OSTAR is off, next stop Newport, Rhode Island (8 images) Latest positions, post 8

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by grebeman, May 27, 2013.

  1. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    The Original Singlehanded Trans Atlantic Race (OSTAR) set sail from Plymouth (UK) today 27th May 2013. This is the 14th such race and takes place every 4 years, the first which I also saw start in 1960 consisted of just 5 yachts. Their destination is Newport, Rhode Island with the finish line being the Ambrose Light. Sir Francis Chichester won the first race taking 40 days. Some of the fastest yachts in this race might take just 15 days given suitable conditions.

    No, this is not a competitor, this RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) is off out to lay one of the buoys that delineates the starting line.

    This on the other hand is one of the competitors, one of the smaller ones making his way out ready for the start, already dipping it's head in the rather choppy waters of Plymouth Sound.

    One of the more unusual rigs harking back somewhat to the rig used by "Blondie" Hasler (leader of the Cockleshell Heros) in the first race, he had a 25 foot single masted junk rigged yacht called "Jester"

    One of the more professional entrants, an Italian vessel Vento Di Sardegna

    A French Trimaran Branec IV

    Three of the four yachts here are attempting to cross the Atlantic, I'll leave you to decide which one isn't.

    At 12 noon HMS Somerset fires the starting signal

    One competitor didn't make the start line, he ran either close to the rocky outcrop to the left, or even ran aground, and had to be towed off by these ribs.

  2. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    It's now nearly 10 hours since the start and I've just checked on a tracking website some of the yachts positions. The big French trimaram "Branec 4" is ESE of Lizard Point in Cornwall, 49 deg 55min 42 sec north, 4 deg 58 min 47 sec west, the Italian "Vento Di Sardegna with multi coloured sail is NE of that position, both have been tacking in light and variable winds. Most of the others are further east where the winds are stronger, but southerly making it difficult for them to get away from the Cornish coast. It will be an uncomfortable night in or close to very busy shipping lanes.

  3. Cool. Don't follow boat racing, but looks like it takes a lot of skill.
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    I grew up near Newport and used to see the America's Cup yachts. Because of this, yachts were something both familiar and utterly foreign to me. It's nice to see Newport is still involved with races like this. Great shots, BTW.
  5. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    When I checked at 08:30 BST today the two leading yachts, Branec IV and Vento Di Sardegna were out of range of the tracking system used by the web site I have been following, so well west of the Isles of Scilly. Three or four others were a little south of the Scillies, others back towards the Lizard. One appears to be taking the Azores route so heading SW, but most are heading west opting for a great circle route. The little junk rigged Lexia had taken shelter over night in the River Yealm (I know it well) just east of Plymouth.

    I was surprised to see that one yacht had sailed back towards Plymouth and then turned round again. It appears he'd followed Vento Di Sardegna and broken the sailing orders by sailing inside the Eddystone lighthouse, so went back and did it correctly. Another yacht retired just after the start and the Polish catamaran that got into difficulties was skippered by the only woman in the race. She'd suffered a steering failure and has rejoined the race after repairs.

    In jostling for position at the start, which given it's a 3,000 mile race hardly seems worth it, Suomi Kudu and Vento Di Sardegna touched hulls but suffered no damage, so quite an eventful race already.

  6. Gary

    Gary All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Your thread caused me to Google OSTAR ... the race has quite an interesting history. Too bad the race isn't well known in the States. Thank you for posting.

  7. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Amazing what comes from a bet for "half a crown" (one eighth of a pound), but perhaps an apocryphal story. I remember Blondie Haslar's yacht Jester from the 1960 race. Funnily enough I saw an old gaff rigged yacht in Brixham last weekend, Golden Vanity, and she holds the record for the slowest crossing in the race, 88 days. That's very Joshua Slocum like.

  8. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Latest positions as of 20:00 hours BST 8th June

    Vento Di Sardegna is now SW of St Johns, Newfoundland with 815 nautical miles to the finish at Rhode Island

    Branec 4 is closer to St Johns with 890 nautical miles to go.

    They are expected to reach Rhode Island about mid week.

  9. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    So the race will probably be won by an Italian or French outfit? Noting their irrational rivalry and mutual dislike of each other, I'd say the latter winning would really grate with the host nation. A shame the BritishBeagle isn't in with a chance....even with the onboard motor :wink:

    Oh Newport. Reminds me of the first (and only?) nation to rip the America's Cup from the clutching fist of the Yanks.
    Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.....:polling:
  10. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group


    I think you'll find that the contraptions at the stern of British Beagle are all parts of the self steering gear and the wind generator. First past the post doesn't necessarily mean they are the winner, there's a handicap system in operation and the yachts are split into classes for size, etc. That Italian is a pure racing yacht and as such faces a heavy time handicap over his class rivals, so not cut and dry yet.