2015 Campaign

Campaigning for the 2015 AZAB Race & Rolex Fastnet Race

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Fastnet 2015

Our final position in the 2015 Fastnet race was 55th in IRC overall.  Given that we had rounded the Rock itself ranked 99th we made huge gains on the way back.  Sadly we had lost out in the light winds around Portland, a set back that we never really recovered from.  We are pleased with our overall performance given that this was a new experiment with a reduced crew of four.  In particular we enjoyed the chase, hunting down the pack from Scillies to the finish at Plymouth, under A3 and then A2 with spinnaker staysail set.

With the increasing popularity of Jangada on Facebook it is likely that our future blogs will migrate to that platform.  To keep up to date with our antics please go to www.facebook.com/groups/jangada.racing/

Many thanks to you all for your ongoing support.



Richard Palmer

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

"silonce finis"

After almost 48 hours of "radio silence" from us on Jangada I am pleased
to report that all is well as we round the Scillies. The race so far
has been challenging with lots of concentration in the light winds. The
tactical decisions around where the wind might be, using all available
info - AIS tracks on the plotter, Yellow Brick tracking when mobile
signal permits & mark-one eye ball with boats around.

One tool in our kit, the iridium satelitte phone, had let us down making
it almost impossible to connect, download data and track boats. However
we think we have resolved the problem. Our hypothesis is that one of
our PC applications which has some very large files loaded is hogging
the processor and upsetting the network handshaking over iridium.

We are looking out at boats around us, ranging from a 57' Class 1 to a
classic S&S yawl in Class 4. This is far from a normal Fastnet with the
tide gates and light/variable winds mixing up the fleets. With wind
forecast to build from the west we are looking a reasonably quick fetch
to the Fastnet Rock with our ETA late Wednesday morning.


Monday, 8 June 2015

Autopilot forces retirement

It is with great sadness that we made the decision to abandon racing
yesterday and turn toward Brest.

One of the lessons we learnt from the Round Britain & Ireland Race last
year was the importance of a reliable autopilot when sailing downwind in
heavy seas. During that race Trevor & I had to steer by hand for up to
24 hours and found it exhausting, having to change watches every hour.

So we made the decision to upgrade to a more modern autopilot over the
winter. Unfortunately that proved to be unreliable, going into standby
without warning on random occasions - potentially catastrophic at the
wrong moment.

So late in the day we switched to a third pilot which has has worked
tirelessly without disengaging. However, insufficient time for complete
seas trial meant we started this race at risk. Despite our best efforts
to adjust various sensitivity settings, we just cannot get the pilot to
hold a steady course downwind in moderate seas. So with the forecast
increased winds and seas, we reluctantly made the decision to play safe
and return to port.

As our Fastnet campaign is fully crewed we will not be using the pilot.
So we now have time to sort out the pilot before our next
double-handed campaign.

Thanks to all for your support and do follow us on the Fastnet in August
as we race with a crew of four. We are currently leading the J109 class
in the RORC series, so there is all to play for there.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

Jangada Too withdraws from the race.

Just heard from Richard, he and Trevor are both fine, but because they do not have enough confidence in the Autopilot, they have had to withdraw from the race. It would not have been safe to continue in the rising winds and sea state with an inconsistent Autopilot.  Both are very disappointed but their safety and that of the boat is paramount.
They have informed Falmouth Coastguard and are now heading for Brest in France.  More news when I have it, probably tomorrow.

AZAB - the first 24 hours

The race got off to a good start with a great array of spectators lining
Pendennis Point and also on the water. With a freash westerly breeze
the first decision was to reef or not. We decided against and carried
full main, twisting the leech and spilling power in the gusts.

We sailed slightly lower than the direct course initially to keep speed
up through the swell that was coming in from the west around The Lizard.
As the wind eased overnight and veered around to the Northeast we were
kept busy with several sail changes. First from No3 jib to the Code0
spinaker, our light wind reaching kite. Then from Code0 to Code2
spinnaker, our downwind kite that will take us up to 20kts widn speed.

With the increasing wind forecast and while the spinnakers were up we
took the chance to change jibs and replace the No3 jib with the Jib-Top,
a great reaching sail in stronger winds.

Once that was all complete we realised the spinnaker was not full
hoisted to the top of the mast as we had inadvertantly crossed two
halyards. So spinaker had to come down, be repacked and rehoisted.

After two hours on the foredeck instead of in my bunk, I now feeling the
effectgs of lack of sleep. But before taking to my bunk mid morning I
still found time to donwload the latest weather forecast and upload all
the boat positions. We are really pleased that our strategy to sail
around the high pressure systems seems to have put us up with the front
runners. We are enjoying the company of other yachts all with spinnaker

I'm off to my bunk now for another hours kip before my next watch.


