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

 

Sail-World.com : Right runway - wrong year for The Cone

Right runway - wrong year for The Cone

'The Cone in Hawaii'    Walt Niemczura
Story copyright James Neill who has reconfirmed his permission for this story to be published by Sail-World.com

'It was seven in the morning and the four of us had just stepped ashore in Honolulu. The Cone had been abandoned in hurry - haphazardly tied, sails and gear strewn about the cockpit and we were headed to the bar. As many will know there is weird, stunned atmosphere that comes with ending a long ocean race.

You shake hands and stand around not quite knowing what to do next.

An attractive girl approaches and says something like 'here is a bottle of rum as a gift from some guys on the mainland. You have never met them but they would like to buy you a drink.'

That was our first inkling that The Cone had won a few hearts. Similar gestures followed over the next few days and frankly we were a bit overwhelmed by the attention. The Cone seems to have touched a nerve with people who like to stick it to the big guys.

For the record, The Cone was first under 50 ft, first to finish off the July 15 start, first to finish in Division 3 (race boats up to 65 feet) and second on handicap in Division 3. Like all boats that started on July 15 we did crap overall on handicap – stuck in no wind while the groups who started 4 days earlier and 2 days earlier feasted (relatively).

Some people are interested in the detail so here goes.

We shipped The Cone from Sydney to LA and home again using CP Ships. It travelled on its road trailer, strapped to an open 'flat rack' container.

International shipping is very price competitive so it is remarkably inexpensive and simple to do this. It helps if you can find a company like CP

Ships who takes an interest in the project, as the handling is a bit more fiddly than a standard container. In LA The James Brooks Company stored it in their yard and trucked it to the shipyard. In Hawaii DHX, stored it and then trucked it to the wharf. All couldn’t have been more helpful or flexible.

This year’s Transpac was unusually light - 80% of it under 13 knots and mostly VMG running.

Under 12 knot VMG running is hell for all sports boats. To hang in with the big boys we need to plane - otherwise we are just displacement sailing a short boat. To plane in light winds sports boats need to sail hot angles - the net result therefore is that you sail hot angles all over the ocean doing lots or miles with pretty poor VMG while the big boys simply pole back and sail hull speed at the mark with better VMG. That was what happened for most of this Transpac – we must have sailed 400 more miles than 50’s we were racing with.

The only good thing was because we had to sail hot angles, we could go to where the wind was a little stronger and chase wind shifts. In the middle of the track for example we were almost 200 miles wider than the bulk of Division 3 – that’s a lot in a 2200-mile race.


The Cone’s big advantage downhill is the combination of low drag and plenty of power. In 15 knots plus it planes at a few knots less than the true wind speed rather than surges up to speed on surfing like heavier boats. It therefore tends toward holding a consistent high speed rather than having big changes of speed surfing like a heavier more ‘draggy’ boat.

This makes it relatively easy to sail, as there are not those big changes in apparent wind that you get when surfing waves. In 25 knots it will sit on 18 knots in flat water and seems happy do a couple of knots less than the true wind speed up to about 20 knots true.

Obviously a normal Transpac with days of 16 to 22 and relatively flat water is made to order - which is why we entered.

Sadly we never really got our conditions - except for the last 12 hours.

The boat is as light as a 30 footer can be - the ‘full Monty’ SP Systems pre-preg carbon and nomex everything with a ‘cored out’ porta potty, a useless never used stove and nothing much else.

The engine is a modified Tohatsu and weighs just 20 kgs and we have 8 kg Honda Generator to generate electricity.

For this race we went super light on gear, which meant we were about 200 kg lighter than when we race as a stripped out shell but with a full crew in Sydney Harbour.

We did that by going with just four guys and being ultra-harsh about weight - no fresh food, minimum water, almost no spare clothes, no cooking gear except for an electric kettle, the bare minimum of paperwork, no stereo – not even any porn. Being super light paid off – we were on the plane in 10 knots.

We used a laptop running Max Sea with an Iridium satellite connection to download the digital weather files known as GRIBs. In a boat like The Cone, where boat speed and therefore distance covered varies so much according to wind strength and direction, software like Max Sea is almost a necessity to be able to position the boat at the right time and in the right place to take advantage of shifts and/or pressure differences.

