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 »

RSA 49er – South America Champs Race 1

  News from Graeme Willcox after the first race of the 49er South America Champs (pre-Worlds) was not as encouraging as one may have hoped, but the guys are there, on the water and determined to be the third South African boat in Rio 2016. Graeme Said: “Today was a light day with the sea breeze not quite filling in and with it being so unsettled, there were some big pressure differences and switches. This meant that there were lots ... Read More »

TJV Day 11. A new note from the ‘Two Pips’

by Matthew Thomas Still battling in the light stuff, Pips had the following to say: “In the grey ocean beside the boat up pops a dolphin for air. The dolphin takes a breath and ducks down under the water again. You can see them under the water. Spotted dolphins screaming away at you. Yesterday, and this morning at sunrise, they spent several hour’s entertaining us. Some of them had pink bellies, I guess they are pregnant? Lots of little ones ... Read More »

TJV Day 11. Another Tough Night

by Matthew Thomas Still working hard to get through the ridge and back in 7th. It’s clearly been a tough night for the ‘Two Pips’ as they’ve kept pushing as the wind gods have kept them waiting for the better breeze to arrive. Right now it is starting to fill, but it looks like it’s also filling for ‘Groupe Setin’ who is currently 120nm to the east of the ‘Two Pips’. Much further east and close to the African coast, ... Read More »

RSA 49er Olympic Qualification – Final Bid

by Richard Crockett I do like to see positive sailors who help themselves rather than sit back, bleat and expect everyone else to make it happen for them. Graeme Willcox and Andrew Tarboton are two people who have not sat back and waited, but have rather put their hearts and soles into their campaign to qualify South Africa in the 49ers for Rio 2016. Despite no sponsorship or any significant financial assistance other than their own, these two guys have ... Read More »

TJV Day 10. Phillippa & Pips now lying 6th

by Matthew Thomas As the first rays of sunlight start to peak above the eastern horizon, out intrepid duo is now ahead of ‘Groupe Setin’ and about 200nm west of the Canary Islands. They’re still sailing in light air as they battle to get across the high pressure ridge. People often think that the light air is a time for rest and recuperation, but it really isn’t. As JJ Provoyeur put it so well after his BOC Challenge. “It’s easy ... Read More »

TJV Day 9 – Going West Has Paid Off for Phillippa! Now up to 7th!

By Matthew Thomas It’s always a nerve-racking time waiting for the wind to arrive, especially when you have down loaded weather files and committed to sailing away from your nearest competitor because the data you have suggests you will be better off further to the west. With modern communications and accurate tracking of your competitors available via the internet, you can instantly see that your decision has let your competitor sail past you. Well, this morning it’s clear that their ... Read More »

TJV – Day 8. Updated News from the ‘Two Pips’

by Matthew Thomas Due to communication issues on board we have not been receiving as much info from Phillippa as hoped. This was due to coms problems which now appear to be resolved – so here’s a quick catch-up of news received just a few minutes ago. With a moonbow (rainbow by night) on the beam, rain squalls all around we wallow in the swells. There was very little wind to gain any momentum so the boat bashes from side ... Read More »

470 Worlds – Hudson & Asenathi finish on a high

The tightness of racing in the men’s 470 Fleet at the ISAF Sailing World Cup is best illustrated in the accompanying pic. Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson finished 4th in the Medal Race – having led for 2 legs. Looking at their performance over the 4 days of this championship event it was clear that they were fast upwind, very fast, and simply not up to scratch downwind. It’s a pity as they simply were not able to convert those ... Read More »