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i said captain

The captain of a 40-foot sailboat was arrested for allegedly being drunk when the craft ran aground overnight on Venice Beach. Four passengers had to be pulled from the privately owned boat, which was starting to capsize, shortly before midnight, authorities said. No one was hurt in the incident.

During the rescue, sheriff’s deputies smelled alcohol on the captain’s breath and, after performing a series of sobriety tests, determined he was intoxicated, sheriff’s Deputy Brett McCann said.

Thanks to the LA Times. Title inspiration thanks to Captain Sensible!

 

September 2nd, 2014

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1We’re not sure why it is, but no one in America can pull together a decent sailboat show.  Go and check out Paris, or the RYA London Dinghy Show, or Dusseldorf, or La Grande Motte, or the grand prize of all of them – the METS Show – and you’ll be blown out of your socks by the experience, scratching your head at the incredible lack of quality, variety, and size of even the biggest American show – the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis.  It’s a little embarrassing for US sailors, and we have wondered for the better part of a downward-trending decade how any of these shitty shows even stay in business.

So we’re not surprised at all to learn today that one of the final ‘sailboat only’ shows on the continent has finally disappeared, with Chicago’s Strictly Sail show announcing that they’ve merged with the Chicago Boat & RV Show while moving from the Navy Pier to a normal convention center.  The move is a long time coming as anyone who’s attended the Strictly Sail show over the past few years would have foreseen; Since the beginning of the recession, Strictly Sail has seen a dwindling level of exhibitors dominated by manufacturers of fat cruising boats and non-boating trinkets – exhibitors that, in themselves, indicate dying interest in the sport.

A healthy sport with good industry leadership (from folks like US Sailing, the NMMA and SailAmerica) would see a show dominated by learn-to-sail programs, affordable sailboats and dinghies, and other booths focused on increasing access and growing volume, but Navy Pier and Strictly Sail seemed happy to price the grassroots out of their show, relying instead on a few major builders who could spend tens of thousands on their effort – the same kind of price-over-volume calculations that’s turned a huge sport with 11 million American participants into a dying sport with a million-and-change getting on the water.  Meanwhile, the American public seems to have lost their appetite for all boat shows, with most of the big shows down over the past few years, and manufacturers increasingly reporting less returns on boat show investment.   In the meantime, where is SailAmerica with all their guidance and help for the sport? We’re not sure, but they do have one hell of a crappy website to play with.   It’s long past time for the industry to publicly acknowledge the many ways it has screwed the sport and to try to fix it.  We’re not, however, holding our breath.

While the throes of agony will last decades,  the day of the American boat show is more or less over, thanks to the wide availability of everything on the web and the proliferation of demo days and try-before-you-buy events for boats of every size.  Tire kickers and inside industry folks who need to have meetings with the OEMS will still show up, and there’s no doubt, for Chicago, anyway, that parking, exhibiting – all the logistics – should be far easier at the new spot.  And we’ll be there too, but not for a sailboat - we’ve got our eyes on a pimped out Sailing Anarchy RV and bass boat combo…

One thing that won’t change? Our Winter Anarchy Party – the annual standing-room-only rager we’ve thrown for 9 years now that probably pulled in more people than the entire show last year! We’ll have piles of free, awesome giveaways, tons of booze, and hot bitches dancing in tight clothes – some of them even sailors.  And if you’ve never been?  You probably can’t handle it anyway.

 

September 2nd, 2014

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game of thrones

I am in the glamour capital (and the annual meeting of maxis and big boats). Despite having a lot of state of the art new designs – especially in the mini maxi class –  the J Class boats are the kings!  - Jesús Renedo.

 

September 1st, 2014

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dbsA man drove a car off a San Diego Yacht Club pier around 2:30 a.m. Monday, according to the UT.

When lifeguards, police and Harbor Police units arrived at the scene, they found an Acura SUV about 40 feet from the dock, submerged in 25 feet of water. They also saw a man standing on the dock.

“He was soaking wet but initially he denied being the driver of the car,” said Sgt. Todd Rakos of the Harbor Police. “But that was short-lived.”

After admitting he had been the car’s driver, the unidentified man said he had been depressed and drove into the bay in a suicide attempt. He was taken to County Mental Health on a 72-hour hold.

Although a tow truck pulled the SUV from San Diego Bay, the vehicle was a total loss. Police reported minor damage to the dock, but none of the vessels moored there had been disturbed.

What a pussy. This is how a real man goes out – ed.

