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Here is a little video i put together for the owner of the TP52 Celestial. He had a nasty crash off his bike while training for the race and did not recover in time, but he let us take his yacht for a wee spin! Top bloke. – Anarchist Scott.

 

January 15th, 2018

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Big Pimpin’

In June 2016 Spinlock kicked off with a development map for the design and production of a new lifejacket harness for the Volvo Ocean Race crews. The company has been supplying personal safety equipment used by the Volvo teams since 2005, but for 2017-18 race organisers approached Spinlock and asked them to develop the next-generation lifejacket for their sailors.

Here was an opportunity to develop a lifejacket harness for this specific race involving a specific type of sailing, rather than teams using an off-the-shelf product. The brief was to develop the latest and best in personal on-deck safety for the sailors. – Read on.

 

January 15th, 2018

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We’re not suspicious types, but it’s hard to keep calling it ‘coincidence’ when a yacht seems downright cursed.  Ever since the blue Banque Pop colors were replaced with the black and gold Spindrift livery, the former Jules Verne-owning Spindrift has gone from one catastrophe to another.

The boat has seen broken bit-ending record runs, an awful injury (and criminal charges) from a collision with a RIB, and one failed or barely started round-the-world effort after another, and as of an hour ago, she’s just dismasted on the way to yet another Jules Verne attempt.

Yann Guichard, skipper of the Maxi Spindrift 2 said: “The crew is safe and sound. Everything happened so fast. The mast fell to the leeward of the boat. The conditions were not so extreme. It’s too early to know exactly what happened. We had to drop the rigging to save the boat and prepare it for towing.  Operations are currently underway to recover it.”

Here’s the problem: The next generation of bit RTW trimarans is much, much quicker than Spindrift’s generation, and now that she’s lost a million-dollar mast, doesn’t it make more sense for the Dona Bertarelli-funded team to just buy or build a new one?

It has to be more successful than the old – or at least, less cursed… Picture thanks to Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing.

 

January 15th, 2018

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Not quite, but a creepy video of dead crew being removed from the Iranian tanker Sanchi that has been ablaze off China since January 6 sank on Sunday, causing the Iranian government to give up hope of finding any of the crew alive.

 

January 15th, 2018

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This boat sank in Bass Straight, and a crew member believes that it happened after striking a large fish.

The yacht, pictured here from better days, is Hollywood Boulevard a Farr 55 that was heading back to NSW, having placed ninth in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, when the accident happened about 11am on Sunday. The six sailors on board were winched to safety by helicopter amid high winds and swells as the 16-metre racing yacht sank in freezing waters, 150km east of Flinders Island.

Sailor Michael Spies told Channel Seven that the boat struck a sunfish – a species that can grow to more than three metres in length.

The yacht began taking on water. An emergency beacon was activated and the call went out to abandon ship. Mr Spies said the water was “exceptionally cold”.

Two Air Ambulance helicopters were dispatched to the scene, but had to stop at Flinders Island first to refuel before Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance flight paramedics worked to winch the yacht passengers to safety. Three of the rescued crew were flown to the Latrobe Valley and three to Essendon.

Paramedic Andrew Allan told Seven it was one of the toughest rescues he’d seen. “The winds and swells were causing the boat and life raft to drift around, in some odd angles, which posed some challenge for us,” he said.

Greeting the crew members at Essendon, the yacht’s owner Ray Roberts praised the rescuers “for a marvellous effort” and was relieved the yacht’s crew were safe. “The primary element of anything is the safety of human lives. It’s great to see them,” he said. Thanks to SMH.com.

 

January 14th, 2018

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Sunday is race day here at the Southern Highlands Sailing Club in NSW south of Sydney. Mixed fleet Commodores Cup today, Mono’s and Multihulls, with Nacras, Spirals, Lasers, a Tornado, A-Class and plenty of Hobies. I race a Finn, one of two here at the club, and it was a windy and very shifty day, gusting to 30 knots, where I had two breakfasts before racing – and should have had two more…

The cool southwesterly breeze kept shifting dramatically all afternoon, filling in then dropping – so you would be hiking hard one minute, then jumping into the centre of the boat in a 40 degree knock, to steady the boat and get an idea what was going to hit you next.

