Anyone following the Caribbean 1500 Rally?
This post caught my eye from yesterday.
Janel Seier from Nana Maria
Today is Wednesday November 12 and the wind is blowing 25 to 30 knots, the waves are 12 feet and rising. The boat is heeled over 15 to 30 degrees and the simpilest chores become a challenge. Picture yourselve standing up on a roller coaster, try to boil water in order to make coffee etc etc,
The waves that are continuesly breaking over the bow are allowing us to find leaks that are new and to refresh our memories as to where the old ones are. We are keeping dry from the sea water because of the enclosure, but the temperature inside is like a very sunny sauna. All the sweating is good for the skin we are told... Poor Foz (the dog) is not liking this too much, but we do have a spray bottle in the cockpit filled with cold water so we can all try to keep cool. I guess I shouldn't complain too much, I could be knee deep in snow back home, instead of in shorts and tank tops. Kelly was just moments ago exclaiming "."Holy Cow, look at the size of that wave we just surfed down."
Cruising Rally Association | Offshore sailing - Adventure, Camaraderie, Competition
I've been following the progress on the rally website. They had to postpone the start a few days due to weather, but they seem to have had pretty good conditions overall. I suspect my first run down island will be by the thorny path, but even though the rally fee is a bit pricey, I think I'd like to do it someday. Seems like a good way to make your first significant offshore passage.
Here's some selected passages from info I have received:
"Mike Harker sailed his Hunter 49 "Wanderlust" in this years Carib 1500. He came in first in the 'Cruising Class' and finished in the top 5 (8 days 1 hour) over all, only behind a 'full race' Santa Cruz 52, a Hallberg Rassey 68, and an X-Boat 53 all in the 'Race Class'....
... The 2000 Baja HaHa was my first real sail on my 'new-to-me' used 1998 Hunter 34 "WanderLust".... The Carib 1500 last week was only my second organized event. In the mean time I had sailed my new 2002 Hunter 46 over 36,000 miles and the even newer 2007 Hunter 49 around the world, so I had learned a few things between these 'events'...
... The event leaves a starting line at the exit of the Chesapeake Bay just off of the large US Navy base at Norfolk Virginia and heads SE towards Tortola BVI, a distance of 1280 miles rhumb line but usually 1400 -1500 miles depending on your course. It is almost all into the wind...
.... I set a course East and a waypoint 150 miles south of Bermuda. We had 3 days of 15-18 knots on the starboard beam. I and my 2 crew I had met just the day before and were doing 3 hours on watch, 6 off. With position reports every 6 hours over SSB radio we knew that we were in the middle group of 50 boats. The big racing class boats had all taken a more southerly course and seemed to be pulling ahead. I wanted to simply make enough easting into the SE trades before changing tack over to port...
.... At 65 degrees longitude, just 200 miles south of Bermuda, I flopped over to port tack and had a hard beat 40 to 45 degrees to weather. I had third reef down and just the stay sail in the 25 - 28 knots of SE winds with waves of 8 - 12 feet spraying and breaking into the bow and port side at about a 20 - 22 degree heel. And that was the next 4 days non-stop...
.... Officially the "Cruising Class" does not get an official time because insurance does not cover a "RACE" but with our 8 day, 1 hour time we were the 5th boat across the line and first 'Cruising Boat". We were also the first boat under 50 feet. More than half the fleet was over 50 feet in length and some of the best names in sailboat racing.
We were behind four race boats at the finish; a full race Santa Cruz 52, a Halberg-Rassy 62, a Halberg-Rassey 49 ketch and a Swan 58.
Some of the race class boats that arrived after us were MacGregor 65, Catana 50, Beneteau 57, Jeanneau 57, Farr 50, Tayana 58, Taswell 58 and a Hinkley51."
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