 

September 1st, 2014

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Given that today is Labor Day, we thought it appropriate to feature some of the fine products from the labor of some of our advertisers in the posts below. Now grab  a beer and head to the pool for the holiday!

 

September 1st, 2014

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big mac

Big Pimp

McConaghy & Schionning Designs have been commissioned to design and build a new 49′ performance catamaran. The vessel is to be constructed using Corecell foam and Vinylester resin, build speed is achieved using Schionnings very well proven combination of “soft” sections . The boats are built to a very high standard in China at Mcconaghy Boats which is a totally foreign owned facility under strict quality control by their team of expat builders and high skilled Chinese staff which allows for competitive pricing compared to other catamarans of this caliber. Read on.

 

September 1st, 2014

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iridium-go-pr-lead

Big Pimpin’

The future of Satellite Communications has just arrived! The all new Iridium GO! with an unlimited data plan for US$135 a month will change the way you communicate offshore. Wirelessly connect up to 5 smartphones, tablets or computers to the satellite unit to make calls, get forecast updates, email and even use social media.

Unlimited Data Plans

With Iridium’s Unlimited plan for only USD$135 a month you can forget about counting data and spend more time using it!

WiFi Connectivity

Connect up to 5 tablets, computers or smartphones using WiFi.

SOS Emergency Alert

Set an emergency phone number that can be contacted even without a device connected.

Integrates with the PredictWind Offshore Package

An application released for mac and coming soon to pc that can download and view grib files, run weather routes, view satellite imagery and receive GMDSS forecasts.

Purchase the Iridium GO! Marine Package from PredictWind today and save 22% off the retail price. This is unbeatable value for remote coastal and offshore sailors.

 

Place-order-1

And this title inspiration is thanks, of course, to Lou Reed.

 

September 1st, 2014

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wrap

Big Pimpin’

Bolt 37 hull number five gets ready to be wrapped up prior to delivery to San Diego. We can’t wait to watch it go whizzing by the new ride for Team Anarchy…

 

September 1st, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

505Rondar boats dominated the recent 505 Worlds at Kiel, Germany, with first to fourth overall and 11 boats in the top twelve. The event was one of the most open events for several years with 6 boats able to win going into the last race. In the final event, the title came down to the American team of Mike Holt/Rob Woelfl , against the Australian pairing of Peter Nicholas/Luke Paine who contested the final race to the bitter end, with just a metre or so separating the two boats at the finish.

Rondar were already the World’s most successful 505 builder with their 16th World title, but with increased competition within the class with two new respected builders this season, the sailors have been keen to see the relative performances played out in true competition. Despite both types having former World Champions sailing them, the Rondar shape proved its pedigree, where it matters, out on the race track.

Rondars also exhibited their new model, using the same proven hull shape but with a fresh take on the construction and details. The eye catching new design, received overwhelming support from the class members at the AGM, and looks set to shape the future for the class, with its one piece deck molding allowing a better boat to be built at a lower cost. Visit www.rondarboats.com for more details.

 

September 1st, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

Racing along the waters of the San Andreas fault, the annual Hog Island Race spans the length of Tomales Bay, covering well over 20 miles of sun, scenery and warm shifting winds on a windward leeward course. Club racers invite their guests from around the bay area to participate in a mix of 110’s, Wabbits, Flying Scots, Flying Dutchmen, and this year, the flying Wetas.

Jonathan Weston, coming off his recent Weta West Coast Championship, took the start. As guest of Jim Saarman, also competing on one of the other two club Wetas entered, Weston knew little of the course or the waters. After nosediving into the shoal, Weston still managed to pluck himself out of the mud and build over a mile lead on the fleet in what he describes as “Hot Donut sign lit” conditions – flat water and 18-20 naut winds. Only one Hobie 20 was able to keep up with him until the wind calmed halfway up the course.

“Once the wind lightened and steadied so I couldn’t gain on faster tacks, The Hobie 20 passed me up, and the 110’s closed in rapidly, which was a good thing because I had no idea what Hog Island looks like, or which way to round it. Never thought I’d be leading the fleet, so the plan was just to follow everyone and enjoy the scenery. As it turned out, you don’t round Hog Island after all, just a marker NW of it, so slowing down and waiting for a 110 that looked more like they knew what they were doing than the Hobie 20 was a better plan. The weeds, lighter air, and taking the time to rig up the GoPro helped with that.”

You can see in the video the Hobie 20 rounding the weather mark first, followed closely by Weston and an International 110.  Weston eventually pulled out all the stops and caught a few good puffs downwind, and after taking stabs at a few finish lines before getting the right one, crossed in first. (Note for next year, ask for Sailing Instructions).

