Samstag, 5. Juli 2008

Transpac '08 Tahiti Race - MAGNITUDE 80 unterbietet Rekord um 3 1/2 Tage

MAGNITUDE 80 packt ihr Großsegel ein:

July 3 , 2008 - Magnitude 80 breaks Tahiti record by 3 1/2 days

Magnitude 80 sailed out of the dark into a French Polynesian welcome Thursday night to cross the Tahiti Race finish line offshore from the Pointe Verde lighthouse near Papeete at 11:13 p.m. PDT (8:13 p.m. local time) and break the record by almost 3 ½ days.

Doug Baker’s high-tech, four-year-old Andrews 80 with a canting keel system, forward dagger board and pivoting bow pole sailed the 3,571 nautical miles from Point Fermin at the edge of Los Angeles in 11 days 10 hours 13 minutes 18 seconds, an average speed of 13.02 knots for the course.

The former record, set by the late Fred Kirschner’s Kathmandu, a Santa Cruz 70, in the previous race of the series in 1994, was 14 days 21 hours 15 hours 26 minutes.

Despite the hour, the 14-member crew was met at the line with a traditional Tahitian welcome of three Polynesian boys playing Toere drums carved from logs and the blowing of a big shell horn. Power boats also carried the presidents of Tahiti Yacht Club and the Tahitian Sailing Federation. Race chairman Dave Cort of the organizing Transpacific Yacht Club came directly from the airport to follow the last couple of miles into the harbor, where Mag 80 was tied up at the yacht quay honor berth in the center of Papeete.

Cheri Lane, daughter of Medicine Man skipper Bob Lane, and Stephanie Betz of Tahiti Tourisme provided flower leis and cold beer. The local Hinano brew flowed like a monsoon rain. Medicine Man’s crew will taste it next---probably Sunday night.

While Baker looked after the securing of the boat, navigator Ernie Richau said, “I want to do this again. It was great!”

Other crew members were watch captains Keith Kilpatrick and Jeff Scott, Mark Sims, Hogan Beatie, Eric Fisher, Jeff Grange, Mike Van Dyke, Eric Mayol, Ty Pryne, Zack Maxam, Rob Snyders and Chris Hamel.

Beatie, 38, is the third generation of his family to sail the race, following his father and grandfather.

Blogs from the boats

Fortaleza: King Neptune accepted six (including the boat) new Shellbacks to his court. Great night of sailing on the back of the front moving across the course.

Medicine Man: Great job, Mag 80, and welcome Fortaleza to the southern side of the world. Counting down the miles ... but did have ICE CREAM after dinner last night!

Ragtime, Chris Welsh: Mag 8, congrats. Great effort; this is a very long race, as we are all finding out. Looking forward to sharing some mai tais in a few days. Appreciate all to look out for us when we arrive. Our motor is trashed and we will have no power to get to the dock. Crew laughed when I opted to add the 80 pounds on top of the spare alternator to have a spare single cylinder motor, too; turns out to have been very lucky as it is keeping the lights on and the water maker going. Biggest concern will be docking now.

Seriously, we have seen it all. Wind was forecast 12-15 @ 080 degrees. We got 22-27 @ 135 degrees. Single and double headsail with reefed main all day. The engine overran yesterday, then would not run anymore. We worked on it all today – turns out it is seriously fried internally. So we got out the backup generator. Yep, the backup generator. Before we left, I bought a 6HP single-cylinder diesel, and Dwayne at Dencho rigged up a spare alternator I had to make a mini genset. We have it on deck and strapped into the cockpit. Ran heavy gauge wires to the batteries, and fired her up (hand start). Voltage again, water maker back online, power for instruments, etc. Main loss is reefer is powered by the big engine, so the last of the land food is being served up ASAP. The mini genset is really loud; we are all eager to see it turned off after 1.5 hrs of charging.

In the afternoon, the wind backed a little, the skies cleared and conditions turned into what we all thought we would have all along: beautiful sailing in the tropical trades, although pretty windy. Getting close to the Marquesas, so more bird life around. Crew in great spirits and all looking forward to hitting land, cocktails, soft beds and showers in the next few days. As of today, we have sailed the equivalent of across America – 2,600 miles. Now it’s just an LA-Denver run left.

More Fortaleza: We are winding down Day 11 with much improved morale aboard. How, you may ask, is that ... you just dropped into last place! Ah, but I know something you do not. This morning at 0630, just after the morning roll call email ... we started sailing to Tahiti … the way you're supposed to. What way is that? With color! The wind has backed and we launched the trusty ¾-oz spinnaker and suddenly Fortaleza was dancing. After days of doing 9 kts and getting 7 kt progress because of the "blessed" equatorial counter current, it feels incredible to look at the GPS "speed over ground" and seeing 11 kts.
Yesterday we tried all the sail combinations on board to get up some speed. Given the sore state we're in from leaning over, I questioned, "I don't think there's enough Advil left on board to lift the #1 again." So, the chute is up and we've gone from looking at a long losing final third of the race to being back in the game.

Down below, Chuck has launched our "mini kite" air scoop and we can actually get some good rest. Last night was a beautiful, starry night with almost no clouds and no moon. Looking back at Polaris, just above the horizon and then up to Cassiopeia and the Milky Way and past Jupiter to the bow where the Southern Cross provided a great mark to steer by. One Shellback and five Pollywogs have a date with King Neptune.

Tahiti Race 2008 standings
(boat for boat at 6 a.m. PDT Friday)

1. Magnitude 80 (Andrews 80), Doug Baker, Long Beach, finished, 11 days 10 hours 13 minutes 18 seconds (betters record of 14:21:15:26 by Kathmandu, Santa Cruz 70, Fred Kirschner, 1994).

2. Medicine Man (Andrews 63), Bob Lane, Long Beach, 261 miles daily run/483 miles to go.

3. Ragtime (Spencer 65), Chris Welsh, Newport Beach, 251/809.

4. Fortaleza (Santa Cruz 50), Jim Morgan, Long Beach, 246/1,127.

Mehr dazu beim Transpacific Yacht Club.

Thanks to S. Renard for the shot of MAGNITUDE 80 wrapping her main after finishing.