sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Surfing waves and climbing masts

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Surfing waves and climbing masts

'Surfing Yacht Style'    Clipper Ventures

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race update from crew member Lisa Blair representing Queensland on Gold Coast Australia.

Day eight of our first race down to Madeira ended with the birthday celebrations of crew member Patrick Cooper who was fortunate enough to be helming in ideal sailing conditions surfing waves with regular speeds of 14 knots. Competition also seems to still be healthy between all the crew as everyone tries to clock the highest speed surfing a wave. While Skipper Rich was sleeping Patrick managed a fantastic 14.4 knots eventually the vibration of the hull and the rudder was enough to wake him and spur him into challenging Pat's record. After an unsuccessful shift on the helm, at last Rich managed to break Pat's record with a 14.5 knot surf. Happy that he was still a great helmsman Rich decided to retire back to his bunk and handed the helm over to me.

Ten minutes later I somehow managed to clock an very impressive 15.1 knots. This was quite surprising being that I am the amateur here and that this was my first real surf on a wave. I am calling it a fluke but it was a lot of fun feeling the power of this beautiful boat as the stern swells up on the wave and you feel the bow get thrown forward as you ride the wild sea's traveling so fast that you cannot hear much over the roar of the sea and the vibration of the hull.

During the last few hours of day eight at around 2200 hrs and just as I was waking up to come on standby watch there was a shout from the deck. 'Rich!'. The voice belonged to Dan who was helming at the time and contained a high note of worry in it. If they gave out medals for how quickly a skipper could wake up and fly up the companion way steps than Rich would have taken gold as he arrived at the helm in seconds with a full assessment of the situation and bellowing. 'All hands on deck'. Rich had understood the situation and realised that we had warped our Medium Weight Spinnaker around the forestay and that we were very close to shredding it to pieces.

All the crew were throwing on life jackets and following Rich up the companionway in various states of dress in order to try to save our precious Spinnaker. Remember this is day eight of an 11 month journey around the world where the loss of such equipment would be devastation to our campaign. Rich had by now taken the helm and was in the process of directing the recovery of our Spinnaker. 'Sheet in, everyone grab the sheet and pull down, pull it off the forestay.' I happened to be the first to follow that last order reaching the sheet through the darkness and grabbing it with both hands.

The first thing I realised when I did this was that I am no way strong enough to do this alone and the next was that I was no longer touching the deck of the boat as the sheet pulled me up dangling me like a rag doll above the deck. Letting go I fell back to a stable surface and waited for the rest of the crew. Wayne was the next crew member to arrive and copied my earlier attempts by grabbing the sheet with both hands only to be lifted straight off the deck as I was. After letting go Wayne and I both started to work together as the many other crew began to arrive. The ocean resembled one of those pile on's where everyone jumps onto of everyone else as more than 10 crew had by now grabbed the sheet and were pulling down with all there might. Finally success as the Spinnaker began to unwrap from the forestay. The shout was given to let go else you may otherwise be ripped of the deck as the Spinnaker re-fills with wind.

Unfortunately, crew member Annelise was so worried about the rest of the crew that she held onto the sheet trying to make sure that everyone else had let it go first. Evidently she needed superwoman’s strength to hold on as the sheet tore itself free leaving behind a nasty rope burn on her hands as a memento of her heroic efforts.

The remainder of the night we continued to surf waves with regular speeds 13 knots and found ourselves with a lead of 55 nautical miles on Team Finland by dawn. We were by now flying the heavy weight Spinnaker and had a distance left to run of 230 nautical miles. Sailing is always eventful with our final night holding our second wrap of the Spinnaker giving Dan the nick name of Wrapper-Dan as he was again helming but also the Gimp shackle on the Spinnaker sheet had released itself when rubbing against the forestay resulting in mayhem as all of the crew try to retrieve the Spinnaker without damaging it.

After such a fun filled night of adventure I was left feeling quite exhausted however with no rest in sight I started about my Mother Duties once again and began the preparations for breakfast. At 1000 through the haze of a sunny day the Island of Porto Santo was spotted of the starboard bow. This volcanic archipelago was the first sight of land for days and offered a welcome relief for some and a sadness for others that the end of the journey was near with Madeira only a short 30 nautical miles away.

Three hours later the towering volcanic peaks of Madeira were funneling wind to our sails as we reached the finish line. Crossing with a film crew and support vessel being our welcome party various crew responded in various ways with some shouting there triumph and other crying tears of salty joy because we, Gold Coast Australia had done it. We had just won the very first race in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and not just by a little but by an impressive 60 nautical mile lead. What an achievement.