You need to take what the computer tells you as a guide rather than gospel but I think we managed the shifts relatively well. I think we picked up a bit more breeze than the boats that took a straighter course – but saying that, the shifts were mostly well forecast and because we were sailing such hot angles we were obviously going to hit them a lot harder and be more able to go to the better pressure than the bigger boats who were better off sailing a straighter track.

The crew was myself, Mark Matthews who built the boat, Andy Turton who is part of the Australian Volvo team and Eric Boothe, a full time sailor from Florida.

None of the crew was paid and they paid their own expenses.

We all drove. I navigated. Andy and Eric did most of the physical labour. They all were great but Andy in particular was a phenomenon – the antithesis of ‘rock star’ - doing the blue collar stuff like cooking and sail handling with endless energy.

The Cone is the right tool for the big downwind classics such as Transpac, Pac-Cup and Cape Town to Rio.

This was just the wrong year to do a Transpac. In the ‘normal’ 16 to 20 knot winds the Cone should reel off 360-mile days and be a contender on handicap.

The upside of this year being such a light year is the potential of doing better in the future. Sadly, it won’t be me.

I have non-sailing commitments for the next couple of years so the Cone is probably going to be sold.

I had wanted to do so much more with it such as Cape Town to Rio and an attempt on the under 24-hour record for small boats.

Whilst I can see the boat probably being sold for harbour and coastal racing, I hope whoever buys it takes on some of the big races so we can see what The Cone is really capable of. Of course, you never say never and maybe it won’t sell and I’ll be back in 2 years time.

Story copyright James Neill who has kindly given his permission for this story to be published by Sail-World.com




by James Neill

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=18525

9:59 PM Tue 9 Aug 2005 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2005 Centennial Transpac

Related News Stories:

25 Aug 2005  Challenged America tells tales of Transpac
31 Jul 2005  Winners and others honored at sold-out awards fete
29 Jul 2005  Morning Glory did not go slower than double digits
28 Jul 2005  Tabasco hot stuff in Division IV
28 Jul 2005  Bubala's 'Old Men Rule' in their special way
27 Jul 2005  Rosebud wins King Kalakaua Trophy
27 Jul 2005  The Cone - not fast enough!!
26 Jul 2005  The Cone 100 miles from Diamond Head
26 Jul 2005  Soap Opera in first - simply
26 Jul 2005  Transpac – The Cone aims for Molokai
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

We’re talking, of course, about Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy, who make up one of two German duos in Nassau this year, along with 2014 World Champion Robert Stanjek. Polgar and Koy have been strong sailing partnership for many years now and finished fifth in the 2013 Star Sailors League Final with just Scheidt-Prada, Kusznierewicz-Zycki, Mendelblatt-Fatih and Negri-Lambertenghi in front of them. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Heading into a tropical Depression *Feature by Mike Scullin, Predictwind
The weather team at PredictWind have put together this prognosis for the next few days, looking at what lies ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet ... [more]  

Seven Australian Sailing Team and Squad crews are currently competing in five of the Olympic events at Abu Dhabi at the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. Next on the AST and Squad’s calendar is the World Cup in Melbourne, December 7-14, 2014. The deadline of Tuesday December 2nd for entries is fast approaching and organiser Yachting Victoria is calling for final registrations. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November 1200 CET from Lanzarote, Canary Islands bound for Grenada, West Indies, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Abu Dhabi 2014: Smiles were present before racing at the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, on the waters off of the Corniche and around Lulu Island and back ashore upon the conclusion of racing. A north westerly breeze that ranged between 9-14 knots greeted the sailors across the four race tracks. The outside courses saw big waves to add some spice to the sailors’ lives. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel: Sailing against the wind and ramming into waves is not exactly comfortable. But it can get worse, because right now we are heading straight into a tropical storm. 'Tro-tro-tropical storm?' I stammer in fright to Louis Balcaen. The young Belgian sailor quickly makes it clear that I’m not the only one who is afraid of this particular weather condition. ... [more]  

The Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club, which has hosted three America's Cups and one America's Cup World Series, appeared on local TV, commenting on the apparent decision to award the 35th America's Cup to British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. In this replay of the video Commodore Chuck Sinks, deftly stays within the confines of not confirming that Bermuda has won the hosting rights. ... [more]  

Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has slipped in the Volvo Ocean Race having led for most of Leg 2, and won Leg 1. But as has been done before Abu Dhabi has caught up, and now playing storm-watch. ... [more]  

Mast track issues have dogged the Chinese Volvo Ocean Race entry, Dongfeng Race Team on Leg 2 on the 40,000nm round the world race. The problem is not fully repairable in the current upwind and bumpy conditions, and is certainly an issue of concern for Charles Caudrelier led team. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: The Traemeister's onboard gym session *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
On Board Reporter, Brian Carlin, claimed he did not know what a Gym before he set foot aboard Team Vestas Wind. And then compounded his issues by saying that he thought 'Gym' was pronounced 'Gime'. Fitness freak Trae has taken on the invidious task of getting the Irish OBM up to a passable fitness level, believed to be 100 push-ups. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Thanksgiving at Sea *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Although they may be far from home, old traditions aren't forgotten as the US crew aboard Team Alvimedica celebrate one of the great traditions. And the non-US crew partake of their first Thanksgiving, off the coast of Madagascar. There's some of the traditional fare, adapted for the Volvo Ocean Race, and some messages and mementos from home. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The official launch of Syd Fischer’s super maxi, Ragamuffin 100, will take place next Tuesday, 2 December 2014, at Sydney City Marine Complex, Rozelle. ... [more]  

The new application from PredictWind for Mac and PC is revolutionary for accessing weather data when offshore. Accessing GRIB files, Weather Routing, GMDSS forecasts and Satellite Imagery is now a simple task with the unique and user friendly interface. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre takes lead in Leg 2 as break point looms *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The latest position report from Volvo Ocean Race Control has given the lead in leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Mapfre (Iker Martinez). She takes over the lead from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), who has led from soon after the start of Leg 2, a week ago. ... [more]  

Over 270 sailors from 38 nations have enjoyed a mixed range of conditions since their arrival early on in the week. The athletes have used the time to acclimatise to their surroundings, different sea states and a variety of wind strengths. But now, the practice time is over with racing across the ten Olympic and open kiteboarding fleets to kick start the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. ... [more]  

VOR 2014-15: Some of them also wake up in the middle of the night to check the latest position reports of Team Brunel. The crew is aware of that, including our skipper Bouwe Bekking. 'We are not the only ones looking out for the position reports. We know that the home front is eyeballing every move of us. Our wives, children, girlfriends, friends and supporters live this race as extreme as we.' ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: Among the ten Olympic series represented, Franck Cammas will be participating in the event for the first time aboard a Nacra 17, this time teaming up with the young, light Alizée Desbordes. Having remained in France to satisfy her professional obligations, Sophie de Turckheim will be following the performance of her favourite helm closely. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Bjorn Allansson (SWE), Briana Provancha (USA), Sofia Bekatorou (GRE), Lara Vadlau (AUT) and Anton Paz (ESP) have fully embraced the Abu Dhabi and Emirati life, grasping the opportunities available with both hands. 'There are so many welcoming and friendly people here,' explained Provancha at the opening press conference. ... [more]  

Leading sailing marine electronics manufacturer B&G has been appointed an Official Race Supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15. B&G will also be providing full electronic navigation systems, tactical software and race support to the organisers of the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, which began on the October 4th in Alicante, Spain. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. Adventures of a Sailor Girl #31 - Pathways and passion! ... [more]  

Star Sailors League Finals: This Bahaman event is about much more than just sailing, however: it promises a blistering week of high emotion, passion and dazzlingly action that will deliver a unique display of sporting prowess from a slew of champions. All in an easy-to-grasp and see format that even non-sailing folk will understand perfectly. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Sweden to host World Series regatta in 2015 by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th - 30th) 2015. Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote bound for Grenada, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the competing yachts are now safely moored in Puerto Calero Marina and last night an informal welcome drinks reception was well received with crew ... [more]  

2014 Chicago Match Cup - At the end of Chicago Match Race Center's sixth season, the numbers show how well CMRC reached both into and beyond the Great Lakes sailing community. CMRC hosted a total of 12 graded events from May to October. Of these, the five Grade Three regattas were the best attended featuring 23 skippers from nine countries. ... [more]  

