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

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovered from reef by Sail-World.com/nz and Volvo OR Media
The Volvo65, Team Vestas Wind has been recovered from a reef off St Brandon, on the Cargados Carajos Shoals, 200nm from Mauritius. the yacht has been hoisted aboard a Maersk shipping line vessel, after being dragged over the reef and into the lagoon on the Cargados Carajos Shoals, 200nm from Mauritius. ... [more]  

Andrea Francolini was on the water with the US supermaxi, RIO 100 during offshore training session before the Boxing Day Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Moth Worlds – Looping the loop *Feature by John Curnow
It is one of the other lines from the theme song of our little time with Terry Thomas and the gang. However, the real thing is that not only are the Moths quick, over the time since they began to get up on foils, the fleet has compacted up. Another crucial element to add, is that all craft also get a result, even if they do not complete all the laps. The latter is a lot better than a DNF. ... [more]  

The 'super-bacteria' are usually found in hospital waste and produce an enzyme, KPC, resistant to antibiotics. Researchers found the bacteria in samples taken from Flamengo beach. Nearly 70% of sewage in Rio - a city of some 10 million people - is spilled raw into the waters of Guanabara Bay. The bacteria were found in samples taken from several locations along the Carioca river. ... [more]  

‘We don’t expect children to ride adult bikes when they can’t touch the ground, so why do we expect them to sail adult boats when they can’t control as they should. We didn’t want this for our children so set about trying to develop a boat that addresses this problem. ... [more]  

The eventful sailing summer will carry on into 2015. In addition to the established annual regatta events, we will see 2015 the J/80 World Championships a week after Kieler Woche, to be followed by the F18 Worlds. Die Notices of Race for YES, Kieler Woche, the J/80 Worlds and F18 Worlds are now accessible online. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic 2014 Race Lanzarote-Grenada: An international fleet of yachts took part, with crew from at least 12 different countries racing magnificent Maxis, crewed by top professional sailors, as well as production yachts crewed by friends and family. For all the yachts, the adventure started long before the start line. ... [more]  

Team Vestas Wind has been recovered from a reef off the Cargados Carajos Shoals, 200nm from Mauritius. Shane Smart was sent to cover the recovery operation and filed these images ... [more]  

Jeremy Pilkington's Baltic 78, Lupa of London was announced as the first winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy with the best elapsed time under IRC. Class winners received an engraved crystal decanter and all competitors present received a special edition bottle of Westerhall Plantation Rum, with the insignia of the RORC Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

Qingdao, venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, will host some of the world’s finest sailors for the third consecutive year from 14-20 September 2015 with the 2016 dates to be confirmed. Spots for the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, which will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 27 October to 1 November 2015, will be at stake as well as World Cup bragging rights. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - A bashing, crashing and punishing first night at sea could well decide the outcome in the race for line honours in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The 117 yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart will face an early test this year, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecasting a sharp 20 to 25 knot southerly change on Boxing Day afternoon not long after the start. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Just a few days out from Boxing Day and the buzz around the docks of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is that Ray Roberts is looking like a very good bet to win this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - There’s no doubt the returned soldiers aboard Spirit of Mateship and Southern Excellence II are the kind of blokes you want around if things went horribly wrong – and for that matter, you want them for the good stuff too – because they are top blokes. ... [more]  

Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series: This event, which kick starts the Caribbean race season, is proving to be a huge attraction for overseas entries with over 20 already signed and more than 50 boats expected overall. One of the biggest draws is the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race (21 January), a 60 nautical mile ocean race round the island. There are currently 14 established records in this race. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race: The challenges of racing as a duo, not just seeking to perform at the highest level over a period of 90 to 100 days but actually co-habiting in a small, confined space whilst also experiencing extremes of discomfort – wet, damp, tired, hot, cold, emotional and physical. Here Ken Way gives an insight into how he helps the relationship between the two skippers work. ... [more]  

Comanche’s owner, Jim Clark concedes that a Rolex Sydney Hobart isn’t the ideal first race for such a big, complex machine, but: 'I am married to an Australian, and I’ve seen the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart a number of times. ... [more]  

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta are proud to announce that Cruzan Rum and Presidente beer, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC, will provide major sponsorship in support for the 2015 regatta. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Warwick Sherman never really wanted to do the Rolex Sydney Hobart, he’d done plenty of ocean racing, but bashing his way across Bass Strait to get to Tasmania just didn't grab him. Perversely, all that changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. ... [more]  

The second stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour is coming up next and will be held in Algarrobo, Chile from 24 - 31 January. More than eight yachts are expected to take part in the Chille Sailing Week, a competition noted for its level of competition and close racing, where success is characterized by consistency, precision and teamwork. ... [more]  

The Flying Dutchman, regarded as one of the finest and fastest one-design dinghy classes ever designed, will return to Sydney Harbour en masse when the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron conducts the Australian and World championships, starting next week. ... [more]  

