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What does that rule mean? For Conrad it meant taking a mooring without using his engine, and tantilisingly close to ‘normal life’, but not permitted in any way to be helped by anyone, no items allowed to be received on board, no physical contact with the outside world. These are the tough rules of the Vendée Globe, no assistance means no assistance.

Electronic steering system that steers KINGFISHER by reading the wind angle from the anenometer at the top of the mast, and the compass heading. In fast-building wind conditions the delay between the anometer reading the wind strength at the top of the mast to relaying that information to the autopilot can cause delayed reaction.

Like all top level sports people, sailors must be careful about their diet. But crews have to cope with constricting parameters. On board, stowage space is limited and too much weight of stores would be detrimental to the yacht's performance. As for the food itself, it must be able to be conserved for long periods and provide a minimum energy intake. There's no question either of having a whole set of pots and pans and matching dinner service. The most common solution is resorting to powdered food (freeze dried or dehydrated), made up into menus developed by nutritionists. Energy bars and beverages complete this Spartan diet. Sometimes the skippers decide to take on board "real" food (in cans, all the sameŠ), a bad decision for the payload, but good for the morale. It's a way of ensuring that the boat's performance doesn't suffer too much and that everybody is happy.

is the description sailors give to a particular spectacular, and potentially dangerous wipeout when the boat careers out of control and gybes by accident...the mainsail smacks across, but with the top part of the sail still on the previous gybe...complicated to show without a picture, but even more complicated to get out of! As the french mess!

The water temperatures of the Southern Ocean are far from uniform. Around 60 degrees South, where the Southern ocean meets the warmer southward flowing waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, is the zone known as the Antarctic Convergence, or Polar Front. The total area of sea within the convergence makes up one tenth of all the world's oceans, and contains the coolest and densest water to be found anywhere. The effect of this is to create the area of most icebergs that break off the ice shelf. For more information, go to

‘Crash box’
all the Open 60s have sacrificial bow sections so that if they hit something the first bit to break is a foam core half metre section that absorbs some of the shock. This bit can actually break off completely without damaging the structural integrity of the boat. The boats have at least 6 watertight compartments as well, so it takes a serious amount of damage to cause a major safety problem. Of course any damage is not good for performance, and a collision with an iceberg growler cannot do great things for the mental state of the skipper....

ILES CROZET: The 20 small mountainous islands of Crozet are a French territory and are uninhabited except for scientific personnel and penguins. Home to seals, King Penguins and other birds, Crozet is designated a national conservation area by France. The mostly barren island is subject to low temperatures and long winters. The island climate is mitigated somewhat by maritime influences. The inland plateaus are barren and rocky. Steep cliffs drop to sealevel on the coasts. First landing was in 1772, with the first settlers, Sealers arriving in 1804.

Eine "Cyclone" ist ein tropischer Sturm der schleudert wie ein Wirbelwind Die unteren Lufpartien der Atmosphäre werden in größere Höhen gesaugt. Sobald sich eine Cyclone formiert hat verbreitet sie sich mit dem Kopf - mit absorbierender Feuchtigkeit auf der Oberfläche des Ozeans. Der Wind kann 250 km/h erreichen ... In nördlicher Hemisphäre sind die Cyclon Saisons zwischen July und November. Im Oktober während des Transat. Jacques Vabre mit Yves Parlier, Ellen MacArthur hatte die Cyclone Irene zu bewältigen mit Wind Exzessen bis zu 55kn (102km/h). Während der EDS Atlantic Challenge wir die Flotte wahrscheinlich nicht so weit südl. Kurs segeln um in ein derartiges Phänomen zu gelangen. Sie müssen immer ein Auge auf tropische Tiefs haben - die Geburtsstätte dieser Stürme in denen die Winde wirklich unzuverlässig sind.

Daggerboards are an essential part of an Open 60
setup when sailing upwind - with a swing keel, the daggerboard acts as lateral resistance. Kingfisher's daggerboards are assymetric, almost 4 metres long and weight over 70 kgs - necessary to take the excessive loads put on them when sailing upwind. The board was designed such that in the case of an impact like this it should break first, rather than break the boat - an important success from a design point of view. They were also designed to be used in an emergency the other way up - like now, although not without a fair bit of work to make it possible. Likewise, the damage to the tip of the rudder was controlled by the sacrificial part at the bottom of the blade. It is structurally sound and with a very small performance effect.

Daggerboards are used to improve upwind performance - like a centreboard on a dinghy, they help prevent the boat from being pushed sideways off their proposed course. When the boat is sailing upwind the daggerboard is lowered under the boat . There is a port and starboard daggerboard positioned approximately one-third back from the bow, and depending on which tack the boat is on ie port or starboard, the appropriate board is lowered into the water.

Distance to finish
measurement that the leaderboard is based on, is worked out on the basis of a theoretical course, the shortest possible within practical limits. Of course due to the wind and sea the boats can never steer this minimum distance, as they are always tacking, gybing or heading around weather systems to make the best speed towards the finish possible – rarely can they sail in a straight line. The theoretical course for the Vendee Globe is 23,700 miles, so Nick has just crossed that half way mark, but will probably still have 13 to 14,000 miles left to sail, rather than just the 11,850 theoretical ones. BUT he’s on the second half of the race, which is good for moral onboard!

Doldrums/The Trade Winds
A few degrees north of the Equator, there is an area known technically as the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). In very basic terms its where the North East Trade winds and the South East trade winds meet each other...effectively cancelling each other out as the result is air moving more vertically than horizontally – vertical air makes for a suction effect resulting in either no wind or often violent rain squalls. In the old days sailing ships might be stuck for weeks in the Doldrums...these days, it can be race losing or winning, but the light and powerful Open 60s can accelerate so quickly that they can use each squall to get themselves across relatively quickly – albeit with large amounts of sweat and frustration on the way...

The Trade Winds are split into two areas – the Northern Trade Wind sector (N/NE winds) start along the coast of Portugal to the Equator; then the Southern Trade Winds (S/SE winds) after the area of the Doldrums – a notorious windless zone: "You hope to find some good Trade Wind sailing whilst working on the best position to cross the Doldrums. You need to gain as much westing as you can to cross this area as this is normally the best position to be in. Although, contrary to that in the last TJV the guys to the east actually benefited more than the guys who were further west. Crossing the Doldrums you enter into upwind sailing then you are looking at reaching and downwind sailing."

Sailing with the wind coming from behind the yacht. If ASHFIELD HEALTHCARE is pointing south, to sail downwind the breeze has to come from a northwest, north or north east direction. The mainsail will be at 80 degrees to the centreline of the boat and the yacht may carry a spinnaker [large balloon type sail] at the front to catch as much wind as possible.

As Nick mentions today, he does have the ability to watch DVDs via the Sony VIAO laptops that form the nerve centre of SKANDIA’s nav centre. He is also a Sony sound system, a few books and a lot of manuals if he really gets bored! He also has a bunch of DV tapes that his friends and team recorded for him before he left...the reality is though it is very rare in a 3 month round the world race that the conditions allow the skipper more than a 5 minute diversion from tactics, trimming, maintenance (body and boat), sail changes, weather, eating, sleeping...

- Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon : these transmit on 406 MHz, the international distress frequency. The McMurdo precision EPIRBs onboard KINGFISHER can be manually activated or automatically due to full immersion in water. McMurdo Pains & Wessex are a Performance Partner of Team Kingfisher

Figaro Solo
Die Figaro Bénéteau ist ein 9.14 m (30 ft) Einrumpfer mit einem Tiefgang von 1,80m (5,9 ft). Sie in Frankreich bekannt als gebräuchlich im "Solitaire". - eines der Rennen, das zur French Figaro Meisterschaft gezählt wird - wie das Transat AG2R und das Porquerolles. Jedes Jahr im August gehen ungefähr 30 dieser Boote als eine Klasse an den Start. (die Teilnehmer haben alle identische Boote) für ein Einhandrennen in 4 Stufen - entlang der Westküste Europas. Die hauptsächlichst besuchten Länder sind : Frankreich, Irland und Spanien. Gestaltet 1970 von Eugène Dautriche unter dem Namen des "Course de l'Aurore", wurde die Solitaire von Pascal Bidégorry in Europ Assistance gewonnen.

KINGFISHER2 is a catamaran - she has two hulls. When fully cranked up in moderate to strong breeze, it is possible to sail with the whole 22 tons of boat balancing on just one of the hulls - this means less drag in the water, and so usually is accompanied by a big increase in speed...but it also means that the boat is that much closer to the point of no return. If the hull is to come out too far, the bit will basically tip over (capsize) something which is terminal! It's a balance between pushing for the extra speed and saving the boat, crew and whole project! The boat right now is quite light - once 65 days of food, fuel and spares are added, she could be as much as 1.5 tons heavier so at the start of the trip, one would expect the boat to be pushed less hard, preserving her for the long long challenge around the planet...

Considerably reducing visibility, fog is dreaded just as much at sea as on land. Formed by droplets of water in suspension in the air, fog is in effect a cloud in contact with the ground. With a high rate of relative humidity when the temperature falls, the water of the ground or the sea evaporates and the water vapour condenses, forming a white mass that we call fog when the visibility falls below 1 km, and mist when it is between 1 and 5 km. At sea, this lack of visibility can prove to be dangerous in areas of heavy shipping or in the high latitudes where icebergs may be present. This is why boats are equipped with radar for detecting an object on the water within a radius of several kilometres. Contrary to fog on land that dissipates as the sun comes up, fog at sea disappears when the wind changes direction and pushes the cloud towards warmer waters.

40 knots of wind is a force 9 gale. 50 knots of wind is a force 11 gale. Either way its bloody windy! Enough to lift your dog of the pavement....

Gefriergetrocknete Speisen an Bord
Für die Segler, die am EDS Atlantic Challenge teilnehmen, ist Gefriergetrocknetes Essen wichtig für den Sieg. Dieses Essen ist Vakuum verpackt und maximal konserviert. Es reduziert das Gewicht an Bord der 60 Füßer und hilft die Geschwindigkeit zu erhöhen und spart eine gute Menge Platz ein. Jeden Tag nehmen die Herausforderer, die Top Sportsleute sind, zusätzlich dieses exzellente, kalorienhaltige Supplement zu sich - zu ihrer Basis Diät von Pasta und Reis. Der Gefriertrocknungs-Prozeß nimmt etwas Aroma von den Speisen. Es beinhaltet auch alle essenziellen Nährstoff-Qualitäten. Nimm als Beispiel eine gefriergetrocknete Paella. Ein 100 g Päckchen hat eine Nährmenge von 1621 kJ und 382 kcal. Das Mal zuzubereiten kostet auch weniger Zeit : Alles was du tun mußt ist, der Menge entsprechend heißes oder kaltes Wasser hinzuzufügen und schon hast du deine Gemüse- Salat - oder Pilzsuppe. Die Gegenseite: dieses Essen ist wie auch immer, sehr teuer.

When the wind is coming from between 100 degrees true (ie 100 degrees back from the bow, direction of travel) and dead behind, the Open 60s deploy sails known as either Spinnakers or Gennakers. The difference has become less obvious with developments in recent years of a number of different designs – but a spinnaker tends to be made from a nylon type material and is very full, used for when the wind is aft of 140 degrees, and a set of different sized and shaped (flatter and smaller area) gennakers for a wind further forward. Gennakers are usually made from stronger materials, and furl around their headstay (the cable that supports the front edge, known as the luff), rather than the spinnakers which are ‘snuffed’ with a sock that pulls down over them. Changing between these sails is a technical and often exhausting operation...with plenty of margin for error, as the skipper balances on the foredeck of his boat as it continues to surf down the waves...

Great circle route.
The great circle route is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of the Earth. As a general rule, a straight line is the shortest distance between two points on a flat surfaceŠ But this rule doesn't apply to the Earth which is "round". Therefore at sea, sailors must take into account several factors to reach their "waypoint" or destination. The speed of the boat, the changes in the weather, the currents, the direction of the wind, and so onŠ just some of the parameters that help sailors adapt their tactics. For the fifth leg of the EDS Atlantic Challenge for example, the 60 footers like Kingfisher use the Gulf Stream, a warm current, like a natural "conveyor belt" to EuropeŠ To do this, they first had to descend down south away from the direct route.

More dangerous in many ways than the giant icebergs that drift north from Antarctica, are the smaller chunks that break away from the main bergs. Even large icebergs are hard to see on radar as they are partly transparent, the small chunks you only ever see at the last minute...but they are hard enough and big enough to put a hole in a carbon fibre boat traveling at 15 knots towards it. The growlers often drift further north before melting away...a constant danger for the Vendée sailors regardless of the ice gates that have kept the fleet further north than in the past.

The Gulf Stream is a warm ocean current. It starts out in the gulf of Mexico before heading north up the coast of America. Afterwards, in a clockwise direction, it heads over to Europe before splitting into two parts, one of which head north towards Europe and the other towards the coast of Africa. For the crews taking part in the EDS Atlantic Challenge, negotiating this current is a highly strategic affair. The boats which opted to go north, as Kingfisher did, decided to sail along the coast where the current is much weaker. But there is an element of risk in terms of tactics with this option : should the winds turn out to be lacking, the boats would be "sucked up" by the Gulf Stream and would find themselves stuck in place. AS things have turned out, this strategy seems to be paying off since the boats are sailing at very similar speeds, at an average of around 10 knots.

just as when a boat zig zags either side of the wind when its going against it, when the boats sail with the wind behind they do not sail directly in the direction of the wind. Instead they sail with the wind at about 150 degrees from their heading, in order to generate some ‘Apparent Wind’ of their own. They then must ‘gybe’ back and forth to get to their destination. The actual manoeuvre involves turning the boat so the stern moves through the wind, the sails come crashing (sometimes) across to the other side of the boat, and the boat heads off in the other gybe with the wind on the other side of the boat. A gybe for the solo sailor, in any kind of breeze, is a dangerous manoeuvre, but they have no choice! The worst case is an accidental gybe under autopilot...
A gybe is when the boat’s stern (back end) is turned through the wind, so the wind passes from one side of the stern to the other. The mainsail bangs across as the wind catches the other side of the sail. A ‘tack’ is when the bow is passed through the wind, so it is more gentle and controllable as the sails flap from 30 degrees either side of the wind, the boat slows until the sails fill with the wind on the other side. When it is really windy, a ‘gybe’ can be a very difficult and dangerous manoeuvre, and so sometimes a skipper will instead decide to round up and trying and tack instead – the problem being the sudden increase in apparent wind as he turns in to the wind requiring a reduction in sail, and then less speed to manouevre. Not easy out there!

