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The never-ending J/Boats celebrity bounty from the keyboard of StuJ continues to roll, with today’s installment focusing on the talented and ubiquitous actor Kevin Bacon and his lesser-known brother Michael.  With this news, every American sailor can say they are now just a degree or two separated

BaconBrothersEver since learning how to sail on Sunfish at Red Cross summer camp in upstate New York as little kids, Michael Bacon and his younger brother Kevin always loved to head down to the lake for a swim and a sail, often doing both at the same time.  Having spent summers at their family’s Adirondack camp, the sporting challenge for the day was often nothing more than hopping into a cedar sailing canoe that their Mother gave to their Father as a wedding present.  Using a simple leeboard and a paddle to steer, the boys would have fun trimming the sail on the little lateen rig, going for adventures across the lake like one of their childhood folk heroes, Huck Finn.

After growing up in Philadelphia, the boys went their separate ways, but they retained two great bonds: Boating with friends, and a love for music.  While Kevin went off to greater fame and fortune as a Hollywood movie star, Michael stayed in the New York area and ultimately grew his business in the music industry, both as a song writer and performer.  Having played in various groups in the past, the two brothers joined together in 1995 to create The Bacon Brothers.  That re-connection also fueled their passion for going sailing and having fun anywhere they had a gig near water.

Michael became a happy J/22 owner recently, having bought his boat from the Commodore of the Corinthian YC, a beautiful little club on the Delaware River not far from Philadelphia, PA.  With the help of the Commodore himself and friends at the club, Michael not only became a proficient sailor on his J/22, but also managed to squeeze in an ASA Coastal Navigation course at Manhattan YC, practicing on J/24s and J/105s.  His dream is to bareboat charter in the Caribbean and is already charter certified…and a trip this coming winter to J/World Sailing School in Key West won’t hurt.

The Bacon Brothers’ latest road trip to Annapolis was for their annual appearance at the famous Ram’s Head, where they had four sold-out shows booked.  What to do with a weekend full of working nights and lots of playtime during the day?  Of course, find some Napolitan locals and go sailing!

BacoBros_Marie_KevinAEach of the past few years, Harry Legum of Annapolis Sailing Fitness has urged the brothers to go sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with friends.  Last year they sailed a J/105 and took a tour of the Bay.  This year Harry wanted to dial-up the sailing experience a notch and tap into brothers’ competitive side.  He enlisted the current J/80 North American champs Will & Marie Crump to host a little match-racing on two identical J/80s.

With cool weather and steady easterly breeze that seemed to defy the standard July conditions with “less than zero” winds on the Bay, the group gathered at the Annapolis YC dry-sail area for a brief white-boarding session from Marie . Shortly after, teams were divvied up first by driver, Will on one and Marie on the other; then sorted by Bacon Brother, Michael with Will and Kevin with Marie and then on to the rest of the group that included Michael’s wife Betsy and twin sister Pat along with other close friends Hilary and Andrew Armstrong.

The morning plan was to perform 4 practice starts before moving on to actual races. Once off the dock, the Bacons were introduced to close-quarter trimming techniques on the J/80 and then a few practice maneuvers, including start-stops and penalty turns. When the first sequence began the teams wasted no time showing that bragging rights were important. From the first dial-up, the Bacon’s were into it with a little shock, some excitement and smiles all around.

Race by race, the teams sailed matches that included penalties, changes in lead and overall tight racing with some extremely close calls. Neither team was out to make any concessions in this friendly outing. By the end, older brother Michael was happily taunting younger brother Kevin over the race record and challenging for more— seemingly the old “playground rules” when they were kids haven’t been forgotten!

Later that evening, the Crumps, friends and fellow Napolitans, enjoyed the Bacon Brothers’ show at Rams Head Tavern. Kevin, in particular, was gracious enough to talk on stage about their interest in the town and the sailing it offered, with a special “Thanks” to all their hosts.

 

August 1st, 2014

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Here’s a look at a Vessel Assist ‘rescue’ from Seattle, with some details from local rigger Chris Tutmark.  Plenty of chat about it here.

