sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Mini Transat - On the road to Sada + Video
Mini Transat - On the road to Sada + Video


'Diane, Katrina, Pip & Richard decide the conditions have improved and it’s time to get on the Road to Sada'    Diane Reid

Well, if you’ve been following the Mini Transat race you will have learned that this race is going to go down in history as an epic tale. It has been filled with incredible weather anomalies, rerouting, and resurrections!

The delivery of the fleet from Gijon Spain to Sada Spain has lived up to these new expectations of the 2013 Mini Transat! After numerous days of discussion and round table collaborations within the fleet and the race organizers, the Mini Transat fleet finally had a decision as to the state of affairs and how we would get the fleet from Gijon to Sada.

It’s a difficult coast filled with easterly winds that rip along the coast often at 20-30 knots. Finding a weather window was tricky at best as the fleet was significantly spread out this year… more so than in years past. So the race organizers were finally able to pick a day. We leave Tuesday! As it was a delivery, you had the options of leaving when you wanted and when the tide and swell would allow a tow out of Gijon.

But if you wanted to start the Mini Transat race, the start was scheduled for November 12, 2013 in Sada, Spain. The accompanying boats would also be spread out as best could be to help with safety and support. We weren’t the only culprits in Mother Nature’s plot. The Transat Jacques Vabre had also been rerouted…

It was my mission in life to get to Sada. The forecast was for 25 knots on the nose with a 2-4 metre swell and wicked cross chop throughout the delivery. I wanted to go. I was very happy to plunge along in 30 plus knots. It’s not a massively fun ride in a mini, but I have no fears of doing it. The series boats are little tanks and OGOC is no exception to the rule!

So, with that in mind, Pip Hare, Richard Hewson, Katrina Ham and a whole lot of us set off from Gijon. The swell was deep, as if the entire ocean was landing in Gijon. Two and a half to three metre swell, behind the massive breakwall protecting the harbour entrance. My batteries were sitting at 12.8 / 12.6. This meant they were anywhere from 80%-100% full. But, when the sun tucked away she was going to hide for quite some time. I could foresee loads of hand steering in my future! The wind was a steady 20 knots. The sky quickly turned grey. Did I mention that I made my first pot of slop before even leaving the dock… just to make sure that I would eat and hopefully ward off potential sea sickness. The storm jib was up to protect my jib. It’s a beautiful jib, but it’s seen many many miles now with many many reefs in it. Reefs just eat the hell out of jibs and mine needed some mending on its lamination.

After an hour out, the chatter was starting on the radio. Initially it was good background noise for me, but it quickly became apparent that the fleet was feeling a desperate social need to connect and confirm feelings of the weather and the sea state. After the delivery, Pip and I talked about the culture of the chatter. We were both of the opinion of wanting to make our own decisions about routing, rather than adopting the 'follow the heard' mentality. BUT, we are both also very happy to bounce along in our boats in any conditions.

The first section of the shoreline was windy in a deep sea with TONS of cross chop. You would climb up a wave and have another wave on top of it come at you from 45 degrees. Next wave the cross wave was from a completely different angle. Hand steering was critical as the gyros wouldn’t feel or see the secondary cross wave or be able to anticipate a free fall off of the square back of the wave if it wasn’t a roller. Jack, my moose had been told he could up chuck if he needed, but he was fine for the ride!

As we made our way along the shoreline and out of the bay, the sea state started to stretch out. Time to make coffee, do a plot and get ready to hand steer all night. The rest of the fleet was in good sorts as well. The boats that use NKE pilots were particularly chatty about how to calibrate their pilots. It must have been a nightmare ride if they didn’t get the pilots tuned just right. My friend Katrina was chatting a lot on the radio with the boats around her. There was some concern in her voice.

Hmmm... another reef? Click image to view a larger size -  Diane Reid  

I fell asleep hand steering several times, as I often do! But, no earbuds in tonight. I needed to hear the waves crashing. This first night was pleasant and fairly uneventful, but the batteries were down to 12.4 going into the night. During the night Katrina could often be heard calling Navman who was sailing close by. She was having trouble with her boat and needed to tack. The boats are often in close quarters and so we are very careful when tacking amongst others to avoid collisions. Navman never heard her calls.

Wednesday morning the sun never really came up. It was going to be a grey day and I really needed some solar power! Breakfast was going to be some cookies and a coffee. Snacks were loaded into the navigation bag. The radio chatter heard the fleet getting tired. It was tough work during the night. We had made progress though and were still on schedule to arrive in Sada Thursday night and throughout the morning.

