Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Monday, May 24, 2010

Clipper Around the World Race

Race 10: Port Antonio, Jamaica to New York, USA

The blurb reads:
Race 10 is expected to take no longer than 7- 10 days and will be an intense affair with no opportunity to take it easy. When a race lasts three weeks, a whole variety of tactics can come in to play and they often don’t come to fruition until the final stages.

The race up to New York, with the crews so evenly matched, will require supreme concentration and highly efficient crew work and with a variety of conditions, it should test everything the crews have learnt over the last 28,000 miles.

Departing Port Antonio, Jamaica, the fleet will leave behind the steady trade winds of the Caribbean and face the variable winds associated with the depressions coming from the North American land mass.
That's the blurb about the real race in really wet and warm water. But here, I'm really only concerned with the "Virtual Race" featuring 90,000 skippers around the world in their arm chairs. From these, I have extracted a couple of handfuls of Boats of Interest, for the purpose of drawing performance comparisons with my Vigilance.

Comment (27-May):This Virtual race was largely decided on the first morning after the start decided more by the game's server than the competitors. The fleet approached the windward passage between Cuba and Haiti. It was the losers, IMO, who sailed north toward Gitmo. The Winners sailed east and didn't tack on to starboard until they reached Haiti. Because I never like to reach the lay line early, I sailed north up the center, setting my internal alarm clock for a 5:15 tack on to port. When I got to my keyboard, the site was down. I could not log on for hours. In the meantime, Vigilance sailed helplessly into the lee of Gitmo. She was not alone, as can be seen by the chart below. (Click to expand). It was as if I had overslept. I and many others lost 19,000 places. The winners were those who were skirting Haiti and didn't need to maneuver. That's the race for me. Put a fork in Vigilance. She's hot off the fire. All I can do now is apply Ketchup (catch-up)!


  1. Competitors might be interested in this anecdote. I am intrigued.

  2. Vigilance's mid-day swoon today was caused by a malfunctioning auto-helm. Computer error.

  3. That DaveDWiz is an erratically-sailed boat.

  4. Even so, Dave is doing a S.L. better than I. He's at least in this picture!

  5. Dave tells me in PM that he was AFK (out of town) and on auto helm. I have recovered somewhat from yesterday's malfunctioning autohelm. However Vigilance has no hope of finishing this Leg in the top 999. I'm only catching 10 boats an hour.

  6. This is the last 12 hours for me in this Leg. In the last 24 hours, Vigilance has moved from 9th to 7th among these boats of interest. Not much of a chance to pick up another place. The goal is just to sail optimally on a 17-kt reach.