Note that the masthead was lodged into one of the small trussed boxes along the bridge edge. One of these can be seen in the black and white pic in the link below as one of the vertical members of the bridge. If they had gotten the boat free quickly when things first got stuck, the mast “may” have survived. As it was, the only question was how many pieces it was going to be in once the boat was freed. And it was a keel stepped mast, so dropping shrouds would have only changed where it broke, not whether it broke. 

For this spot, the surface water almost always runs to the west (going left) as it is fresh water coming from the Locks and the spillway.  For those who do not live near the bridge, here is some history.  

 

August 1st, 2014

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woulda

How to lose the Seascape 18 UK Nationals in a single and spectacular move. Guys were leading to the finish of the last flight hiking hard and would have won the championship if they simply stayed on the boat. Like that they finished 3rd.

 

July 31st, 2014

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Stu Johnstone goes for another boat ride with Dr. Laura, and lives to tell the tale…

doc 1The forecast for this year’s Santa Barbara to King Harbor 80nm race was a bit challenging, if not forbidding, for the 93 entries in this year’s race.  In fact, the weather forecast created a somewhat gloomy outlook on what is regarded as one of the best mid-summer offshore races all year long on the Southern California sailing calendar.  There was talk amongst a number of crews on the smaller boats that if Anacapa Island was not reached by sunset, it was perhaps time to consider the “iron genny” option and simply head for home.  For veterans of 20+ SB-KH races, the prospect of rounding in the lee of Anacapa at night (which can be either a 30 minute scenic tour or 3 1/2 hours of drifting hell) was not to be taken lightly.

What this scenario could lead to was sailing’s version of torture- a mind-numbing exercise of staring at sails and red-lit instruments far too long, fueled by too much Red Bull, leading to hallucinations of “heffalumps & woozles” (pink & green Dr Seuss elephants) crossing the horizon in front of you due to lack of sleep for 24+ hours.  In other words, drifting across Santa Barbara Channel to Point Dume that would lead to drifting across Santa Monica Bay in 0-3 kt whispers of wind towards the towering cape of Palos Verdes that might take until noon the next day!  Sailing a proverbial “glass out” all night long was not appealing to many.

While most years the starts can often have light airs for the first few miles headed to Anacapa Island about 25nm offshore at a 140 degree course, the breeze often picks up quickly and with 15nm or so to go to that first turning mark, winds seem to have a habit of whistling down the northern side of Santa Cruz Island and blow from  15 to 20 kts and, in some instances, 20-30 kts!  Conventional wisdom for the race seems to be sail rhumbline to Anacapa, then choose an “inshore” course in the island’s lee if light or an “offshore” course (1-2nm) if breezy.

Once clear of the island, shoot straight across to Pt Dume on port tack for 32nm at 80 degrees, gybe once onto starboard, then head straight for King Harbor for 22nm at 100 degrees.  There are some variations on the strategies, of course, like head right towards KH after rounding Anacapa, or gybe back in under Pt Dume to Malibu for localized “point acceleration” of the breeze, or simply gybe on the lifts from Pt Dume to KH for 22nm and hope no one in either corner (LAX Airport beach to the East or Catalina Island wind bend to the South) blows past you.

This year’s sleigh-ride was on-board Dr Laura’s latest, the J/88 she named “CRAZY 88”.  For many of you not “in the know” about some of SoCal’s cast of characters that sail offshore, Dr Laura may be one of the most interesting and enigmatic personalities of the California offshore fraternity.  While renowned on public talk-show radio (right-wing, homophobic, anti-choice, Schlessinger is an out-of-touch relic of an era that is thankfully rapidly fading into the past. – ed) to her fans across America as simply “Dr Laura”  sailors in SoCal simply know her as “Doc”.

Doc has learned to love sailing as an outlet for her competitive drive- for her it’s therapy.  It’s the thrill of sailing as a team member with a good crew and her passion to succeed combined with her fierce determination enables her to drive for hours on end at a remarkably high level.

