May 30th, 2012
No one is getting a lot of rest in the Volvo fleet as they charge headlong for a Thursday finish in Lisbon, certainly Groupama skipper and watch captain Franck Cammas and Thomas Coville, who spent much of their night bailing 1 and a half tons of water out of the boat that came from a cracked ballast tank. Then Brad Marsh spent another three hours grinding and epoxying, with the team expecting the tank to be useable by the time they are through the ridge of high pressure ahead and into more breezy conditions that will see this tight race to the finish. It’s anyone’s game at this point.
Even perennial backmarker Sanya Lan is still in the running, and a bit of Birthday luck could see 41-year old Mike Sanderson get one or two of those ‘scalps’ he’s been talking about all race. Here’s a Birthday photo and update from aboard Sanya courtesy of Andres “Twisty” Soriano:
There are not very many people in the world who can say that, for their birthday, they were woken early for a phone interview, then before breakfast had a snickers bar lined with matchsticks presented to them as their cake, and a present in the form of a 100 calorie can of Diet Coke. That was how our skipper Mike Sanderson spent his birthday morning on board the mighty Sanya Lan.
Turns out he would need the sugar, as not soon after, we found ourselves in a 35 knots squall, and as Moose took the reins he averaged 25 knots of boat speed over 3 hours, knocking off about another 75nm of the total distance to go. It wasn’t a dry day; “I swallowed quite a bit of water up there, then its time for lunch,” he commented after his close to 5 hours stint on deck. “The plan is to try and ride this front for as long as we can, and then the next tactical move will be how to get through the ridge up ahead. The boat that can get through that area quickly will come out in pretty good shape,” commented Aksel, when I asked him to give a quick overview of the next 24 hours…
But for now, life is much of the same onboard, it’s still very wet on deck, and down below for that matter, the weight is still aft and we are still averaging 20 knots of boat speed. The finish of this leg is certainly shaping up to be a close one.
Here are the lastest standings:
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), 374.7 miles to finish
- Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas), +13.6 miles
- Puma Ocean Racing (Ken Read), +13.9 miles
- Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez), +28.7 miles
- Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson), +30.7 miles
- Team Sanya (Mike Sanderson), +49.2 miles
May 30th, 2012
Camper MCM Hamish Hooper had the gear on at the right time, catching helmsman Roberto “Chuny” Bermudez’s massively quick reflexes as he steers around a breaching whale on the bow at over 20 knots of boatspeed. A second later and Hooper’s next report might have been about repairing a gash in the bow; amazing stuff from the North Atlantic – what great work from Hooper and the VOR video editors…More here.
Volvo are running more live video interviews on Wednesday with all six teams on the final day before the Lisbon finish. Be sure to check it out and chat your own questions here, schedule:
- 1500UTC/1000EDT – Team Sanya
- 1530UTC/1050EDT – Telefonica
- 1600UTC/1100EDT – CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand
- 1630UTC/1130EDT – Groupama sailing team
- 1700UTC/1200EDT – Puma Ocean Racing
- 1730UTC/1230EDT – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
May 30th, 2012
Nova Scotia may be more known for their smoked salmon than for their yacht racing, but we dig the energy and the new ‘Exchange’ idea coming from the folks at the Lunenberg Yacht Club in Nova Scotia, home of what looks to be a fun J/29 North Americans. Check out their thread here, and here’s their latest note:
You have to pull together a lot of pieces to participate in a major regatta. You need a decent boat to start with. You also need a decent crew not to mention enough of them to do all the jobs involved. You also have to get to the event, which can be the single biggest challenge if the event is not in your own backyard. If you are travelling from away, furthermore, you will likely need a place to stay, which can also be a substantial challenge if you have a large crew and are, perhaps, going to a smaller place where they don’t have an 11-storey Marriott to accommodate everyone together.
