The young crew of Jolie Brise, the 17m long pilot cutter owned and operated by Dauntsey’s School, are having to endure towering waves and strong winds as they cross the Atlantic from Halifax to Belfast as part of the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge. On board with skipper Toby Marris and First Mate Adam Seager are eight current or former Dauntsey School pupils aged between 16 and 18.
The vessel has taken part in all legs of the Atlantic Challenge since it started in Vigo, Spain in May this year. Jolie Brise won the first Atlantic crossing from Tenerife to Bermuda and is looking strong on the crossing back to Belfast.
Currently Jolie Brise is lying fourth overall and second in Class and on the current weather predictions, she should be crossing the finish line, north of Tory Island, off the north coast of Donegal, on the 10th of August. All the fleet are due into Belfast by 13 August for the final four days of the event.
“This voyage has been all about team work and perseverance,” says skipper Toby Marris from on board Jolie Brise, currently just under 1000 nautical miles west of Ireland. “The young crew on board are having an experience that it would take a life-time to repeat but moral is very high. The team of boys and girls from Dauntseys School are enjoying the hard sailing and their sense of humour is ever ready even when the waves are breaking overhead. They want to do well in the race, but the main motivation is to get to Ireland and Belfast as fast as possible to enjoy the legendary Irish hospitality. We have some more tough weather to get through before we cross the finish line and get to enjoy a pint of the Black Stuff as our reward.”
Built in 1913, Jolie Brise was the winner of the first ever Fastnet Race in 1925, repeating this achievement in 1929 and 1930 and is still the only vessel to have won the race three times. She is a frequent competitor in the annual Tall Ships’ Races, frequently winning overall and in class.
The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge is organised by Sail Training International. The fleet are due into the final port of Belfast on 13 August 2009.
A fleet of Tall Ships have just raced across the Atlantic to Bermuda and are now berthed alongside in Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, to celebrate the island’s 400th anniversary of settlement. The fleet of 23 Tall Ships with some 1200 crew members are enjoying the warm Bermudian hospitality before embarking on the third race of the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge series to Charleston, USA, 800 miles away. The transatlantic race, which took the fleet from Tenerife to Bermuda, had to be called short because of the lack of wind, but the challenge and personal achievement for all those on board the ships, many of whom were young people under 25 years old, cannot be diminished. The fleet ranged from the 115m Russian Tall Ship Kruzenshtern, one of the biggest Tall Ships sailing today, to the 13m yacht Xsaar from Belgium. Also taking part were ships from Romania, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Bermuda and the UK, including Rona II and Jolie Brise, two UK vessels that were crewed by young people all under 25 years old. “The arrival of the Tall Ships fleet has been eagerly awaited by the people of Bermuda and the excitement has been building,” says John Wadson, Chairman, Tall Ships Bermuda Limited. “Ever since they were last here in 2000 to celebrate the millennium, we have been planning for their return and they are certainly one of the highlights of our 400th anniversary celebrations. It’s a real honour to have our own sail training vessel, the Spirit of Bermuda, participating in an international Tall Ships race for the first time,” he added. Space Link In a unique and historic link-up, a number of the young crew members who had just crossed the Atlantic together with some school children from Bermuda, talked to astronauts on the International Space Station in a live telephone conversation. The ten minute live link up took place in the presence of the Bermudian Minister of Education, the Hon El James, JP, MP and the Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Commerce, Hon Terry E Lister, JP, MP.
During the short window of opportunity when the International Space Station was directly above Bermuda, the crew members wished the Russian astronauts happy Russian National Day and the astronauts in turn congratulated Bermuda on their 400th anniversary. The three astronauts that took part in the telephone conversation, Russian Commander Gennadiy Padalka, Roman Romanenko and American Mike Barrett, then answered questions from the young people who were excited to talk directly to the astronauts as they passed overhead.
The questions asked ranged from the astronauts living conditions and leisure activities to muscle wastage and how they managed to wash. The astronauts answered the questions in good humour, explaining that while they had not managed to see the Tall Ships fleet as they crossed the Atlantic, they frequently looked down on Bermuda and enjoyed watching the tiny island in the Atlantic.
The astronauts explained that they were unable to surf the internet so communication with earth was not easy, but they did have an ability to send and receive messages through a mailbox system so could keep in contact with their families over the six month period they are in space.
