The great Californian Gold Rush of the 1840s and 1850s saw over a quarter of a million people follow the sun to the west of the United States, each dreaming of making their fortunes.
The ‘49ers’, as the early migrants in the first wave of 1849 were known, mostly travelled by ship, sailing from New York to San Francisco westabout around Cape Horn. It was an arduous and dangerous journey, but over 500 vessels – from majestic clipper ships to hastily converted whaling boats – made the voyage in 1849 alone.
The route is as much a part of the American maritime heritage as the clipper tea routes are a part of Britain’s. The benchmark fastest sailing between the two cities was set by the 225ft three-masted clipper Flying Cloud, which sailed around in 89 days 8 hours in 1854, a time that was unbeaten for 135 years. Since then over 200 record attempts have been made, in everything from trimarans to maxis, yet it has never been attempted in a single-handed proa. American sailor Ryan Finn is bidding to be the first to do so, solo and non-stop.
Proas have been around since curious island dwellers first strung cloth atop a dug-out canoe, with early versions developed by Austronesian sailors for exploring the unknown southern seas of the Indo-Pacific some 7,000 years ago.
Made up of a single hull and second ama, they are light and fast, and simple to construct. Devotees of modern incarnations of the proa praise them for their speed under minimal sail area and their ability to absorb waves with less slamming and uneven loading than a conventional catamaran. On a close reach, Jzerro can easily pass boatspeeds of 17-18 knots.
However, the geometry of a Pacific proa (ie with a small ama to windward) does present its challenges. In order to be able to sail with the ama to windward on both port and starboard tacks, a proa must be symmetrical both fore and aft with two ‘bows’, two lifting rudders, and a rotating mast.
On a boat the size of Jzerro, which is 36ft long, accommodation and stowage is severely limited by the single hull, and cockpit protection almost nonexistent. Attempting to sail a proa around Cape Horn, against the prevailing winds, is an extreme challenge.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
SUPERYACHT DESIGN IS AS BOLDLY IMAGINATIVE AS EVER, REPORTS SAM FORTESCUE
NOTHING TO STOP YOU
WHEN PLANNING AN OCEAN PASSAGE, HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOU CAN KEEP GOING NO MATTER WHAT? RUPERT HOLMES FINDS OUT WHAT VENDÉE GLOBE SKIPPERS CAN TEACH US ABOUT MID-OCEAN REPAIRS
WAS AN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ‘BOT’ THE SECRET TO EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND’S AMERICA’S CUP SUCCESS?
Gender equity drive in racing
As part of a remix for the coming season of the foiling SailGP series, each of the eight teams are to add one female athlete per team. Teams will be incentivised to include female athletes in rotation for ‘active roles’ and to include women in the sixth position, progressing to ‘practice and/or training in key roles’.
Resurgence in round the world races
A clutch of ‘budget friendly’ new round the world races for sailor-owners has tapped into renewed enthusiasm for adventure and endurance sailing. All three new events are set to take off in 2023.
Grenada to host ARC+ rally
A new destination is being introduced for the ARC+ rally in November that could bring the total number of yachts sailing across the Atlantic in rallies this winter to a record-breaking number of almost 400.
Science while you sail
Cruisers can help improve scientific knowledge about the health of our oceans while going sailing.
GETTING INVOLVED IN THE HELICOPTER BOMBARDMENT OF A REMOTE ISLAND… ALL IN THE NAME OF A WAR AGAINST MICE
WHEN SURFING SUPERSTAR JOHN JOHN FLORENCE TOOK HIS GUNBOAT 48 ON A 2,500 MILE CRUISE TO REMOTE PACIFIC ISLANDS HE FOUND A THRIVING ECOSYSTEM THAT MAY GIVE US ALL CAUSE FOR HOPE.TOBY HODGES REPORTS
AFTER AN UNPREDICTABLE MATCH, EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND DEFENDED THE 36TH AMERICA’S CUP – AND COULD ALREADY BE SHAKING THINGS UP FOR THE 37TH. MATTHEW SHEAHAN REPORTS FROM AUCKLAND
Kingpins and wannabes barrel through the London underworld.
Gaming By Degrees: The Philosophical Journey of Dr. Finn's Games
Early in his career as a self-publishing game designer, Dr. Stephen Finn earned a reputation as a designer of filler games. In fact, Richard Ham, host of the well-known board gaming video series and podcast “Rahdo Runs Through,” has called Finn the “undisputed King of the Filler.” It was a title that Finn embraced. “There was a time,” notes Finn, “when ‘filler’ wasn’t a pejorative term, but I think it’s now becoming one. I was always proud to call myself the King of the Fillers, because I was thinking of ‘filler’ as just a quick thing.” “However, over time, I began to realize that it may be to my detriment and now, I try to avoid it.” Not completely. Finn continues to promote the phrase on his company’s website because “being King of anything is still a good thing.” “I was thinking maybe it would become something bigger.”
It's Only My pinion Daytime's most outspoken columnist!
Umbrella stories are back! Whodunits, “Who’s the daddy?” and classic wedding disasters.
B&B: FINN PROPOSES TO STEFFY
Hot on the heels of the revelation that Finn, not Liam, is the father of Steffy’s baby, the good doctor has a very important question to ask the woman he loves. “When he was racing to Malibu to stop Steffy from leaving, Finn made one stop to pick up a precious heirloom,” winks his portrayer, Tanner Novlan. “In this moment, after he tells Steffy that he’s the father, Finn makes the most of it.”
Hot Plots Preview!
What Will Happen
It's Only My Opinion
Daytime’s most outspoken columnist!
Bold and beautiful
Bold and beautiful
BILLIE EILISH, UNFILTERED, IN NEW DOCUMENTARY
If you’re coming to “ Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry ” hoping for a primer on the music sensation, you’ve come to the wrong place. Filmmaker R.J. Cutler’s two hour and 20-minute documentary about the “Ocean Eyes” singer and songwriter is not biography or reportage. It’s a verite-style plunge into her life, her home, her concerts, her process, her Tourette’s, her brother’s bedroom where they famously write all their songs and even her diary in the year in which she became a star.
The contemporary home is already much different than what our grandparents were used to with the internet and smart devices laying around.
B&B: LIAM FATHERED STEFFY'S BABY!
The paternity test results reveal that Liam is the father of Steffy’s unborn child, and the truth is met with a host of different feelings.