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Displaying items by tag: Cape Horn

In the coming 24 hours, Enda O’Coineen is on course to sail solo around the notorious Cape Horn as he endeavours to complete his solo sailing lap of the planet.

Enda restarted his voyage in late January a little over a year since his Vendée Globe challenge came to an abrupt end, when his mast came crashing down some 180 miles south of New Zealand.

Having sailed more than half-way around the world from Les Sables in France, Enda was determined to finish what he started.

Initial plans to repair his boat changed when the opportunity arose to combine his efforts with another retired Vendée Globe team and merge as Le Souffle du Nord Kilcullen Team Ireland, with the mission to sail back to France and unofficially finish the race.

This weekend will be only one of a few recorded times that an Irish sailor has rounded the southern tip of the South American continent.

Enda OCoineen Cape Horn

Speaking about historic event, Enda O’Coineen said: “Cape Horn is one of, if not, the most feared pieces of land to round on the planet. And it is certainly living up to its reputation as I approach with 60kph winds and roaring seas hurtling me towards the great cape.

“This will hopefully be the coldest and wildest weather I will encounter as I then turn north and start the final leg up the Atlantic Ocean and into Les Sables d’Olonne to finish what I started.

“It’s hard to explain why I put myself in this position, alone, cold, and exhausted as the bottom of the earth but as any sailor or adventurer knows as soon as you reach your destination and accomplish your goal you quickly forget about the hardship.”

Enda added: “Right now I am living on the edge, moment by moment. Having the joint backing of two teams and flying both the Irish and French flags is an honour. The work of Le Souffle du Nord and the Atlantic Youth Trust keeps me motivated during the lows.”

The timing of the rounding coincides with summer in the Southern Hemisphere, but the latitude and converging seas make Cape Horn a daunting prospect year-round.

For live tracking of Enda’s voyage visit www.teamireland.ie.

Published in Solo Sailing

#vor – The Volvo Ocean Race fleet, battered but unbroken as they battle through the Southern Ocean, face the toughest 48 hours of the nine-month marathon as they approach Cape Horn on Monday.

The region is the only time in the 38,738-nautical mile race where the boats are likely to see icebergs, despite the ice limits set by organisers, and a huge storm is building up behind to chase them on their way (see details here).

Early on Saturday (0640 UTC), the Chinese boat Dongfeng Race Team, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, led the leg from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, but by less than 10nm from four other crews.

Caudrelier admitted that the stress has become "wearing' on his eight-man team.

"I think it's unique in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race (launched in 1973) to have a fleet battling like this in these latitudes," he wrote in his blog on Saturday.

"Tomorrow, we'll be even further south and the water temperature is going to drop. I'm expecting the hardest part of this race in the next 48 hours."

Dongfeng were one of three boats to crash over on their sides midway through the Southern Ocean on the 6,776nm leg – a so-called 'Chinese gybe'.

Thankfully, all the crews avoided anything more serious than cuts and bruises and damage to boats have been repaired on the move.

After some 3,000nm miles of sailing in the toughest leg of the race, Dongfeng lead by just 5.1nm from Dutch boat Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) with overall leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP) and Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) no more than 4nm further adrift.

The all women's crew of Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) were nearly 100nm behind that pack, but gaining all the time in stronger winds.

They and MAPFRE also suffered Chinese gybes on Tuesday. The leg is expected to conclude around April 5-6 after three weeks of sailing from New Zealand.

In all, the boats will sail nine legs and visit 11 ports. They finish the race on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE - Has the Groupama sailing team adopted a new simplified watch system, keeping just one man on deck to handle the vessel - as demonstrated by Ireland's Damian Foxall in the video above?

Don't worry - it's just a prank for April Fool's Day yesterday!

The yacht and its full compliment of crew have rounded Cape Horn and are currently in overall second place as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet heads to Itajaí in Brazil on the fifth leg and longest passage of the race.

Groupama and PUMA are currently battling for first place on the leg, with Telefónica hot on their heels after making up 180 miles in just 36 hours with speeds near double those of the frontrunners.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
The Velux 5 Oceans website has posted a video preview ahead of the third ocean sprint stage in the marathon round-the-world yacht race.
The third stage, which kicks off tomorrow, will take the four competing yachts across the Pacific Ocean from Wellington, New Zealand to Punta de Este in Uruguay.
Sail World reports that northerly gales are expected to buffet the boats from the off as they set out on the incredible 6,000-mile route, which will take them to Nemo Point - the most remote spot in the world - and the notorious challenge of Cape Horn.
American Brad Van Liew, skipper of Le Pingouin, is currently in the lead having won the previous two ocean sprints in the 30,000-mile race.

The Velux 5 Oceans website has posted a video preview ahead of the third ocean sprint stage in the marathon round-the-world yacht race.

The third stage, which kicks off tomorrow, will take the four competing yachts across the Pacific Ocean from Wellington, New Zealand to Punta de Este in Uruguay.

Sail World reports that northerly gales are expected to buffet the boats from the off as they set out on the incredible 6,000-mile route, which will take them to Nemo Point - the most remote spot in the world - and the notorious challenge of Cape Horn.

American Brad Van Liew, skipper of Le Pingouin, is currently in the lead having won the previous two ocean sprints in the 30,000-mile race.

Published in Offshore

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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