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Solo round the world


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Anyone else been following her blog? I was one that didn't think she should go (despite me knowing jack about sailing) but she is proving to be well and truly up to the challenge. Check out this post from the other day, quite amazing.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Wind, Waves, Action and Drama!


My quite sunny conditions ended with a bit of a bang, Ella's Pink Lady and I have been having a very interesting time out here. The wind had been expected to rise to a near gale, but none of the computers or forecasts picked that it would reach the 65knots that I recorded, before losing the wind instruments in a knockdown!


That much wind means some very big and nasty waves. To give you an idea of the conditions, they were similar to and possibly worse than those of the terrible 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race. We experienced a total of 4 knockdowns, the second was the most severe with the mast being pushed 180 degrees in to the water. Actually pushed isn't the right word, it would be more accurate to say that Ella's Pink Lady was picked up, thrown down a wave, then forced under a mountain of breaking water and violently turned upside down.


With everything battened down and conditions far too dangerous to be on deck, there wasn't anything I could do but belt myself in and hold on. Under just the tiny storm jib, the big electric autopilot did an amazing job of holding us on course downwind, possibly or possibly not helped by my yells of encouragement! It was only the big rogue waves that hit at us at an angle (side on) that proved dangerous and caused the knockdowns.


The solid frame of the targa (the frame that supports the solar panels) is bent out of shape and warped (see pic below), which provides a pretty good idea of the force of the waves. Solid inch thick stainless steel tube doesn't exactly just bend in the breeze, so I think you could say that Ella's Pink Lady has proven herself to be a very tough little boat!


With my whole body clenched up holding on, various objects flying around the cabin and Ella's Pink Lady complaining loudly under the strain, it was impossible to know what damage there was on deck. It was a little hard at times to maintain my positive and rational thoughts policy, but overall I think I can say that the skipper held up us well as Ella's Pink Lady. It was certainly one of those times when you start questioning exactly why you're doing this, but at no point could I not answer my own question with a long list of reasons why the tough times like that aren't totally worth it!


So in the middle of all the drama, back at home Mum received just about the worst phone call possible from the Australian Rescue Coordination Center (RCC), telling her that one of my EPIRBs (emergency signaling devices) had been activated. One of the knockdowns had caused the automatic EPIRB mounted under the dodger to turn on without me knowing. Luckily I called in only a few minutes later before anyone could really start to panic. I was pretty annoyed at the stupid thing for going off and giving everyone such a scare!


We didn't come though completely un-scathed though, as there's plenty of minor damage, but luckily nothing bad enough to stop us. Actually I think it's a huge credit to our rigger David Lambourne, that the that mast is still standing and appears in perfect working condition. So other than the wonky looking targa, the starboard solar panel is all bent up and the windvane is now sitting on a bit of an angle, but amazingly and very luckily, it still works fine (go Parker!). There are also a few tears in the mainsail and one of the stanchions is bent in.


Down below, the cabin was a totally disaster zone, everything is wet or damp. The dunny (toilet) which fell apart, was in pieces spread from one end of the boat to the other, along with other equipment. The meth stove wont light, but will hopefully fire up when it dries out a little more.


After clearing up the worst of it and despite finally managing some good sleep, I still feel like a giant marshmallow. Physically, my arms and legs are all heavy and pathetic and of course I have a lovely collection of bruises! Mentally, I feel like I've aged a good 10 years, but I'm back to normal now and in good spirits as we approach the half way mark.


When the wind had finally calmed down, I was treated to a pretty incredible sunset and as I was clearing things up on deck, a couple of dolphins stopped by just as if they were checking that we were all OK.


I owe a huge thanks to Bruce, who was completely perfect, saying just the right things on the phone every time I called in and also to Bob who stayed up through the night to keep me updated on when the wind could be expected to ease.


I could go on forever, but better finish up as this has turned into a total novel and there's plenty still to do!



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Pity the poor guy that's one day wanting to marry her.

Tame her? Ha! All the Oceans of the world have failed to tame this little pocket dynamo - what chance would a guy have?


Seriously: I too had misgivings about her parents' sanity, permitting what one could only describe as a suicide mission. I definitely wouldn't want my granddaughter try such an adventure. But then again, look at the way we cotton-wool our kids with bike helmets, fenced-in pools, safety rails around trampolins ... where else can they meet Nature and pit their wits against the elements? Being bruised and feeling like a marshmallow will pass, but the memory of those pains AND the subsequent glorious sunset will remain with her for life and give her strength to cope with future adversities far better than her mollycoddled contemporaries.


Onya Jesse - you've come this far, now make sure you keep beating the odds and get back home safely.

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I'm with you guys - was very "anti" letting her go.


Then I remembered that I left home at 16, joined the Brit Army at 16 and a half (boy soldier recruit) and was fighting for Queen and country by 18. Literally - at the pointy end!


My other negativity centres around the fact that she is "sort of" solo, but not really. Yes, she is on her own, but she has all the high tech assistance that modern science can give her (perhaps too reliant on this - be interesting to see how good her celestial navigation would be if the batteries failed). She also is in constant contact with family, friends, and tech support (like her weather guy).


