07 June 2019 | 43.43.0 N'N:015.33.0 W'W, 200m from Nw Spain
06 June 2019 | 45.33.0 N'N:013.00.0 W'W, approx NW 150 miles from NW Spain
05 June 2019 | 46.17.9 N'N:012.07.09 W'W, 100 miles West of Ushant, France
03 June 2019 | 48.14.4 N'N:08.01.24 W'W, 100 miles West of Ushant, France
02 June 2019 | About half way England to France
23 May 2019 | Howth Marina
06 May 2019 | Warrenpoint
AZAB 2019: challenge completed and lapsed time winners
07 July 2019 | Fahan Marina, Lough Swilly, Co Donegal
The challenge AZAB 2019 race is now well and truly completed with Viking Lord safely moored in its home port of Fahan Marina.
A remarkable challenge and one I will treasure for a long time and thanks to Paul for the opportunity.
We finished a rather disappointing last overall out of all the finishing boats. But there are 16 other entries who would have been delighted just to have finished. But for us it was always about the taking part and completing the voyage. Anything else would have been a total bonus.
Thanks to everyone who donated on the Virgin Giving site. Not quite on target - but still an excellent boost to the charities of MNDA and Habitat for Humanity.
The winners of the lapsed time estimate are William and Karen from Melodrama:
Their estimate: 27d 04h 15m 01s
Official lapsed time: 24d 08h 45m 58s
Congratulations William and Karen!!
Finished the AZAB 2019
01 July 2019 | 50.09.0 N'N:05.03.0 W'W, Falmouth Marina
Finished on 1st July 0653am. OUtbound lapsed time : 12 days 15 hours 57 mins Inbound Lapsed time 12 days 18 hours 53 mins
Finishing position can only be confirmed after race officals have applied the handicap ratings - although we don't expect much difference.
3rd last. We held Lazy Otter to the end. And just pipped at the line Pride of Erin -the other Norn Irn entry - with seconds between us. Although to be fair these were both single handed boats and Pride of Erin had a broken forestay and could not set all normal sails and limped over the line!
After a long night we were welcomed by the yacht club launch with beer and breakfast rolls - both eagerly consumed.
It was certainly an adventure - very frustrating at times and other exhilarating. The light airs and strong headwinds seemed to combine to remove pleasure from the trip. Needless to say the more "normal" weather pattern of Azores High in the South and depressions tracking east to the North have now resumed after we have finished.
I have a flight home later today where a bed thats not moving at a tilt and normal sleep patterns awaits
There will be no further updates on this blog. But thanks so much to everyone for kind comments and supporting the two worthy charities.
Last day at sea
29 June 2019 | 47.59.0 N'N:08.26.0 W'W, 175 miles from Lizard Pt
This will be the last full day at sea before crossing the finish line at Falmouth. Our ETA sometime on Monday morning.
Although we like we should be given a full reception - similar to the early astronauts, I suspect there will be little more than the official at the marina office asking for money.
We know we are close to other boats- so there may be something of a little party in the RCYC who hosted the race - and hopefully they have still some Azores Ale at £2 per pint!
For those that care about these things - our race times are: Outbound: 11 days 15 hours and 57 minutes Inbound:
I'll post the overall race results when I get them on this blog also.
Thankyou so much to everyone who contributed to the two charities. We have also raised just over 400 Euro from AZAB 2019 competitors and staff which is excellent!
So close and yet so far
29 June 2019 | 47.59.0 N'N:08.26.0 W'W, 175 miles from Lizard Pt
We are in the final days of the Azores adventure. thanks to everyone still reading this - although pretty sure that by now thats only my mum.
And the weather is still having a laugh. After nearly 3 days of excellent progress, the winds have gone elsewhere and we are painfully rattling our way toward the finish at about 3-4kts. 175 miles is not far (day and half?) under good condtions - but at this speed its almost 2.5days. We hope to arrive Monday sometime. In the past we have similiar conditions in absolutely lashing rain.
Still mustn't grumble its warm and sunny and there is much sea life in whales and dolphins around as we have just crossed the continental shelf. The dolphins swam slowly round our craft as if in sympathy with our plight. We finished our last full breakfast of cereal and eggs today. Tomorrow we are on "continental" which means coffee and a fag - except without the fag. All fresh provisions are gone, tins and dried foods now prevail and each meal takes less imagination as the choice becomes more limited.
The pints and food in Falmouth are now being discussed. Maybe we will join with Lazy Otter Skipper Ertan as we have shared the same patch of ocean for much of this leg.
Viking lord, out.
Even more boring stuff: Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said before I set off on the Clipper race from London to Rio that the thing he valued most of all in his professional skippers and amateur crews was "seamanship".
At the time I didn't quite understand what seamanship meant and as that boat had 19 others on board I didn't really get a chance to find out. As we come toward the end of this Azores adventure of 2400 miles in a small boat with only 2 hands - I can now break this down.
Determination: After you have just fixed your third fairly major issue for the day - you're hungry and tired - and yet another one appears. Seamanship dictates that this problem is tackled in the here and now. Patience: So far on this second leg we have either had light winds or strong ones from exactly where we want to go. Seamanship means patience. Keeping the focus and adjusting to what you have been given to make the most of the situation. The huge temptation of "giving up" simply does not exist as an option. Awareness: Everything needs watched and measured. Provisions, water, gear, boat, rigging, sails, etc. Any issue with any of these must be tackled immediately. Letting anything go could arise in a much more serious situation later. Weather: Surprisingly - this is a nice to have and not an essential! For the fact is theres not a lot you can do except adjust for what you have.
Viking Lord, out
we are not last!
28 June 2019 | 45.59.0 N'N:012.11.0 W'W, 270 miles from Lizard Pt
We have had a couple of great days run and have made up some of the lost time. There had been talk of a Monday or even Tuesday arrival in Falmouth - but thanks to a low pressure in Sole sea area we have had great favourable winds and sunny weather. Even before closing time on Sunday is now a faint possibility.
In even better news - we are not last! We finally overtook Lazy Otter late yesterday and today he is just a dot on the horizon astern. We don't care even if he is single handed - this is a satisfying situation.
Large ships are best avoided at sea. We are soon to enter some of the worlds busiest shipping lanes - where they literally queue to get through controlled areas. In international rules power always gives way to sail (irrelevant of size) unless they are unable to manoeuvre. However, when staring down a 250000 ton tanker at 20kts - we tend to make a "courtesy" avoiding action. We do carry AIS transponders so we should be able to avoid each other even in poor vsibility.
We are currently steaming directly towards the finish in a force 5 averaging about 6kts. Long may it continue.
Viking Lord, out.
27 June 2019 | 45.59.0 N'N:012.11.0 W'W, 365 miles from Lizard Pt
For those few still bothered to keep up with this frankly rather boring drivel about frustrations and depravation which were after all - entirely self inflicted - thanks a million! I have no idea who reads this but looking forward to reading comments when back in land of the connected.
After several very frustrating days of trying to make to windward to Falmouth we are now having a glorious day sailing. the 3rd of this entire trip as far as I can remember. The winds have at last turned in our favour after the much awaited southerly shift came early this morning.
If this holds we "might" make the finish line in Falmouth in time for last orders Sunday
After tacking all aound the rumb line trying to make ground, we met up again with Lazy Otter. We are now only about a mile or so apart. I suspect we are the dregs of the fleet.
The weather predition from here is "mostly" ok. Possible strong/gale winds on Saturday - but as long as these are from the West or South we can use thse for making up time.
Thanks everyone. Viking Lord, out.