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Old 09-05-2010, 20:27   #196
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I'm curious about the financial implications.

I wonder how many sponsors had prepared new marketing campaigns celebrating a successful record setting attempt.
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Old 09-05-2010, 21:08   #197
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I wonder how many sponsors had prepared new marketing campaigns celebrating a successful record setting attempt.
If you're referring to Abby, I think it would have been rather rash for sponsors to be counting their chickens at this stage in her voyage anyway. If you mean Jess, then she will certainly (if she makes it through the shipping lanes unscathed...) set the record for being the youngest solo non-stop etc etc., it's just that it won't technically replace Jesse Martin's record because they didn't do quite the same type of circumnavigation.

But even the WSSRC's records contain one-off anomalous records, e.g. Sir Francis Chichester: "First one stop, singlehanded circumnavigation". Why have a "one-stop" record? Probably just so that Knox-Johnson didn't erase the legendary Chichester from the record book, given that the "stopping" record had already been taken by Slocum in 1898. So maybe having "youngest by WSSRC rules" and "youngest with distance measured by GPS instead of Great Circles" isn't such a big deal after all.
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Old 10-05-2010, 23:17   #198
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Well stated...and for me a MAJOR Jessica supporter a major let down..
As someone else who was initially also a major Jessica supporter, months before she set out, I became disillusioned when it became clear that it was not really Jessica we were watching but a very carefully staged PR event.

There is a very balanced writeup at Jessica sails into a row, but who's setting her course? which spells out the point I've been trying to get across for quite a while now. What Jessica is doing is outstanding and she deserves huge recognition for it. Her handlers are the ones who should be scrutinized and made to answer the questions, not the 16 year-old hero who has almost equaled Jesse Martin's feat.

Theoretically, I think Abby has the time and equipment needed to actually break Jesse Martin's record. As a practical matter I don't think she has the needed desire. Her slow progress and always seeing her under reefed main makes me think she is (justifiably) intimidated by her boat.

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Old 11-05-2010, 00:39   #199
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Theoretically, I think Abby has the time and equipment needed to actually break Jesse Martin's record. As a practical matter I don't think she has the needed desire. Her slow progress and always seeing her under reefed main makes me think she is (justifiably) intimidated by her boat.
I don't feel Abby's as well prepared or equipped as Jessica, as evidenced by the various shortcomings and breakdowns. Apart from her autopilot woes, her wind generators also broke. If you look at the info on turbines here you'll spot that Jessica has the "reliable" turbine and Abby the "only good for yachts that sit in marinas" one. Then of course there's the boat itself, which as you say may simply be too much for her. Jessica went for a smaller boat that she could confidently handle. It may be that Abby is bigger and stronger than Jessica, it's hard to tell from her photos, but certainly it doesn't seem to have enabled her to go any faster overall. In the end I think she's going to be best advised to keep going on the basis of a stopping/assisted voyage, as Mike Perham did. (And like him, she may yet find herself in need of further repairs before she's done — she could always stop off at Hobart too if so!)
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Old 11-05-2010, 00:46   #200
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Abby Reply

The mods will, no doubt, be annoyed at your post, but the fact remains, a comparison between the two is legitimate correspondence.

And you are right. Abby's attempt appears to have been poorly contemplated, whereas Jessica's was not. End of story.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:59   #201
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I don't feel Abby's as well prepared or equipped as Jessica, as evidenced by the various shortcomings and breakdowns. Apart from her autopilot woes, her wind generators also broke.
Do you have a pointer to her wind generator breakdown ? I've actually managed to go cruising enough to have missed some stories and I was not aware of that problem. The early lack of charging capacity seems like an incredible mistake in the energy budget department.

In general I do agree with you, Abby is nowhere near as well supported by corporate sponsors and her effort was rushed out of the gate.



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Old 11-05-2010, 10:21   #202
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I'm not going to chime in on much of this, but I too was surprised by Abby's relatively slow progress. I don't know enough to attribute it to conservative sailing, and Abby complained multiple times about lack of wind. So maybe she's going significantly faster than a more conventional boat under the conditions she has encountered. However, if the high tech boat with its complex steering and high electrical demand isn't giving you a speed advantage, maybe it wasn't such a good choice to begin with. I imagine the thinking was that a proven race boat would need less extensive refit than a conventional design. But the effort has now been stalled mid voyage twice because of the unusual requirements of this boat.
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:32   #203
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I see a lot of references to Abbys lack of speed,anyone know the miles covered and time taken thus far?
Steve.
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:41   #204
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I can't answer your question, clockword orange, but I think it's worth keeping in mind that she was having real issues with the autopilot. That could have affected her state-of-mind severely, and seriously disrupted her sleeping pattern. If she was stressing over the loss of one autopilot and the problems she was having with the back-up, had her sleep disrupted, perhaps had not been eating well and had uncooperative winds, it wouldn't be surprising that her performance deteriorated.