The first weather report was out. The winds would increase to a steady 30 knots for a large part of the day and solidly into the night with gusts upwards of 35. By mid-afternoon a large group of the fleet was choosing to head into shore and camp out on a mooring or in a harbour for the night. I wanted to keep going. A quick conversation with Pip, Rich and Robert found our group also wanting to press on. We were fine and good to go in the big winds.
At this point we were following the shoreline that starts to jut to the north. This was also going to provide some protection for us from the south west wind and the bigger waves. Katrina and I had a chat on the radio. Her gooseneck had broken. She had done some temporary repair, but she really needed to head in to deal with it. Our chart for the shoreline was a bit limited so the wise choice was to notify the accompanying boat and ask for an escort in to a harbour. It would be an easy 18 miles to go in and better to have support along the way if something went wrong. Katrina doesn’t speak French. I did some relay translating work and Wanitoo was dispatched to Katrina to go in with her. The last transmission I heard was in their final approaches to the harbour: 'Katrina, drop your sails'. Ironically enough, shortly after that my cockpit speaker for my vhf gave up the ghost and I couldn’t hear many transmissions unless I was inside the boat.

By 0400 Thursday morning I was tired. After a quick chat with Pip, I learned that she and Rich and a couple of other boats pulled in for a quick nap in Cap Ortegal. This is the cap just before turning around the corner to head to La Coruna and Sada Marina our final destination. I didn’t have a chart of the area, but Pip was able to give me waypoints and would coach me in as she had Navionics on her phone. Woohoo! A little rest. My batteries were down to 12.2. I would be in just as the sun came up and maybe catch a few hours rest. That way, even if we didn’t get any sunshine, I would be refreshed enough to hand steer around the corner to Sada.



Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time! The wind was now at a steady 30 knots gusting 33. As I approached the harbour, Pip assessed the mooring balls and found that in fact there didn’t seem to be any that I could pick up without it being disastrous. It’s not easy to park a mini in 30 knots of gusting wind. Plan B was for me to drop anchor. Equally as difficult, but I could try to do it outside of the mooring field. I tacked my way in under reefed main, found the mooring field with her help, picked my spot to anchor and turned the boat up into the wind. The boat slowed, a puff came and we started to slide sideways. So the plan of 'stop, drop and set' became the reality of 'stop, drop, slide sideways over your anchor, try again three times and slide randomly into the mooring field!' This was getting scary! If I didn’t get my anchor set I was at risk of bashing into a boat, or worse, drifting into the teeny weeny fishing boats that I am guessing were on moorings in about five feet of water at low tide ( I need six feet).

Fortunately I was lucky enough to come crashing in with great finesse (that’s what we’re going to call it) into Mini 5 AND Ludovic was onboard to catch me! Then with a massive effort of organizing lines and crossing anchors, we got me drifted back onto a fishing boat where I could hook up a line to hang off of the fishing boat for a couple of hours. In the process we swapped anchors as he had had a similarly dramatic anchoring attempt.

For the next two hours I closed my eyes and stopped hand steering. I didn’t sleep. I was worried about the batteries and the lack of sunshine. A little after 1000 a pleasant holler came across the mooring field from Pip waking me up. I had shut down all of the instruments onboard so no VHF for her to raise me with. She had the next weather report. Steady 30 knots gusting to 35 often while we passed around the cape. Then in early evening there would be a solid swing from a south west wind to the west and we would fetch Sada. Woohoo! Let’s get this show on the road we thought. Rich had already left.

Then Pip said… 'now I have to tell you about Katrina'. My heart went in my throat. All I said was 'tell me she’s alright'. She then proceeded to explain that while the support boat was towing her in there was a massive wave that picked her up from the stern and the boat rolled. Through one way shape or form she ended up in the water and had been taken to hospital for observation. The boat was gone. For a brief moment, my world stood still. Once I heard 'under observation', I started to breathe again. Ok, losing a boat is one thing. A friend, is another!

Alright then let’s get these anchors unfowled and get on with the road to Sada. With two hours of intermittent sunshine at the mooring, my batteries were up to 12.4. That was fine, we had all day to make 40 miles! So, with two reefs in the main and a storm jib we set off. As we turned out of the harbour and into the bay downwind, a puff came in from the cliffs hitting 43 knots. Hmmmm. Ok, three reefs in the main then!

This section of shoreline is a major headland and turning point in a south westerly wind. The swell was coming from the north west and the wind from the south west. Everything was hitting the shoreline and was now beyond confusion! I radioed Pip and suggested 'want to go offshore a little?' And with that we headed out to the west waiting for the shift to come in. [Pip's video of Diane: Road to Sada in 30 Knots. Unlike Jack, the camera tossing has me thinking of tossing -tim]

Eventually the shift came in and we were able to tack and fetch Sada. It took forever! The final approach to Sada was in the dark. It’s a well-protected bay. The weather forecast was also for the wind to switch further to the north. While all of this happened, I sat in the bay sometimes with 15 knots of wind and at others with a half a knot of wind and batteries now at 11.9.

