Vaquita finishes 8th in TJV

— 01 Dec 2013

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Vaquita finishes 8th in the TJV, Andreas Hanakamp, 2013

Well done to Christof and Andreas for finishing 8th in the TJV. Vaquita crossed the finish line of the Transat Jacques Vabre at 1254hr 08s local time in Itajaí (1454hrs 08s UTC) having sailed a course of 5600nm at an average speed of 10.34kts.

Vaquita, the new Humphreys designed Class 40, was only launched this summer and impressed as she picked up places and time all the way down the course to the Doldrums, showing exceptional average speeds at times. The Austrian duo, entrepreneur Petter and professional sailor Hanakamp learnt the boat progressively in what was also their first major Class 40 event. Having taken a little longer to get into the rythm of the race than the seasoned Class 40 campaigners, Vaquita lay in 17th position at Ushant before revelling in the fast reaching and downwind conditions in the Portugese Trade Winds, rising to 14th off Porto and by the Cape Verde Islands they had climbed into 4th position as a result of their speed and westerly option after the Azores.

Unfortunately the Doldrums did not treat them kindly. Having entered in 4th, they exited the Doldrums in 10th position having found themselves trapped among cumulonimbus clouds and unable to find a direct course through this light and highly complex zone, at one point losing 60nm in a day to their nearest competitiors.

On finally exiting the Doldrums, Vaquita was yet again able to demonstrate her speed in what was effectively a drag race to Cabo Frio, this time in fairly moderate strength fetching / reaching conditions in the SE Trades as she climbed back to 8th position. As the breeze continued to build and back she passed ERDF again (one of the early race favourites) and moved into 7th position.

The last section of the race was played out in extremely challenging conditions with a low pressure cell situated between Cabo Frio and the finish in Itaji, providing another light air zone and transition from NE to SE wind. While it did allow for some compression with the boats ahead, giving Vaquita a fighting chance of climbing back to 4th, sadly it also provided ERDF with the opportunity to wriggle through with a short sprint to the finish.

All in all it has been an excellent race for Vaquita, having demonstrated excellent performance as well as reliability and robustness in some pretty challenging conditions, particularly ealy on in the race through Biscay and off the Portugese Coasts, where a number of Class 40’s were forced to retire.  Her next events include the Caribbean 600 and the Atlantic Cup.

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