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Displaying items by tag: Ocean

#offshore – Skippering a yacht on an ocean going passage is a serious undertaking requiring significant skills and experience. Getting those skills and experience has always been tricky and every year the rescue services are called out to assist yachts and skippers that have gone beyond their means.

Previously, a skipper looking to build ocean-going experience has had few options other than to join a delivery yacht or maybe crew on the ARC. This gave mileage and some experience, but was no substitute for expert tuition from ocean-going instructors.

To fill this skills gap, a UK sailing school operator, Rubicon 3 has launched a series of three Ocean Crossing Masterclasses, running between October and December 2015.

Based on Rubicon 3's specialised 60' expedition sailing yacht, each masterclass comprises an intensive two weeks of tuition at sea, taught by two instructors. The syllabus has been developed from their skippers' huge experience of expedition and ocean sailing and is a mix of practical and theoretical lessons on how to skipper a boat across an ocean. Every day sees a structured lesson plan, with all critical skills covered. These include route planning; weather routing; yacht preparation; fixes of common problems at sea; celestial navigation and heavy weather techniques, including practical demonstrations of storm sails, tri-sails, drogues and storm boards.

These masterclasses are open to everyone, with ten places on board each one. There are watch leader positions on each masterclass ideally suited for those looking to gain their RYA Ocean Yachtmaster qualifying passage.

Bruce Jacobs, director of the company said, "It's critically important that before skippering a yacht far offshore, you have the practical skills and experience to match your theory. Whether it's how and when to deploy a tri-sail, or conditions are getting nasty and it's time to launch a drogue - the first time you do it should not be the time you really need it. These masterclasses are the very best way to prepare yourself to skipper offshore and to vastly widen your cruising range."

Masterclass dates, routes & prices

Bristol, UK - Baiona, Portugal: October 18 - November 1, 2015. £1,395
Baiona - Madeira - Azores: November 7 - 22, 2015. £1,495
Azores - Madeira - Gibraltar: November 28 - December 13, 2015. £1,495

Published in Sailing Schools
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#ROWING – Ocean rower Aodhan Kelly is travelling the opposite direction to the one he expected this morning – but he is reported to be safe and well after a tumultous 24 hours. The Dubliner and the five other men in the crew of the Sara G were hoping to set a new record for rowing across the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados, but they capsized at 11 am yesterday 520 miles from their destination.

The six men stayed in a life-raft t until rescued by the cargo ship the Nord Taipei. The 32,000 tonne craft is continuing on to Gibraltar and is due to arrive on February 9th.

Sara-G

The Sara–G at the start of her now ill-fated journey

The Sara G crew, headed up by the experienced skipper Matt Craughwell, were initally hoping to break what they called the “four-minute mile” of ocean rowing by crossing the Atlantic in under 30 days. But winds and sea conditions were much tougher than expected. They had battled on bravely, with the aim of setting a new record but it all went awry on the 27th day of the row.

The present World Record is held by the 2011 crew of the Sara G - including Craughwell and Irishmen Rob Byrne and Adam Burke – who travelled from Morrocco to Barbados in 33 days 21 hours and 46 minutes in 2011. The Hallin Marine had the shortest crossing, travelling from Tenerife to Barbados in 2011 in 31 days 23 hours and 31 minutes in 2011, but because the distance is shorter the Sara G was deemed the World Record holder by the Ocean Rowing Society.

Kelly, a 26 year old from Palmerstown in Dublin, learned his rowing with Neptune rowing club in Islandbridge for whom he won eight national titles, seven junior and one intermediate. In recent years he has been living and working in Reading in England.

Published in Rowing

#SANYA– Definitely not as intended but neverthless on her way to Cape Town as our picture shows. The Discover Ireland backed Sanya entry in the Volvo Ocean Race has been successfully repaired and is ready to joing the other six yachts in the fleet. The 70-foot yacht suffered hull damage only hours into the race. Still to arrive is Puma, the third boat in the fleet to have suffered damage in the first leg.

first sighting1

Afloat again and heading for Capetown. Team Sanya is repaired and spotted on a cargo ship

 

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
#DISMAST–PUMA has suffered a broken mast on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, which began 17 days ago from Alicante, Spain. The crew are unhurt. Only 3 of the six starters are now left on the first leg of the race, Abu Dhabi and Team Sanya already out with spar and hull failures respectively.

