Tony Castro designed Portuguese challenge for the C-Class trophy (formerly known as the Little Americas’ Cup) to compete in Falmouth, UK later in September.. Looks hot!
May 17th, 2013
The BBC’s chief F-1 reporter Andrew Benson looks at yachting and Formula 1, and wonders how we can benefit from F-1′s decades of safety and reliability lessons…a great piece from a solid writer, and timely as hell. The full story, including a video, is here, and you can discuss over here.
A chance meeting at the Monaco Grand Prix between one of sailing’s biggest stars and one of the leading names in Formula 1 has resulted in a plan aimed at revolutionising off-shore racing.
Record-breaking round-the-world yachtsman Brian Thompson found himself moored next to Caterham technical chief Mike Gascoyne, who has designed race-winning cars for Jordan and Renault. They got chatting. Thompson revealed his love of F1 and Gascoyne, then running the technical side of Caterham’s F1 team before his recent move upstairs, his life-long passion for sailing. Gascoyne took Thompson on a tour of the pits. They hit it off, and so started the relationship that has led to the launch of the Caterham Challenge team, an attempt to bring F1 technology, know-how and practices to sailing.
On the face of it, the two sports seem about as different as it is possible to be. One is a high-speed circus taking place in front of tens of thousands of spectators and a TV audience of hundreds of millions. The other is low speed and attracts nothing like the same attention, with races fought out on the open ocean, watched only by sea birds, whales and the occasional webcam.
In fact, though, they have more in common than might at first glance be obvious, and Gascoyne and Thompson are setting out to prove it.
May 17th, 2013
Not much needs to be said about this incredibly beautiful shot of Traunsee Lake, Austria, taken during the Allianz Traunsee Race Week from Christope Launay.
May 17th, 2013
It turns out that our friends on the young MAKS women’s match racing team aren’t the only match chicks with Anarchy in their blood. Here’s a note from Chicago Match Race Center’s Stephanie Roble, whose Epic Racing Team was invited to race in the same WIMRA as our Aussie gal pals. Follow the girls this weekend on the WIMRA page.
We missed the practice day on Wednesday due to a missed flight connection in Paris. Going into this morning, we were very anxious to get on the water. Day one got off to a slow start with light winds and strong adverse current. Once we were on the water we were quickly put to the test in our first match against number 3 world-ranked Lucy Macgregor! We were not fully warmed up and made the mistake of being early to the pin and OCS in the light wind, which cost us the race. We adjusted after the race and went on to win our next four against Bossard, Sylvan, Kjellberg and Bezel.
In our 6th race we matched up against Klaartje Zuidderban from NED. We made a silly mistake in our dial up and received a penalty. However we soon got out and were able to gain control and give her a penalty to cancel ours out. We controlled her above the line for the whole pre-start and were leading until the second windward mark where our dial-down was just a little early and we rounded bow to bow. Right afterwards we had a terrible set and lost the race.
We didn’t let this race frustrate us and laughed about how we got “all the bad moves” out of us in that one race. We kept the momentum and went on to win our seventh race of the day against Dreau from France.
We are feeling solid but know we still have a lot of little things to clean up around the course. Our goal is to improve every race and take things one race at a time. Tomorrow is forecasted for 10-12 knots and we are excited to see what it is like to sail an Elliott 6M with 4 girls and no hiking straps! As the only American team we’re very happy to represent the U.S. in such a great location and in a premier series!
May 17th, 2013
Bjoern Kils from NY Media Boat took advantage of NY’s recent spate of sailing activity, getting both video and photos of the Atlantic Cup on Wednesday and shooting the awesome 97-foot IDEC playing around in light air yesterday.
We dug this pic the most, juxtaposing the sailor who embodies “freedom” with the tower named for it.
More on Joyon and IDEC here, and don’t even think about using this photo…© NYmediaboat.com
May 17th, 2013
Class 40 Dragon skipper Mike Hennessy explains just how differently doublehanders go about things in this post from the Atlantic Cup thread. You in the NY area? Get down to the water to watch the Saturday start of their sprint to Newport! And follow along with Dragon here.
So you ask “hey, mister… how do you swap out your kites in the middle of the night, with 20+ knots of true wind and only two of you on board”. Well, Johnny, let me tell you how it is done:
Picture a messy, quartering sea in the stream that allows for a little bit of surfing, but mostly just limits your use of the pilot. Imagine winds in the mid-twenties. Envision the big ass A2 kite up, doing perhaps a bit too much work for the conditions. And progosticate that a front will be coming through in about two hours with rain, more wind, and lightning. Now do this all with your eyes closed, since with no moon or even stars it is as dark as dark can be.
This is how it works:
- 1. One of you sits on the helm, the kite cross sheeted to your hand.
- 2. The other suits up, clips in and stumbles / slides to the foredeck with the new sail (really looking forward to the refit this summer and new non-skid!)
- 3. Clip the bag for the new sail to the life lines
- 4. Open the forward spin tack clutch
- 5. Sort your halyard tail which has been washed into a tangled mess.
- 6. Sort out your haul down line for your sock. Curse your head lamp whose over taxed bulb won’t illuminate what you really want to see up top.
- 7. Call for ease (and poke the boat down) from the helm.
- 8. Haul down the sock
- 9. Helm blows the aft clutch on the spin tack line, puts the boat on pilot, clips in, then stumbles / slides forward to feed you the halyard.
- 10. Haul down the sock to the deck and frantically try to collect the foot.
