January 24, 2013 in At the Helm
By Sailing World’s Dave Reed
July 15, 2011 in At the Helm
At 03:25 UTC the Oakcliff All-American Offshore Team crossed the finish line off Lizard Point, and in doing so concluded a Transatlantic Race that was 6 months in the making. It is an achievement that could not have been reached without your enthusiastic support. The sixteen of us onboard the Vanquish have been given an incredibly opportunity, an opportunity none of us will forget, and for that we are incredibly grateful. We’re currently on our way to the port of Gosport, 160 miles from the finish line, and we wanted to take some time to thank everyone who helped us along the way and made all of this possible. Read the rest of this entry →
July 14, 2011 in At the Helm
The Oakcliff All-American Offshore Team is on the homestretch: land is in sight and we can smell England. It’s been a long and tough race, though we managed to squeeze a few extra days into the voyage—extra days that maybe now seem a burden, but in a week, month, ot year, will probably seem like a privilege. I for one am hesitant to finish. I’ve gotten to know the 15 other sailors on this boat well enough that I want to stay another day, sail another race. But there’s still this race to finish, and as it now turns dark we’ll get back to it for one last push to Lizard Point, 20 nautical miles away.
We’ve had a hard go of it in the standings. The fast boats from our start and the faster boats from the June 29 start managed to beat the high-pressure ridge that we couldn’t avoid, and we parked up along with the Beau Geste for a few days. We sat for long enough to allow the slower boats we had already passed to catch up, and then, when everyone was even, the ridge lifted and moved east—as did we. The way the ratings work, we lose, but it’s made for a fun day of good company. We’re approaching the finish with five other boats in sight which after just under 3000 miles of sailing is pretty neat. We went all day with Beau Geste beside us, at one point close enough to ask for toilet paper. If this has been a long race for Vanquish, it has been an even longer one for them (15 feet longer). We wondered if they were serious! Read the rest of this entry →
July 14, 2011 in At the Helm
Not much to report from the Vanquish today. I may be grossly mistaken but I think the Oakcliff All-American Offshore Team has relocated somewhere near the equator and we’re stuck in the doldrums. We spent most of today virtually motionless, which is not the way we saw a transatlantic race coming to an end. Our three-day “training” session before the July 3 start was considerably windier than anything we encountered these past ten days and, in reality, the lightwind Block Island Race earlier this spring was more relevant from a preparatory perspective.
It is not to say we aren’t making the most of our drifting hours. Jesse braved the North Atlantic waters for a cold shower. Many have taken to rapping. I’ve been giving camera lessons. Matt has watched each of the movies on his iPod several times, it seems. In a move of utter desperation, Chris finally removed the “Paint” app from the nav station pc’s as they were proving to be too much of a distraction for the rest of us. Read the rest of this entry →
July 13, 2011 in At the Helm
Happy hump day from the Oakcliff All-American Offshore Team. Things here on the Vanquish aren’t all that much different than before: we’re still bumping up against this high-pressure ridge immediately to our east, and as soon as we get enough wind to sail up to it, the wind dies when we get there and we have to wait for the next pulse to do it all over again. We’ve been working that oscillation in a northerly trend all day to better position ourselves between the remaining fleet to our north and where we think the next abundance of wind will be to our east.
Just now we switched from the A2 spinnaker we flew for most of the day to the code-0, and have pointed our bow in a more easterly direction across the ridge. We have picked our latitude and we will attempt to cross the no-wind zone from here on out. No more up or down, only across. It’s a big commitment but one we have to make! Read the rest of this entry →