In my last two miles to the breakwall for Sada Marina most of my equipment ran out of power. No pilot, navigation lights, AIS and a weak vhf radio. I grabbed a position, got a quick sight on the green light on the breakwall and radioed in to Pip to share the info. She relayed it into the marina who had been towing minis in as they entered. I got a little closer to the breakwall and with all the lights of the marina I lost the green light! Ah bother, now I was going to have to crack into my emergency equipment. Portable nav lights got taped on, the handheld gps got fired up and the waypoint entered and the hand held vhf dropped into a sheet bag for easy use.

At 1.75 miles a little rib pulled up alongside and took my bow line. There was a hearty French welcome with a reminder that the faster we got to the dock, the quicker I could get to the beers waiting onshore.

Welcome to Sada!

One Girls Ocean Challenge


by Diane Reid

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=116581

3:30 PM Mon 11 Nov 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI takes number eight by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
Wild Oats XI finished at 303pm, with her big A2 flying. Her elapsed time was two days two hours three minutes and twenty six seconds 02:02:03:26 That was some eight hours outside the race record she set in 2012 of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Spithill was one of six helmsmen on Comanche. 'We can’t leave it at that,' he declared after finishing in Hobart. He says that on his watch this morning the boat reached a top speed of 32 knots and knows what she is capable of. 'Everybody got to see the true potential of this boat at the start. ... [more]  

Top international yachting photographer, Carlo Borlenghi was in the air above the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race fleet and provided these images of the third day of racing in the classic ocean race, as the leaders closed in on the finish, and the dock celebrations by Wild Oats XI. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water at 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours finish and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI entered the Derwent River some forty minutes ahead of Comanche at the Iron Pot and gybed her way up river in 5-10 knot southeaster, bright sunshine and crystal clear light to take a record breaking eighth line honours win in this race at 3.03pm The size of spectator fleet that accompanied Wild Oats XI and the crowds on the dock were much the largest ever sen for this race. ... [more]  

Reports are being received that the Volvo 70 Giacomo has lost her rig in the vicinity of Maria Island. No further details are to hand. Giacomo is a Volvo 70 owned and skippered by Jim Delegat (NZL) and has a full New Zealand crew aboard ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI scores comfortable 8th win by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) has crossed the finish line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race to take her eighth win in the offshore classic. She crossed the finish line in the Derwent River sailing on port tack with a big asymmetrical headsail flying, and accompanied by a bevy of spectator craft as she crossed the finish line at 3.00pm local time. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI is still leading the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, some 38-nm from Hobart, and hoping to close in on a record eighth line honours win. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The crew on the American super maxi Comanche have not thrown in the towel. They do not believe the race for line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart is over despite Wild Oats XI’s commanding lead. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bob Oatley’s 10 year-old super maxi Wild Oats XI is racing towards an historic eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart this morning. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats rounds Tasman Island by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Seven time race winner, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) looks set to take her eighth win, after rounding Tasman Island just before noon, local time. The supermaxi rounded the landmark with a ten mile lead over the US supermaxi Comanche and has about 35nm to sail in a direct line to the finish line off Hobart. ... [more]  

With the front runners in the Rolex Sydney Hobart expected to sneak through in light to moderate tail winds, the weather prognosis for the remainder of the fleet is, well, interesting. The simple analysis is that fresh northerly winds will give the fleet a fast ride on Sunday and during the daylight hours of Monday. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) is expected to cross the finish line, around 4pm on Sunday and take her eighth line honours win. The race leaders are making good time down the coast of Tasmania, and at daybreak had approximately 100nm to sail. ... [more]  

Sydney to Hobart - Another 40 foot white-wash? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team
With the Supermaxi battle probably all over in this 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, unless Wild Oats XI drops her rig in the next five hours, she is set to take her eighth line honours victory so at last the attention will shift to the real race, the battle for handicap honours. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Your Turn, Then My Turn, Then Your Turn! *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
With the front runners over halfway to Hobart, this year’s race is turning out to be quite a page turner already; and that’s just the big boats. So let’s start with them. Wind back to the start, first honours to Comanche in the shoot out to the first mark. To be fair it was akin to pitting a brand new Bugatti Veyron against some classy and quick Ferraris and Porsches. The result in those ... [more]  

There is absolutely no way anyone can predict these before the vast majority of the still 109 vessels racing actually get home to Hobart Town. One can, however, talk about the very things that do go into making these results that so many chase and to do so, we have to work through a myriad of vessel designs, ages and types. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
Given the weather models for the race, Crosbie Lorimer did the rounds of the CYCA dock just prior to the start of the race to find out who the various skippers, navigators and tacticians believed might take out the overall Handicap win on IRC. Here are some of their predictions, how they are panning out for some and an update on the position at the front of the fleet. ... [more]  