Given the fact that her offshore skills have been strongly tested in big boats (J/145, J/125, Kernan 47, etc), Doc was looking forward to sailing her tiller-steered J/88 in its first SB-KH Race.  Amazingly enough, she was worried that the boat might not be big enough, and fast enough, to finish by midnight (I think she was worried she might turn into a pumpkin and have to go to sleep!).  Nevertheless, as her crew assembled before the start of the race (Wendell Liljedahl, Sam Solhaug, Julia Langford & Stu J) on the Santa Barbara YC docks, it was apparent the various weather models might be a bit “off”.

Prior to the start, every forecast (NOAA NAM/GFS, Sailflow’s proprietary models, Europe’s ECMWF, and even Clearpoint Weather’s highly accurate 1nm/ 5nm models  was showing a “micro-Low” forming over the Channel Islands early Friday Am and moving south-southeast and consuming all winds in the area like a giant vacuum cleaner (despite showing very strong offshore flows from the Pacific High just 15-20nm offshore).  Based on those forecasts, some boats even dropped out beforehand.  Nevertheless, the majority of the fleet headed off into the unknown, prepared to sail like lemmings into the abyss (the starting line) towards Anacapa and into the proverbial Twilight Zone (the gap in the Channel Islands formed between the enormous Santa Cruz Island and Anacapa Island itself).

By the time that Doc’s J/88 CRAZY 88 took off at 12:15 pm, the winds had not changed much, necessitating the use of the LM1 jib for maneuvering at the start with a Code Zero ready to roll.  A Beneteau 40.7 was in our midst on the wrong side of the starting line yelling “starboard” at everyone (they were supposed to be on the “left” side).  Such is life sailing PHRF.

doc 2With a great start near the starboard pin, Doc focused hard to sail fast and maintain clear air.  Less than 5nm after the start, the breeze kept accelerating in velocity from the WSW and we managed to lead our class boat-for-boat for about an hour.  Soon, one of the primary competitors that was clawing well to windward of rhumbline, a Tartan 101 called Mistral, set their Code Zero and rolled over us before we set our own C0 flying.  Nevertheless, after another hour of sailing in a very slowly building westerly, they faded off into seeming oblivion to leeward, at one point bearing 90 degrees to leeward of us while we sailed with a C0 and staysail at 110 TWA doing 6.5kts in just 7.0kts TWS— an apparent wind machine the J/88 is!

Fast forward to the approach into the Anacapa turning point, and so far, so good on relative fleet position.  All things were good on crew comfort, especially Doc’s home-made PB&J’s (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the uninitiated) using potato bread— the best combo ever!

Meanwhile, the Mistral boys way off to leeward practicing the “zero-to-hero” strategy looked like their gamble might pay off.  Unusually, the breeze did not keep accelerating on the approaches to the Anacapa turning point, puffs never seemed to climb above 15 kts TWS.  It was fantastic conditions for the J/88 as with our A1 chute and staysail flying we were surfing off wavetops at up to 10-12 kts consistently and giving the J/120 headaches just in front of us.  The “high road” fleet of boats that included the J/105s, J/109s and a host of others in class were feeling the effects of having to bear off using A1/ A2 kites with lower AWS/ AWA and, therefore, much lower relative boatspeeds.

By the time CRAZY 88 hit the Anacapa left turn, Mistral planed across in front of us and was ahead by at least a mile and we were still in the hunt, we hoped, for a top three position in class.  While a number of boats around us turned left in under the lee of the island fairly quickly, we rode a long 13-15 kt wind streak about a half mile past the island before gybing.  We’d set the A2 “whomper”, a giant PHRF maxi-size chute, and were flying downwind on a favorable headed starboard shift.  Once on the other side of the streak, we gybed in the lift and rode it for at least 2-3nm down the backside of the spectacular cliffs of Anacapa before having to head up and maintain speed to “shoot the gap” between the two massive rocks that form Anacapa island.  By this stage, we caught the J/120 POLE DANCER and the 1D35 DEJA VU, both inshore under the island in no wind.

