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farr 280 winner

We love this shot of Red, the Farr 280 class winner at Sperry Charleston Race Week (straight bullets). Take a look at the chine/hull shape. Pretty damn interesting! We’ll have their view on the win later tonight…

 

April 27th, 2015

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ryan map 2Co-skippers Ryan Breymaier and Renaud Laplanche just broke two important ocean records this month together with their international team : Cowes-Dinard, a sprint across the English Channel and Newport to Bermuda, which is quite a bit longer, and requires a longer (therfore more unsure) weather window..

As their onboard-navigator I wanted to drop a line of acknowledgement to the guys ashore who help us pick the right weather windows and give some insights into the products/methods we employ.

We use a program called “Squid“ that, just as Ugrib, allows to download weather data. The package is very comprehensive: High resolution models, colorized satellite pictures, observations, synoptic charts and various weather models with sea temperature, waves, currents, etc… all in one place. The software as well as all the US-data is free at www.squid-sailing.com. For some models you need a subscription or special deal with “Greatcircle“ the company behind Squid. We purchased a special license to have access to the European Model (ECMWF).

Greatcircle was founded 2010 by offshore racing enthusiasts from France and Belgium. Ryan and I got to work with them in the very beginning during the preparation of our Barcelona World Race. Nowadays the company has been in the market for quite a while, and gained momentum as supplier of major ocean races like the Volvo for example. They do climatology studies (e.g. to answer what kind of sails you should bring on a round the world record), routing, consulting and a product that was really helpful for us, called: “best start“.

Not having a fixed start time or a race start imposes a question rather unusual for regatta sailors: “When should we start?“. The same question you might have delivering your boat across a long passage as the Atlantic or any other ocean.

Of course we do routing to elaborate the best possible scenario over the upcoming week or so. But the weather models change from day to day and the last thing we want is to fly 10 people in from different countries with all the associated transfers, accommodation and so on, get the huge multihull off the dock with the assistance boats to be ready at the start line to then find out the “model was wrong“ and we could not start.

A way to approach this is ensemble-routing. In addition to the “deterministic“ model run that most people use in everyday sailing the weather models like GFS and ECMWF also publish “ensemble“ results. This is a set of different results in opposite to the one deterministic result. The set is generated by slightly varying the initial set of data that starts the model and is supposed to represent the possible spread in the result due to the uncertainty of the forecast.

This allows us for instance in the case of the european model to run the routing with 51 slightly different models to “test“ the spread of the results. This approach allows us to draw a “probabilistic” conclusion like: “we would beat the record with 70 % probability on that certain departure date“.

While the GFS ensemble is freely available through Squid the ECMWF is again quite expensive. Then, one thing is to have access to them the other thing is to use them. They open an interesting angle on weather prediction – for instance to evaluate where geographically the models will be more or less reliable – but this becomes quickly a very time consuming exercise.

This is where the “best start“ product comes into play: Greatcircle’s servers do all the routings and sum up the results on a tidy pdf chart. This custom product for our specific record considers a certain wave height limit, our polar, exclusion zones and so on. (see picture / pdf: This graph established on April 12th shows the window on the 19th that we finally took: it gives a 50 % probability to be under 24 hrs for a start on the 19th at 0600z; we finally started at 0534z on the 19th)

Still, all the worlds computers and data will never render the input of experienced weather people obsolete! We had the pleasure to have Wouter Verbrak at our side for the English story with all his local knowledge about the Channel and the region. Since my first days racing on the ocean good friend and professor of meteorology Ralf Brauner from Germany has an open ear for our thirst of knowledge. Finally the great team from Greatcircle who share now many of our adventures sometimes working hard through nights and weekends to make our requests possible. They share the passion about ocean racing. - Boris Herrmann.

 

April 27th, 2015

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Glenn McCarthy deals on the debacle in Brazil…

Friday, the International Sailing Federation announced via the Associated Press that they want the inside Guanabara Bay race courses moved outside of Guanabara Bay out into the ocean.  This still puts the competitors in the fetid waters sailing from the marina to the race courses, and returning back each day.  It also has the boats sailing through the Guanabara Bay waters where the competitors boats have been damaged by the floating debris.

While the races might be more “fair” that boats might not hit garbage as much, it still is so full of downside risk that this is not a solution and FAILS. Read on.

 

April 27th, 2015

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p4

Looks pretty interesting, but what is it?

 

April 27th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.05.00 AMClean Report

Just a short one from the Club Sushi balcony at the Antigua Yacht Club, folks.  For videos, interviews, and real time reports from the course, head over here.

With 2-time AC winner (and 5-time AC grinder) Shannon Falcone aboard the Timbalero, the G4 found some new modes on Day 1 of Antigua Sailing Week.  “We went from 9 and a half knots upwind to 13 once we started putting the bow down and letting the foils work,” Falcone told me.  On the RIB, we noted that the G4′s foils were actually lifting her up over monohulls’ lines despite the cat keeping the wind at something like 55 true.