One young Bermudian wanted to know what advice the astronauts had for the young people of the world. Commander Padalka replied that it was important to study hard, work hard and most importantly of all, to follow your dreams.
A Russian cadet from Kruzenshtern commented that on board ship it was not recommended to drink alcohol as this could have unfortunate repercussions so he wanted to know if there was anything that was best to avoid on the Space Station. The Russian Commander replied that in his opinion the worst thing that could happen for them was to stop moving because if that happened, the Space Station would fall to earth!
The direct link was the brainchild of the Russian Youth Aerospace Society “VAKO Soyuz”, which was created in 1988 to develop and implement national youth education aerospace programmes with the aim of increasing knowledge in the field of technical and human sciences, for peaceful space exploration and exploitation. Instrumental in the organisation of the link was space engineer Nathalie Pottier, a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute who has worked with the International Space Station and Launchers projects in Russia, United States, Netherlands, and France.
A short film of the astronauts sending greetings to the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge fleet can be seen:
The Tall Ships fleet will remain in Bermuda until Monday when they will take part in what promises to be a spectacular Parade of Sail around the island before departing in the race to Charleston, South Carolina. From there the ships will continue up the eastern United States to Boston and then on to Halifax in Canada, where a final race will bring the fleet back across the Atlantic to Belfast, where they are due for a final four days of festivities from 13 to 16 August.
The event, the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge, organised by Sail Training International, has been timed to coincide with Bermuda’s 400th anniversary celebrations and the fleet’s presence is forming part of the highlight of the year-long celebrations.
For further information and images, please contact Corinne Hiching, email: Corinne.firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +44 77641 83866.
Media & Publications Manager
Sail Training International
Direct tel: +44 1730 810437
Office tel: +44 2392 586367
Mobile: +44 7764 183866
If you watched Master and Commander or the Pirates of the Caribbean and fancied yourself at the helm on a Tall Ship, now is your chance! A few of the Tall Ships taking part in this summer’s Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge have berths available with some of them now offering discounted rates.
The famous British yacht Jolie Brise has a couple of places available on the Vigo to Tenerife leg open to anyone aged over 16 years. They also have one place spare on the transatlantic sector from Tenerife to Bermuda for a trainee aged from 16 to 25 years. Bursaries are available, so anyone who would like the rare chance to sail on Jolie Brise should contact them now.
The Dutch Tall Ship Tecla, which is owned and operated by a family, including their dog, has places available on all legs of the race, with discounts available. Only the final race from Halifax to Belfast has an age restriction of between 15 and 25 years.
Kaliakra, a beautiful Tall Ship from Bulgaria, also has a few places available with discounts available. This ship will have a number of different nationalities on board, although the main language will be English. Great for anyone who would like to experience some cultural exchange on the way.
For those that like to be closer to the water and want to experience a modern yacht, the fast and high performance yacht Xsaar, from Belgium, has a few berths available.
The race starts in Vigo, Spain (30 April – 3 May), from where the fleet will race to Tenerife, Canaries (14-17 May). The first Atlantic race will then take the fleet to Bermuda (12-15 June), and then on to Charleston, USA (25-29 June). The fleet will then wend their way up the east coast of the US to Boston (8-13 July) and then on to Halifax, Canada (16-20 July) before the final Atlantic crossing eastwards back to Belfast, UK (13-16 August).
Participants can take part in any one leg of the event, or multiple legs if time permits. No experience is necessary as all training will be given on board the ship. The only requirement is a spirit of adventure and the bottle to take on the challenge.
For further information contact
Corinne Hitching, Media Manager for Sail Training International.
The race time limit was reached today at 1200 hrs GMT for Class A, 1230 hrs for Class B, 1245 hrs for Class C and 1300 hrs for Class D, which means all vessels are deemed to have finished regardless of whether they have crossed the finish line or not.
Final results will not be confirmed until all the vessels have arrived in Den Helder and handed in their race declaration forms, but the provisional results show that Christian Radich (Norway) is the winner overall on corrected time, with Jolie Brise (UK) in second place and Sørlandet (Norway) in third.
