Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

Global Ocean Race - Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken

by Oliver Dewar on 30 Jun 2011
Class40 focus: Hannah Jenner & Anna-Maria Renken - 40 Degree - Global Ocean Race Global Ocean Race © http://globaloceanrace.com
Global Ocean Race 2011-12.

The Anglo-German, all-female team of Hannah Jenner and Anna-Maria Renken have kept up a ferocious pace since announcing their partnership in the double-handed Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR).


Securing a boat, undertaking the GOR’s 2,000 mile qualifying voyage and completing their first race together has been crammed into three hectic months and with just under 100 days to the start gun in Palma, Mallorca, on Sunday 25 September, Jenner and Renken are keeping the pressure on.

The duo first made contact last October when Jenner and Renken were planning individual GOR campaigns and the pair subsequently decided to collaborate, officially entering the race shortly before Christmas. In early March, Jenner and Renken secured the charter of Peter Harding’s Owen Clarke Design Jaz MkII Class40, 40 Degrees, launched in Cape Town in 2009. The couple flew to Guadeloupe for the yacht’s handover, meeting with fellow GOR entry, Conrad Colman who had raced 40 Degrees from France to the Caribbean in the single-handed 2010 Route du Rhum.

'I couldn’t believe that we would be sailing the Class40 we will race in the GOR,' recalls 31 year-old Hannah Jenner. 'It was a great moment for us after months of being chained to laptops and phones and we were really looking forward to being out on the ocean and our campaign would finally be alive!'

For Jenner’s 30 year-old, German co-skipper, there was relief that the campaign timeline was on schedule: 'The last two days before leaving for Guadeloupe were a crazy whirlwind of final arrangements,' confirms Renken. 'Just five months earlier we decided to do the GOR together and we had put March in the diary as the month we needed to be sailing by,' she continues. 'It was fantastic that we achieved this deadline!'


Their first sail on 40 Degrees was – predictably – into the wind, but after an initial period of upwind sailing spent experimenting with water ballast and sail configurations, the breeze vaporised dropping to below two knots and swinging from all points of the compass. Cabin fever and sunburn soon set in:

'We spent the first three days as two individuals finding their way around their new world,' Jenner explains.

'Of course, we were a team, but we had not yet begun to develop that partnership, we had yet to find our team rhythm,' she admits. However, any attempts at team bonding were soon postponed as conditions quickly developed into strong breeze reaching over 30 knots with constant rain squalls. The duo changed down through the sail plan rapidly; first to one reef and staysail, then one reef and storm jib as the wind built rapidly.

'It felt like we were sitting on a raging bull, bucking and rearing up then rolling and lurching,' says Jenner. 'The cockpit was awash as each wave piled down the side decks and – periodically - a nasty bang could be heard as the boat dropped off a misshapen wall of water. I can't say it was particularly pleasant, but a few years of experience tells me that all you can do is set the boat up properly, sit tight and try to keep smiling.'

After 2,300 miles and two weeks at sea, Jenner and Renken reached Horta in the Azores and successfully completed their GOR qualifier. 'Ultimately, we became completely at ease with the lack of privacy on a Class40!' confirms Jenner. 'Very early one morning, as we sailed at some hideous angle beating to windward, Anna laughed as she was sat on the bucket just opposite from where I was pulling on wet clothes and said:

'If only people could see us now, looking like such an old couple!',' she recalls. 'We became aware of the challenges that we will face in the GOR and know that it will not all be smiles and laughter, but the qualifying sail gave us a very good taste of what is to come.'


The next target for the team was the 2011 Normandy Channel Race, a 1,000 mile double-handed, Class40 event starting from Ousitreham on the coast of Normandy on May 22. 'We entered the Normandy Channel Race having heard the tales of last year's light winds marathon,' says Jenner

'We’re cool with light winds; after all, races are won and lost in light airs, so they say!' 40 Degrees raced against 16 other Class40’s, including two GOR entries: Michel Kleinjans on the new BT Boats Kiwi 40FC, Roaring Forty 2, and the South African duo of Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton Squire with 2006 Akilaria, Phesheya-Racing. 'What perhaps none of us expected was 40 knots plus of the stuff and even more rude, that for a good part of the 40 knot experience the wind angle was unsociably forward of the beam! Still, we went with the aim of seeing just how fast the good guys go and we can report that it is pretty fast.'

Jenner and Renken took 11th place out of the 12 eventual finishers: 'We never expected to be on the podium,' Jenner admits. 'We wanted to finish and finish having learned a great deal about the boat, about sailing together tired and stressed and to come away with many new ideas for setting the boat up for the GOR,' she continues. 'Well check, check and check, as we did all of that and we managed to beat the only other all girl team despite being a little hampered in the heavy downwind airs sail wardrobe department.'

Overall, the race was an invaluable experience: 'We did well upwind, had a great fully-powered beam reach around Guernsey and got wet - very, very wet,' she reports. 'Sure, a few things broke, a halyard which meant we dabbled in a little underwater gennaker flying and we had to remove the radar after the bracket broke,' Jenner lists.

'The B&G's displayed some rather nonsensical wind information, but let’s face it, when you’re exhausted and hallucinating, you can't process all that information anyway, so we didn't let that little hiccup get in our way.'

For Jenner’s co-skipper, the race was a considerable boost to team morale and confidence: 'We made a couple of tactical mistakes, but for a first race we are proud of what we achieved,' says Renken. 'Proud that we didn't quit when the forecast showed we were in for a beating; proud we fought the physicality and proud to be the first all-female team to ever complete the race,' she continues. 'We now have an even bigger shopping list for the boat and notebooks bulging with ideas,' confirms Renken.

