Clipper Race Update: The South Atlantic Challenge

first_imgThis is the third in a series of blogs by Dell Ambassadors competing in the Clipper Race, a 40,000 nautical mile race around the world in 70-foot racing yachts. You can find the first post from Samantha Harper, and the second post from Marek Omilian, here on Direct2Dell. For more background on Dell’s involvement, read our initial blog about this exciting race here.The South Atlantic Challenge Leg 2 : Punta del Este, Uruguay to Cape Town, South Africa: 3,560 nautical miles : 14 daysGreetings from sunny Cape Town! Another Leg down, and what a rollercoaster ride it was. It’s hard to imagine the next Leg will be even more challenging and so Team Dare To Lead is busy repairing and restocking in order to be as prepared as we can be.While on the Atlantic Trade Winds Leg 1, Mother Nature gave us every possible combination of heat and weather, the South Atlantic Leg 2 was a steady slog through wind, cold and rain. The wind was howling right from the start line, and the conditions left a large swath of the crew reeling from seasickness early on. Fortunately, while the seasickness abated, the weather did not and so the ‘Race to the Cape of Storms’ (as Leg 2 is known) certainly lived up to its name. We set a new speed record of 27.6 knots on this leg, with the surf and swells helping us get those extra surges of power.When the wind is strong and the boat is moving fast, our yachts are designed to heel over. The twin rudder/twin helm design means even at an angle, the boat is easily steered. Life at 45 degrees, however, means chaos below deck. Even the simplest of tasks become a feat of superhuman strength when the boat is lurching over. Crawling into your bunk suddenly becomes a mountain climbing expedition and the fear of flying out of it leaves many sleeping with one eye open. Mystery bruises appear and multiply, from incessant and inevitable bumping into bolts, door handles and other humans. Food in the galley is often catapulted onto the floor (alas the dishes aren’t skid-proof!) and trying to relax while using the toilet is nearly impossible when you have a death grip on the only grab bar in the compartment!The only feat of engineering on board which seems to allow for the boat heeling is the stove, which is on a gimbal (i.e. on a horizontal swivel). On a dark and cloudy night, when the horizon is completely obliterated, one only needs to look down the hatch to see the warm glow of the swiveling gas stove, with its kettle perched precariously on top, to have a sense on how heeled over we are.“I have never looked forward to pumping out the bilges or cleaning the bathroom as much as I did on this leg!ShareObviously, between the wind, waves and lean of the boat, safety on deck becomes paramount. We are tethered onto the boat 90 percent of the time – only in calm daylight is it safe to unclip. Many of us resorted to breaking out our drysuits after getting drenched by waves, which would frequently turn the cockpit into a temporary bathtub. Unlike Leg 1, which left the accommodations below deck feeling like Dante’s Inferno for weeks at a time, there was no shortage of volunteers to go down below for a few minutes and do chores. I admit I have never looked forward to pumping out the bilges or cleaning the bathroom as much as I did on this leg!Leg 2 covered over 3,400 nautical miles in 14 days, ended for us in a painfully close finish with our friends (now rivals!) on Team Greenings. For the last three days, they were within eyesight of us, just two nautical miles ahead. We tried every trick in the book to make gains but ultimately, they crossed 18 minutes in front. Any disappointment on our second-place finish, however, was short-lived as we entered harbour to a raucous crowd who came out despite the dark and rain to see us in. Cape Town is the hometown of our Skipper Dale Smyth and South Africa is home to the Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador program, which supported our crew member Nqoba Mswazi on this race, with the hope that the leadership and confidence developed over a Clipper Race can be brought home to promote positive change.Tomorrow is ‘Open Boat’ Day and Dare to Lead is looking forward to showing the public what life on a racing yacht is like. Skipper Dale’s family have made us a banner saying “Welcome home Dale’s Dark Horses!” which is proudly hanging on our guardrails.  Friends and family support are what make this type of race possible and nowhere have we felt the love more than Cape Town!On a final note – many wonder where the Dark Horse moniker has come from. Skipper Dale was a last-minute replacement when our previous skipper stepped down pre-race for personal reasons. With only a few weeks to go before Liverpool, there was a lot of apprehension in the team. In a team email, Dale encouraged us to embrace the idea of having a ‘Dark Horse’ as a skipper and reassured us that his experience teaching amateurs and his extensive sailing record would put us in good stead. He hasn’t let us down and we look forward to more podium finishes in the future!Thanks again to Dell for outfitting us with technology rugged enough to withstand the rigours of life at 45 degrees. Fortunately, I never had to field-test its drop-proof abilities but the rubber feet on my 12” laptop certainly kept it anchored when everything around it was flying.Onward to Australia! Stay tuned for my Southern Ocean Leg 3 blog coming soon, and thanks to all who have sent messages of support on our Team Dare To Lead Supporters Facebook page! About Samantha Harper, crew member, Dare To LeadSamantha is a 37-year-old doctor from Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The Dell Latitude Rugged laptop was made for people like Samantha; when she is not sailing 40,000 nautical miles around the world on board Dare To Lead, Samantha splits her time between working in remote communities as a GP, and pushing herself to the limits mountaineering and running ultra-marathons (she has done the infamous Marathon des Sables, a 250 kilometre race in the Sahara Desert, five times). However, the Clipper Race is Samantha’s first sailing experience, and after initially considering only doing three legs, she signed up for the whole circumnavigation, knowing that once she started, she wouldn’t be able to stop until she completed and experienced the entire thing.last_img read more

