• Wizard Under 800 nm But Scallywag Gone Invisible


    Wizard Update

    Time 1020 UTC. 49 24N 022 01W Speed 19.2 knots Course 075 magnetic. True Wind Speed: 16 knots.

    810nm to the finish and approaching the high pressure ridge. Wind speed is dropping,the sky is clearing and the barometer is rising. The sleigh ride is coming to an end and now its back to tactical sailing.

    The trick is to get into the high enough to use the shape to get a nice lift on the exit, while keeping enough wind speed to keep moving. Sometimes it feels a bit like Icarus making sure we don't fly too close to the sun (read High).

    We don't know where our closest competitor Scallywag is (and presumably neither do you, the reader). Their tracker has not worked since 2300utc last night. After about two hours I got worried for them and tried calling their sat phone: no answer! Shit! I then began composing an email to try to establish that they were OK. Luckily I got a call back from Miles (Navigator) on Scallywag who indicated they were fine. Phew! That nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach subsided. I've been involved in enough "dramas" at sea and did not need another one.

    Luckily, the sailing instructions state that "If a transponder fails, the Organising Authority will attempt to establish a communication plan with that yacht." Hopefully we can all continue to watch the interesting race between the 70' Wizard and the 100' Scallywag play out, with regular updates of their position, as we race towards the Lizard, then Cowes.




    July 1 Update: Wizard Posts 492NM in 24 Hours in Transatlantic Race 2019
    july1 wizard sNEWPORT, R.I. — David and Peter Askew’s Wizard (at right) continues to set a blazing pace across the Atlantic, leading the fleet of 12 yachts competing in the Transatlantic Race 2019.

    On Saturday, Wizard, the canting keel VO70 that won the 2011-’12 Volvo Ocean Race as Groupama 4, hooked onto a low-pressure system 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 Sunday 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 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 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 Lucy Georgina to Constantin Claviez’s 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,” wrote 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 (Sunday) 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."


    Pata Negra - can we hold the lead?

    Last updated: Never Created: July 01 2019 21:29 Hits: 74

    Friday 2pm UTC and all's good on Pata Negra. The music is playing on

    the aft deck (we've concluded that Aussies have a strange taste in

    music) - the boat is drying out and sleep is all topped up.

    Last 36 hrs have been pretty tough with 20-25kts from the SE meaning

    we've been hard on the wind is a very very choppy sea state. We've

    moved into the full Gulf stream which flows in a meandering fashion

    through these waters. It's been warm, as the stream flows 28 deg

    temp, but with a flow rate of up to 5 knots, it makes the sea

    extremely rough. Pata Negra, with it's wide bottom and heavy chine

    generally doesn't like that as falls off the wave with a huge bang.


    Aegir Day 4
    The Fall Out! (Warning: contains toilet humour!)
    Toilets and boats, a match made in hell and something that has become a theme of ego disaster especially in my career of offshore racing, and this race has not disappointed in that department. So our water-maker is not working and we're racing a superyacht who's toilets rely on fresh water to electric flush out ones business. The fall out from this, when your water tank is empty and your water-maker is not working......well..... you get the picture! It reminds me of a similar, yet different situation during the last Volvo Ocean Race when not enough poo bags had been packed for the leg, (this is a racing yacht with no flushing toilet, so you do your business in a bag and eject the paper bag out in the most dramatic or inconspicuous way, character dependent). The similarities are that both incidents require you to get ingenious with ways of going to the toilet and how to flush a non-co-operating specimen down the toilet. The number of trips to the back of the boat to collect a bucket of seawater will generally scale the level of non-cooperation of said specimen. But oh, the emotions, the stories, the humour, the jokes; they remain the same on any of the races I have completed involving toilet mishaps. And the fact that we are on a plush, 4 toileted yacht with faux marble and veneer interiors, with air conditioning only ads to the bizarre predicament of the toilet misdemeanors!
    Despite this, we are all still smiling and managing to see the funny side!
    Abby Ehler


    Waves over the deck mean there is little air below deck and everything

    / everyone is wet through. However - its warm!