In the Classes on corrected time, behind Christian Radich and Sørlandet in Class A is Mir (Russia). In Class B, Jolie Brise (UK) is the winner with Moosk (UK) in second place and Morning Star of Revelation (UK) in third. Akela (Russia) is the provisional winner of Class C, with Black Diamond of Durham (UK) in second place and Gaudeamus (Poland) in third. St Barbara V (UK) is in first place in Class D, with Rona II (UK) in second and Thyra (Denmark) in third.
The full list of provisional results can be seen in the Results
All the vessels are now making their way to Den Helder for the final four days of festivities which start on Wednesday 20 August. A number have already arrived in the port where they have been warmly welcomed.
The race time limit has been brought forward to 1200 hrs GMT today (for Class A), 1230 hrs (Class B), 1245 hrs (Class C) and 1300 hrs (Class D) in order to allow sufficient time for the back markers to make it to Den Helder in time for the final four days of festivities which start on 20 August.
Just 19 vessels remain on the course with all the others having crossed the finish line and either making their way to Den Helder or stopping off at other ports en route.
Christian Radich (Norway) looks set to hold on to her lead overall on corrected time with Jolie Brise (UK), the Class B vessel, coming in second and Sørlandet (Norway) in third. Statsraad Lehmkuhl, the third Norwegian ship, retired.
In Class B behind Jolie Brise is Moosk (UK) with Morning Star of Revelation (UK) remaining in third place. Akela (Russia) is in first place in Class C with Black Diamond of Durham (UK) in second and Guadeamus (Poland) in third. St Barbara V (UK) is the provisional winner of Class D with Rona II (UK) coming in second and Thyra (Denmark) in third, finally overcoming her sister vessel Svanen.
These results will remain provisional until the race time limit has been reached and the ‘finish at sea’ formula has been applied to all the vessels yet to cross the finish line. All vessels then have to complete and hand in their Race Declaration Forms before the results can be made final.
Winds are forecast to increase slightly and veer to the south west.
The vessels that have now crossed the finish line are: Akela, Antwerp Flyer, Black Diamond of Durham, Christian Radich, Cisne Branco, Cuauhtemoc, Eendracht, Esprit, Gaudeamus, John Laing, Jolie Brise, Mir, Rona II, Sørlandet, Spaniel, St Barbara V, Svanen, Thermopylae Clipper, Thyra, Urania and Zryw. Clyde Challenger is due into Den Helder later this morning.
A total of 15 vessels have now crossed the finish line with more expected overnight. Overall on corrected time, (Norway) remains in first place with Jolie Brise (UK) in second and now Sørlandet (Norway) in third. In Class A on corrected time, Christian Radich leads with Sørlandet in second place and Mir (Russia) in third. However, as there are more vessels yet to finish, this positions may still change.
In Class B on corrected time, the positions remain unchanged from this morning with Jolie Brise in first place, Moosk (UK) in second and Morning Star of Revelation (UK) in third for an all UK line up. In Class C, Akela (Russia) is in first place, Antwerp Flyer (Belgium) in second and Guadeamus (Poland) in third. St Barbara V II (UK) is in the lead in Class D with Rona II (UK) in second place and Thyra (Denmark) in third.
The vessels that have now crossed the finish line are: Akela, Antwerp Flyer, Christian Radich, Cuauhtemoc, Esprit, John Laing, Mir, Rona II, Spaniel, St Barbara V, Svanen, Thermopylae Clipper, Thyra and Urania. A number of these have gone direct to Den Helder while others will visit other ports before arriving in Den Helder on 20 August.
For the vessels in the more northerly part of the course winds are from the south east and 11-22 knots, decreasing to 6-15 knots. For those further south and approaching the finish line, winds are south south west, 14-20 knots, increasing to 16-32 knots.
The leaders in this second race of the series have remained unchanged overnight, while a number of vessels have crossed the finish line, with Akela (Russia) taking line honours.
Christian Radich (Norway) remains in the lead overall on corrected time with Jolie Brise, the Class B vessel, in second place overall and Statsraad Lehmkuhl (Norway) in third. In Class A on corrected time, Christian Radich and Statsraad Lehmkuhl are followed by the third Norwegian ship Sørlandet. In Class B, behind Jolie Brise is Moosk (UK) with Morning Star of Revelation (UK) in third. In Class C, Akela remains in first place with Black Diamond of Durham (UK) in second and Gaudeamus (Poland) in third. St Barbara V (UK) still leads Class D, with Rona II (UK) in second and Thyra (Denmark) in third.
