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

 

Sail-World.com : Global Ocean Race - Getting south in a big hurry

Global Ocean Race - Getting south in a big hurry

'Conrad Colman repairs the tack line suspended on the bowsprit - Global Ocean Race 2011-12'    Cessna Citation

Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) - There is a very real sense of urgency in the double-handed GOR fleet as the high-pressure system north-east of the Falklands continues to sprawl across the western side of the South Atlantic and threatens to slam the door on the majority of the Class40s.

At the front of the fleet, Campagne de France and BSL continue to hammer south in north-easterly breeze with Ross and Campbell Field finding the sweet spot on BSL early on Tuesday morning, picking up speed to over 12 knots and chiselling away relentlessly at the lead held by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, reeling in Campagne de France by six miles under the cover of darkness and shadowing the leaders by 44 miles pre-dawn on Tuesday in increasingly harsh conditions.

North of the leaders by 460 miles, Conrad Colman and Hugo Ramon polled the highest speed averages overnight in third place peaking at 13 knots around midnight with their Akilaria RC2, Cessna Citation, sailing deep and west, 400 miles off the coast of Brazil. Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs – keeping the distance to Colman and Ramon steady at around 90 miles – were sailing slightly higher and slower in 16 knots of breeze on Financial Crisis in fourth place, but were averaging ten knots throughout Tuesday and getting some easting in the bank.

On the South African Class40, Phesheya-Racing in fifth place, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire encountered slightly lighter breeze south of Fernando de Noronha and have sailed deeper, keeping up the pace to just below ten knots, but dropping back 40 miles behind Nannini and Peggs in 24 hours and trailing Financial Crisis by 168 miles at 06:00 GMT on Tuesday. At 20:00 GMT on Monday, the Dutch duo of Nico Budel and Ruud van Rijsewijk in sixth with Sec. Hayai crossed the Fastnet Marine Insurance Scoring Gate and immediately hardened up, making between eight and nine knots and pushing to the south-east rather than dropping directly south.

Throughout Tuesday morning, race leader Campagne de France – further north-east and to windward of BSL – was the first to feel the breeze drop at around 05:00 GMT, while Ross and Campbell Field, 60 miles south-west of Mabire and Merron, kept up the pace averaging one knot faster than the Franco-British duo. Since the Rugby World Cup semi-finals last weekend, Mabire and Merron have become simply ‘The French’ for Ross Field: 'It’s NZ versus France next Sunday for the World Cup in Auckland, NZ, and it’s NZ versus ‘The French’ in the Atlantic until we arrive in Cape Town,' wrote Field Senior on Monday night. 'It’s going to be an interesting week: Is Dan Carter playing for the All Blacks in the final? Is France going to cause NZ to choke again? Is BSL’s move south going to pay off? Can ‘The French’ boat keep pace with the NZ boat? It’s going to be an interesting week.'

Averaging 12 knots and over, BSL is thundering south: 'We’re charging down through the Atlantic underwater,' confirms Ross Field. 'Seriously, we are launched on a boat that just parts the ocean, never nose dives, just pushes mountains of water down the deck into your face.' The physical demands on board are now reaching a peak: 'Our eyes are blood red from the salt, our lips are split from the sun and salt, but I’m loving it,' he reports. 'It is like being on an out of control roller coaster, BUT I have to say that after 24 hours of being right on the edge of tipping the boat out, it’s nice when the wind drops.'

Between them, Ross Field and Halvard Mabire have competed in ten round-the-world races and it is little surprise that they have sailed together through the South Atlantic: 'I remember being in this part of the ocean with Halvard many years ago and did the biggest wipe out ever on a Volvo 60,' recalls Ross. 'We had too much sail up running down hill and the boat just went under water like of submarine diving.' Travelling at over 30 knots, the racing yacht quickly submerged. 'I remember only seeing the boom above the deck and nothing else as we went down. It did a lot of damage but no one was hurt - it was a great thrill.'

In the midday position poll on Tuesday, BSL was still eating the deficit, closing down to 37 miles behind Campagne de France. 'To make matters more interesting, we have these three hour reports so we can see what ‘The French’ are up to and guess what sail they have got up,' adds Field. 'We’re going OK on them in the speed stakes and are hoping that our southing we worked hard for will pay off sometime. We can see ‘The French’ start pushing harder when we take miles out of them and I can imagine Halvard say ‘s**t’ when he loses miles.'

Although Ross Field had no way of knowing, issues had appeared with typically poor timing on Campagne de France. Miranda Merron explains: 'Our communications system decided to go on strike,' she confirms. Many hours spent on the handheld Iridium phone to the team’s service provider revealed there was no technical problem on the boat and no satellite connection fault. 'The system eventually resolved its issues just after dark, but we spent all day in a total communication blackout trying to find a solution,' continues Merron. This left Mabire and Merron sailing without the usual three-hourly position reports or any capability to download weather information. 'These are even more crucial when your competition has access to this information,' she adds.

