OkoumeFest Challenge 2014

http://watertribe.com/Events/OkoumeFestChallenge/Default.aspx  The OkoumeFest is a brand new WaterTibe Full distance challenge that I am looking forward to being a part of. I have never sailed in this part of the US and only know what to expect from research. I am ready to go but have not had the “on the water” time that would have made me feel more comfortable. I have yet to have my new Expedition boat the TriRaid 560 out in any big wind or waves. Longest sail to date is less than 30 miles. Part of proving the setup is to test so I am hoping for a good “test”. Weather will play the biggest factor in my route and finishing time or if I finish at all, that is certainly not a Given by no means. That  is why they call it a Challenge.

The plan is to go as fast as the weather will allow. For me that means that my worst case for weather will be no wind at all. If so I can split between pedaling and paddling and move at 3.5 – 4  mph for as long as my body can hold up. Some wind or much wind will make it much less phyical. High wind would not be much of a concern since it is not in the ocean so sea trials will have to wait although the bay can get very bad at times. I plan to keep moving for as long as the conditions will allow. I have the equipment that should allow me to do so. The boat was designed by myself and Klaus Metzs the designer who offers the plans and should do well. I just hope that I am up to the challenge because I am not as well prepaired as I would like to be due to work but very much looking forward to giving it a good go at it. Roger

TriRaid 560 update

http://rogermann.org/blog/2013/12/08/triraid-560-splashes/           http://rogermann.org/blog/

Here is the link to the new expedition trimaran since I can not post photos here. The boat is great and ready to go. I am skipping the WaterTribe races and have a expediton planned for June. The reason is because I am currently in Phoenix AZ. for my regular job and will be here for at least one month. The trip that I have planned in June will start near my home and end up in Charleston SC and will have several portages around dams, sailing lakes, running rivers and then coastal sailing to Florida and then back to Charleston.

My next WaterTribe Challenge will be the OkoumeFest Challenge in May. http://www.watertribe.com/events/OkoumeFestChallenge/Default.aspx


TriRaid 560 Prototype.

TriRaid startHere is the Beginning of a new expedition boat shown in the photo.  I am using aircraft grade plywood from Aircraft Spruce company on this one because it is lighter and I expect to have it for a very long time. The boat has been a long time in the  making. I started in 2010 building  expedition boats and testing them. My long term goal was to develop a complete all around boat that can go just about anywhere but when in open water can turn on the speed under sail power. The toughest small boat challenge is the  1200 mile Ultimate Florida race. I could enter a Kayak in the event, paddle for 40-50 miles per day and get it done in 30 days but For me that is boring. I want to enjoy it and I do not mine being challenged in the tough sections but overall I just want it to be an adventure, not torture. I would rather not finish than to be bored.  So the design that I want  needs to do many things well for the same reason that I do not listen to one type of music all the time. Don’t get me wrong about the paddling because I am a paddler.

Taking this into account and also considering what I have learned from the challenge races entered in 5 different boats, I now have a much better knowledge of what it is going to take to make a very good all around expedition boat(for me) designed to do many things very well.

My experience in boat building is very good now but I do come up short when it comes to knowing how to design a hull to do what I want it to. I am fortunate that I now have Klaus Metz designing a boat that should meet all the goals. I had purchased a set of his plans for the Trika trimaran and after discussing it and the needs that I have in a special expedition boat,  he decided to take on the challenge of designing it.  We are still in the process of completing the design. Because he has completed the hull development I can now start construction. Some of the additional design goals have been added to the design and include the following.