When a boat sails with the wind it is very slow to sail directly with it – instead a raceboat will zig zag, doing the manouevre of a ‘gybe’, keeping the wind at 140 to 150 degrees true angle to the direction of travel. This way the boat will also create additional ‘apparent’ wind, and therefore the boat will go faster, and overall even though sailing further will make better speed towards the objective (known as VMG, Velocity Made Good). The ‘gybe’ itself, is the manoeuvre, often tricky and dangerous in high winds, of passing the sails from one side to the other as the wind pass through the stern from one quarter to the other. More on that one later!

To reach a point [land or waypoint at sea] that is directly in front of the yacht and where the wind is coming from, yachts must sail against 'headwinds'.

Health on board
It's not easy coming back from a week at sea without some knocks and bruises. It's no surprise to anybody: the sea is never still! And keeping one's balance on a boat thrown around by the waves is sometimes more akin to a bout of boxing. From a simple bruise to a fracture, knocks are frequent and the faster the boat, the more they are violent. It's a struggle against gravity, but also against the cold and damp. Wrapped up in a foul-weather suit, a sailor might be warm, but one sweats. And the rubbing of clothes on damp skin causes irritation, even boils. Another enemy is the lack of sleep. Whether single-handed or as a crew, the sailor rarely sleeps comfortably and for long enough. Even if they are used to this sort of out of phase rhythm, certain people can find it difficult recuperating, notably because of the stress, the cold and the noise. Then put on top of that an inadequate diet and it's seasickness guaranteedŠ Even for professional sailors!

History of multihulls
While the first multihulls were imagined by the Polynesians hundreds of years ago, the ancestor of current day multihulls dates from 1877. Designed by Nat Herreschoff, this revolutionary catamaran had a centreboard and a rudder on each of its hulls, and a central pod, and was capable already of reaching a speed of 18 knots. In 1947, Manu Kai, the first modern multihull, saw the light of day, and the 50s saw an explosion of dinghies and small beach cats in plastic. The trimaran, with its three hulls made a comeback in 1968 with Pen Duick IV. But multihulls didn't steal the scene until 1984, with Elf II and the start of the "carbon" era. Today, the no-limits race called simply The Race gave birth to a new era of giant multihulls of over 30 metres long capable of reaching incredible speeds (the record going to Innovation Explorer with 42.2 knots) and going round the world non-stop in 62 days (winner of the race: Club Med).

If you imagine running in the same direction and at the same speed as the wind, you would not feel any wind on you at all. The 'Apparent' Wind would be zero. If you are on a boat at that time, there would be no pressure on the sails and you would slow down. If at that time you headed left 30 degrees, you would start to feel apparent wind on you, and you would go faster. That is sailing a 'hotter angle', it's a choice between going where you want to go slowly, or heading up in to the wind and going faster!

IMOCA, the International Monohull Open 50/60 Class Association is one of the organisers of the EDS Atlantic Challenge. It gained official ISAF recognition as an international class in 1998, bringing together the best skippers in the world and is headed by Christophe Auguin. It was created with a view to increasing safety on the 60 foot Open monos during great ocean races like the Vendée Globe or the Around Alone. One of the main requirements is the self-righting capacity of the boats. The next ocean race for the class will be the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre after which the IMOCA World Champion will be named.

are the climbing apparatus to scale the 27 metre mast - classical mountain kit, they allow you to clamp a hand grip device on to a rope, pull up on it, then release it to slide it further up (or down) the rope. Critical support for the solo sailor when they are forced to scale the towering carbon fibre masts.

Boat speed is measured in knots. 1 knot = 1.1515 miles/hr exactly. 1 nautical mile = 1.151 land mile. 40 knots of wind = 46 miles per hour. Now If you have ever stuck your head out of the sun roof going along at 40 miles per hour - that's windy - do it when it's raining and you might get some idea of what its like for the skippers! (Not that we are advising this.)

are the lines that a rigged on either side of the mainsail, between the boom and a point about one third up the mast. They are adjustable, and are used to hold the boom up off the deck and coachroof when the sail is not fully powered up (in which case the shape of the sail essentially holds the boom up on its own). Last night Nick had the mainsail all the way down, and when the boat was rolled the force of the water on the boom and stacked mainsail will have easily been enough to break them. In fact the jammer that they are secured with ripped off the boom rather than the lines breaking themselves, so Nick was able to temporarily re-tension the lazyjacks and secure the line on the winch at the mast.

‘LIFT’ and ‘HEAD’
When a sailor says the wind is ‘lifting’ it means it is moving further behind him, when it ‘heads’ him, the wind comes from a direction closer to the bow. When you are sailing with the wind from right behind, ‘downwind’, then a wind that heads can be helpful, as the boat goes faster on the same heading as the apparent wind increases. Downwind, ‘a ‘lift’ is bad news therefore due to less apparent wind.
When you are sailing against the wind, ‘upwind’, a ‘header’ is bad news, forcing you to bear away and sail further from the course you want. And a ‘lift’ upwind is of course a bonus!

Lizard-Ushant Line
Dies ist die gedachte Linie zwischen Lizard Point in Südengland und dem Leuchtturm der Insel Ushant in der Bretagne. Sie bezeichnet die Start- und Ziellinie für Weltumsegelungen und andere Hochseerennen. Für Rekordfahrten wird wegen der Kontrolle durch den WSSR meist The Lizard als Zielpunkt angesteuert. Kartenskizze

Manoeuvring at sea, whether it's on a monohull or a multihull is similar: it's a question of hoisting and dropping sails, taking reefs (to reduce the surface of the mainsail), tacking (changing from having the wind on one side to the other - starboard-right or port-left - by turning through the wind), gybing (changing from having the wind from one side to the other by turning downwind), etcŠ The big difference is that the trimaran is more powerful and faster. So man¦uvres are more violent: "multihulls are more stable.

Meridians - On the globe, lines of constant longitude
extend from pole to pole, like the segment boundaries on a peeled orange. Every meridian must cross the equator. Since the equator is a circle, we can divide it--like any circle--into 360 degrees, and the longitude angle of a point is then the marked value of that division where its meridian meets the equator. What that value is depends of course on where we begin to count--on where zero longitude is. For historical reasons, the meridian passing the old Royal Astronomical Observatory in Greenwich, England, is the one chosen as zero longitude.