As the breeze filled beneath the gap in the island, those two took off.  Since we were outside of them, we then settled into a pure VMC/ VMG course scenario keeping the big A2 Max full with staysail flying at around 145 TWA and steadily flying down the large Pacific swells at 8-9.5 kts in a wind that varied from 8-13 kts TWS.  We basically felt like we were on a skateboard zipping down the swells and placing the bow where it felt best and fastest.

And so it went for the next 30 odd miles to Pt Dume.  The J/120 ultimately pulled away and a bit to leeward by a mile or so.  So did the 1D35.  That was our world until the fog settled in near Pt Dume.  Approaching Pt Dume at dusk, we took one gybe onto starboard and headed back across Santa Monica Bay.  We lost track of the blue chute flying on Mistral, we last saw them going left into Malibu and perhaps the beaches of Santa Monica.

The fog was dense enough that all forms of reference from a steering perspective were literally gone.  Toss in a quartering swell.  No horizon.  No sky.  No moon.  No stars.  Yes, a “detox, de-sense chamber” in real life— better than anything imagined by any NSA/ CIA interrogation unit!  Just a blanket of darkness enshrouding the boat and only the gloom of the bow lights on the chute and the glow of the red-lit instruments guiding you.  Disorientation was easy, next step was a descent into the darkness of Dostoyevskyian madness.

doc 3To say that Doc had never been “instrument-rated” may be a bit of an understatement, she had done little steering at night offshore despite years of sailing (remember?  Her M.O. was sunrise-to-sunset).  Many of you that have done offshore races know that feeling of “hallucinatory tricks” that both your eyes and mind can play on you— a result of physical fatigue as well as intense concentration.  Mental relaxation can often help you overcome such situations.  Focusing on just steering a basic compass course, Doc managed to lock into a “fast, comfort” mode that was loosely based on the fastest TWA of around 135-145.

The further we clawed our way down towards the finish line at KH, the more the wind kept dropping and the more we kept passing boats that simply lost all ability to keep sailing good VMC/ VMG angles with their spinnakers (many twice our size).  Throwing in five gybes in the last two miles, we finally clawed our way around the white flashing light at the harbor entrance, doused the A1 and finished under the LM1 jib not having any idea of how we did.  We presumed the worst, of course, because there was no way to track what happened to anyone else.

Doc was elated but somewhat subdued.  Glad to have finished the race around 2am, but clearly exhausted. So were the rest of the crew.  Wendell having trimmed the chute for most of the 14 hours.  Sam and Julia for having executed about 40 gybes nearly flawlessly (no joke, we lost count after 25 gybes) and Stu for frying a few thousand tactical brain circuits along the way. It was an amazing effort.  And, it’s fair to say that Doc quickly achieved her “IFR” (instrument-rating) certification in offshore racing!

As we departed KHYC around 2:30am Saturday morning, we discovered that we’d won our class, boat-for-boat and on handicap.  Doc’s response?  “Thank God, Lew (her husband) won’t kill me now!”, she said cracking a smile.  Though her husband Lew doesn’t sail, he supports her passion for sailing with friends and is always happy to know the effort was worthwhile and the crew made it home safely.

The post-mortem?  Wow, having buried the 1D35 and the J/120 with less than 12nm to go, why didn’t we simply go for the “zero-to-hero” move and go way south for a “one gybe & in” approach?  If only we knew what was happening for breeze just south of us.  With no wind sensors in the area, it was a tough gamble to make.  We knew at least 90% of the fleet was to our left towards the LA beaches, not offshore.  When we saw those two boats disappear behind us going south on starboard tack downwind, it was hard to imagine that more breeze lay south and to leeward of our position.  So, we persevered and played every shift we encountered.  In the end, the crew of Doc’s J/88 CRAZY 88 were proud of their hard work.  But, how did those other two boats beat us in by an hour?  The mystery remains and the story to be told another day.

- Stu Johnstone.

 

 

July 31st, 2014

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The Biz

Hey nice work, Garmin. Of course the big business boot-lickers on the right will fellate anything that they do, but this is just such a blatant tax rip off. Yet somehow, we will be called socialist America haters for daring to even bring this up…

Two marine companies with direct or indirect links to the luxury yacht market have been identified by Fortune magazine as being among the top 10 American corporate tax avoiders. Garmin is one of them. Read the article here.

