Randy Leasure and W32 Tortuga - 2011 SSS Long Pac

  • July 02, 2011 9:21 AM
    Message # 641253
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Randy Leasure and Tortuga W32 will be starting the SSS Long Pac on July 6, 2011... For more information see Singlehanded Sailing Society page and the race transponder page.

    The course is described from the race instructions...


    6.1 The starting line is between an orange stripe on the Golden Gate Yacht Club race deck and the 'X' buoy off the Golden Gate Yacht Club, leaving the buoy to starboard.

    6.2 If the 'X' buoy is missing, the Race Committee will attempt to set a temporary mark to replace the 'X' buoy. If this is not possible, the start line will then be an imaginary line extending 500 yards northwards from the Golden Gate Yacht Club race deck, and the Race Committee will call the start via VHF channel 71.

    7 COURSE

    7.1 The course is from the start, to any point on longitude 126 degrees 40 minutes West [this modifies RRS 28.1], then to the finish.

    8 FINISH

    8.1 The finish line is from the orange stripe on the Golden Gate Yacht Club race deck, extending through 'X' buoy and 50 yards beyond. The line shall be crossed leaving the race deck to starboard.

    Go Randy -- Safely of course...


    Tortuga seen below at the 2009 NCalifornia Rondy.

    Last modified: July 02, 2011 9:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • July 02, 2011 7:03 PM
    Reply # 641376 on 641253
    Deleted user
    Go Randy GO

    If you and Dave win to many of these single handed races, they may want to bar w32's from ss races.

    Good luck and stay warm.

  • July 06, 2011 12:01 PM
    Reply # 647115 on 641253
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Singlehanded Sailing Society's 2011 "Great Pacific Longitude Race" (aka The LongPac) starts tomorrow and Tortuga and I will be on the start line at the Golden Gate Yacht Club @ 1010.

    There are 26 boats in the race and we are in single handed class 2.
    Once we start, we'll head out under the Golden Gate Bridge, sail into the Gulf of the Farallones beyond Point Bonita on the Marin Headlands, past the Farallon Islands and continue out to 126ยบ 40' W.  That's about 200 miles due West of San Francisco. Odds are we won't be able to sail a straight line out to that line of longitude so it will probably be more than a 200 mile course.

    If you want to follow Tortuga here's how: 
    This shows a blank chart of the Pacific Ocean west of San Francisco.  After the Start it will be filled in with dots and dotted lines showing how the LongPac boats are doing via the transponders on board. You can choose to show all the boats, by division or just Tortuga.

    The transponder system is set up to record positions every 2 hours between 5:00 am and 10:00 pm Pacific Time.  After 10:00 pm there will be no more updates until 5:00 the next morning. That doesn't mean we're not moving; it just means the tracking system is not operating a night. (No, there are no motels or anchorages out there.) We just keep sailing all night. If the updates disappear or stop, not to worry. It just means our transponder isn't getting its message to the satellite. If it does go blank don't call for help or anything, there is a role call of the boats during the race twice a day and the race committee has all the pertinent info on us!

    I'm hoping we finish in about 4 days as the forecast is for wind, wind and more wind so it should keep us moving!

    wish us luck!

    from an email from Randy ...
  • July 07, 2011 4:16 PM
    Reply # 648239 on 641253
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here is a link to the picasa site for the start of the SHLP race. 

    Here are some links to YouTube video's. 






     Thanks to Danielle Machado for providing the images and allowing their use.

    Near the starting line - before the start.


    Randy current position at the last update can be found here.  http://www.pacificcup.org/OpenLayers/longpac.php

  • July 08, 2011 10:45 AM
    Reply # 648812 on 641253
    As of an hour or so ago it looks like Randy is one of only four race entrants (27) left in the race. Way to hang in there Randy!
  • July 08, 2011 12:54 PM
    Reply # 648873 on 641253
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Robert Knobloch is saying that the winds are 7-9 k with 18 Max - unusual for this time of year - going to be slow race. 

    I only see 4 boats also.

    The Singlehanded Sailing Society FB page.

    FB reports that Tortuga and Randy are now  in 18-20 k winds as of 5 hours ago and was about 9 miles from the mark.  Randy is in good spirits and only one of three that is still in the race - with 24 having dropped out and either never left the gate or turned around early.  

    7/10/2011 6:53 AM Randy's position is 122NM from the finish -- looking for a Monday finish... He is reports in good spirits.
    Last modified: July 10, 2011 9:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • July 11, 2011 6:18 PM
    Reply # 651116 on 641253
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Randy and Tortuga finished at 4:36:12 this AM ... When I get more photo's I'll add them - but is was dark at the finish line this AM little more then his nav lights could be seen.

