Small Boat, Tall Tale
One of the very first Anarchists, J_T was the naviguesser on Julien Dougherty’s 36.7 Tenacious for their huge Newport-Bermuda win last week in the professional Gibbs Hill Lighthouse division. Dougherty is still offshore, but JT was good enough to tell us about their awesome victory, and a tough, tough race.
SA: How many of these have you done?
JT: I didn’t do the last cycle for work reasons, but this is my eighth time racing to Bermuda. I’ve also done a couple of deliveries – this was maybe my 14th time crossing the Stream.
SA: This is one of the classic navigators’ races. How did you prepare?
JT: I spent a lot of time just sort of looking at charts of the Stream. I stare at it – try to figure out how to go through it without any consideration of wind at all. I use expedition and other electronic tools on the boat, but all of my real decisions happen on paper. I use plotting charts for those. After analyzing the stream for days, the night before the race I plotted everything important – the North and South Wall coordinates, the eddies, the spots where the warm and cold eddies meet, the direction and speed of drift of the eddies. Then I plotted where we wanted to be, setting up our desired entry point for the first eddy, for the entrance and exit to the Stream, and for the waypoints that would let us use the two eddies South of the Stream. We missed every one of them.