39N 22W, What is IDEA

IDEA Sailing
Idea Yacht Racing Ltd
Wed 3 Jul 2013 09:25
What exactly is IDEA?

Thinking on our last few days in Horta Marina and the numerous visitors, gawkers, and lookers who passed by the boat just to see it brings me back to a comment made about how we're only going as fast as a normal sail boat.

So what exactly is IDEA, besides that: Someones idea to bring sailing to young people. Someones idea to showcase a big sexy boat, and other peoples idea's on getting on one (for a fee of course) and going fast in exotic locations. Fast being a relative term. Even at her fastest you could still ride a bicycle as fast as this boat has ever gone.

To back track to our stay in Horta every day we had strollers passing by just to see this machine, so why? What is the attraction? Well it is this: In the majority of marinas that this boat has been to she dwarfs the other boats. Her Rig (Mast) is usually the tallest stick in the park. Her hull is very often 20 -30 feet longer than the next nearest boat and yet she weights the same as or less than many of them.

How? Well she is 78 feet of carbon fiber a material straight out of the aerospace industry. Making her extremely light and yet at the same time indescribably strong. Her mast too is carbon fiber. In fact the only metal on board is in the keel and the deck fittings, and even some of the deck fittings could be replaced by exotic rope with fancy names such as Vectran, and Spectra. Fibers with a fraction of the weight that steel carries yet demonstrably stronger.

Yet for all the technological materials used in her construction she is still just a very simple sail boat, so why all the visitors? Because she looks mean and fast and sexy. Because she sparks the imagination and fantasies of sailors and non sailors alike of ripping through the ocean at breakneck speeds.

And we, her crew, get to play with her most intimately which makes us somewhat of an attraction as well. And so during the one truely sunny morning we had in Horta we had loads of visitors (probably a dozen over the course of the morning) coming and asking if they could board and see and feel. Asking questions and looking up to us as though we are something special. A different species of human; Big boat sailors.

And to most she will remain just that. An Idea. Our IDEA is 78 feet long, and 20 feet wide. Her keel bulb, shaped like a torpedo and weighing in at 11,000lbs, is attached to the end of a 14 foot long fin and is what keeps her upright when powering up in a breeze.

And she is ours!

JFK = Jelly Fish Kennedy. That's right ladies and gentlemen. IDEA has a pet, a mascot. Late last night through early this moring we sailed through a Patch(?) of jelly fish. Quite litterally there were thousands upon thousands of them in all directions for in excess of an hour. A sight that would crawl your skin and yet was super cool at the same time. In amongst them too were loads of small little fish, some jumping and others darting about in and around the tenticals.

Well one of the crew decided to catch one and so dropped a bucket over the side. On his first try he brought up a fine specimen of jellyness, and it's been named Kennedy. JFK is still there in the bucket undulating away at the back of the boat fascinating all who lay eyes on him. All 5 of us that is to say.

Still we are going very slowly trapped by a zone of high pressure that just will not leave us be. And so we plod on. Listen to music. Make sail changes. Stare at the horizon. Clean and tidy. Splice rope, screw screws, and generally try to find productive things to do wilst on watch. The rest of the time we eat and sleep.

TTFN - Ta Ta For Now with 650 miles to go.