Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - NZ

Global Ocean Race Class40s head deep into North Atlantic

by Oliver Dewar on 25 May 2012
Nick Leggatt gets busy repairing the Solent headsail - Global Ocean Race 2011-12 Phesheya Racing
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) fleet are on the fifth day of racing from Charleston.

The Class40s are out of the Gulf Stream and heading deeper into the North Atlantic led by Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough with Cessna Citation holding an eight mile lead over Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo on Financial Crisis in second place – an 11-mile gain in 24 hours by the Italian-Slovak pursuers. Trailing Financial Crisis by 91 miles at 15:00 GMT on Thursday, Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt in third with the South African Class40 Phesheya-Racing have increased their separation over Nico and Frans Budel on Sec. Hayai following a tack north by the Dutch duo which took the team into light airs.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Budels were polling the best speed averages in the fleet and the duo were totally focussed: 'I don’t even know what day of the week it is as our life is now completely dominated on the position schedules,' said Frans Budel of the three-hourly updates. 'It’s been a good day so far and we picked up some stable, ten-knot breeze, but where it has come from we have no idea as it doesn’t appear on the GRIB files and we are jumping from cloud to cloud to make the most of it,' he reported.

However, at 16:00 on Wednesday, the distrust of the downloaded weather files led to a tack: 'Navigation has become a real gamble right now. Should we go right, left, or keep going straight?' wondered Frans Budel. 'For now, we’re going to stick with the benefits of the Gulf Stream and keep in the current, so we’ve tacked north, but I don’t know yet how long we’ll stick with it.' By early Thursday morning after nine hours heading north, speeds on Sec. Hayai were sub-four knots and the Dutch duo tacked again, heading away from the windless wall at 37N.

On Thursday afternoon, Frans Budel was back in contact: 'Our idea of going north yesterday wasn’t the best,' he admits. 'We lost many miles and hopefully we can win them back somewhere,' he adds of the loss of 54 miles to Phesheya-Racing. 'The wind is so variable and the weather files change so often that it’s like feeding money into a casino’s one-armed bandit and our gambling hasn’t had any luck so far!' says Budel. 'We’ve just got to wait for better wind and hope the fleet doesn’t sail away from us.'

For the South Africans on Phesheya-Racing, leaving the Gulf Stream was a relief: 'Last night we sailed out of the main core of the Gulf Stream and were instantly rewarded with flatter seas and more pleasant sailing conditions, though with the disadvantage of much less favourable current,' reported Nick Leggatt on Thursday morning. With conditions improving Leggatt and Hutton-Squire have been busy logging observations: 'If the Southern Ocean was the sea of Albatrosses, then the North Atlantic is definitely the sea of ships with no fewer than eight appearing on the AIS during the day, and a few of those passing within just a handful of miles of us,' notes Leggatt.

While wildlife has been scarce, Phesheya-Racing has been sailing through immense amounts of floating debris: 'The North Atlantic is unfortunately also the garbage dump of modern Europe and North America,' Leggatt continues, logging the data as part of the team’s involvement with the GOR’s programme involving the Environmental Investigation Agency. 'Today we passed an interesting collection floating plastic, drifting buoys, bags and so on,' he comments.

Averaging six knots on Thursday afternoon in flat water, Leggatt is installed forward of the main bulkhead: 'We’ve started to make a concerted effort to repair the Solent jib, which we tore on day one of this leg, but it is proving to be a mammoth task,' he confirms. Although the sail is made of Carbon and Twaron fibres inside a Mylar and Dacron taffeta, the sail has suffered after its trip around the planet: 'Hours of hard use and UV degradation have caused it to start delaminating and a violent pounding over a steep wave finally split it along the leech,' Leggatt explains.

To make the repair strong, drying, cleaning and sticking it together with Dacron adhesive tape must be done carefully. 'It is very time consuming and we are not sure how effective it will be, but we are persevering and hope that the sail will be usable when we really need it most,' says the South African skipper. However, with weather files predicting light winds for the entire fleet over the next 24-30 hours, there should be time for Leggatt and Hutton-Squire to complete delicate sail repair work before life in the forepeak becomes unmanageable.

GOR leaderboard at 15:00 GMT 25/5/12:
1. Cessna Citation DTF 2765 8.2kts
2. Financial Crisis DTL 8 8kts
3. Phesheya-Racing DTL 100 6kts
4. Sec. Hayai DTL 167 Global Ocean Race website
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring One DesignSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr