2015 Campaign

Campaigning for the 2015 AZAB Race & Rolex Fastnet Race

Friday, 16 August 2013

Mother & Child

Young dolphin seen, swimming in perfect unison with its mother, south of Start Point. Such a wonderful sight.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


 Richard and Jeremy have finished the Fastnet race in Plymouth, 4th in the two-handed division and first GBR boat behind two French and one Dutch boat! They are also 13th in their IRC class 3 and 57th (out of 300 ish) in IRC  overall.
What a good day this is turning out to be - Christopher received his A level results this morning and has secured his place at Warwick University to study Maths.

Cornish crabber

Thursday 0800
Good to see some posts from the boys!  They're doing really well, making up one place during the night and are now lying in sixth in class.  Even though they're now going downwind with the spinnaker up, they can't head straight for Plymouth, because the kite works best at an angle to the wind, so its actually faster to zig-zag downwind.  They're now only about 33 miles from the finish, which means they'll be in  Plymouth in about 4 hours.  Believe me, its hard work keeping a boat going at full pace, double-handed.  Sleep deprivation and the physical demands take their toll, so I expect that, when they get into Plymouth, I'm sure they'll go straight to bed and have a nice, early night....Yeah, right! 
It's been great following your progress - have a good final leg guys and I'll catch up with you soon.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


In true Jangada tradition, we start to haul out first catch of fish. Just the one, but it's a start. Don't tell Skipper - he's off watch at the Chart Table and doesn't need to know.

Sir Admiral.
Keeper of the ship's flapjack.

Daily Treats

Many thanks to Grace for our daily surprise. Day 1 - Pepper Pig and his Friends went down very well. Day 2 - dark chocolate Kit Kat, a well earnt break.

Homeward Bound

The Fastnet Rock lived up to expectations - damp and misty. Once again we
have rounded the famous lighthouse in both the dark and rain. So no photo
opportunity - will just have to try again in 2015!

The past 18 hours have been fairly hectic. As we approached the Rock the
wind backed enough for us to fly the A3 reaching spinnaker. But anticpating
the weather front coming through we changed to the Jib Top, and then again
to the Heavy No 3 Jib as the wind increased. Then we had the fun a trying
to weave our way amongst our competitors as we tacked to Pantaenius. To our
joy it looked as though our route south at the Scillies had paid off as we
were rounding with the lead pack. So no sleep for either of us last night.

The reach home across the Celtic Sea has given us the chance to for some
sleep. The Jib Top is flying and holding our pace at almost 9kts, even
against some boats that have hoisted Spinnakers. However the wind has now
backed slightly and the kites are back in their bags. We are trying to stay
high on our course to give us the option to hoist kite and free off toward
the southern shores of the Scilly Isles. Then change to the A2 for a run to
the finish - it is at this stage that concetration is key with many a place
won and lost on the final leg.

And finally a quick word of praise for our third crew member - Trevor. I
understand that Trev is providing a running commentary on the Blog. Cheers,

Homeward bound

Wednesday, 08:00
Los Jangadieros are now homeward bound, having made great progress during the night - averaging a fantastic 7.5 knots since yesterday evening -  the wind had backed around further, to set them on a beam reach - fast, with or without the spinnaker, but, at that angle, debatable whether to fly it.  And it's strengthened too, now 16 knots.  After the rock, they had a short beat to Pantaneus - a race mark intended to help separate the incoming and outgoing boats - and are now again on a beam reach on the other tack, doing about 8 knots back to the Scilly Isles.  Of course, the strengthening, backing wind has also benefited everyone else and they seem to have lost a few places, now nominally lying 7th, 28 miles behind the class leader (The one with a crown) and with a Figaro II, "Rare", hot on their heels.  That should spur them on!

Jangada Too GBR8537R

Fastnet Rock on 14 Aug @ 02:36 BST

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bend it!

Tuesday 18:35
Well, the decision to go south and west of the Scillies seems to have worked out very well for Richard and Jerry (White, just next to the wind text)- the wind strength kept up and backed to the west, bending their course nicely around so they're now heading straight for the rock, in fourth place in the double-handed class - well done guys!  The wind should come around a little more, though probably not enough to get the kite up - but never mind, it should be perfect for the return leg!  They've got about 60 miles to go before the turn, so should reach the Fastnet rock around 03:30 - so no nice photos, I'm afraid - or maybe a night shot?  It is a lighthouse, after all!  Then south west to Pantaneus and the long spinnaker run back to the Scillies.  Good to hear from them - I knew Richard wouldn't have been able to resist a Scilly joke! :-)

Scilly tactics

Apologies for the radio silence, but we have been concentrating rather hard.
Both on sail trim, keeping our performance against targets up at 100%, and
also on routing decisions. The Scilly Isles and surrounding Traffic
Separation Zones are no go areas that form large obstructions. As a result
we were faced with three options - left, right or up the middle. During
most of the pre race analysis the centre route seemed to be favoured. But a
few boats have opted for the northerly route presumably hoping to stay in
stronger winds away from the High Pressure ridge. In the end we decided
that the tide gate around the Scilly Isles was going to shut us out of the
middle option, so we have elected to stay south, risk light winds in favour
of picking up the forecast wind shift to the west and then south west. Only
time will tell who was right with their Scilly tactics.

Good call!

Tuesday 07:42
Well, they did it!  A fantastic call, standing on their westerly course, south of the Scillies.  They've gained at least four places, by resisting the temptation to go with the fleet and are now only 12 miles behind the class leader, "Night and Day".  They tacked north a few hours ago and, if the wind back around again towards the west, as forecast, they should be on the right side of the course to gain advantage over the cluster of yachts north of the Scillies, by being able to follow the wind around and ultimately sail a bit faster, more off the wind.  Keep it up, guys!

Monday, 12 August 2013

North or West?

Los Jangadieros (white, to the right of the wind text) are currently lying 10th in the two-handed IRC class.  They are approaching the Scillies and must decide whether to tack north, like everybody else, or carry on and pass south of the islands before tacking.   A tricky call, which could lead to big gains or losses, depending on what the wind does.  It is predicted to back (anticlockwise) which would favour standing on and going south - but it will take some nerve!  It might be prudent to cover the others and go with them.  Can't wait to check again in a couple of hours!!!    Sitting on the sofa with an tide tables, chartlets showing currents and weather maps is not as much fun as being out there - but is still pretty exciting!!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Tracker spaghetti

Here is a screenshot of the tracker as Jangada Too rounded Portland Bill earlier this evening - looks quite busy out there! (they are the slightly larger pale blob on the screen, just to the south of the land)  They are currently 15th in class, but there is a long way to go, so lots of time to move up the leader board.  They were in good spirits when I spoke to Richard a couple of hours ago.


Portland Bill

Traffic Jam?

With 350 yachts trying to register at the start gates, with storm sails set, its getting quite busy. Fortunately we set off early and can now relax whilst we watch some spectacular trimarans as the start first.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Pre race preparations.

With less than 24 hours to the start, final preparations are now complete. Weather and routing options analysed. Daily surprise bag from the family wrapped. As usual we will blogging at www.jangada.co.uk. To follow us on the tracker go to fastnet.rorc.org or download the Yellowbrick App for mobiles. Time to sign off as I head off to a 60th/21st birthday party - only one glass of champagne allowed until we reach Plymouth.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Fastnet Race starts 11th August

Jangada is now back from Portugal, after an unscheduled stopover in Falmouth to replace the gearbox and saildrive, so final preparations for the Fastnet Race can be completed.  All safety equipment to be checked, food & kit to be loaded, satellite tracker installed and navigational marks uploaded.  This year there is an interesting variation to the race - KEEP OUT of the Traffic Separation Schemes, i.e. the shipping lanes.  At least three of these TSS's lie in the way of our direct route - two around the Scilly Islands and one on the approach to the Fastnet Rock itself. Time to look at the routing options.....

Sunday, 7 July 2013

A change of gear

Jangada's JOG campaign has come to an ignominious end as she is towed into Falmouth. Returning home with a delivery crew the engine seized as she approached Ushant. After a brief stop in L'Aberwrach to diagnose the problem we made the decision to sail across the Channel to Falmouth for repairs. However, 10nm south of the Lizard, she was becalmed in thick fog, a hazard to shipping and drifting towards the Atlantic on the tide. With no prospect of any wind there was little option but to arrange a tow into Falmouth. My thanks to Mark and his crew from Hamble Race Services for their persistence in returning Jangada safely to UK waters. But every cloud had a silver lining, we hope - as Sophie and I look forward to a cruise home along the South Coast once the engine has been lifted and the gearbox replaced.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

BNY Mellon & Clanfield Trophies

And so our adventure draws to a close. After the tortuous journey home we are reunited with our luggage and more importantly our collection of trophies won over both legs - the BNY Mellon Challenge trophies for IRC handicap Class and Clanfield Trophies for the Double Handed competitors.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Flagging Officer

Our attempts to return home have been thwarted. Not by high pressures or gale force winds, but by a general strike in Portugal. Have just spent a very frustrating 24 hours in Lisbon Airport, with TAP cancelling our flight after 5 hours, transferring us to another flight only to cancel that one. The utter lack of information or ability of TAP staff to help is astonishing in this day and age. But hats off to the lady behind the booking desk that did a 22 hour shift, only to return today, 3 hours later - she'd do well offshore racing! We have decided to gybe away, find a hotel and fly home via Amsterdam on KLM. We only hope that a rather flagging Race Officer, Roger is not kept in the lounge for a second night.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Patrick Ellam Chronometer

The Patrick Ellam Chronometer, used onboard Sopranino during the 1951-52 Transatlantic Crossing, was awarded to Richard and Trevor on Jangada Too - winners of IRC Class 4 over 1,000nm of racing to Cascais.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Route 28 tram

Trevor & I found time today for a trip to Lisbon. An energetic walk up to the Castle of São Jorge, a Moorish castle occupying a commanding hilltop overlooking the historic city of Lisbon. To return to sea level we took the quaint Route 28 tram, weaving its way along cobbled streets, past houses with walls faced entirely in colourful tiles - often looking shabby and antiquated, but nevertheless charming in an unspoilt sort of way.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


It feels like we have gone from one extreme to another. From full sailing attire and wet weather gear to shorts and t-shirts with temperatures over 30C. To round off the afternoon and enjoy a glass of port, or two..... we needed shade. With an unorthodox jury rig using the storm trisail we managed to generate enough shade to sit back and chill......

Drying out

We crossed the finish line at 12:36 on Sunday. A party from JOG met us at the dock with a beer and bottle of bubbly. Just what we needed after the climax of the race rounding Cabo Roca in 40kts of wind with almost full sails up. No wonder we both needed a siesta before dinner in Cascais. We awoke the following morning to find our rivals moored alongside and set about the usual ritual of washing off all the salt and drying out all the kit.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Central Reservations

On passing Cabo Villano we were faced with a strategic decision - to cover
the fleet, bearing in mind that we could only see SX Girl on AIS, or to sail
our own race based on wind and weather predictions and optimum route. The
former risked giving the game away to other boats as you cover your nearest
rival. We decided to have faith in our own routing abilities and headed
South West towards more favourable winds that would allow us to reach south
quickly. But the Westerly option has its own risks - four lanes of shipping
in transit between Cabo Roca and Cabo Finisterre. We waved our way amongst
the northbound ships of which the second lane is dedicated to dangerous and
explosive cargos. Having made it to the middle we now face the gauntlet of
crossing back again, feeling rather like a cat stuck on the central

The dove from above

Our bold move to go west - far west, out into the Atlantic, to catch a more
kindly wind, has received an omen from above.. A dove appeared from the east
(no olive branch) and circled the boat four or five times. Finally, it made
for the spreaders to land. I'm not sure in which navy this particular bird
had learnt its aircraft carrier landing technique, but apparently a
downwind, diagonal into-the-boat approach is taught there. Its feet
touched, there was the horrible sound of claws against aluminium as it
skidded along the spreader and thudded into the mast. It managed to recover
flight stability just before hitting tthe deck and fluttered off in a
zig-zag flight pattern, not to be seen again.
I have a feather. Is that a good omen then?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Fair winds and sunshine!

Richard and Trevor are now in sight of land, passing Cabo Villano earlier this evening, close enough for Rich to email me a photo!  All is well aboard Jangada Too, they are enjoying calm seas, clear winds and some warming sunshine.  Still got around 280 nautical miles to Cascais.

Cape Ortago - Land Ahoy

The first sunshine for almost two days. Wind no longer hard on the nose. Wind below 12 knots at last. Sea state slight. Starting to return to normal life. Even the prospect of a decent hot meal and coffee is once again appealing. But best of all is the sight of the Spanish coast. Oh, and 3G reception.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Prize giving

Prize giving last night on the top deck of the Yacht Club. Enjoying the view of La Trinite, plenty of fine wine and the usual JOG hospitality.

We are now set for the next leg across the Bay of Biscay. Forecast fresh and favourable winds should make this a quick crossing.

Sail fast, sail safe.......

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Winner of the "Wooden Bung" Award

I have declared myself the winner of a new award - the "Wooden Bung". Let me explain. As we left Hamble the instruments showed 0.0 knots boat speed. Nothing unusual after a couple of weeks in the marina as weed can build up around the impeller. A routine I have followed many times. Extract the impeller from the hull, and quickly before too much water floods in, insert the blank which is conveniently tied nearby. Clean the impeller and replace. Only this time, as water flooded in the blank was too small to plug the leak! Rather than abandon ship a quick dash to the spare wooden plugs provided a temporary solution whilst cleaning the impeller. But on relocating the impeller it would only sit slightly off centre. As a result, the entire race was done with different boat speeds on opposite tacks, negating the time and effort spent setting up all the systems. Determined to fix the problem in La Trinite I discover my error - the impeller sits inside a large adaptor, and it was the later that I had removed - Doh! Hence I really do think I deserve the "Wooden Bung" Award.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Feeling the pressure?

Since the very start of the race Trevor & I have run a rigid watch system. Starting at 6am we do three watches of four hours and from 6pm four watches of three hours. Designed to strike a balance between time in bed and on deck at night, whilst allowing a longer lie in during daylight hours. It's a routine that seems to be working well. Although I was somewhat confused when, half way through my watch, Trevor pokes his weary face out the hatch declaring that it had gone 10 already. A quick glance at the plotter confirmed that the GPS thought it was only 08:25. A second look at Trevor's watch confirmed that it was indeed 1005, millibars that is. "Feeling the pressure, Trev?"

Rounding Ushant

Hot on the heels of Jbellino, we are the second boat to around Ushant, and therefore first in IRC Class 4. A great surprise and quite motivating. I think it would be fair say we are quite weary after the first 36 hours. With smoother seas and lighter winds we are both now managing to get some sleep. Meal routines have not settled down, but a bucket of flapjack on deck is helping morale, even if it looks like we will be beating all the way to La Trinite!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Radio Silence

Have just spoken to Richard via Satellite phone, he is unable to upload or download any data and is therefore unable to blog or post on Facebook.  They are doing fine, actually they are doing really well, currently 1st overall and 1st in class 4 and the Double-handed race.

Their great rival Jbellino is ahead of them, but has a higher handicap and is leading in Class 3 - hence the crown on the Tracker picture.  Its been a windy night, with a lumpy bumpy sea, but the wind should lessen this evening and the ride should be smoother once they round Ushant.

Friday, 14 June 2013

And they're off!

Photo taken by the other Co-skipper Jeremy Waitt just before the start this afternoon.

You can follow them 'live' on the Tracker at www.jog.org.uk and click on BNY Mellon, launch Tracker.  Jangada-Too is currently lying in second place in Class 4 and also second in IRC Overall.
Keep it up boys!

Monday, 10 June 2013

JOG race to Cascais

On Friday 14th June Trevor & I will be starting a new adventure on Jangada Too, in the BNY Mellon Challenge, a JOG race from Cowes to Cascais.  The first leg over 330nm takes us around Ushant and along the Brittany coast to La Trinite-sur-Mer.  The second leg, starting on 19th June, over 645nm takes us across the Bay of Biscay, around Cape Finisterre and along the spectacular Spanish and Portugese coastline to Cascais.  You will be able to track the race at http://www.jog.org.uk.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Myth of Malham - the winning track

A race with several key stages:
1) starting at the north end of the RYS line with a minority of yachts, we kept in clear air and out of the flooding tide. Crucially this put amongst the lead yachts as we left the Solent past the Needles.
2) tacking west against the wind, along St Alban's Ledge to make the most of the faster tide over the ledges, then catching the last of the west going tide off Portland Bill.
3) easing sheets slightly to punch through the waves we bore off into Lyme Bay, in search of the new wind, forecast to veer towards the north-west. We almost ran out sea room at Beer Head when the wind shifted 100 degrees, allowing us to tack, hoist spinnaker and close reach directly towards Start Point where we caught the last of the southerly tide.  By this stage we were surrounded by faster Class 2 boats - great for motivation.
4) off Prawle Point the inevitable drop in wind and change in tide meant we were destined to spend many hours gliding north & south barely holding our own against the tide as the rest of the fleet caught up. But as one of the most south-westerly positioned boats we were first to pick up the new zephyrs of wind from the west to keep us amongst the leaders around the Eddystone Lighthouse.
5) the most critical stage was to happen off Start Point where we noticed a boat inshore had picked up a counter current - the start of the turn of the tide.  Gybing inshore we took full advantage of the current with our speed over the ground almost 4 knots faster than those still offshore.

At each stage we felt we had chosen the winning strategy, only to be frustrated by the wind and tide as the fleet bunched up again. But our sprint away from Start Point was never going to be easy to beat and was the final tactic that paid dividends - all credit to Jeremy for spotting it.

Monday, 27 May 2013

1st in RORC Myth of Malham Race (Round Eddystone)

Jeremy & I are today celebrating our first victory in RORC Double Handed racing - the Myth of Malham Race.  Covering 230nm over 2 days from Cowes to the Eddystone Lighthouse and back, the race track includes many challenges, not least of which is negotiating complex tidal flows around several headlands, made all the more important with light winds.  One factor that we feel contributed to our success was an instrument displaying % boat speed versus target.  An almost hypnotic display that one watches constantly to ensure we are trimmed to optimum, and one which probably deprived us of sleep.  There were many other factors, all of which a best reserved for recounting salty tales over a few beers.

Thanks to:
Jeremy, for tirelessly gybing the spinnaker and will no doubt be suffering tomorrow for his efforts.
To Sophie, who surprised me with this delicious cake upon returning home victorious.
And to Grace and Martine for supporting us in our adventures.


ps - this now sets a very high bar for the Fastnet Race starting on 11th August!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

RORC Cervantes

The 2013 season has kicked off with a fast sprint across the Channel to Le Havre. After a fresh breeze with winds gusting up to 28 knots and average boat speeds of almost 8 knots, the front cleared as we approached Le Havre, treating us to a wonderful sunset. With spinnaker set we enjoyed a fast reach for the final 20nm. Jangada Too was in fine condition, set up now for the Fastnet campaign ahead with myself and Jeremy.