-A campaboard, meaning being able to cook, sleep, change clothes etc. and take care of all needs while on board. Many times finding a place to rest is just not an option so you need to be able to toss out the anchor and do everything in the boat.-Pedal power along with paddle and wind. Having the ability to Paddle well is a must but being able to Pedal with your legs is an additional benefit.-Foldable ama’s. Being able to fold the ama’s in seconds when needed cuts much time. The goal is to always move forward.-This may sound simple but is important. Room to move. Stick me in a hole for more than a few hours and I am unhappy. I need to be able to move.-Able to do the wilderness waterway in the everglades. So design needs to paddle well with amas removed and towed.-Able to be portaged for very long distance of 100 miles. This came about when I tried to find a shorter route to get across Florida. I have found a route that adds 60 miles to my portage for a total of 100  miles but those extra miles cuts out 110 river miles or more than 24 hours. (I will not use this route if doing the race, only if on my own) Being able to store a folding bike on board is now a requirement because I have many other adventures in mind to do someday. Being able to tow is a must so a portage setup as part of the boat will be developed as well. Lastly- Not Slow!
I have plans to enter this boat into the UF race 2014 but…..still to be determined. Roger
http://rogermann.org/blog/ for update.

Suwannee River Challenge 2013

2013 Suwannee River Marathon & Challenge

Results are in!

Suwannee River Challenge – 52 Miles – Fargo, GA to White Springs, FL

1st Overall Marty Sullivan

Racing Tandem Kayak Bob Waters
1st Sea Kayak Bill Aylar 8:15:09
1st Unlimited Rod Price 8:49:00
Tandem Canoe Scott Werner
2nd Sea Kayak Will Schaet 9:28:40
3rd Sea Kayak Michael Stelljes 9:34:29
4th Sea Kayak Eric Koenig 9:34:32
1st Touring Kayak David Morse 9:35:21
1st Recreational Roland Simard 10:24:10
Tandem Kayak Matt Wisler
1st Solo Canoe Tom Dyll 10:37:48
5th Sea Kayak Jon Hinson 12:33:52
6th Sea Kayak Mike Woodside 12:34:52
1st Stand-Up Roger Mann 13:05:30

The 12th Annual Suwannee River Challenge and Marathon was held on
Sat., Oct. 12th. Racers in the 52 mile challenge started in Fargo, GA at 7:30 am.
Although the river was running a few feet lower than last year’s race there was
still plenty of water for the competitors to have a pleasant day on the Suwannee.
Marty Sullivan and Bob Waters raced in a tandem kayak and were the overall winners
in a time of 7:57:14. Roger Mann became the first paddler to finish the race on a
stand-up paddleboard. In the 26 mile marathon, Brint Adams defended his title and
won the race in a time of 4:18:49.

My New Class 3 Everglades Challenge Record.

My finsih time was 2 days, 16 hours and 7 mins. If not mistaken I have the 14th fastest time recorded (all classes) since the EC races began in 2000. Thank you 2-day TailWind!

I have been recovering from staying up for 66 hours with only  nap’s and I have been enjoying watching everyone come in at the finish and doing some Largo sailing with my wife Dawn. We sailed over to the Atlantic side, john Pennecamp state park.

The boat did really well. I only wore out one rope guide and she took the worst of the weather with ease.(4-6 seas) And she is guite a surfer reaching 13.1 knots coming down a 6 foot breaking wave entering Big Marco pass. She is not fast, more like a steady turtle.
My body is also great. Legs are alittle sore having done about 50 % of the moving and the arms are good as most of my paddling was done standing up across most of Florida Bay with no wind and when the hobie pedal dives do not do well in the shallow water at low tide.  Florida bay was by far the toughest section. I was glad to do most of it during the daytime.

I did not do the wilderness waterway which is one of the things that I wanted to attempt.  I was told that I had a chance for a record in class 3 at check point 2 so we went straight back to the outside and went for it.

The plan now, I’m considering an attempt at the Original Ultimate Florida 1200 mile challenge record. Or get my big racing Trimaran ready “Seven” and do a state line to state line Coastal Ultimate Florida. Getting the time off for the race is the tougest part for me so either way I need to finish or DNF in around 19  days. Not an easy task. The fast racing Tri may be the way to go, but still undecided. I am leaning toward the orig. UF. But I am going to need a faster and lighter boat.