Wolf Administration Announces Additional Funding for Mill 19 Renovations in Allegheny County

first_img October 13, 2020 Infrastructure,  Press Release Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP) to the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) to perform environmental remediation on the three main bay cranes located at Mill 19 in the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County.“The ongoing Mill 19 project is a major investment in western Pennsylvania and an example of productively utilizing and bringing new life to unused and unsafe spaces in the commonwealth. This property was shuttered and left vacant with the collapse of the steel industry, and these investments now allow for renovations to ensure a safe and updated property equipped for new opportunity,” said Gov. Wolf. “This funding will bring purpose back to Mill 19 for many years to come and revive the surrounding communities.”Mill 19 at the Hazelwood Green site is one of three existing structures that remain standing from when the site was used for steel production. The cranes are part of Mill 19’s 265,000 square foot complex on the 178-acre Hazelwood Green site, which contains two newly constructed buildings and one in the planning stage. Each crane contains lead-based paint and a small amount of asbestos-containing materials.The ISRP grant will provide $300,000 to conduct asbestos and lead-based paint remediation on all three large cranes’ surfaces. The RIDC will provide matching funds of $100,000. Once remediated, the site will include flex office space, a ground floor garage, and lab and workshop space that conforms to the high-performance building characteristic.“This funding is so important to remove toxic and unsafe chemicals as Mill 19 continues to be revamped. It makes certain that the property is safe for incoming tenants and Pittsburgh as a whole,” said Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin. “The RIDC’s commitment to transforming this space for productive use is going to bring countless new jobs and businesses to Allegheny County, and we can’t wait to see this project come to completion.”Mill 19 has been designed to be eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable, and LEED v4 Gold certified. Mill 19’s first building will house Carnegie Melon University’s Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) and CMU’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative (MFI). In 2018, construction began on the second building, a new 70,000 square foot workspace that will house a corporate research and development center for a global technology company.In the past, the RIDC has received $9.6 million in grants and $14.4 million in loans through Business in Our Sites (BOS) project funding through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) and an additional $300,000 in ISRP funds to continue with the redevelopment of Mill 19.“Environmental remediation like this provides multiple benefits by getting harmful pollutants like lead paint and asbestos out of the environment and spurring economic development,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Through funding programs like ISRP we can continue building the economy of the future without being limited by pollution from the past.”The ISRP provides loans and grants for environmental assessments and remediation carried out by eligible applicants who did not cause or contribute to the contamination. The program is designed to foster the cleanup of environmental contamination at industrial sites, thereby bringing blighted land into productive reuse.For more information about the Industrial Sites Reuse program or DCED, visit SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Wolf Administration Announces Additional Funding for Mill 19 Renovations in Allegheny Countylast_img read more