The G4 took the fastest elapsed time of a significantly down ASW fleet, finishing 42 minutes faster than the G55 Toccata and  correcting out just 2 minutes ahead.  A great day for a boat that was in dire straits just 8 days ago, and a tribute to the hard work of PJ, Lauren, Chris and the GB team.  You can find results over here.

Roddy-Grimes Graeme photo.

 

April 27th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 9.54.39 AMWe offer our condolences to everyone affected by the tragedy in Alabama.  Huge Kudos to logtime SA’er “Puffyjman” for keeping his head on during the bad, bad times on Mobile Bay.  Here’s his report, and there’s plenty more first-hand words in the thread.

We had just finished on a Tripp 26 and threw the kite up for the ride back to FYC when it hit us. According to the Ft Morgan weather station there was an initial gust of 62 followed by 20 min of 50 then over an hour where it was over 30. We were fortunate to have a boat full experienced sailors that didn’t panic and did what it took to secure the boat and ride the storm out.
When it had settled down we threw a blade up and proceeded to head to FYC when we spotted three sailors floating, we rescued them and had learned they were sailing a Cal 24 that turtled and sank. They were in the water for more then an hour and were in shock as they lost 2 crew to drowning. We got them safely back to FYC.

The sailors we rescued yesterday were all wearing PFDs, they stated that the two victims were also wearing PFDs. The chop on the bay was so incredibly steep that it may have contributed to them drowning as the water was constantly breaking over their heads. Ironically one overboard sailor survived a three hour ordeal without a PFD. I’m not advocating against wearing life jackets I’m just telling you what I know that happened yesterday.

My thoughts and prayers to the families of victims of this tragedy.

 

April 27th, 2015

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Will the G4 capsize videos never end? What’s the saying – bad publicity is better than none? Very well done by Martin Keruzoré who unfortunately lost all his photo equipment during the unanticipated wet excursion… Title inspiration from the worst James Bond movie ever.

 

April 26th, 2015

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Alabama Marine Resources has confirmed that bodies of people believed to have been participating in the Dauphin Island Regatta Saturday have been recovered from Mobile Bay. The number of bodies found have not been released. Coast Guard officials said earlier Sunday that 4 people were believed missing after a storm moved through the area, smashing boats and pitching racers into the water.  According to the Coast Guard, one person was pulled from the water around 9 p.m. Saturday night, but at least four others have been reported missing or unaccounted for.

The weather system moved through the area Saturday afternoon as the race was ongoing, with gusts at nearly 75 mph. Racers reported that boats capsized and masts were snapped. Several people were thrown into the water. Other racers helped to make some rescues, according to the Coast Guard.

Here’s a different look at the storm from onboard as well..

 

April 26th, 2015

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ensenada

Another sucky light air Newport to Ensenada Race at least had  a pretty amazing battle for first to finish monohull. Know the players?

 

April 25th, 2015

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The world governing body for sailing, ISAF,  is threatening to move events for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics out of the city’s polluted Guanabara Bay unless “a whole lot more is done very quickly” to clear the site of floating debris and sewage.

Wow, what a bold step. Any idiot could have, and would have said this months and months and months ago…-ed.

 

April 25th, 2015

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ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Fédération Française de Voile. Finn.

Putting his shoulder into it at the ISAF World Cup Hyères. Tons more shots from Christophe Launay right here.

 

April 25th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 8.50.52 AMClean Report

The G4 ‘Wipeout’ video has already racked up some 330,000 views in less than a week, well on its way to million-view status.  But I barely had time to enjoy it last week before Gunboat Marketing chief Lauren Bataille sent me a text message.

Still coming?” she wrote of my already-booked trip to Antigua for some G4 racing at Sailing Week.

Maybe I’m crazy, but watching a sweet 30-knot run segue into a gentle capsize didn’t make me nervous; in fact, it had the opposite effect, and sitting here at Newark airport waiting for a connection to Antigua, I find myself watching that video over and over again.  What would I do?  Where would I hang on?  Do I really want to find out?

My answer remains as it was in my response to Lauren.  “Hell f*&^ing yes!

My seven-months pregnant wife always knows how to cut to the chase.  “If she flips, be sure it wasn’t your fault,” was her first directive.  “Oh, and wear a helmet.  And have fun.”  That part should be no problem at all.

Got questions about the interior, the exterior, the foils, the stove, the capsize, the electrical system…or anything else?  Well, so do we.  Plant yours in the G4 thread (without being a dick) and we’ll try to get an answer for you. Keep an eye in the forum, on the front page, and especially on SA Facebook for video and pics from Antigua.

 

April 25th, 2015

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We’ve been following young Ben Hartnett for a couple of years now, and this 18-year old university student from Southeast Oz is well on his way to becoming the next big talent in sailing video.  He shot this tasty big-wave video at Sandringham Yacht Club with three boats training under Victorian Institute of Sport Geoff Woolley.  He told us more about the shot:

We were just in a rib and because the waves were so big we were completely soaked after 2 minutes of filming. About 5 minutes into the shoot my main camera (canon 7d) copped a full wave and well. That was the end of that camera’s life. But luckily I had the gopro to use for the rest of the time on the water.