EC2013 Plans

Myself and my wife DawnwiththeWind will be leaving on Thursday morning, Feb. 28th. She is my secret weapon. If she is in Key Largo waiting for me I will make it somehow.

First thing is to make it to the start and get through boat inspection and captains meeting. We have a room so it will be the first EC that I did not sleep in a truck. So starting the race with some sleep will be different as well.

Launch will be Sat. March 2nd and I have no plans as to which route to take. I have studied them all and weather will determine which route to take and can change just about anytime as long as there is a pass nearby.

I have chose the new boat which gives me the best chance at a finish. Not my fastest by a long margin but one that should be dependable and steady. Non proven in a challenge race as of yet but well tested since its launch Jan 1st 2013.

Yet un named but a Canoe/ trimaran new design that I hope will make a good expedition boat.


UFC Expedition Canoe Shakedown.

My thoughts after my third long progressive trip in the expedition Canoe. (8, 23, 41 miles) On my last trip I was finally able to get out in some weather and waves. Conditions rose to 25 mph wind gust and 1-2 foot waves. My top speed has been 8.4 kts or 9.6 mph. I think that this is not as good as I was expecting because I currently do not have a lee board and am getting pushed sideways causing drag. I have noticed a wave off the bow that curls toward the direction of the wind.  I do not feel like I am being pushed sideways unless I am going 4 kts or less. At this speed it is noticeable because it takes all the rudder to stay on course and without good speed the skegs on the amas are not going to work well. I will be adding a leeboard while I await the new Hobie mast to arrive after I broke one on the third trip. The skegs will stay because they will work in shallow water where the board will not, places like Florida Bay and the rivers.

The comfort level of the boat has met my needs well, so far. I am able to get up and stand, move into the front cockpit and move about all without feeling like I am going to fall out or that I am sitting right on the water.  I have a hard time if I am unable to get up and stretch. I tend to get “Stove Up” as my grandfather use to say. Stiff. So standing and stretching is a good thing for me and being able to do it while still moving forward is a bonus. I suffer from Varicose veins so I can take running better than I can take sitting for long periods of time. Because the sides of the boat are high and I have the cockpits to sit in I get shielded from wind so in the front I can cook while under way as long as the waves are not too bad. I use a Jetboil hung on a support so it swings like a compass. Also on the Suwannee river and the blackwater while on my Hobie TI my thoughts were always on that gater ready to snatch me right off my boat because of being only inches off the water and sitting right on top. Call me Chicken but alone at night on that river makes you think.

Keeping the boat moving forward without being limited to just one method of propulsion was a goal since in the past I have burned out body parts having to use just one such as paddling. In this past NCC challenge I paddled a Class 5 Tri for nearly 40 miles and if it had been a 300 mile race I would not have finished. My arms and back were cooked!.  So in this boat I can paddle from either pit, either side. Pedal the mirage drive from the rear. Stand up and use a SUP Paddle or pole. I have not yet installed oars but will be installing them for test.

to be continued…..back to work.

EC2013 Derby Carnage, mast break.

A big gust caught me with my sheet cleated and I was unable to releast in time to save the mast. Not certain if it became unlocked and came up causing the break so I will be looking at this closer to make certain that was not the cause. Everything else seems fine, reciever, bulkhead so if there is any good news is that the boat took the load and held which gives me good confidence in it holding through a challenge and the UFC 1200 miles next year. Plans are to also carry my smaller 15 foot mast and sail as a spare.

I was able to keep pace with a Corsair 24 for a while by tacking sooner and pedaling straight into the wind to keep up. He had a few kts on me but finally my legs gave out and then he pulled away fairly quickly. I have to have one of those some day!

The removable skegs on the WaterTribe ama’s seem to be working well. Not as well as a lee board I am sure but maybe well enough?