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View Full Version : Pensacola to Havana ~~ Sail Boat Regatta



BananaTom
11-03-2015, 03:05 PM
I know, I know, this is a Houseboat Forum.

But, as we are all boaters, there is an historic race occurring right now. Which started at the Pensacola Yacht Club. It started on Halloween, Oct 31, 2015. The home page is here:

http://www.cubarace2015.com

If you clink the link below, you can watch them race, with live positions, as they are now closing in on the finish line. They have been battling 5 - 7 foot seas. 5 boats had to drop out because of the big water and failed equipment. One even lost a mast overboard.

The stories from this race are going to be talked about for a long time. Many are taking on water over the bow, and bailing by hand. Their electronics have failed on some due to water damage, and they are navigating by the stars and old fashion ways. Their alternators are failing due to water damage. Therefore Bilge Pumps can not be used.

It is exciting to be here in Pensacola and hear all the scuttle butt in the marina watering holes. It is almost Happy Hour time at the Oar House to get the latest first hand news.

Here is the position map:

http://kws.kattack.com/GEPlayer/GMPosDisplay.aspx?FeedID=1498

BananaTom
11-03-2015, 03:52 PM
Pensacola, FL, November 1, 2015: With rough conditions during the first 24-hours of the 2015 Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana race, four boats have retired. The home-made catamaran ‘Surf Rider’ and the Island Packet 27 ‘Island Sun’ returned to Pensacola Bay Saturday afternoon. 'Makani U’l', a Beneteau 40, suffered damage to her jib halyard and roller-furler system and is headed to St. Petersburg, Florida for repairs. ‘Midnight Sun II’, a Hunter 42, was dismasted at midnight and motored back to Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) by 8:30 AM CST.

Neil Davies, skipper of ‘Midnight Sun II’, said they had been sailing in 22-25 kts of wind through 5-7 foot seas. The highest wind they had seen was 30kts in gusts. “At Halloween midnight, the wind had just begun to drop off,” Davies said. “It was now blowing about 16 kts and the seas were settling. I was below and heard the ‘pop and crash’. The mast went over the port side and the boom landed on the arch over the cockpit. We think that the head stay broke at the mast-top, but we jettisoned the mast to protect the hull so we can’t confirm that. Thanks to the boom arch we were all unhurt.”

The Pensacola crew of ‘Midnight Sun II’ is determined to go to Cuba. They moved all of their supplies to their crew mate’s— Larry and Tracy Cost— Beneteau 473, ‘Trasea’, and left the second time at 1:30PM Sunday.

“We may be a day behind,” said past Commodore Ron Bray. “But we will be there for the trophy presentation and maybe we will win the ‘rally’ part of the regatta.” The crew of ‘Midnight Sun’ now aboard ‘Trasea’ may win the party, too.

Several boats on the course are not displayed on the Kattack tracking site. ‘Déjà Vu’, a C&C 34, has not been tracked since around 5PM Saturday… 20 hours, but her position had been reported by another vessel, ‘Radio Flyer’, that tacked over to starboard with her at 8PM. At 11:30AM ‘Déjà Vu’ finally called PYC and reported all was OK with them. They were at 28.59ºN 86.25ºW. They were heading 98º at 6kts. Wind was 18-22 Kts, seas 5-7 feet. Family and friends were relieved to know their loved ones were safe. ‘Déjà Vu’ had been over the starting line early. They had to restart so they got a slow start.

The call from ‘Déjà Vu’ came just before the US Coast Guard was set to launch a Search & Rescue mission. ‘Déjà Vu’ was back on the tracking board by 2:00PM Sunday.

‘Lesson #1’, a J-130, was having a tracking system malfunction, but has been sending information to a Facebook page. Also by SatPhone contact at about 10AM with the race committee at Pensacola Yacht Club, ‘Lesson #1’ gave her position near the rhumb-line and was the closest boat to Cuba at 27.56ºN latitude. They said the winds had moderated and they had blue sky. ‘Tif Blue’ is apparently appearing under the tracker named ‘Lesson #1’ on the Kattack screen.

As the boats sail into the southern Gulf of Mexico the easterly trade winds should kick back in and give the remaining 17 boats the kind of sailing they signed up for.