Overnight a number of vessels crossed the finish line. The first across at just after 1900 hours GMT, was Akela (Russia). Others that followed later that evening or early this morning are: Mir (Russia), Thermopylae Clipper (UK), John Laing (UK), Esprit (Germany), Antwerp Flyer (Belgium), Rona II (UK), Thyra (Denmark), Svanane (Denmark) and Lietuva (Lithuania).
The weather forecast is for a continuation of south easterly winds of between 20 – 29 knots, decreasing to 15 – 22 knots for the next 24 hours. Over the next 48 hour period, winds will veer south south west 12 -17 knots, increasing to 18 – 26 knots, with isolated showers.
Late last night Clyde Challenger (UK) issued a mayday call as they were taking on water. All 13 crew members were taken off safe and well and the vessel is now on tow towards Den Helder. For the more details, click here.
Christian Radich (Norway) is holding on to her lead overall on corrected time, but has been overtaken on the water by a number of the smaller vessels favoured by the southerly winds. Behind her overall is now the Class B Jolie Brise (UK), clearly intent on taking a second title, with Statsraad Lehmkuhl (Norway) in third place.
Behind Christian Radich and Statsraad Lehmkuhl in Class A on corrected time is the Brazilian Cisne Branco. Behind Jolie Brise in Class B on corrected time is Moosk (UK) with Morning Star of Revelation (UK) in third. Class C is now being led by Akela (Russia) with Black Diamond of Durham (UK) in second and Gaudeamus (Poland) in third. St Barbara V (UK) remains in the lead in Class D with Rona II (UK) still in second but the third place now taken by Thyra (Denmark), in her own battle with fellow Danish Naval vessel Svanen.
Photo: Moosk (UK).
On the water Akela is now in the lead with just 10 miles to go to cross the finish line which she will do within the next few hours. Esprit (Germany) and Rona II are also doing well and expected to cross the finish line tonight. The closest Class A vessel to the finish line is Mir (Russia) with just over 35 miles to go.
The southerly winds have helped the yachts to make better progress than the square rigged ships and this is forecast to continue with south easterly winds of 11-21 knots, increasing to 27 knots at times. The further outlook is for the wind to come round to south south west, which will should help increase the average speed of the flee
The lighter winds have begun to benefit the smaller vessels with the Class C vessel Esprit (Germany) now in the lead on the water. Christian Radich (Norway) and Mir (Russia) are however close behind as are the yachts Akela (Russia), Antwerp Flyer (Belgium) and Rona II (UK) leaving the race for line honours still wide open.
Overall on corrected time Christian Radich remains in the lead with Statsraad Lehmkuhl (Norway) in second place and the Class B vessel, and winner of Race One, Jolie Brise (UK) now in third place. In Class A Sorlandet has moved up to third place on corrected time.
Behind Jolie Brise in Class B on corrected time is Moosk (UK) with Morning Star of Revelation (UK) now up into third place. Black Diamond of Durham (UK) is back in the lead in Class C with Akela in second and Gaudeamus (Poland) in third. St Barbara V (UK) has taken back the lead in Class D with Rona II (UK) in second and Svanen (Denmark) back up into third place.
Disappointing news for Assarain II (UK), who had been in the lead in their class, as their forestay broke overnight which has meant she has had to retire from the race and is making her own way to Den Helder. There are some very unhappy Captains’ Daughters on board!
The winds have lessened but are due to increase, still from the south east but from 12-17 knots to between 24 and 35 knots. Tomorrow winds will remain in the south east but increase to 21-41 knots before veering south south west and decreasing 14-20 knots. Given the conditions, a number of vessels will probably cross the finish line over the weekend.
The Tall Ships’ Races fleet finally crossed the start line after a two hour delay because of the lack of wind. As the hour approached for the scheduled race start of 1900 local time, the race committee on the start vessel decided there was insufficient wind to get the fleet across the start line and announced a one hour delay. A second hour’s delay was also deemed necessary but then the wind picked up allowing the fleet to cross the line at 2100 local time with around 10 knots of wind and a setting sun providing a beautiful setting.
First across the line for the Class As was Sørlandet (Norway), close behind was Lord Nelson (UK) and third Cuauhtemoc (Mexico). In Class B Jolie Brise (UK) made an excellent start and was soon catching up some of the Class A vessels. Behind her was De Gallant (Netherland) with Etoile (France) looking good in third place.