 The rig onboard PUMA's Mar Mostro failed at around 15:00 UTC in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa.

puma

Puma crew try to retrieve the broken rig. Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

Skipper Ken read reported: "We were sailing on a port tack, beam reaching in 22-23 knots of breeze, heading east northeast with eight to 10 foot waves when the mast failed. There were no warning signs.

"There was no panic onboard, and all crew are safe and well.

"Thanks to amazing seamanship, the three pieces of the mast and all of the sails were recovered. We haven't suspended racing at this point and are weighing up our options.

"At this point we are not using our engine, but are taking some time to clear our heads and evaluate next steps. Our plans may include heading to the island of Tristan da Cunha – about 700 nautical miles from us, nearly on the way to Cape Town.

"This is the saddest and most disappointed 11 people on earth. We were in a comfortable second position, traveling south to get into the final front and head across the southern Atlantic towards Cape Town.

"We were planning to be there in five days. At this stage, my goal is to make sure we get this crew back safely and we will look at options as to how to get back in this race."

The Brazilian search and rescue organization have been informed and are on standby to assist if necessary.

PUMA Ocean Racing's shore team is working on a recovery plan to ensure the yacht can rejoin the race as soon as practically possible and will work closely with Volvo Ocean Race to determine the cause of the dismasting.

Volvo Ocean Race control is in constant contact with the team to establish the full extent of the damage and ensure the crew are given full support to enable them to deal with the situation.

The causes of the dismasting are not known at this stage. However, the rig is of a different origin and manufacture to that of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam which suffered a failure earlier during Leg 1.

Further information will be issued as it becomes available.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
Tagged under

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE – As plans progress to celebrate the end of the Volvo Ocean Sailing Race in Galway next June Heineken has won the pouring rights and the brewer is expecting to serve over one and a half million people during the course of the event.

They're expecting to attract over 200,000 people per day, for each of the eight days. The world race concludes with an In-Port Race and Pro-Am Race and the Prize Giving Ceremony. Thirsty work? Here's hoping!  And Here's Heineken's promo video courtesy of youtube with VOR racer Jerry Kirby comparing the last Galway stopver to 'Woodstock'.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
Tagged under

#ABU DHABI DISMASTING – "I knew there were going to be problems because my feet left the deck" skipper Ian Walker  describes the moment of impact when his Abu Dhabi yacht hit a huge wave and lost its mast in the first hours of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team is back in port and are attempting to rebuild the mast and get going again. Hear the latest from an understandibly emotional Ian Walker dockside here:

Puma Skipper Ken Read heard about the dismasting and has chimed in with his take on the disaster, calling it a 'curse' for winning the first In-Port Race in the Volvo, which Abu Dhabi did.

Two races ago Ericsson won the first In-Port only to have keel ram problems and limped into Cape Horn. Last edition, Telefonica Blue won the first In-Port only to break part of their rudder assembly about an hour into the race and had to go in to port to fix it. Now Abu Dhabi.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE – Ireland's Minister of the Marine Simon Coveney jumped ship on Saturday but it was no political volte face instead it was the expediency of Team Sanya's Captain Mike Sanderson who jettisoned the Fine Gael Cabinet Minister shortly after the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante.

coveney

Minister Simon Coveney (left) and Sailing Anarchy Editor Alan Block in good spirits after going overboard from Team Sanya. Photo: Anders Soranio

Onboard Sanya guests for the start on Sanya included Coveney, a racing sailor himself, and Alan Block, Editor of Sailing Anarchy website. After the inshore couple of laps, they had to brave the elements and jump off the boat into the water and both ended up safely on Sanya's team rib.

As it turns out there was no rush and the guests could have sailed on with the Chineses entry. Within hours Sanderson was heading back to shore after suffering hull damage that looks like it's going to take a while to fix.

Coveney got the VIP seat for the race start because Discover Ireland is backing the Team Sanya entry for 25% of the campaign costs. The VOR finishes in Galway next July.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
Tagged under

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE – 24 hours in to the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) and the fleet is reduced by one third. First Abu Dhabi was dismasted and now news is coming ashore that Team Sanya has suffered hull damage and is heading back for landfall.

Aksel Magdahl, Navigator on-board Team Sanya reported this morning had suffered hull damage on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, which began yesterday in Alicante.

The yacht is 25% backed by Irish tourism body Discover Ireland. The damage happened just 24 hours after Ireland's Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney left the boat shorly after the start of the race.

Mike Sanderson, Skipper has confirmed to Volvo Ocean Race Control that "The situation is very much under control, everyone is obviously disappointed but in good spirits as all are safe on-board," he said.

