Clipper 13-14 under way

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by JosephT, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

  2. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

  3. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

    Capt. Vimes, I tell you what I've been nothing short of impressed by the professional training at Clipper. Each crew member, experience or not, goes through Level 1, 2 & 3 training to prep for racing. Level 3 is all racing itself so you're really primed for racing when the round-the-world race kicks off.

    I'm on Team Jamaica and we're doing quite well (line honors in race to Rio). I'll be joining them in Cape Town in the next couple of weeks for the race to Albany, Australia.

    Skippers are reporting gale winds & large rolling waves at present. Team Invest Africa heading south into the abyss to take advantage of some seriously strong winds...we'll see how that pans out.

    http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/ (click on race viewer).

    Overall the new Clipper 70's are performing very well. Fast, fun yachts.
     
  4. capt vimes
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    joseph - you should be arriving in albany the next days...
    i hope you could give us - or at least me ;) - a short report on how the race was from your view...
    especially i would like to hear about the front which hit you with 100+ knots...

    i was wondering when going through the skipper reports, is that your spi pole on the image from day 3 report?
    http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-report/1005
    if so - how did it get bent so awfully?
     
  5. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Hey, just got to Albany, AU. Crazy leg 3. Spinnaker pole was damaged in Atlantic storm (main back winded & sheered spinnaker pole track which allowed the pole to swing wildly).

    Resting tonight on land...very tired.
     
  6. oceancruiser

    oceancruiser Previous Member

  7. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Yes, just a minor collision...could have been worse. No hull damage or injuries. Just deck gear that some epoxy or hardware fixes can mend.

    The Southern Ocean crossing for Leg 3 was quite nuts. Low pressure storms barreling in every 48 hours or so. Each storm would last 12 to 24 hours. Average winds of these storms were 60 to 80 knots, but some went above that. I believe the highest wind speed recorded (during a squal) was ~210 knots.
     
  8. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Joseph, thanks for the updates on some harrowing times. Will the boats-and crews-be ready for the Sydney-Hobart? Best of luck!
     
  9. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Doug, all Clipper 70s ready to rock & roll for Sydney-Hobart race. Clipper maintenance techs do a great job tending to the fleet. Crews also have good skill sets. Should be a good race! Will be interesting to see how all the boats do.

    Cheers,

    Joseph
     
  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Good luck to you and your Team, Joseph! And thanks again for the updates..
     
  11. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    I'll be back in Hobart by then. Drop me a PM if you'd like to catch up and have a beer or something.

    PDW
     
  12. oceancruiser

    oceancruiser Previous Member

    Joseph. Can you please give us details re sailing sail sets in these conditions. I'm very interested.

    Reefs, jibs, boat speed, watch length, on helm length during each watch, how many on watch during the night. Is the day watch the same as for night watch. Do you eat during these conditions if so what - cooked or uncooked, any hot drinks or just water.

    Did you have to set a drogue ect. Sea conditions and height.

    Don't get to communicate with such a person that's sailed these conditions live so to speak. So will be good to hear from you while your memory is fresh.

    OC
     
  13. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    JosephT Senior Member

    OC, here is some info on your inquiry:

    Reefs: The Clipper 70s have 100ft masts and they have 3 reefs. As with any main sail you reduce sail area when overpowering is anticipated (or not...as with a surprise squall...we got hit by two of those with wind speeds in excess of 100 knots).

    Jibs: Clipper yachts have two sails up front: Staysail (inner forestay) & various Yankee sails (outer forestay). We also fly a storm trisail & storm jib if needed, but we managed to sail without them by bringing in 3 reefs & flying our lightest Yankee (Yankee 3). Keep in mind you're largely sailing downwind in the Southern Ocean when down near the ice line in the mid-40 latitude area.