Once the necessary repairs are effected and she sets sail once again, I think we'll have a clearer understanding of the performance she's able to get from Wild Eyes. She was kicking butt when she was south of the ITCZ en route for Cape Horn, so when things are working well, she's proven herself fully capable of handling the vessel, IMO.
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Old 11-05-2010, 20:03   #205
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I see a lot of references to Abbys lack of speed,anyone know the miles covered and time taken thus far?
That's a really good question. Like Tao I don't have an answer yet but I'm trying to find her track on Google Earth to measure it there. I was basing my perception on seeing her always reefed even when there didn't seem to be any whitecaps.

What I wonder is if it would be practical for her to go for the real Jesse record, starting from Capetown to Capetown, going far enough north (in the Pacific or Atlantic) to make it a legit record attempt. Timing the rounding of the Horn, figuring out how fast she might be able to do the passages, and how much time she has before she hits Jesse's age would all figure in.

If Abby doesn't do it we'll probably see someone else (male or female) will take Jesse's record as I'm sure interest has been stoked by the 3 (4) recent attempts. I'm envious of those who get to try



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Old 11-05-2010, 21:14   #206
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Do you have a pointer to her wind generator breakdown ?
See this comment by a Team Abby member (Scott), who elaborates on the problems in reponse to people who were urging Abby to keep going after she managed to resussitate her autopilot for a while in her 27th April entry:
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There is more to it than just the Auto Pilots. Both Wind Generators have also failed so without the Wind Generators there is no way she can make it non stop there is just not enough solar power and fuel to create the power needed to run the auto pilots on board.
Re her speed, if you check the where's Abby? page of her website, there is day by day google map spreadsheet data, and also estimated times amd actual completion dates for each leg of the journey (Cape Town date not shown but was completed 5th May: 5 weeks compared to estimate of 3 weeks; Jessica took about 6 weeks, including her mega storm and a big detour north). ISTM that Abby estimated she would be 1/3 faster than Jessica for the voyage (5.5 v. 8 months were their respective estimates) but has ended up about the same speed overall for the journey to date.

Using her mileage numbers for each step I make her average speed to be about 110 miles* a day excluding her Mexico stopover (*she lists 10200 miles to Cape Town,
but doesn't say whether she's using nm or normal miles though.)
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Old 11-05-2010, 23:49   #207
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See this comment by a Team Abby member (Scott), who elaborates on the problems in reponse to people who were urging Abby to keep going after she managed to resussitate her autopilot for a while in her 27th April entry
Wow, hadn't seen that hidden away in the blog comments. I'm surprised this wasn't posted more prominently as it makes clear what strain she's probably been under.

I think she was using Air-X generators ?

I did a quick calculation based just on point-to-point distances and came up with 145 NM/day equator to the Horn and 91 NM/day from the Horn to Capetown. Those were really rough calculations and did not take into account detours but seem to agree with what you found. I would have expected 200 NM/day speeds when there is favorable wind, but that's track speed, not point to point.



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Old 12-05-2010, 12:46   #208
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I don't feel Abby's as well prepared or equipped as Jessica, as evidenced by the various shortcomings and breakdowns. Apart from her autopilot woes, her wind generators also broke. If you look at the info on turbines here you'll spot that Jessica has the "reliable" turbine and Abby the "only good for yachts that sit in marinas" one.

...

It may be that Abby is bigger and stronger than Jessica, it's hard to tell from her photos, but certainly it doesn't seem to have enabled her to go any faster overall.
...
Jessica's only fitted wind generator has also broken down, but she replaced it with a spare she had. (on April 21)

I have my calculations.

Jessica went, if you calculate from Kiritimati to near Cape of Good Hope, 9563 nm (along a calculated route with a few waypoints, not sailed distance) in 94 days, 101 nm per day on average, but slower later, at least after Cape Leeuwin.

Abby went, from Cabo San Lucas to Cape Town, 9545 nm (a calculated route with a few waypoints, not sailed distance), in 88 days, an average of 108 nm per day. So Abby went faster but not so much. She had a few routing mistakes where she had to change course a lot.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:51   #209
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I'm not so sure those could be called "routing mistakes," as they may have been necessary to cope with the weather she was experiencing, or that which she would be sailing into for her Cape Horn passage.

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Old 12-05-2010, 13:23   #210
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... I have my calculations.
Jessica went ... 9563 nm ... 101 nm per day...
Abby went ... 9545 nm ... 108 nm per day...
Thanks.
Interesting how well that correlates with the traditional cruisers’ estimate of about 100 nm/day average expectation over longer passages.
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