The boat was approximately 30 nautical miles SE of Motril, on the coast of Spain. The wind was blowing 43 plus knots and the waves were around 10.5 metres.

The watertight doors had already been closed as a precaution due to the prevailing conditions and the boat is making its way to Puerto de Motril. After entering flat water, Team Sanya has suspended racing.

Volvo Ocean Race control is in constant contact with the team while establishing the full extent of the damage so that the crew are given full support to enable them to deal with the situation.

Team Sanya's shore team are working on a recovery plan to ensure the yacht can rejoin the Volvo Ocean Race as soon as practically possible.

1300 hours Sunday: Mike Sanderson, CEO/Skipper of Team Sanya, updates us on the latest situation and his thoughts:

So close to making it through the worst of the big breeze and then disaster struck. We were looking after the boat nicely when at approx 0900 this morning while going upwind in 35 knots of wind, suddenly the boat went really bow down and immediately we knew it wasn't good. Instantly we slowed the boat right down, got the remainder of the guys in their bunks into life jackets and then set about tacking over to head for shelter.

The water tight bulkhead is doing a great job, the pumps are running and we are nursing the boat with just a double reefed mainsail into port.

Right now we have no idea how major the damage is, we can however see a puncture wound on the port side and streams of carbon peeling off so it isn't good. We are all safe though, as I write this we are just an hour from a safe harbour. The guys are doing a fantastic job, all very positive and working incredibly hard even though you can see the bitter disappointment on all their faces.

Be under no illusion though, we will be back with vengeance.

I will let you all know as soon as we have checked our poor boat out in a few hours...

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
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#VOLVO OCEAN RACE – As the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 kicks off tomorrow (5 November) from Alicante in Spain, Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney TD joined Tourism Ireland today, at a reception for key Spanish and international media contacts. As previously reported by Afloat.ie this week the event, which took place in the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Alicante, was an excellent opportunity to showcase Galway and Ireland as a fantastic holiday destination, kicking off Tourism Ireland's publicity drive around the world during the nine-month race to reach a huge audience of potential holidaymakers.

coveneyandsanderson

Mike Sanderson, skipper of Team Sanya, the Chinese/Irish boat; Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food; Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race; and Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland's manager in Spain, at the Tourism Ireland reception in Alicante, prior to the departure of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 tomorrow

The Volvo Ocean Race attracts huge publicity around the world – with billions of people around the globe seeing it on TV, reading about it and tuning in to hear about it on the radio. Over the coming months, Tourism Ireland will be working in key markets where the race stops, to ensure that Galway and Ireland are in the spotlight.

Niall Gibbons said: "The Volvo Ocean Race attracts huge publicity around the world and with Galway due to host the grand finale, there's an ideal opportunity to showcase Galway and the west, and the many attractions that the island of Ireland has to offer as a holiday destination. The event is a great 'hook' for Tourism Ireland to reach a huge audience of potential holidaymakers."

Galway will host the final stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 in July of next year. The 2009 stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway brought 40,500 international visitors to the city, as well as 269 journalists from around the world.


Published in Volvo Ocean Race

# VOLVO OCEAN RACE The 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will take place in 2014-15, starting once again in Alicante, after Volvo Car Corporation and Volvo Group reaffirmed their long-term commitment to the world's premier offshore sailing event but there is so far no news of the next course, other port stop overs or if the race will end in Galway in 2015.

Stefan Jacoby, CEO and President of Volvo Car Corporation, Olof Persson, CEO and President of Volvo Group and Knut Frostad, CEOof the Volvo Ocean Race. PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

"At a time when many sports events are struggling to survive in one of the toughest economic climates in living memory, the future of the Volvo Ocean Race is looking very healthy." - Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad announced the broad timetable just as the fleet prepared for the start of the 2011-12 edition in the Spanish port.

Flanked by Volvo Car Corporation CEO Stefan Jacoby and Volvo Group CEO Olof Persson, Frostad said the next race would begin in the autumn of 2014 in Alicante, where the race has been based since 2010.

Frostad's announcement came after the Volvo Ocean Race revealed that a record 66 broadcasters around the world have so far signed up to follow the 11th edition, reaching 550 million households.

"Right now, I'm concentrating on 2011-12 which I believe will be the most thrilling we've ever had," Frostad said. "I'm just excited that this race just keeps getting better and better in every aspect.

"We intend to bring the drama of a race which stretches its competitors to breaking point day in day out to a far bigger audience than ever before. We believe we will win new converts to this great sport of ours with our coverage."

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
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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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