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OSTAR 2013


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#1 Jonathan Green

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

NOR is posted at the RWYC site. LOA minimum has been reduced from 30' in 2009 to 27' next year. Didn't see any other material changes since the last running besides the entry fee table in section 9.1.

Anyone thinking about entering?

#2 ronnie_simpson

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:16 AM

NOR is posted at the RWYC site. LOA minimum has been reduced from 30' in 2009 to 27' next year. Didn't see any other material changes since the last running besides the entry fee table in section 9.1.

Anyone thinking about entering?


It's interesting that they dropped their minimum LOA to 27'. I emailed them a couple of times and asked if they would allow a Moore 24 to sail in the event and I received no reply.

#3 us7070

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:17 AM


NOR is posted at the RWYC site. LOA minimum has been reduced from 30' in 2009 to 27' next year. Didn't see any other material changes since the last running besides the entry fee table in section 9.1.

Anyone thinking about entering?


It's interesting that they dropped their minimum LOA to 27'. I emailed them a couple of times and asked if they would allow a Moore 24 to sail in the event and I received no reply.


you realize it can be mostly upwind..., right?

some of the smaller boats have taken over 60 days!

that's a long time in a moore 24...

#4 gurok

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:42 PM

NOR is posted at the RWYC site. LOA minimum has been reduced from 30' in 2009 to 27' next year. Didn't see any other material changes since the last running besides the entry fee table in section 9.1.

Anyone thinking about entering?


Just entered...

#5 Potter

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:24 PM


NOR is posted at the RWYC site. LOA minimum has been reduced from 30' in 2009 to 27' next year. Didn't see any other material changes since the last running besides the entry fee table in section 9.1.

Anyone thinking about entering?


Just entered...

COngratulations!
This is on my bucket list.

#6 gurok

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:29 PM



NOR is posted at the RWYC site. LOA minimum has been reduced from 30' in 2009 to 27' next year. Didn't see any other material changes since the last running besides the entry fee table in section 9.1.

Anyone thinking about entering?


Just entered...

COngratulations!
This is on my bucket list.


Thanks, this is a bit of unfinished business for me. 2009 ended badly and I have spent from then until now just waiting to put it right.

#7 Jonathan Green

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:32 PM


NOR is posted at the RWYC site. LOA minimum has been reduced from 30' in 2009 to 27' next year. Didn't see any other material changes since the last running besides the entry fee table in section 9.1.

Anyone thinking about entering?


Just entered...


Excellent. Glad to hear you're getting out there again. I'll be following your exploits this summer as you prepare.

#8 ronnie_simpson

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:17 AM

I'll be following your exploits this summer as you prepare.


Could you please post up the link you're referring to? And any other blogs/ sites about guys preparing for OSTAR?

Thanks,

Ronnie Simpson

This race is on my bucket list too....

#9 gurok

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:36 AM

I'll be following your exploits this summer as you prepare.


Could you please post up the link you're referring to? And any other blogs/ sites about guys preparing for OSTAR?

Thanks,

Ronnie Simpson

This race is on my bucket list too....


Hey Ronnie,

Marco ran a pretty good site the last time that pulled everyones online content together however given he is mid GOR I guess that will be unlikely to happen any time soon.

My own blog is http://www.ninjod.org/

Speaking to James @ RWYC yesterday there were another 2 paid up booking fees and over 70 emails received the day the NOR and entry form went up so I suspect more stuff will start appearing online soon. Hopefully Google Alerts will capture it.

Cheers

Paul

#10 Jonathan Green

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

Looks like the OSTAR 2013 website is coming together: http://ostar.rwyc.org/

12 entries listed but I've heard of at least a couple others in the wings, hopefully more than a couple.

I'm planning to depart New England around April 1 for the starting line by way of France. Let me know if anyone wants to race eastward.

#11 haligonian winterr

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

PM sent Mr Green

#12 Jonathan Green

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:44 PM

As I take a last look around this area I call home, there's not many signs of sailing season nor is spring really in the air. Sure, there are buds on some trees, even green grass here and there in the better kept parks but there are plenty of signs of winter as well: stubborn snow banks in the backs of parking lots, plows affixed to pickups bearing landscape company logos, white salt streaks across black sidewalks that have yet to be washed away by April showers. People always say it's the changing of the seasons they most look forward to in New England and that spring is an inspiration as life begins anew but it's still too early for me to draw any of that inspiration before I go. There's no getting around the fact that I'm heading out into the cold, wet, unforgiving north Atlantic alone with little to comfort me except the thrill of the challenge. There is no choice but to rise to it as anything less would spell doom. It's just about time for my first transatlantic.

I'm heading for Port-la-Foret, home base to many of the shorthanded French teams and the famous Pôle Finistère Course au large in nearby Fouesnant. Weather routing indicates a quick downwind passage for the first 1000 miles with at least one very ugly low to tangle with in about 6 days time (see chart below) which is to be expected this time of year.

Posted Image



I'll post updates here on the way over and on the race back as well as to my blog, facebook and twitter accounts. If all goes well, there will be little drama to these posts so I'll try to liven it up with some things the SA crowd might enjoy such as boat mods made for this race, weather routing, sea tales of mermaids, etc.

#13 Rail Meat

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:28 AM

Sail safe, Jonathan.

#14 Roleur

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:21 PM

Good luck Jonathan. You are a modern day pioneer.

Can't wait follow the race.

#15 DtM

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:00 PM

Good luck, safe trip and fair winds.

#16 Icedtea

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:46 AM

Good luck Jonathon, will follow you all the way!

#17 Jonathan Green

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:04 PM

Well I suppose I can safely say I'm a third of the was to my destination. In summary, the first couple days were brutal because of a 
head cold that hit me hard right before departure from Newport, then there was a pretty bad storm on Friday night and Saturday that 
knocked me down, literally. I know you guys love a good a sea story so I included below a recap of the knockdown.

The systems are all in pretty good working order with only minor glitches here and there and generally the boat is performing 
beautifully. I've been able to reliably get 6-7+ knots out of Jeroboam with the delivery sails while 'taking it easy,' that is 
reefing far earlier than I would if I were racing and waiting far longer to shake them out. But the boat definitely feels heavy with 
all this water, food and gear on board. I'll be a lot lighter for the race as all things delivery will be jettisoned and only the 
bear minimums will race back.

I'm a little concerned about my rudder bearings. The post is moving around about an eighth of an inch inside the tube so it that 
worsens, I may need to stop in at the Azores to change them out, otherwise I'll do it in France.

Here's the storm/knockdown recap for you guys. I've been posting to my blog fairly regularly so if you're interested in following 
closer along with the delivery east, check it out at http://jaybirddog.blogspot.com.

When I did the return leg of Bermuda 1-2 in 2009 with my buddy Zoe, we hit some brutal weather as a low parked itself southeast of 
New England, giving us a strong headwind for the last 2 days of the race. The boat and crew took a beating as we hammered into 30 
and sometimes 40+ knots of breeze on the nose but the seas were never really that bad, maybe 8-10 feet or so. Don't get me wrong, it was still brutal sailing with Jeroboam launching off waves then shuttering so violently on landing that I was seriously concerned 
for the boat. Yesterday's storm was different in that it whipped up the waves something terrible. I hadn't been out in waves like 
those before. My masthead is about 50 feet off the water so I would guess the wave heights were about half that conservatively, 
perhaps as high as three quarters. I know, I know, everyone exaggerates wave heights when they're on the water, and it's easy to do 
because they always look bigger than they really are, but I think my range is pretty close here.

