…that you’ll never see, that is being in front of Lending Club. They are flat crushing it, and failing a major breakage, will easily decimate the elapsed time record to Hawaii – possible by over a day. A little onboard recap from Navigator Boris Herman here, and you can track the fleet here.
July 18th, 2015
The 500 nm Super Mac which is a race run along side the Chicago Mac only happens every 5-10 years, had a 31 boat fleet with some seriously quick maxis, a Volvo 70, two TP52′s, an STP65, an Andrews 77, a J/V 66 and an ORMA 60 Tri. Here’s our story.
Our boat is Hope, a very nice 33 cruzer built in Sweden ten years ago, and owned by Michael Leland an orthopedic surgeon who recently performed his 1000th anterior hip replacement. His original plan to only cruze the boat took a dive when he decided he wanted to win the Chicago Mac cruising division. The first year got him a 4th place flag which fueled his desire to win it. He recruited Vik “Big Toe” to manage the boat, he has a motor sport background and has been part of teams which have won in F1, Indy car and prototype sports cars. He brought on board Mike “Moose” DeBone a free spirit master carpenter as bowman, navigator, helm. Add Fred “Trimming Fool” Bell who is one the best big boat trimmers, as core crew. With the help of Jack who is no longer sailing, they went on a tear, winning local PHRF races and port to ports as prep for the 2011 cruzing Mac which they won.
A word about the Cruising Mac, which pretty much every racing sailor here dismisses as not really racing. It is the the fastest growing fleet in the Chicago Mac, and while there are some casual boats, it’s more competitive than you might think. Hope has a 4th, two 3rds and two 1sts.
In 2014 Hope won Cruising 2 and beat out a 50 boat fleet to win Cruising Overall, and Michael decided he should stop racing and concentrate on prep for his long term plan to cross the Atlantic.
Vik, Moose and Fred started to look for another boat they could help up it’s game. A week before they signed up on another boat, CYC, BYC & PHYC announced they would run a ’15 Super Mac. The core crew had a meet with Michael and they decided to try and win it.
It became the Hope final Farewell FO tour.
As prep they raced in the Columbia which is the oldest race on Lake Michigan, a 65 mile overnight. They finished 2nd in section and 6th in fleet, despite a couple of fuck ups which they took on board as ‘don’t let it happen in the Super Mac.’
With regular Mac crew additions of Dave ‘BK’ Nielsen and “Joe Frogger” CJ, they came to the start of the ChiMac/Super Mac, they got a first row start and had a weather plan for Rhumbline all the way to Port Huron.
Hope has a 2 shift/4 hour change plan, we have five really good drivers who change on the hour, and of course our trimming fool who gets relieved occasionally to get his neck massaged by the hot Swedish masseuse we keep hidden in the vee berth (for clean’s benefit that’s a small lie…)
We followed our plan, hit a couple of hitches with a 2 hour park up near Racine the first night and a more painful 4 hour layover north of Big Sable which put a damper on winning the Chicago Mac.
Hope never gives up, so we redoubled our efforts to do well on the Super Mac, the tracker showed the big boats slowing down and our weather prediction told us to expect some big air on Lake Huron. We crossed the Mac finish line in 6th place (7th in the 129 boat Mackinac Cup division – maybe an omen of things to come for smaller boats), disappointed but happy to see the ringer Detroit boat with the crazy rating didn’t win.
A slow 5kt beat around Bois Blanc Island in the rain started our move into Lake Huron but the breeze steadily built and went left until we had enough to bring up our game changer favourite ‘magic white’ A2 North sail. Michael has been a faithful North customer for 20 years so Perry and his staff really take care of our sail inventory, we carried this for many hours until God took it away from us. We quickly got the remains down and went to our 2nd favourite new A2, but were soon advised with a big round up and many semi ‘death rolls’ that this was His last warning.
Now with the #3 and reefed main we had 24 hours of great wind that led to 12 hours with some surfing on 6-9ft waves with the odd 12 footer just to keep things interesting and sustained winds of 25 with 35kt gusts (before Clean calls me a liar again, the Coast Guard issued hourly bulletins of SCA and extreme conditions).
We now had an inkling that we could do well in fleet, Michael drove us to the finish, surfing into the St Clair river, crossing the finish line at 5am where the welcoming voice of the race committee recorded our time.
Our elapsed time of 88:56:07 gave us 1st in class and 1st in fleet.