With life set in the fast lane and the stop in Madeira being a short one, three days later we were waving our farewells to the very kind and generous people of this beautiful island. We had sampled the local Madeira wine, danced the local dances, swam in the local watering holes and even received a visit from the President of Madeira. Than it was sails up as the countdown began for the start line we accelerated forward jollying for the best position in the fleet. Bang! We are off and racing crossing the line in eighth place however we were back in the lead within 20 minutes. From there it was a Yo-Yo with the lead boats as wind holes appeared off the cliffs of Madeira trapping some whilst letting others though.

Me at the top of the mast -  Clipper Ventures  

Our focus was pulled from the race as chafe became our worst nightmare. Everything is chafing and we just can't seem to solve the issue. Day one of the second race found us with bad chafing on the port side Spinnaker halyard so Bow Girl (me) was to be sent to the top of the mast to attach the second halyard as a secondary. Unfortunately I was just a little slow or a little lucky because just as I was attaching a halyard to my harness so that I could begin the climb there was this all mighty bang and snap went the Spinnaker Halyard.. Very lucky that I hadn't made it up yet as the marlin braid has flex so therefore it holds quite the kickback when the pressure of the sail is released. Utilizing the tools at hand we have now set up a system that may just save our other Halyard but it does mean that every time we hoist a Spinnaker Bow Girl has to go up the mast and manually set the pullie to the head of the Spinnaker.

Not only was the loss of the Halyard a major disaster but it was not the only one. We have suffered chafing on the Main Halyard, the Spinnaker Guy's, Barber Hauler, Sheets and just about everything else on board. We have re-enforced the reinforcing and still there is chafe. On the plus side I am going to be the best spectra splicer in the world at the end of 11 months.

Day two saw us wake up to our very first broach... Luckily this was a minor one and no damage was suffered however it just goes to show that the oceans are still the boss and completely unpredictable. As far as positions go we have been holding first place most of today, unfortunately Yorkshire have just taken the lead as we drifted in light winds for the afternoon. Don't let that fool you as the excitement does not end there. Just at sunset the Spinnaker Halyard tripped and ran through the mast resulting in another all hands on deck shout to help retrieve it from the hungry ocean. At first it all seemed to be going okay with the re-hoist but it was only once the Spinnaker was up that we noticed the series of small tares in the sail.

So the mad scramble for retrieving the sail was on again. Success at last, a retrieval of the Medium Weight Spinnaker and a hoist of the Heavy Weight Spinnaker followed quickly by a short trip up the mast for me and I was off to clear away the dinner plates and begin the repairs on the Spinnaker. Two hours down and a few more to go before this Spinnaker is ready to fly again. This is really such a shame as we will be needing to fly this Spinnaker for another 10 months so let us just hope that our repairs hold.

I am second from front -  Clipper Ventures   Click Here to view large photo

Lisa Blair blog
Clipper Round the World website




by Lisa Blair

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=87840

12:41 AM Mon 29 Aug 2011 GMT






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


Related News Stories:

31 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - First Clipper 70 hits the UK
18 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to support youth cancer charity
16 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Deputy Race Director appointed
23 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Victory for Gold Coast Australia
21 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet on final phase
20 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet face tightly packed finish
19 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet head to Southampton
13 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – Qingdao cross Race 14 finish
12 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Race - Singapore first over Race 14 finish
12 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 14 finish fast approaching
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World



















































America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,
















New Classification Code for consultation released by the IPC
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race fleet heads for London
Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi and Team Alvimedi head for England
Rio 2016 in the sights of ISAF Youth Worlds 420 sailors
Exciting new International Audi Melges 20 Ranking System now in play
FISU World University Match Racing Championships - GBR women win gold
2014 Seiko 49er and 49erFX European Championship - Day 2
Volvo Ocean Race teams Abu Dhabi and Alvimedica leave Newport, RI
Half Ton Classics Cup - Champagne conditions on Day 2 + Video
ABYC Fourth of July Regatta - Snipes join the action
Volvo Cork Week - Three bullets for ballistic catapult
Nacra 17 Europeans - Besson and Riou lead the overall standings
Formula 16 World Championship - Aussies claim title in Newport
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - The journey beckons
Clipper Round the World - London to provide emotional heroes welcome
ISAF Youth Worlds - Italians to lead RS:X fleet in Tavira
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon
Foiling Week - Italian Moth Championship - Final results
NYYC Race Week - Yachting history on display
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue
Half Ton Classics Cup: Swuzzlebubble out front on Day 1 + Video   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display   
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet   
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri   
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities   
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall   
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends   
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran   
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner   
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature   
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm   
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos   
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results   
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1   
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams   
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host   


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