As they were building Friday night, I stayed on my easterly course but at a certain point they became too large to make any real 
progress east so I began to crack off to the northeast. At first I sailed with a reefed main and my storm jib but as they wind 
increased Friday evening, I dropped the main altogether, lashing it securely to the boom and turned another couple points downwind 
with just the storm jib. But the wind quickly increased to steadily be in the 40s, and it was clear I was still flying too much 
sail. I began to get suited up for a very wet foredeck sail change. Just as I finished donning my boots, I felt a wave really kick 
out Jeroboam's stern so that we were no longer stern to the next enormous wave coming at us, rather beam to. This is bad but usually just results in a lot of heel as the next wave hits before the autopilot can get us back on course. As bad luck would have it, the 
next wave was a monster that was just starting to break as it hit us. The boat rolled onto it's side very quickly, so quickly that I 
just assumed we were going to keep on going from the sheer momentum but somehow we stopped and after a few more seconds, the boat righted itself, though much slower than we'd gone over and enough time to feel a bit panicked as I heard a lot of water rushing into the boat.

Most of it came down the companionway, which was boarded up with the slider closed but not latched and there are two other places I suspect allowed some in, one a vent and the other was the starboard stern locker. Luckily I was in the aft cabin getting suited up 
so as the boat knocked to port, I had only a foot or so to fall until I hit the cabin wall. Had I been in my bunk I'd of been thrown 
across the relatively much wider salon which would have been very painful. I quickly put on my jacket and looked up on deck to see 
if the rig was still there. Thankfully it was, even the storm jib was still attached. The autopilot had us back on course so I went 
below to assess the water situation and decided I'd get the electric bilge pump going while I cleaned up the deck a little.

Back in the cockpit, the first thing that struck me odd was that every single line (about 22 in total that control sails, trim, 
boom, etc) on both the port and starboard side had been tossed into the sea, including the ones that were uncoiled sitting on the 
cockpit sole. But the really odd part was that all of them lead over the top port lifeline first, then into the sea, not over the 
rail or down the cockpit drain or out the open transom. This would suggest the knockdown was more than just a 90 degree roll and 
that the mast and storm jib probably hit the water. I shined a flashlight into the rigging half expecting to see seaweed up there 
but didn't spot any nor could I spot any damage to the masthead instruments; the wind gauge was still working and the masthead 
tricolor was still illuminated. I gathered all the lines back into the cockpit then did the same for all the halyards which had been 
coiled up at the base of the mast. These too, all of them, first ran over the top lifeline, then into the sea. Thankfully, none were 
fouled on the rudder or prop so it was an easy chore getting them back on board.

It was time to get the storm jib down, which was the whole point of suiting up in the first place, so I eased the sheet, got the 
halyard ready  and waited for relative lull in the wind for the drop. It was soon on deck, wrestled back into the cockpit and stowed 
in the sail locker. I checked on the bilge and it was draining nicely at this point. The effective rate of the pump is 5 gallons per minute and after about 20 minutes, the bilge was empty which means in just a few seconds during that knockdown, Jeroboam took on around 100 gallons of water. Imagine if it had been a roll over?



#18 Roleur

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:07 PM

Wow! Scary.

#19 Keith

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 02:53 PM

Their off....

 

http://ostar.rwyc.org/?page_id=3222



#20 Roleur

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:36 PM

Looks rough at the start.  30 knots on the nose.  9 hours into it and looks like 7 or 8 of the 17 starters have turned around.  Jeroboam going strong.  He's the fastest boat in the fleet right now, making a smoking 3.4 knots.  Oof.  



#21 Rail Meat

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:11 PM

The organizer's web site is very limited with their information.  I hope now that they have gotten the start behind them, we start to see some updates and news. Based on the leader board and the tracker, it is a pretty demoralizing first day.

 

This race has some incredible history.  Arguably, the very first single handed oceanic race. The forefather to the Vendee.   The past participants are legendary - some of the folks who put short handed sailing on the map, and some serious characters.  How many of us would bet a half crown in the pub, load up the boat and shove off for America with no certainty that you would make it across.  Iron men with big brass balls. 

 

An illustrious group you are joining there, Jonathan.  Be safe, and perservere through this rough bit! 



#22 Jonathan Green

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:08 AM

That was a rough start; couple minor issues on Jeroboam but was able to hold together. Some of the boats that turned around last night were going back to round a mark of the course they forgot about (Eddystone Light), most notably the very sleek open 50, Vento Di Sardegna. That said, I believe Anarchy and Lexia have retired or perhaps are trying some quick repairs with the intent of restarting, if that's possible. I'm not sure about the status of Cabrio 2 and Harmonii. I believe they turned back at some point but the latest position report leaves me wondering if their trackers are not functioning.

 

Clearly Pathways to Children and Spirit have a bone in their teeth so far this race but Vento and sec Hayai are in the hunt. In Jester Class, Tamarind is hot on my heals which does not bode well as I owe him time. I'm not sure what's up with British Beagle and Sunrise. I was right with them leaving Plymouth but when I tacked away to beat up to Eddystone Light, they didn't follow so I'm not sure if they rounded; didn't look like it on AIS.

 

We're going to get beat up again tonight, though hopefully not as bad as yesterday. Gribs are showing 25-30 knots and shifting to the NW then N by mid-day tomorrow so it won't all be on the nose. I image the waves will kick up higher than yesterday now that we're clear of land which is always a challenge on Jeroboam.

 

Tons of ships around so the naps are short and infrequent. We'll bump into the fishing boats over the next day and a half so there's lots to watch out for but should be in deep water by Thursday where I can catch up on some sleep.



#23 Jonathan Green

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

Here's the scratch sheet with the class breakdowns:

Attached Files



#24 Bluebird

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 03:40 PM

Looking good, Jonathan...



#25 Rail Meat

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:49 PM

I am having a hard time understanding what Tamarind and Spirit are up to.



#26 LeoV

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:26 PM

Railmeat, if you know the sailor on Tamarind, you will have no trouble understanding his course :)



#27 DtM

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:03 PM

Good luck Jonathan.

thank you for the on course updates.

#28 Rail Meat

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:53 AM

Looks like a few withdrawals over night.  Does not seem to be very rough out there at the moment.... I am guessing the enormity of the thing has burned its way through the adrenaline.



#29 Speng

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:21 PM

Why the lack of Classe 40s? Is there some other big race going on?



#30 Rail Meat

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:32 PM

The TJV is this fall.  Most of the skippers only have the time available for a single trip across the pond in a year, for those that want to do a trans atlantic crossing.  And the TJV offers a great deal more in the way of coverage, fans following the race, excitement, racing quality and ultimately return for sponsors



#31 Jonathan Green

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 09:22 PM

Well that was an interesting couple of days to start off the race. The wind speeds weren't crazy or anything but enough to make life on the boat very uncomfortable. Combined with the need to keep a sharp eye out for the heavy boat traffic, it made for an exhausting couple of days. But all that's behind me, and as the waves subsided last night, I got in a series of four 1.5 hour naps that turned me into a new man. To buck my spirits even more, the latest grib is showing the two soft spots ahead of me taking a slightly more northerly track which puts me in a good position to pass to their south then ride the big breeze that's forecasted to hit my track on Sunday. Expedition is routing me right thru them so I'll weigh that option as well.