An International 110 (oddly named Gator Coffins) eventually won with adjusted time due to the brutal handicap handed to the Weta Class. (The 110 is a very old yet sleek and sporty sailboat designed in 1939 by C. Raymond Hunt (Boston Whaler). People familiar with 110′s don’t understand why people think the concept of sportboats is a new one, as the 110 with its redesigned assymetrical gigantic kite is hard to beat with flat bottom dead downwind speed. Yet again, so is the Weta).

To note, Weston was the only boat without a crew, as the other two Wetas carried a spare warm body for hiking power.

“It was a blast of a race, my first mixed fleet race in 40 years. A great tune up for the Nationals at RYC in October. Inverness YC is a beautiful place to sail with super friendly club members and great barbecues post race. I’ll be back next year and hopefully will get wind all the way through so I can kick the handicap. Weta’s definitely have a turbo gear when the whitecaps pipe up. Great race track. Super fun boat!” – Anarchist Jonathon.

 

September 1st, 2014

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classics

The Tall Ships race from Falmouth to Greenwich, London, courtesy onEdition.

 

August 31st, 2014

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Local Knowledge

morganFor the 50.5 mile race is leg 1 of the Tri-State race, the promised thunderstorms loomed to the south of us for most of the night without a single drop spilled on us  . The light show stayed on shore, but provided us with a steady 14-16kts with gusts upwards thereof. The steady southerly meant a  swift race, especially for the Andrews 77 Ocean – crossing in just 4hr 14m, but with a rating of -138 correcting to 5th place. The ride over was fairly monotonous with a tack at the start and a single reef when we became overpowered on the Shock 35 Free Agent.

 The interesting, wet ride was probably on the new gem RAMBLER – the J/88 owned by Ben Wilson. Wilson took the lead ahead of a lot of local St. Joe talent, but the second, newly delivered J/88 Slot Machine hasn’t quite dialed it in yet coming in 11th. We’ll look forward to the two jousting on the lines after they both get some more time out on their new toys.

 Almost the entire fleet was here rafting in St. Joe by 2am on either side of the river. The only battle being for the coveted spots on the wall at the St. Joseph River Yacht Club – “They say we can’t do that,” “They say we can only go 5 deep.” “They” seem to be saying lots of things this year. So we ended up with the big boys on the south side of the river by town. This actually isn’t a bad deal since SJRYC runs a shuttle continuously until midnight, which is about when we’ll head over to Czar’s for some good townie music.

For now, the bikini’s on and the beach is calling… Anarchist Morgan.

From Saturday 8/30…..

I spoke too soon..Last night was full of debauchery – most of which, we will not/ can’t recount. The SJRYC packed their tent with townies and racers alike. Some of the townies were horrified by the concept of lick-on tattoos of which there were plenty. SJRYC’s party is 100% volunteer run (including the bartenders) and they could not have been more gracious – they know what to expect, so the rum drinks are strong and you can usually score an extra ticket or two in the beer line. We picked up the midnight bus back to the other side of the river and headed to Czar’s for live music, late-night pizza and more drinks.

This morning was a haze of hurry up and wait. About 90% of the fleet picked up and hightailed it back to Chicago. Though, based on the conditions we had on Leg 2 to Michigan City, I’m not sure “hightailing” would be an accurate phrase.

The forecast called for a dying breeze to clock around the southern Lake Michigan shore. When the wind was blowing 12kts we were pleasantly surprised and were ready to be in Indiana in a few hours. We headed offshore for an hour then tacked back in to bang the shoreline. The shoreline was proving decent until the breeze died and we drifted for a good 45 minutes trying every trick in the book to get going again. Luckily the angles were right to pop a light chute and we carried the son of a bitch through to the finish.
The finish was spread from a JV-66 Defiance with 3hr 58m to a handful of DNFs and a few that we’re still waiting on 8hrs after the start.

Free Agent has a tradition of bloodiest in St. Joe and a margarita bucket here in Michigan City. The margaritas have been mixed, so I’m signing off before I write something stupid. See you tomorrow for the final leg of the Tri-State when we arrive back in Chicago.

