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As the R2AK start time approaches quickly, attached is a pic of my ride. I’m thinking of it as the ideal vehicle for extended water camping and voyaging. Not as light as a rowing shell (no easy portaging), but much more capable, and comfortable, when coastal cruising.

It’s an Angus Rowcruiser, slightly modified for my own measurements, and according to my sailing experiences. Its sailing capacities are slightly upgraded, with better controls, and more serious fittings. The smaller main hatch allows mounting the solar panel (which is powering mainly the autopilot) on the main hull. It rows at 3 knots and sails at 6-7, without pushing anything. It tracks very well, and has a very decent tacking angle, close to 90 degrees. Sleeping and resting in it is actually the most comfortable part, while sailing is pretty much full on dinghy sailing, with not much room for leg stretching.

Updates will be posted here. Deeper on that page is also a lot of information about the built and more boat details. – Anarchist Joachim.

Strange Duck indeed, but we bet it is a good choice for that crazy-ass race. – ed


May 26th, 2017

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Those of you who have followed the racing scene for a while certainly know the names Steve and Fred Howe. They are extremely good guys who have had a number of very successful programs; TP 52, Farr 40, Melges 32, Santa Cruz 52. Steve hasn’t raced the Melges 32 Warpath since 2012, but decided to bring the boat out for the Cortez Racing Association’s famed Beer Can Series in San Diego. He got a 2017 PHRF SoCal certificate, entered the series, and proceeded to dominate the first race of the series Wednesday night, beating the next boat in his class, also a Melges 32, by 7 minutes on a 5.5 mile course in good breeze.

An easy win, right? Wrong. The results scored him as DNE – Did Not Enter. It turns out that in order to help maintain the fiefdom known as PHRF SD, one must have a PHRF SD certificate – not a PHRF SoCal certificate –  to enter the series. Never mind that the boat rates exactly the same with either certificate. Warpath has a 2017 PHRF SoCal certificate.

The Warpath guys didn’t know of this rule, and immediately tried to rectify the situation by joining the local fiefdom. CRA came back with a definitive NO.

That strikes us as nothing short of ridiculous. Rules are rules, we get it. But there is nothing nefarious about what Warpath did. No intent to circumvent anything. It was an oversight and the punishment of not being scored does not in any way fit the crime. CRA could have easily rectified this, but they chose to be hard ass and exclude a top notch competitor over what amounts to a technicality.

In a sport dying for more competitors, CRA should be embarrassed by this iron fisted decision. Have a comment? Then jump in the thread.


May 26th, 2017

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We are the first publication in the world to confirm with a representative of the organization that the Storm Trysail Club has finally killed the long-on-life-support Key West Race Week.  Somehow the power of Scuttlebutt, US Sailing, the STC, NYYC, Doug Devos, and history couldn’t manage to save what was, just a decade ago, the undisputed leader in American multi-class regattas.

We’re sorry to see it go, but we’re also pretty certain we first forecasted the exact course of events the regatta took almost ten years ago when we first saw the regatta’s management group start to go bad.  We even offered to help STC advertising and marketing the event after the ouster of the previously faltering management company several years ago, but apparently, marketing on the nation’s biggest sailing website was a bit too ‘over the top’ for them.

Utter failure, however, seems ok…and with an 11th hour deal between North Sails and the organization to co-headline the 2018 event with Quantum falling through yesterday and no other major sponsors on the horizon, the ‘regatta at the end of the world’ is now history.

Key West will remain one of the world’s best regatta venues for class and regional regattas, while the few traveling, handicap course racing boats will go to Charleston or buy a one-design.  Here’s a partial copy of a press release we weren’t supposed to receive quite so early; we’ll note that there is zero mention for why the participation declined so heavily and so quickly, and failed to regain any steam once the economy – and racing elsewhere – began to recover.

“After extensive discussion and deliberation the Storm Trysail Club has decided not to organize and hold Key West Race Week in January 2018.  Many factors led to this difficult decision.  The bottom line is that with declining participation, the event has become heavily dependent on sponsorship making the event unsustainable in its current format.  Our primary sponsors remain very supportive and the STC is committed to exploring alternative formats for the future that address changing conditions in our sport.  The club anticipates that this could lead to another edition as soon as 2019.”


May 25th, 2017

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As everyone prepares to watch the America’s Cup, a bunch of Americans have been getting out on their small cats. 50 A-Class boats sailed in the annual Florida Winter Series with the series finishing at an event at St Andrews Bay YC in Panama City.

The US A-Class hired Nick Bowers of Kettle Cinema, just back from leading video analytics for Emirates Team New Zealand for their development phase, to provide technical analysis for the sailors at the regatta. This is a short clip of his work.

This event is one of the those unknown but excellent regattas, with a perfect venue and incredible Southern hospitality. It even raised about $10K for Next Generation USA, America’s all-American youth team going to Bermuda.

M32 skippers and crew, GC32 and America’s Cup Youth Team members, ex Olympians, Volvo 65 sailors, but mostly a bunch of amateurs that want to have fun and go fast all get together to sail here every year.

The regatta gave $3500 in cash prizes as trophies, donated by B&C Technologies. At least one sailor took home $500 and we are guessing that is one trophy that won’t sit on the shelf and collect dust.

