Lexia in the AZAB 2011

  • 17 Oct 2011 12:05
    Reply # 724820 on 680295

    Thank you all for kind words, and in the case of Peter Manning (The Angel of the North West - see his photo) much more than just words. 

    However, now back to earth.  

    I spent a frantic week at the boat in Plymouth.  Two days to get the rig off the boat and strip it down and prepare for mast lifts (plural), singlehanded again.  I hope that my system of numbers, abbreviations, markings, bits of coloured electrical tape, diagrams and notes will allow me to reconstruct it, memory not being what it was. 
    Monday move the boat under motor to Queen Anne's Battery where All Spars lifted both masts out.  They also took out the mast step of the main, the one that had been moving and graunching on the way to the Azores.  Then back to Millbay Marina. 
    On Tuesday I took the sails up to Exeter to Chris Scanes and they went off for laundering on Wendnesay and will be back in a week, after which they will have a 5,000 mile overhaul and repairs and the addition of larger metal eyes in pairs which should reduce or eliminate the chafe on the lashings securing the sail to the battens and keep battens. 
    All Spars worked on the masts and associated items on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The mast step consists of two aluminium alloy parts: a boss reducing to a spigot that goes inside the base of the mast; a square plate under the boss.  This assembly is machine screwed onto a similar size plate which is glassed onto the top of the keel.  The two parts of the mast step assembly had been held together by four machine screws counter sunk from under the plate up into the base of the boss.  Two of these machine screws were loose and one was sheared.  There was evidence that it had been re-screwed together a number of times before.  It was a bad design and was in the process of failing spectacularly.  I was lucky.  It is now welded together! 
    If we were having to lift one mast, it was sensible to lift both of them.  This proved to be a good thing as the problems on the foremast were all at the top, where it was only just holding together.  That mast now has a new capping plate which now has the Sea Me radar target enhancer mounted on it, this having been taken off the pushpit.  On the main mast we now have a new high quality VHF antenna with a bonded cable which will go without any breaks in it to the  splitter box which runs the VHF and the AIS.  All the electric cables have been replaced with marine grade fully tinned and with soldered ends for all electrical connections.  The new VHF antenna includes a windex.  The earlier windex has been moved to the foremast, so we have two up there, which means belt and braces.  The passive radar reflector, the big white tub, was very decayed and was hanging on by a thread.  We now have a new one.  Etc, etc. 
    The  two masts were put back in on Thursday afternoon, after which I took the boat back to Millbay and put it to bed, including getting the booms, yards and battens stowed inside the boat.  I then left in the early evening and drove the 270 miles to Derbyshire to arrive as usual in the small hours.  Shattered again and very much poorer.  But the boat will be all the better for it. 
    Who said BOAT stands for Bring Out Another Thousand!  I suspect the bill will be all of that.  I said as much to the lad who had been shinning up the masts, and he said:  "If you have an enemy, buy him a boat!" 
    Ah well, On, On!  jds
    Last modified: 17 Oct 2011 12:27 | Anonymous member
  • 17 Oct 2011 09:49
    Reply # 724784 on 680295
    Deleted user
    Jonathan, having had the pleasure of accompanying you on your first sail on 'Lexia' on behalf of the then owner Chris Lofthouse, albeit only round Preston Dock, may I add my congratulations on your award. I know just how much hard work you put into preparing 'Lexia' at Preston and later at Plymouth and the disappointment in the Ostar. Now after your successful completion of the Azab and back you must feel a great sense of achievement on receiving this award. I have not yet had a chance to read the first part of your adventure in the JRA magazine but look forward to doing so in the near future.
    Last modified: 17 Oct 2011 09:56 | Deleted user
  • 17 Oct 2011 07:26
    Reply # 724667 on 680295
    A lesser man would have muttered something about the game not being worth the candle, put the helm up, and run back to where every second shop sells Cornish Pasties. But this was about achieving a personal goal, not beating the other guys, and Jonathan stuck to the task, getting around the course when many other competitors failed to do so.
    Good-on-ya, mate.
  • 17 Oct 2011 05:26
    Reply # 724595 on 680295
    I agree, Jeff.  Jonathon's approach summed up the Corinthian attitude by not only sailing the boat that he had rather than the one that might win, but also continuing, even when he knew he was well behind everyone else - and then 'racing' back again.  All in all an achievement anyone would be proud of.

    And, let's face it, if you want to call it a claret jug - how many people would be able to contradict you?  Use if for claret and it becomes a claret jug  :-)

    I raise my glass (of Oz Shiraz) to Jonathon.
  • 17 Oct 2011 03:36
    Reply # 724373 on 680295
    Deleted user
    Wonderful news! Jonathon, I think you are right about the fascination people in the Western world feel when they see a Western junk sailing... but I strongly suspect that you yourself gave people cause to feel kindly toward you and your efforts as well. Jeff
  • 16 Oct 2011 23:06
    Reply # 724233 on 680295
    A final footnote:
    Jonathan sent me this, but is far too modest to post it himself.

    Dear David

    You will be interested to know that at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club prize giving for the Azores and Back (AZAB) 2011, Lexia and I were awarded the John and Sally May Trophy:

    "To be awarded to the skipper and crew, or singlehanded skipper, judged to have contributed most to the Corinthian spirit of the event.  The winner(s) to be decided by a ballot of the participating yachtsmen." 

    Well!  Ooda thowt it!  Runner up singlehander in Class One and a trophy to boot. 

    I was presented with a fine engraved Dartington Glass claret jug.  How did they know that I am partial to claret?  I will now have to retire from Ocean racing on the basis of "quit whilst ahead". 

    Further to my last, I have now been informed that the trophy is not a claret jug but a water jug.  What a disappointment.  Someone is worried about my liver and bank balance.  Clearly I was getting muddled up with the America's Cup which is I think a claret jug.  But who would wish to be involved in the America's Cup?  Certainly not me.

    I think that the award of this trophy to Lexia by the competitors themselves is another example of one of the peculiar and delightful characteristics of the junk rig.  It is friendly and it makes friends.  In the western world, which is all that I can speak of, a junk rig, particularly if it has coloured sails, causes people to look and stop and to ask questions and generally to be interested and approving and friendly.  Also it is non threatening because it is not derived from a racing background where the object is to sail faster and beat someone else.  Certainly I was never a threat to any of the AZAB competitors!  Maybe it is the Frisbee of the sailing world. 

    End of philosophical discourse!

    Yours aye


  • 25 Aug 2011 17:17
    Reply # 684590 on 680295


    Great article, now understand some of the wayward movements on the tracking site!  I've just taken delivery of a series drogue, and can imagine you marching across B&Q towing the beast.  Made me laugh.  You certainly have some pluck.


  • 20 Aug 2011 18:40
    Reply # 680906 on 680878
    Jeff McFadden wrote:
    David Tyler wrote:Jonathan has written a great article on his experiences. Read it here .


    Woderfully well written and entertaining. I am only left with one question:

    You paid somebody to let you do this?

    Clearly more money than sense!  jds
  • 20 Aug 2011 17:50
    Reply # 680878 on 680295
    Deleted user
    David Tyler wrote:Jonathan has written a great article on his experiences. Read it here .


    Woderfully well written and entertaining. I am only left with one question:

    You paid somebody to let you do this?

    Last modified: 20 Aug 2011 17:52 | Deleted user
  • 20 Aug 2011 00:48
    Message # 680295
    Jonathan has written a great article on his experiences. Read it here .
       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

                                                              Site contents © the Junk Rig Association and/or individual authors

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software