Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Melbourne to Osaka Race 2013 - Escapade heads into Solomon Islands

by George Shaw on 4 Apr 2013
Melbourne to Osaka Race 2013 - Yasu at helm Sally Williams
Melbourne to Osaka Race 2013 - At the 3 pm update today Escapade was well into Manning Strait in the northern Solomon Islands. Some fairly strong tides there, which should make for an interesting navigation exercise as it gets towards dark.

Last night’s email from Robert and Joey described how they planned to get through the Solomons; that plan was modified slightly by the weather:

'Those watching the tracker will see that we are approaching the Solomon Islands with the intention to pass between Lanalau and Vangunu islands into 'The Slot' or New Georgia Sound and exit via Manning Strait. Our original intentions included going east of the entire Solomon Is group with the intention of getting into the NE trades sooner and avoid the dead patches around New Ireland and Bougainville.



However a small low formed itself up right in our path (Long 160E) and forced us to skirt around it to the east. Even then we had to take a day off to watch the waves turn to glass. Current plan is to get through the Solomon Is. as described above and then head north to keep in the good breeze to the equator then dial up 'Goto Osaka' on the autopilot and make a run for home - 2000M run that is! Highlight of the day - 10kts under the asymmetric spinnaker'

Wasabi, Cadibarra 8 and Spirit of Downunder are leading the pack chasing down Escapade; with Wasabi approaching 17 degrees south, about 500 nautical miles south west of the Solomons, and the other two boats within 50 to 80 miles of Wasabi.

Turbulence’s tracker is still intermittent, for no obvious reason, but at 7.00 am today they were close to 18 South 156 East; that is, not too far from the 3.00 pm positions of Spirit of Downunder and Cadibarra 8.

Kiss Goodbye to MS and Funnelweb are about a hundred and fifty miles south of Wasabi’s latitude, with Optimus Prime around another hundred miles behind them and rapidly making up the time lost in their earlier diversion to Sydney.
Samurai Jack and Southern Cross are also well and truly back into the race, with SJ about 70 miles in front of the Japanese boat. The Wednesday evening email from Samurai Jack was very positive:

'As we kiss goodbye to Fraser Island, we bid farewell to Australia and cell phone reception as we progress to cross the prominent north- south current that we've been avoiding since the decision to hug the coast was made ( before the start!).

Since leaving Coffs Harbour our keel frame is proving itself to have been fixed (touch wood). We've enjoyed flying our symmetrical big foot kite and have just taken it down and to replace it is our number three headsail so we can gain some longitude E.

Expecting SE for the next couple days, looking forward to some great surfing'.

Also received an update from Southern Cross skipper Yasu this morning. Once again he is in a poetic mood - 'It's great to be back in the competition. Last night we could see countless numbers of fishing trawlers at work on both sides of us. The electric lights look beautiful and so did the waning moon as it rose above the bright vacant horizon.

The atmosphere around us became transparent and across Southern Cross stars shone in the sky directly above us.
It's the changing of the season and we look beyond the equator. Its cold at night and we need to wear a long sleeved wind-cheater. When the sun comes up it’s hot again and time for a polo shirt.

The wind is rapidly shifting from the East to the South West. We’re aiming for the north flowing current at 20 South 158 East but how far we travel east will depend on the wind. The entrance to the Solomon Sea is 155 east. From today we’re expecting that the wind will become much stronger'.

Gusto is less than 200 miles behind Southern Cross – close to 600 behind Wasabi but is getting back into her stride. Last night, Brian told us 'all good got the trades now hope they stay Melbourne to Osaka Race website

Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Storm Force Marine 4Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted today at 1:34 pm
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted today at 12:58 pm
Championship momentum builds at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Three windward/leewards for the two Rating Series divisions on the eastern course area started out in 10-12knot ESE wind Three windward/leewards for the two Rating Series divisions on the eastern course area started out in 10-12 knot ESE winds under overcast skies and as the day progressed the breeze turned SE and faded to 8-9kts.
Posted today at 12:13 pm
Fair Winds celebrates 60th at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Over the past decade modernisation/expanding waterline length of boats competing at AHIRW has been obvious progression 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Over the past decade the modernisation and expanding waterline length of boats competing at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week has been an obvious progression. In contrast the homebuilt and the classics among the glamourous production fleet and multiplying multihulls have become rarer sights.
Posted today at 7:45 am
Audi Hamilton Island RW - Whales steal the limelight on Day 3 + Video
With the IRC class racing postponed ashore, the cruising classes were sent to an eastern course in search of breeze. With the IRC class racing postponed ashore, the cruising classes were sent to an eastern course in search of breeze. The only action in the racing area came from the whales rolling around without a care for the yachts that surrounded them.
Posted on 24 Aug
Oman Sail’s Fahad Al Hasni voted Seahorse Sailor of the Month
Oman’s leading offshore sailor Fahad Al Hasni has joined one of professional sailing’s most elite clubs He was nominated for one of the most coveted awards in world sailing for the part he played in Musandam-Oman Sail's success in setting records in recent years such as the Round Britain and Ireland and in particular the new Round Ireland record earlier this year.
Posted on 23 Aug
Hamilton Island Race Week - Supermaxis battle on Day 2 + Video
Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week Photographer Michael Chittenden is on the water at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and provided this gallery of images on a day when the supermaxi Scallywag beat Wild Oats XI for the first time. Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn commentate the video of Race Day 2
Posted on 23 Aug
Mid-week weekend at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Layday came early for the AHIRW fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Layday came early for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet despite best efforts by the race committee to get some divisions racing out on the Eastern course area, in the Turtle Bay vicinity.
Posted on 23 Aug
AHIRW Day 3 - Audi Hamilton Island Whale Watching Week
Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at AHIRW, but there was plenty of people and whale watching 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Day three saw no racing for any of the 252 entries at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, but there was plenty of people and whale watching to be done for the media! I have to say it is the best postponement I have had in my 20+ years of sailing!
Posted on 23 Aug
Was Singapore's Road to Rio just a cul-de-sac?
'Our sailors are not full time. That has to be changed to get them on course to perform well and progress up the ranks.' Singapore’s sailors and windsurfers captured the imagination in the run-up to the Olympics. In total, eight sailors and two windsurfers clinched their tickets to Rio, a feat which made the Republic’s contingent the second-largest in Asia behind Japan, who had 11 qualifiers.
Posted on 23 Aug