The boat's performance relative to others with similar ratings is looking good. As this is the first IRC race Jeroboam has ever entered, I was a little concerned about the rating and how Jeroboam would fair under this handicap methodology, especially after hearing some anecdotes about how Beneteaus, for whatever reason, get slammed under IRC. So far, at least in the moderate to heavy upwind conditions we've seen, the boat's doing well. British  Beagle, Sunrise and Tamarind are all right around the same handicap and as long as I don't try to pinch up too much, I appear to be making some tracks on them. Position wise, we're all in about the same boat except Tamarind who sacrificed some speed for a much more northerly track. It'll be interesting to see how that gamble pays off in the approaching soft spots and beyond. I assume he'll try to go north of them.

Up in the fast class, Pathways to Children continues to kick butt. I got to know Richard in Plymouth and found him to be an even keeled, tough customer so I suspect he will continue to do very well out here. He's the kind of guy who would treat a long distance race like this no different from a local overnight, that is, he won't hold anything back, ever. I got a tour of his boat and it's in fantastic shape so hopefully he won't experience any major equipment issues and keep the pressure on. Vento is clearly the favorite in this class. He had to turn around to honor ESL and still managed to blast out into first place handily. Andrea is a great guy who supplied me with a bunch of mineral water from his home turf of Sardegna for the trip and plans to pay an extended visit to Bermuda following the race. It's too early to tell how Spirit and the Class 40 sec Hayai are doing - seeing some inconsistent performance out of them. And don't count out Harmonii! Keith had a lousy beginning but he's slowly marching is way up the fleet. He's going to have a tough time sailing that boat to its rating but he assured me he'd have clean cloths the whole way across as the boat's washing machine is in good working order.

I'm very happy with Expedition so far. This is my first race with it and I'm loving the position report analysis. It's very helpful in understanding Jeroboam's performance relative to others and, later in the race, analyzing the pros/cons of various tactical decisions. 



#32 Jonathan Green

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:27 PM

Had an interesting day. It was fantastic in that I was able to fly the spinnaker and my big staysail and put down some very pleasant miles under an occasionally sunny sky. It was horrible in that I managed to clog the head twice, both times requiring me to completely dismantle the thing to fix it. I won't go into the gory details but assume it was the most disgusting thing you could possibly imagine.

I'm just working my way through a soft spot so it will be a torturous evening of flogging sails and moving at a snails pace but I have to slog through it sooner or later as it's just too big to go around (or put another way, I didn't do a good enough job avoiding it!). I can only hope to minimize the slow pace to keep up with the rest of the fleet. Just about everyone will get hit with some very light wind right about now and the ones who come out on top are the ones who can finesse their boats to maintain headway. Won't get much sleep tonight but should be able to catch up tomorrow as the wind fills in more consistently, ultimately building to some serious blow by Sunday night.

#33 Rail Meat

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:35 PM

You broke the cardinal rule, Jonathan.  Never use the head.  Bucket and chuck it.  Less mess and better view.

 

 

Why do you think OSR requires that you carry two of them?  Sure, you might think they are for bailing out the boat but you would be wrong.  They just want to make sure that you don't have to be elbows deep in your own excrement. 



#34 Jonathan Green

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:08 PM

Last night was brutal - sailed right into a hole that lasted for about 4.5 hours. I was able to keep the boat moving a little bit but lost a ton of ground to the competition. The boats to the north of me in particular, Pathways to Children, Spirit and Tamarind, caught some terrific breeze as the approaching front line is hitting them first. They've had 15 knots all afternoon while I've been lucky to get 8 or 9. Hopefully the forecast will come true and my breeze will build through the evening, hitting 20 knots by dawn.

 

I spent a bunch of time preparing the boat for the onslaught of wind that's coming this way. Sustained breeze in the 30s is forecasted for Sunday night which means I'll probably see gusts into the 40s. The two storms I hit on the delivery were both behind me but this one will be on my beam with a southerly wind while I try to work west. Jeroboam doesn't have a great track record this spring taking big seas beam on so I've been preparing for a very wet night tomorrow evening.

 

I got to go up the mast twice today. What a delight. The first time because I noticed one of the screws holding the steaming light to the mast was missing and the light was ajar, banging against the mast as the boat lurched around. Then later, when I was doing a spinnaker takedown, I foolishly let the halyard get away from me. There was a mild swell but very little chop so the climbs weren't too difficult. 



#35 Rail Meat

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:59 AM

Difficult day -  get some rest before the low comes through.



#36 Trent

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:24 AM

Hang in there! Yours are the kind of story through which I sail vicariously for now. I know you're in it to sail fast and win, but the pure adventure of single handed combat against wind and wave keeps me going. Buckle up for the weather, and enjoy every second!



#37 Jonathan Green

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:06 PM

I figured that head comment would solicit bucket references. I should have known it would come from one of the Class 40 guys. I may be filthy, unshowered, scruffy and smelly but I'm not yet willing to exclusively resort to the bucket. Perhaps I still have room to grow in this sport.

Wind and waves have been slowing building all day. In the mid to upper 20s now with gusts over 30 and the seas are well on their way to what's sure to be a bumpy ride this evening. I've already got two reefs in the main and most of the jib rolled up along with the storm staysail flying. Eventually I'll loose the jib altogether.

The boats to the north are doing very well, as expected. They got the breeze first so Pathways to Children and Spirit continue to ramble along up there and are tracking a little further north than Jeroboam, I assume to take the waves abaft the beam and keep their speed up. Not to mention that being a little further north at the end of this blow isn't such a bad position as there's a NW breeze in the forecast on Tuesday that will allow us to tack and reach back down toward the rhumbline. As the wind and waves increase toward night fall, I'll bear away a little too, perhaps as much as 10-20 degrees to keep the speed up and be a little kinder on the equipment.



#38 Rail Meat

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 11:56 AM

Well, looks like the fleet (and Jonathan) is through the low and safely out the other side.  The southern boats are stuggling in light winds, the northern boats faring better.  While I may not have really understood what Tamarind and Spirt were doing back when they tacked up towards Ireland, their northern track has sure paid dividends.

 

Forecast is relatively benign at the moment, but they should be seeing multiple wind shifts (direction moreso than speed) over the coming days which should make for a tiring number of sail changes.

 

Stay strong out there!



#39 Jonathan Green

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:03 PM


The wind is still in a state of flux with strength ranges from 0-20 and directional changes over 40 degrees. It'll be nice when a new pattern establishes itself, even if only for a day. One minute the boat's moving brilliantly, sort of in the right direction and the next I get knocked then the wind dies. All the while I'm making very slow progress to the finish line with the competition making steady gains. When I downloaded the noon position report today and saw that every single boat in the fleet made ground on me this morning, it was a tough pill to swallow. I always knew finesse sailing was one of my weaknesses but I've been working on it and hoped for some improvement. Note to self: keep practicing.

