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Old 31-10-2009, 20:10   #31
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But, then, what do I know?
I’m just an over-the-hill CLOD poseur, living out what's left of my bitter life through my keyboard.

Gord, you are way to funny.
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Old 10-11-2009, 22:03   #32
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My question is... what kind of previous sailing experience do these young sailors have? I know they have grown up on the water all their lives (I have done the same) and theyve known how to sail since they were young (Same goes for me), but what real experience do they have sailing a 30-40 foot vessel singlehandedly? Have they raced before? I've read about how the family has chartered boats here and there for a family vacation, but what sailing family hasn't done that at some point? I'm not trying to doubt any ability these young sailors have, I'm just trying to get a better understanding for their sailing background.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:14   #33
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Great thread, raising issues that need to be out there. Don't forget Mike Perham was followed by his dad across the Atlantic, but they could not raise the (1 Million) finance to allow the dad to also fulfil his dream and follow his son around the world. So Mike went alone, on a four month voyage (his projection) that took the bones of a year. His grandad told his dad "You'll never sail alone around the world", so there may be a certain amount of "living his dreams through his kid" at play here. Mike Perham's emotional state in the Southern Ocean (at least from his TV documentary) seemed fragile at times, and the boat needed so many running repairs that he missed the Cape Horn window and sensibly changed course to the Panama. As sailors our primary concern throughout is safety - it's always in your mind when choosing a boat, picking gear, passage planning, navigating, etc . . we do everything with safety paramount. Personal opinion . . .solo circumnavigating should at least require Ocean Yachtmaster certification, i.e., mileage, experience, sextant ability etc. . Other than that, and especially for youngsters with their whole lives ahead of them, no passage without full support backup. A diver has a buddy, a climber, a cross channel swimmer, even a guy chatting up a girl has a wingman!!
It's my dream to sail around, always has been. By the time I get to it, it could be the sunshine route. But with so few records left to break, will it take the lonely or unexplained death of a child before we wake up?
I agree with Gord, bad idea, but very close to criminally so.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:50   #34
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
How old can Gord be?
He/she sounds 13-16.
Can we stop her/him from posting?
Wild Eyes great name for the boat.That's what she will get once out there and all alone.
b.
Gord’s a “he”, unfortunately a little past 16 y/o.
Yes, the Forum Moderators could stop Gord from posting; or any member can add him to their “ignore” list. Why would anyone wish either? They’d only lose a comparator to whom they could feel superior.
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Old 11-11-2009, 21:28   #35
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- - For a different take on the whole "youngest around" thing - If any of these "kids" make it alive all the way around I feel it will be because of the boat and the equipment on the boat. It is simple logic that the human body at that age cannot generate the muscle power to "man-handle" broken gear and rigging and all the other parts of such boats that sailors 10 years older can handle. Therefore, the boats must be automated and configured with equipment that can "sail around the world" with minimal effort by the on-board "passenger/fair-weather participant" (harsh, I know) riding in these vessels. I feel what we are getting toward is a test of equipment and systems for their ability to make it around without failure. Much like the space shuttles, etc. where in flight extensive repairs are not possible or practical.
- - So I want to know - when and if they actually get all the way around - what equipment they used. That's the stuff I would want to have on my boat.
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Old 12-11-2009, 00:09   #36
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Therefore, the boats must be automated and configured with equipment that can "sail around the world" with minimal effort by the on-board "passenger/fair-weather participant" (harsh, I know) riding in these vessels.
I'm not sure the Open 40 - which the subject of this thread is planning to sail - could be fairly described as requiring "minimal effort" to sail, however well it is set up. But I don't have direct experience of that boat - I'd be interested in the views of those who do?
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:58   #37
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Open 40 = Class 40 ?????

