• Wizard Jumps To An 84nm Advantage

    Update from Scallywag

    Over the last 24 hours the team have not been able to pursue Wizard, who are now 100 miles ahead.
    We received an update from Miles explaining what’s been going on;
    “It’s been a monster night and day, the wind has just dropped below 28kn for the first time in 6 hours.
    As you can see from the tracker we are sailing in limp mode.
    We have one reef in, and currently no headsail on.
    We have a bit of storm damage, but nothing that is making sailing unsafe, we just need to get out of these high winds to fix things before we can push on to the finish”.

    The team find themselves nearing a hole between two weather systems.
    With just over 1000 miles to go it is becoming a drag race to the finish.


    Chris on Pata Negra describes the beautiful sailing conditions the crew has been facing recently. He writes, "an excellent sunset, more Milky Way on the moonless night and then a stunning sunrise. The wind was very light all night but today it's been building from the south to currently 19kts allowing for excellent sailing conditions with the Code 0 at between 11 to 14 knots."

    However, Chris expects that Pata Negra may have some trouble on the horizon. "There looks to be a high pressure system building from the Azores to the UK which will be a windless brick wall in our journey," says Chris. "Getting through this looks very challenging and out ETA could go out an extremely long way."


    “Greetings from midway between Alpha 2 and 3 on a magnificent offshore night,” wrote Kiva (below, right) navigator Hank Halstead last night. “No moon, but a full Milky Way of stars everywhere except to the west, where low pressure looms. What fun!"
    Of course, at the front of the fleet, there's less time for sightseeing.
    Wizard Posts 492NM in 24 Hours in Transatlantic Race 2019 -


    (July 1, 2019; Day 7) – David and Peter Askew’s Wizard continues to set a blazing pace across the Atlantic, leading the fleet of 12 yachts competing in the Transatlantic Race 2019.

    Wizard, the canting keel VO70 that won the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race as Groupama 4, hooked onto a low-pressure system on June 29 delivering strong southerly winds between 25 and 40 knots, and took off like a bat out of hades.

    Wizard put up a 24-hour run of 492 nautical miles between 1230 UTC from yesterday to today. At today’s 1400 UTC position report, Wizard had 1,196 nautical miles to the finish in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.

    “We’ve had an awesome past few days,” said navigator Will Oxley. “We’ve been staying on the low. It’s been quite wet and squally. We sailed a conservative plan for a day or two, but now we’re going to back to full noise. The breeze is down to 20 knots and there aren’t any squalls, so we’re able to use the full sail plan.”

    In the stormy stuff Wizard was sailing with a reefed mainsail, J4, and storm jib staysail. Now they’re back to full mainsail, the J0 headsail, and storm jib staysail. At 1400 Wizard led David Witt and the supermaxi SHK Scallywag by 102 nautical miles in the race for line honors. But the path ahead looks to get lighter.

    “The next challenge is the ridge of high pressure between us and the Lizard,” Oxley said. “There’s a double-stacked high, with one center off the Azores and the other further north. We’re aiming for a spot where we think we can get between the two. The breeze is going to get light but, fingers crossed, we’ll get through to the other side. We’re still looking at July 5 at the Lizard and the morning of July 6 into Cowes.”

    Last night the two 54-footers, Eric de Turckheim’s Teasing Machine and Jean-Pierre Dick’s The Kid, cleared waypoint A3, the southeastern corner of the ice zone limit. Today both crews were contending with light, 10- to 15-knot westerlies and jibing downwind to stay off of the southeastern edge of the ice boundary.

    Giles Redpath’s 46-foot Pata Negra, skippered by Andrew Lis, is the next yacht expected to pass waypoint A3 and begin the turn to the northeast towards England.

    While the two leaders have had a couple of days of strong winds, the six yachts that make up the second half of the fleet—including Lucy Georgina, Carina, True, Kiva, Hiro Maru, and Charisma—are about to sail into their own stormy weather. A low pressure forming to the east of Nova Scotia will engulf them in the coming days with gale force winds.

    At 1400 UTC the group was separated by 199 nautical miles, from Peter Bacon’s 44-foot Lucy Georgina to Constantin Claviez’s Nautors Swan 441 Charisma, and sailing along the southern boundary of the ice zone in southerly winds of about 20 knots.

    “There’s a low pressure on its way, it looks like we’ll get 30 to 35 knots sustained, with gusts of 45 to 50 knots, mostly from the south,” said Mark D’Arcy, navigator for Hiro Maru. “Hiro Maru is very solidly built and well equipped for those conditions.”

    “This race is long, I must say,” Nakajima said today. “We’ve been out here for a week and we’re not quite halfway there yet. I was pretty tired the first three days, but my fatigue is over and everyone onboard is in a rhythm now.”

    The strong weather comes on the backside of a glorious day of sailing yesterday, the type of weather that makes racing across the Atlantic a wonderful journey.

    “Greetings from midway between Alpha 2 and 3 on a magnificent offshore night,” shared Kiva navigator Hank Halstead last night. “No moon, but a full Milky Way of stars everywhere except to the west, where low pressure looms. What fun!

    “The southerly filled in (yesterday) for a glorious ‘bluebird day’ of power reaching to the Alpha 2 ice gate, which we rounded in 79.5-degree water. No bergy bits here! We’ve learned, once again, to appreciate the isometric aspects of maintaining balance while living in a popcorn popper and are all so pleased to begin reaching through life, once again.”
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2019 Transatlantic Race Gets Underway started by Photoboy View original post