 

July 31st, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

smilingUK orders alone for the remarkable new RS Aero have now reached one hundred boats, with more than two hundred ordered overall internationally. The one hundred UK boats are destined for clubs right across the British Isles, with fleets already coming together in many places.

RS Sailing’s UK Sales Manager, Charlie Merchant, reports “Looking at our schedule, Avon, Bewl, Bowmoor, Chelmarsh, Chew, Emsworth, Grafham, Gurnard, Lymington and Yorkshire Dales all have between three and twelve boats ordered – and of course many others have just one or two so far. I’ve also got more clubs waiting for their demo days before getting their fleet started.”

RS Sailing has encouraged fleet growth from the outset, with attractive fleet price levels for clubs that have 3+ or 5+ boats at the end of the year. Anyone who buys before a fleet price level has been reached can reclaim the difference, so there are only advantages to leading the way and being first onto the water.

 

July 31st, 2014

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kate tack retouch

Our resident Scowbilly sailor and media maker Peter Crawford checks in with another deserving Sailor Chick of the Week. White Bear Lake’s Kate Cox and crew Izzi Boo sailed their way to a 12-point victory over the rest of the 34-boat fleet and won the 2014 ILYA Senior Fleet X Championship in a commanding fashion. Kate won race 5 by well over a minute to capture the title that had previously eluded her as she finished second last year. With that bullet, Kate and Izzi did didn’t need to sail in the final race of the 8 race series.  Flashback to 2009 – the last time Gull Lake hosted this regatta – Kate’s brother Eddie sailed a great regatta only to lose by a single point in the final race. With Eddie coaching her this time around, Kate wasn’t about to let that happen to her, and took matters into her own hands; the entire Cox family let out an emotional sigh of relief when Kate crossed the finish line with the championship secured.

I was filming in 2009 and remember being really bummed for Eddie and how things ended up for him, so it was especially cool to see Kate totally crush this event. Filming mom and dad motoring by our photo boat holding back the tears, and Eddie hopping on his little sisters boat to give her a huge hug even got me a little caught up in the emotions of it all. It’s really good to see lifelong friends and catch up; it’s even better to see them celebrating their children’s victories. We’ll have video for you soon.

-Petey Crawford, Penalty Box Productions

July 30th, 2014

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It’s another installment of Video Anarchy, brought to you by our foiling friends at The Great Cup.

Vamos A La Playa

As US772 told you last week in his report from the Dirtboat Worlds, Nevada’s stark desert is one of the most visually impressive places to sail imaginable, and the unique piece of American geography provides a gorgeous backdrop to this video showing just what landsailing is all about.  Shots of the Smith Creek Playa are best in HD on a big screen, and hit this link for some drone aerials during one of the event’s crazy dust storms.  And if you want a look at just how scary Latino music was in 1983 (and the inspiration for the title), hit this link.

RORC To The Rescue

Yeah, there are a lot of idiotic looking blazers.  And yeah, maybe the pole-back, supper-table IRC boats are the antithesis of what Sailing Anarchy is all about.  But we’re stoked to see an American with the quickest boat in the fleet help Team Ireland crush the rest of Europe, and we’re even more glad to see historical events like the Comedy Cup saved from extinction.   With their biggest fleet in a while, it looks like the RORC is on the right track…check out more here.

Skidmarks

While Team Oracle’s management continues to make the team, the country, and the sport look shady, the actual sailors seem to be having a blast.  Have a look at this hilarious short from OTUSA racers during their Moth Camp in Lake Macquarie about a naked Jimmy Spithill’s hygiene during his Sports Illustrated photo shoot.  Thread here, and a slightly more serious Oracle moth training video here.

