Race report 3: Lead change and ship blogs

12 October 2013

Race report 3: Lead change and ship blogs
After leading the fleet for most of the way since leaving Sydney on Thursday (10 October), Tecla (Netherlands) has slipped to second place on corrected time (handicap) as Bark Europa (Netherlands) has taken the lead. 

Bark Europa is also out in front on the water with 695 miles to go to the finish line. Less than five miles behind her, and coming up fast, is Spirit of New Zealand (New Zealand), with Tecla a couple of miles behind her.
Paul Bishop, Race Director, Sail Training International said, “The racing remains very tight and the strong northerly wind that the fleet is now experiencing is benefiting the larger vessels, particularly those who have chosen a more northerly route.  The near gale force is due to back to the south west later today as the weather front clears the fleet to the east. Spirit of New Zealand is showing strong form now and is sailing the fastest at an average of 10 knots, so she could take the lead on the water soon. The focus will soon be on which Tall Ship will be the first to round Cape Reinga, the first waypoint in the race."
The top three placings on Corrected Times (handicap) are:
1st Europa
2nd Tecla
3rd Oosterschelde
Mick Millis, Sail Training International’s Communications Officer aboard Young Endeavour (Australia) reported, “We currently have a northerly wind of 35 knots which has been gusting up to 40 knots. The occasional sea is coming across the decks, but I can't believe how perky this crew is - working, singing and full of fun. Roast dinner on menu.”

Crew log from Bark Europa (Netherlands)

Saturday 12 October 2013

The sun is shining in the Tasman Sea as we sail along at about 7kts with 23 sails set. We are currently in the midst of the Sydney to Auckland Tall Ships Regatta, however that doesn¹t stop the endless list of maintenance that's needed to keep this beautiful ship sailing. The current project underway, which has pretty much been taken over by a group of the voyage crew, under the supervision of the Chippie and Bosun, is the replacement of one of the backstays.

So we have taken over the sloop deck so we can stretch the new cable out in order for us to parcel and serve it. This process starts off with what is known as worming, where we take a thin bit of line and weave it round and round the wire stay so that it sits inside the groves between the individual strands of the wire, for which there are six for this wire. It was decided by the voyage crew to remove one of our fellow members from assisting in this job because he kept getting his bundle of line knotted up, which we have to untangle for him!

Once the wire has been wormed, the grease monkey comes along with his tube of grease to smear all over the wire, this helps the parcelling team who are following behind him, covering the wire with strips of old
bed sheets. The grease helps bond the parcel to the wire. As it is quite a long stay, we are having to do it in sections. Over the next few days, once all the parcelling has finished, we will then be able to cover the
stay with tar, then serve it - which is winding black line overtop of the tarred parcel, which will protect the stay for many years to come.

We voyage crew are having a good time with this project so far, with lots of banter going on, and also minimal help from the deckhands.

Captains logs from Picton Castle (Canada) 
Friday 11 October 2013

We sailed from Newcastle, just 60 miles up the coast, for Sydney to join in with a large Naval Review celebrating the founding of Australia’s Navy 100 years ago. Picton Castle and 15 other sailing ships boarded excellent pilots and steamed in the long winding channel under power in freezing cold rain to dock at various wharves in and around the National Maritime Museum – who knew it was so cold ‘down under’? 

For eight days we were tied up near all sorts of malls and shops as well as a few ships. The city is so big I think our ships got lost in the view. But no matter. We also signed aboard a  good number of new trainee crew who were keen to join us for the Tall Ships Regatta we were part of, sailing across the Tasman Sea towards Auckland, New Zealand a thousand miles away. 

In a hot fresh NW breeze all the ships made their way out of the harbour towards Sydney Heads, made sail and started across the starting line in fair winds and lumpy seas. The magnificent restored 1874 650 ton iron Barque James Craig and the excellent replica of Cook’s Endeavour escorted us out to sea. Now we are on our way. 

We had sharp wind shifts and strong winds and we can expect more of this as we cross this sea. Much bracing and sail handling. Our gang had four days of drilling and practice at the dock but it all pales when compared to actually getting to sea. Now, out here is where we can really learn to steer and handle sail and learn the ways of a ship. And we caught a fish…

Saturday 12 October 2013 

Sailing east across the Tasman Sea about 2020 miles from Sydney – with fresh northerlies at 20-25 knots and with the expectation of seeing 30 knots soon we are snugged down to upper topsails and courses and doing fine. 

A crystal clear night with a small high moon. The gang getting a workout in a ship ittle different from any number of small trading barks which sailed between Australia and New Zealand to days gone by. But they are getting it and the older crew are seeing how much they have learned.  Pretty salty some of them now ....

Follow the fleet
For live tracking follow the fleet here.

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

Photo: Picton Castle

- ends -

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.

A two-minute film can be seen here.

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.

Have you registered for this year’s International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference?

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