Just before launching, one of the guys on a Hobie 17 ran back to his car and grabbed his helmet – a $30 bit of kit which he bought at a nearby supermarket that sells sporting stuff in aisle three – and boy was he glad he did so. He is a good sailor, but in one of the big shifts he got a smack on the helmet from the boom, which made everyone stop and think when he showed us in between races. We are seeing more and more sailors in the club heading out wearing a lightweight helmet when its breezy – and when I was in Europe last year staying with friends, their young son showed me a plastic domed insert that fitted inside his baseball cap, which he always sailed with – have you seen those? Any protection looks like a smart move to me. – Blue Robinson.

Title inspiration is a stretch from Schooly D ed

 

January 14th, 2018

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While Dongfeng was languishing at the back of the fleet, Team Director Bruno Dubois was visiting the team’s home stopover at Nansha, Guangdong and took time out to visit the Temple of the Sea Goddess and her Four Dragon helpers a few hundred metres from the marina. Around the same time Dongfeng moved up from the rear to lead the fleet.

As avowed agnostics, we are of course not suggesting divine intervention, but we are sure the guys on the boat would accept any help they could get right now!

 

January 13th, 2018

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Big Pimpin’

Sailing upwind at a true wind angle (TWA) of 50° in light air, then bearing off and accelerating to 15-16kt, still in no more than 12kt of true wind… These are typical performance prediction figures from the designers of the latest Gunboat and the first of its kind to emerge from its new French builders. And reaching in a good ‘working breeze’, VPLP’s Xavier Guilbaud is confident you will often see 25kt with additional potential to be realised under the big rig option. Not bad for a boat as luxurious as this?

Pictured: Very tangy indeed… the new French designed and built Gunboat 68 further advances the aesthetic and performance development that these large cats kicked off when they first appeared soon after the millennium. The very first Morrelli and Melvin designed Gunboat 62 Tribe marked the beginning of the end in the luxury sector of the market for those giant sailing caravans that were fine for reaching around the Caribbean but ‘unduly’ dependent on Captain Donkey for going in other directions…

The launch of the first Gunboat Tribe 17 years ago marked the invention of a new sailing concept: the long-range high-performance but luxurious, large multihull, a combination only made possible through borrowing the best race boat technologies and materials.

The original Gunboat catamarans designed by Morrelli and Melvin were light and quite purist in form and with a relatively more minimalistic internal fit-out. Read on.

 

January 13th, 2018

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It may be one of the most isolated sailing venues on Earth, but almost 60 SB20s gathered up in the River Derwent off Hobart for their Worlds this week and had some of the best sailing of their lives.  French and UK teams took the top 5 spots, with the fledgling downunder fleet mixing it up with the rest of the Italian and French internationals who made the bucket list trek.  Good photos over here.

January 12th, 2018

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The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch continues their investigation into the death of Simon Speirs aboard the Clipper 70 CV30, and they took a break in their investigating to publish a very important safety bulletin identifying why, exactly, Speirs’ tether didn’t save him from getting washed off the boat and drowned.  Read carefully, and don’t sail another offshore mile without ensuring your tethers can’t be wrecked by your cleats.  Here’s an excerpt:

The sailing yacht CV30 was taking part in the third leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race having left Cape Town on 31 October 2017 bound for Fremantle, Western Australia. At about 1414 local time on 18 November 2017, the yacht was in position 42°30.3’S, 087°36.3’E, approximately 1500nm from Fremantle, when a crew member, Simon Speirs, fell overboard. He was attached to the yacht by his safety harness tether. The hook at the end of the tether that was clipped to a jack-line, deformed and released resulting in him becoming separated from the yacht. Simon Speirs was recovered unconscious onto the yacht but sadly could not be resuscitated.

INITIAL FINDINGS: Simon Speirs was using a three-point webbing tether attached to the integral harness of his lifejacket that allowed him to clip on to the yacht with a short or long tether. A safety issue identified during the investigation was that the hook on the end of Mr Speirs’ tether had become caught under a deck cleat (see Figure 1), resulting in a lateral loading that was sufficient to cause the hook to distort (see Figure 2) and eventually release. The harness tether was certified under ISO12401 (Small craft – Deck safety harness and safety line – Safety requirements and test methods), which is the international standard applicable to this equipment. The standard contains detailed testing requirements that assume the tether and its hooks will be loaded longitudinally rather than laterally. The tether hook was of a conventional design and quality of build, and was commonly used by manufacturers of safety harnesses and tethers that were certified under ISO12401. When loaded longitudinally, the tether can withstand a load of over 1 tonne. However, when loaded laterally a tether hook will deform at much less load. It is important that tether hooks remain clear of obstructions and are free to rotate to align the load longitudinally.

 

January 12th, 2018

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