living near the volcano and hope they are safe," Richard said.

The team on New York has been struggling to keep moving with less than ten knots of true wind for most of the day.

"We could see other yachts to our south making better speed and heading but as we got to there the wind was still light, and with reports from other yachts of wind of around 15 knots true, it's almost like we have the light winds following us around," skipper, Gareth Glover, laments.

The New York team has also been joined by some feathered friends, with a dove making a temporary home for itself on their working spinnaker pole and a gull getting comfortable in an unlikely spot on their Windex, the arrow at the top of the mast which indicates wind direction.

"The day has also been one of the hottest so far and the crew have rigged up sun shades over the helm," Gareth said, adding that the stars at night have been some of the most spectacular they have experienced to date since leaving Southampton last July.

Qingdao's skipper, Ian Conchie, said he was running out of expressions to describe how nice the weather has been as his team continues to run downwind along the coast of Mexico.

Ian said he had opted to hold a more northerly course as De Lage Landen and Welcome to Yorkshire gybed south.

"We had a horrible few hours around sunset where all the other teams we could see on AIS [the system which enables the teams to track vessels in the vicinity] were going faster than us. Derry-Londonderry and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital were going nearly twice as fast but now we are all going at roughly the same speed," Ian said.

Derry-Londonderry's sudden spurt of speed could be due to the removal of a huge amount of kelp lodged around her keel.

Skipper Mark Light had decided that it was time to investigate after experiencing "frustratingly low" boat speed for 36 hours. "We had slipped from second place to tenth place in 24 hours and were beginning to run out of ideas as to why we just couldn't keep up," he said.

After inspecting the underside of the boat with an underwater camera, Mark and his crew discovered what had been hampering their progress.

"When the video was played back on the ship's laptop the scene was amazing. We witnessed the largest amount of kelp I'd ever seen hanging securely around the keel explaining why we'd been approximately two knots slower than every other boat in the fleet," Mark explained.

In order to remove the unwelcome passenger attached to Derry-Londonderry's undersides, the team headed up into the wind and backed the mainsail to make the boat go backwards.

"Masses of kelp freed itself from the security of our keel and began floating clear and when we bore away, hoisted our medium weight spinnaker, we shot off at between 10 and 12 knots when could previously only manage a top speed of 7.5 knots," Mark said.

"Although unlucky, I was pleased to find a reason for our lack of boat speed. All is now well and we are concentrating on rejoining the fleet for some racing on an even keel once again!" he added.

The team on Edinburgh Inspiring Capital has been having a lot of fun sailing in close proximity to Singapore and Derry-Londonderry, according to skipper Flavio Zaboni.

"Singapore gybed some five miles in front of us and the Edinburgh Inspiring Capital crew put in a lot of effort trying to exceed their speed. We actually managed to gain some distance before they gybed and headed off in a south south-easterly direction again," Flavio said.

"Just before lunch we gybed too and we're now waiting for the latest weather information to decide when to gybe back," Flavio said, adding, "Sailing conditions are just ideal - downwind and warm, so let's hope they stay with us for a little longer!"

Ben Bowley on Singapore also reports "another glorious day on the water".

However, the team's offshore position has failed to help them maintain the breeze. "Our boat speed hovers at a pitiful 5.5 knots and our gybe angles are huge. The plan to stay offshore worked well in the earlier part of the day but as night has fallen, we have seen the wind progressively die to the extent that we are now struggling to keep the boat moving," Ben said.

"The forecast does not bode well for making much progress over the coming week but it may mix up the fleet a little which can be no bad thing for us in the position we are currently in!" he added.

On Geraldton Western Australia, a much-anticipated first shower since leaving San Francisco has lifted crew spirits as the temperatures soar on board. "Living on boat, in the middle of the ocean, one forgets about the world's problems, and you begin to live for now," skipper, Juan Coetzer, said.

"Last night was amazing. We were cruising along at eight knots with flats seas, clear skies and the sea was alive with exploding bio-luminescence Looking astern of the boat, she was leaving a long glowing stream, giving a feeling that we were on a rocket ship on an journey into the unknown. To top the whole experience off, a pod of dolphins came to play, leaving comet like streaks in the water," Juan said.

Crew berths are still available for Clipper 13-14. No previous experience required. Full training provided. For more information visit www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

ENDS//

Positions at 0900 UTC, Sunday 22 April 2012

Boat DTF*

1 Visit Finland 1,760nm

2 De Lage Landen 1,761nm (+1nm DTL**)

3 Gold Coast Australia 1.763nm (+3nm)

4Welcome to Yorkshire 1,765nm (+5nm)

5 New York 1,773nm (+13nm)

6 Qingdao 1,774nm (+14nm)

7 Geraldton Western Australia 1,798nm (+38nm)

8 Derry-Londonderry 1,808nm (+48nm)

9 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 1,809nm (+50nm)

10 Singapore 1,815nm (+55nm)

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