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Noumea Race Day 4- TVS finishes first - Update @ 2100

by Richard Gladwell on 5 Jun 2012
TeamVodafoneSailing pictured at the start of the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012 race © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

The ORMA60 trimaran, TeamVodafoneSailing, skippered by Simon Hull is the first yacht to finish the Evolution Sails sail Noumea 2012 race. She crossed the finish line off Noumea at 2105hrs on June 5, 2012.

She was expected to finish early this morning, however the winds dropped and she was becalmed within 30nm of the finish for much of the day.

Eventually a 9kt breeze moved her to the finish off Noumea at speeds around 10kts.

The nearest monohull,V5 (David Nathan), is off Norfolk Island and has 420nm to sail to the finish. She is 50nm ahead of the third placed yacht Akatea.

Report at 1030hrs: The 80ft yacht Beau Geste (Karl Kwok) has arrived at Norfolk Island Island where her position will be assessed. She arrived at 0930hrs NZT.

Her skipper, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, veteran Gavin Brady says the yacht came close to sinking, and the crew were advised to get into the liferafts, but did not do so because of the 50kt winds.

A statement issued by Maritime New Zealand, on the arrival of Beau Geste is as follows:

START

The damaged yacht Beau Geste is now safely anchored off Norfolk Island’s capital Kingston, after suffering hull and decking damage 100 nautical miles east of the island while participating in the Auckland to Noumea yacht race

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) search and rescue mission coordinator Neville Blakemore said all 18 members of the crew were safe and well ashore and in good spirits.

The 24-metre Beau Geste sought assistance from RCCNZ around 7pm yesterday (Monday 4 June), and RCCNZ arranged for the yacht to be accompanied by the fishing vessel Advance 2 as it made its way to Norfolk Island.

Beau Geste is now anchored off Kingston Jetty, where its damage will be assessed.

'It would have been a long night for the crew, in difficult conditions, but the boat has made safe anchorage under its own power,' Mr Blakemore said. 'A support vessel was on hand throughout the night in case the crew had had to abandon ship.'

The crew is made up of New Zealanders, Australians, Chinese, with one American on board.

END

In the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012 race, the leader, TeamVodafoneSailing is becalmed 25nm from Noumea. Her finish time is unknown, as she is sailing at less than 1kt.

In the monohulls V5 has maintained a 50nm lead over the Cookson 50 Akatea, and leads Kia Kaha by a margin of 70nm. These margins have been calculated on a distance to Noumea. The wind has dropped in the area to around 16kts average.

Earlier, TVS, an ORMA60 trimaran skippered by Simon Hull was expected to finish in Noumea at 1630hrs, however the winds have eased and shifted causing TVS's speed to drop from 35kts to under 1kts.

The latest position report as at 0730hrs, this morning can be read by http://www.sailnoumea.com/news/nz-update-0730hrs-sked-5612!clicking_here.

There are no reports from the boats as to the conditions at sea, however all report that all is well on board. One boat M1 did not report. Two other boats reported via SSB radio rather than Sat Phone.

Conditions in the vicinity of V5 are believed to be 30kts headwinds, which are causing the TP52 to swing away from the direct route to Noumea. However that should change around 1100hrs this morning when the winds change and the yacht can tack and point straight at Noumea, winds are then expected to ease for the next 24 hours or so. V5 is expected to finish in Noumea around 0600hrs on June 7, 2012. She has currently 550nm of sailing distance to the finish.

On board V5, Ben Gladwell writes in his daily blog of their need to reduce to half rations due to a gas issue on board:

As my 4am till 8 am watch finished, I smiled, thinking of our navigator Millsie, who accidently filled half the crew's bottles with salt water.

This discovery was made some four afters after he'd made himself a cup of tea, which tasted terrible, and led to him feeling sick for the next few hours.

As I lay here on the foredeck, sailing along with a code zero (our biggest upwind sail) in very little wind, I think about my next hot meal which will most likely be in Noumea.