We have 16 committed boats for the J29 North Americans in Lunenburg. We want at least 20. We know there are lots of competitive boats that have not tossed their “hats” in the ring. Several of them are in Atlantic Canada and several of those are floating right on Mahone Bay where the regatta will take place. There are also good sailors interested. I’ve spoken with a top Laser sailor who once finished in the top three in the world, has sailed many big boats since, and has strong Nova Scotia connections, and he has expressed an interest in coming to Lunenburg to mix it up. We’ve also had notification from many local keelboat crew of their interest in filling out crews. These include good local keelboat helmspersons, foredeck people, pit monsters, and others of varied size and capability who can do everything from sit quietly but effectively on the side of a boat to run the whole show.
We realize that if we are going to get the 5 to 10 boats that we would really like to add to our list we are going to have to bring some things together. Consequently, we are starting an Exchange page today where we will post any notice you want us to have concerning the J29 NAs. Its kicking off with a notice about Joe Blair’s cottage on Second Peninsula, which sounds like a lovely place to put up a J29 crew for a week or so during the North Americans and Chester Race Week.
We are interested in adding other information and offers. We have a form for formal offers and the page allows the entry of comments. You can offer stuff for rent or sale, or your services or the services of others. You can also enter a comment to indicate your interest in getting organized with others perhaps as the leader of a potential team, the provider of a boat for loan or charter, or as filler for someone who has 1,400 lbs of crew but figures it would be useful to get a bit closer to the 1,600 lbs maximum. We’ll try to organize the concrete offers under headings like Accommodations, Boat Charters, Crew, and so on, so that folks can find what they need quickly to meet their needs.
We are having a party and we want everyone to come out. If you don’t have the clothes, the limo, the date, or the after party venue, we are here to help. Put it on the wall and see who you can work with.
May 30th, 2012
The Swiftsure was a pretty tough affair this year – see article – here is an Anarchist perspective…
Swiftsure was well run this year and every boat we saw enter the harbor was safety checked by the RC on arrival. Every boat we know was well prepared with each crewman carrying the requisite tether, personal strobe, etc.
Conditions were at times simply brutal and carrying the A2 kite in winds gusting over 40 knots with 5 foot wind waves and a big running swell under a carpet of stars on a moonless night was something I will not soon forget.
I’ve sailed both this and the Farrallones and I have to say that I am starting to seriously re-evaluate competing in events where RC’s that fail to place offset marks around hazards as happened in the Farallones race. It encourages racers to make the kinds of decisions we should not be making as competitors regarding time savings and sea room around hazards (especially given the experience of some competitors).
Invariably this leads to disaster as competitors who have not rounded hazards in heavy conditions error in their estimation of the room required to safely round.
Personally I think US Sailing failed to reach this realization publicly not because it wasn’t present in their minds, but they did not want to admonish an RC in a way that might have exposed it to liability.
Unfortunately this means the lesson may not have been learned.
May 30th, 2012
Some Laser fun in Frisco from our pals at West Marine.
May 30th, 2012
From the UT San Diego website.
A man who made a bogus distress call to the Coast Guard was sentenced Tuesday to one year and one day in federal prison.
Sean M. Berry, 47, of San Diego had pleaded guilty to two charges of communicating a false distress message to the Coast Guard. In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Michael Anello placed him on probation for three years and ordered him to pay $6,906 in restitution to the Coast Guard.
Berry admitted that on Nov. 12, 2010, he made a “Mayday” emergency radio transmission on the maritime international distress and emergency frequency. He said there were three people aboard his boat and it was going down, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. The Coast Guard launched a search that lasted more than an hour.
Berry admitted in his guilty plea that he made the call from his home near National City. He also admitted he made a fake emergency call from his home on Jan. 1, 2011, on the same emergency channel.
May 30th, 2012
Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss hits the drink after a fairly extensive refit and very cool new paint scheme. In the plans are two Transatlantic Record attempts as he starts the final countdown to the the Vendée Globe.
Nice work here from Christophe Launay.
May 29th, 2012
runnin’ with the devils
Global Ocean Race reports from Cessna and Financial Crisis…
We are being stalked by deepening depression in the North Atlantic that will hit us tomorrow with anything up to 50kts. Despite sailing through some really strong conditions in the southern ocean legs of the Global Ocean Race this is the first time I have seen the single triangular wind barb for 50kts on a forecasted storm that is about to hit. It doesn’t look that scary from an armchair but out here it really gets your attention.