 

August 31st, 2014

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2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship

The final race for the second Melges 20 World Championship went off during Garda’s crisp, beautiful northerly morning wind with John Kilroy, Paul Goodison, and Jeff Reynolds taking the easy bullet and the title; after winning M32 Worlds in San Francisco a couple years ago, Kilroy now owns two Melges Worlds titles in the builder’s only two amateur owner/driver classes…we can only imagine what’s next in the owner/driver bucket list for JK.  Meanwhile, four nations in the top four spots is a great indicator of this classs’s international strength, though the Italians can’t like being smacked down on their home turf.  Hey – there’s always next year!  Watch the full awards show here, and scroll down on the Livestream Page to check out the racing as it happened; apparently (at least from their numbers), they forgot to tell anyone they were live streaming the racing.  There’s also an 11-minute video over here from the Riva Sailing Club, but we haven’t watched it because our attention span is max 4 minutes.

Above is another fab Stefano Gattini shot – the galleries from this event have been some of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen, so check them out here.  Thanks to Melges Europe and Studio Borlenghi for the exclusive coverage this week;  According to the sailors we spoke to, “This is how a World Championship should always be.”

August 30th, 2014

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Interesting to watch this KER Class 40 sending it downwind. Controlled, yet intense. must be a blast. Thanks to Anarchist Ned.

 

August 29th, 2014

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Artemis_T_Hutch_optClean Report

Terry Hutchinson’s surprise departure from Artemis Racing a year and a half ago was overshadowed by Big Red’s tragic accident a few months later, but we’d always noted how incredibly quiet Hutch was after getting the flick.  An article in his hometown-ish Baltimore Sun gave a clue as to why a short time after his ouster; “not wanting to say anything that could jeopardize the terms of his release…” was how the author put Terry’s reticence to open up, and that’s all anyone would get for more than a year (not that it stopped the speculation for a minute).

Until earlier this month, when Maxim writer Alexa Lyons’s interview with Hutch hit the interwebs; called “Can Sailing Be The Next F1″ (Answer: No, dumbass), there was, at first glance, nothing remotely new or interesting about the piece – other than the fact a sailing profile was in a major national mainstream men’s pub.  But one answer was a little shocking, and it was allegedly in response to a question from Lyons about his termination from Artemis Racing.“I had a massive falling out with the owner of the team and the CEO about the safety of our yacht so they decided to terminate me.” Hutch told Lyons.  “Ten weeks after my argument with the owner about the safety of the Artemis boat, the boat capsized in the San Francisco bay and one of the sailors was killed. It was a known thing that the boat was not safe…

And today, he is backpedaling faster than a foiling AC72 in San Francisco breeze.

While Hutch has refused to answer any of our detailed questions on this one (despite 16 months of badgering and my reminder that a few answers would stop a lot of speculating), he admitted to us that he deserved all the blame for what Lyons typed up and published – though it would be easy and fairly graceful for him to fall on his sword for everything.   We can probably assume that his comments were some kind of breach of the Cup-standard non-disclosure clauses in any employment and termination agreement, for which he presumably received a nice severance package. But we know Hutch, and he’s not the kind of person to slip up like this with a newbie editor of a pretty vapid magazine; maybe he was off on one of his early morning A-Cat training sessions when the Cup media people came through to do interview training?

Hutch certainly wouldn’t be the first to be screwed by a reporter turning background conversation into foreground publication, through we doubt that Lyons, fresh off the intern roster and still proud of her title as “Project Manager, Maxim Hometown Hotties Competition” was playing investigative journalist, driving Hutch into a slip-up about the intrigue of the America’s Cup.  Possible? Sure.  Likely?  No.

As for the specifics of what caused the big accident, we’ve told you before that we’ve never been happy with the information available, but after 16 months with seemingly no one else giving a shit, we’ve stopped caring too.  There’s just not a lot out there other than one post from Hutch and one from a Maxim blog writer who interviewed him.  We’ll leave it to you guys to figure out where reality lies.

And hopefully, the whole mess will end with Terry’s strong and unequivocal apology, posted on Facebook an hour and change ago.  Here it is in full.

On August 7, Maxim magazine posted an interview about the 35th America’s Cup that included some untrue statements and inaccurate remarks I made about Artemis Racing. To be clear, Artemis Racing is a well-organized and responsible professional sailing team that considers safety an absolute priority. My departure from the team more than five months prior to the tragedy of May 9, 2013 was on agreeable terms with the owner and my teammates. No one could have anticipated what occurred, and I meant no disrespect to the memory of Andrew “Bart” Simpson or to any current or past members of the Artemis Racing team. I deeply regret any misunderstanding that was drawn from the Maxim interview.