The boat systems are generally working well. I had that disastrous day with the head but other than that, everything is holding together well. The boat network gremlins were all chased out in Plymouth with a bunch of rewiring both at the helm instruments and the nav station below so there's been no hiccups with the instrument data or the autopilot. AIS & RTE are working well as early warning systems for approaching ships. My handheld VHF is out of commission for some reason. It comes on but doesn't transmit or receive and for some reason the channel number is blinking on and off which I've never seen before on this unit. I read the entire 56 page manual and there is no reference to the channel number blinking so I have no idea what that signifies. I still have the primary VHF radio at the nav station but when I reach the Grand Banks fishing fleet, it would be nice to have the handheld so I can communicate from deck if any of the trawlers want to tangle with me in close quarters. It's under warranty but that won't help me out here.

I have more than enough food on board so even if my race runs to four weeks, I'll have plenty to eat. The water situation is also very good with about 100 liters in the aft tank and 40 liters in the forward tank, that's enough to get me to the finish line even if the watermaker dies. I'll start running those tanks down a little to lighten up as I go along but still making water every other day to give the desalinator a workout and assure myself it's still producing potable water. The fuel situation is also very good. I've only run the engine once for about an hour prior to the last storm just to make sure it was functioning properly as I tied off the wind turbine for the 30+ knot forecast. The turbine is working brilliantly - very happy with the repairs make in Plymouth, just need to make a minor adjustment to the potentiometer which I'll probably do today as the sea state is down and the adjustment requires that I climb up the turbine mast and hang on with one hand while making the adjustment with the other.



#40 oioi

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 09:10 PM

Sounds like your in good shape. Keep the posts coming, fascinating to read. Fair winds.
Mike

#41 DtM

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 10:58 PM

Well done Jonathan.

Fair winds and calm seas for repairing the wind turbine.

#42 Jonathan Green

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:19 PM

Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I post something like "systems are working great," I have problems. First, when I went to charge the batteries with the engine last night, the throttle got stuck, but luckily only at about 1500 rpm. The cabling and mechanism just needed to be loosened up but it takes a while on this boat to get at each end of the cables and the throttle mechanism so the fix took a while.

Then around midnight the primary autopilot stopped working so I gave up on the idea of getting any rest and went to work on it. Isolated the problem to the rudder reference sensor, which is shared by both the primary and backup APs. I tried recalibrating it and that just gave me more errors. Both these APs are supposed to be able to work without it but was only able to get the backup AP, an old wheel pilot, to hold a course.

In a last ditch effort, I reset the primary to the factory defaults and when through the entire system calibration routine and got lucky - around dawn it started working again. If the primary AP was out of commission, Jeroboam would be very uncompetitive for the last 2/3rds of the race as I would have gone from pressing hard to just trying to finish. Those old wheel pilots are fine in pretty flat conditions, in fact I put close to 1,000 miles on one in the summer of 2006 with few complaints, but not in a seaway and forget about a storm or a spinnaker run.

Speaking of which, Jeroboam is tearing along with the kite and we're actually headed in the right direction! Huge moral boost and makes the zero sleep state palatable. I don't want to jinx it but this run I'm on right now may be one of those defining segments of the race. The race committee did something unusual for OSTAR, at least I've never seen anything like it in the US. They allowed competitors to choose if they were going to race with or without spinnakers and will apply the appropriate IRC TCC at the finish. Yes, we do this in the states but the non-spin boats are placed in their own cruising class and compete against one another. In this race, we're all thrown in together.

This is important because Tamarind, the closest in my class, chose to race non-spin so while I'm screaming along with the kite right now, he's probably not covering as much ground under jib and staysail. It will be interesting to see the next position report but I'm hoping to finally put some real distance on him which I need as he's more than demonstrated his ability to reel me in.

To make matters even more advantageous for me, the forecast looks like I may be able to carry this kite until dawn tomorrow as long as I don't blow it up. Anyway, all good news for Jeroboam in class 2 but to put it in perspective, there's still only about 140nm distance between all the class 2 boats after 1000+ nm of racing. And we still have a long way to go. Anything could happen.

Up in the fast class, Pathways to Children and Spirit continue to make tracks on the rest of us as is the class 40, sec Hayai. All three of those boats have terrific performance characteristics in the conditions we're presently in so I would imagine they'll continue to pull away from us all day and night, especially the two to the north as they're likely to get better breeze and for a longer period that the class 40. It's also been fun watching the 50 ft tri battle it out with the Open 50 up at the lead. Those look like they'd be fun boats to sail.

I was extremely pleased to hear the news that Ralph Villager on Ntombifuti has finished his repairs in France and is rejoining the fleet. Ralph put a lot of time, effort and planning into this race and it's great to see him back on the course. Well done!



#43 Jonathan Green

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 06:25 PM

The spinnaker work came to a halt a little earlier than expected - I doused around 3 am and hardened up slightly for some double headsail close reaching and by dawn I'd changed to a different staysail that's a little better suited for the conditions. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with the next approaching low which is forecasted to cross the Grand Banks Saturday and be over my head by that evening. It's moving pretty quickly and I don't see a huge advantage to being well north of it so I'm probably not going to take a flyer that way. I definitely don't want to be south of the center so I'll play it safe and make sure that even if the center of it deviates from the forecasted track by 15 degrees, I'll still be north of it.

The noon position report showed a ~10 nm gain on Tamarind since noon yesterday so the rating investment to carry a spinnaker paid some dividends but remains to be seen if I'll be able to say it was worth it by the end of the race. I've only carried a chute about 19 hours of the 244 hours I've been racing so that's only 7.7% of the time.

Looks like I'll have a wind shift in the wee hours tonight to the NW so I'll tack at some point which means I'll probably be passing south of the Flemish Cap. Unfortunate. I was hoping to sail right over it so I could yell "Danny no! Not the Flemish Cap! That's halfway to Ireland, ain't it?"



#44 bush sailer

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:03 AM

Jonathan,
keep up the reports, they are great and a lot of people are reading them.

#45 r.finn

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 02:46 AM

Definitely keep posting. Great reading. But, is it actually Jonathan posting or someone posting e-mail messages from him, for him? If its you on SA, you and Rail Meat are definite peers. Keep it up.

#46 Icedtea

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 06:42 AM

These are great Jonathan, keep on trucking

#47 Jonathan Green

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:01 PM


Hey that's great people are following along with this race. It's really just a shell of its former self but the spirit among the participants is fantastic. I also enjoyed meeting a ton of former competitors in Plymouth before the start as they had their Half Crown Club reunion. It's pretty awesome to be racing out here where so many have gone before me.

Ryan, yes, I email reports to my buddy Gina and she posts here for me. I only have one of those 9.6 kbps Iridiums so web browsing is out but I can get text emails to her for SA. She's also passing along your comments so if anyone has any questions, fire away and I'll get back to you. I've asked her not to pass along any thing that might be considered outside help, like weather analysis, but other than that, she'll send your posts along.

It's been a great day on the water. The wind was a bit light for a while but as since picked up. The sun is shining, I'm getting a lot done on the boat and even have some favorable current.

Big change from yesterday where the air was so moist that all day and night, I felt like I'd just showered but hadn't yet toweled off. At one point last night when I came up on deck to hand steer through some light patches, I looked up at the masthead and instead of seeing the bright point of light which is the masthead tricolor light, I instead saw a strange glowing orb as the light was shrouded in thick cotton fog. It wasn't raining but when I went below after an hour, I was soaking wet.



