And here they are, at slow motion near that gate. Stamm is leading and making 2.6K while François is making 2.6k and jean-Pierre 4.1k and they will have a hell of 24 hours fighting to get a bit more speed on variable and weak winds. They have to cross the gate and then will dive South looking for wind but after passing the gate things are not going to be much better for many hours.
While they are in hell, Armel got out of it and is making 13.4k. Very soon will be doing a lot more. I think he was the one that played better but we will only know for sure in 24 hours. If so it will be a notable navigation feet. He was the only one to chose that option while the other four had chosen the other one.
Talking about four, Alex had played very well and its timing to the gate is better than the one from the others that had choose that option. That had been translated in a massive recovering one that is going to continue on the next yours. I think he is going to end up not very far from Jean-Pierre.
To give an idea, since the moment he dived South some days back he won 80Nm to the leader. I have said I did not understood what he was doing diving so much to the South. Now I understand and I have to say: Chapeau Alex
A small note to the three guys on the second group, Jean, Dominique and Mike, they are at about 570Nm from the leader but in two days they will have recovered a lot: They will have not that high center over the gate. For them it would be always at full blast. We will see how much they will recover but should be on the order of hundreds of miles.
Great Victory for the 40 class boat, beating the Swan 80 by about 20 hours (estimated).
At the tail end of a journey of more than 3,300 nautical males, Class 40 Vaquita has taken line honours in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) 2012, having sailed from Gran Canaria in just over twelve days; a truly magnificent performance for a 40 footer. Vaquita looked superb as she blasted across the finish line at 14 knots with the crew pushing the boat as hard as ever in front of the local and international media in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, today (07 December). The Austrian crew of six crossed the line at 10:22 local (14:22UTC) on 7 December 2012, giving them an elapsed time of 12 days, 1:37hours.
Vaquita, skippered by Austrian Andreas Hanakamp, former Team Russia Volvo Ocean Race skipper and two time Olympic star, sailed an extreme northerly route from Gran Canaria, clocking speeds of up to 25 knots during the crossing. This is Andreas' third consecutive year racing in the ARC, each time favouring the northerly passage, and each time paying off.
Vaquita has not only crossed the finish line first, but has done so in style, with the next arrival, Swan 80' Berenice approximately 20 hours behind. This does not mean that Vaquita is guaranteed to win overall on corrected time, as she holds the highest handicap in the RORC IRC Racing Division.
Yes, I was tight and Armel is the big winner. Chapeau to him that had the courage to take alone the less obvious way to the gate (in what regards wind) and is now at speed (16.3K) with an open road ahead (and an even faster one) while the other three of the leader pack will have to wait more 6 hours to gain a comparable speed. Some of then are doing only 4/5k speed. Armel is already leading and will increase is advance big time on the next hours.
Chapeau also to Mike that has impressed me even more than Armel on this game and is now a member of the leading group.
As I have said the 3 ones on the second group were winning big time to everybody.On the last 24 hours they reduced their disadvantage to the leader in about 240Nm and even if they are not winning now over Armel they will continue to win big time over the leader pack on the next 10 hours or so.
It was mostly luck but even so, chapeau to Mike, Dominique and Jean. Luck is part of the story, but great sailing too, and those three are together on that particular race for a long time
Particularly this two (jean and Dominique) seam to have decided to go ensemble. That is the second time in two days that they are very close:
On the ARC race the highlight goes to that POGO 50, with the designer and builder both making part of the five members crew, that is in direct fight with the JP52 to the 4th place in real time (the second is a Swan 80 and the third will be a Fy61). The JP52 is not only an incredibly expensive boat as it has also a canting keel and that, if we take into consideration the swing keel of Pogo, should give it a big advantage, since both boats are very light and have very adequate type of hulls for a transat.
Amazingly the Pogo has recovered distance over the JP52 and they are now side by side going for the Finnish line.
Another incredible fight is between a small Grand Soleil 43, a production boat and an expensive, even if some years older, racing Farr 60ft design, the Carroll Marine 60. The Grand Soleil come charging from behind and managed to catch the 60ft. Will he manage to overtake the bigger boat? They are fighting probably for the 8th place in real time and I suspect that the GS43 is the only one that has a chance to take the first place in compensated time from Vaquita, the 40class racer that arrived 1th in real time.
But today I will focus in another boat with a very good performance and a boat that is not known by many, a great cruising boat a Felci design, the Fy 61 that is arriving third in real time.
Let's have a look:
I have said many times that most of the boats I post here, even if I consider them great designs and very suitable to cover some market segments, are not boats that suit my sailing program or life style, or particular taste. This one would, I mean if I was really a rich guy
Ok, I like the interior division and the way the keel box is kept out of the way but I don't like the interior design. That would not constitute any problem for me since I would have liked to design my own interior and I am quite sure they would have not any problem with that since this is a semi-custom boat. I am living now on my 3th house designed by me and one of the things it pisses me is not having enough money to have a boat with my own interior design, so that would not have been a problem at all, but a real opportunity.
Regarding what I like on this Felci design, well, taking out the interior, all: It is obviously very fast even on a race that will not reveal all its potential (it is not like the Pogo 50 a boat designed specially with downwind sailing in mind), it is relatively narrow, I am sure it will have a very easy motion, its a a very powerful boat with a huge RM and certainly a big AVS. A very seaworthy boat that would show all its potentialities upwind with heavy weather.
That very good stability is obtained not with a huge ballast (that would be detrimental to performance) but by a very reasonable B/D ratio for a keel with all the ballast on a torpedo 33%. I mean this would be good for a boat with a 2.30m draft, it is HUGE for a boat with 4.00m draft like this one.