Regarding the safety issue specifically, following the capsize of the Oracle AC72 in October 2012, Artemis Racing went through a thorough safety review, including enhanced training for the crew. Every sailor conducted underwater survival testing, including carrying and learning how to use canisters of spare air in the case of an accident. As a participant in these exercises, I can attest to the fact that the sailors, shore support, and entire team made safety the highest priority. Like many professional sports where competition is conducted at the highest levels, the 34th America’s Cup tested many boundaries, as demonstrated by the sheer power of the AC 72’s, in both their size and performance.

As preparations for the 35th America’s Cup come underway, I wish Artemis Racing and all involved success.

Thanks to Juvenile for the title inspiration.

 

August 29th, 2014

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tristate 2013

Local Knowledge

102 boats will be heading east from Chicago to St. Joseph, MI starting at 6PM tonight. The 50.5 mile race is leg 1 of the Tri-State, which will then head to Michigan City, IN and then back to Chicago over the course of Labor Day Weekend. Shown in this pic from last year, a storm with 40 knots of breeze postponed the start by an hour while sails were shredded, boats dropped out and we were flying around the start line blind.

This morning, winds were peaking at 26 kts and have now calmed down to a consistent 13-16 kts from the south with a promise of storms. Stay tuned for the race report from St. Joe. – Anarchist Morgan, with title inspiration from Migos.

 

August 29th, 2014

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With six races down and one throwout already counted, John Kilroy along with pro trimmer Jeff Reynolds and UK Olympic golden boy Paul Goodison is walking away with the second-ever Audi Melges 20 World title.  Meanwhile, Monaco’s Guido Miani won the breezy day yesterday with a 1,3,1 and sits tied with Italian standout Fremita D’Arja, both 14 points behind Kilroy.  The Kilroy nipper continues to excel, though he’s dropped back to sixth, while Aussie gold medalist Mal Page has helped young Achille Onorato climb back up to fourth…three more days of action ahead and get over to Facebook to watch it all unfold.  Yesterday’s photo gallery is here.

 

August 29th, 2014

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0827140948

One of the world’s legendary Maxi racers sat in a climate-controlled shed on the Eastern Shore of Lake Michigan for a decade at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars per year, while rumors said she was broken or delaminating, or that maybe she could never again be competitive against newer boats. We think Larry just a little sentimental about the boat he nearly died on, and he’d rather have her as a trophy than let someone else make new memories on Sayonara.

And that’s what you see here – the bow and stern of Sayonara waiting for a lift on Pier 80 after a date with a chainsaw; the final remaining signs that there was an America’s Cup in San Francisco.  There’s no sailing center or junior racing center; no museum or clever, multi-use development.  In fact, despite all the pre-event posturing, there’s very little legacy for ‘the Summer of Sailing’ at all on the ground in SF; just a few rusty boxes and a famous yacht sliced up like an 8-point deer, ready to go on some wall or building or corporate campus.  It can’t be any more cliché, but we’re left no choice but to say it: Sayonara!

Here’s the cover story about Larry’s infamous Hobart from something called BusinessWeek, apparently a magazine in the 20th century.  Like Sayonara, something obsolete; a collection of stories and advertisements bound together in paper.  Imagine that!

Title song from the same era as the boat, and a bit creepy, like its owner.  Interesting photo thanks to SA’er ‘L124C’.

 

August 29th, 2014

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Yes it’s surfing, but it’s Waterlust so it’s good. Like always! As a very interesting related note, Patrick Rynne, the main dude at Waterlust, was asked to be the keynote speaker at the 2015 US Sailing symposium!  That is actually a pretty awesome thing for Patrick, and we bet he rocks it. We’re sure our invitations to speak will arrive any day now…

 

August 28th, 2014

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lia bookFunny that Ed should be thinking of me, as I was about to email him info on my new book ’50 Water Adventures To Do Before you Die’ – out on Sept 11!

The book took 9 months to write, 2 years from conception to proof, and could not have come together without the 94 people who agreed to be interviewed or contributed images.

Check out the book, using the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ feature.

From iceboating in Siberia to sailing a traditional felucca down the Nile (hey, we never got to perform felucca with Lia! – ed.), windsurfing the Luderitz Speed Challenge to dining in the undersea restaurant in the Maldives – ’50 Water Adventures To Do Before you Die’ is bursting with inspiration for you and is the perfect Christmas / gift book for friends.

For a very limited time, I’m offering signed copies at 30% off RRP. Check out the ‘Books’ page on my blog, pick your currency and ORDER TODAY! – Lia Ditton.

 

August 28th, 2014

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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

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