Archive for August, 2007


Fastnet 2007 – Fastnet Supermen

August 16, 2007   

From Sailing Anarchy forum….

Marine Blast View Member Profile Add as Friend Send Message Find Member’s Topics Find Member’s Posts   Aug 15 2007, 11:59 PM Post #1

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Thought this was worth a new topic as I think it is truely incrediable that they are still out there, battling it out on their way home. Whilst it’s all the big super maxi’s and Open 60’s that are getting the headlines, I think what these boys have done is simply pure magic and outstanding, who would have thought that two J105’s would still be out there with Alfa Romeo jacking it in because of the weather (not that there is anything wrong with that) but what a life changing experience it must be for them both, two J105’s VOADOR and JUNEAU. Fuckin supermen? story and alot of praise here


Omer View Member Profile Add as Friend Send Message Find Member’s Topics Find Member’s Posts   Aug 16 2007, 01:42 AM Post #2

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Yes.I totally agree. There is nothing to say to that.
But i also think, in an open sea, where wave period gets large enough, larger
boats may get a worse beating by slamming into the next wave or dropping off of
a wave, whereas a smaller boat may find it easier to ride over and around them.
Bigger is not always better when the going gets tough.


amperrin View Member Profile Add as Friend Send Message Find Member’s Topics Find Member’s Posts   Aug 16 2007, 03:18 AM Post #3

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I agree with both your posts.When I was 19 I raced doublehanded round britain and ireland on a 34 footer called QII she was custom built for singlehanding. One of the original water ballasted boats. That race was the hardest thing I have done almost 50,000 miles of racing later. The start was in Plymouth and it was similar conditions to what we were seeing in Fastnet this year except that it was a dead beat to lands end and then a reach to cork. By the time we had reached Cork 32 of the 57 boats that started the race had retired. With stop overs the race took us 21 days mostly beating close into shore. I am not writing this all to show off only to tell you where I am coming from on all this!Two years ago I delivered a J105 down the coast from st petersburg to key west and the wind got up to 25 knots and it was again a dead beat. By the time we took shelter the sky was the blackest I had ever seen it and with bare poles we were heeling over a good amount it was gusting in the low 40’s. J105’s aren’t that bad if you seal the front hatch with rope and tape and you seal the pole really well. The furling headsail is a bonus as you don’t have to choose between sails and don’t have to go up on the pointy end.

This year I was on Yeoman XXXII the boat I have looked after for the last 6 months. Last year I had the honor of doing bow on a Z86 but not in any major seaway or wind so I can’t tell you how it would have dealt with the conditions we had this year. Although Alfa Romeo is a lot larger than Yeoman she is also carbon and has a similar hull shape/design ethos. Both boats are extremly fast boats for their size. The problem with these type of boats in comparison to a J105 or the 34 footer I took round 10 years ago is that you have to slow them down so as not to fly off waves. IF you don’t slow them they pound heavily. The pounding will kill the boat very quickly creating structural issues especially as carbon doesn’t give like fiberglass does. So what I am saying is that the way you sail the two boats is very different and that the Omer is correct in that the sea conditions can favour small boats over the larger boats.

I have a lot of respect for the J105 still out there and wish we had been able to enjoy the ride back from the rock but I think the same respect should be given to all the crews who finished the race and kept their boats together. I will say I do understand the frustration of being a small boat not getting the same press as the big guys and being ‘forgotten’ about.

All that being said I think the J105 guys are hardcore nutters and deserve quite a few beers for their efforts.


Fastnet 2007

August 14, 2007   

These are the posts I made about the race on Sailing Anarchy.

I am sitting in the warm and dry at home after retiring on Yeoman XXXII. Last night was hard work for sure. Sea conditions were unpleasent and wind was in the high 30’s.

We were alongside Snow Lion having caught up with them in the Solent when we retired. We changed from the number 4 jib to the storm job and had 2 reefs in the main. The change from 4 to storm jib was unpleasant on the bow, I was happy I was wearing my drysuit. I was being fully thrown in the air on the foredeck while trying to do an inline peel the storm jib went up and then stripped out of the tuff luff. So dropped both jibs in the process of dropping the number four I was lifted off the deck over the lifelines and into the water. The jib was in the water as well so I fell in the belly of it and then got tossed back onboard by the next wave. A little bit of night time excitement. Tying the storm jib to the tuff luff was a large effort as the pulpit is so narrow you have to wedge yourself in place to get far enough foward to tie the reef knots creating a feeling of being captured – not nice. A 1/2 hour after hoisting the storm jib we decided to go for the trysail so called all hands for the manuouver. We dropped the sail to deck and used a line to lash the boom in between the two wheels while we got the main under control a large effort seeing as the main has a luff rope we got the main to weather and everyone sat on it and then rolled it towards the boom. We took a mooring line and used it to tightly tie the main to the boom. We took the main halyard off the head of the main and I held it there was so much windage that it was being pulled out of my hands. We got that onto the rig and attached the clew to the outhaul on the boom as we wanted the boom in the air rather than lashing it to the deck as I feel this is dangerous if it breaks free in a large seaway. we retired after hearing splittering carbon as the trysail pulled out of the track on the back of the rig.