First across the line for Class C was Spaniel (Latvia) with Ocean Scout (UK) in second and Antwerp Flyer (Belgium) in third. In Class D Zryw (Poland) lived up to her name and made a speedy dash across the line. Behind her came Svanen (Netherlands) with her sister ship Thyra (Netherlands) in third, both clearly eager to head for home.
As the sun dipped behind the horizon at around 2145, the ships disappeared into the gloom on their way to the first waypoint in the race, which will take them across the North Sea to a point around ten miles east of Aberdeen. From there the fleet will turn and head directly down towards Den Helder in the Netherlands, where they are due next Wednesday 20 August.
Race updates will be reported each morning and evening with the vessel positions shown on the fleet tracking and their positions in the race shown in the results page of this website. The fleet’s positions are gathered at 0600 and 1700 GMT and the results posted on the website around two hours afterwards.
More vessels in The Tall Ships’ Races continued to cross the finish line overnight making small amendments to the provisional results. In the lead on corrected time overall remains Jolie Brise (UK) with Stina Mari (Norway) in second place and Christian Radich (Norway) in third. In Class A on corrected time Christian Radich is in first place with Mir (Russia) in second and Alexander von Humboldt (Germany) back up into third place. However Alex has not yet finished the race so this may change again.
In Class B on corrected time, behind Jolie Brise and Stina Mari is now Constantia (Sweden) although again, she has not yet finished the race so this placing may again change. In Class C on corrected time, positions remain unchanged with Alba Explorer (UK) in first place, Black Diamond of Durham (UK) in second and Spaniel (Latvia) in third. Class D is also unchanged with Assarain II (UK) in first place, Lietuva (Lithuania) in second and St Barbara V (UK) in third.
The vessels are now pouring into Maløy in beautiful bright and sunny weather. The smallest town ever to host The Tall Ships’ Races is gearing itself up for it’s busiest week ever with thousands of people expected to visit the town over the coming days. Almost all the people who live in the town are involved in some way and cruise ships have been brought in to cater for the expected visitors.
Vessels have continued to cross the finish line throughout the day, and with these new finishers the class positions have altered slightly. This may continue to happen until all the vessels have crossed the finish line.
Overall on corrected time the leading three positions remain unchanged with Jolie Brise (UK) in first place, Stina Mari (Norway) in second and Christian Radich (Norway) in third. In Class A on corrected time Christian Radich is still in first place, with Mir (Russia) in second and now Dar Mlodziezy (Poland) moving up to third position. Behind Jolie Brise and Stina Mari in Class B on corrected time is now Etoile (France).
Classes C and D on corrected time remain unchanged from earlier stated positions as the majority of these vessels have crossed the finish line.
Winds remain frustratingly light off the Norwegian coast meaning it is taking time for the final vessels to get across the finish line. As a result the Race Committee have decided to bring forward the race time limit to tomorrow, Wednesday 30 July, 1200 GMT for Class A vessels, 1230 for Class B, 1245 for Class C and 1300 for Class D. This will time for the remaining vessels to start their motors and make better time to port without jeaopardising their racing positions due to the Sail Training International ‘Finish at Sea’ formula.
The vessels that have finished have received a warm welcome with the Liaison Officer system springing into action to ensure the vessels have full facilities operational. The captains have reported that they enjoyed the race which had certain tactical elements to it which added interest.
More vessels crossed the finish line today despite the light winds close to the Norwegian coast. As more vessels finish, so the leaders on corrected time change. Currently the Class B Jolie Brise (UK) is in first place on corrected time overall. Behind her is Stina Mari (Norway), also Class B, and then Christian Radich (Norway) in third.
As for the Classes, behind Christian Radich in Class A is Mir (Russia) with Alexander von Humboldt (Germany) in third. However, as more vessels cross the line, this may well change and these positions should be viewed as provisional. Behind Jolie Brise and Stina Mari in Class B is Far Barcelona (Spain). The majority of Class C have finished with Alba Explorer (UK) holding on to her lead with Black Diamond of Durham (UK) in second and Spaniel (Latvia) in third. All the Class D vessels are now finished with Assarain II (UK) in first place, Lietuva (Lithuania) in second and St Barbara V (UK) in third.
