Sunday, February 5, 2012

Walk on the wild side

Who's the boss ?

Skipper's biggest challenge :
Getting the keel out of the water and keeping it there requires precision sailing and knowing the boat inside out.
From his position at the helm, Ross Daniel, the skipper cannot see either Alex Thomson or the jet ski, so he relies on the information given to him by the spotter (port side of stern / left back).

Required wind speed: 17 – 19 knots

Required sea state: slight (waves 0.5 – 1.25 metros)
Requires sailing speed: 9 knots
Sailing angle of yacht to lift keel out of the water: 45°
Maximum angle of yacht: 70°
Maximum sailing time with keel out of the water: 45 – 60 seconds

Major risks:
- The boat coming down on top of Alex, the jet ski and its driver.
- The wind is unpredictable; a momentary gust or drop will affect the direction and speed of the boat in an instant.
- The keel hitting Alex – 4 tonnes of lead moving at 10mph – the equivalent of being charged by an elephant!

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