• The Belgian Has Landed!




    Finish Time: first over the line in the 2018 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race: Philippe Jamotte on Double Espresso, Olson 30 = with a finish time of 8:38:11 PDT, Elapsed time: 11 days, 21 hours, 13 minutes, 15 seconds!


    images © SHTP shore crew

    As we crossed the road to the little yellow house, stepping through the mud puddles, Philippe’s comment was: “This is a much different welcome than a single hander would have in France. Not that I’m complaining. That would be so overwhelming.” ;-/


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    “i feel like i’m in boot camp”: Mike C
    another day of sunshine and 25 to 20 kt trades. i have lost count of the number of reefs i have done and undone. my boat likes a full main to about 20 kts so not so bad but yesterday it was up and down and up and down. OK Mr. Cunningham gimme a reef…NOW! now take it out, now put it back in. i feel like i’m in boot camp. man i wish i had that spinnaker!!!
    i keep a couple of ratchet straps on board. got a bad foul in a reefing line and was able to use the ratchet strap as a temporary reef while i got the tangle sorted out. i would think ratchets would corrode like crazy but they hold up surprisingly well and give you some otions when something awkward needs pulling or squeezing or tying down. they are cheap too.
    apparently the RC is serving MaiTais in Hanalei. there better be some left when we arrive.
    later the same day:
    its getting hot out here. time for some nude sailing. i don't suppose Rimpac has any drones or spy satellites overhead. wouldn't want to frighten anyone.

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    Crinan II’s updates
    The RC received the following reports from Don on CRINAN II – to be clear, Don and the boat are fine. Progress will likely be diminished by the latest challenges – DH
    15:54 PST 7/4
    More fun. The second tiller pilot died. Spend afternoon field stripping both.
    15:55 PST 7/4
    I’m now testing it to see how long it lasts. If it’s also place it will be a slow trip home.
    22:43 PST 7/4
    The tiller pilot lasted until 12:30. Try driving for a while but with no lights I couldn’t concentrate on the compass for over an hour.

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    Day 11 Summary – Remember that carnage?
    Well, there has been more carnage reported, but so far everyone is doing fine and hanging in there, from a lost solar panel to a ripped main sail on a boat that only has one sail, to AP issues, to various lines breaking free, the increased winds have dealt their blow (ha, pun) – the back half of the fleet has gotten the strongest, reporting sometimes 33 kts. The sentiment is starting to switch from let’s enjoy this great blue yonder to: yeah, I’m kinda over this and can’t wait to hit Hanalei. Well, for our fastest boat the wait is almost over as he is expected to arrive sometime Thursday morning. RC is gearing up to be ready to greet Double Espresso as he makes landfall.
    We’ve seen our clump stay dispersed somewhat today and Dark Horse, despite suffering some of the aforementioned carnage, has continued to surge and is almost overtaking JouJou. Riff Rider has hung back a little, likely due to AP issues, as well Fugu, suffering some charging issues, may rest. Until he jibed back, it almost looked as though he decided to go see the erupting volcano on the Big Island and give Kauai a miss. He’ll jibe back again.
    Dolfin, and his AIS alarm, have kept their distance from Jacqueline, and Crazy Rhythm has volunteered to keep Jacqueline company instead.
    Winds should lighten up slightly so the fleet won’t be quite as on edge. Looking forward to the first finisher tomorrow.

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    Jacqueline – Yellowcoat
    i call him yellowcoat. as mentioned many posts ago, i have a bad mast creak. i have wrapped the mast in towels and stuffed some cushions around it to quiet it down. one of those cushions is a homemade quarterberth cushion covered in yellow sunbrella i have had forever. the yellow cushion is standing on end to block the doorway. so the quarterberth cushion is narrow on one end and wide on the other, you guessed it, just like a human being. well, close enough. so anyway, three or four times a day i look forward and oh shit!! theres another person on board… and he looks a lot like my quarterberth too. ha ha, maybe i should paint a face on him and call him…what did tom hanks name the ball??

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    Philippe’s Last Post?
    Pfew, after that intense emotional moment I got back into sailing. These past days have had a similar pattern: we do good in the morning, poorly in the afternoon and things improve during the night. Same goes for today. We’re doing 6-7 kts pointing more or less straight at the finish line. I’ll be happy when I get there. Hopefully it’s not going to take too long, what with squalls and a light night breeze to beat into Hanalei Bay. About 100 miles left … I’ve let the racing get the better part of me since Monday or so, being obsessed about doing better. I saw the possibility and wanted to believe but since my strategy remained the same, there truly was only one thing to do, hope for more winds. I’m glad to have given it the best I thought reasonable, coming back from behind. I hope these racer reports kept you entertained; I apologize if they were a little too much about what’s in my head vs what’s going on. Out. PJ

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    “you have to make it happen” says Mike C
    now this is more like it, sunny day wind blowing 20 -25 kts on lower side. sweet sailing. i tell you though, i am looking forward to the finish. folks dont know how grueling this is. day after day of 3 axis movement, tough getting adequate sleep, continuous motivation needed to get things done and keep racing. its a hard thing to sustain.

    no choice though, which is one of the attractions. you have to make it happen. its often too easy to quit stuff, not this game.

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    More pink bucket inspired writing from PJ
    7.4.18 in the a.m.
    I’m about 150 miles from the finish line. I was feeling so nervous, uneasy, apprehensive about all the stuff that can still go wrong that I decided to put some music on to unwind my unruly mind. In many ways I feel like I could carry on, being the vessel’s caretaker, coming out of my burrows to tend to her needs.
    I was told that tears would be shed. It did happen once for me. I was continuously beating myself, pointing at all the flaws, and this one voice finally came out and said: you’re doing something truly exceptional and you’re doing it well, you are NOT a piece of shit. If only I could stop feeling like one. Writing this the tears are coming back. It’s the music, I swear.
    So then, it happened twice …

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    Philippe: “let the boat do its thing”
    I knew I didn’t have a great day yesterday, although at 182 miles it’s still pretty good; the other guys had a swell day! 198 miles for Passages and Nightmare, 188 for Crinan II. Cool, well, no …
    I had my sunrise surprise again this morning. Exact same scenario it’s mind blowing. In the companionway, looking at the East hoping for a sunrise, the AP goes out. I now know what to: release the jibe preventer, let the boat do its thing, turn off for a bit and back on. Try again as necessary. Batteries are good …
    On to breakfast then.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2018 SSS Single Handed Transpac started by Photoboy View original post