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Home > Miscellaneous > Sailing > Clipper 2015-2016 Virtual race index > Seattle to Panama - leg 10

Round The World Clipper virtual sailing race 1516:  Seattle to Panama

Start : Seattle to Panama: 28th April 2016 9pm BST

Sailing Seattle to Panama

Do have a go: Once you log in to the Virtual Regatta game (free of charge using the link above right on this web page) you see a screen that looks like this picture above. The important bit is the middle part showing a suggested route to the finish of the current race. The start is 9pm BST on 28th April and is from just out into the Pacific Ocean off Seattle, down to Panama where you need to hook round the headland at Punta Mala to get to the finish line.

You study the weather forecast, steer your boat (sometimes every 10 minutes) and change sails as appropriate.

In the BRITPACK 7 team there are 8 boats as follows: Snaggletooth, Mullionman, Beowulf 1, Minazpint, Kames Bay, satsig.net, Lady Phyllis May and Flambouyant.  If you want to join in just email me eric@satsig.net and I will be able to add you if someone wants to drop out or have a rest. It is hard work, all day and all night for two to three weeks for each race. Still it is dry and you don't get sea sick doing this internet virtual game.  The first 5 boats in each team to Panama count in the scoring system. Out of 27 teams we are currently 20th, having done 9 races so far and discarded our 2 worst results!

53,929 (as of 28th April) competitors have registered since the race started on 31st August 2015, at Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, a few miles south of there I live.  The number of active competitors starting this leg is about 9,500.

If you are are really keen you can buy options to have better quality (faster 'pro' sails), automate sail changes, steer constant wind angle courses, navigate via waypoints and not suffer intermittent adverts on the web page. You can access the game using a small screen device. I've used a SAMSUNG GALAXY S3 mini which has an Android App.  It works via WiFi. Some detail is missing such as nearby wind speeds but it is better than nothing.

28th April. Started this evening at 9pm BST. My intention: Start at heading 209. During first 12 miles gradually turn left. After 12 miles and about 10 miles offshore turn approx south on to 176 deg. Note 92 deg wind angle for transition to spinnaker.

After 10 minutes I am down 7670 places and have started turning left 2 deg every 10 minutes. In an hour I will start decreasing the heading by approx 3 or 4 deg every 10 minutes.  It will take 2 hours to get down to about 176 deg. Hopefully in stronger 7kt wind than the 6.5kt wind for those choosing to go directly south or 184 which was the default. We will see !

29th April 0722 BST: Gained 5929 places overnight!. During the night using 177 took me a little to the east of the leading boats so at 5am I angled left a few deg. Now heading almost due south along a ridge of higher wind speeds.

29th April 6:55 pm. BST  This afternoon wandered about a bit!  At first thought is a good idea to make better progress in a south direction, so turned SE and did go faster getting down to under 900 places. Then reviewed the wind forecast for tonight as shown above.  I will go SW at approx 200 deg. Looking along this line there is a string wind gradient, further west is stronger and further east lighter.  So drastic change. I turned SW about 5pm, even moving a couple of miles to the west helps a lot late tonight and early tomorrow.

30th April 7:28am BST   Overnight improvement from 1216 to 721.

Now north of San Francisco

30th April 7:29pm BST Now north of San Francisco. This morning I was at 721 position. After turning SW stated losing places quickly and soon back to around 1000th position. Got a bit fed up with this and turned back to SE, with good results, now up to 650th position. The wind is from due north and the objective south. It is all very strange. Logic dictates that steering either way 40 deg either way from south should produce similar results, yet the SE direction give big improvement in position.

Gybed now to SW

746pm: 582th position !. Speed 16.5kts.  Gybed now to SW, so downhill for the next couple of hours...

Catastrophe!. Down by more than 6000 places

Lost the plot

Lost the plot maybe. Miles behind!

Doom and gloom

Doom and gloom. Now 7524th, so must now be almost at the back of the fleet!

The destination is to the south east

I'm mislead by the way the course is tilted. The destination is to the south east but I have spend much time going south west and south!

The leaders are some 400 miles ahead

This view of all the boats shows I was not the only one to go the wrong way. The leaders are some 400 miles ahead which makes it hard to catch up.