#48 Jonathan Green

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 09:45 PM

Tiring day on Jeroboam. Squall lines started coming through pre-dawn so I spent most of the day reefing/unreefing as wind speed and direction moved all over the map. Gusts were into the 40s and sometimes the gauge read zero. At one point I had the chute and big staysail out moving the boat very well in 8-10 knots of breeze then the wind completely died and started to fill in from the exact opposite direction. I got the chute down just in time for the wind to do a 180 back to its original direction and build to 35 knots in about a minute. The staysail got trashed but nothing I can't patch up tonight.

The next big system is forecasted to ramble over my position Monday and I don't think I'll be able to get north of this one which does not bode well. I think the best I might be able to do is go through the eye which is going to be brutal on my progress because it's beginning to elongate west to east, perhaps reaching a diameter of a couple hundred miles by the time it gets here. Granted it's moving pretty quickly but still, that's a long time to be wallowing around in the center of a low. I'll fight hard to get north of it but if it starts tracking even just a little further north, the game is up.

The boats to the north are well positioned to ride some serious wind on this one and will afford them some solid separation between the class 2 boats chasing them. I've been able to close on them a little bit the past few days so it'll be discouraging to see those gains dematerialize. Tamarind sacrificed some forward progress for a northerly position, presumably because he's confident he'll regain all that ground and more on this next system but I'm not sure the dividends will be that large. It will be interesting to see how Sunrise and British Beagle do on this next low. It looks like Sunrise made his move north earlier than British Beagle so he may be in a better position when it hits.



#49 Jonathan Green

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 06:39 PM

Just a quick update as the new breeze starts filling in. I managed to just barely get to the north side of this low, helped by the fact that it tracked slightly further south than forecasted yesterday. We'll see where I actually wind up but all the signs are pointing to a good position on the race course.

I spent the morning preparing for the onslaught:
-Storm staysail is rigged and lashed to the foredeck, ready to go
-Batteries fully charged
-Ran the watermaker for a while so have plenty in reserve for the next 48 hours
-Pulled out my mini staysail in case the storm staysail is too large - unlikely that I'll need it but have it handy just in case.
-Staged the rigging for the whisker pole. There will be some downwind action that's too much for the spinnaker so I'll probably end up with a poled out jib for a while this afternoon and tonight before the wind starts to shift to the NE
-I heard the familiar snap snap snap of a loose belt on the engine while charging batteries. The old one was just about to go and there was a lot of belt dust in the engine compartment. That belt didn't have many hours on it at all so I was a little surprised to see it so worn. Got a new belt on and cleaned out all the dust from the old one.
-Cleaned up all the running rigging and prepared for bow to stern waves knocking it all overboard. Lashed down everything that I wasn't anticipating using in the 24 hours.
-Squared away the cabin, stowed everything not in immediate use and lashed down anything that might sprout wings in the rough seas ahead.
-Ate a big breakfast and a couple of lunches

I saw a large group of pilot whales this morning. From a distance I thought they were dolphins but as they got closer, they were clearly larger then one broke high and close enough for me to see his tell tail bulbous head. They were pretty shy so kept their distance. I'd never seen that many in group before - counted about 20 although it's tough to know if you've already counted them once because they keep dipping below then surfacing at not so regular intervals. There were a couple babies in with them but mostly adults. I'd seen quite a few pilot whales along the coast of Nova Scotia when I was there about eight years ago but really just in pairs, not as a big group like this.



#50 Rail Meat

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:27 PM

Stay safe Jonathan.  Looks like you have the speed back up and will be making some tracks on those stuck behind you.



#51 DtM

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 10:57 PM

Good luck Jonathan.

You are well prepared for this next phase.

Thanks for your reports. Makes me feel like I am there but without all of your hard work.

#52 Jonathan Green

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:12 PM

That was some fun downwind action. I have to make sure I enjoy those moments as they're so uncommon for this uphill passage. The frustrating part was that the boat was smoking along but I was in a 1.5 knot counter current for the entire night so my speed really suffered. I was hoping that current would be south of me but no such luck. I'm back into the cold Labrador waters now but only for a day or two. When I hit the Grand Banks, it will be a little milder.

In the meantime, my hands go numb after about 10 minutes on deck and it takes a while to get them thaw as it's not much warmer below. The cold water and freezing cold NE wind combine to make winter like conditions. I got a little sleep last night but it was too rough for anything substantial, especially as the wind started shifting to the NE generating a couple different wave patterns crossing my path and mixing up a confused sea.

Looks like Pathways to Children and Spirit had great runs through that low - well done guys. They killed it yesterday and last night and are already over the Bank. They put about 45 more miles between me and them. Ouch. I'm going to fade to the SW over the next 24 hours then tack when the wind shifts and ride that breeze back up toward Newfoundland. I think I'm in a slightly better position than those guys as they only have so much room to their north to play that shift, forcing them early to a starboard tack which will be a lot less efficient in making forward progress. Maybe I can regain some of that mileage by Wednesday.

sec Hayai wasn't showing up on my position reports for a couple days so I have no idea where he is. Today's 0800 UTC report showed him in Liberia, Africa so I suppose his tracker is off kilter. I assume he's right with PtoC and Spirit.

I was very sorry to hear the news that Tamarind suffered an autopilot failure and is hand steering to St Johns - that's about 450 miles from his current position. Hopefully he'll have some decent weather getting over there and can make repairs and get back on the race course quickly.



#53 Jonathan Green

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:35 PM

Hard to believe it's the middle of June. I'm freezing. But hey, look at the bright side: there are no icebergs on the race course (http://weather.noaa..../fax/PIEA88.gif) so we lucked out there.

I'm battling my way up to the Grand Banks and where the race course funnel begins. To the north we have Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and to the south we have the gulf stream where the current is flowing strong to the east and makes no sense for us to venture down there. At its narrowest point down toward the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, the course is only about 130 miles wide so being on the favored tack of any new headwind could bring some solid gains.

The forecast for today was 15 on the nose, I've got 30. I was on a starboard tack for a while but the foul current was really getting to me. I don't mind going nowhere, I'd just like to do it fast, so now I'm on port, with the current, into the wind, with enormously steep, short period waves. This boat has a very flat bottom and there's not much weight in the bow so these conditions are really horrible on the boat. Unbelievable pounding after pounding as I beat into these monsters. It's amazing the boat can hold together as the shock loads spike through the roof on each crash landing, about one every 4-5 seconds. I put what little movable ballast I have up in the v-berth like a big bag of freeze dried food, the wet spinnakers, some other sails and some bottled water but that's probably not enough to do anything significant. I wish I had a water ballast tank up there to ease Jeroboam's pain.

I'm not particularly excited about my positioning right now. There's another system on the way that I'd like to be north of and, as has been the case too many times this race, I'm fighting to get up there. The northerly track that PtoC and Spirit took certainly has had its benefits.

The only slim benefit I can see to staying south is what's in store for them on Friday and Saturday, if the forecast even holds that long. They'll likely ride this downwind period between Sable Island and Nova Scotia but when the breeze swings around into their face Friday morning, they'll have a tough beat down the Canadian Maritimes. Staying to the south gives me some more room to play that 20-25 knot headwind on Friday. Like I said, a slim benefit, and who knows what changes to the forecast are in store for us - Friday's a long way off. Anyway, I'm not even sure if I'll be south myself. That downwind sleigh ride to the north of this next system is too good not to try for and try I will.