The A-Class put together a short brief to answer questions about the fleet here. Pegasus Racing is big into the A and now the Devos family is getting two.

Worlds in 2020 for the A-Class will be in Florida and is forecasted to have 20 countries and 200 boats attending. The US and Canadian fleet is already scheming for how to dominate it.


May 24th, 2017

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Rán [pronounced rahn], an Esse 750 fractional sloop, #30 of 35, built in 2016 and the only Esse in the US, splash-landed in San Diego last month with new owner John and Tracy Downing.

A 24’ Swiss manufactured two-person lake racer, the boat is constructed with a carbon hull, deck, mast, boom, and rudder, weighing in at around 2116 pounds.

Esse Boats collaborated with Italian designer Umberto Felci on the design as they did with their 850 and 990 models.

Rán is the name of the long, black-haired Viking goddess known for dragging sailors to their death in her net, down to her palace beneath the sea (she is also known among the Viking gods as throwing the best parties, and who can blame her for wanting sailors as her party guests?).

How will this lake racer handle large wakes from military ships, ocean tidal currents, and salt-water spray? Locals can look for her racing debut during the popular San Diego Bay Beer Can Series. They started off with a very respectable 4th in class tonight against the Flying Tiger 10s – who finished 1-2 – and a Melges 32 in 3rd. 

— Mary Hardy


May 24th, 2017

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What’s not to love about this beautiful shot taken by very talented Christophe Launay from his home town of Kerroch, France. Summer travel, anyone?


May 24th, 2017

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The guy who nearly killed the C-Class with his wing sail design has a new appreciation for the development race in Bermuda.  Here’s longtime SA’er and Cogito builder/skipper Steve Clark reflecting on a potential game changer at the America’s Cup.

I just got schooled in a previous thread for not knowing that The defined “illegal actions” had been removed from Rule 42 in this event. Which pretty much opens the door for unlimited kinetics or human propulsion as long as it is attached to the wing, sails, rudders or daggerboards or is otherwise an “act of seamanship.”

This has completely changed my view of the event. Instead of viewing the athletes as providing power to “normally” adjust the sheets,  pull the boards up and down and provide enough juice to adjust the AoA of the main foil, it is now clear that the metabolic energy of the grinders can be used to propel the vessel by pumping the wing or other actions. Some have already poo pooed this, but I think it is significant and gives ETNZ a huge edge.  Previously, I believed that an efficient control system and forgiving foil design could compensate for the lack of pure horsepower.

Earlier, 800  watts was sighted as the  power premium of 4 cyclist versus 4 hand grinders. What was not given is the duration and intensity of the pumping. It is clear from the videos that the grinders are not pumping  all the time and are not pumping hard all. Of the time. The cyclist, on the other hand, seem to be spinning the cranks 100% of the time. Does anyone want to hazard a guess what the difference in energy production during the course of a race is?

I expect this advantage to manifest itself most in marginal foiling conditions, where ETNZ will foil sooner and longer, and also on the down wind legs where they should be able to foil deeper at the same or better speed.  If they can trim faster, they will accelerate off the starting line faster.  Finally they should be able to tack and gybe  faster simply because the human power will buffer the loss of aerodynamic drive. One horsepower isn’t much, except when it really matters.

Let me be absolutely clear, I do not regard this as cheating.  It is absolutely within the rules as written, but not within the rules as understood by fools like me who thought they knew the rules. I could believe the simplification was done to avoid another charge of cheating against Oracle by ETNZ.  I know how hard it is to police kinetics, and it has become customary in many classes to have a wind speed at which the Race Committee can declare “game on” but this is different. ETNZ deserves a golf clap for taking advantage of this opportunity.

If anyone can quantify the difference between the arm grinders time producing x power and the cyclists producing y power, I think it would inform all of our appreciation of the events to come.


Got an answer for this legend?  Hit him up in the thread.


May 24th, 2017

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Who doesn’t want to be this dude, at least for this experience?


May 24th, 2017

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Marine Engineering 105: Why My Boat Costs What It Costs? 

Pricing out a new boat is the no-win gig in yacht design. Resolving down the cost of materials, labor, and design into a figure you can plan for, is like finding longitude before clocks. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of luck. For the first time, we break down the two methods we use to price new builds.

They may not be as slick as Truecar, but they work. And they’ll make you a better boat shopper right now.

Pricing dreams is the no-win gig in yacht design. No matter how hard we try, we never seem to be able to get away from the hard fact that the magic of enjoying a boat only displaces a fraction more than the frustration that comes with pricing that boat.

It’s not rocket science as to why new boats are hard to cost out: The only thing posing more variables when building a yacht, is the owner’s evolving expectations in creating that yacht. Assisting clients in pricing their priorities is tricky.

We have evolved two methods to get at an early approximation for the cost of a new build: One, based on the cost of labor, plus a cost-of-materials factor. And, two, a flat price-per-pound ratio that expresses cost through a boat’s displacement.

Here’s the story on each way to price a new boat, thanks to Stephens waring Yacht Design. Check it.


May 24th, 2017

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Stolen from FB… Whattaya got?


May 24th, 2017

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