Longtime SA’er and SoCal pro sailor Campbell Rivers may have one of the coolest-sounding names in the sport, but he’s also the best kind of pro racer. Helpful to a fault, always positive and fun and a great asset to any team, Rivers is in trouble and needs help. Dig deep, y’all.
On Sunday evening, September 27, 2015, after the J/70 North American Championship in San Diego, a San Francisco area sailor, Campell Rivers, was in a Point Loma bar parking lot and was run over by a drunk driver. The driver was in a borrowed 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Campbell’s injuries that he sustained was a left knee injury and 5 breaks to his pelvis bone. He is still in the hospital in San Diego recovering from 2 surgeries.
While Campbell is not the type that relies on help from others, he does not have medical insurance so rehab and recovery costs are going to be extreme. At the moment, doctors are estimating that he will be in a wheel chair for 4 months, then a walker. It looks like it will be at least a year before we can see him on the race course with us again.
Campbell works as a pro sailor and also works on boats so his ability to earn a living has been taken away by a drunk driver.
With myself being his teammate at the regatta and being with him at the time of the accicdent, I have received an overwhelming amount of inquires of how people can help. As of right now the best support is financial as we need to transport him back home to San Francisco and help him get set up with a support system to help him to a full recovery. We hope he will recover quickly and get him back on the water living his dream.
-Jeff Thorpe & Jennafer Anderson
October 13th, 2015
While the Macif foils have finally been revealed, details on the latest and greatest VPLP/Verdier Open 60s remain scant, in part because the secrecy in IMOCA world is exceeded only by that of the America’s Cup. Fortunately we’ve got connections, and our Senior Editor headed over to England last night to become (we think) the first reporter in the world to sail on an offshore foiling monohull. He’s headed offshore tonight with the one guy who continues to keep the torch lit for anyone who wants to see a non-Frenchman take the Vendee Globe trophy: Alex Thomson.
Alex and his Hugo Boss team have had unprecedented success with sponsors and the media over the past decade, but less so on the race course, with Alex able to grab a few victories in low-profile events and a couple of hard-fought 24-hour solo distance records. Bad luck ended his two strong chances to win the Barcelona World Race, but his 3rd place in the last Vendee (with a now 3-generations old boat) cemented his credibility as a potential race winner, if he could only build a competitive ride.
That has now happened, and we’ve got a couple of days to dig into Alex’s program and his new boat, and more importantly, to answer any questions you guys can come up with – as long as they’re not about the details on the foils, and if we told you about them, we’d have to kill you. We’ll have a report on the boat and on the new Mercedes-Benz stickered Hugo Boss before the TJV begins, and if you ask your questions today over in this thread, we’ll put them to the team.
For a fond look back at the two-generations old Farr Open 60 that Alex took his Vendee podium with (and Ryan Breymaier is about to doublehand across the ocean), check out the very cool video above. ‘cause boats have souls…
October 13th, 2015
The wide-open development world of the Ultimé trimarans means ultimate secrecy, especially when it comes to the most important performance part on the boat: the foil. And sure enough, after months of testing and sailing with only highly edited photos and videos making it to the public, the J-foil on Macif has finally been revealed. It’s fat, short, and looks like it’ll survive a whale or seal filleting session well enough, but will it be fast enough to bring wunderkind Francois Gabart RTW gold?
With the even more extreme near-sistership Banque Pop IX not far behind, we fully expect quite a bit about these rockets to change before their solo round-the-world race begins in a couple of years. In the meantime, this monster is off to Le Havre to compete in the doublehanded TJV in just a couple of weeks; here’s a pretty sexy video promo for their challenge. Thread here.
October 13th, 2015
This past Wednesday night heading to wharf mark and into the sunset. Ahh. – Anarchist Dex.
October 12th, 2015
Got a call from my good friend, Alberto to go for sail on San Francisco Bay to watch the Navy’s finest, Blue Angels fly during this year’s Fleet Week. Set out from the marina on his beautiful and classic Alerion 28 Express with it’s one cylinder Yanmar putting away. There was a building ebb tide as we rounded the breakwater, blue skies and a fresh breeze.
We were treated to an aeronautical spectacle of an aerobatic biplane, United Boeing 757 low fly by and then building anticipation awaiting the appearance of the afternoon’s highlight: the Blue Angels! We were making less headway motoring upwind so decided to roll out just a handkerchief size amount of jib from the roller furler and welcomed the silence as the diesel was turned off. Wind was now gusting up to 26 knots with a full on ebb.
