2015 Campaign

Campaigning for the 2015 AZAB Race & Rolex Fastnet Race

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sydney to Hobart - a close finish

My sailing adventure in the Southern Hemisphere is drawing to an end with the nail-bitingly close finish of the Sydney to Hobart Race.  With only 3 minutes separating Investec Loyal and Wild Oats it was a joy to watch the two yachts gybing up the Derwent River toward the finish.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The big red bus

Pic taken at the end of the Parade of Sail, just before the start in Tauranga. shows how grotty dull the weather was but not how rough the sea was once they had sailed around the corner!


The Ghetto

Again, taken in Tauranga, this is where the crew 'sleep'. You are held safely in your bunk by the blue lee cloth!
The yellow waterproof bags are the the rations, prepared into daily parcels and will be stowed away under the 
bunks until required.


Richard's temporary home: the Nav Station

Pic taken during the Tauranga stopover.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Thursday, 8 December 2011

exciting race across the Tasman sea

After a fairly grotty start to this race from Tauranga to Gold Coast (the
weather was wet & windy, I was sea sick for 24hrs) we found ourselves
demoralised and in 9th position as we reached the North Cape of New
Zealand. Since then we have bounced back with determination and clawed
our way back up to 6th place and as I write we may well have taken 5th by
holding onto our spinnaker in a building breeze for two hours longer than
our nearest rival Qingdau. Our strategy was to head north in search of
more favourable winds and ocean currents. It is interesting to see that
the boats to the north of us continue to pull away, whilst we steadily
overtake those to the south. Our dilemma is how far off our course do we
deviate to go north, and will that continue to be more favourable? Such
are the questions that I am constantly asked by my skipper. For the
moment we continue sailing 10 degrees high of our course until we see the
wind start to shift round to the north. At the moment 3rd placed boat is
only 15nm ahead so we can smell the chocolates but do not underestimate
the effort needed and maybe a little luck to make it to the podium.
Similarly with three boats within 5nm, we could just as easily fall to 7th
place. This is certainly a nail biting racce & I only hope your finger
nails are not suffering as much as mine as you follow our progress on the

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Letting off steam in Rotorua

Whilst in Tauranga Grace & I took a couple of days off to visit Rotorua. It was an opportunity to let off a little steam - literally. Being on the "Ring of Fire" we saw some of the geothermal activity - boiling mud pools and geysers. We also visited a Maori centre to get a flavour of their culture and customs. But now its back to race mode as we restart today - a quick 1,400nm sprint to Gold Coast. With low pressure systems and head winds dominating the course along the NZ coast I suspect this is where the gains & losses will be made. Then followed by a drag race across the Tasman Sea.