It was a race that had everything, big air, light air, no air, rain, cold nights and hot days, merciless flies at times, but it’s one that will remain in our minds forever.
It was perfect weather for Hope ‘the little boat that could’ with six good friends on board to do the impossible and beat up on the big boats. Oddly the big boat rock stars didn’t show up for the PHYC awards-but after party was great fun and well attended by most of the boats that did the race. – Anarchist Vic.
July 18th, 2015
Really interesting to see the the crewed J 125′s at polar opposites of their fleet. Hamachi currently looking much better up high, Timeshaver, well, read on. Oh and what a retarded decision by Transpac to delay the positioning by 6 hours. Old school nonsense.
Well Well the southerly thing does not look so good anymore. we had 12 hours of not being able to download weather and stuck to our routing service we got just before the race, we persisted on getting south, really south. It was a weird night, we sort of were at the mercy of the wind as a tack would have sent us back to LA. The morning came and we got a new grib and wham, the promise of breeze was gone. So we ended up getting a shift, that was not anywhere on the gribs, that allowed us to sail 244 for a good 3-4 hours. Then we gybed and are now sailing 270-280 at about 8-9kts of boat speed with our 2A flying nicely.
We crossed another boat so spirits were raised, a little. The daily standings were ugly and morale was a bit low. We are here to rally and all of our systems seem to be working, for the first time ever! We made some good water, I can send emails, get gribs and even make a phone call (we tried to be sure).
The forecast looks interesting so anything can happen in this race. I am looking forward to a nap and then more good sailing (hopefully) and with that sailing some tunes will be played. I think today requires something with a little intensity.
July 18th, 2015
This whole R/C sailing thing has me pretty good lately. I just sailed my new ODOM for the first time and am looking forward to getting my hat handed to me in the good and good sized fleet here in Dago. – ed.
July 17th, 2015
The first daily report from Keith Magnussen onboard the J 125 Timeshaver as they begin the trek to Hawaii…
Another fine mess I got myself into! Floating around the coast of California, well 150 miles off or so, and trying to get to Hawaii in these conditions is not ideal. The Timeshaver has been going along nicely, averting crisis and praying for wind. We had a few hours where we could not access our Iridium but we are live again!
Pete Heck is up on deck tacking back and forth in super light shifty breeze. I am supposed to relive him in a half an hour but who wants to do that? Owner, Viggo Torbensen, spared no expense and every puff of wind he gets excited which is good to see.
Rounding out the crew are long time team member Blake “Tokyo” Hamilton, Charlie Underwood and Cody Schuab. So far we are still having a super fun time even though it kind of sucks. On my end I thought we had a pretty decent night. We are a bit south of our fleet but that was part of the game plan. I have been having fun messing around with my new Replay XD Camers. It is like a GoPro but different. So far lots of flat water video!
I am sure next report will be a little more fun.
July 17th, 2015
When Sperry told us they wanted to support coverage of events we thought made a difference to the sport of sailing, we instantly thought of the J/70 Worlds. Sure, there was a 95-boat Melges 24 Worlds two weeks ago in Denmark and a 100-boat SB20 Worlds in Lake Garda last week, but with nearly a thousand boats sold in three years, nothing comes close to the impact on racing made by the new and exploding class from the J0hnstones. And as evidenced by the 16-nation field in the boat’s second-ever Worlds in La Rochelle, the effect is spreading far, and fast.
So we put together a 6-man crew to bring live video of all the racing to you guys, and we didn’t skimp. The live feed included commentary from SA’s Senior Editor and Adventures of a Sailor Girl’s Nic Douglass, along with daily highlight reels from Petey Crawford, and huge high-quality photo galleries from Sander Van Der Borch. Why’d we go so big? Because we want to see more of the family-friendly, female-inclusive, youth-engaging vibe this little boat is giving to people all over the world, and the infrastructure J/boats have created to deliver well-built, good-looking, quick-ish little racers that are all damned similar to one another is something we admire. And we felt privileged to be able to document it all.
Above you’ll find our final movie from last week’s Championship, and we really, really hope you’ll sit through it until the end. And don’t be drinking coffee near the end. If you laugh as much as we did, share the link with your friends. For the full interview with new World Champ Julian Fernandez, hit this link. The full chat with Marty Kullman including the drama with North’s DNE request is in here. You can grab any one of the dozen-plus interviews and highlight reels in our Vimeo index.
