Open Sailing, Inc. Press Release
Saturday June 30th. Jerome Sammarcelli departed San Francisco on a 21ft sailboat in the Single Handed Transpac Race to Hanalei Bay on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. After a lifetime of sailing and over a year of preparing for this race the start day was finally here.
The boat, a Pogo 2, is the smallest boat in this years fleet of 23 boats. The Pogo 2 is a mini-Transat a very popular single handed sailing class in Europe. The most well known event for the class is the Mini-TransAt which takes solo sailors on a 4,000+ nautical mile course from France to Brazil. This is the first time a Mini-TransAt has competed in the Single Handed Transpac and it will be the first time a boat of this class has been solo sailed across the pacific in a race. Jerome, who is originally from France, grew up sailing with his parents. Sailing is now more than a past-time - Jerome cofounded Open Sailing, a US based company, in 2008. Open Sailing has grown and is now the builder of the Open 5.70 and the Pogo 2. Both boats are designed by the renowned French architect group Finot/Conq. Although they are only 2 feet different in length they are very different boats. The Open 5.70 is designed as a one-design buoy racer and Califorina has a very successful and quickly growing fleet. The Pogo 2 is a very capable offshore 21ft boat that was hugely successful in Europe as a race and as a pocket cruiser. Open Sailing's goal is to introduce and grow the Pogo 2 class here in the US. With 4 boats already out of the factory sailing, 2 more in production and more in the pipeline the momentum is starting to build. Expect to see large classes of these boats competing in signature offshore US events such as the Bermuda One-Two, Chicago Mackinac and of course the Transpac.
After some tearful good byes from friends and his wife Alisha and soon to be 2 year old son Luca it was time to start the 2,120 nautical mile adventure. The weather at the start line off the deck of the Corinthian Yacht club was typical San Francisco - a cool building breeze with the fog starting to creep over the hills and surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge. The only instructions for the racers were to start, leave the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge to port, and then finish in Hanalei Bay. With one reef already in the main Jerome took the start on port at the pin end of the line, and quickly tacked to starboard giving himself a good jump on the fleet - a great way to start a long race - at the front! It didn't take the racers long to disappear into the fog and out of the Golden Gate bridge dodging all the weekend bay traffic on their way.
48 hours into the race Jerome called in via Satellite phone to give an update "It's 8am on Monday. Really rough out here 20-25 knots for the past 24 hours. Not exactly sure if I'm headed the right way. Can't download the position report, and can't download the weather either so I'm a little blind out here. I've been on a close reach since we've started. Was a slow night the first night. I've been sleeping a lot, I've been inside for at least 24 hours now and the autopilot is doing most of the work. I've got two reefs in the main and a reefed genoa and it's still blowing 20+ right now. I'm close the rhumb line doing about 7 knots SOG. "
There is laptop aboard so combined with the satellite phone Jerome has limited email capability. The challenge is that on a close reach point of sail the ride can be pretty rough and wet which isn't really conducive to laptops and typing. The boat is also equipped with a state of the art NKE autopilot system. The autopilot is always connected to the helm via a hydraulic actuator which is mounted inside the boat. A remote control around the sailors neck can be used to engage and adjust the autopilot at any time. The pilot is completely configurable and can be tuned for your boat and the current sailing conditions. A lot of the time spent preparing for this race was dedicated to tuning the autopilot to find the right balance of performance and power consumption. Managing power is a big challenge on a boat this size with no inboard engine. Jerome has a combination of solar power and an EFOY fuel cell which burns methanol to produce electricity. This should give him the energy he needs to run the critical systems such as the autopilot and the AIS to monitor other shipping traffic, as well as the satellite phone and all the cameras he has on board to capture the adventure!
All the racers in the Single Handed Transpac are being tracked using yellow brick and their progress can be seen online and via the yellow brick mobile app Open Sailing will also be in contact with Jerome, posting updates on the Open Sailing Offshore Racing Facebook page and the Open Sailing website.
Team Open Sailing would like to thank everyone for their support, especially : DISC, Harken, NKE, Gill, UK Sails, Adrena, EFOY, Spokiz, Monroe Construction, Flying Buttress.
JeromeFamily.jpg "Jerome, Alisha & Luca" Copyright Open Sailing,Inc
Jerome.jpg "Jerome sailing offshore" Copyright Open Sailing,Inc
PogoInterior.jpg "Pogo 2 packed for the Single Handed Transpac" Copyright Open Sailing,Inc
SHTPStart.jpg "Great Start" Copyright Open Sailing,Inc
Upwind.jpg "Single Handed Transpac Start" Copyright www.pressure-drop.us