We have just turned out a 330 or so mile day under fractional spinnaker and Code 5, increasing our lead over Marco by 138 miles in a day. We were fortunate to have wind in the mid thirties and flat seas for a decent period. We peaked out at 24kts and averaged 17kts for a 3 hour sched. Considering that the Volvo boats are in in the same neighborhood and Abu Dhabi just extended on the fleet with a 338 mile day and it feels pretty cool to be running with the big boys. It was recently announced that the Farr VO70 cost 9.5 million euros to build whereas our little fiberglass fixed keel 40 footer can be on the water for a 20th of that and out speeds look even better.
Now all we need to do avoid the building weather bomb and we’ll be sweet.
Cessna Citation, Global Ocean Race
May 29th, 2012
I will certainly remember leg five of the Global Ocean Race as the one
where time expanded, we’re not even half way and I feel like i’ve been on
this boat for 9 consecutive months. Perhaps the anticipation for the
imminent finish of the whole race plays tricks with my mind or perhaps
it’s simply because we had some of the most frustrating weather of any
After leading the early days of this leg we were as predicted overtaken by
Cessna. We managed to keep quite close to them for some time until we very
quickly lost lots of ground. We seemed to get stuck in a never ending
sequence of twists and turns in the weather that slowed us down
considerably, at first we were further south and we found lighter winds,
further north we indeed found better winds but also an eddie of the Gulf
Stream and sailed nearly 36 hours in an adverse current that peaked at 2
and half knots and probably cost us well over 50 miles to everyone else
who still enjoyed a favourable current.
Then, as soon as the wind veered to the north Cessna literally took off at
their strongest point of sail… We watched them burn the miles and
disappear off the screen as our eyes started to focus on a different
problem. There’s a very deep depression forming to the west of us which
will hit us in a day with some very strong winds. In fact the weather
model shows we’ll see at least 40 knots of wind but things could get quite
nasty as the depression will continue deepening as it travels east.
Once more my focus shifted away from the race and towards our safety and
that of the boat. Whatever position we finish in this leg we will secure
2nd place in the overall points ranking, but if we do not finish we could
hand our 2nd place over to Phesheya. In other words, strictly speaking,
our goal is simply to finish this leg. The boats are tired and frankly so
am I, so we took the foot off the gas and instead of launching on a rather
pointless chase of Cessna we actually decided to lose ground to the south
and slow down so that we’ll avoid the worst of the gale force winds by
letting the depression overtake us before it deepens and strengthens. The
miles deficit to Cessna has grown very rapidly but we tried to not let it
bother us too much.
I appreciate this doesn’t sound very heroic but from a cold blooded
tactical point of view this is the best choice, nurse the boat as if she
was made of crystal all the way to Les Sables and enjoy the celebrations
of a round-the-world-race second place rather than take any unnecessary
risks with little or no upside. In fact for us to finish first overall it
would take for Cessna to retire from this leg, simply beating them to the
finish line would make no difference on points.
We are now moving further south and as soon as the depression will pass
over our heads in 24 hours we’ll start running towards les sables, we
should have 2 days of very strong following winds and clock some fast
miles, hopefully we’ll get through without breaking anything…
– Marco Nannini, FC.
May 29th, 2012
This is Tiger, Neil Kenifick’s 1/4 tonner that retained the class 3 title at the BMW ICRA National Championships at Howth, Ireland last weekend. Photo thanks to David Branigan
May 29th, 2012
in the beginning, there was…
My 13 year old was supposed to take a class field trip to a sequence of church, synagogue, temple and mosque. He begged, and I let him bail out.
The class was told to write an essay about their experience. The teacher suggested Max write about his favorite sport, sailing, instead.
So here is Max’s blend of religion and sailing, a la Genesis.
In the beginning there was man.
Man had the earth but was very, very bored. Man discovered the wind and the water. So man worked for 10 days and 10 nights until the masterpiece was finished. Up until the seventh day it had just been hull, boom and mast. Man could not make the boat go. On the eighth day man made a breakthrough – he discovered the sail.