'It was a fantastic preparation race, we loved our boat before, we love it more now, even though we know we have quite a beast on our hands.' For both sailors, the final stages of the five-day race were critical: 'On the speed front...let’s just say a few things ‘clicked’ in that last 24 hours,' adds Jenner. 'Next time we won't be shy with the vitesse!'

Returning back to their homeport in Haslar Marina, Gosport, the duo continue pre-race preparation with 40 Degrees including structural work to install watertight bulkheads and ballast tank plumbing. In the past week, 40 Degrees has been out of the water and the unpleasant task of completely removing the existing antifoul has been completed.

Global Ocean Race website

InSunSport - NZNorth Technology - Southern SparsBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Global Ocean Race - Final prizegiving in Les Sables d’Olonne
In the Global Ocean Race, separated momentarily from their Class40s, the teams attended the final, official event In the Global Ocean Race, separated momentarily from their Class40s, the teams attended the final, official event of the GOR 2011-12 in Les Sables d’Olonne and joined 150 guests at the event’s prize giving held in the town’s Salle Audubon on Boulevard Pasteur in the middle of Les Sable’s old town on Saturday evening.
Posted on 18 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race Class40 Sec. Hayai crosses Leg 5 finish
In the Global Ocean Race, at 21:54:44 GMT on Sunday, the fourth and final Class40, Sec. Hayai, crossed the finish line In the Global Ocean Race, at 21:54:44 GMT (23:54:44 local) on Sunday, the fourth and final double-handed Class40, Sec. Hayai, crossed the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne, France, with the Dutch father-and-son duo of Nico and Frans Budel taking fourth place in Leg 5 and fourth place overall.
Posted on 11 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race Class40 Phesheya-Racing cross Leg 5 finish
Global Ocean Race - Phesheya-Racing crossed the Leg 5 finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne at 23:40:21 GMT on 9 June Global Ocean Race (GOR) 2011-12 Class40 Phesheya-Racing, skippered by the South African duo of Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt, crossed the Leg 5 finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne at 23:40:21 GMT on Saturday 9 June (01:40:21 Sunday 10 June local)
Posted on 10 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race - Chasing duo prepare for yet another gale
GOR - Phesheya-Racing in third place and Sec. Hayai in fourth have been climbing north-east passed Cape Finisterre As the Global Ocean Race two leading Class40s ripped through the Bay of Biscay and across the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line and into the shelter of Port Olona, Phesheya-Racing in third place and Sec. Hayai in fourth have been climbing north-east passed Cape Finisterre in strong westerly winds
Posted on 9 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race - Financial Crisis takes second overall
Global Ocean Race - Nannini and Sergio crossed the finish with Financial Crisis off the port of Les Sables d’Olonne In the Global Ocean Race, with nearly 40 knots blowing and an enormous swell rolling in from the Atlantic, the Italian-Slovak duo of Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo crossed the finish with Class40 Financial Crisis off the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne, taking second place overall in the fleet of the four remaining boats in the circumnavigation.
Posted on 8 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race Class40 Cessna Citation cross Leg 5 finish
Global Ocean Race - After 150 days of racing around the planet Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough have taken first place Global Ocean Race - After 150 days of racing around the planet, Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough have taken first place in the fifth leg and have also won the circumnavigation event overall with their Akilaria RC2 Cessna Citation. Having led the GOR fleet for the majority of leg five Cessna Citation thundered towards the finish line hitting 17 knots under full main and Solent
Posted on 7 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race leader approaches Leg 5 finish
Global Ocean Race leading Class40 is approaching the final finish line of the 30,000-mile circumnavigation in leg five Global Ocean Race leading Class40 is approaching the final finish line of the 30,000-mile circumnavigation in leg five to Les Sables d’Olonne, France, and the two skippers, Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough, are flat lining east through the Bay of Biscay in following wind with just 137 miles remaining for Cessna Citation on Tuesday afternoon
Posted on 6 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race leaders count down final miles
Global Ocean Race two front running Class40s were separated by 280 miles on Monday afternoon Global Ocean Race two front running Class40s were separated by 280 miles on Monday afternoon as the two double-handed Class40s head due east at the same latitude as the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, France. South-west of the leading two boats, around 180 miles NNW of the Azores, Phesheya-Racing and Sec. Hayai are beginning the long ascent through the Atlantic to the Bay of Biscay.
Posted on 5 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race fleet sail through second gale
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 fleet of double-handed Class40s has successfully sailed through the second gale in three days. Global Ocean Race - As Tropical Storm Beryl prowls around the North Atlantic, the GOR fleet of double-handed Class40s has successfully sailed through the second gale in three days. Furthest south in fourth place, Nico and Frans Budel recorded gusts of up 35 knots on Sec. Hayai
Posted on 4 Jun 2012
Global Ocean Race fleet prepare for next intense gale
Global Ocean Race (GOR) fleet recover from the storm, assess any damage and look ahead to the next, intense gale Since a ferocious gale swept through the Global Ocean Race (GOR) fleet on Thursday, any thoughts of Distance To Leader figures and losses or gains have been side lined temporarily as the four double-handed Class40s recover from the storm, assess any damage and – unfortunately – look ahead to the next, intense gale sweeping towards them across the North Atlantic.
Posted on 2 Jun 2012