I cannot find any Google listing for "Open 40" but did find "Class 40" which according to a Wiki entry is a French racing standards organization. The boats are given as commonly used ocean racing boats for single-handers.
I found a listing of one for sail and its specifications at: 2008 MC-TEC Akilaria Class 40 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
- - Generally, 40 ft in length with open transom (I think California racers call them "sleds" because the surf down huge waves like a snow sled on snow. Very spartan and very wide beam. All equipment very "top end" stuff.
- - I believe Ellen MacArthur - a British woman - raced around the world single handed in a similar type boat of 80' length (vague memory - When asked by others how I single-hand a 60 footer, I always say if a 25 y.o British lass can single-hand an 80 footer, I can certainly handle 60 feet).
- - Still I think these boats are designed specifically for minimal effort sailing using autopilots, navigation, and boat systems of incredible toughness that "take care of themselves" for the most part. Things like lines, winches, clutches, furlers, sail track systems, and other things have to be really tough to "take a beating and keep on ticking" as the expression goes.
- - With the incredible electronic navigation systems and integrated everything, available these days - other than tweaking sails and making sure the electronics are fed properly there is little for the single-hander to do but watch as the boat does the work. Failures are another matter all together, but I am fairly confident the maximum effort is being put into getting and using "systems" that do not fail - at least for the length of the journey.
- - It would be interesting to know after successful completion of these multiple "youngest RTW" ventures which systems survived and which did not.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:10   #38
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Just found a description of the "Open 40" type boat. They Open 40 class seems to be a copy of the French Class 40. I especially love the first sentence of the second paragraph - I hope those supplies are on-board for these teenagers.
>>>>>>>>> The International Monohull Open Class consists of boats between 40 and 60 feet which are designed for shorthanded long-distance racing. The toughest event for this class is the Around Alone race, 29,000 miles of singlehanded racing following one of the classic round-the-world routes: North America to Europe, Europe to the Cape of Good Hope, Africa to Australasia, Australasia to South America, and back to North America. The legs are long and difficult, and feature every type of sailing, from tropical doldrums to the high-latitude hell of the extreme Southern Ocean. This is not a race for the faint of heart or weak of arm.
The traditional image of the singlehanded round-the-world racer is that of a wild-haired mad Frenchman with no concept of his mortality, surviving on a diet of cigarettes and red wine. The reality is far different. Yes, the archetype still exists, but Americans are working their way up the ladder in this type of racing, as are women. In fact, you hear as many North American and English accents among the Around Alone skippers as you do continental European. American, Canadian, Bermudian, English, and New Zealand flags are all seen on the sterns of Around Alone racers.
<<<<<<<<<
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Old 23-11-2009, 13:25   #39
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Per Abby's blog they arrived in Ft. Lauderdale Nov. 19th:

Abby's Blog

From there the boat will be loaded on a freighter bound for Ensenada; and from there she will be sailed to Marina Del Rey. So far: 2 failed autopilots and a damaged shaft strut.

I have no doubt of this young lady's ability to accomplish a solo circumnavigation; her boat is obviously an excellent design for the mission; and her family has the resources to get the boat ready and do it quickly. Still, I think the projected early December departure is unrealistic, and I will be surprised if she gets off before 2010.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:10   #40
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Abby's December 8th blog reflects a heavy dose of more realistic thinking:

Abby's Blog
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Old 11-12-2009, 15:05   #41
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Apparently all that one has to do to rake in sponsors and the accompanying $$endorsements$$ is to be reasonably easy on the eyes, marketable (but I repeat myself) and _plan_ to do something 'heroic' at some point in the future.
Back in the day you actually had to _do_ the heroic deed first, or at least have under your belt past accomplishments that elevated you above the average dreamer. Apparently being born to wealthy parents fills that bill today.
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Old 14-12-2009, 22:53   #42
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This could be interesting

Having followed Zac and gotten tired of the incessant proselytizing by his "Pack" I assumed Abby's campaign would be the same. I also didn't think there was any chance she could get ready in time.

Now it seems like she is actually quite level headed and I get the impression that she doesn't have a team of handlers spinning every utterance and news release.

I look forward to seeing how her preparations progress and wish her the best of luck.


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Old 15-12-2009, 00:29   #43
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There was an excellent feature on Abby's trip in the LA Times yesterday.

Abby Sunderland makes her own sails pitch -- latimes.com
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Old 15-12-2009, 20:50   #44
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Can't tell if it is satire or stupidity

This article in the LA Times today is one of the dumbest I've read:

Parents should just say no to teen girl's solo-sailing trip -- latimes.com

I wonder if it really is satire that is too subtle for me to grasp ?



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Old 15-12-2009, 21:48   #45
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Heh . . . lucky you, Sven, you've just "met" T.J.Simers, denizen of Page 2, Los Angeles Times Sports Section. It would take a whole lot of explanation that neither one of us is interested in writing (me) or reading (you.)

To cut right to the chase, T.J.Simers is an acquired taste.

His specialty is trying to piss off as many people as he can who are in some way related to "sports." The idea, I've gathered over the years, is that while sports is his beat, only a fool takes sports all that seriously. As a result, he is the thorn in the side of all the over-inflated egos who inhabit the LA sports scene, or who (like Tony Stewart) are just passing through town.

He can be one of the funniest columnists you'll ever read, if you don't have an emotional attachment to the subject-of-the-moment who's feeling the sharp end of his needle. If you couldn't care less about his prey, you'll appreciate how his needling exposes a side of many sports stars that they'd much rather was kept out of sight.

It's good stuff once you come to terms with the man's style - it does take some getting to used to, admittedly.

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