Back Then, Again

Your wildly approving clicks and comments from the ’83 SORC inspired us to give you more, and thanks to the Aussie RB Sailing Blog, we’ve got it.   The hour-long video comes from the 1982 Hawaii Clipper Cup, and includes not only the historic Americans like Kialoa, but also the big Aussie names in SORC racing.  Enjoy it, and get over to the Video SORC thread to chat with other old bastards who remember it, too.  Big thanks to original SA’er “SPORTSCAR” for the heads-up.

Ashes To Ashes

Some odd decisions and shitty conditions meant that, despite the 2014 Moth Worlds pulling in the biggest fleet in the Class’s history, the event went by somewhat unnoticed by the larger yachting community. We just couldn’t get excited by the two-fleet format, racing peppered with abandonments and postponements and sail measurement issues, or the fact that, with the ’13 World Champ, the majority of the expected ‘AC Mothies’, and nearly every US sailor opting to blow off a trip to the UK South Coast, the competition wasn’t really what we’ve become used to.

Add to that the organizers’ total fuckup with the media; they chose to use a UK sailing publication for all of their media work – something we normally applaud because it usually means good, professional content.  But in this case, that sailing publication branded everything from the Moth Worlds with their own magazine’s logo, virtually guaranteeing the majority of the sailing media would ignore it.  It may be petty, but it’s also the basic common sense: If you depend on the media to maximize exposure for the health of your class and the satisfaction of your sponsors, it’s a good idea not to ostracize them with an exclusive publication partner – unless your media partner is bigger than everyone else, or writes you a huge check…neither of which happened last week in Hayling Island.

Fortunately, the English got their hands handed to them both by Nathan Outteridge, who wins his second Moth World title, and by the Aussies, who took the all-important Ashes trophy in the team competition between Ol’ Blighty and Oz.

We congratulate Nathan, and above is a look at what the Ashes is all about from Beau Outteridge.  And mark your calendars for early 2015, when a massive fleet, including many of the names who sat out the ’14 event, will descend on Sorrento, Australia to battle for perhaps the most important title in performance dinghy sailing.

 

July 30th, 2014

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sa plate

So go out to your garage and take that crappy car dealer-issued license plate frame off your mini van and replace it with this: The brand new Sailing Anarchy license plate frame. Black, plastic and awesome. Ya gotta have one for every vehicle! A mere $15.00 delivered to your door in the USA. $22.00 anywhere else. Do it!

Check out our new store page while you are at it.

 

July 29th, 2014

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Most of you know – boy, do you – that we are being sued for defamation by Daniel Meyers, he of the First Marblehead Corp. It seems we are somehow being painted as the bad guys. Really?

Angela Smith, a mother from Chesapeake, Va., filed a petition on Change.org several years ago asking private loan provider First Marblehead Corp. to forgive the $40,000 in student loans that her husband had co-signed for their son Donte, who was shot to death in 2008.

“Shortly after Donte died, that’s when the collection calls started. It was like a punch in the gut — we didn’t know what hit us,” Smith wrote in the petition. “All of a sudden we not only had to deal with the police and attorneys investigating his murder, but we also had to deal with collectors constantly calling and reminding us of our son’s death in the worst way.”

The petition received more than 150,000 signatures from sympathizers but no action from the lenders. First Marblehead didn’t respond to a request for comment, and Smith says the loan was recently sold to another company. The full story can be found here.

 

July 29th, 2014

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Pardon this unreal walk down video-memory lane. Those of us old enough to remember will find it amazing. Those of you who aren’t will also find it amazing, but probably not for the same reasons as the old bastards!  Jump in the thread here! Props to Mike Jones for the title inspiration.

 

July 28th, 2014

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ok 1

Race Report

The OK Dinghy European title is heading back to the class homeland after Jørgen Svendsen of Denmark took the championship following six races on Steinhuder Meer in Germany in a huge fleet of 110 boats last week.

Denmark’s Bo Petersen was the defending champion, but he could only finish third behind the host country’s Andre Budzien, and Svendsen. It is perhaps no coincidence that Denmark is the fastest growing national fleet in the class with a spectacular resurgence of interest in the past five years. This has been spurred recently with the introduction of a new state of the art hull builder in Denmark which filled four places in the top 10 including second and third.

