Day 14,15, 16 Summary – Playing Catch Up

So the summary posts have been delayed by finishes!!  Nine of them between the two days.  Clearly the bell curve bunch.  Saturday saw the winds fill back in for the back end of the fleet and the middle of the pack approached the island.   First were Rainbow, during the day, and Fugu and Riff Rider, during the night.  All the while the comfort clump is sneaking up.  Thankfully, daylight greeted the first of the next six finishers roughly each an hour or two apart.  Dark Horse lead the pack, with JouJou, Jacqueline, Dolfin, Iris, and finally Crazy Rhythm finishing off the day just before Tree Time.

The next due in would be the following morning.  Sleep for RC.  Kyntanna followed a couple of hours by the Owl.  All are well and in safe.  We are now only awaiting our dear keeper of the east Morning Star.  We expect him possibly tomorrow afternoon.  Remnant rain of a tropical depression is moving through the area to day with light winds forecast offshore.  They may slow Morning Star somewhat, but we look forward to his finish.

Day 13 Summary – back to the trades

Today saw the finishes of Passages and Nightmare, congrats to them!  The rest of the fleet saw lighter more manageable conditions and sentiment traded back to how great the sailing is, except for the poor sods who have AP or electric issues.  They kinda stayed at the “just get me to Hanalei” mindset.  Folks in this category are Crinan II, who hand steers and stops to rest, Riff Rider is doing the same, and Fugu who, with full sun, did manage to get some power and some rest from hand steering to conserve amp hours.  The latter two crossed paths with each other today.  Crinan II will be the next to finish tonight.

The comfort clump continued to enjoy great conditions and they are still seeing good wind.  Dark Horse continued sprinting ahead and now has fewer miles to go than JouJou – quite a show. Morning Star has less than 550 miles to go and then this race will move into history.  Winds are forecast to lighten up over the next few days, lets hope a lot of distance is traveled before then.

First Three Finishers

Learning he was first to finish: Philippe on Double Espresso


Under the surfboard at the Little Yellow House

Second to finish: David Clark, happy in the Yellow House

Third to finish is Greg Ashby, photo still to come. Greg arrived early in the morning of July 6 on his Wilderness 30 Nightmare. Synthia just paddleboarded out to the Sea Squirrel and Greg just hailed her on 69 for a ride back inshore. When he hailed her, Rob MacFarlane, s/v Tiger Beetle responded, offered Greg a ride in on his dinghy. We’ll have a photo soon …

Latitude 38 article here:

The Belgian has landed!

Finish Time: first over the line in the 2018 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race: Philippe Jamotte on Double Espresso, Olson 30 = with a finish time of 8:38:11 PDT, Elapsed time: 11 days, 21 hours, 13 minutes, 15 seconds

Hanalei Bay at dawn

Here’s a video of the race committee traipsing around the Princeville Golf Course, hoping to make radio contact with Double Espresso as he approached the finish. Philippe said he heard us on his handheld, but had turned his masthead antenna off. What terrors awaited the RC in the wilds of Princeville? A ten inch centipede (“Don’t touch that!”) and big fat toads sitting in the middle of the muddy path. Said Synthia, “Oh! I think I just kicked a toad!”)

Tracking down the elusive singlehander

Fancy yacht club decks? Not for the SSS Race Committee! A log will do us just fine, might fine.

As we crossed the road to the little yellow house, stepping through the mud puddles, Philippe’s comment was: “This is a much different welcome than a singlehander would have in France. Not that I’m complaining. That would be so overwhelming.” ;-/

Philippe landing

Day 11 Summary – Remember that carnage?

Well, there has been more carnage reported, but so far everyone is doing fine and hanging in there, from a lost solar panel to a ripped main sail on a boat that only has one sail, to AP issues, to various lines breaking free, the increased winds have dealt their blow (ha, pun)  – the back half of the fleet has gotten the strongest, reporting sometimes 33 kts.  The sentiment is starting to switch from let’s enjoy this great blue yonder to: yeah, I’m kinda over this and can’t wait to hit Hanalei.  Well, for our fastest boat the wait is almost over as he is expected to arrive sometime Thursday morning.  RC is gearing up to be ready to greet Double Espresso as he makes landfall.

We’ve seen our clump stay dispersed somewhat today and Dark Horse, despite suffering some of the aforementioned carnage, has continued to surge and is almost overtaking JouJouRiff Rider has hung back a little, likely due to AP issues, as well Fugu, suffering some charging issues, may rest.  Until he jibed back, it almost looked as though he decided to go see the erupting volcano on the Big Island and give Kauai a miss.  He’ll jibe back again.

Dolfin, and his AIS alarm, have kept their distance from Jacqueline, and Crazy Rhythm has volunteered to keep Jacqueline company instead.

Winds should lighten up slightly so the fleet won’t be quite as on edge.  Looking forward to the first finisher tomorrow.

Philippe’s Last Post?

More pink bucket inspired writing from PJ

7.4.18 in the a.m.

I’m about 150 miles from the finish line. I was feeling so nervous, uneasy, apprehensive about all the stuff that can still go wrong that I decided to put some music on to unwind my unruly mind. In many ways I feel like I could carry on, being the vessel’s caretaker, coming out of my burrows to tend to her needs.
I was told that tears would be shed. It did happen once for me. I was continuously beating myself, pointing at all the flaws, and this one voice finally came out and said: you’re doing something truly exceptional and you’re doing it well, you are NOT a piece of shit. If only I could stop feeling like one. Writing this the tears are coming back. It’s the music, I swear.
So then, it happened twice …

Philippe: “let the boat do its thing”

I knew I didn’t have a great day yesterday, although at 182 miles it’s still pretty good; the other guys had a swell day! 198 miles for Passages and Nightmare, 188 for Crinan II. Cool, well, no …
I had my sunrise surprise again this morning. Exact same scenario it’s mind blowing. In the companionway, looking at the East hoping for a sunrise, the AP goes out. I now know what to: release the jibe preventer, let the boat do its thing, turn off for a bit and back on. Try again as necessary. Batteries are good …
On to breakfast then.