    Now a bit for the sailors: We've been pretty fortunate that we've

    been largely above and in front of forming depressions which means the

    wind has been steady from the SE and we've largely sailed the rhum

    line. As we got into the streams the water temp quickly rose from 18

    to 28deg C and we got on a nice flow for the last 36 hrs. So although

    we've been managing about 8.5 to 9 knots boat speed we've been flushed

    along at 12 knots over the ground. We've just popped out of a flow

    and hope to pick up another one soon. We might say it's skill, but

    we've had some luck that we're not so fast to run into the high

    pressure ahead which is why you may have seen the other boats take

    radical action to avoid running out of wind. So far, this has worked

    well and put us (physically) ahead of some of the key competition.

    700 miles on a stbd tack close hauled.... definitely something to


    Routing so far showing a Wednesday 10th finish, so looks like no

    records (and a few excuses for being late back to work).

    Last night we saw some ships and cruising yacht - quite unusual

    considering the vastness of this place. Also Andy was busy repairing

    bits of the boat which did give a fab firework display as he formed a

    fix with the angle grinder. Sparks everywhere in the dark night! You

    have to be creative... you can't carry spares for everything and you

    have to make things work.

    Aladin, Alice, Scarlett & Andreas are the younger end of the crew but

    definitely not short of talent. Scarlett's driving consistently above

    100% on polar performance and Aladin's all round skills from living on

    a boat since the age of 8 show through. It feels we've 9 drivers and

    a navigator on board, which dramatically helps keep the focus through

    the night hours. Andreas in the same way tackles every action with

    ease demonstrating years of sailing experience on the advanced race

    circuits. An amazing amount of experience and capability that will

    no doubt help their sailing careers in the future.

    Might not be an update tomorrow. Forecast is 25knts on the nose again - oh joy!


    Chris Hanson

    Pata Negra


    Wizard Report, Day 4

    Last updated: Never Created: July 01 2019 20:46 Hits: 47
    Hi All,

    Day 4 in the Transat Race on the mighty Wizard: 1000nm down with 2089nm left to the finish.

    The Gulfstream played a big role for the first few days as we hooked into a nice warm eddy and managed to get up to 3.4 knots of assistance. The other benefit of the warm water is that the wind is well mixed (ie solid), whereas in the cold water north of the stream, the wind is poorly mixed and you never seem to get the breeze forecasted by the GRIB files. For these few days, we had ideal Volvo 70 weather and managed some good miles. However a large high pressure system in the Eastern Atlantic is blocking and slowing the normal west to east movement of the pressure systems. We were forced to sail a zig-zag course as we sailed over the top of a slow moving small High, while those behind us, like Ageir, have been able to sail straight as they are sitting behind the system.

    We had a small hiccup last night as we sailed through a large cloud line (my bad) and ended up getting stuck for a while, when the clouds unloaded in the early hours of the morning. We managed to extricate ourselves after a few hours and normal progress was resumed.

    As I write this we are just passing the SE tip of the Point Alpha Ice box and have a clear run at the Lizard Gate (a line we have to pass through on the SW end of the UK which is the traditional finish of transatlantic races gone by) some 1927nm away. Looks like some great sailing for the next three days as we head NE in good running reaching conditions. We then have to figure out how to tackle the large High pressure blocking our way into the English Channel.

    A rather large 100 footer has just popped up on the AIS doing 3 knots faster than us in our rear view mirror. It has been great to beat them to Point Alpha but waterline length has finally caught up to us. In a 10 day race Scallywag owes us around 44 hours so we are fine on handicap with them so far!

    Breeze is heading and slowly building and there are some showers heading our way. Interesting times and great to have some competition around.

    Cheers for now.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2019 Transatlantic Race Gets Underway started by Photoboy View original post