Land-bound spectators can track their favorite boats in the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race. Each boat has a position transponder broadcasting its location. The monitoring system is called “Kattack”. It is online through the event website http://www.cubarace2015.com and click on the boat tracking tab and go to
http://kws.kattack.com/GEPlayer/GMPosDisplay.aspx?FeedID=1498
In rough conditions, the tracker connections may be intermittent, so be patient.

The original Havana Race was sailed from St. Petersburg, Florida when 11 boats hit the starting line on March 30, 1930.The competition grew in size and stature to be a favorite of Gulf Coast sailors. It became a preliminary to the famous Southern Ocean Racing Circuit and attracted top yachts from the Americas and the international scene. Then bullets started flying at masts, and Castro overthrew the Cuban government, so the race was discontinued in 1959. See more at A History of Pensacola Yacht Club’s Involvement with the Havana Race prepared by Tom Pace, Jr. at http://www.cubarace2015.com

Title sponsorship for the Pensacola a la Habana Race has come from the Andrews Institute headquarters in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Local sponsors include Zern Rigging, Schurr Sails, Weather Routing Inc, GeoSyntec, and Technology Associates, Inc. The regatta is supported by the Pensacola Sports Association and The PYC Satori Foundation, a new not-for profit organized to support maritime education and activity for a diverse cross-section of Northwest Florida youth and the general population. The Pace Family of Pensacola has also supported the race through a generous donation to the PYC Satori Foundation.

The Castillo del Morro Race: Friendly Competition
One important goal of the new Cuba race is to establish friendly, amateur athletic competition between the US sailors and the people of Cuba. Once in Cuba, the Pensacola a la Habana racers will be joined by local racers and other boats mooring in the Hemingway Marina in The Castillo del Morro Race.

The race is scheduled in Havana for Friday November, 6th. It will have a course that will be from the Almendares River mouth – entry buoy to Havana Harbor- Hemingway Marina. This course is spectator friendly for the Cuban people and US spectators traveling to Cuba. The boats will leave the Hemingway Marina for the starting line at 9:00AM and the start will be approximately 11:00AM local time.

The trophy presentations for the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race and the Castillo del Morro Race will be at 7:00PM at the Hemingway International Yacht Club.

BananaTom
11-03-2015, 03:53 PM
Pensacola, FL, November 2, 2015: The 2015 Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race four saw 4 retirees in the first 24 hours. The next 12 hours brought just one more withdrawal. Mike Beard’s Tartan 37 ‘Kanaloa’ from Pensacola broke a lower shroud chain plate below the deck on the port side. The plate was threatening to pull through the deck so it was time to turn on the iron jenny and head for home at 2:38 PM Sunday.

Beard said the conditions were “rough” and “wet” but not unbearable. They were 101 miles south of Pensacola when they discovered the cracked and broken metal plate and had passed Pensacola Yacht Club [PYC] and returned to the boat's slip behind Beard's house in Bayou Chico in time for breakfast Monday morning. Beer, hot tub and cleaning up the wet boat were the order of the day.

Beard said, “Winds were up and down from 3kts to 30kts. We didn’t have wind instruments so that’s an estimate. Seas were 5-7 feet. Heading into those seas would have put a lot of pressure on the rig and in an older boat like ours that can lead to trouble."

“We still have our rig up,” Beard added. “We didn’t want to risk loosing that… the upper shroud is connected to part of that same chain plate backing, so continuing to sail even though conditions were getting better would have been risky. If the uppers had broken the mast would have gone over and we would have lost it all.”

“We still had 400 plus miles to go down the rhumb line [direct course to Havana] and a 90 mile Gulf Stream crossing to make on the way before reaching the finish line. Much too risky,” Beard remarked.

The Gulf Stream, which pushes up the Atlantic across the tracks for the Charleston, Annapolis, Newport and Marion to Bermuda races, starts as a current that pushes north between Cuba and the Yucatan area of Mexico. The current sweeps north and then loops south along the coast of Florida giving sailors a boost of up to 3kts going towards Cuba.

The section of the stream between Dry Tortugas and Cuba can be rough because the eastbound current collides with the prevailing wind from the east and stacks up choppy waves.

All of the boats still on the course were having a wet go of it. The two boats closest to Cuba had been in contact with the race organizer’s communications team and their home base followers. The J-130 ‘Lesson #1’ has not been showing up on the ‘Kattack’ tracking page on the race internet site www.cubarace2015 since the race started.