Twenty days later he and his friends invented beer. There was much rejoicing. The Sailor’s destiny was complete. Wind, water, and lifts were distributed to all, but only the best made use of them. The sailors were peaceful, never known to harm anyone. Most conflicts were resolved with beer.
Then years later a sailor named Max came along. Sailing was his life. No one knew whether it was the peacefulness, the excitement or the friends, but Max was super excited about sailing. Max treated the sport with a royal greatness. When Max was in his boat, he was a different, calmer person. The waves off his bow, the wind in his face, put him in a Zen place.
Winning was great, losing was an experience. Sailing was important.
May 29th, 2012
This is how you build a 30 square meter in one minute. Thanks to Anarchist Olle.
May 29th, 2012
Falmouth, UK has been in the news in recent weeks with Ben Ainslie’s domination of the Finns, so here’s a video of a bunch of local Falmouth Anarchists on a typical club night from the same host
club RCYC – we’re not quite as glamorous as the Finn boys, we’ve got less hair and we’re older and
wider, but heck we’re just as keen – check out the goose wing kite action at 3:57 to earn our slot at
the mark… Music is all Led Zep, as is the boat, a J-97 called Black Dog (Beware of the Growler), keep
it coming SA and thanks for keeping us sane at work, when the first thing we log into is some
Signing out, elder Dog of the Dogs, Skipper Stuart Sawyer, Falmouth, UK
May 29th, 2012
Update from the Helm
Leg 7, Day 9
29 May 2012
Ken Read, Skipper,
PUMA Ocean Racing
You know what the best part of this race has been so far? The fact that this crew, without exception, still laughs at each others’ jokes and seems to hit it off as if it was day one of the program. And what a huge part of sport that is. Chemistry. It makes playing any game more fun, and I am convinced that when you have fun you probably perform better as well.
It is one of the things that Brad and I spoke about when we first talked about him joining our team over 2 years ago. We wanted to have fun and if we had fun, probably good things would happen. Now there is no doubt that it is easier to have fun when you are doing well, but this team certainly had its chance to lose its edge in the first half of this race. But nobody let it get us down as a group. It has been fun.
Now, how much fun is this leg? Not a lot. Groupama had a big lead only to get ground down. Telefónica had a big lead only to get smoked by a weak front that approached from the rear and they were last out of the old breeze. Now Abu Dhabi is in the unenviable position of being way ahead with a front that has come from the back at almost exactly the same speed as s Volvo 70 – 22 knots or so. And they are the unfortunate benefactors of this breeze last. Which means that their lead is hemorrhaging at this stage. Nearly 10 miles per sched. Very frustrating times for them, I would guess. And they have sailed really well to date.
Just slightly less frustrating for us, I must add. We have been the lurkers on this leg. Second a fair chunk of the time only to see things come unraveled on multiple occasions. Our little jaunt through the Gulf Stream beating to get north was really pleasant if you like colonoscopies. But, we keep holding on at this stage. For a variety of reasons. But I can’t help but think our team chemistry is helping.
Like when we ask for about the 20th tack of the day in the Gulf Stream after nearly ripping our brand new J-2 jib to shreds when the tack strop blew off… 25 knots upwind against 3.8 knots of current in the stream is no bargain. Watching things start to come unraveled is another. But the boys kept it together, and good things eventually happened. Not much sleep happened.
Then, with the front approaching we fell back with the pack and the pre-front breeze helped everyone from behind immeasurably. We simply jibed on every shift for a day while the boats behind essentially pointed at us, taking away a huge chunk of the lead we had over the rest of the fleet. Frustrated? Absolutely. I was probably the worst. It was a no-win. But, the attitude stayed solid on board and we made what at least looks to be reasonable decision to set us up for the long 1,400-mile press to Lisbon. We have been working out from a leeward position with slightly more speed and height all day, which is getting us back in touch with the rest of the fleet. Hopefully in touch from in front of them but only time will tell. All while reeling in poor Abu Dhabi, who has to just sit and watch their lead continue to evaporate because of the weather situation.
