Ireland’s Jim Schofield Ready for 3,000 Mile Trip to Antigua in Globe 5.80 Transat

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The six solo sailors entered in the first edition of the Globe 5.80 Transat as launched by Don McIntyre (who is racing) arrived in Lanzarote at the end of the first stage from Lagos, the Swiss Etienne Messikommer won.

The second stage bound for Antigua starts on November 18.

With a late starter, Jim Schofield from Ireland, arriving safely in Marina Rubicon Lanzarote on November 10, all entrants of this eventful inaugural qualifier are gathered in Lanzarote (Spain), including Class Globe 5.80 Class founder Don McIntyre.

All are celebrating the start of an adventure that began just over a year ago, as they each started building their plywood epoxy kit 5.8mtr Mini ocean racers. All in different countries, but with a shared dream to make the Globe Transat.

All skippers and yachts in Lanzarote, now preparing for the Nov. 18th start of the second 3000 nm leg to Antigua.

N? 88, the swiss entry Numbatou from Etienne Messikommer won the first leg, completing the 600 nautical miles qualifier in 4 days, 20 hours and 55 minutes after a constant battle with the elements, and the Czech entry Menawan from Michal Krysta.

The 600 nm qualifier leg was won by Numbatou, from Swiss entry Etienne Messikommer.

Many skippers themselves wondered how the boat would perform due to the little time at sea, with only Numbatou and Menawan clocking offshore miles between Les Sables d’Olonnes and Lagos in Portugal before the start.

The Czech entry Michal Krysta (Hull 07: Menawan) here pushing to the finish line with it all up! a few hours behind first place

The boat, however, behaved splendidly, the Globe 580 Transat Race Director Lutz Kohne puts it: “With all experiencing a mix of conditions and gusts to 35 knots and above with swells of 3-4 meters, these amateur home build boats just proved their seaworthiness and fun factor.”

Don McIntyre sailed his TREKKA through the biggest storm and probably learnt the most about this new experimental design. After spending a night running under bare poles steered by wind vane at 5-8kts, getting plenty of sleep below, conditions continued to build the next day climaxing in 45-55kts with 5mtrs seas for five hours before rapidly abating.

TREKKA arrives Lanzarote after sailing through 45-55kt storm with 5mtr seas.

“She is simply an amazing boat that feels bigger than she is,” said Don McIntyre” you have to sail her like a small displacement boat sitting IN the water, NOT on top, and reduce sail to go faster! She will surf in swells, can take you around the world and look after me in that storm.”

Most experienced surfing surges of 12-14kts with Michal clocking up to 16 knots and regularly posting 24-hour distance above 130 miles but could not work out how to use his wind vane .

Michal recalls: “Due to issues with the pilot and wind vane, I have spent up to 70 hours at the helm with winds of 40 knots going down big walls of water in the 5.80 reaching a personal best of 16 knots of boat speed!”

The Czech entry Michal Krysta (Hull 07: Menawan) here pushing to the finish line with it all up! A few hours behind first place.

Other entrants have not helmed that much, praising the efficiency of their South Atlantic wind vane, such as Etienne: I am very pleased with the boat and the self-steering gear; in particular, I barely touched the helm. The ship is small and nimble, so I felt like a washing machine in the crossed, confused seas of the early days, but never in danger. She behaves like a bigger boat, and I have learned to push her to max speed to gain momentum and control in the big seas.

Third, Peter Kenyon had less time on the boat than Etienne and Michal on the podium but kept in touch throughout the race. “It was quite an eventful inaugural trip! From my best moment was dolphins waking me up from my nap in the cockpit to the worst, finding water in the aft compartment and not knowing where it had come from…” After finding the water ingress came from fittings in the cockpit that we constantly awash with waves, Peter has only praises for the design: “the boat is the biggest surprise of those testing 600 miles, she feels solid, really safe and confidence-inspiring.”

Severin Hummer (No98: Shrimp, Switzerland) at 25 is the youngest entrant and took a few days to settle into this solo challenge and then come to terms with how best to handle the boat. The wind vane was challenging, so used an electric autopilot. Full of passion and determined he is happy for the wind vane advice now given by other entrants and looking forward to the next leg.

The UK entry Peter Kenyon (Hull 47: Origami) came 3rd.

Leg two is already in everyone’s mind a week before the start, while the boat design and home-built construction satisfied entrants and organizers alike; some valuable lessons were learned from leg one, with tweaks and mods being planned.

It is mainly improving storage on board with more places to store small items below and placing deck fittings and blocks to simplify manoeuvres. The big question is weight distribution and loading. Many put heavy items at the mast position and above the keel, but some may now move weights further aft.

When asked about Leg 2, Race Director Lutz Kohne mentioned, “Sleep, mental strength and the right tweak of wind vane and mainsail will be the key elements to be competitive for the race starting November 18.”

The gallant 5.80 skippers have a week to work on their boats, stock-up food and rest, but they are already established as trailblazers by the 150 other Globe 5.80 builders worldwide, all watching and learning. They are making history in this new trend of home-built, one-design racing, all true legends within the fast-growing Class Globe 5.80 family!

The farewell PRESS CONFERENCE for the Globe 5.80 Transat with all skippers is set for 1100hrs UTC on Monday 15th NOV at Rubicon Marina Lanzarote. Covered live on Facebook at the Globe 580 Transat page

McIntyre Adventure Globe 5.80 Transat First Leg Top 3, left to right: Peter, Michal and Etienne. Photo: Aida Valceanu

The inaugural McIntyre Adventure Globe 5.80 Transat course

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