#54 Presuming Ed

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:03 PM

https://www.facebook...chardLettRacing



#55 Jonathan Green

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:04 PM

Well I made it to the north side of this next system and am fastening my proverbial seatbelt in anticipation of a 36 hour downwind
sleigh ride. The stronger wind will be to my north so I'm trying to get a little further up there, basically where Pathways to
Children and Spirit already are. Those guys have out positioned me at ever step of this race. I really should have gone way further
north right from the start.

But there was a huge payoff last night for not being so far north. They got caught in a lull just south of Newfoundland while I rode
a brilliant breeze halfway across the Bank, reeling in PtoC to the tune of 30 miles between midnight and 0800 UTC. I even had a knot
of favorable current pushing me along. This was a huge gain for me and I've got to fight hard over the next 36 hours to keep up with
those guys. Easier said than done as theirs are planning hulls.

When I had dinner with Richard Lett of Pathways to Children prior to the start, he described an almost serene state on his boat when
it rockets along on a plane at 14+ knots. So in control is the boat that he simply engages his fancy NKE autopilot and gets some
sleep. Contrast that to Jeroboam where downwind is the least stable point of sail for the autopilot and often requires hand steering
to keep it on its feet. Anyway, I'll do my best to keep up with them. I do need to get a little further north though to have a shot
as that's where the 25-30 knot wind barbs are which can get Jeroboam going at 8+ knots.

I'm really looking forward to some more downwind action. All the upwind beating on this course gets to you after a while.

Since I got onto the Grand Banks, I've seen a lot more boat traffic, birds and other wildlife. Also a lot more fog. Last night was a
little scary as I heard tons of chatter on the VHF and the RTE was registering many pings from other boats' radar, both X and S band
so there were some big boats around too, but only one boat showed up on my AIS and none visually as the fog was so thick. My buddy
Chris, who lived in Newfoundland for a while, warned me that lots of the fishing boats out here don't carry AIS.

#56 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:46 PM

Jonathan are you sending any photos out or posting to FB?



#57 Jonathan Green

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:07 PM

Clean, no, photos are not possible over my slow connection but I am posting to facebook (http://www.facebook.com/jaybirddog) although a more detailed account can be found on my blog (http://jaybirddog.blogspot.com) and here in the forum. I posted some video of the delivery to Europe on YouTube but I don't have the URL handy. My user name is, you guessed it, jaybirddog so you can probably look it up that way. Nothing spectacular but a few good ones in there.


I'm still on the Grand Banks trying to fight my way north of the calm low center headed this way. It's going to be a nail biter. I should have turned north earlier than I did; oh well. Pathways played this breeze perfectly. I'm no longer receiving Spirit's coordinates in the position reports I download so I guess that's another tracker down. It's very annoying that the two closest boats to me have faulty trackers. I'd feel a lot better knowing where they are and it would be very useful to see my performance relative to theirs in similar wind/wave/current conditions.

Speaking of conditions, they're horrible. You know those fly by night carnivals that pull up opportunistically with a half dozen 18-wheelers which turn into rusty old amusement park rides. There's usually one of those basket swinging things, a swirling tea pot, make yourself sick ride and a mini ferris wheel. The safety inspections lapsed a decade ago and the ride operator is a maniacal toothless hick bent on world destruction. I feel like I'm on one of those rides.

The fog has been so thick over the last 12+ hours that I haven't been able to see beyond a couple hundred feet. The seas are rough and now that I'm trying to work my way north a little, I'm taking them on the starboard quarter and getting rolled around a lot. Occasionally, the autopilot will get off course a little and we'll take a big one right on the beam; it's not pretty.

Everything I own is dripping, soaking wet. All deck work, however brief, includes a number of full on underwater experiences as enormous waves break across the deck. Oh, and just in case there was that one square inch of my body that wasn't completely soaked, it's raining cats and dogs.

I know, complaining isn't going to help. I just have to keep plodding along with the hope that someday summer will come, the sun will shine and I'll be so hot and dry that I'll even consider going for a swim to cool off. Do they have summer in Canada? I mean summer by normal human standards, eh?: temperatures hot enough for Mounties in uniform to sweat, ice required to keep the Molson Canadian cold, day-glow orange fleece jackets and hockey skates stowed away in the attic. 



#58 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 02:05 PM

Great stuff JG.  Keep it up; home stretch.



#59 Jonathan Green

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

I had a brilliant run last night of surfing down some monsters and hitting double digit speeds regularly on the wave face. One momentarily registered 15.4 knots! That could be a record for this boat. I also played around with some of the autopilot settings and improved downwind performance considerably. It was very nice not having to stand at the helm all night. After pouring over the manual last night I have some ideas on further refinement I'll try out tonight.

The breeze gradually petered out this morning leaving me to wrestle with light and fluky wind this afternoon. I managed to find a few puffs and had the benefit of 1-1.5 knots of favorable current so I think I made the most of it. The new breeze has filled in and is building to what is forecasted to be another nice downwind run for the next 12 hours, then lighten up and shift to the north for about 12 hours of beam reaching. Should be a fun 24 hours ahead.

The biggest news of the day was that I was able to confirm the sun still exists. I actually saw it with my own eyes for an hour this morning, it's first appearance in about a week. It wasn't enough for the cabin to dry out but I'll take it. Then, to remind me I'm in Canada, it poured for an hour while I was trying to dry out one of the staysails not in use. Maybe it's me. The weather in the Azores was horrible, Plymouth was worse and now the Canadian Maritimes are trying to out do them both. It's following me around.



#60 Rail Meat

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:20 PM

I suspect it is going to be a pleasure to get out of your thermals when you finally get to Plymouth.  Probably for the first time since March.

 

Keep trucking!



#61 Jonathan Green

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 06:28 PM

I'm going to find a sauna to sit in for 12 hours to try to dry out. Then move to Arizona for a year.



#62 Jonathan Green

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 06:30 PM

There's been no rest for the weary managing through the breeze transition last night and today. Just when I think I'm pushing the spinnaker too much and switch to double headsail reaching, the breeze slacks or shifts or both so get up there and set the kite again. This happened six times today. I've been pretty aggressive about carrying sail so I'm happy with the performance through the transition.

Now we're back to beating as two lows are forecasted to come rambling across the course. Both appear to be tracking way too far north to get on top of them for some downwind action so it will be a nice long beat all the way into the barn. 15-20 out of the SW is nothing to complain about though it will probably be lighter as we get in toward RI Sound. With less than 500 nm to go, this is the final push here at the end.

Earlier in the race, during some of the beating stretches, I noticed Pathways can hold a very tight angle, tighter than Spirit and certainly tighter than Jeroboam but I found that if I didn't pinch up too much, I wasn't keeping pace but I wasn't getting slaughtered either. Anyway, I'll do my best and see if I can at least stay in the same ballpark as these guys.

I got the boat all prepped for more beating: dried out the spin and staysails a little and stowed them, secured all the running rigging, aired out the cabin a little. I've been charging the batteries with the engine lately trying to run down some of this fuel on board to lighten up a little. I'll also be making less water each day as I work through the reserves. This boat definitely performs better light so I think every bit counts.

