Sunday, April 24, 2016

Clipper Round the World 10th Edition Seattle

Seattle, the finish  for Leg 6, The Mighty Pacific Leg.

The Start for leg 6 was Qingdao, China

Quindao Crew hosted the tour of their Clipper 70 in Seattle at Bell Harbor Marina

The individual Team cards were posted around the exterior of the Marina for viewers to see information about each vessels skipper, crew and primary sponser.

Ichorcoal lost a crew member at Sea on the run across the Pacific to Seattle.

Two vessels were out on Elliot Bay showing off their Clipper 70's

It was a breezy wet day but very cool to see these Ocean Racers going through the paces.

I counted about 15 crew on deck.

My pass to tour.

Fun just to walk the dock at Bell Harbor on our way to the tour.

Our tour vessel Qingdao

Most of the crew were Chinese so verbal communication was limited.

Notice the small patch on the bow.

12 Halyards up the mast, all color coded. Notice the Duck tape around the base of the mast to shore up the mast boot. Every keel stepped mast leaks eventually. 

Jib sheet winches, second largest on the deck.

Mainsheet winch the largest winch on deck.

Dual Steering stations. The nets keeps the helmsman from being washed away from the wheel.

The grated footing keeps the helmsman level and his boots dryer.

3 life rafts at the ready.

Two pedestal grinders on deck, one for the mainsail and a shared one for the jib sheet winches.

Doing some repair work on the hydraulic boom vang.

Very heavy halyards, at lest 1" in diameter.

The deck is smooth and sleek to punch through waves and spill off huge amounts of water.

No anchor or windless, needless weight.

Lots of ventilation but I bet it's not enough.

Notice the small built in dodger above the companionway
For more info on the deck see:

Small secure companionway.

Hanging lockers on both sides of the companionway for foulies and life jackets.

Galley located at bottom of companionway steps on the center line.

Definition of Galley Slave:cooking for a crew of 24 at all angles of heel.  notice the two foot pumps in the upper left corner. guess they need a kit in them. That is the same foot pump we have in the galey of Wand'rin Star. 

The vessel has two heads, this one is actually smaller than the one we have on Wand'rin Star. And NO Shower!. They use baby wipes.

The most forward cabin is used tpo store gear, sails etc.

Long narrow walk throughs on both the starboard and port sides.

2 bunks to a cabin, each bunk is shared by two crew. 

Notice the blue Lee Cloths used to hold the crew in the bunk when the boat is heeled over hard.

A couple of crew stowing provisions in nooks and crannies.

Pretty Sparten, nothing for comfort, everything for going fast.

All the way aft between the Port and Starboard crew quarters is the Navigation Station

Why is the Nav Station here? I guess because all the electronics are installed on a arch just on deck above.

Wenshuro Fan, age 21,  tries to muster enough English to answer my questions. 

Sometimes you have head room and sometimes you do not.
For more infi see:

I bet there are times you do not want to go out there, but you do anyway.

Quite a contrast.

The crew of the Ichorcoal held a Memorial here in Seattle for their lost crew member.Sarah Young.

Clipper Round the World 10th Edition Seattle

A few weeks ago I learned about 40 year old Sarah Young being washed off an ocean race boat from a post on Facebook. She was not tethered to the boat but she was in the cockpit, not on the foredeck where these type of occurrences seem to be most frequent. I did not pay any attention to which ocean race as much as I did to the facts about the crew member. I thought back to each of the ocean passages I have personally made and it was always a standard practice to wear a tether anytime you were on deck and always at night even in the cockpit. Of course on a cruising boat you do not have waves constantly washing through the cockpit like an ocean racer so I had to wonder why she became complacent after thousands of miles of ocean race experience. After re-posting the article on Facebook and directing a comment to my sailing friends who are out cruising to be sure and Tether up, I put the event out of mind. I had no idea this Round the World race would be making a stop in Seattle.

On April 14th team Derry-Londonderry-Doire was first across the finish line near Neah Bay at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for race 9.  The team was well ahead of the fleet for the finish and the first vessel to moor at Bell Harbor Marina. Their arrival was on the 6 pm news. That is when I first learned of the Clipper 70 round the world race. Soon all 12 ocean racers would be in the harbor and as luck would have it they sponsored free tours of one of the Clipper 70's. Not sure why they are called clippers since they are not clipper rigged, instead they are more like a cutter rig but along with a huge mainsail they can carry three foresails but with just one mast. Just for comparison, a Clipper is at least a two masted vessel where the foremast is lower than the mainmast. I'm sure it is just the history of the Clipper vessels that they tag their name to.

As I walked down to Bell Harbor on Thursday afternoon, I noticed a tent set up and a small line of people at the marina gate. I went over to the tent and asked how to sign up for the tour and he said just get in line. I picked up a couple of brochures to read while I waited. What is unique about this race is that most of the crew are complete amateurs, many with zero sailing experience. People simply apply to be part of this bi-annual event and commit to one or more legs that begins and ends in London.  I thought to myself, heck I would apply to do this for sure, then I noticed that you pay for the opportunity, you buy a ticket. Basically if your over 18 and have the cash, you sail. A little tougher than cruise ships since they even take babies. To do the whole round the world race is a $55,000 ticket + any personal cost involved in meeting their training schedule and flights to and from whatever destination you step on or off the boat from. If you want to go on just one leg some are just $5,600. But how else could just the common man or woman off the street ever get to go on such an adventure? 
Each of the 12 vessels has the potential to gross $1.32 million or $15.840 million bucks total if they keep each of the 24 bunks full on each vessel. That's an incredible gig, not sure what the $Net would be but I am sure if they are using duck tape to stop leaks at the mast boot then they are pretty conservative on spending along the way around. If I could get someone to sponsor all of my cost then I would still go.I think it is a great concept, much like the business set up at the foot of Mt. Everest that will take whatever your willing to pay to hike up to the top, and if you die along the way they still get your money. I'm sure that just the provision and maintenance of 12 ocean racers takes a bite but they also have numerous corporate sponsors as well.
Sir Robin and William Ward found a great way to keep on Sailing Round.

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