sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Surfing the face of a 70ft wave

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Surfing the face of a 70ft wave

'Sailing in the Southern Ocean - Clipper Round the World Race'    Clipper Ventures
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2011-12 crew member Lisa Blair representing Queensland on Gold Coast Australia sends her thoughts on the race:

'The good ship Gold Coast Australia has now sailed its third week in the fourth race of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race of what is proving to be a very tactical race from Cape Town to Geraldton in Western Australia. Leading the fleet across the Indian Ocean and down to the frigid temperatures of the Southern Oceans where we continue to make ground to the east the crew experience a verity of challenges in different weather conditions.

After experiencing the fury of the Southern Ocean with winds of more than 60 knots of wind, the crew was left with large swells on day 12 offering up some challenging helming conditions. We were regularly surfing waves at 15, 16 and even 18 knots of speed as we witness the large swell that this ocean is known for. Waves the size of houses, dark gray in colour, frothing white at the top as they tower above you.

At one stage I was on the helm simply waiting for the next watch to come on deck at hand over time when out of nowhere the stern of the boat is picked up, I was now looking straight down the face of this huge wave as the entire 68 foot boat that weighs 38 tonnes is lifted like nothing. I can see the bow tilted down to an incredible angle with a few meters of water to spare at the end until the trough. My first reaction was to think pitch polling, a disastrous sailing manoeuvre where the boat's bow can get buried in the wave in front and get flipped bow to stern causing irreparable damage to the vessel often, taking the mast.

In order to avoid this as we accelerated down this monster wave I turned the helm hard to port in an effort to take the boat along the face of the wave and not just straight down. We continued to accelerate until there was so much spray around that I could not see where I was helming, it was just a sea of white foam getting thrown up from both port and starboard rails well above my head. I shouted for the deck crew to hold on as the next danger became apparent.

If I helmed too high we could get knocked flat on our side by the incredible force of this wave, so once again I adjusted my course and turned the helm to starboard to help guide the boat along the face of the wave. Everything was vibrating and shaking with the force of it and the g-forces that we created as I surfed the biggest wave of my life.

Laughing with adrenalin, fear and excitement we surfed and surfed. There were squeals of excitement and fear from the port side as two of the crew were buried in the spray. Down below Skipper Richard Hewson was giving the daily ‘Happy Hour’ brief to the rest of the crew and was watching the boat speed on the instruments with crew member Dan Oliver. Once it was over and our boat speed returned to normal speeds or at least normal for the Southern Ocean, Dan popped his head out of the companionway and said that my max boat speed was 22.9 knots during the surf. I really wish we had managed to get the speed over ground as the log is continually under reading. The end result was that we surfed down a wave with a face of 70 feet, absolutely wonderful.

On day 14 the crew on Gold Coast Australia experienced yet more challenges such as another snapped preventer, riding turns on the Main Sheet quickly followed by two crash gybes and the working Yankee sheet breaking off so that the Yankee flogged out of control until the crew could retrieve it, resulting in several damaged hanks. By dawn the next day we had recovered from the evenings dramas were still holding first place when the morning skeds came through.

Rich has been monitoring a large High Pressure system that was tracking over from the west to the east travelling at speeds of over 30 knots. Rich made the call to Gybe on day 16 and travel south down to Latitude 48 degrees South in an effort to skirt the bottom of the pressure system that stretches over 700 nautical miles long. This resulted in the coldest air temperatures of the race yet bringing us 300 nautical miles closer to Antarctica than Australia.

With the cold temperatures of the south, those crew members who have not come fully prepared with warm enough layers have now resorted to improvisation with some very interesting techniques. Tim Burgess has now been dubbed 'Rubber Boy' as he models the following layering system in his attempt to keep warm in air temperatures of five degrees and less with winds of 30 knots or more. Tim is wearing the following, T-shirt, five long sleeved thermal tops, fleece lined vest, hoddie, a rubber rash guard top that you would find the surfers wearing, breeze jacket, boxers, two legging, leg warmers, jeans, ski salopetts, Clipper issued foul weather kit consisting of the Henry Lloyd salopetts and ocean smock plus a rubber balaclava the type worn when diving in very cold waters, rubber socks, woollen gloves topped with latex gloves topped with neoprene gloves, neck warmer and a beanie hence the nick name rubber boy.

After leading the fleet more than 3, 000 nautical miles our leading position has become threatened as the High Pressure System stalled just above us on day 17 forcing us to sail in variable and light winds while the rest of the fleet closed in on our 100 nautical mile lead. With more than 1, 000 nautical miles left to travel until Geraldton this is still anybody’s race.

Here is a three minute video covering me and my participation in the clipper race. It includes small segments of footage taken by fellow clipper crew participating in the race of the extreme conditions we have all experienced.'



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=90035

7:54 PM Thu 27 Oct 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

Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong










America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ














Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   


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.
X6XL NEW US