20180929 - Golden Globe Yacht Race

Post date: Sep 29, 2018 4:54:25 AM

The lead yacht, Matmut, skippered by “Jean-Luc van den Heede”, is currently south of Perth in the Southern Ocean.

The main amateur stations in contact with the fleet for their current position are ZS3Y / ZS3V (Volker and Bridgette) in South Africa, VK3MO (Ian) in Kyneton N/W of Melbourne and myself VK6JI. Christian Balois, CT7ANH, in Portugal, also has regular communication with the fleet and his friend “Jean-Luc van den Heede”, via remote hams using my IC-7300 remote station.

Currently the regular skeds are on 20 meters and 40 meters. Most of the traffic is being handled by the two stations each side of Southern Ocean, ZS3Y /ZS3V on the Western side and VK3MO on the Eastern side. Depending on individual yacht positions I stand by to fill any gaps caused by the propagation caused by distance between station. For example the yacht Matmut is south of Perth, being too close to me I have no propagation to it on 20 meters whilst VK3MO has good copy. In a few days time Matmut will be too close to VK3MO so the situation is likely to be reversed.

The format of the skeds normally follows the following format.

  1. VK3MO or ZS3Y / ZS3V reads the appropriate Met Area weather report depending on what skippers are on the net and their current positions.

    1. Western Met Area 10 from the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

    2. Met Area 7 from the South African Weather Service

  2. The NOAA report is then read to give all lows and highs along with their positions and strengths.

  3. VK3MO or ZS3Y / ZS3V then check to see if any skippers require any repeats or clarification of any detail in the weather reports.

  4. Any emails or voice mails either to or from each of the skippers are then read or transmitted as required. There is normally a reasonable amount of traffic for this task so it can take a little while, these are in English, French and Dutch.

I have been doing a weather report for the yachts passing through Sothern Ocean south of Perth in the late afternoon, giving the skippers the most up to date weather information for the night ahead and following morning. In addition CT7ANH using my remote station has been having conversations with the French yachts in French, which I can imagine is welcomed by these lone sailors to keep them company.

The schedules are:

  • 06:00 to 07:00 plus 20 meters on 14.118 Mhz

  • 10:00 to 11:00 40 meters on 7.063 Mhz

Two yachts have lost their masks in a storm in the Southern Ocean approx. 1,900 miles SW of Perth. The rescue of one of these involved a P8 Orion, HMAS Ballarat and a French fisheries patrol vessel.

More information can be found at the official GGR yacht race web site https://goldengloberace.com/

I receive daily propagation reports for my location and antenna to each yacht for their current position from Philippe Trottet, these have been very good to give us idea what propagation to expect. I have attached one of these so you can see what I am talking about.

As some of the yachts get closer to New Zealand, ZL1PWM (Peter) will more than likely participate in the daily schedules.

Source: VK6JI