"Minis 6.50" Class
In the beginning, the "Mini" class was intended to encourage ocean racing on small low cost monohull yachts measuring 6.50 m (21,32 ft) long. Today, the Mini 6.50s are veritable scale models of 60 ft (18.28 m) Opens like Kingfisher. There are two types of Minis: the prototypes and production minis, from the famous "Muscadet" in 1963 and the "Coco" in 1984 both designed by Philippe Harlé, to the "Super Calin" designed this year by Jean-Pierre Magnan. To be recognised as a production Mini by the class, ten strictly identical examples of the boat must have been built. The main technical characteristics: A "Mini 6.50" is 6.50 m long, as its name suggests, has a draught of 2 metres, a mainsail of 32 m_, a solent jib of 11 m_ and a medium asymmetric spinnaker of 70 m_, among others.

Monohull to Trimaran
Apart from their length (60 ft or 18.28 metres), the trimaran Foncia-Kingfisher and the monohull Kingfisher don't have much in common. The former is almost as wide as she is long with 17.50 metres from one outrigger float to the other, whilst Kingfisher has a beam of only 5.40 metres. As for weight, it's quite surprising, even though the monohull is smaller than the multihull, she is heavier, weighing in at 8.5 tonnes compared with 5.5 tonnes for Foncia-Kingfisher. Why? Simply because of the ballast, or keel if you like, that the monohull needs to maintain its stability in the water. A stability that the multihull has naturally with her three hulls.

The world’s oceans are divided in to a number of regions that are monitored and controled in terms of maritime safety by different countries and co-ordination centres. In the time of a crisis, it is the MRCC that manages all the rescue actions and recieves the emergency position signals.

Navigation. Calculating one's position
Making a sailing boat go is one thing, but taking it to a precise point by following a chart is another. To know where one is going or where one is, and before the invention of electronic aids and the GPS (Global Positioning System) which with satellites enables one to obtain instantaneously and precisely a position in latitude and longitude, sailors determined where they were with the help of landmarks along the coast (lighthouses, windmills, belfries and towers, etcŠ), but also with the help of the sun and the stars when they were sailing offshore. That's what we call celestial navigation. For this they used a sextant, an instrument that enabled them to measure the height of a star from the horizon and calculate their position. Today, many skippers take a sextant with them, because if they have an electronics failure, it becomes an indispensable piece of equipment.

Navigation (cont'd). The heading and the course.
Once he knows his position on the chart, the sailor can determine what heading to follow to arrive at the desired point. For this he uses a protractor or chart plotter (there are various sorts, like the Cras, the Breton, the Portland or the square protractor). But the heading on the chart (true heading) is not quite the heading to follow because you must take into account leeway (or drift) and the currents. So the navigator does some variation calculations in function with the strength and direction of the currents to give the helmsman a "compass heading". From this, the crew can estimate the time needed to complete the course depending on the point of sailing and the speed of the boat, and also depending on the strength of the wind and the state of the sea, in other words, the weather.

PBO is a hi-tech fibrem
which can carry incredible loads of many tons, yet weighs virtually nothing. Traditionally racing yachts have used metal rod rigging to hold the masts in place and absorb the associated loads. Kevlar, Spectra, Vectran and PBO are all different materials that have been introduced in the past decade to reduce weight, improve reliability and make the boats go faster! PBO in particular is now also used in racing car applications in Formula 1 for the same reasons...

when the bow or bows of the boat are ploughed into the wave in front by the force of the wind - the bows dig in and the force of the boat being stopped in its tracks causes the boat to capsize stern over bow.

– what is alllowed in the rules? The boats may anchor or moor as close to land as they wish, but the skippers must not go ashore above the high water mark, and must receive no outside assistance, or physical contact with other people.

Port tack
- when wind is on the left side of the boat going upwind and mainsail is on right side of boat. Upwind sailing is position the boat as close as possible to the direction of the wind without pointing into the wind (because you’d stop...). To go in a direction against the wind, the boat must tack (between port and starboard) in a zig zag fashion.

Im EDS Atlantic Challange hat jede Teilstrecke die selbe Anzahl von Punkten. Das ist eine Verbindlichkeit für dir Sprints (wie zwischen St. Malo und Cuxhaven: 575 Meilen) - und für die Transatlantic:3430 Meilen zwischen Porthmouth (England) und Baltimore (USA). Nach jeder Teilstrecke werden die Punkte wie folgt verteilt: 15 Punkte für den Gewinner, 14 Punkte für den zweiten, 13 Punkte für den dritten Platz usw. Das ist nicht bei allen Veranstaltungen so: Einige Rennen laufen in Etappen - wie die Solitaire du Figaro. Der Sieg wird nach verstreichender Zeit gemessen - also, der Erste siegt und bekommt den Preis.

The mainsail (the large one supported by mast and boom) can be 'reefed' to 5 different configurations, each one smaller than the previous. To 'put the first reef in' means to lower the mainsail to the first reinforced line in the sail. At either end of the sail there are eyes and ropes that can be hauled in from the cockpit (using winch and pedestal) to 'reduce' the sail. When Ellen wants to increase sail again as the wind drops, she releases these lines and then must grind the sail up the mast again. Whilst the North 3DL sail onboard Kingfisher is ultra-light technology, it is still comparable to hauling up a large fridge - an exhausting exercise. To not reef when required as the wind changes, is to either risk damaging the boat or sail at less than 100%.

Renn Yachten
Diese Woche, bei "Lernen und Verstehen" ist den Fähigkeiten von Renn Booten gewidmet. Zum Beispiel: weiß du wirklich welche Bootstypen das EDS Atlantic Challenge segeln ? Das sind 60 Fuß (18,28m) Offene Klasse - gebaut in Carbonfiber um so leicht und schnell wie möglich zu sein

One race after another for Ellen MacArthur, but no two races are alike. Single-handed during the Vendée Globe, crewed on the Challenge Mondial Assistance and the EDS Atlantic Challenge, this yachtswoman sails every type of race. On the Vendée, she had to be helmsman, trimmer, tactician, cookŠ and if need be, mechanic. During the EDS, each member of the crew has his own role. There are 5 people on board (2 English guys and 3 Australians), which makes manoeuvring much easier and a much speedier affair altogether : helm, weather, mast step, sails, trimming the main, the foresailŠ And according to Ellen "we all get along perfectly well".

Obviously the bit that steers the boat, Open 60s have two of them – unusually for sailboats that normally have one. The reason is principally due to the very wide shape of these boats, when they are heeling, if there was only one central rudder it would come out of the water a considerable distance and so control would be lost. Secondly to help the autopilots, two rudders are used one on each side of the stern. When the boat is heeling the leeward rudder is completely in the water, and the windward rudder usually completely out – and reverses when you are the other tack. Therefore breaking one of these does not mean you have a second spare one, as you need both...some boats have kick up rudders which flip up under big loads, ie when they hit something, others have replacement rudders (usually only one due to the weight) on the boat – this is the case of Joe Seeten, but unfortunately he has already used his spare...fixing it is a complicated job, usually done in a composite workshop with time and materials on hand.