Ben shares his photos on Instagram and you can get in touch with him (or if you have the balls to try something fresh, hire him for your next regatta) at the SailingShack Facebook Page.

 

April 24th, 2015

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main wave

This looks pretty nasty, but they got it together at the the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series, even if the races got cancelled! Photos thanks to Alex McKinnon.

 

April 24th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 10.13.27 AMWe’ve been telling you for months that Russell Coutts is funding a Japanese entry for the next America’s Cup, and the Independent has the confirmation this morning that another commercially viable backer of the world’s wealthiest men has joined the fray for AC35.  Banker Masoyashi Son and his Kansai Yacht Club (to include Dean Barker at or near the helm). Like Franck Cammas’ team, the Japanese will be subsidized by Coutts’ and his designers.  With Artemis and Ben Ainslue Racing having allied themselves against the ETNZ/Luna Rossa bloc on every issue, it appears that the Coutts and Ellison plan to kill off everything historic about the AC is just about complete.  The funded but always-underperforming Artemis anchors a group of ‘little sisters’ to Coutts’ team, including Team Ben, Oracle Team France and Oracle Team Japan.  With Coutts having done everything he could to land in Bermuda while screwing all American fans, the AC Anarchy forumites have already dubbed the Coutts team “Oracle Team British Overseas Territory”, or OTBOT.  We agree.

Meanwhile, Russell Coutts continues to defend himself on Facebook like some mentally deranged person in the SA forums; to paraphrase; “Watch me bring in Japan – they’re even bigger than Luna Rossa!”  We are frankly amazed that he is even allowed to speak in public, but with Larry old and sick, there’s literally no one left to reign in King Rusty.

Out in the wilderness, Emirates Team New Zealand awaits as the sole challenger with a real America’s Cup history.  The fight for AC35 will be a fight not only for the Cup, but a real quest, with actual good guys and at least one actual bad guy.  He wears black.

April 24th, 2015

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coming at ya 2

The new Shaw 11 Meter Little Nico is about to rip shit up. Powered by Doyle NZ, we expect great things from the Van Munster build…

 

April 23rd, 2015

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…and two to take him. Take a look at the awesomeness of the AC! The Potential Economic Impact report looks like it has a lot of, um, potential. Hmmm, we’re not seeing much about how ‘Frisco took it in the shorts last time.

But we’ll keep looking…sure we will. Happy reading.

 

April 23rd, 2015

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caption contest 4 22

Just about perfect for a caption contest, no?

 

April 22nd, 2015

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It’s not much of a secret any more, but we might as well let you in on the news that Key West Race Week will be back on the schedule for 2016, thanks to a group of Storm Trysail Club vets and run by St. Thomas YC’s Bill Canfield.

Add this news to the various efforts sprouting throughout Florida to race to Cuba and/or rekindle the SORC, and we come to one conclusion: South Florida’s big boat racing scene might well be on the road to the kind of recovery that one-designs have already seen in Miami, Pensacola, and Davis Island.

We’re quite sure Key West is capable of being re-ignited, and we know Bill is smart enough to make it happen.  We also know the STC runs a damned good regatta up in Block Island. That said, this ain’t an easy one; it’s going to take an awful lot of hard work to bring life and credibility back to a regatta that spent the last decade throwing it all away.

Canfield runs one of the most respected regattas in the Caribbean, though he hasn’t been immune from the down numbers and sponsor flight seen throughout the caribbean over the past few years.  The STC continues to flirt with success, but many of their southern efforts have fallen flat.

There are two things Canfield and his crew have going for them. The first is the astonishing pent-up demand of sailors looking to go to Cuba, and the end of KW Race Week is the perfect excuse to race to Havana.  If the STC can lock up a Cuba Race (there are now three different groups exploring such a race in 2015/16), it will be a huge boon to Key West racing.  The second tool they have to grow the event is the fact that several high-profile classes really want to race it – classes like the TP52, GC32, and similar – though we think this doesn’t really help a more general regatta at all, and could in fact hurt it.

We expect an announcement from the new organizers soon, and the way they do it will give us all a clue on whether it will succeed.  Is it the same old crap, from the same old players? Or is it something new from a group that understands the world we live in today?

We sure do hope it is the latter.  America needs a great January regatta, and there aren’t that many places as good as Key West.

 

April 22nd, 2015

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Clean Report

When Sperry signed on to be a part of Sailing Anarchy’s year-long media World Tour of some of the most interesting events in our sport, we had no mysteries about why.  “You guys ooze the kind of passion that Sperry was founded on, and we want to help you share it with the world,” said Dave, one of their marketing bosses.

That’s the easy answer; there is a deeper, more painful answer to ‘why?’ – and it’s the reason Sailing Anarchy has been the world’s best sailing website for the past decade.  Because this is not our job; it is our life, and without sailing, there’s a good chance that the folks who run the place wouldn’t be alive today.

So click the player above and learn what sailing means. To us at SA, to Petey behind the lens, to our sponsors, to our friends, but most importantly, to all the folks who do whatever it takes to bring the next generation to this lifesaving sport.

Gorgeous work from Petey Crawford; The first two parts of the series are here and here.

 

April 22nd, 2015

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