The sun made a number of appearances today and I'm hoping that as this SW breeze settles in, we'll have some milder temps. The fog just rolled back in but the sun is still shining. How does that work? 



#63 Jonathan Green

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:44 AM

Ah, the old familiar sounds of beating up wind have returned; the creeks and groans from the boat, the strain of the autopilot to keep a course, the pounding of the bow into waves, the flogging of sails as they're reefed and unreefed, then reefed again, then unreefed, then reefed. Lots of intensity shifts last night and today have kept me hopping trying to keep the boat moving at max speed. There will be plenty more of that over the next couple days as the forecast has the wind strength constantly shifting along my route.

The 2000 UTC position report shows Pathways doing 7.5 knots! He's over George's Bank so I hope some of that is current. It's been fun trying to keep up with those guys but I'm definitely out classed. The best I could do this afternoon was about 6 knots but I just found a little current myself so I'm getting another two or three tenths out of it. Who knows how long it will last.

Speaking of George's Banks, I have all the tidal current charts out and am trying to see how my approach and timing will be impacted. There's not a lot I can do up there except perhaps delay a tack by a couple hours to ride/avoid some current as I'm more restricted by winds shifts. As RM likes to say about the Bermuda race course: wind trumps stream.

I've been good about rationing my fresh fruit. I just ate my last orange and still have some apples kicking around. Amazing they lasted so long without refrigeration. On second thought, they had plenty of refrigeration.



#64 Rail Meat

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 12:48 AM

Almost there, Jonathan.  Top notch effort, and some great sailing.  Thanks for keeping us updated.



#65 DtM

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 03:05 AM

Yes,  thanks for the updates and you have done a great job.

 

All envy from me.



#66 Jonathan Green

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:11 PM

Intense sailing last night with unending reefing and unreefing. It's been a major chore getting this boat to move efficiently in the variable speed breeze and my shoulders are killing me from all the grinding. But whatever I was doing wasn't enough to even come close to matching Pathway's progress across George's Bank last night - Richard put down some serious miles so hat's off to him.

I just reached the outskirts of the bank a little before 1700 UTC and picked up a knot of favorable current but that will turn foul as it draws me up into the Gulf of Maine through the next tide swing. The breeze has been a 20-30 degree lift from the forecast for the last couple hours so I'm expecting to get headed again at some point. Anyway you slice it, my tacking angles are not going to be pretty this evening but should improve in the wee hours when the tidal currents start swinging my way again.

I've been racing for 21 days now but it seems a lot longer. Part of me doesn't want it to end but most of me is ready for the luxuries of shore. The freeze dried is getting particularly old.



#67 Rail Meat

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:02 PM

Sail 3,000 miles across the ocean and then spend the last 300 miles beating your way uphill to the finish.  This is a brutal race course.



#68 Jonathan Green

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 04:44 PM


Light and variable winds will dominate the race course until about 0800 UTC tomorrow when a beautiful NNE breeze will fill in across the race course and carry me to the finish. Yeeeeeeeehaw! In the meantime, I'm working hard to make progress through the light stuff. I'm catching some decent puffs that are sticking around for a while - some consistent forward motion so far, though not always in the right direction.

I found an interesting current feature that helped me out a lot earlier this morning. As the detrimental tidal current was filling in the Gulf of Maine via the Great South Channel, the northwest edge of George's Bank was like a back water zone - it was flowing counter to the main body of water in the channel. I've seen this effect in rivers, particularly at a bend but never really thought about the effect in the ocean. The wind didn't cooperate for me to spend too much time over there but if you find 0.5 knots of favorable current when you expected to find 2 knots unfavorable, it's cause for celebration. I broke out one of Andrea's Sardegna mineral water bottles labeled "Frizzante" and pretended it was champagne.

My routing software predicts Jeroboam's finish tomorrow night which would be fantastic. As long as I can make some reasonable progress in the light air today and tonight, and the NE breeze actually does arrive in the morning, tomorrow night sounds about right. It's always a bit frustrating at the end of a long race getting hit with light wind but with the promise of 20 out of the NNE tomorrow, I can suffer through it.

I'm glad to be away from George's Bank. The fog was scary thick last night and there were tons of fishing boats around. Since my radar is out of commission, and only 2 of the ~20 fishing boats I came across had AIS, there was no rest to be had. Thankfully the temperature was fairly mild last night although it was wet on deck from the fog. As soon as I was off the bank and the fog lifted this morning, I grabbed a couple rapid fire naps.

It's a really nice day out here with fairly clear skies and sunshine. I just need a little more wind to wrap up this race. Homeward bound!



#69 Roleur

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:00 AM

Hoping for a great last day of sailing for you!

#70 Rail Meat

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 11:54 AM

Looks like you will be pulling into Newport well before evening.  And you have some nice conditions for the rest of your race.  Enjoy the last miles, and the accomplishment!  Awesome effort.



#71 Jonathan Green

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:12 PM

As everyone knows, I’m back. Jeroboam crossed the finish line at 1816 UTC on Wednesday to a fantastic greeting of friends and family. This finish time assures me of an elapsed and corrected time class victory. While it has not yet been made official, my back of the envelope calculations indicate an extremely good showing among the fleet on corrected time. Jeroboam performed brilliantly without any major issues or equipment failures.

 

The last 48 hours were some of the most grueling as I made a very sharp cut across the corner of Nantucket Shoals. These shallow waters extend about 30 miles south and east of Nantucket and have claimed many ships and lives over the years. The charts simply cordon off the entire region, labeling it “Area To Be Avoided.” There are no channels or channel markers or aids to navigation or lighthouses. The depths indicated on the charts are virtually meaningless as the chart datum is from 1940 and with each winter storm, the sandbars and shoals move around, sometimes considerably. At one point, the chart indicated I should be in 60 feet of water with plenty of room all around the boat but my depth sounder read 10. It was pitch black with thick fog. I was flying the spinnaker trying to work my way against 1.5 knots of head current. Then the wind died and I was struggling to keep the boat off the sand. I got the anchor on deck and was preparing to hurl it over when the NE breeze filled in and quickly built to 15 knots. By the time dawn hit, I was out of the shoals and sighted land, Nantucket, to the north. It was the end of my most frightening sailing episode on this race.

 

The rest of the way into Newport was some brilliant summer sailing weather. I put on my shorts and a tee shirt, rooted around for my sunglasses which hadn’t been used all race, and enjoyed a fantastic close reach, then beat into Narragansett Bay.

 

Jeroboam+Spin.jpg

 

Upon finishing, my good buddy’s Chris, Jay and Damean jumped on board from several of the chase and media boats to take over the helm while I put my feet up to enjoy the moment. It’s been great to spend some time with the other competitors and new friends in the more relaxed Newport environment as pre-race Plymouth was fairly tense with prep work.

 

A few people have asked me if the race was easy compared to the delivery. I think they each had their challenges. The intensity of the competition during the race took as much out of me as the rough weather and equipment failures of the delivery. The experience smashed any preconception I had of my own mental, physical and emotional limits. All were pushed to incredible heights, providing a whole new perspective of what I’m capable of.

