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Zero to Open 60 in 18 months

I remember seeing Dee Caffari being given an Honorary Doctorate for her achievements dee2during my son’s graduation ceremony at Leeds Met . Dee herself graduated from Leeds Met in 1995, and she became a teacher, shortly after that she took up sailing…after only 10 years Dee set a world record in the Aviva Challenge 2006, for being the first woman to sail around the world single handed against the prevailing winds.

Then in February 2007, she went to work with a team of sports science experts from Leeds Met to shape her into the ultimate professional sailor. She was preparing to race the world’s ‘Open 60′ elite sailors in her Aviva Ocean Racing Campaign. She has set out on an accelerated learning curve to go from ‘zero to Open 60′ in under two years.

Sports science experts at the Carnegie Faculty of Sport & Education’s Centre for Performance Sport. set to work. The centre is one of the world’s leading sports development centres and has helped some of Britain’s best athletes including Dame Kelly Holmes and Tracey Morris.

The scientists regularly carried out measurements on her heart, body mass and the effects of the training programme. To assess her fitness levels, the Carnegie Centre for Performance Sport used state of the art finger-tip blood sampling technology to measure haemoglobin and blood lactate alongside monitoring heart rate response and blood pressure during incremental running on a treadmill.

Then after only 18 months experience with the open 60’s she came 6th in the Vendee Globe 2008 becoming the fist woman to sail singlehanded round the world in both directions

Elapsed time for course: 99 days 1 hours 10 mn. 57 sec.
Actual distance sailed: 27906.9 Nm.
Actual average speed: 11.7 KTS
Average speed over course: 10.45 KTS


Offbeat Charters from SuperYachtWorld

This is another great Google Map from Louise Busby..and in her own words “An increasing number of superyacht owners and charter operators are relocating their vessels to far-flung corners of the globe to entice the growing band of charter guests tired of cruising round the same old watering holes. We’ve searched the planet for the pick of these yachts and the experiences they offer, from sun bathing with iguanas in the Galapagos to snorkelling with elephants off those gems of the Indian Ocean. “….Great job Louise !

View Larger Map

..although sailors and power boaters dont always get along:-) – I have to take my hat off to Louise who is web editor of the Broom Users Club and who has also the author of Inland Waterways of the Netherlands.


Cyclonic storm Force 12 !

17Jan swellIts not often we hear the BBC Shipping Forecast start with the words “There are warnings of gales in all areas except Trafalgar…” as I write this the wind is howling around the South Downs and the coast around Brighton…but look at this for the …for a weather forecast..

Rockall Malin Hebrides:
Cyclonic storm 10 to hurricane force 12, becoming west or southwest 7 to severe gale 9. High or very high. Rain or wintry showers. Moderate or poor, occasionally very poor.

The screen shots here are from the excellent Magic Seaweed site…who 17Jan winddo a really good job of showing wave heights and near shore effects for surfers and of course therefore for coastal cruisers. The wave heights in mid Atlantic are shown as 50-75ft and the wind speeds up to F12 of the north coast of Scotland.

I really would not want to be fishing off the north coast of Scotland tonight!


New! Passage Plan Template

Phlat ChatThe owner of the pretty catamaran "Phlat Chat" has sent

in an updated copy of the passage plan

that I first posted here.









You can download the updated passage planner I have two different version:

1 – Word document that is like a checklist for the Skipper & Crew

2 – Excel spreadsheet

The update is a useful calculator for fuel consumption especially if you have two engines and anticipate motoring for any length of time.

So now you get the following displays inside the passage plan:





..or if the calculations shows you havn’t got enough fuel, then the display shows…





"Phlat Chat" will be cruising up the east coast of Australia over the Christmas period from Sydney to Lake Macquarie….am I envious?

….Oh no! …we love the rolling fog and bitter cold of the English Channel in December 🙂


Code of Practice or Flag of Convenience?

I have long lamented the poor service that boaters whether power or BMEAsail get when installing electronics on their vessels. Getting someone that understands a good installation, is honest enough to read the manual before starting, and doesn’t rip you off with unexpected “extras” is as rare as getting a good plumber or an honest politician.

I have recently been looking at the The British Marine Electronics Association web site and noticed that they do more than represent the trade. The obviously are a trade organisations that represents installers and manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment for marine use.

But they do have a “Code of Practice for Electrical and Electronic Installations in Small Craft”. This code is produced by the BMEA as a guide to how installations should meet the Standards required for compliance with the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD). It is based on the ISO Standards for AC & DC installations. The Code of Practice is available to all including trade and DIY installers alike and can be obtained through the BMF technical department (phone 01784 223634 or email: cabel@britishmarine.co.uk)

They also run an accreditation scheme called BMET. British Marine Electronics Technician accreditation is a new scheme that has been introduced to recognise the qualifications and experience of those involved with the installation of electronic and electrical equipment in boats.The scheme consists of intermediate and advanced level examinations and, verification of a candidate’s practical competence.

One can but hope that by choosing a company with staff that have attained BMET accreditation …”you can be confident that you will get the highest standards of workmanship and expertise …”

hmmm…is this like the logos that builders put on the back of their vans – or is it a real qualification?….I would love to know…