The International Moth Class isn't exactly a new sailing class, yet the learning curve would have to be one of the steepest out there. Moths have been on foils for almost 10 years, yet besides talking to fellow moth sailors, there isn't a lot of information out there to help you master the skills and techniques needed to fly ... [more]  

America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Australia’s premier ocean race has always had an international flavour; Captain Illingworth, who started the whole Sydney Hobart thing was, after all, an Englishman. ... [more]  

An initiative by the SuperYacht Racing Association (SYRA) led to collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and ultimately the creation of a new superyacht handicapping rule - the ORC SuperYacht Rule (ORCsy). ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Ocean sailors are daft; why else would you think it a good idea to take a modern ocean racing yacht around the world on her own bottom to compete in lots and lots of races, some thousands of miles long? ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The island is off the NSW south coast, 155 nautical miles south of Sydney’s South Head and about 6 nm south-east of Narooma. Its lighthouse, built of granite quarried on the island, began operating in 1881. The island is a protected nature reserve. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hundreds of Australian sailors spend their lives trying to win the Tattersall’s Cup; year after year they declare in Hobart that this was their last Rolex Sydney Hobart - definitely - for sure. But 12 months later you spot them again at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, tinkering with their pride and joy and nervously eying off Boxing Day ... [more]  

America's Cup: Lawsuit against Oracle Racing lodged in San Francisco *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
In further legal fallout from the 34th America's Cup one of the New Zealand sailors named in an action bought by the International Sailing Federation has in turn lodged a lawsuit in a California Court against his former racing team, Oracle Racing Inc over boat fixing in America's Cup World Series ... [more]  

Antigua Sailing Week 2015 by Antigua Sailing Week
If you haven't been to Antigua Sailing Week for some years Antigua Sailing Week have a quick overview for you of what has changed and what makes it worth the journey along with information on bareboat and race charters, multihulls and challenges for 2015. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race: The three-man team on Sérénade was the final yacht to complete the inaugural race. Having spent over 18 days at sea, the crew were understandably tired but Denis Villotte, Alain Houchard and Pit Porta were smiling from ear to ear in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. A large welcoming party had gathered to greet them. ... [more]  

2017 J/80 World Championships: The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) has an active J/80 fleet and attracts many more of the class to its summer series of regattas run annually from May through to September, in addition to match racing J/80s in the annual Grade 2 Match Cup. ... [more]  

Spectacular fire on Sydney Harbour captured on video *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Sydney sailing sports photographer, Beth Morley was on Sydney Harbour, capturing images of the Friday night racing, when a luxury launch caught fire nearby. I was out photographing the Ransa Sailing yacht race this evening when I saw smoke coming from the back of a large cruise boat around the back of Sow and Pigs (reef) area towards Middle Head. ... [more]  

Clipper Race skipper to receive prestigious US award
OK Dinghy Worlds - Preview 2: Overindulgence in sailing fun
America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault
Sydney Hobart Race - Crew prepares for a game of 'Snakes and Ladders'
WPA Race Season - Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge preview
Comanche in the Solas Big Boat Challenge - Images by Andrea Francolini
Sunbrella Fabrics supports US Olympic and Paralympic Sailors
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Mauritius as Vestas Wind salvage begins
Volvo Ocean Race: Martinez leaves Mapfre for Leg 3 to China
Volvo Ocean Race: Nicholson back on the atoll to retrieve Vestas Wind
America's Cup: Iain Murray appointed as Regatta Director again
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Clipper Race to enter 12-strong fleet
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from December 16 show
Pogo 40, Bingo completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 3 - On the Atoll *Feature
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Safety Requirements published
Int'l 14 World Championships - Defending champion expects tight racing
WWA Wake Park World Series - Daniel Grant and Aaron Gunn make history
US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
Sailing World Cup Melbourne: Highlights video from Port Philip
Bart’s Bash raises huge total for international sailing charity   
Optim'X (FRA) completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014   
Perpetual Loyal unveils 1120 square metre A2 for Rolex Sydney Hobart   
ISAF SWC Melbourne – Girls’ Day Out *Feature   
Website for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna is launched   
Great signed Limited Edition sailing books by Bob Fisher for Christmas   
Clipper Race - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to mentor young South African   
IFDS Worlds 2014 New Video Memories - Halifax is just a click away!   
McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds 2015 - Must see, seriously fun event   
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 2 - On the Rocks *Feature   
Successful St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up at Kim Sha Beach   
US Sailing releases Rio 2016 Olympic Trials System   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Oldies return   
Volvo Ocean Race sets up independent inquiry into Vestas Wind disaster   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel: sweet victory   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Apollo 7 touch down   
2014 OK Dinghy Worlds Preview one - Last but not least   
Melges 24 Christmas Sprint Series - Christmas comes early for Red Mist   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 8 - Superb podium finish for Realteam   
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson on the Team Vestas Wind disaster - 1 *Feature   


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