Plenty of lee helm and not able to point upwind more than 50 to 60 degrees but what the hell, we were ready for the main event. And what a show it was, soaring right above our heads for the next hour! Screeching, rumbling and airborne maneuvers that make your hair stand on end. My hats off to these incredible pilots. No better seat in the house, on the Bay! – Anarchist Joseph. Title inspiration thanks to The Dickies.
October 12th, 2015
The Nacra 15, the brand new official ISAF Youth Multihull that debuted at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. This will serve as a robust training platform for Youth sailors at a fraction of the cost, U.S. retail price starting at just 15K!
A smaller version of the Nacra 17 which is the Olympic Multihull, this rocket stills features curved daggerboards, double trapeze, and asymmetrical spinnaker. The curved boards have allowed the 17 sailors to experiment with semi-foiling. Unlike the 17, the 15 rudders will feature winglets which will provide even more stability.
October 12th, 2015
We don’t think any of you wisenheimers are going to get this one. Prove us wrong.
October 11th, 2015
Three time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Jody Swanson has won the 2015 Lightning North American Championships, with a crew of Jody Lutz and Ian Jones. Jody S and Ian, along with Skip Dieball, were second in the Worlds this July.
Both Jody L and Jody S are previous winners of the NA’s. Ian Jones, with a couple of World’s wins, a couple of NA’s, and countless other regattas is one of the best Lightning crew of all time. Jody S also has two World’s wins as crew.
As compared to most years this is was a relatively small, but deep fleet. With the Masters Worlds and then Worlds at the Canoe Club in the middle of July, the class decided it would have been a bit of overload to hold the NA’s just a few weeks later in the mid August traditional date, so this year the class held the event at Southern YC in the fall, when there were better odds of wind and less oppressive heat. Tito Gonzales of Chile, who was won an Etchells Worlds and five Lightning Worlds, was second. Rounding out the top five were current World Champ Geoff Becker, Alan Terhune and Matt Fisher.
It could be said that the singular win of a regatta like this is shot in the arm for women’s sailing in the US. That is true, but what is more important is the culture of inclusion and respect for women that has always been a hallmark of the class. At any regatta, it is pretty easy to see that the gender balance is general at least 66/33, if not often close to 50-50. It has been that way forever, it is why the class endures, if not thrives. Modest to the extreme, Jody will always defer the accolades that come from a win to her crew, and then really only want to discuss how she can help more young kids have fun sailing. For a sport seeking leadership on and off the water, look no further than the example set by Jody Swanson.
Full results here.
October 11th, 2015
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October 11th, 2015
UPDATE: So at least one whiner got his panties in a twist over Snap’s article below. Here is what he sent to Snapper: ”Hey asshole. I just read your post on SA. I will do my best to get you banned from St. Francis, we do(n’t) need your kind.”
Apparently said whiner has threatened to send letters of complaint to STFYC, the Six Meter Assoc. and Snapper’s YC. Stand by with the Jiffy Pop. This could be a beauty…
The International Six Metre Invitational Regatta hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club this week concluded with a whimper a day early, the result of a masterpiece of scheduling by the race organizers.
Racing was slated for Tuesday through Friday with the first warning signal at 2PM Tuesday and Wednesday and 4PM Thursday and Friday due to the race area being closed because of Fleet Week, an awesome display of naval aviation, oh, and the Canadian Snowbirds, who do a few flyby’s and then apologize to everyone. The Blue Angels always put on a great show with practice runs Thursday and Friday.
The ideal wind speed conditions for optimal 6m racing is 8-14 true. This allows the boats to be powered up and keeps the fleet tight. In San Francisco, starting races later in the day typically means lots of breeze. With this in mind, concerns were voiced to the primary race organizers with hopes that racing would be moved up to take advantage of the lighter morning breezes. This was brought up at the skippers meeting and quashed by the skipper of one of the two locally crewed boats, who also happened to be the StFYC Commodore. Apparently his crew was unavailable earlier, and the wishes of those teams who had traveled from as far as Rhode Island didn’t matter.