Saturday, 6 June 2015

Jangada at the National Maritime Museum

The origin of the name Jangada Too comes from the traditional fishing rafts sailed up to 60nm off the Brazilian coast at Recife. An example can be seen at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

Friday, 5 June 2015


Richard and Trevor are supporting the AZAB Schools initiative, aimed at involving the pupils in both the race and the geography of the Azores.  On Monday Trevor went to visit his old school and yesterday five pupils from Truro school came to visit Jangada Too. They were very enthusiastic about the boat and asked many questions about both the technology and life onboard.  Whilst they were at the nav table, I sent a text to the satellite phone to show them how the communications work.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Crew assembles

Although the AZAB is a single or double-handed race, Jangada Too has the benefit of 3 extra crew members!

On the right:  Admiral Sir Waddle Flapjack, keeper of the crew morals - and the Flapjack pot.
On the left: Skipper, Assistant Navigator. Always wants the boat to head south. Is very pleased to hear that the first stop is the Azores.
And in the middle the newest member of the crew: Benedict Bear, who, as you see, is representing RNLI in support of Richard and Trevor's efforts to raise money for the Lifeboat Fund. Please support them by using the link below.

They are also supporting the AZAB Schools project and are linked to Truro Preparatory School.  Trevor is an Old Boy and we hear that Benedict himself is named after another (famous) former pupil. Any guesses as to who that might be? 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Myth of Malham Race

This race certainly lived up to expectation with close racing, especially against the J109 fleet.  As we rounded the Eddystone light, J-Taime were about 3nm ahead with Jolene II less than a mile behind and several others in hot pursuit with spinnakers flying in all their glory.  As we approached Start Point we headed inshore to pick up the turn of the tide.  But as the wind dropped under the cliffs we began to regret the tactic.  However without too much damage done we continued the chase, changing down from spinnaker to Jib Top early for a fast reach across Lyme Bay.

Having stayed with the peloton, the race was in the balance as we approached St Albans.  With up to 3kts of tide against us over the ledge we chose to stay close inshore under the cliffs.  Code 0 hoisted but remained furled, thankfully as the breezed picked up.  By this stage both J-Taime & Jolene were just ahead of us and slightly offshore.  But we stuck to our gameplan, and stayed in close to the cliffs to keep out of the tide.  As we emerged into Swanage Bay we just managed to squeeze past J-Taime.  Behind us the wind dropped slightly and the chasing pack struggled to keep up against the tide - we'd squeezed through just in time.

Then we switched tactics and headed slightly more offshore than the rest of the fleet.  Picking up a wind shift in the closing miles, with a quick change from Code 0 to A2 spinnaker we just managed to creep ahead, crossing the line 10 minutes ahead of the other J109s.

The J109 fleet certainly offers exciting racing. With only four of us onboard it is hard to keep up such high levels of concentration.  Off watch sleep is interrupted to help with sail changes adding to the challenge.  And without the benefit of the autopilot that we are so used to double-handed we are all aching from the time spent on the helm.

After two RORC races we are currently leading the J109s in the series.  We have set a high benchmark for the Fastnet Race - bring it on......

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Myth of Malham - race to the Eddystone Light

The RORC Myth of Malham race to the Eddystone Light and back is living
up to expectation. The Western Solent set the scene for the rest of the
first leg with light northerly beezes competing against the
Southwesterly seabreeze. At one point, as we tried to cross the
transition we caused much alarm, squeezing between two fishing boats.
But it is a fine line between success and failure with one yacht aground
off Lepe Spit and another hooked up to a fishing bouy off Lymington.

Overnight the wind died off Portland and with a sense of deja vue we
started drifting back towards Brighton. Rather than kedge in 60m depths
we persisted searching for a breeze. Eventually there was enough breeze
for the new Code 0.

As I write, we are approaching the famous lighthouse surround by the
usual suspects, many of them J109s. So we look forward to a hotly
contested race back to Prawle Point under spinnaker and a fast reach
across Lyme bay ans the northerly breeze fills in again.

Spirits are high as we have been enjoying some of Jeremy's "Souvide"
vegan dinners and flapjack to match the usual M&S variety. Looking
forward to breakfast as we finish the race just outside the Solent, near
Hurst Point on Monday morning.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

RORC Cervantes race

The season is off to a good start with the RORC Cervantes race to Le
Havre. Departing from the normal double handed campaigns we had a crew
of four on board. From the off it was already starting to feel a little
crowded in the cockpit and we found ourselves having to dance around
each other below decks. But we soon settled down into a rythm with
Jeremy helming us to a great start towards the Needles with spinnaker
flying before running to St Albans. Then rounding up to a long beat SE
across the channel to Le Havre. The fleet all headed off on port tack
towards Cherbourg in anticipation of the wind shift. Timng the tack
east toward Le Havre on that wind shift was the most tactical part of
the race. We were delighted to find ourselves aprroaching Le Havre
leading a pack of J109s. Finishing 8th in Class 3 we are pleased with
the first phase of qualifying for the Fastnet and developing ourselves
as a team. Next race at the end of May to Eddystone and back.

Richard, Jeremey, Trevor & Paul