Have to go to sleep now very sore.


Note – both my brothers have criticized this post for being badly written and unstructured stream of consciousness – I do agree however, my excuse is tiredness and that it wasn’t meant to front page reading!! ‘


Gear Failure leading to retirement

The mainsail had pulled out of the bottom of the track about a foot when we went to change to the trysail. I believe this was due to the strop holding the tack forward not being tight enough altering the tack set back. Remember this is only the second offshore race this boat has done. The last was the race to key west where we saw wind in the mid 30’s but we were going downwind. The luff tape on the trysail was very slightly larger (maybe less than a mm) and I believe that might have put pressure on the track. Also our track is only reinforced where the head of the sail sits in the track when we are reefed or when the trysail is up. We put the trysail in the track two days before the start and we didn’t think to wonder whether the area where the tack fitted needed to be reinforced as well. There is a strop on the tack which lifts it above the main as it would be near impossible to get the tack attached at the actual fitting with the main on the boom. This meant the tack was bearing in a non reinforced area of the track.

I used the trysail twice this year on delivery but it was only 25 knots of wind at the most and it had worked fine so I believe it was a mixture of a lot of factors which caused the failure. The wind was in the mid 30’s gusting to the high 30’s when we went for the change. One of the crew mentioned that hoisting the trysail wooled would mean you could get luff tension before putting any pulling force on the track. We might alter our trysail with some cringles to allow the sail to be wooled. This would mean using the reef line as a sheet on the end of the boom to ‘launch’ the sail.

The next morning we found that our number 2 reef line was about to explode due to chafing on the sheave a tie down might have given us some more time to deal with this if that had occured but the conditions were such that it was a little dangerous to go hanging on the end of the boom tying the clew down. Also we were not tying the belly of the sail up for the same reasons. If we had tied the belly up we would have gone through the cringles and around the sail not the boom so that in the case of the clew failing we would have not been in danger of ripping the sail as the load would have transferred to the cringles. I much prefer a system of tie downs that has a sacraficial patch on the sail with webbing loops so that pulls off the sail instead of cringles which rip the sail. We will be sending the main back to make these adjustments.

This would have been my fifth Fastnet and 6th time around the rock I am looking at the tracking information thinking about how fun the ride would have been on Yeoman coming home. We would have been roaring home at a high rate of speed. Oh well. I guess we weren’t the only ones!!


QUOTE(amperrin @ Aug 14 2007, 11:32 PM) *

I was being fully thrown in the air on the foredeck while trying to do an inline peel the storm jib went up and then stripped out of the tuff luff. So dropped both jibs in the process of dropping the number four I was lifted off the deck over the lifelines and into the water.

That is hysterical.

There are times you know that you can do embarrassing things like a bare headed change. The boats that weren’t to proud to drop the headsail, get It below, and then get the storm sails out will be rounding the rock about now.

Peeling to the storm jib. That’s great

In response to the above post:

It was really great fun mate even got fresh calamari in the mouth!!! You should have seen the jibs below horrible mess no bags on etc… just get the jibs below at that point. The inline was working fine as we had a jib cunningham on and the bottom part of the 4 was unhooked. Should be fine doing an inline in the low 30’s if you don’t have a sail that strips out of the tuff luff but obviously when the helmsman had the head of the storm jib flapping around his ears it was time to drop both and start again!!! I am not to proud to do a bare headed when conditions warrant but it wasn’t really necessary at that point as we were changing early down to the storm sail. We weren’t putting the storm sails up for survival conditions we were putting them up for speed and angle of boat issues. Also leaving a sail up give you the benefit of keeping crew members aboard when the waves are washing them down the deck.

Protest Diagram Kit

August 8, 2007   

I forget where I ran across the link to this protest diagram kit it was made by Angelo Buscemi. He explains how to use it on the first pages. Not only boats are provided but also pages with different places on the race course, i.e. starting line or leeward mark.

It is an excellent tools when you have to unfortunately go into the room. This summer it was necessary to protest a larger boat at Cowes Week while sailing on my fathers boat after a collision ending in a large hole in our boat. We prevailed in the room which we were happy about but also unhappy about as it adversely effected the other boats 1st place in class that day. Also I would highly recommend having a digital camera as it was helpful to show the protest committee the extent of the damage in the room on my laptop.