July 17th, 2015
Our boys on Lending Club are looking good and ripping right along. Currently going over 30 knots, they covered 725 miles in the last 24 hour period and are on pace to set the elapsed time record to Hawaii. Go the Club! Here’s the latest from onboard the boat from C0-Skipper Ryan Breymaier:
We had a great afternoon yesterday, sailing with the full main and J1 at 100-120 TWA, in 18-25 knots. The wind seems to be lighter than whatever we read at the masthead, as we can carry the bigger sails over the indicated range easily. this is probably just due to the water being quite cold, keeping the breeze from settling onto the water..
Last night we changed to the Gennaker at 4:00 am, quite a project on this boat, with the off watch being called into action on the grinders to get the 300 pound sail to the top of the mast. Instant acceleration, 10 degrees lower and 6 knots or so faster.
This morning the break of day reveals a squally sky, but we are taking advantage of the slightly stronger breeze and better angle the squalls bring; we’re making between 30-35 knots straight towards Hawaii at times which goes a long way to assuring a record pace. We are starting to see crap in the water, various floating plastic objects and more worryingly, we hit something quite solid with the windward rudder, which was bad luck, as it is usually nowhere near the water’s surface. Miraculously, we dont seem to have sustained damage…
We are looking forward to nightfall, when the debris does not exist, as we cannot see it. Life onboard is routine, eating, sleeping, driving and repeat!
July 17th, 2015
World famous “disabled” sailor Dee Smith will attempt to overcome his “disability” to navigate the R/P 74 Wizard to Hawaii. We expect that Wizard has been refitted with “disabled” sailor friendly ergonomics and other physical asissts to ensure that “disabled” sailor Smith can adequately deal with his “disability” on the long and often difficult 2,225 mile ocean race.
We salute the bravery of Smith as he stares down his “disability” on this voyage. Surely there are other disabled sailors sailing on non-disabled sailor crewed boats in this race, correct?
And it is so heartwarming to see that the sailing community has rallied around Smith and his quest for $270,000 in funding for his disabled Paralympics dream. He has received $90.00.
July 17th, 2015
A cool shot from Rick Tomlinson of the new Ker 40+, Invictus at the IRC Nationals in Cowes today. Look at the water exiting the cockpit!
July 17th, 2015
Aussie Mini sailor Katrina Ham says her boat was smashed to bits and she was left to die by an official Mini-Transat rescue boat two years ago during the stormy and poorly-managed 2013 race. Now that she’s qualified for the 2015 MT, those same organizers have now rejected her entry. Here’s the story, with thanks to Conrad Colman for the heads up. Head over to Katrina’s fundraising page to give her a hand, read more about her story over here, and blow up the MT organizers with the link to this story on Facebook until they quit acting like assholes.
Katrina, 27, from Brisbane has been working for years to get to reach her goal: the Mini Transat. Having moved to France 3 years ago, she lives in a van on the submarine base in Lorient and teaches English to survive. But this is not the first time Katrina has come up against hurdles. After finishing all the qualification requirements and getting to the start in 2013, the race was delayed and the fleet was diverted to northern Spain. During an organised delivery to the re-start, Katrina was taken under tow by an official accompanying boat which towed her into dangerous breaking waves. Her boat was let loose after she was rolled by a wave and she was hurtled into the water. Fortunately she was attached to her boat, but the boat that was towing her was nowhere to be seen. Katrina was discovered by chance by the harbour pilot who ended up swimming for his life as well! While Katrina was eventually brought back to shore, her boat was left drifting, to be smashed to pieces.
Proving that she’s not one to give up, Katrina stayed in France, acquired another mini, and set out to get qualified again. Even though she completed all the requirements again, her entry has been rejected because they organizers want her to pay €2000 for the tracker that was apparently damaged when her boat was lost. Katrina has given the tracker back and has no legal obligation to pay for it but without the means to fight given the time restrictions Katrina’s dream is threatened to be crushed again. It is crunch time at the end of the week, when entries close she either coughs up and gets to race (assuming they accept her and she finds the means to get to the start) or she misses out altogether…..not an easy choice given the circumstances.
Please help Katrina so that she can be on the start line. She won’t win the race, but she has demonstrated for years that she has the skills and mental fortitude to overcome all the challenges ahead of her if she has the means. Please lend a hand and help this young adventurer fight back from the unjust position she has found herself in and succeed in realising her dream and sharing this adventure with you.
July 17th, 2015