For a cruising boat a 4.00m draft does not makes sense so this one can lift the keel till having a very reasonable 2.00m draft and even with that draft it can sail safely, if needed, with reduced sail. When he goes offshore he just turns on the turbo and let that ballast go 2.00m more deep.
Of course, all this makes this boat a very expensive boat, but for the ones that can afford it, what a boat
Armel continues to win miles but Alex is getting me confused....again I hate when he does that and specially when is right in what is doing.
This time I understand what he is doing but it looks a risky move to me. He is going to do the opposite he had done last time.
He is trying to go on the shorter course and contrary to the others is not going to dive South to get more wind but for that he has to cross a zone with weak wind, after that as far as the weather information goes (36h) that's all good. I guess that all depends on the next 6 hours and the ones after the 36 that are given on the prevision. I hope he makes it. I like guys that don't follow the heard and Alex had done that two times in a row.
Brilliant race for him and Armel that continues to win on everybody. Fact is that there are now 5 on the top group. Stamm the last on that group is at only 135Nm from the Leader. Incredible race with huge strategic play
Drag race again!!!
Alex Thomson (GBR, HUGO BOSS, taped):
It was a bit of a slow night, I was expecting everything else, but now the wind has gone a bit more than forecast and it is quite fast, it is round to the right direction so that is good news. I now have a little more wind than expected. I think now it is a drag race from here, with the wind at about 230-240 degrees and blowing maybe 24-25kts for the next couple of days and we will all pretty much be reaching east to the next ice gate, it is just a straight line for us. The guys who are in the south will have the wind a bit more left and we have it a bit more forward.
Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA, Banque Populaire):
The choice I made paid off, but the gap with François isn’t that big, it’s still very close. I’m focused on the Amsterdam gate now, that’s the next step. The wind was pretty strong this morning, and it’s still quite favourable. The sea is rough and there’s an albatross following the boat.
and that's why Stamm is losing time: problems on the main sail and the need to repair.
There is something that I have not seen commented regarding the ARC: Crisis or not, the boats are getting bigger and bigger and that’s a thing that you can see overall Europe and that is reflected on the Market.
Certainly you have noticed that I have been posting a lot about boats over 45ft. That is simply because there are a lot of bigger boats coming to the market and not so many smaller boats.
Regarding this ARC edition anything smaller than 45ft is a small boat and boats with 40ft or less, that once were the majority, are today a small minority.
Curiously if we look to the boats position on the map we will see that the faster boats are the bigger boats, 50ft or more, but regarding the mid/last boats there are not a direct relation between size and position. I guess that means that many of the smaller boats sailors are just better sailors or that on the big boats there are a percentage that has a big boat without to know how properly take advantage of it.
It has been mentioned in others threads and I think it is a reality that nowadays, for many, the first boat is a boat bigger then 40ft and that probably has to do with so many big boats going so slowly notwithstanding a much bigger tankage and a much bigger motoring autonomy (cruisers can and use the engine when there is not wind on this Transat).
So, let’s have a look at some of the boats smaller than 39ft and have a look at their performance:
The first two smaller boats are very different, one is a First 36.7, a well known performance cruiser with some years and the second one is a Southerly 38. This one comes as a surprise since it is not a performance cruiser but a small solid ballasted centerboarder offshore cruiser and a relatively heavy one.
To give an idea of the performance of these boats we have to just look at the boats that are nearby, behind or slightly ahead: Swan 45; Amel Maramu, Hanse 495; Open 60; GS 52, Jeanneau 57.
Those two are really making a great crossing and are certainly very well sailed. Substantially behind we will find four other “small” boats, not very far away between them, by this order:
The Dufour 385 is a mass production cruiser and one not especially suited for bluewater cruising, the Dehler 36 is a good performance cruiser, the Moody 38 is an older boat, a good offshore cruiser and also an heavier boat, the Hanse 325 is a new Hanse, an inexpensive boat and one that most on this forum would say that is just a coastal boat without any offshore capability.
Well this year the ARC was one of the editions with stronger winds and worst seas, and there it is the little light cruiser, not properly sailing defensively, surrounded by 50 and 60ft boats, doing a fast Transat without apparently any problem.
From those, let’s have a look at the two that are still in production, The Southerly 38 and the Hanse 325.
Let’s start with the Southerly:
The Southerly weights 9,921 kg with a fixed ballast (on the bottom of the boat) of 2100kg and a swing keel with 1702kg. It is also a beamy boat (3.99) with a powerful and modern hull (two rudders) that generates enough RM and stability to carry a large spinnaker (81sqm) and a substantial sail area upwind, for a 38ft cruiser (73sqm).
It is amazing how a boat with these characteristics can be on this position. It is only possible because this had been a particularly windy Transat but off course, also because the boat is very well sailed and it is a great design (Sthephen Jones). Long gone the days were Southerlies were typical English boats, Ugly, Slow and well built.
This one is not only strong but also beautiful and relatively fast. I would say that this is the only major brand that I know of that manages to have an in house designed interior that besides being of quality is also well designed.
This is a boat that I like very much but inevitably an expensive boat. If you have the money and need a small boat with a reduced draft and offshore capability, this one is a very good option. It will make any owner proud.
Alex took another one This time it was Jean-Pierre. What a recovery!!!! You have to love that guy. He is the fastest on the fleet (3th now) and has also diminished the distance to the leader, Armel. On the last hour he has made an average speed over 22K. Drage race I am telling you!!!!
That's amazing that with so many French on the race, on the leading group of five, almost half are not French. That should put the French a bit worried
Yes, farm out production of these boats on request. It is also possible that the customer will arrange for the construction of the boat yard. I have the best specialists available ... "REGA YACHT" Babicz & Krolikowski of Polish.
Carrying out a boat for the ocean it's a pleasure;-)
Thank you for your interest.