One of the highlights of the regatta was the announcement by Matt Brooks – the International Six Metre President and owner of ‘Lucie’, the beautiful Rule 2 classic – that after racing on Tuesday there was going to be free food and booze for the competitors courtesy of him and fellow 6 meter owners, Bob and Molly Cadranell. When we got to the bar area after racing we were handed wrist bands to identify us as participants. I can only assume that this was a late scheduled event but the club went out of their way to accommodate the bevy of hungry and thirsty racers. To make sure no one over imbibed and would therefore be in peak form the next day, only one bartender was on hand to handle both sides of the full bar. The two plates of stuffed mushrooms, placed in an adjacent room with no announcement, were exquisite. A third plate would simply have been too much.
Dave Wiard, the PRO and his team on the race committee did an admirable job on the first two days in breeze and waves on the upper edge of the boats capabilities. It was more of a battle of attrition with only minor breakdowns and gear failures with winds over 20 knots at times, and short tacking to get flood relief along the breakwater in front of StFYC with 170% Genoas was exhausting, albeit great for the spectators. The eight boats raced as one fleet but were split into sub-fleets for scoring with Rule 2,3 and Modern boats represented. However, there was plenty of overlap between the classics and moderns at times when the wind was under 15 knots keeping everyone on their toes.
There was another skippers meeting on Thursday before the baffling 4PM warning signal and with the Fleet Week ‘box’ -the now closed area in front of the club- the PRO announced that we would be racing across the bay at Knox. The boats had to head west towards the Golden Gate Bridge, tacking in the open area between the box and the club, then reach across the bay to Knox. We saw true winds in the high teens on a big ebb resulting in lots of waves over the bow and water below and three boats were well across the bay when we heard the Commodore on the radio telling the PRO that we should race back near the club. The PRO asked what the “vibe from the fleet” is and the reply from the Commodore was “tThe fleet vibe is non-existent, they are all from another country”. The PRO acquiesced and announced to the fleet that he was heading back to the club area with Lima (follow me) flying.
When we finally got racing, now around 4:45PM, we raced in puffy, fluky breeze. A little bit of everything with puffs in the high teens to windless holes (typical of that area). The Blue Angels decided to run a full show practice as were prepared to start. It was impossible to hear anything at times making the start challenging, especially as it ended up being a general recall and we had to do it all again. The leeward mark ‘A’ was at the top of the box and when we rounded it we were greeted by the approving sirens and horns of the police and coast guard boats. The course was short and the racing close at times with lots of position changes on the runs in the spotty conditions.
Three races were run with the final short up and down race in dying light breeze. We hit the dock after 7PM and were immediately called up for an owners meeting. Matt Brooks polled the fleet to see if the owners would like to call it a regatta since they had got in the required amount of races in and that another late start on Friday was going to be problematic with Fleet Week traffic. The majority of the owners said they would rather not sail and the event was over a day early.
This event will go into the Snapper Files as one of the worst scheduled Regattas I’ve ever been to in one of the best sailing venues on earth. From what I understand the event morphed from a two boat match race to a real regatta and fitting it into an already set race calendar for the year was tough. The entire fleet had been transported at great expense to the owners and to have to sit out the last day is unacceptable. IF this event is going to happen again the race organizers need to look at how to make this a great event and listen to the participants. I believe incorporating this event into The Jessica Cup, which is held the weekend after fleet week, which will be a good call.
The awards dinner was great even if the club didn’t have enough tables for all the participants. (Hey, isn’t this the “legendary” Stfyc where non members pay a 30% surcharge for the privilege of eating and drinking at their stifling club? And they couldn’t quite manage to bring out an extra table or two? – ed.)
Congratulations to the class winners: Russ Sylvestri sailing Bob Cadranell’s ‘Arunga’ and dominating the Mmoderns, current world champion Eric Jespersen driving Peter Hoffman’s ‘Goose’ for winning the Rule 3 classics, and Greg Stewart sailing ‘Sprig’ for besting Matt Brooks ‘Lucie’ in a true cage match with both tied.
Epilogue: I would be remiss in acknowledging RC Keefe, Matt Brooks, Rainer Mueller and Bob and Molly Cadranell for their amazing support of the 6 metre class. RC is a legend at StFYC and the reason this regatta happened. Matt Brooks, who also owns the venerable ‘Dorade’, is clearly a true yachtsman with a real passion for the sport and classic yachts. Rainer is probably the single reason 6 metres are racing on the west coast. Bob and Molly Cadranell are longtime classic yacht owners and lovers, who will go above and beyond to make these events happened. Molly buys and coordinates the trophies and so much more. People like this make this class fun and their efforts are truly appreciated!
October 10th, 2015