Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: GGR entrants getting clobbered
My wife is watching this race intently with the hope of one day possibly participating, so we discuss it whenever we have internet.
I think this race is showing those paying attention that the fancy drogues and popular wind vanes aren't really as reliable as they are presumed to be. Apparently, the much-touted Jordan series drogue failed Susie, as it did not save her from a pitchpole this morning.
I can't imagine why anyone would attempt a voyage such as this with a complicated mechanical device to steer the boat when a simple trim tab unit would do a better job and have way fewer points of potential problems. Even with an inboard rudder, the added security of mounting a second rudder on the stern with a trim tab would be a better route IMO.
Secondly, I believe that it is possible that the aluminum sticks just aren't the right material for that job. If memory serves, both Knox-Johnson and Moitessier put their wooden sticks in the water on their voyages, but neither lost their rigs. I've done the same three times, not in the Southern Ocean, but in a hurricane, and I didn't lose my wooden sticks either.
So, of the 18 starters, 7 have dropped out mainly because of self-steering malfunctions or a lack of drinking water, 4 others have lost their rigs and all but one had to be rescued along with one other competitor. The leader is limping along with a damaged rig after pitchpoling.
Two will be hauling shortly to clean the barnacles off their boats, so they will be relegated to the Chichester class and no longer in the GGR.
That leaves 5 of 18 still in the GGR, a pretty horrendous attrition rate. Perhaps this race. like the one in 1968, will have only one finisher. Wouldn't that be a hoot!
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
ďBelieve me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.Ē ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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