So the loneliness factor is greatly reduced. Previous round the world sailors have mostly been REALLY solo. I wonder how she'd cope with true loneliness? She even had her parents fly over the boat...!


All that aside, she appears to be doing a good job of it, and I sure hope that she doesn't run into any serious trouble. She still has some treacherous waters to sail, not least being those in range of the pirates.


My other main reservation is that this is simply provoking more copycat efforts - one Californian girl has already set out to try and beat Jess's record before it's even been set. I wonder where it will stop - a 10-year old making the attempt in a dinghy?

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G'day NS


I pretty much share your thoughts on the matter. Having read a couple of versions of Joshua Slocum's "first" solo voyage , I can only say that in my opinion Jessica is really not " on her own". She can get technical help and has communication at all times ...... two very important factors.


That said, she does have to deal with whatever the ocean serves up, and has done so brilliantly. I do hope she makes it all the way round and enjoys life thereafter.




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Good luck to her in the attempt.

My only concern is that there is a record for 'youngest to sail around the world'.

Where will it end?

A re-wording to something like 'fastest around by an u/18' might stop them getting younger and younger.

But then they'd be taking risks pushing for speed I guess.


Jesse Martin nearly missed out on being youngest to do a lap because he was so slow.

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  • 1 month later...

Think she's flying?


Check out:

Data: http://cammas-groupama.geovoile.com/julesverne/positions.asp?lg=en


Map: http://cammas-groupama.geovoile.com/julesverne/index.asp?lg=en (click on vids)




Current position as of March 2, 2010 (22:00:00 UTC):


Ahead/behind record: +229.1 nm


Speed (avg) over past 24 hours: 25.9 knots


Distance over past 24 hours: 621.6 nm


Distance to go: 8,118 nm





* After their start on January 31, 2010, Franck Cammas and his nine crew on


Groupama 3 must cross finish line off Ushant, France before March 23rd


(06:14:57 UTC) to establish a new time for the Jules Verne Trophy (21,760


nm) for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with


no restrictions. Current record holder is Bruno Peyron and crew, who in 2005


sailed Orange 2 to a time of 50 days, 16 hours, and 20 minutes at an average


of 17.89 knots.

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Not to take anything away from Miss Watson but this may as well go here..




The Jules Verne Trophy now belongs to skipper Franck Cammas (FRA) and his


nine crew who have sailed around the globe in 48 days, 07 hours, 44 minutes


(average speed of 18.76 knots), beating the reference time set by Bruno


Peyron and his crew on Orange 2 in 2005 by 2 days, 08 hours, 35 minutes.


Franck Cammas and his men crossed the finish line off the CrÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚©ac'h lighthouse


at Ushant (FinistÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€Â ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¨re, France) at 21h40'45" UTC Saturday 20th March.



The Jules Verne Trophy represents the fastest circumnavigation of the world


under sail via the three capes by any type of yacht with no restrictions.


Achieving this goal was Cammas, navigator Stan Honey, watch leaders Fred Le


Peutrec and Steve Ravussin, helmsmen/trimmers Loic Le Mignon, Thomas Coville


and Lionel Lemonchois, and the three bowmen Bruno Jeanjean, Ronan Le Goff


and Jacques Caraes, supported on shore by router Sylvain Mondon.



In setting a new reference time, Groupama 3 certainly had her highs and


lows. The 103-foot trimaran had a deficit of just over 500 miles in relation


to Orange 2 and was only able to beat the Jules Verne Trophy record thanks


to a dazzling final sprint from the equator. At that stage they had a


deficit of one day and two hours, but by devouring the North Atlantic in 6


days 10 h 35', Groupama 3 quite simply pulverised the reference time over


this section of the course.



Setting out on 31st January 2010 whilst the weather `window' was not


particularly favourable, the teamÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s routing led them to sail 28,523 miles,


whilst the official optimum course amounts to 21,760 miles. As such, in


terms of actual speed across the ground, their average speed was 24.6 knots!


The trickiest zone, both on the outward journey and the return proved to be


the South Atlantic. During the descent problems arose due to the calms and


on the ascent due to the headwinds. -- Full story:





* Previous record holder was Bruno Peyron and crew, who in 2005 sailed


Orange 2 to a time of 50 days, 16 hours, and 20 minutes at an average of


17.89 knots.



* A recap of the highs and lows of the record: http://tinyurl.com/yjh4mft



=> CurmudgeonÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s Comment: I must commend FranckÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s media team for providing


great commentary and video all the route. However, perhaps the most valuable


tool they provide is the map - the dynamic cartography module that provided


Groupama 3's position, the weather forecasts, the day/ night zones, all the


data from the trimaran, etc. Even now, with the route completed, you can


click on the player and follow along the route of both Groupama 3 and Orange


2. Link: http://cammas-groupama.geovoile.com/julesverne/index.asp?lg=en



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to be fair this thread is, and just should be, for a great, courageous young Australian girl.....





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