Most of the newest generation Open 60s have flip-up rudders. All Open 60s have two rudders (due to their width the windward rudder is often out of the water), and the modern ones have configured them such that if they have a high speed collision a fuse breaks, the rudder comes up out of the water rather than being destroyed by the impact. A broken rudder could be race-ending.

Schiffs - Technologie
Die Technologie an Bord der Rennyachten sind fortschrittlich. Auf der EDS Atlantic Challenge haben alle Scipper Instrumente an Bord die uns ihre Verfassung wissen lassen. Sie können ständig mit ihren Sponsoren kommunizieren, mit dem Land Team, der Presse, zusätzlich Videosequenzen, Fotos und Ton. Sie können Wetterkarten einsehen - sie haben Internetzubehör. Während des Vandee Globe - man erinnere sich - Ellen MacArthur hatte eine Webcam an Bord. Web- Gebrauch gab eine Idee vom Leben an Bord Kingfisher. Die Technik ist dafür gemacht, daß die ganze Welt dem Rennen lebensnah verfolgen kann.

Im Januar 2001, Bruno Peyron lancierte das erste unbegrenzte Rennen um die Welt. Aus diesem Anlaß bauten die Multiplast Werft in Vannes die Mehrrumpfschiffe CLUB MED. Innovation Explorer und Team Adventure. Gilles Ollier, Marine Architekt, träumte von diesen Riesen Katamaranen von 33,5 Metern (110 Fuß) lang mit 800 m_ (8611 fuß_) Der bekannte amerikanische Billionär Steve Fosset - mit seinem Katamaran PLAY STATION ist auch an diesem Abenteuer beteiligt: Dieser Mehrrunpfer war größer als drei andere (37,9m - 124 ft lang). Am Ende gewann CLUB MED die Veranstaltung - gesegelt vom Neuseeländer Grant Dalton und dem Franzosen Franck Proffit, und sie umrundeten den Globus in 62 Tagen 6 Stunden und 56 Minuten - bei einem Schnitt von mehr als 18 Knoten !! Letztes Jahr am 22. Juli, lancierte Olivier de Kersauson seinen Maxi-Trimaran. Dieser letzte Meeresriese - Maß :34 Metern (111,5 ft) Länge - ist eine brechende Maschine von Rekorden. de Kersauson will nicht weniger als 27 von ihnen angreifen.

Sicherheit an Bord eines 60 Fuß offenen Einrumpfers
Zunächst muß man einmal bedenken, daß die Fomel 1 der See. die 60 Fuß offene Klasse der Einrumpfer Höchstgeschwindigkeiten von 30 kn erreichen - mit andern Worten fast 56 km/h. Bei solchen Geschwindigkeiten ist kein Platz für Fehler. Sicherheit an Bord ist oberstes Gebot. Die Renn Bestimmungen sind da um die Sicherheitsbestimmungen zu definieren. Es ist wie bei ASIA. einer der Mannschaftsmitglieder von AlphaGraphics, als sie Anfangs der dritten Etappe außenbords fiel. Eine andere Anforderung : Eine Summe an Rechten an Bord: Jedes Boot muß einen vollen Bestand an Überlebensgeräten an Bord haben.. Und zu guter Letzt ein Element der Sicherheit, das man nie vergessen sollte, die Verständigung auf den Booten zwischen Scipper und Crew .

Southern Ocean: Weather
Without any land masses to hinder them, the weather of the South is driven by a series of low pressure systems that circle the bottom of the globe around Antartica. The winds and wave heights can build to severe storms, and are particularly unstable. The wind in the southern hemisphere rotates clockwise around the systems (the inverse of the northern hemisphere), so being on the northern side of them gives favourable downwind conditions as they travel east. However, the further south you go the shorter the distance you sail. Finding the compromise is the key decision to well as trying to stay with the same system for as long as possible - as you fall of the back of a depression, there can be period of light winds while you wait for the next to catch you up.

Speed through the water
Why are multihulls quicker than monohulls? The answer is simple. Not having a keel, they are lighter and have a much lower wetted area than monohulls. So they suffer from less drag in the water and therefore go faster. In addition, their three hulls give them form stability that allows them to increase their sail area. They are more powerful and capable of creating their own apparent wind for propelling themselves. In this way, the maximum speed of a 60 ft trimaran can reach 36 knots (67 kph) whilst that of a 60 ft monohull tops out at 28 knots (52 kph). "It's much tougher", said Ellen MacArthur after the start of the Challenge Mondial Assistance. "At the start we were going very fast, 26 knots!"

More wind doesn’t mean more speed...
Nick’s average speed overnight was not far from the outright 24 hour record average, and he didn’t have more than 30 knots of wind for most of it. In 40 to 50 knots of wind in a big storm, like the leaders have been seeing recently, they are not going any faster. These Open 60 boats are so powerful, they don’t need much wind to get them going at max speed, and in fact as the wind continues to increase the rough seas force the skippers to throttle bag to try and help the autopilots keep the boats on their feet and avoid the big wipeout. Large breaking waves are the really dangerous part. Trying to stay on deck and hand steer the boats is virtually impossible for anything other than a few minutes, as Nick in just 30 knots has described this morning...

With modern high performance sailing boats, the power to weight ratio is such that they are able to sail faster than the wind in many conditions – essentially they create so much apparent wind of their own (see previous Jargon Buster!), that they can easily attain speeds in excess of the true wind speed. Man has learnt a lot about how to harness the wind since the days of the Clipper Ships – which weren’t actually that slow though of course! Boats are becoming lighter and faster with each iteration of design and material advances.

No wind
The French have a word for it; "pétole", or "molle"Š in Anglo-Saxon circles one talks about "Harry Flatters". All these terms mean the same nightmare for the sailor: no wind, and a sea like a mill pond. Once the yacht is "parked" (the French say "Scotché" in tribute to the famous brand of sticky tape), such a whim of the weather leaves few options. One can always resort to the "iron topsail" (engine) or one can break out the paddles. But by a stroke of misfortune, if it happens during a race, the only option open is to be extremely patient and limit the damage as much as possible, like not going backwards for instance with the current. If the depth of water allows, one can allows anchor and wait for Aeolus (the wind god) to wake up. Contrary to popular belief, such a situation is not a good time to catch up on rest either; the noise of the sails beating back and forth and the creak of the boom swinging from side to side is generally most unpleasant and annoying. You can't drop your guard either because the slightest zephyr could enable the yacht to make precious headway and escape from her competitors. The crew must permanently trim and re-trim the sails ready to capture the slightest tremor of air.

Sailing jargon for no wind
The French have a word for it; "pétole", or "molle"Š in Anglo-Saxon circles one talks about "Harry Flatters". All these terms mean the same nightmare for the sailor: no wind, and a sea like a mill pond. Once the yacht is "parked" (the French say "Scotché" in tribute to the famous brand of sticky tape), such a whim of the weather leaves few options. One can always resort to the "iron topsail" (engine) or one can break out the paddles. But by a stroke of misfortune, if it happens during a race, the only option open is to be extremely patient and limit the damage as much as possible, like not going backwards for instance with the current. If the depth of water allows, one can allows anchor and wait for Aeolus (the wind god) to wake up. Contrary to popular belief, such a situation is not a good time to catch up on rest either; the noise of the sails beating back and forth and the creak of the boom swinging from side to side is generally most unpleasant and annoying. You can't drop your guard either because the slightest zephyr could enable the yacht to make precious headway and escape from her competitors. The crew must permanently trim and re-trim the sails ready to capture the slightest tremor of air.