A former world no 1 Jorgen Svendsen took the Championship with a three point margin over some of the best OK Dinghy sailors in the world. He out-sailed the 109 other sailors in the largest ever European championship in the class and only ever slipped up once while winning four out of the six races sailed. In one of those he was beaten by was his own son Frederik, sailing at his first ever major OK Dinghy event.

Despite the fleet being unable to sail the final two days due to light winds, the six that were completed tested all aspects of the skill, character and perseverance of the sailors. The shifts were many and often immense, and the pressure differences over the lake were taxing. The first two days challenged the brain with multiple combinations of shift patterns littered across the course area like confetti. The third day tested endurance with winds of up to 26 knots and no less shifty. It was a complete championship in more ways than one.

In his acceptance speech Svendsen paid tribute to the other competitors. Citing many examples of good sportsmanship, hilarity, and intense competition during the week, he commended the fleet on a well fought and gentlemanly compeition. Even though he never raced against the defending champion Petersen, as the racing was in split fleets, Svendsen had mastered the conditions better than any other sailor and was a deserving winner.

But in an event of this nature, all the sailors were winners. It was an event unlike any other with all the stops pulls and all sailors receiving more than one prize. It was organised with an ambition to set a standard that couldn’t be beaten and that goal was achieved in spectacular style. The attention to detail in everything was bordering on the obsessive, the surprises were never ending, the friendly banter and camaraderie among the sailors provided an electric atmosphere of fun, joviality and shared enthusiasm for a great class. The racing, as ever, was great fun and the sailors loved every second of it. Results here. Photo by Ania Pawlaczyk.

- Robert Deaves.

 

July 28th, 2014

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bolt 5

Big Pimpin’

Finally something new and cool is coming to San Diego. Bolt 37 hull #5 should be arriving this Fall to owner Andy Rasdale. The boat should be a rocket and it will be fun to see how it goes. Add a kelp cutter, a few good sailors and the thing ought to go like hell and be  a blast to sail.

Let’s hope the local yokels on the PHRF board don’t display their usual incompetence, self-preservation, and ignorance to go out of their way to fuck yet another new sporty…

 

July 28th, 2014

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we love etchells

And always have. Well, that is if always means right now.  From the Etchells Invitational Cup in the UK thanks to Rupert Holmes.

 

July 28th, 2014

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AC Dope

We thought this would be a funny bit of replay

Hi! I’d like to invite you to join my contest. It’s a sort of a race. Ready… set… go! Oh. You want some rules? Hang on. We’ll get to that. I’m winning already. Pardon? You say you need rules to decide whether or not to play? No you don’t. You just need to trust me.

It’s a fancy race. Does that help? You still need more info? It has driven men to obsession, and some might even say, murder. Now do you want to play? You do? Great. Sign here.

Entree fee? Of course, that’s where the contest really shines. You commit to paying more than you have, and then I raise the price. Sounds good? I knew you’d say yes. Wait. Pardon? When is it? That’s on a need to know basis. You don’t. See you there, then!

One more thing. People have been dedicating their lives to this contest for over a hundred years. You cast yourself into illustrious company just by saying you would like to know more. Congratulations. – Kevin Hall.

 

July 28th, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.14.00 PMAfter the ass-kissing statement of support released last week by the ‘Euro 4′ AC35 challenger heads (Ainslie, Sirena, Percy, Cammas), we’re unsurprised to learn that, according to AC authority and AP writer Bernie Wilson, Russell Coutts specifically told ETNZ to stay home from a major, confidential Challenger/Defender summit meeting later this week in London.

According to Wilson’s piece, “the event authority is working with the teams “to further define an event based on the published protocol.” Coutts said that after he heard from another team [emphasis ours -ed] the Kiwis didn’t want to want to proceed on that basis, “I rang them up and said, ‘It’s best that you not come.’ We have four other challenging teams and the defender that want to work together to have a great event this time and in the future.”