So what will happen in the end? That is a complete toss up. We will continue hauling the mail toward Lisbon only to come to a compete halt with about 100 miles to go in a band of very light breeze that is forecast to be lingering off the coast. Another obstacle in a race and especially in a leg full of them.
Hopefully the chemistry can keep it together for a couple more days! We will need all the help we can get.
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), 817 miles to finish.
- Puma Ocean Racing (Ken Read), +32 miles
- Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas), +46.8 miles
- Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson), +55.2 miles
- Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez), +57.3 miles
- Team Sanya (Mike Sanderson), +70.8 miles
May 29th, 2012
May 27th, 2012
Leg 7, Day 7
27 May 2012
Amory Ross, MCM,
PUMA Ocean Racing
LOCATION: 130 miles S of North Atlantic Ice Gate
WINDSPEED: 8.1 kts
BOATSPEED: 9.5 kts
DISTANCE TO FINISH: 1,800 miles
Getting a sunburn where we are now is probably a lot harder than yesterday made it seem, but when you spend the majority of the day laying on the bow – as we did – just about anything’s possible. Following a few busy days of upwind sailing, yesterday’s light air offered ample time to catch up on rest; drifting in the middle of a high-pressure system meant there was almost nothing to do but doze and dream. Michi, who after multiple wake-up attempts typically hops out of his bunk just a few minutes before he has to be on deck, had to be woken up to go off watch…and that was good for a solid laugh!
But really, as comfortable and pleasant as a warm mid-Atlantic day in the sun can be, it’s not what we want to be doing and it’s always hard sitting still for so long. Were it not for three knots of Gulf Stream current under the boat, yesterday might have been a complete write-off. We would no doubt vote unanimously: 24 hours and 500 miles of extreme discomfort is always better than 24 hours and 150 miles of book-reading bliss. We’re here to go fast and win a race, and it’s hard to do that in just four knots of wind.
The mind seems willing to put up with a certain amount of frustration if an end is in sight, and as we convened on the bow the topic of conversation mostly revolved around our escape – the first boat out of this high should have a massive head start – and whether our northerly position that we worked hard to get would soon pay its dividends. Everything pointed to a first night of fast sailing ahead, but as has been the case with much of this race, the weather isn’t cooperating and last night brought no breeze and only more frustration. It defies logic…sailing away from the high should produce stronger winds, but for the time being it’s only getting lighter.
Regardless, we’re here now and we’re committed to the north, and there’s really not much to do other than keep the old girl going as best we can. Eventually the high will move on and we’ll get to punch our ticket for the fast ride east towards Lisbon. We just hope it fills here first! As long as we get first dibs at post-high pressure, its belated arrival could mean nothing more than a delayed finish in Lisbon.
May 27th, 2012
May 27th, 2012
This, from our AC Anarchy forum….:
In a recent post on AC Anarchy, Peter Houston says, "Coutts hasn’t given America a reason to care about the team that pretends to be from America." (my italics)
The contradiction of the name given the team by its sponsor with the nationalities of the crewmembers is enough to give viewers who know little of sailboat racing and all everyone knows of his and her homeland a reason to say something’s not right here. A commentator telling a viewer how the boats compete or what happens when USA Bundock, having misfurled their gennaker in the prior turn, rounding the top mark they lose a two-boat length lead on Team Korea says nothing to ease the viewer’s misgiving. So knowing how better to watch the racing will not lead a viewer to accept a truth ACEA needs to convey while the viewer puzzles over accents he does not hear in the speech of fellow Americans: America wins when Oracle Team USA wins. The pretense created by identifying nation with the qualifying club lays bare for all to see when Booth and Jobson tell us one or none of our team is American. This confirms for the viewer he hears the accents right; it does nothing to help the viewer unravel the puzzle the commentators have affirmed is there.
Coming to appreciate what we see on the screen and so on the water will never bridge the divide between representation and reality Spithill and others recreate each time they reply to a question. Sailors are indifferent to a puzzle yacht clubs perpetuate when a member hires the best sailors available for a competition the Deed presents as being among nations. They countenance the usual practice: from the day of the first America’s Cup, a member of an eligible yacht club has purchased skills on the world market, as he can afford them. The way things are in professional sailing satisfies a knowledgeable viewer his team is the best it can be. Other viewers not so knowledgeable do not share the sailors’ perspective: the team flying the stars and stripes should be the best our nation fields. Since the first America’s Cup competition the ear of the sailing community has been dull to a ring those outside their circle hear is hollow.