In general, the starting line is laid perpendicular to the wind, so that the yachts start to windward. This ensures lower speeds, therefore greater interest in terms of strategy. Another important criterion is visibility and that the public should be able to understand what is going on. The starting point is usually in line with a landmark (for example a lighthouse). If this is not possible, a mark at sea is used: i.e. the race committee boat on one side and a buoy or another boat on the other side. Five to ten minutes before the starting gun a warning signal is displayed in the form of a flag. Then comes the preparatory signal (code flag 'P'). The boats start to head for the line in order to cross it at full speed. Finally comes the starting signal itself. All the preceding flags are lowered, and a gun is fired. They're off!

Beaufort Scale terms are often misused. The word ‘Storm’ and ‘Gale’ have actual definitions in terms of wind strengths in knots [nautical miles per hour]. Invented by Admiral Francis Beaufort in 1806, it was adopted by the Royal Navy from 1838 and remains largely unchanged ever since... BEAUFORT SCALE for the definitions!

Straße von Dover
Die Straße von Dover ist ein strategischer Punkt des Rennens. Sie trennt den Englischen Kanal von der Nordsee und England von Frankreich. Sie formt einen engen Flaschenhals von 30 km Breite den 250 Boote (Frachter, Tanker und Bulk Carriers...) jeden Tag passieren. Nicht mitgezählt - die 90 täglichen Fährüberquerungen. Man braucht nicht zu erwähnen, daß navigieren hier schwierig ist. Erst recht für die Boote des EDS Atlantic Challange. Die Schiffe der Marine folgen sehr präzisen Routen - genannt "LANES" - und sie weichen von diesen nicht ab. Für Yachten sind diese "Lanes" nicht bindend und sie sind frei in ihren Bewegungen. Aber beim Hin und Her zwischen den Frachtern verbleibt ein schwieriger und ermüdender Sport.

TACKING - a special art onboard the Open 60s
Tacking (turning the bow of the boat through the wind) these boats is something quite special in breeze like this weekend. A normal raceboat may tack through the wind in just seconds - but onboard KINGFISHER we must first swap the assymetric dagger boards over (these give the boat lift, since there is no keel to stop her going sideways once it is swung right up to windward). Then we must dump the keel to the minute (it is hydraulic), tack as normal, and bring the keel back up - pumps working hard for a few minutes. Then lift out the old dagger board. It requires a lot of co-ordination, and good timing on the tacks. But its fun! Especially when the competition are behind....

In ihrer Erdumlaufbahn üben Mond und Sonne große Kräfte von Anziehungskraft aus die Auswirkungen auf die Erde haben. Diese Anziehungskraft zwischen den Himmelskörpern provoziert das Phänomen der Tiden auf unserem Planeten. Im Punkt der größten Anziehungskraft der Erde sind die Tiden am höchsten und umgekehrt am niedrigsten. Zu der Energie der Anziehungskraft kommt die Zentrifugalkraft der Erde die sich um ihre eigene Achse dreht. Auf der anderen Seite findet man im Punkte der größten Anziehungskraft die höchste Zentrifugalkraft und somit hohe Tide. Die Distanz des Mondes zu uns ändert die Anziehungskraft; das ändert die Höhe der Tide (höchste Tiden nennt man Spring Tiden - und die niedrigsten Nipp Tiden ) Der Hafen von Saint Malo', wo die EDS Atlantic Challenge endet, ist die Differenz zwischen hoher und niedriger Tide - Tidenhub genannt - einer der größten in Europa: mehr als 12 Meter. Der Durchschnitt in der Welt beträgt 2 Meter.

Ein Tiefsee-Graben ist eine schmale Bodenspalte mit häufig sehr engen, steilen Wänden, die auf dem Meeresgrund zu finden ist. Diese Art von Unterwasser-Spalte kann bis zu 2000 Meter tief sein. Der Druck ist in der Regel sehr hoch, 600 mal stärker als der Druck beispielsweise auf dem trockenen Land. Trotzdem existieren in diesen Tiefen Lebewesen. Bakterien und weiter oben auch Weichtiere und Seewürmer sind dort zu finden. Diese Urformen des Lebens entwickeln sich und überleben auf Grund der Erdwärme, die dort unten das Wasser erwärmt. Tiefseespalten sind Verletzungen der Erdkruste, in die der Ozean ungehindert eindringen kann - bis in die Eingeweide unseres Planeten.

Trade Winds:
- two bands of steady winds either side of the equator. In the northern hemisphere they blow from the north east and in the southern hemisphere from the south east. SILL will certainly touch these winds soon, but ECOVER and KINGFISHER are following a fairly direct route and may not touch them for a few more days yet.


6. Québec / Saint-Malo
Diese Herausforderung entstand 1984 and war die einzige Transatlantik, die nach von Westen nach Osten gesegelt wurde. Noch etwas, was sie unterschied von den anderen, ist der erste Teil des Rennens ist den Saint-Laurent River hinunter. Wale, Baumstämme auf der Wasseroberfläche. Nicht die kapriziösen Strömungen auf diesem Wasserweg zu vergessen die das Rennen aufmischten. Der erste Rekord dieses Rennens hielt Loic Caradec auf Royale. Er segelte 2897 Meilen (5365km) in 8d 19h 57'. Das nächste Rennen - 1988 - (es wird alle 4 Jahre gesegelt), Serge Madec stellte diese Zeit ein: sein Katamaran Jet Services V gewann in 7d 21h 35' 44'' :Dieser Rekord stand bis 1996 als er von Loick Peyron (Fujicolor II) eingestellt wurde. Er hält diesen Rekord bis heute: 7d 20h 24' 43''. In der 2000 Ausgabe muß nur ein Rekord eingestellt werden. 4 Teilnehmer müssen mehr als 600 Meilen in nur 24 Stunden zurücklegen ....

