Please select your home edition
Edition
KZRaceFurlers

Transat Jacques Vabre memories and preview from GryphonSolo2

by Joe Harris on 15 Nov 2013
11th Hour Racing Transat Jacques Vabre http://www.jacques-vabre.com/en/s01_home/s01p01_home.php
I have been watching the Transat Jacques Vabre race develop with interest and wanted to provide a quick update and further comparisons to the 2005 race. My focus will be on the Class 40's, who are mostly now solidly into the trade winds, with the leaders flying along at 14 knots in 25 knots of Northeasterly breeze. After the pitstop in Roscoff to let a low pressure system go through, the rich seem to have gotten richer, as the two leaders- GDF Suez and Mare- (Mach 40 sisterships from the design board of Sam Manuard) seem to be moving extremely well.

Next up are my friends Halvard and Miranda on Compagne deFrance, who are also blasting along in rough seas and wet conditions, about 127 miles back from the leader, as the move past the Azores to the West and Madeira to the East. The new Ker-designed Concise 8 with Ned Collier-Wakefield and Sam Goodchild have had to drop out with a broken port rudder that was evidently ripped off by an unidentified submerged object. The new Akilaria RC-3 Caterham Challenge sits in 11th place, about 218 miles back from the leader and going slightly slower in less breeze. Finally, 11th Hour Racing is back in the race after breaking their headstay and returning to Lorient, France to get it repaired. They are now 671 miles back from the leader but they are back in the race and bound and determined to catch up.

This situation reminds me very much of the 2005 race. Aboard my Open 50 'Wells Fargo- American Pioneer' with co-skipper Josh Hall, we were match racing fellow Open 50 class competitors Artforms and Brehat across the Bay of Biscay when suddenly Artforms turned back to Lorient to repair a torn mainsail. We were ahead of Brehat, but they elected to take a more Easterly course through the Canary Islands and also through the Cape Verde islands further south. While our routing showed that a more westerly path was faster, we were reluctant to let Brehat go on their more Easterly path alone, not knowing whether Artforms was going to get back in the game. After much discussion, we elected to cover Brehat to the East and then -sure enough- Artforms came roaring back into the trade winds 200 miles west of us and quickly began clawing back the 500 mile deficit their pitstop had created. We sailed into some very light winds near the Cape Verde Islands and were freaking out as Artforms gained on every scheduled report and our lead evaporated. Luckily, we finally found some wind and made it to the Doldrums first and then had a fast passage through the Doldrums while Artforms and Brehat struggled. We got into the South Atlantic trade winds first and were off to the races towards Brazil, with our lead now growing at every report.

So for Team 11th Hour Racing I would say 'hang in there!!' as you never know what might happen with over 4,000 miles still to go. The very fast downwind trade wind sailing under spinnakers that most of the Class 40 fleet is now experiencing can lead to some spectacular wipe-outs as either auto-pilots fail or skippers get tired at the tiller, so skippers will need to be particularly vigilant and not carry too much sail in big breeze. If a spinnaker is lost (shredded beyond repair or lost overboard), it can definitely make the boat uncompetitive for the rest of the race, as each sail in the eight sail limited inventory is critical for the boat to deliver maximum performance.

It will be fun to watch the race tracker and leaderboard change in the coming days as skippers choose different routing options as they set up for passing the Canaries and Cape Verde islands and also beginning to think about their entry waypoint for the doldrums and crossing of the equator. More to GryphonSolo2 website
North Technology - Southern SparsSelden 660x82Mariners Museum 660x82

Related Articles

Sky Ocean Rescue to partner with ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ VOR team
The team is part of UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign which aims to better understand the issue of plastic pollution Since launching in January 2017, Sky Ocean Rescue has engaged with over 6 million people to raise awareness of the dire health of our oceans and now aims to reach a new audience by becoming official Race Team and Media Partner of Turn the Tide on Plastic.
Posted on 21 Oct
M24 NorAm Tour Title – Mikey likes it
Mikey likes this sport and sails with a high level of intensity and joy that is common to those who deliver on race day. Michael Goldfarb's Warcanoe USA 825 of Seattle finished a convincing second Overall on the Tour by earning a fifth at the Charleston US Nationals and a second at the NorAm Championship at the Gorge. Although fairly new to the MELGES24, Goldfarb is no stranger to the Gorge, having raced Lasers out of Cascade Locks for years.
Posted on 21 Oct
Spectacular Sunday on tap as crews ready for Volvo Ocean Race start
After some short course racing off the beachfront of Alicante, the crews will depart on the first leg of a 45,000nm race The race opens with a sprint (relatively speaking) from Alicante to Lisbon for Leg 1. It's going to be 1,450nm of flat out action, with the teams fighting for every inch as they aim to get some points on the board early on.
Posted on 21 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – The odyssey begins
Four hours after the start the fleet was well on its way to Capo Passero, the most southeastern point of Sicily. Since the first edition in 1968, this race has always been full of surprises. The overall winner will be decided by IRC time correction (handicap rating) and, this year, the field appears wide open with changes of fortune expected throughout the fleet.
Posted on 21 Oct
Volvo Ocean Race – Poortman back on board Team Brunel
Poortman is not a crew member on one of the participating boats this time but will be onboard Team Brunel next Sunday Ocean sailor Gerd Jan Poortman is not a crew member on one of the participating boats this time but will be onboard Team Brunel next Sunday. Poortman will jump off as the Team Brunel leg jumper after the start.
Posted on 21 Oct
Volvo Ocean Race – Van Boxtel back as coach Team Brunel
According to skipper Bouwe Bekking, Van Boxtel is one of the secret weapons of the Dutch flag-flying Team Brunel. Appointing Van Boxtel fits the Team Brunel ideology where sharing knowledge and the development of both the individual and the team are central.
Posted on 21 Oct
Volvo Ocean Race – Crew change on Vestas 11th Hour Racing
To be compliant with the safety regulations, Hannah Diamond, one of the medically trained sailors, will compete in Leg 1 The goal is to give Harmer the rest he needs and get both him and Hansen back on the boat for Leg two from Lisbon to Cape Town. While crew announcements were made to the public, this change was filed in time for the official submission of crew lists to Race Management.
Posted on 21 Oct
Antigua Marinas, Marine Services and related business ready for season
Over the last few weeks, the ABMA hosted a number of ‘State of the Industry Meetings’ to share and discuss information The pressure is on for Antigua to lead the charge for the region and ensure that all visiting yachts understand that not only Antigua but the region, is very much open for business and ready to deliver outstanding and unique Caribbean experiences, albeit with the option of changed itineraries for some in the short term.
Posted on 21 Oct
Clipper Race - Race 2 - Day 17 - Less than 100nm left for Unicef
Unicef is aiming to make today its final at sea of the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms. Unicef is aiming to make today its final at sea of the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms. Reporting earlier this morning, Skipper Bob Beggs, whose team will finish in eleventh place, says: “The AIS has spotted the first ship for over two weeks, a sure sign that we are approaching landfall.
Posted on 21 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Preview
Rolex Middle Sea Race is an international competition of distinction and an offshore race par excellence. Starting and finishing in Malta, an island often referred to as the ‘Crossroads of the Mediterranean’, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is an international competition of distinction and an offshore race par excellence. The proof lies in the numbers. Registrations for this year’s 38th edition come from yachts representing 30 different countries.
Posted on 21 Oct