Welcome to AZAB 2015, the 2,400 mile ocean race, in the unlikely event of you sailing in a straight line!
Having enjoyed my first AZAB Race in 2011, I now find myself as Race Director of 2015.
Colin Drummond a founder /competitor of the AZAB in 1973 has passed the Race Director baton to me and has threatened to race again in 2015.
It is an international ocean race for all comers, from experienced yachtsmen sailing 60 footers to the inexperienced guys like me with smallish boats. I had never raced my Moody 336 or sailed further than Brittany!
AZAB 2015 has already 65 entries. They seem to do an excellent job. Back in 2011 we were 60 boats at the start line. Hopefully OSTAR 2017 (will it be in 2017?) can build on that success as well.Red Ensign AZAB 2015 - Official Website for the Azores and Back Yacht Raceazab.co.ukasd
Our polar bear encounter at the abandoned radio station in Tingmiarmiut, East Greenland.Polar Bear Encounter
Celebrating our first ascent in East Greenland. The white light is the moon. The rocket starts at 0:32.Space Center East Greenland: Rocket Launch
Recent article (first part) about my summer.Ralph Villigers Abenteuer beim OSTAR und vor Grönland | SegelReportersegelreporter.com
On June 13, 2013 I crossed the Sailboat "Midwatch" during miserable weather. They contacted me because they did not send an AIS signal, but received mine. So they made sure I saw them. Now I found their blog. Here is what they said: "We have only encountered other boats at night. A gentleman with a British accent passed us within two miles in a sailboat. I spoke to him on the radio just to make sure he saw us. Neither of us was very talkative as it was raining with lightning so the conversation was all business." British accent! Marvelous, isn't it?
After the expedition is before the expedition: Engine is serviced and now has even a pre-filter (apparently this is not only for sissies). Next job: Put on a wind generator that actually works (solar panels are under the snow and in the dark of little help).
MiniTransat: Giancarlo Pedote is consistently expanding his lead. Probably he is a good sailor with a good boat (compared to a sailor with a good boat as many want you to believe). Transat Jacques Vabre: After 21 days only 320nm to go, but the leaders have lost 2 of their 3 spinnakers. Can they defend the 50nm lead?
This MiniTransat is specially interesting because of Giancarlo Pedote's boat. It is David Raison's boat from two years ago which won the MiniTransat 2011 with a big margin. It has a radical design with a round instead of a pointy bow. If Giancarlo wins then everybody will say that apparently the boat design is really better than the others. If he doesn't win (Benoît Marie trails him by 12nm) then David Raison just becomes a very gifted sailor. Unfortunately for Giancarlo he would win because of the boat and loose because of his skills.