We’re not quite sure what Coutts’ offered to get formerly logical and critical guys like Sirena on board with whatever failure-doomed plan Coutts is trying, now that his greed and hubris sent Iain Murray and Team Australia into the void previously occupied by Vincenzo Onorato.  Discounted entry fees?  Access to some of OTUSA’s old data archives? It’s gotta be something, because they all know that Australia’s Challengus Interruptus makes Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison look like some of the biggest buffoons in international sport.

Coutts’ latest bit of nastiness to his countrymen is just one more folly from a guy who is almost comically bad at the business of sport, and the same question is on every AC watcher in the world’s lips:  Why would one of the world’s best businessmen keep Russell Coutts at the head of the AC organization when he has failed at every single AC-related business decision he’s ever made, including the most costly boondoggle in the history of modern sport?  It ain’t the biggest newspaper in the world, but the Otago Daily Times has one possible answer: They say Coutts’ contract may have a ‘Bertarelli Clause’, guaranteeing Coutts the top job until he gives it up himself.

Golden Gate Yacht Club members are not happy.  Notwithstanding their recent “support”, Challengers are not happy.  Sponsors are not happy (or nonexistent).  And fans are not happy.  Hell, even Obama has a 40% approval rating.  But how long will the notoriously headstrong Larry Ellison continue to allow his reputation and the sport he loves to be screwed over by a piss-poor businessman who’s proven that he is terrible at everything…except for one skill:  Winning the America’s Cup?

Unless this is all part of the plan…screw everyone and you might not come so close to losing the next one?

Is there anyone in the world left that supports Russell Coutts?

 

July 28th, 2014

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supa fly

Pretty bitchin’ looking new Mills designed 62′ with a lifting keel and of course a dinghy garage!

 

July 28th, 2014

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SA’s resident Wx expert ‘DryArmour’ checks in with a report on El Nino.  For more, check the thread, and if one of the hundreds of uninformed news reports on the weather phenomenon has you confused, read this primer on the state of the Pacific.

The Eastern and Central Pacific are as active as I can recall over the last 20 years. A generally moist environment is increasing the chance for tropical storm Boiling Pacific July 23, 2014development. Two areas are of particular interest at the moment. One 800 mi SSE of the Bog Island of Hawaii is marginally likely to turn into something that requires watching. The second area is just east 140 degrees west and is already showing some rotation and cloud tops near the center are cold to very cold. Some SW shear is slowing rapid development for the moment. Both systems are moving generally westward @10-15mph. If you live in the Hawaiian Islands or are traveling there in the next week pay attention to the weather and local notifications. The Sea Surface temperatures are also much warmer than the average over the last 20 years and getting warmer and spreading northward.

Read on.

 

July 28th, 2014

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DeRidderVOD65As the entire world (or maybe just a few thousand die-hard ocean racing fans on the SA Forums) waits for the identity of the mysterious skipper behind the 7th and final Volvo Ocean Race team, just the other day,  former Mean Machine owner Peter De Ridder got behind the helm of one of the VOD65s and, if you believe the look on his face, had a hell of a time.

If you’re new to this whole game, De Ridder made plenty of noise on the international one-design and box rule circuits, with highly successful and well-oiled Mean Machine Farr 40, Mumm 30, and TP52 campaigns, and a hot pink paint job that you couldn’t miss.  When he announced his VOR campaign and bought a previous generation boat to train on, everyone cheered; it’s not every day an amateur owner/driver steps up to the Volvo.

Alas, the global financial crisis emptied PDR’s petty cash box out quite rapidly, and with no sponsors jumping, he pulled the plug on the Volvo challenge, staying out of the high end of the sport altogether for the past few years.

Yet here he is in Europe, sailing around on a Volvo 65.  Is this the beginning of something new, or is PDR just having a go with a few of his old pals?  Or is De Ridder getting in some practice for his new boat – a Volvo 65 named Mean Machine? We don’t know more – do you?

 

July 28th, 2014

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nose job

Metaphorically speaking, of course. this is the new bow on Wild Oats, as compared to the old bow on Wild Oats. We have no idea what it is supposed to do, other than cost money. Thanks to Andrea Francolini for the pic.

 

July 26th, 2014

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