 

Jeroboam+Finish.jpg

 

I want to thank the race committee for putting on a fantastic race. David Southwood has done a great job leading the charge and Norm Bailey has been extremely helpful in so many ways as have their wives and Alex Burgis, a volunteer student from Plymouth who has labored intensely on the website and social media venues. Thank you also to fellow competitors Richard Lett, Jac Sandberg and Nico Budel for setting the pace in front of me and pushing me to keep up with them. These guys never let up once and it took everything I had to try to keep pace.

 

Lastly, I want to give a big thank you to my short support team and family for helping out in so many ways. Gina and Tom lead the charge on a day to day basis, relaying my reports and securing spare parts for me during the delivery to Europe and to Nate & Anya for meeting me in Plymouth. Duncan Sweet and his team in Horta helped tremendously in getting the boat back together and on track to cross the starting line. Huge thanks to Joe Cooper for putting together the Sail for Kids program with the Storm Trysail Foundation. We had lots of financial supporters for this program and I’m very appreciative to everyone who helped us. I would like to single out Walter and Gina Beinecke and Fred Morris of Lodge of St Andrews for their generosity –having people like this believe in me is incredibly motivating and a real honor. And finally to my Mom, Dad, brother Jeff and his wife Jody for helping in so many ways.

 

I may have been out there on my own but this really has been a team effort. Thank you. 

 

Photo credits www.billyblack.com



#72 Trent

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:50 AM

Congratulations on a well-sailed race! Good show all around, determination, analysis, perseverance, fortitude. Hope you'll enjoy Newport as much as we've enjoyed your story-in-progress.



#73 Rail Meat

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 03:47 AM

Bravo, Jonathan.  Very well done.



#74 r.finn

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:16 PM

A cruising Beneteau has never looked cooler. Great job with the race.

#75 DtM

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:57 PM

Good job Jonathan.

Congratulations

#76 Presuming Ed

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:10 AM

Great performance - congratulations!



#77 oioi

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:51 AM

great result and thanks for the really interesting posts.



#78 Icedtea

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:16 PM

Just looked at your boat Jonathon, well done mate, she wasn't built to race that hard! 

 

 

You should be given a free Beneteau of your choice for the good work you've done with one.



#79 SCANAS

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for the write ups and well done

#80 Sebyseb

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:45 PM

Congratulations for the result and many thanks for the write-up.

Good combination of skills on a boat better known for cruising.

Well done!



#81 r.finn

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:39 PM

Master stroke by Jonathan: preparation.

#82 GinabtSea

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:09 PM

Overall Winner of OSTAR 2013- WOW!!!  What an incredible win for you and Jeroboam. I learned a tremendous amount doing shore support for this one- any time- Congratulations Jonathan, Well Earned!



#83 Joan Pons Semelis

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:30 PM

great result and thanks for the really interesting posts.

+1

Really :)



#84 Jonathan Green

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:26 AM



Thanks guys. Really appreciate all the support and words of congratulations. The RC made it official last night: Jeroboam took first in fleet on corrected time!Yeeeeeeeehaw!

#85 iclypso

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:29 AM

Congrats, Jonathon.  It was great to watch your progress (great decision by the RC) and read your updates.  Welcome back!



#86 Stevem1971

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:11 PM

Congrats Jonathan!  Fantastic job - preperation always pays off!



#87 Mexican

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 02:34 AM

Congratulations Jonathan. Fantastic result. Thanks for taking the time and effort to keep us all up to date.

 

The big question now is "what's next?" for yourself and Jeroboam!

 

Mex



#88 Jonathan Green

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:54 PM

Congratulations Jonathan. Fantastic result. Thanks for taking the time and effort to keep us all up to date.

 

The big question now is "what's next?" for yourself and Jeroboam!

 

Mex

 
This is a question I've been getting a lot lately and one I've spent a great deal of time thinking about. With regard to Jeroboam, I'm afraid we're heading for a break up. I've done all I can do with this boat and it performed brilliantly but it's time to move on. When I first bought Jeroboam 10 years ago, I wasn't even into racing, but as I came up through the ranks of single and double handed events, the performance and results were always there. The boat just kept winning so it was hard to consider other options. If the wins keep tumbling in, why rock the boat? But I'm afraid there are no more peaks to summit on J-Bomb. Yes, I can ship it out to the west coast and do the single handed transpac but is that really enough of a step up? No disrespect to the people who do that race - it's more than proven itself to be a serious test of man and boat but the next step appears to be something more, something beyond what Jeroboam is capable of.
 
So what is it? Herein lies the most difficult query of my adult life. I'm 42 years old, have not built up any real wealth, have no significant woman in my life or children and my career has been somewhat sagnet; in short, many of those traditional sources of personal happiness are absent. This hasn't been a deterrant to my happiness so I suppose the different drummer to whom I march is just as valid as the traditionalists out there, living in the suburbs with a lovely wife, golden retriver, 2.3 kids and a J-24. No, the next step for me in sailing, has nothing to do with personal happiness. It has to do with the challenge, the dream, the holy grail of single handed sailing. Likewise the next step of my career has nothing to with personal happiness, it has to do with the challenge, pushing myself past any person limits I previously set and reaching well beyond my comfort zone. Sucessess in these areas of my life are the source of happiness for me. 
 
(The work challenge is one I won't go into here as this is a sailing site and nobody wants to talk work. Suffice to say, for me, it's just as exciting and interesting as my sailing endeavors. Starting Monday, I'm right back in the mix and loving every minute of it.)
 
The next racing challenge is one I can handle. I feel sufficiently dispassionate about an around alone non-stop race that I can do what is necessary to prepare and compete without being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the undertaking. The dream is all new territory for me. An american, where sailing isn't even considered a sport and sponsorships are non-existent, doesn't take on such a challenge without being termed a dreamer because the probability of obtaining funding is minute. When I hear guys like Ronnie Simpson say "I'm going to do Vendee in 2016," I'm impressed beyond belief. You've got to have an enormous amount of respect for someone who faces an insanely difficult challenge like that with self-assurance and confidence. For me, there's no better way to get me to do something than to tell me it can't be done so in this light, call me a dreamer in training. 
 
I've always regarded the delta between what someone says they're going to do and what they actually do as a leading measure of integrity. Dreamers are able to overcome this personal limit by answering their own "what if" questions with a measure of infinite hope. The best possible outcome is their ultimate goal, nothing less is even considered. This is the attitude required for an american to compete in Vendee and it ends in one of two ways: an entry or a failure. The former is victory in and of itself regardless of race results, the later deserves just as much respect because AT LEAST THEY TRIED.
 
I don't wish to sound like a defeatist, rather a realist. Dreamers are blind to the potential failures and pitfalls ahead, realists watch out for them, prepare for them, avoid them. Will it work? Ask me in 3.5 years. In the meantime, I have just as much focus on my career as my sailing life and if I bring the same intensity I was able to muster on the OSTAR race course, I have no doubt that one or both will be successful.


#89 Icedtea

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 10:12 AM

Great piece Jonathan again, keep us posted!



#90 Jonathan Green

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 06:15 PM

Couple great videos have surfaced from OSTAR competitors Pathways to Children and Spirit who were neck and neck the whole way across:

 


 


 

 

 

 

I can't remember if I posted any of these before but here's some random shots from the delivery:

 







 






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