5. La Route du Café
The Transat Jacques Vabre was created in 1993, along a route inspired from the coffee trade routes which go back to the XVIIIth century. The race starts out of Le Havre (Normandy), finishes in Carthagena (Colombia) and is held every two years. The first edition of the race was sailed single-handed. Paul Vatine raced to victory on his multihull Haute Normandie II in 16 days 00h 46'. The monohull benchmark time was set by Yves Parlier (Cacolac d'Aquitaine) in 18 days 23 h 38'. In 1995, the concept was fine-tuned. Objective : to become the longest of all transatlantic races. From then on, the race was sailed two-handed. The multihull record to be beaten is that of Laurent and Yvan Bourgnon (Primagaz) set in 97 : 14 days 07h 37' 48''. The best monohull time is that of Thomas Coville and Hervé Jan (Sodebo) in 1999, when they took 19 days 17h 31' 36''. These records will never be improved upon, as this year, the course has been changed. Whilst the boats will still set sail from Le Havre, they will be bound for Bahia (Brazil).
4. Die Route du Rhum
Nach dem die Yachten der English Transat 1976 auf 60 Fuß (18,28m) begrenzt waren, waren die Franzosen verärgert. Sie hatten drei der 5 Rennen und ihre Boote waren für einen neuen Standart nicht tauglich. 1978 entschieden sie sich eine neue Transat zu gestalten. In purem offenem Geist (keine Begrenzungen) entlang dem Kurs einer klassischen Handelsroute. So lief die Route du Rhum zwischen St. Malo (Brittany) und Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe, Französche West Indien). Eben nach ihrer Einführung bot sich ein legendäres Duell zwischen dem Französischen Scipper Michel Malinovski und dem Kanadier Mike Birch. Am Ende war es der Kanadier der auf seinem kleinen Trimaran Olympus in 23d 6h 59' 35'' - nur 98 Sek. vor Kriter V - dem Verdränger des Franzosen. Der Rekord wurde alle 4 Jahre verbessert. Zuletzt wurde er 1998 von Laurent Bourgnon's auf Primagaz in 12 d 8h 41' '' gebrochen.

3. Das Englische Transat:
Entgegen zum ältesten Atlantik Kurs, der Rekord zwischen New York und Lizard - der Englische Transatlantisch wird von Osten nach Westen gesegelt - zwischen Plymouth (UK) und Newport (USA). Heute wird das in Europa als 1 New Man Star (Einhand Transatlantik Rennen) . Es nennt sich so seit 1960. In dieser Zeit brauchte der Gewinner (Sir Francis Chichester mit Gypsy Moth III) 40d 12h 30' für dieses 2800 Meilen (5286km) Abenteuer. Seit dem wurde der Rekord viele Male gebrochen. Die letzten Aufzählungen im Jahr 2000: Der Franzose Francis Joyon setzte eine neue Richtlinienzeit von 9d 23h 54' 36'' auf seinem Trimaran Eure & Loire. In der Einzelrumpf Klasse datiert der Rekord 1992 von Yves Parlier mit Cacolac d'Aquitaine: 14d 16h. Die schnellste Frau ist immer noch Ellen MacArthur. In 2000, Kingfisher nahm diesen Kurs in 14 d 23h 11'. Der selbe Kursrekord - zweihändig - Laurent Bourgnon und Cam Lewis machten die schnellste Passage in 9d 8h 5' 20''

2. Cadiz / San Salvador
New York / The Lizard is not the only course of reference for setting transatlantic records. In 1984, Spain decided to create a race on the model of the route used by Christopher Columbus in 1492. At the time, it needed two months for Columbus's caravels to sail from Cadiz to the West Indies. The first edition of this Cadiz (Spain) / San Salvador (Bahamas) event set the initial record: 12 days for Philippe Poupon on Fleury Michon VII. Four years later, Serge Madec improved this time by nine hours on board Jet Services V. The holder of the New York / The Lizard record did it in 12 days 12h 30' 17". This time held until June 2000. Then Club Med skippered by Grant Dalton and Bruno Peyron "devoured" the 3884 miles (7193 km) of the course in 10 days 14h 53' 44", or 45 hours better than his predecessor.

1. New York - Lizard
75 Jahre - solange hielt Charlie Baar den Rekord der Atlantik Überquerung.1905 die Amerikaner an Bord der ATLANTIC - eine 56m (184ft) drei Mast Schoner - erreichten Lizard Point (UK) in 12d 4h 1 ' und 19 ''. Ein Rekord, der bis 1980 stand, als Eric Tabarly den selben Kurs in 10d 15h 14' 22'' auf seinem Trimaran PAUL RICARD schaffte. Dann folgten 10 Jahre Rekordwechsel mit sieben neuen Rekorden. Der letzte von Särge Made mit JET SERVICES - ein 22, 85m(75ft) Katamaran. ER überquerte den Atlantik in nur 6 Tagen 13h 3' 32 ''. Ein Rekord der zu schlagen ist ...... morgen: Der Cadiz / San Salvador Rekord.

Not only are there a load of sail combinations to choose from, once a sail is up there are a handful of small adjustments that can be made to the sail to optimise its performance. Via a number of control lines and cable tensions, the depth, fullness, shape, twist, flatness, angle to the wind can all be changed...each little change can have an important impact on the speed of the boat. And every tenth of a knot counts – 0.1 faster for 24 hours is 2.4 miles! In some conditions the skippers will be able to leave the trim set for several hours with the pilot steering to a wind angle, around this sail configuration. Other times will require constant trimming to keep the boat at maximum speed, even with the same sails set.

'Upwind' means the obvious...against the wind.
The next 4 to 5 days of the race are almost certainly to be on this point of sail. It means the boat is fighting the wind, the sails are in tight, the boat is heeling, the keel is canted to windward to try to keep the boat level, and all the gear and weight is stacked to windward to get that extra hundredth of knots of boatspeed.

From the Vendée Globe to the Challenge Mondial Assistance
The Vendée Globe and the Challenge Mondial Assistance are both non-stop ocean races, and yet they are quite different in every way. The first consists in sailing round the world starting from Les Sables d'Olonne (Vendée) and coming back to the same port. In all some 26,000 nautical miles (48,000 km) on a monohull (50 or 60 ft) and single-handed. In the Challenge Mondial Assistance, the course is much shorter (2,700 miles / 5,000 km) and starts from Cherbourg (France) to finish in Tarragona (Spain) via the Azores islands. And this one is raced on 60 ft trimarans with full crews. Two different types of races and two different types of sailing. The Vendée Globe requires above all good weather tactics and plenty of endurance. The Challenge Mondial Assistance needs good tactics and speed. So for a little over a week the crews of the multihulls will be at the maximum of their possibilities. But in both races, the objective is also to avoid breakages.

Verständigung mit der Außenwelt.
In der Mitte des Ozeans auf der EDS Atlantik Challenge sind die Seeleute nicht von der Außenwelt abgeschlossen. Das An Bord Equipment ermöglicht es ihnen mit denen an Land 24 Std. zu kommunizieren. Mit Inmarsat Telefon, Webcam, PC angelehnt zum Internet.... Hinzu kommt zur Sicherheit - die Beobachter können sich immer von den Geschehnissen an Bord überzeugen. Alle Mannschaften schreiben tägliche Berichte die im Internet publiziert werden. Weiterhin, die täglichen Chat Sessions, die denen an Land eine bessere Information über die Events an Bord ermöglicht. Ellen ist die Einzige auf Kingfisher die diese Chat Sessions macht : eine in französisch und eine in englisch.