I wrote yesterday about being nervous about running short of food and an incurring the wrath of the crew as this was my responsibility before we left. Thankfully (well sort of) Mike, the boat captain, has taken the heat off me well and truly. A slight oversight when checking that the gas canisters for the cooker actually fitted, has led to us to having no way of heating the water to make our freeze dried food.

We have some fresh food on board so in order to preserve this we are now on half rations - until Mike can come up with some kind of jury rig to make he the gas canisters fit.

Suffice to say, if he comes up with something, he'll be on cooking duty for the reminder of the trip. And in case he doesn't, at least Millsie won't have to worry about having to drink any more salt water cups of tea.


For the full Ben's Blog http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/boating/7040124/Bens-Sail-Noumea-blog-Cuppa-anyone!click_here

The latest update from Maritime NZ on the Beau Geste situation, issued at 0830 is as follows:

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Wind and sea conditions are slowing the progress of the damaged yacht Beau Geste as it attempts to reach the sheltered waters of Norfolk Island’s capital Kingston.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) search and rescue mission coordinator Neville Blakemore said the yacht was making its way around Phillip Island, to the south, in order to reach safe anchorage off Norfolk Island. This was a longer but more sheltered route to the capital.

The 24-metre yacht was being accompanied by the fishing vessel Advance 2.

A bulk carrier, Katherine, is making its way towards Beau Geste to provide some shelter from the wind and sea conditions as it approaches shore.

RCCNZ is coordinating the rescue of 18 people on board the yacht, which sustained damage while participating in the Auckland to Noumea yacht race.

Beau Geste sought assistance from RCCNZ around 7pm yesterday, advising the yacht had suffered damage to its hull and decking and was in difficulty around 100 nautical miles east of Norfolk Island.

Mr Blakemore said the yacht was now around 15 nautical miles from shore.

However, he said it was difficult to estimate how long it would take for Beau Geste to reach a point where it could be safely anchored.

'It could take a while for Beau Geste to reach sheltered waters as the damage is significant and the crew has to take a great deal of care as they turn into the conditions.

'However, they are very experienced, and are well supported with the two nearby vessels assisting.'

Kingston does not have a port or marina, so it is expected Beau Geste will anchor in sheltered waters so the damage sustained yesterday can be properly assessed.

The crew is made up of New Zealanders, Australians, Chinese, with one American on board. They are all safe and well.

END


At 0600hrs Maritime NZ advised:

START

The yacht Beau Geste is making its way towards Norfolk Island, accompanied by a fishing boat that joined the stricken vessel overnight.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is coordinating the rescue of 18 people on board the yacht, which sustained damage while participating in the Auckland to Noumea yacht race.

Beau Geste sought assistance from RCCNZ around 7pm yesterday, advising the yacht had suffered damage to its hull and decking and was in difficulty around 100 nautical miles east of Norfolk Island.

Overnight, the yacht made good progress towards the island and is now around 17 nautical miles south east of Norfolk Island with all 18 crew on board.

The fishing vessel joined Beau Geste about 3.30am NZ time and is accompanying it towards shore.

RCCNZ search and mission coordinator Tracy Brickles said the cargo vessel Winchester Strait, which had responded to RCCNZ’s call for assistance, had been released overnight.

'The Beau Geste is working to get as close to Norfolk Island as possible and they are making good progress at the moment.

'The crew will wait for daybreak (around 7am NZ time) to properly assess the damage on board and ideally look to anchor the yacht as close to shore as they can.'

Ms Brickles said a nearby bulk carrier was also available to provide shelter to Beau Geste from the conditions if required.

The wind and sea conditions were currently easing.

The crew was made up of New Zealanders, Australians, Chinese, with one American on board. They are all safe and well.

END

For a full description of the Beau Geste incident http://www.sail-world.com/NZ/Noumea-Race---Day-3:-Beau-Geste-withdraws---Update-@2300hrs/97986!click_here

Harken and FostersGAC Pindar Sailing NewsSouthern Spars - 100

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