2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Tom Slingsby, Australian Olympic Laser Gold medalist, and member of Oracle Team USA, has signed up as skipper of Oman Air, one of two Oman Sail Extreme Sailing teams, for the final act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney, Australia (11-14 December). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big spread in fleet as Abu Dhabi leads *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race. She is the most westerly of the fleet as they approach the coast of Madagascar. In a video, Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker explains the weather hazards of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and competitors, the ISAF President welcomed the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be battling it out on Abu Dhabi's waters. 'It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,' explained Croce. ... [more]  

Sir Keith Mills GBE announced that America’s Cup Racing is to return to British waters when the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) takes place in Portsmouth 23-26 July 2015 and 21–24 July 2016. The second European location is expected to be Cagliari in Italy, where Luna Rossa Challenge have their base. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Brian's Gime *Feature by Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind, At sea
The irrepressible Brian Carlin, the On Board Reporter for Team Vestas Wind is on fitness program on board, under the watchful eye of race veteran Tony Rae. Today as my personal trainer, friend and fellow shipmate we accomplished a goal, 70 press-ups. I’m sure to some it maybe easy but I ask anyone of you right now sitting at your desk, hit the floor and give me 70 on the spot. ... [more]  

Two of the crew from Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing look at leg 2 and the race overall. Here are the latest blogs (unedited) from On Board Reporter Matt Knighton, along with an onboard video with Simon Fisher (navigator) musing on what is required to win the race, and skipper Ian Walker on how Leg 2 has panned out for them so far. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - A new deal for corinthians by Bruce Montgomery – Rolex Sydney Hobart media
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Since 1945 starters in the Sydney-Hobart have raced the equivalent of two circumnavigations of the world, almost 45,000 nautical miles. They have been drawn from the seven seas; they come from all corners of the world; they board boats that range from 100-feet supermaxis to boats littler larger than the Owl and the Pussycat’s. ... [more]  

2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships - The International Hansa Class Association has announced that the 2016 Hansa Class Combined World and International Championships will be held in the Netherlands. ... [more]  

Most of the nearly 300 sailors on 216 boats in 21 classes in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 67th Turkey Day Regatta came to enjoy sunny sailing in mild conditions, which the weekend delivered beautifully. By tradition, the winners received turkeys, not trophies, but for a few others it was another important stopover en route to Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Olympics. They hope. ... [more]  

St Barth Cata Cup - New winners on the Island
Star Sailors League Final -Interview with Robert Scheidt
USODA 2015 Nationals - Pensacola Yacht Club to host
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, an inspirational legend
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Inspiring the next generation in the UAE
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup – Albeau completes world title hat-trick
Volvo Ocean Race – Team Alvimedica pushing harder
Volvo Ocean Race – ADOR continues to inspire youth
Volvo Ocean Race – Team SCA’s super fan
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Abu Dhabi Sailing Instructions published
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Italian 49erFX duo ready for action
St Barth Cata Cup day 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Racing between a Rock and a Hard Place
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 24 Nov 0700 UTC
2014 RC44 Championship Tour trophy – Video highlights
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 1930 UTC
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 0748 UTC
Gladwell's Line: The America's Cup is now Bermuda's Cup? *Feature
VX ONE Winter Series - Norris and Family earn first weekend victory
RC44 Oman Cup - Nika wins and Team Aqua clinch their fourth RC44 title
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy - Race three   
Volvo Ocean Race: On board with Abu Dhabi - torn sail and where to go? *Feature   
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Bermuda shines   
2014 Turkey Day Regatta – Day 1   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Delphine Cousin officially world champ   
Volvo Ocean Race: A man's got to do what a man's got to do   
RC44 Championship Tour - A great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman   
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Open Formula Kiteboarding event preview   
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet heads into the Southern Ocean + Videos *Feature   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Set to be an 'experience of a lifetime'   
America's Cup: Source named in Bermuda venue leak *Feature   
2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Challenging day + Videos   
Volvo Ocean Race: A bumpy, hard driving ride in the Southern Ocean   
EPA punts on renewable fuel standard   
Yates Cup: US supermaxi Rio100 wins first offshore race + Video *Feature   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Men’s title race takes a twist   
RC44 Oman Cup - Consistency hard to come by   
Volvo Ocean Race - Discomfort takes over for Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race - Rapid change for Team SCA   


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