Still struggling

Still struggling but making up some places.

300 miles behind the leaders
About 300 miles behind the leaders.

Looking a bit more promising with favourable winds

Looking a bit more promising with favourable winds.

After going more or less due east all night I have gained 1000 places and am now (only) 213 miles behind the leaders.  Now I'm now basically following the others nearby, probably turning gradually to the right over next 18 hours.

Red blobs are members of this team

8 boats marked with red blobs are the actual members of this team. The first 5 are to count.

Fishing for Leave
Advert for "Fishing for Leave" ffl.org.uk

11th May 7:01 pm. I've slowly gained 370 places during the day, while going east with 50 deg wind angle into a reasonable 6kt NE wind. The wind is now more from directly ahead (about 85 deg) and I'm planning about 42 to 47 deg wind angle all night ahead. It is difficult to tell what way to go, so I have put a line up/down marking the approx 2400th position. The green boat in the green circle at the top is Lady Phyllis May in 2315th position. The red boat is 2773rd.

54997 boats: Since the wind strength along the orange line varies from about 3-5kt at the top to 9.6kt at the bottom where I am now. I am hoping for some significant improvement in position overnight.

It is not clear which way to go now

12may 09:54 It is not clear which way to go now.  the wind is from 101 which is more or less the direction I want to go.  I'm planning a further 3 hours SE then maybe tack to the NE.

12th May:  At 7pm I overshot and went slow 1.2kt for about 15 minutes due to getting too close to the wind. OK now though with 50 deg wind angle to get the best speed. Almost pointed in the wanted direction for a change !

Steadily South-East all night

13 May 2016: Steadily SE all night and continuing the same today. Just now down to 40 deg wind angle for wind speed 11.6kt. Now 209 miles behind the leaders.

Just had an email from Clipper Ventures plc:

Places are going fast with over 60% of berths now filled for the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

So if you want to join the next real race go to https://clipperroundtheworld.com/apply.  Meanwhile you can watch a video of the last leg across the Pacific to Seattle below:

Video:  Clipper Round the world yacht race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO5Wr-R3Og0
 Watch the Seattle Pacific Challenge. This short video was filmed with the team of boat called "Visit Seattle".

14th May 2105. Now just following the pack.

15 May 8:13am:  Up 76 places overnight. Spend the last hour following the others and am going to tack now to the NE hoping for better winds tonight. I'm out all day so a bit of an approximation regarding best bearing to go.  We will see.

15th May 21:19  All day today I was out so I set a NE course. No so good towards 5-6pm as failed to turn with the wind. Distaer at 7-740pm, stuck in traffic on M25 so head to wind and 1.3kts for half an hour.  Still managed to advance some 100+ places over the 12 hours. A bit of a surprise to see that almost everyone else stayed going SE. 911 miles to go and 231 miles behind the leaders. I'm 85 miles behind Kames Bay.

Now going slowly eastwards

Monday 16th May 11am:  Now going slowly eastwards at 6.5kt.  Not looking good despite gain in places overnight from 1244 to 1160.  The boats further south seem to have favourable following stronger winds coming up over the next few days whereas I will be going into wind. I'm 247 miles behind the lead boats.

Cruising nicely eastward at 8.9kts

16 May 8:47pm:  Cruising nicely eastward at 8.9kts and gaining places every 10 minutes. But, the problem ahead is very light winds tomorrow which could mean the loss of 100 miles of so.

7:01am 17th May.  Good to see that I am now in 931st position, the best for some time. However I am now faced with weak and adverse winds for next few days, so back to doom and gloom probably !.

Approaching Panama

Turning north
Turned north.

Approaching Panama
The finish now in sight !

Approacing the finish

19:24  22 May: I'm aiming for the bottom right of the finish line circle as that is most downwind from the finish flag. There is an island in the way so the approach will be done carefully! he alternative of aiming for the nearest part of the circle takes about 10 minutes longer, as it is further upwind.

Next race, once through the Panama Canal, then Panama to New York: Start 28th May 2016.

If you want to add comment or images here please send to me by email: eric@satsig.net

Page created 28th April, amended 18 Sept 2021. (c) 2016 Copyright Satellite Signals Limited, All rights reserved.