Sydney Hobart 2014: A ridge too far for Comanche by Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - That’s the conclusion that one might well draw from the huge difference in the performance of the Hamilton Island super maxi Wild Oats XI and her main challenger, the US boat Comanche. ... [more]  

Photographer Daniel Forster was in the air again for the Sydney Hobart 2014, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The chase for line honours at the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is intensifying with the leading boats approaching the halfway mark of the 628-nm race. ... [more]  

By Grand Prix ocean racing standards she’s an old girl, and there’s no denying she’s had a few makeovers during the past decade, but Bob Oatley’s 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was leaving no doubt today that when it came to speed she’s still got great legs. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - After 24 hours the Hamilton Island supermaxi Wild Oats XI has taken the lead for the first time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 70th sailing of the event. ... [more]  

Looking back it is not so long ago that sailors making long trips had to make the key choice between light weight and taste. But now, thankfully, technology and demand means that there is more and better choice in freeze dried foods. But the lack of fresh food and the limited choice of diet does mean eating remains a chore, part of the daily routine during the three months ... [more]  

2015 Fireball World Championship - The event offers two weeks of unrivalled sailing in the beautiful waters of North Wales. Situated on the Llyn peninsular, just 10 miles from the Snowdonia National Park, racing will take place in Cardigan Bay within easy reach of the sandy beach from where the fleet will launch. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Sydney
The start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race saw the five 100 foot super maxis up against each other for the first time. ... [more]  

The Australian supermaxi Perpetual Loyal has been forced to retire from the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, with hull damage. The news came in a regular radio sked with race organisers, little detail was available, however it is understood that she has some hull delamination, probably arising from pounding though big seas and 25-30kt winds for the first day and night of the race. ... [more]  

Clouds outlines what he is expecting to see in the race, and says that while the big boats will take all the attention in the early stages of the race, the weather is against them as the race progresses. The smaller boats will come surfing in a fresh northerly, while the front-runners cope with light winds on their final approach to the finish on the Derwent. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Replay of the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race. The fleet is expected to experience fresh to strong headwinds for the start and first 24 hours, although winds will moderate towards the end of this period. ... [more]  

For the last 18 hours, there has been never more than three nautical miles between the new kids on the block, Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's Comanche with Ken Read skippering the boat with distinction and the Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI. Mark Richard's who was blown away by Comanche's reaching speed inside the harbour has been hunting the race leader relentlessly as the two boats beat south. ... [more]  

Will Comanche take a scalp? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
After blasting off the startline earlier today, Jim Clark's Comanche continues to hold the lead in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart race eight hours into the race. ... [more]  

A stiff southerly is testing the boats and sailors on the first afternoon of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart and by late afternoon, four yachts had retired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual race. The first casualties of the race were Tina of Melbourne, forced out because of hull damage and Bear Necessity with a damaged rudder, just two hours into the race. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The US supermaxi Comanche (Jim & Kirsty Clark) continues to enjoy a small lead at the head of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet. As the race enters its second day, organisers told Sail-World at 6.00am local time that the fleet was experiencing SW winds of 12-13kts and that these would ease further during the day. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart - Comanche take a gun to the knife fight + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Supermaxi contest + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Images from the flying start on Sydney harbour
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Start photos by Andrea Francolini
Sydney Hobart 2014 The Cutting edge Formula 1 yacht still leads
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 – Grand dame heads back to Sydney
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by Carlo Borlenghi
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Race Start Images by Crosbie Lorimer *Feature
Clipper Ventures 10 starts Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Another year another record
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 – Comanche on the warpath
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Spinnaker start forecast
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI ready to go
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: Hobart coverage - December 26 - Live
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Peyron Perspective -Old People On New Boats *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats XI trials Goose for Christmas
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature
For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 3 – Gravel and Red Max versus VMG *Feature   
Yankees at the Gate - A pre Sydney-Hobart conversation with Ken Read *Feature   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Line Honours Skippers Press Conference - Video   
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 -A different Christmas   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Another great journey south   
Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin's David Witt explains deck failure + Video   
Wild Oats XI - Damage drama in lead-up to Sydney Hobart Race   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi   
Five faces behind the 100ft super maxis by Andrea Francolini   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Everyone's in with a chance   
Comanche Designers talk before Sydney Hobart   
Olympic Sailing Waters - Rio de Janeiro   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - To Hobart in Style   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: Ken Read's notes on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Rio 100 - A supermaxi is reborn + Video *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Video of Team Vestas Wind being removed from reef   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Holiday gifts for a range of entries!   
Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT