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CruisingWiki

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

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Its all about VMG :-)

The Vendee Globe is such a tremendous test of seamanship. It is fascinating to see how the navigation diecisions make such a big diferenece even at the early stages.

As ever, it is about speed versus the most direct route, what sailors call VMG, or velocity made good.

Sébastien Josse, on the British-built BT, was back in the lead at the time of writing, but the first 14 boats are within 70 miles of each other as they race south downwind towards Madeira. Mike Golding, on Ecover 3, was the leading British boat, 57 miles behind. Josse was further east of the fleet, touching the high-pressure system in the Azores, and should be able to gybe before those closer to the coast of Portugal, who are sailing the more direct route.

This video is from the VG site and shows the preparation that is made in terms of thinking through weather systems, loading weather profiles for each region into the onboard laptops, and even designing the hull shapes to take advantage of any prevailing tendencies in the weather systems.

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Three French Skippers Defeated!

The early stages of the Vendee Globe are turning out to be be typically tough. So many starts have seen yachts dismasted or hit bad weather that is so bad they race has to be re-started! This year has been no different with 3 yachts withdrawn. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss has suffered a huge crack in the French built Hugo Boss. Pascal Conq, one half of Finot-Conq, the French team that designed the boat is very pessimistic about getting the boat back in the race. Rough seas also forced Marc Thiercelin and Kito de Pavant to quit after losing their masts. Yannick Bestaven’s mast snapped during a storm on Monday and he was heading back to Les Sables d’Olonne to repair the damage. Bestaven becomes the third French skipper to quit after losing his mast.

Several other sailors have experienced problems because of the heavy weather during the sixth edition of the single-handed race, and returned to port for repairs.

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Optimising fuel consumption..Garmin’s take

cf-mdHaving written already on the subject of fuel consumption and even carrying a picture of a friend’s power boat on this blog..I thought I would continue this worrying trend by writing about Garmin’s nice little flow meter – the GFS 10

This not only displays the current fuel level (based on initial reading less flow) but comes up with a single “Economy” reading (in nm/gal) that will have power boat skippers skipping with delight. This help a skipper see his nm/gal consumption automatically therefore taking into account current sea conditions, power applied, and speed over the ground. You can then have a good stab at optimising throttle position to give the best fuel economy. You can also connect up one sensor per engine.cf-sm

So if you have the GMI 10 marine instrument display then you can connect up the GFS 10 fuel sensor using NMEA2000 – other GPSMAP 4xx and 5xx series units require Garmin’s own CANet™ connection.

Specs for the fuel sensor:
Maximum flow rate: up to 50 GPH per engine
Minimum flow rate: 2 GPH
Maximum back pressure: 0.5 PSI at 20 GPH/1.0 PSI at 40 GPH

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Compare your boat….

I have collected together data on 35 boats that are popular some even legendary in Europe. The ratios calculated are those that are often quoted by magazine reviewers, and I was interested to try and get to understand what these ratios really meant – and also to see how boats that have a great reputation fare when compared to each other using these ratios.

I would be happy to add your boat if you can supply the data that you can see on the ‘data’ tab. Just contact me to add your boat.

Click on the image below to load the spreadsheet viewer…then click on the tabs along the bottom of the graphs for different calculations to be displayed. (works in IE and Firefox)

Click for Performance Ratios

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