Vessels that have now finished the race are: Akela, Alba Explorer, Antwerp Flyer, Assarain II, Christian Radich, Clyde Challenger, Dar Mlodziezy, Dasher, Jolie Brise, Lietuva, Mir, Ocean Spirit of Moray, Rona II, Spaniel, St Barbara V and Urania. With the finish line extremely close to the port of Maløy, many have opted to go straight there, although a number have chosen to stay out and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.
The winds for those vessels close to the Norwegian coast remains very light making it difficult for them to get across the line. For the vessels further back into the North Sea winds remain fairly fresh which should help them along over the next two days. The first official port day in Maløy is Friday 1 August.
The Class B vessel Stina Mari (Norway) has held on to her overnight lead overnight on corrected time with fellow Class B Jolie Brise (UK) now in second place and the Class A ship Alexander von Humboldt (Germany) now in third. Behind Alex in Class A on corrected time is Christian Radich (Norway) with Asgard II (Ireland) in third.
Far Barcelona (Spain) remains in third place in Class B on corrected time behind Stina Mari and Jolie Brise. The battle for Class C continues with Alba Explorer (UK) now back in the lead with Black Diamond of Durham (UK) in second and Spaniel (Latvia) in third. In Class D, Assarain II (UK) has held onto her lead on corrected time with St Barbara V (UK) in second and Lietuva (Lithuania) in third.
Ten vessels have now crossed the finish line, Akela, Alba Explorer, Antwerp Flyer, Dar Mlodziezy, Dasher, Jolie Brise, Lietuva, Mir, Ocean Spirit of Moray and Spaniel but many more are frustrated by the lack of wind to help them across the finish line. The square rigged ships are at more of a disadvange in these circumstances which allows the smaller vessels to make some progress, albeit slowly.
Akela, Alba Explorer, Black Diamond of Durham, Lietuva and Ocean Spirit of Moray have all arrived in Maløy to a warm welcome with a gun salute and their national anthem being played. More are expected later today although a number have decided to take some time to explore the beautiful fjords as the sun in shining with warm mid 20s temperatures. The first official day in Maløy is Friday 1 August.
The evening report has seen a number of vessels crossing the finish line but also some interesting change in positions. The Norwegian Class B vessel Stina Mari has taken over the lead overall on corrected time with Alexander von Humboldt (Germany) now in second place and Christian Radich (Norway) back in third for the first time since the beginning of the race.
Behind Alexander von Humboldt and Christian Radich in Class A on corrected time is Asgard II (Ireland). In second place behind Stina Mari in Class B on corrected time is Jolie Brise (UK) with Far Barcelona (Spain) in third. Black Diamond of Durham (UK) remains in first place in Class C with Alba Explorer (UK) in second and Spaniel (Latvia) in third. In first place in Class D is still Assarain II (UK) with St Barbara V (UK) in second and Lietuva (Lithunia) in third.
Four vessels have now crossed the finish line, Mir, Spaniel, Lietuva and Alba Explorer. Several others are within 20 miles of the finish line but frustratingly are becalmed.
Changes to these positions may still change as more vessels cross the finish line over night and only when all the vessels are in and their race declaration forms are received, can the final results be confirmed.
As a number of vessels are approaching the finish line in the first race of The Tall Ships’ Races 2008, it is clear that many of them are pulling out all the stops to beat their rivals. Christian Radich (Norway) retains the lead overall on corrected time, but now Alexander von Humboldt (Germany) has moved up to second place with Statsraad Lehmkuhl (Norway) in third. On the water, Alba Explorer remains likely to take line honours with an expected finish time of around midnight tonight.
Class B continues to be led by Stina Mari (Norway) on corrected time with Jolie Brise (UK) now in second and Far Barcelona (Spain) back up into third place. Behind Alba Explorer in Class C is Black Diamond of Durham (UK) who are making a run for the line and Spaniel (Latvia) in third, who are always keen to be in the winning line up. Lietuva (Lithuania) has now taken over the lead in Class D, pushing Rona II back into second place and Urania (Netherlands) remaining in third.
The fleet tracking shows that some of the fleet decided to go further north, while others kept a more southerly course. Strategically Statsraad Lehmkuhl may have an advantage over Christian Radich as she is slightly more up wind which may help her close the gap.