While Mabire and Merron wrestled with technical issues, there was no opportunity to ease off with BSL on a roll. 'The motion is pretty violent at the moment with a confused sea,' reported Halvard Mabire on Monday evening. 'This isn’t the favourite angle for Campagne de France, but it’s a hot spot for the Kiwis and their Verdier-designed boat.' There is only one option: 'We try to stay up in the 12 knots-range when we can and this means hand steering as Nestor [the autopilot] isn’t so good in the complicated wave pattern we have at the moment.' In fact, conditions were so harsh at the helm that Mabire and Merron were forced to wear their Guy Cotten survival suits: 'You have to make sure every zip and seal is closed and we put it on with as much care and thoroughness as a medieval knight putting on armour before a jousting tournament.' Although the suit keeps the duo dry, the fire hose impact of the water is still intense: 'We’re both also wearing skiing goggles to protect our eyes from the spray as it arrives with such force that it slaps you in the face leaving us momentarily stunned.'

Throughout Tuesday morning, Colman and Ramon were dropping south pushing Cessna Citation to the limit and continually polling averages of just under 14 knots for a period of five hours. However, the continued pressure produced some close calls with the jacket on the spinnaker tack line parting and pulling through the clutch causing – as Colman puts it - 'much excitement'. Having repaired the jacket and secured the tack line with a couple of safety turns on a pit winch, Colman and Ramon retired to the back of the boat just as the Vectran tack line parted completely when Cessna Citation fell off a wave: 'We quickly dropped our reaching spinnaker after becoming temporarily monosyllabic with each other and sought to solve the problem,' says Colman.

The tack line runs through the middle of the Akilaria RC2’s sophisticated carbon bowsprit and running a mouse line through the outboard end required some extreme acrobatics: 'While tied on for security, it was a pretty precarious situation with my nose inches from the oncoming waves and the pole drooping alarmingly with my weight!' Colman explains. 'We’re now back up and running at full speed, but looking somewhat nervously about for what will go BANG next!' Despite the dramatic action on board, the New Zealand-Spanish duo are still focused on the high-pressure system centred almost 2,000 miles SSW of Cessna Citation: 'We’re pushing hard and are sailing reasonably fast in approximately the right direction, although the weather in front of us looks like a dog’s breakfast,' says Colman. 'So, who knows where the right way is?' he asks.

Weather models suggest that Colman and Ramon will run into headwinds on Wednesday as Campagne de France and BSL, 500 miles to the south-east of Cessna Citation, will hang onto following breeze. 'What does look certain is that the rich will continue to get richer as the front two boats may well avoid the top of the newly-forming high-pressure zone that we will surely have to beat over,' summarises Colman. 'With protest marches in Wall Street about the behaviour of sticky fingered bankers, may I propose a little wealth redistribution over here too!'

In the 15:00 GMT position poll on Tuesday, BSL remains in marginally stronger breeze to the south of Campagne de France, making 12 knots and trailing Mabire and Merron by 34 miles. Colman and Ramon have now sustained solid averages of over 13 knots for seven hours while Nannini and Peggs in fourth with Financial Crisis, 94 miles north of Cessna Citation, have averaged just below 11 knots over the same period. Sailing 150 miles off the coast of Brazil, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire with Phesheya-Racing in fifth and Nico Budel and Ruud van Rijsewijk in sixth with Sec. Hayai are both averaging slightly under ten knots and separated by 57 miles.

Global Ocean Race website




by Oliver Dewar

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=89738

6:30 PM Tue 18 Oct 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2011 -12 Global Ocean Race

Related News Stories:

18 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race - Final prizegiving in Les Sables d’Olonne
11 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race Class40 Sec. Hayai crosses Leg 5 finish
10 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race Class40 Phesheya-Racing cross Leg 5 finish
09 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race final two Class40s head to Leg 5 finish
09 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race - Chasing duo prepare for yet another gale
08 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race - Financial Crisis takes second overall
07 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race Class40 Cessna Citation cross Leg 5 finish
06 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race leader approaches Leg 5 finish
05 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race leaders count down final miles
04 Jun 2012  Global Ocean Race fleet sail through second gale
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World







Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,






































Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5 by American Windsurfing Tour,


















470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,




ISAF Sailing Worlds - Caleb Paine through to Finn medal race + video
ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Finn leaders emerge from shifty Santander breeze   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - RS:X winner images by Barbara Sanchez   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 470 spots awarded   
52 Super Series 2015 - Outlook looks hot for the 52 Super Series   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - Another early start on day 4   
ISAF Sailing World - First entry leaves sailor's reputation in tatters   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard   
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result   
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO   
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead   


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