Broad Street Wrington Web Archive
AZAB 2003
Saturday, 7th June, 2003 onwards
Wrington sailor, Gary Clements, and fellow crew member, Chris Knowlton, sailing in the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club's Azores & Back Race, send their current location and progress updates so we can all follow their journey.
This has prompted a message from Neil Thackray (return skipper Nutcracker AZAB 2003): "I see one of your number is in the AZAB race. We have linked to you and you may want to do the same to share info. amongst those interested from the ocean. Best wishes to your seafaring folk."
1 Friday, 6th June 17.51 hrs Have arrived at Falmouth for start of race. You can reply to this address. We should be able to get them

2 Sunday, 8th 20.04 hrs We want to thank everyone for a fantastic send-off, we could win at least one prize.
No great dramas to report yet. Haven't seen another boat in our race since first evening. We must be doing too well !!!
Position: 48.29.58 N / 005.55.74 W
20 miles off Quesant. No pubs in sight. I've kept Gary off the booze so far.
Just realised I haven't cleaned my teeth yet - just my way of keeping Gary away - long time at sea and all that.
Currently slow progress. We don't sail to windward very well and that's what we are having to do.
PS If Chris calls this boat a caravan one more time I will throw him off.

3 Wednesday, 11th
via Marian
08.55 hrs Gary managed to speak to me by satellite phone very briefly late last night. I think the weather has been too bad for them to try earlier, and they are having problems with the phone.
They have been experiencing very severe winds, 40 knots and above, gale-severe gale (+ 22knots is considered a yachtsman's gale).
To make matters worse the wind has been right on the nose, and Coryphaena does not sail at all well close to the wind.
Their position last night was 47.00.67N 09.37.41W. This is in the Bay of Biscay. Gary says they've been pushed further east than they wanted, but I think he probably just meant they hadn't got as far as they'd hoped.
Gary said the winds were now light. He sounded exhausted, but they are both Ok. I was able to tell him that according to the official AZAB site 7 yachts have been retired from the race.
4 Thursday, 12th
via Marian
10.47 hrs According to the AZAB site <> at 12.00 yesterday Corphaena's position was 46.22N 09.37W with 860 miles to go. I haven't heard anything more from them.
5 Thursday, 12th
via Marian
21.00 hrs I've just heard from Gary (21.00 Thursday).
Their position at 16.00 hrs today was 45.35.15 N 10.50.20 W.
Last night they had 12 hrs of going absolutely nowhere, but he said today has been the best day's sailing he's ever had. They've had the spinnaker up all day, and the company of dolphins.

He said it was touch and go whether they make it to the Azores before the start of the return leg, but we shall have to wait and see.
Fingers crossed for fair winds!

According to the AZAB site 14 yachts have retired.

6 Sunday, 15th 09.37 hrs Hi, there. Currently becalmed. Have been all night. Nothing to do or see. Still have 552 miles to go. Hoping for winde. It's been great up to now. Update soon.
Chris + Gary
7 Tuesday, 17th
via Marian
15.04 hrs Latest news from Chris and Gary, Gary called me last night (Monday). He said they were enjoying their sailing, and reported their last position as:
41 39 78 N 17 39 62W.
They had heard from the AZAB site that there were 2 boats in their class ahead of them, and 2 behind them.
Looking at the AZAB site myself, the first yachts have begun to reach the Azores.
8 Thursday, 19th
via Marian
23.33 hrs I heard from Gary yesterday at about 19.00. Their position was 39 54 19 N 20 04 34 W , with approx. 292 miles to go. They had been becalmed all day again. Gary said he had been for a swim! They are wondering if they will make it to the Azores for Sat.
I expect most people who are interested will already have read the following on the AZAB site, but in case you think it is of interest, I have copied this from the AZAB newsletter:

19th June 2003

The news is again of very light airs and little progress. It is causing some frustration and a number of smaller yachts have retired to motor in.

We now have;
18 retirements
17 yachts finished
13 yachts still sailing
1 yacht declaring for the return leg only.

Progress for those still sailing is typified by Sleuth Hound, who has managed just 76 miles in 51 hours and was still 17 miles out at 1500h today

Fiery Cross was reported to be under tow from Nutcracker, but is now sailing again. Nutcracker is reported to be only 3 miles out.

It is understood that the Race Committee will consider the timing of the start for the return leg at a meeting tomorrow. At present the start remains set for Monday 23 June.

18th June 2003

Unfortunately the winds have died with all boats still out reporting dead calm. Some have registered only 10 to 30 miles made good in 24 hours.

Tamarind reported being overtaken by two turtles!

9 Friday, 20th
via Marian
19.32 hrs I have just heard from Gary. They have 70 miles to go, and fingers crossed hope to reach the Azores tomorrow (21st). The return leg is due to start still on Monday. I don't know if that will give them enough time to restock their supplies. I hope so.
10 Saturday, 21st
via Dave Cox
11.00 hrs Just heard from Gary. They are 20 miles from the Azores !
11 Saturday, 21st 12.15 hrs Gary 'phoned the website direct - now 15 miles from port, which he estimates they'll reach at 16.00 hrs approx. He says conditions have been pretty tough. In their best 24 hours they covered 127 miles, and the worst was 42 ! He's tried e-mailing a digital picture, but the system was just too slow. He was ringing to ensure they nevertheless took part in Wrington World Day, which is today ! Well done !
12 Sunday, 22nd
via Marian
06.45 hrs It's 06.45 am and I've just been woken up by a very excited Gary! They finally got in to the Azores at 22.00 last night. The whole of the yacht club and all the competitors, who were having a celebratory meal and awards ceremony, came down to the harbour to cheer them in.

Their persistence was rewarded and they won their class. One yacht came in just behind them, and that was Paul Heiney who was doing the trip single handed (his wife Libby Purves is taking over from him to do the return leg with someone else). Gary said they'd been up celebrating all night, and they were just about to go to bed.

Many, many thanks to everyone in Wrington. I'm sure the send off they got helped them to keep going. Everyone's support has helped me too. Thanks! Let's hope they have some wind in the right direction to get them home.

13 Monday, 23rd
via Marian
22.19 hrs I have spoken to Gary this evening. He and Chris had just been swimming in the island's hot springs.
The start of the second leg has been postponed until 11.00 am tomorrow morning (Tues) , due to a lack of wind today. They are going to be allowed to start at the same time as everyone else.