TJV Day 20. Phillippa in 6th As the Hunt Goes On!

By Matthew Thomas As they approach Fernando de Noronha, the “Two Pips’ are now closing on the rhumb line and with that ‘Zetra’ sailed by Eduardo Penido and Renato Araujo, the Brazilian Duo who are also first time competitors in the Transat Jacques Vabre. The pressure is on, there is always work to do and being off watch simply means you’re not helming, but doing chores and chores and chores, and getting a bit of sleep when you can as ... Read More »

49er Worlds – Crunch Time for RSA Team

The 49er Worlds kicks off officially today with measurements, registration and all the other officialdom required in a championship event. Racing starts on Monday. For our RSA team of Graeme Willcox and Andrew Tarboton, it’s crunch time as their aspirations and dreams of competing in the Olympics in Rio next year will either be realised – or dashed! There are just 3 qualifying positions available at this event, and these guys need to secure one of them to join their ... Read More »

TJV Day 19. 7th and Exiting the Doldrums

by Matthew Thomas Unlike the leaders, the ‘Two Pips’ have had a reasonably quick passage through the doldrums. Careful playing of each puff and being a little further to the west has meant they’ve had a little better weather, and looking at their 4 hour average, they’re now exiting this area of very little wind at 8 knots, nearly two knots better than their competitors. This extra speed has allowed them to reel in ‘Groupe Setin’ and pass them, and ... Read More »

TJV Day 18. Neck and Neck Through the Doldrums

by Matthew Thomas The ‘Two Pips’ are pushing hard and have gained back the 8th place they lost yesterday afternoon. They’re neck and neck with ‘SNBSM Espoir Compétition’ and closing rapidly on both ‘Zetra’ and ‘Groupe Setin’ as they work their way through the Doldrums. Looking at the weather files, they’re just past halfway through and sailing upwind which will give them some more time to work on their spinnaker. As they leave the doldrums, it’ll be close reaching to ... Read More »

TJV Day 17 – Doldrums and Ripped Spinnakers

by Matthew Thomas As our duo continue south into the start of the doldrums, they’re sailing hard and pushing to gain back the lost miles from crossing the ridge. Late yesterday, (our time) Phillippa summed up their progress and the conditions onboard with this email: “This is our 3rd monday at sea and we are only just half way to Itajai. I cant believe how slow this race has been. I would have thought that by now we would be ... Read More »

TJV Day 16 – Back to 8th As the Trek West Starts to Pay

by Matthew Thomas Well, it’s working…. Holding onto the westerly gybe has positioned the ‘Two Pips’ to the west and the forecast stronger wind is most definitely there and they’re slowly gaining on ‘Groupe Setin’. Spirits onboard are up and they’re now enjoying the sailing as yesterday’s message shows:” “Surfing with the fractional kite up making good speeds. 3rd Monday at sea!! Almost half way … 2774nm to go!” “Le Conservateur’ is still leading, but now with only a 32nm ... Read More »

TJV Day 15 – Paying the price as the ‘Two Pips’ slide to 9th

by Matthew Thomas Ocean racing is never easy as you’re completely dependent on the weather information you can download and based on it, you have to make decision. Looking at the data, you have to look at both the immediate trends as well as the long term trends, all the while looking outside at your local weather and come up with a game plan that will give you a long term advantage over your competitors. In the short term, this ... Read More »

South American 49er Champs. RSA Team Improving with each race

by Graeme Willcox Day 2. After a long postponement due to no wind, a light patchy sea breeze filled in from the ESE. The FX’s were up first and only needing one race to finish off the qualification series, the 49ers were sent out shortly after to get our last race in. After a short postponement on the water we started in a dying sea breeze which was switching back a forth. We had a good start, but got squeezed ... Read More »

TJV Day 13 & 14. – Decisions, Decisions & More Decisions for Phillippa

By Matthew Thomas Breaking News. French co-skippers François Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry on the new 30m Ultime Trimaran ‘MACIF’ crossed the finish line in Itajaí, Brazil as first Ultime, to take line honours in the 5400 miles Transat Jacques Vabre double handed Transatlantic race. The elapsed time for Gabart, 32, and Bidégorry, 47, is 12 days 17hrs 29min 27sec sailing at an average speed of 17.68 knots for the theoretical course of 5400nm. This new boat, a VPLP design, which ... Read More »

TJV Day 12 – Phillippa Bedevilled by the Light Wind

by Matthew Thomas Bedevilled by the light wind but still fighting, back to 8th. It’s clearly been a slow and frustrating night for the girls on Concise 2! Looking at the weather this morning, it seems that they have finally slipped the clutches of the High Pressure ridge that has dogged them for the last few day. This will most definitely be a huge relief as they can now start to focus on gaining back the miles they’ve lost to ... Read More »