    Boat speed: In the Roaring Forties we saw speeds up to 30 knots, and this was with following seas. Every 48 hours or so low pressure storms blew in and lasted 12 to 24 hours. Huge following seas bring the boat up on a large wave, and we then surfed down them over and over where the max speeds are reached on the way down of course. The boat acts like a big surf board. A typical run would see speeds up to 30 or so knots, then slow to 8 or 9 knots at the bottom, then repeat with the next wave. We never had to set a drogue or anything. The Clipper 70's ride out nasty storms very well...build very tough. As a measure of safety we did watch the doppler radar 24/7 to evade squalls!!! Despite that, we got hit by two nasty squalls. One of them lasted a good 24hrs and the G forces reminded me of flight training.

    Watches: at night 4 on/ff, during day: 6 on/off. This rotation worked well the entire time.

    Helm length: Typically 45 minutes each with rotating to other crew members.

    Eating: We had regular meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner). Granted, in storms it can be tough to cook certain meals, but the tilting stove & oven on board really helps in preparation! We had an electric hot water kettle on the whole time (tea, coffee, hot cocoa, noodles, etc. etc.). Lots of hot stuff to keep you toasty.

    In the Southern Ocean it's obviously important to make sure you have good gear. The Gortex Henry Lloyd foulies provided by Clipper performed very well. Each crew member is responsible for ensuring they bring proper thermal layers, have damned good boots, gloves, hats & have a waterproof LED spot light (red lense) so they can see on deck without blinding each other.

    For the whole ~4,750 miles we did not see a single passing boat or aircraft. Not much going on down there! We did see pods of whales, occasional dolphins (closer to Africa & Australia) and of course many sea birds...the birds stayed with us all the way (Albatross, black breasted storm petrels, etc.). The sea birds are your friends down there.

    Over all the new Clipper 70's performed very well. Tony Castro designed a very fine, rugged yacht. Looking forward to sailing the warmer waters of the US Gulf coast & Caribbean from here on out!!! :)
     
  14. oceancruiser

    oceancruiser Previous Member

    Thanks much appreciated.

    Hot water Kettle = Powered by Genset or inverter.

    Watches: at night 4 on/off, during day: 6 on/off. This rotation worked well the entire time.

    I assume the numbers refer to hours not the number on watch. How many on watch at night and day.

    News

    Watches: at night 4 on/ff, during day: 6 on/off. This rotation worked well the entire time.

    Australian-skipper-quits-clipper-race-in-cape-town

    http://www.mysailing.com.au/news/australian-skipper-quits-clipper-race-in-cape-town

    Any inside info as to why. Garmin not doing very well.

    OC
     

  15. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Hey OC, the original Garmin skipper who left the race in Cape Town was, for lack of better words, just not having such a good race. From time to time with larger race fleets like this you'll occasionally find even seasoned skippers run into issues and have to leave for various reasons. Remember this is the longest yacht race in the world (40,000 nm) and I can assure many things can go wrong on such a long circumnavigation.

    To cap things off prior to leaving Cape Town with a new skipper, Team Garmin discovered a fracture in one of the sail rigging components and had to return to port and have it fixed. After the repair the new skipper has pulled things together quite well and we'll see how he does. I've got a few good friends on that boat who are excellent sailors...I'm cheering them on! :) Failure is not an option! Spirits are up and they're getting along. They're just about to enter Brisbane in about 8 position...a big improvement! Aside from that they are indeed racing very competitively now. Next it's off on Leg 7 to Singapore.

    The nature of the Clipper race is truly unique. The racing is no question tough (at least in the more violent Southern Ocean & North Pacific), but it is offset by the life-long friends you make from around the world along with all the port visits to other countries really make it a special adventure. Despite how well each yacht does, when we're all in port you rarely find boat crews nagging and being disrespectful to other boats. We're all sailors at heart and at the end of the day sharing the same adventure, sipping beer, listening to crazy stories and and enjoying some damn good times.

    Priceless.

    Fair winds,

    Joseph
     
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