Sunday, January 15, 2017

"Black Cat" Rio Race Report #4

The two fastest boats have finished the race in Rio and the rest of the fleet continues to race as hard as before. The Didi 38 "Black Cat" and her closest rivals are now well into the last 1/3 of the race and anticipating their arrival in Rio.

For those who don't know how ocean racing works, each of these boats has a rating, an evaluation of the theoretical performance of that boat relative to all others in the fleet. So all boats race against the clock and against each other through that clock. The catamarans are racing against the other catamarans on a multihull rating system and the monohulls are racing against each other on a monohull rating system. Complicated formulae that have been developed over many years are the basis of these rating systems.

I have the next report from Dave Immelman, skipper of "Black Cat".

Hi All,

Well, we are under a 1000 miles to go. A few tricky patches to get through in the next few days on our final leap to Rio and the good times!

We have had an eventful few days with the weather and with the boat.

On board we had a little motor disaster as the no 2 cylinder blew it's cylinder head gasket. Not what you really want 1500 miles from the nearest diesel Mac. Time to make a plan and get it running again as it charges our batteries. (We do have a solar panel which has kept us going but not to the point we can run fridge, freezer and water maker.) We started to have compression problems as well as starting issues. This led to diesel in the sump and, worse, exhaust into the sump, building pressure. The motor was running but started to sound bad so, upon checking the sump, pressure was so high it shot the dipstick out and sprayed diesel/oil mix all over the cabin. So, after many hours of jury rigging, we have now converted our 20 HP two cylinder motor to a 10 HP single cylinder. Purring like a dream and charging to our full requirements. In fact it took us as long to clean the mess as to fix the motor. The only thing is we might not have enough HP to drive the boat forward, but that is a post finish problem.

We have also started to be hit by the odd rain squalls. Fun and games. Surfing and broaching. Loads of fresh water, so all on deck in swimming costumes and PFD's enjoying the fresh water shower. Yesterday we were in a particularly heavy storm, so we collected a bucket full of fresh water and had extra water for coffee and tea all night, without digging into our daily ration. Nice!

The crew are all well and enjoying the sailing. In fact it has come to the point where the daily routine/systems are just running themselves. Things just happen. Brilliant.

Most afternoons we sit up on deck with the watch, listening to music and chewing the fat. Especially when yesterday we saw our first competition since we passed the Indian Navy weeks ago. Well guess who, The Indian Navy. It is all well and good knowing where the guys are, but it is really nice to see one.

Well, knowing we have company, I will sign off now and chat soon.

Cheers

Black Cat"

The reference to "the Indian Navy" is not to a warship but to the yacht "INSV Mhadei", which belongs to the Indian Navy and is crewed by Indian naval personnel

We wish "Black Cat" and her crew continued good sailing and a happy ship.

Dudley Dix Yacht Design