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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,636

    Default Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    It may seem premature, but queries are popping up already. Some info will be posted here from time to time, Due to the nature and ethos of the events and the characters, expect a certain degree of 'attempting to herd cats'.... but it all works out on the water.

    Next year is the Jester Azores Challenge and unless there are strong reasons against I am suggesting a start at 12 noon on Sunday 31 May. High-water Devonport is at 1339 BST which is about as good as we can get.

    The list has been open for some time (all JC lists into the future are open all the time) with, currently, eleven potential entries. So, now is the time to get planning.......................

    I hope everyone has fine moons'l weather for the rest of the 2019 season. Ewen
    Last edited by zoidberg; 12-07-19 at 12:04.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Over here
    Posts
    696

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    Just left the Azores (by aeroplane) and I can confirm the Caipirinha's from the naval club of horta, over looking the marina are very good indeed!

    If only I still had a jester eligible and offshore capable boat!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,636

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    Those interested in heading down Azores-way next June.... and coming back later in the season..... might fruitfully examine the weather system being shown in Windy.ty on Sunday 28 July in and around the direct route Azores - Falmouth, and step the progress forward every few hours....

    https://www.windy.com/?51.484,-2.770,5,m:eVuafQD

    Then consider what the sea state will become in the vicinity of the Continental Shelf drop-off to the west of Brest/Ushant.....

    Several of our brethren had the foresight and forecast to divert into La Corunna. There are others who didn't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    Can anyone recommend a decent book about passage planning for the Azores, or experiences of passages there?
    There seems to be plenty on line (it was some of these that put me on to Jester in the first place) but just wondering if there's any paper-based reading matter on the topic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Shropshire - Sundance, Bristol Channel
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    I've got some preperation "notes" somewhere from Tony Head that he gave out on a fantastic talk he did at our sailing club on Jester preperations. He doesn't really want them published online but was happy for me to email a copy to potential participants. If you send me your email address I can forward these to you. I believe there's a youtube clip running through the same notes somewhere.
    Tom, Sundance
    2wheels1keel.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    If you also plan to cruise the Azores then 'Atlantic Islands' (RCC) may be of interest. It does have brief passage information - but only a short paragraph to/from UK. This might be all that is justified. Cornell has little more, Reeds has brief details of the ports but no passage information.

    General advice seems to be rhumb line there, unless conditions suggest via Ireland, or perhaps Spain. On the way back head North-ish until at least 45 before turning for home. Expect calms N of the islands in summer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    Thanks, hrchivers. Short but sound advice. Very much in the Jester spirit!
    I suppose you have to assume SW'ly on average, so looking at the track of individual weather systems will be key to whether you go West (get past the continental shelf early) or South
    (head towards the Northerly Portugese Trades).

    I guess the question is whether they extend far enought west to be any help going to the Azores.
    And if they exist in early summer.
    Or indeed, at all, any more.
    There must be some "routing chart" sites that cover it.

    Thanks also to Tom for the prep notes. Much to think upon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    N Kent Coast
    Posts
    4,168

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    There are charts available that you can use on OpenCPN which show average speed and direction per month. However, it wont be like that on the day you leave.

    The only recommendation I have seen is the rhumb line the way down, and go more north on the way back as per post 6, but this was not possible in 2016. As far as I could tell, quite a few boats headed off west to try to get the other side of the lows, and some went south first. Really you need to take a view on it as you leave - look at the low tracks and wind strengths. Also bear in mind shipping density when choosing as it is so much easier to sleep when you only see a ship every couple of days, rather than several during the night.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    I would just add to work with the weather you get. It is not uncommon to find a ridge of high pressure from near the Azores heading roughly NE towards the channel. If that is the case it could be very simple. Stay to the east of the ridge for the trip down to the Azores or stay to the NW of the ridge for the return journey. In both cases you will have wind on the starboard quarter and a nice easy time while it lasts. Keep checking the charts before you leave. I use weatherfax for updates while at sea and found them very useful with forecasts for the next 4 days. Avoid the centre of highs if you possibly can as you will be rolling around on the swells with no wind to steady the ship.

    If the weather is being dominated by lows, it can pay to pass keep them on your left and shape a course to the north and west of them. Again that will give you a good boost in the right direction with quartering winds. Keep an eye out for what is coming to decide your strategy for dealing with the next low. In a small cruising boat your upwind performance offshore is likely to be very disapointing compared to coastal cruising, so any downwind sailing is a gift too good to refuse.

    Fair following winds

    Len

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Solent
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Jester Azores Challenge 2020

    Thanks, both. Very sound advice, to be adapted as the situation dictates.

    I found this report from a US blog http://www.svsarah.com/Sailing/Atlan...datoFlores.htm

    Obviously, starting from the "wrong" place, but still interesting as regards weather routing.

    And, perhaps more relevant, his onwards trip to Portugal. Very useful to have a blog written by a retired weather forecaster!
    http://www.svsarah.com/Sailing/Atlan...ltoCascais.htm

    The website also has some useful pages about the islands themselves.
    http://www.svsarah.com/Sailing/Atlan...SailAzores.htm

    I've not got a good weather forecast delivery setup yet. I rented a Garmin from GTC for the Baltimore trip, but the weather reports didn't work. Adding SSB seems like overkill.
    Last edited by lampshuk; Today at 11:31.

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