Das Vorstag
Seit der EDS Atlantic Challenge, sind bei zwei Booten das Vorstag gebrochen: Fila, sie ist aus dem Rennen und Sill Plein Fruit die die Fahrt fortsetzte, nachdem sie etwas DIY an den Mastfuß getan haben. Dieses Drahtseil, daß vom Vorsteven zur vorderen Mastkopf geht, hält den Mast vorne. Wenn das Drahtseil bricht, ist die plötzliche Gefahr, daß der Mast runterbricht. Somit ist das Vorstag ein sehr wichtiger Bestandteil wenn das Boot schnelle Fahrt machen soll. Während des letzten Vendée Globe Challenge, hatte Ellen MacArthur sehr große Angst als Ihr Vorstag brach - ein paar Meilen vorm Ziel - nachdem sie 23.000 Meilen non stop gesegelt war. Das hat sie aber nicht daran gehindert, das Rennen zu beenden. Sie lief als Zweite in Les Sables d'Olonne ein.

‘Voyage for Madmen’
- check it out on Amazon, a book that must be read about the Golden Globe, the forerunner to the Vendée Globe, and the first solo ‘race’ around the planet.

2 Vendée races ago (8 years) most of the boats in the fleet used water ballast systems to give them their full righting moment - ie the power generated by having weight to hold the boat upright as the wind pushes her over (from which, via the aerodynamic effects of the sails, comes boat speed - in basic terms!). Nowadays all new Open 60s use swing keels instead - the equivalent of having 30 people sitting up the windward side of the boat to keep her level! Water ballast is still carried by the newer yachts, but primarily for trimming the bow down when going upwind, and keeping the bow up when going downwind – plus a central ballast for adding extra power (via weight) when reaching. Swing keels are quicker to operate (push button hydraulics rather than pumping water around the boat), but carry a small disadvantage of generally being heavier boats, because unlike ballast boats, you can't empty the water/weight out when its light airs and you don’t need it...

non-stop, solo, around the world...but a few marks to respect on the course, designed to keep the boats further north and minimise (impossible to eradicate) the risks of icebergs. The next waypoint for Nick is Heard Island, at 53 South, 72 East, which Nick must leave to to starboard, ie on his right hand side. After that, there are two more waypoints to the south west and south east of Australia.

The weather maps show the isobars of atmospheric pressure, a (D) represents a Depression (low pressure system), and an (A) an Anticyclone (high pressure system). The small fleches indicate the wind strength and direction. The wind direction is from the end of the line with the fleche to the other end of the small line. The wind strength is 10 knots per full fleche (a half fleche therefore being 5 knots). The weather 'fronts' are indicated - blue for cold front, red for 'warm' front and purple for 'occluded' (when cold front has caught up and merged with warm front). In the southern hemisphere, the wind rotates in a clockwise direction around the Anticyclones, and anti-clockwise around the Depressions. The reverse of what happens in the northern hemisphere.
the plan for a number of the boats was to communicate semi-real time data back for the public to follow their race...hourly position, speeds, and weather data. The race organisation made a new ruling just a couple of days before the start that meant we were only allowed to send the weather element back...which we are doing. How does it work? The data is collected by the onboard B&G instrument system, recorded on Deckman software (5 minute averages) running on a Sony VAIO, and then transmitted back to land via a small satellite unit called a Thrane & Thrane MiniC. The data is then fed automatically in to the Active24 hosted website...

Wettervorhersage und IT an Bord
Bei allen Ozean Rennen - wie das EDS Atlantic Challenge wurde die Informations Technologie (IT) zu einem wichtigen, taktischen Werkzeug für optimale Navigation. Der Navigator rüstet den Computer mit Wetterbehandlungsdaten für größere, schnellere und mehr Erfolg für die Analyse. Ein Software Paket wie "Maxsea", errechnet die Wettrervorhersage aus dem download vom Internet - und die Geschwindigkeit oder die Position des Bootes. Auf diesem Wege kann die Route und Position auch visuell auf der Seekarte erkannt werden. Der Navigator hat die Möglichkeit seine Route auszuwählen und seine Strategie zu planen. Diese "routing" software ist lediglich eine Hilfestellung für letzte Entscheidungen, weil die kürzeste Route - berechnet vom Computer - nicht zwangsläufig die schnellste ist..... Jeder Teilnehmer muß Vorhersagen und Trends voraussehen, was der Computer nicht kann.

Weather in the Southern Ocean
Without any land masses to hinder them, the weather of the South is driven by a series of low pressure systems that circle the bottom of the globe around Antartica. The winds and wave heights can build to severe storms, and are particularly unstable. The wind in the southern hemisphere rotates clockwise around the systems (the inverse of the northern hemisphere), so being on the northern side of them gives favourable downwind conditions as they travel east. However, the further south you go the shorter the distance you sail. Finding the compromise is the key decision to well as trying to stay with the same system for as long as possible - as you fall of the back of a depression, there can be period of light winds while you wait for the next to catch you up.

Wind instruments are particularly important on a yacht like KINGFISHER2. The sails are trimmed to an angle of attack to match where the wind is coming from relative to the heading of the yacht. However, because the 'apparent' wind (which depends on how fast you are going as this brings the apparent wind forward - imagine running at 50km/h, the wind is in your face) is what matters in this respect rather than the 'true' wind, on a multihull that is always travelling very fast compared with the true wind speed the apparent wind changes very very quickly. On a dark night, at speed, the B&G instruments can often be on the only thing the helmsmen can see - and with his instincts and 'feel', the only way he can keep the boat launching in a fast but safe direction as he weaves the boat through the seaway. In such conditions with spray constantly blinding the helmsman, to lose the instruments would be like blinding a Formula 1 driver half way around the track...

modern autopilots, like the B&G ones on SKANDIA and many of the Vendée boats, can operate in three modes. COMPASS, APPARENT WIND, and TRUE WIND.That means the skipper sets the brains of the autopilot to steer to a fixed heading, a fixed 'apparent angle' to the wind, or a fixed 'true angle' to the wind. In wind mode, the boat will keep the heading at the same relative angle to the wind, hence the sails should stay filled properly and the boat at close to maximum speed EVEN if the wind changes direction. The downside if you are asleep is that if the wind changes direction a lot, the boat will carry on sailing very happily, but potentially in totally the wrong direction!

Solo sailors spend most of the time with their boats on autopilots. These pilots are very sophisticated, taking inputs from gyro compasses and wind instruments at the top of the mast, making very fast calculations to try and respond to the changes in wind and waves and keep the 60 foot boats underneath their sails and the boats heading in the right direction! Its a hell of technical challenge with the boats surfing faster than the wind, down towering waves that can throw the boat on its side very quickly. The pilot is the skippers’ best friend, or worst enemy if its not working...Whilst the pilots can steer to a compass heading, these boats accelerate so easily, therefore creating a rapidly changing wind angle, that the boats cannot be pushed very hard using this basic mode. Instead they are set to steer to a constant true wind angle. The key input therefore is that of wind angle and wind speed. The ‘wands’ are the carbon fibre mini-masts that are fixed right at the top of the mast, with wind vane and anenometer fixed to them.

The World Sailing Speed Record Council
ist die Institution, welche offiziell Geschwindigkeitsrekorde im Segelsport anerkennt und auflistet. Die Entscheidung, ob man als Zielpunkt The Lizard oder Ushant ansteuert, hängt auch von der Anwesenheit eines Kontrolleurs der WSSCR ab.



Copyright by  Dirk Hansen

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