141. Fairy tale of New York (and Race 13 results)

We were last in New York for my half-century, so a trip back would have been good. Maybe we’ll go for JD’s three-quarter century. Many of the photos here were taken by JD or his daughter Emily, who flew out to surprise him with his granddaughter Freyja, born on his 60th birthday and therefore with a very special bond. They did seem to have a fairy tale few days there.


Race 13 Results: I brought bad karma on Unicef by giving the wrong points for WTC. I said they were in fifth overall position with 60 points. That was blatantly a lie as that would have put them almost at the bottom of the table. They had 90 points and were just behind Unicef. They are now just ahead of Unicef, I must have upset them and forced them to go fast. Race 13 was so short, as I mentioned last time, that the only points up for grabs were those in the Race, no Scoring Gate, no Ocean Sprint. If you’d been watching the Race Viewer early on, you’d have seen that there were BIG wind holes coming up. Unicef decided to go to the left (port) to try to get round them. Everyone else went right (starboard). The winner was Qingdao, back on form. Second PdE, third WTC, fourth Zhuhai (almost made it to the podium for the first time), followed by HLB, IYK, Sanya, Seattle, GTB, DTL and….Unicef last. Their cunning plan didn’t work out. Maybe next time.

Overall points (checked twice, even if I’ve got a number wrong, they are in the right order). Qingdao 130. HLB 120. PdE 116. WTC 99. Unicef fifth with 96. Sanya 92. GTB 85. IYK 77. Zhuhai 66. DTL 61. Seattle 51.

Arriving in NY

Two races left and in Race 14 (setting off today 29th June with a Le Mans start tomorrow on 30th June) the last three are playing their Jokers (Sanya, Seattle and DTL). Seattle and DTL aren’t much of a threat to Unicef but Sanya certainly is. Since Mike Miller abandoned Unicef to go and skipper Sanya, they’ve come ever closer to them in points. After Race 10, when Unicef played their Joker, they had 81 points and Sanya 68, a difference of 13 points. Race 11 widened that to 15 points but then Race 12 narrowed it to 8 and the disastrous (for Unicef) Race 13 to a mere 4. Yikes! As Sanya are doubling their points, we need them to finish way behind Unicef and for the Scoring Gate and Ocean Sprint to be favourable to Unicef. It’s going to be a tough two weeks watching Race Viewer, especially when they go into Stealth. I’ve asked JD not to try to forge a new route but to come in on the top podium position.

There’s a lot of information in Commo’s latest blog post, number 149, for those who need more, plus a few photos featuring JD.

I need to take a rest from this competitiveness. Let’s catch up on some other races, I’ve not mentioned any for a while (Post 130 dated 23rd December 2021).

JD and Commo relaxing

The Ocean Race: The former Whitbread Round the World Race then the Volvo Ocean Race, due to set off next January. For the first time, it will feature IMOCA 60 boats (monohull boats with foils) as well as ‘normal’ (to me) monohulls, each having a different trophy. There’s an informative read about one of the intended skippers, David Witt, below:

David Witt: To know him is to love him

This is not to be confused with the Ocean Globe Race, which also has its roots in the Whitbread, marking the 50th anniversary of the original race. I mentioned it in Post 120 (28th March 2021), where I did confuse them. The Ocean Race is for professionals in modern boats. The Ocean Globe Race is more like the Clipper Race, for Corinthians (amateurs) but in boats designed before 1988. With sextants, so even more rugged than Clipper. It is planned to start in September 2023 and final details are not yet available.


Then, to further confuse, is the Globe 40 Race. This set off last weekend on June 26th (anything to get away from the Glastonbury Festival?). This started in Africa, a world first for a RTW race and should last nine months. It’s organised by a French company so has a different slant to the Anglo-centric races, with very different stopping places, as you’ll see on this link. There are seven Class 40 yachts, first introduced in 2004 and measuring roughly 40 feet. I’m getting the hang of this numbering system. I think.