    Way to go Randy!!

  • July 12, 2011 3:34 PM
    Reply # 651712 on 641253
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Randy on the far right.

    (from Randy's email )


    Thank you to everyone for the kind words and encouragement during the race! It was great to know that we were being cheered on and watched along the way!

    Neptune allowed Tortuga and I to return this morning and we crossed the finish line at 4:36am bringing us in 4th place out of the 26 boats in the fleet that started the 2011 LongPac race (minor detail that the 22 other boats dropped out because of the weather conditions/gear failure etc) What a race! we had it all. No wind and loads of it!

    Starting out on Wednesday we had a nice push with an ebb tide out of the Golden Gate and then the winds eased to a subtle breeze and not enough to make much way. I headed up along the coast of Marin with the rest of the fleet and this light wind unfortunately persisted until the tide turned again. I was literally drifting backwards at one point in the Bonita Channel so I tried to make my way south and get some heading out to sea. (The idea on the first day is to try and get as far off shore as possible to get into the ocean breeze) This didn't pay off as I got slowly sucked back toward the bridge with the flood.

    Nothing like sailing past point Bonita light house twice in one race!) I had to tack back and forth and wait for the tide to turn again. The rest of the fleet that headed north along the coast didn't fare that much better and once the tide turned I headed back that way again. The afternoon turned into the evening with light winds and some fog and basically still trying to make my way off shore with the majority of the boats in my class.

    By Thursday the wind had still not picked up all that much but I was able to get as far out as the Farallone Islands and got to drift around off the North Islands for the afternoon. There was so little wind at one point in the afternoon I took the sails down because they were slapping back and forth with the swell. At 1500, we were in business and the wind came up, and came up hard. Tortuga and I went from bobbing around to charging along at 6 knots in a matter of 10 minutes. Within the hour I was reefed back down and on my way off shore in 25knots of wind.

    For those of you watching the transponder tracking site I'm sure you noticed how much farther south I had to sail than other boats. Tortuga isn't really a racing boat, so she can't point as high as the other lighter and faster boats. (Imagine showing up to the Indianapolis 500 with a Land Rover and you get the idea.) I didn't hear until the radio checks that next day that people were dropping out of the race due to the extreme conditions. Additionally I sailed more off the wind to make things a little more manageable with the sea and wind conditions knowing I would be losing miles in the right directions but I thought the payoff was better to not push things and end up breaking more gear.

    The next 2 days were basically spent working our way as far offshore as possible to hit the 126.40 Longitude mark and keep the boat balanced, in control and fix things in the 25-30+knots of wind. We finally hit the mark on Saturday morning at and turned around and headed back to the bay! The race ended for me coming back into the bay in the earlier morning hours and of course in the spirit of the tides for me, against an ebb tide!
    The whole adventure was made all the more fun with my self steering gear giving me challenges along the way. Both the wind vane and the tiller auto pilot gave me issues. The wind vane lines would not stay locked in place so I finally figured out a way and used a couple of weights from a dive belt to keep them from popping out of their cam cleats. Another issue and more serious was that one of the lines connected to paddle that is in the water to help control the steering chafed through and made it unusable. To run another line I had to clip myself to the swim ladder with my safety harness to be able to reach and run the new line off the back of the boat. Not something I recommend doing while the boat is moving while it's blowing like crazy!

    The tiller pilot could not be used during the heavier winds as it would get over powered but it would sail the boat on a more accurate course so I tried to used both at different times. The tiller pilot issues were due to the attachment of the arm at the tiller and the bolt that held it in placed sheared off. I got around that for a little while longer using a few pair of vice grips to keep it connected but the extension for the steering arms actually failed as well after a bit and broke off at the threads. At that point the tiller pilot was useless for me.

    To add to the excitement of things my engine over heated. I was planning on running my engine every day or so to help charge the batteries but was not able to figure out why it was overheating. (still haven't had a chance to figure out what the issue is there) It was a good thing that I had just recently installed some solar panels to help with the charging needs and with my refrigerator off, the solar panels could keep up with the power needs.
    (For those of you non sailors sorry about the detailed explanations but my saltier friends will appreciate this, with out any self steering gear you are basically unable to sail the boat with definitive direction and would not be able to continue safely for the race.)

    As the saying goes, attitude = the difference between an ordeal and an adventure, couldn't be more fitting! One thing is for sure, Tortuga can handle a lot more than me!
    All told it was quite the experience and the major qualifying race for the single handed transpac race to Hawaii next year, so we shall see...

    Here are some videos to enjoy!

    Start line coverage:

    Some videos of the sailing conditions:

    A ghostly finish:

    Last modified: August 07, 2011 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)