Race report 6: Europa has extended her lead

16 October 2013

Race report 6: Europa has extended her lead
Europa (Netherlands) has extended her lead and is now 38 miles ahead on the water - and at her current rate of speed will pass the first race course Way Point off Cape Reinga in about 14 hours.  
 
Spirit of New Zealand (New Zealand) and Tecla (Netherlands) have been locked into some match racing over the past day or two, at times in sight of each other, with Tecla coming through to be 10 miles ahead of Spirit of New Zealand.

Another match racing duel is going on further behind between Young Endeavour (Australia) and Oosterschelde (Netherlands), with Young Endeavour now ahead.
 
Current placings on Corrected Time are:
 
1st   Europa
2nd Tecla
3rd Spirit of New Zealand
 
Paul Bishop, Race Director, Sail Training International said, “The sailing conditions are ideal for the ships at present but are due to become very light after they have passed Cape Reinga, which is likely to make the final stages of this race very tactical. We could see further changes in placings right up to the finish line off the Bay of Islands.”

Crew log from Europa (Netherlands)

Tuesday 15 October 2013: Roller coaster ride in the Tasman Sea

It may be one of the most different roller coasters in the world, but for us crew on Europa, it is one hell of a ride. 

Sailing along in the Tasman Sea close hauled to beam reaching in 30 knot plus winds, sailing at an average of 10 knots makes for an interesting ride. There are no loop to loops, or hair raising bends that you get on roller coasters in theme parks around the world, but then, you only spend an average of a few minutes on those rides. Whereas here at sea, our roller coaster ride has lasted for coming up to three days.

For us guys in Blue Watch, what is already a new and different experience when sailing flat, is made even more challenging when the ship is healing over. We are all learning the art of heavy weather helming, and all understand the importance of having one hand for yourself and one hand for the ship. 

We time our runs from the safety of the deckhouse, to the poop deck where we conduct our lookout and helm duties, in order not to get soaked by the water that is constantly sweeping over the main deck. It’s becoming a common sight to see water coming in through the scuppers, and every now and then over the capping rails. Even below decks, common duties like walking between cabins and eating meals can be interesting entertainment.

The funny thing is - I think Europa is enjoying herself - being able to stretch her legs, sailing along under topsails, fore course and lower staysails. She is obviously built to handle these conditions with her thicker than normal sails. We've just got to have faith in the ship, and the permanent crew who sail her, especially when they race up the rigging in these trying conditions to furl away sails.

It’s probably more expensive than you standard roller coaster ride, but I’ll take this one any day, as it’s not often you get to experience it.

Crew log from Young Endeavour (Australia)

Tuesday 15 October 2013: Trainees

The trainees which joined on the morning of departure from Sydney should really be known as 'returnees' because they had all done one trip before. Very few knew each other and they were like any other crew, setting off on a long sea voyage, tentative, apprehensive and a little withdrawn. This didn't last long, as they were split into three watches - The Whiteys, The Redys, and of course The Blueys. 

Safety and mast climbing briefings quickly followed. Already the close watch spirit was encouraged with shouts of 'white watch ready' and chanting of 'two six heave' as the sails were made ready. Then a short break for coffee allowed the stowing of the kit in the miniscule space allowed. No room for hair driers and hard cases here.

The mixed crew of 12 girls and 12 young men had been selected from all over Australia, so they have plenty of stories to tell. They come from all walks of life - young trainee teachers, college attendees and some from the outback and farms. But the over-powering factor is that they all have a very positive spirit, probably achieved from a first voyage on Young Endeavour

The routine is pretty tough with no afternoon siesta's but in the first week of some pretty extreme weather (50-60knot winds and high seas) not one grumble have I heard.

Watchkeeping in three watches is arduous and tiring if you get wet, cold on watch and then can't sleep because of the motion of the vessel -  but the important thing is to keep the spirits high and that is exactly what is happening.

By the way, the weather has moderated - it's sunny, but chilly. I've had to put a duvet and blanket on the berth.

Follow the fleet
For live tracking follow the fleet here.

Race results
Keep up to date with the latest race results here. 


Photo: 

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For more information contact Sally Titmus, Communications and Marketing Manager, Sail Training International, Charles House, Gosport Marina, Mumby Road, Gosport, Hampshire, UK  PO12 1AH  

Tel: +44 (0) 23 9258 6367   Email: sally.titmus@sailtraininginternational.org

Editor’s notes:

What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.

About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ship Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events. STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.

The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship.



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