There’s an update already. Two of the boats collided at the start then one was attacked by killer whales. I can’t find their skipper diaries so we’ll have to make do with this report. If you scroll down this you’ll see the first day’s report with a painful picture of the damaged bowsprit from the collision.


Today’s final Race, also starting in September 2023, is The Race Around. Again Class 40 yachts, thirty-five teams this time, sailing either single or double handed. It’s planned as a net-zero effort, building new boats with innovative materials.


Parade of Sail leaving NY

Onto more personal stories. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Iain Macneil, from the Outer Hebrides. He and four crew set off from the Canary Islands on December 1st in a motor boat (not sure this is allowed on my blog?). They arrived back on May 19th, setting a new RtW record for a sub-24m boat. That’s sub as in smaller than, not under the water.


An interesting interview with Pip Hare, who will be in the Vendée Globe in 2024. A lot of preparation is needed for these races.


Spectator boat in NY

If we thought JD’s Clipper race was tortuous, you have to feel sorry for Mark Sinclair, an Australian (born in the UK and known as Captain Coconut) who set off on the Golden Globe race of 2018. He arrived back in Les Sables on May 27th 2022. He’ll not have much time to relax as he intends to compete in the next edition, which leaves on September 4th. It is meant to be non-stop single-handed racing, but Mark first had to deal with barnacle growth on his hull, which slowed him down. Due to this he started to run out of water and stopped half way to fill up, in Adelaide. Although a non-stop race, he was able to make one stop and thus re-join in the Chichester Class (named after Francis Chichester) on December 5th 2021. In severe storms around Cape Horn this February, his forestay and various bits of equipment were damaged. As the other competitors either completed the race non-stop or retired, he won his Chichester Class. There have already been four withdrawals in the 2022 race, due to boats not being deemed ready and ‘Captain Coconut’ contracted Covid once on dry land. I suspect he can’t wait to compete in the ‘proper’ race this autumn.


Enough boat stuff. I did not go to the Festival but dog-sat while others did. We couldn’t persuade Greta to come and pose, I would blame the loud music except I doubt she heard it.

I bet none of you have had a drink in the last week, waiting patiently for the DAVE. It involves two new ingredients I must tell you about. You saw the bottles in the header of Post 140. D is for Dittany. Never heard of it? A Cretan herb. I search the world to bring you special ingredients.


I have some reservations about using this, even if it is diluted with other herbs and is really only (?) marjoram. The link above says it’s magic and used as an aphrodisiac. You’ve been warned. I’m not using the herb though, only a liqueur produced by the company Roots as the wild herb mix Diktamo. They suggest serving it neat as a digestif or with tonic. That’s a bit tame when you can make a cocktail with it. As research, I’ve tried it neat. Pleasant, a bit herby but not mouth-puckering. If I had to compare it to anything I’d say Benedictine but not as sweet or as alcoholic. I can imagine drinking it with ice as a digestif after a heavy meal.


Enjoying the Festival music?

We have lots of A drinks so onto V. Another new bottle, (Le) Verger. This uses Calvados as the base with orchard fruits giving it more flavour: peach, cherry and apple juice. I don’t like it quite as much as Diktamo but I should try both with ice first. If you ask me, the Calvados comes out strongly but the peach is detectable. Dave, you’ll have to be renamed BACE to try this mix on a budget (assuming, of course, that you have Benedictine and Calvados lurking in your cupboards).


So, DAVE: Take 10 ml Diktamo, 25 ml Apple juice, 10 ml Le Verger and 50 ml Earl Grey tea. No? A bit bitter, I agree, as well as you probably having to spend a fortune on bottles you’ll only use the one time. Let’s try 20 ml Drambuie, a splash of absinthe, 30 ml vodka and 20 ml elderflower cordial or liqueur (depending how sweet / alcoholic you want it), topped up with soda. Enjoy!

My spreadsheet is now sorted with what I have and can make easily. Hugh, you’re in trouble, only one letter of your name is here. Xander and Zoe are also out of luck. I don’t think they have birthdays soon so I can work on my library of bottles. If anyone knows of drinks beginning with H, U, X or Z let me know.