Now the Defender and Challenger tell us they intend the race format, the choice of design and much more to attract a new and larger audience to watch their nations’ teams compete. Steeped in other national and international competitions, viewers new to the America’s Cup do not know to think American yacht club or Team Korea while they watch sailors from anywhere race their flagged boat. Sailors from anywhere cannot resolve a competition among nations. Yet the step that would color the competition so as to make it conform with the flags of the boats, removing the incongruity and so making it easy for any viewer to jump to his feet and yell, "We’re winning!," will have to wait on a competition that goes on beyond the reach of any camera. Those who hold a race result dear must be led to recognize that more of what we cherish can be shared but only by risking their confidence in the outcome. A race among nations takes in a commentator shouting, "The America’s Cup is America’s again!" and he being right. If this idea is to win over an ability to prevail at any cost, and a willingness to pay that cost, the nation we honor must have its moment onstage. I intend this post to be the moment.
Peter Houston points us to a shortcoming in Coutts’ leadership. I believe Peter has given light to a perpetual blindness that is common to sailors of many nationalities. What we have today is pantomime as the Defender and Challenger act on the thinking of many in the sailing community. The box the sailing community struggles against is more real than the Defender and Challenger can make disappear by authoring a Protocol to mandate a method of measuring LWL, a maximum crew weight and national identity. As Peter Houston tells us, our accepting the authors’ specification for national identity draws us into the author’s pretense. Houston sees the pretense for what it is because he is not so drawn. Unlike most in the sailing community, when he reads what the authors give him on nation along with the requirements for measurement and crew weight, Houston refuses to put what the authors say a competition among nations is in place of a nation that provokes Houston to demand better of the Defender and the Challenger. History shows Houston’s voice to be unique among sailors. He cares that they get the nation part right, as do I. Measurement and weight do not work this way on anyone.
Unlike a measurement method and a maximum crew weight, the final item in my list—nationality—does not read as a third subject the Defender and Challenger are obliged to specify if we are to know how to proceed in the pending competition. We know the stirring of nation, for good or ill. The authors of the Protocol and the sailing community get the stirring wrong. Sailors, and the Defender and the Challenger are sailors first, must be shown wrong by a means other than citing Schuyler’s work. I intend my example of the viewer brought to his feet by pride in his nation winning to be such a showing. Try drawing on the pride in him, working from a burgee, a national symbol painted large on the wing and a crew roster. Whatever you bring out in the viewer, it will not endure Spithill’s reply to "How did it go out there today?" and,as we know, pride in nation endures challenges greater than a discordant accent. It isn’t pride you’ve perpetuated in the viewer; it’s your confusion, again. With no change in sailors’ effort to join more people with our national entry in the oldest trophy competition in sport, we will distinguish AC34 and those to follow solely by their positions in a chronology of America’s Cup competitions. Historical orderliness, measurement and weight neither take hold nor do they stir. Jump in.
May 27th, 2012
Saturday marks our first On-The-Water Anarchy “Cocktail Hour” since August, and tonight’s live talk show will feature the inside story on the Atlantic Cup from the folks who created it and keep it running. Founder Hugh Piggin, PRO Anderson Reggio, 11th Hour Racing’s Rob MacMillan, and a member of the video production team will chat with Clean about the innovative event’s genesis, the obstacles they face and have faced, and where the first race of its kind in North America is going.
Newport Shipyard is hosting the set, and Pabst Blue Ribbon’s convenient sponsorship will help keep everyone well lubricated. This is the first of two Newport shows – tomorrow evening we’ll have the most interesting of the skippers for a slightly more humorous show.
Check in here at 1400 PDT/1700 EDT/2200 GMT for the live show, and watch it on the 8.8-million view strong On-The-Water Anarchy channel if you want to use the chat window to give us your questions.
May 26th, 2012