‘Lesson #1’ reported good progress but their alternator has failed so they are conserving electricity. They are not using their electronics, so they are navigating the old fashioned way. They estimate finishing at Marina Hemingway tomorrow night.

Early on Monday morning they posted this on https://www.facebook.com/CubaRaceLesson1/—
“All OK, we have had some technical difficulties and discovered our new alternator has failed. Power is scarce and we are running a trickle charge from a solar panel. All is well though and have crossed nearly 180 miles towards our destination. Sailing 6.5 knots towards 120°. Onwards... about to hit the Loop Current.”

The little Corsair 31 tri 'Bellafonte' was really wet. Early Monday, Larry Bowyer of race communications talked to newlywed Mandy Johnson whose husband David is on board. She was concerned and found they were taking on water, but able to keep up with it, They still plan to continue to Cuba. The water— two feet or so from waves splashing into the small boat’s hulls— has damaged electronics and batteries. They are still tracking east, going close to St Pete. They planned to tack back towards the rhumb line later today [which they did]. Mandy and Bowyer are going to check in with them frequently during the day and night via sat phone.

Bowyer was in contact with US Coast Guard (USCG). They talked with Mandy who was the last to contact 'Bellafonte'. Mandy understood the water was coming from waves and not a hull leak. Although 'Bellafonte' can take on water during rough seas, they are not continually pumping. The USCG will continue to monitor their progress; they are not sending a vessel out to check on them. If the Race organizers become concerned, I will re-contact the USCG again.

Mandy & I are talking,” Bowyer said. “So if she hears from her husband she will contact me and vice versa.”

Experienced racing sailor Rick Zern said, “Having sailed on that particular boat over the last two years and that design of boat over the last 15 years, I would speculate that the water intrusion into the main hull is from waves. The Amas (pontoons) tend to take on water from the hatches and must be bailed every time one can get in on the high side. We took on a good bit of water in the Gulfport to Pensacola Race and it was downwind most of the time. I am not surprised they are taking on water in these rough upwind conditions.”

Land-bound spectators can track their favorite boats in the Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race. Each boat has a position transponder broadcasting its location. The monitoring system is called “Kattack”. It is online through the event website http://www.cubarace2015.com and click on the boat tracking tab and go to
http://kws.kattack.com/GEPlayer/GMPosDisplay.aspx?FeedID=1498
In rough conditions, the tracker connections may be intermittent, so be patient.

The original Havana Race was sailed from St. Petersburg, FL when 11 boats hit the starting line on March 30, 1930.The competition grew in size and stature to be a favorite of Gulf Coast sailors. It became a preliminary to the famous Southern Ocean Racing Circuit and attracted top yachts from the Americas and the international scene. Then bullets started flying at masts, and Castro overthrew the Cuban government, so the race was discontinued in 1959. See more at A History of Pensacola Yacht Club’s Involvement with the Havana Race prepared by Tom Pace, Jr. at http://www.cubarace2015.com

Title sponsorship for the Pensacola a la Habana Race has come from the Andrews Institute headquarterd in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Local sponsors include Zern Rigging, Schurr Sails, Weather Routing Inc, GeoSyntec, and Technology Associates, Inc. The regatta is supported by the Pensacola Sports Association and The PYC Satori Foundation, a new not-for profit organized to support maritime education and activity for a diverse cross-section of Northwest Florida youth and the general population. The Pace Family of Pensacola has also supported the race through a generous donation to the PYC Satori Foundation.

The Castillo del Morro Race: Friendly Competition
One important goal of the new Cuba race is to establish friendly, amateur athletic competition between the US sailors and the people of Cuba. Once in Cuba, the Pensacola a la Habana racers will be joined by local racers and other boats mooring in the Hemingway Marina in The Castillo del Morro Race.

The race is scheduled in Havana for Friday November, 6th. It will have a course that will be from the Almendares River mouth – entry buoy to Havana Harbor- Hemingway Marina. This course is spectator friendly for the Cuban people and US spectators traveling to Cuba. The boats will leave the Hemingway Marina for the starting line at 9:00AM and the start will be approximately 11:00AM local time.

The trophy presentations for the 2015 Andrews Institute Pensacola a la Habana Race and the Castillo del Morro Race will be at 7:00PM at the Hemingway International Yacht Club.