Winds remain fresh for much of the fleet but as the vessels approach the Norwegian coast, winds will become light and variable, which may extend the calculated ETAs for many of the vessels.
While the battle for the race continues apace with a number of vessels pulling out all the stops to win, the spirit of The Tall Ships’ Races is also alive and well. International Friendship and Understanding are the key words when it comes to the ethos of the event and this was very apparent today when one of the vessels reported a problem.
This morning, Toby Marris, the captain of Jolie Brise (UK), one of the leading vessels in the fleet on corrected time, realised that he had electrical charging problems on board and would soon not be able to provide his twice daily position reports to the Communications Team, who are escorting the fleet aboard HMS Mersey.
Photo: RFA Lyme Bay and HMS Grimsby at the race start.
Close at hand was Stavros S Niarchos (UK) who advised the Communications Team that they had a spare battery charger. The Royal Navy then stepped into the breach to help out, going along side Stavros S Niarchos to take the charger while allowing the vessel to continue on her course under sail. A Shetland Coastguard helicopter was then deployed to pick up the charger from HMS Mersey and then take it and drop it via a hi-line to Jolie Brise.
This wonderful joint effort between competing vessels and the Royal Navy has meant that Jolie Brise can now continue to report her position and carry on racing.
The race organisers, Sail Training International, are extremely grateful to the Royal Navy for their unflinching support for The Tall Ships’ Races. Commodore John Madgwick OBE, the Naval Regional Commander for Northern England, has been particularly instrumental in ensuring that RFA Lyme Bay, HMS Grimbsy and HMS Mersey were available for the spectacular start off Northern Island on Wednesday and for HMS Mersey to continue to escort the fleet to Norway.
At the 0600 GMT positions, as the fleet head across the North Sea, the battle for first place overall on corrected time is hotting up. Overnight Statsraad Lemhkuhl (Norway) has made excellent progress and moved up into second place behind Christian Radich (Norway) who continues to lead the fleet overall on corrected time. Sørlandet remains in third.
On the water Alba Explorer (UK) is streaking ahead of the fleet and is due to cross the finish line at 1750 GMT at her current rate. Christian Radich and Statsraad Lehmkuhl are also due to cross the finish line later this evening or early tomorrow morning.
Class B is currently being led by Stina Mari (Norway) with Morning Star of Revelation (UK) moving up to second place and Jens Krogh (Denmark) in third. However, no report was received from Jolie Brise this morning but the Communications team understand that she has a battery recharging problem at the moment and is therefore still very much in the race.
Behind Alba Explorer in Class C on corrected time is Black Diamond of Durham (UK), with Spaniel (Latvia) remaining in third. Rona II (UK) has held on to her lead in Class D on corrected time, with Lietuva (Lithuania) in second and Urania (Netherlands) in third.
The weather forecast indicates that the wind is set to remain with a good sailing breeze, south east, moderate to fresh, backing slightly to east south east over the next 48 hours.
Christian Radich (Norway) has taken an early lead over fellow Norwegian ships Statsraad Lemhkuhl and Sorlandet in Race One on corrected time. These three ships are always competitive and clearly each is out to win this race, with Mir (Russia) also in contention and leading on the water. Three ships, Christian Radich, Mir and Dar Mlodziezy (Poland) have passed the first waypoint.Class B is being led by Jolie Brise (UK) with Stina Mari (Norway) in second place and Constantia (Sweden) in third. Black Diamond of Durham (UK) is leading in Class C, with Ocean Spirit of Moray (UK) in second and Alba Explorer (UK) in third. Class D is being led by Urania (Netherlands) with Rona II (UK) in second place and Assarain II (UK) in third. All these vessels are also very competitive so it will be interesting to see how these placings continue as the race progresses.
The wind conditions continue to be favourable creating some spectacular and fast average speeds of over 10 knots for the faster vessels. The wind conditions are being particularly beneficial to the square rigged ships.These favourable winds are expected to continue for another two or three days, when they are due to lighten and become variable for a while.
To see the positions of the fleet via the fleet tracking, click here
To see the full list of the positions with average speed and distance to go, click here. (Select Liverpool to Maløy)
Further pictures from The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 are available to view here….
To see a regular update of the weather forecast for the Race provided by Nowcasting International, click here
The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 are organised by Sail Training International and supported by Antwerp.