- 11. Open up the hatch and dump the whole mess into the sail locker.
- 12. Helm stumbles back to the cockpit
- 13. Hook up all the bits of string to the A5 kite, trying not to trap anything in the dark
- 14. Question what circumstances in your life led you to pursue this relaxing pasttime.
- 15. Tie down the haul down line, cuz if you don’t it will sky as you hoist the sock, your partially hoisted kite will pop open and you will have a really crappy morning.
- 16. scream back to the helm to sheet on and go deep
- 17. Pull on the tack line.
- 18. Wrap one arm around the sock to keep control over it and then hoist with the other, whilst attempting to stay on your feet.
- 19. Curse as the sock flips over the forestay, then flop around trying to get it sorted
- 20. The sock finally gets somewhere near the top. You “confirm” with the helm that he has sheet ready, and you haul up the sock.
- 21. Your kite made, you then toss the bag into the forepeak and hopefully remember to dog the hatch or unhappiness ensues.
- 22. Grind on the last bit of halyard.
- 23. Sort your tail, knowing that despite your efforts it will be a tangled mess when the clew of the A5 rips off three hours later and you need to do a quick douse.
- 24. Stumble back to the cockpit, wish you had a beer, and then go on watch.
May 17th, 2013
We introduced you to the world’s 5th-ranked match racer last week; now let’s hear what he has to say about his other job; Sailing Director for the Chicago Match Race Center. Taylor has plenty to say about his program; we were pleasantly surprised to learn that perhaps the most intimidating form of sailing has had the barriers to entry stripped right away at CMRC; for just $650 for the entire season ($950 for skippers), you can spend two to three days a week learning to race at an extremely high level. We’re headed over for our first look at CMRC in person for their Spring Invitational this weekend; come over to Belmont harbor to check out the fleet and say hello.
Edit: Taylor’s US-One Sailing Team had a nice first day at Match Race Germany; here’s their video update.
May 16th, 2013
The adventures of USone Sailing Team continue with the first stop on the World Match Race Tour, Match Race Germany. Sailing this event is Taylor Canfield, Hayden Goodrick, Dan Morris, Mike Rehe and myself.
Well at the end of the day everyone said that it was one of the best sailing days in Langenargen. That’s no typo we are in Langenargen, Germany; it’s a nice little town sitting on Lake Constance. Our side is Germany, the west is Switzerland, and the south is Austria. The regatta takes over the town and sets up a big tent and beer garden. Porsche is also a regatta sponsor and has a cool setup with 3 top end cars sitting here, the 911 Carrera S caught my eye then I saw the price tag of 170,000 euro.
As for the racing we ripped through 10 flights of racing which is great for the first day of any regatta. Because there are 6 boats and 12 teams we have to rotate in and out of the boats. Everyone ended the day sailing 5 races. There are 2 teams with 4 wins and 3 teams with 3 wins (we have 3-2) And a few teams with 2 wins, so half of the teams are within 1 point of us!
Our living situation is fun we have 3 hotel rooms for the 6 of us. The bed and breakfast put us on the top floor so it’s only our team up there. You could say its a bit like a dorm with the doors open and music playing. We went to bed early (sure they did – ed.) since there is an 8am skippers meeting and racing starts at 9. Here is a quick video update from day one. – Brian Janney.
May 16th, 2013
Something new. Or is it?
May 16th, 2013
Why would you send out a public statement about a “private” event like this? Why not just make it a public event?? You know, so the community can feel a part of this tragedy, be allowed to grieve with the team, instead of in on-line forums? No, instead the perception of a behind closed doors, no questions allowed, bunker mentality exists, endearing them to nobody. And yet another chance to lead, to give the public at least the perception of caring is blown. How sad…
Artemis Racing today held a private ceremony commemorating the memory of our friend and teammate Andrew “Bart” Simpson. After eight bells, a wreath was cast upon the water by representatives of the four teams of the 34th America’s Cup. Then the morning’s rain parted and sunshine spread across San Francisco Bay. The Artemis Racing team thanks everyone for their support. Bart, may you rest in peace.
May 16th, 2013
SpeedDream, our fun, fast little rocketship prototype is currently in the hold of a ship heading across the Atlantic bound for Europe. Exciting things are happening. You see SpeedDream was initially conceived as a prototype for a much larger record setting monohull and for sure we have learned a lot and the design of a larger boat is already underway. But along the way the sleek lines and shiny carbon, say nothing of that funky red bulb flying in close formation alongside have collectively captured the imagination of a sailing public eager for change and innovation. People want one of these boats for themselves and who are we to deny them? SpeedDream is, afterall, one of the most exciting boats I have ever sailed.
So we are going to Istanbul because in June this year the Extreme Sailing Series will be staging an event there and we will be showcasing SpeedDream as part of the series. We have long been fans of the Extreme Sailing Series and admired how they pioneered the concept of stadium-style racing in Extreme 40 catamarans and taken it global attracting some of the very best sailors in the sport while at the same time attracting some brand name sponsors. Mark Turner, an old friend and Executive Chairman of OC Sport, the Series organizers extended the invitation and we were thrilled to accept. “Part of the Extreme Sailing Series philosophy is to welcome other interesting and innovative concepts into our Stadium – the SpeedDream project will create some interest for sure so we agreed to test it out in Istanbul, the meeting point for Asian and European cultures, and now the meeting point for innovation in sailing!”
Istanbul is also where our technology partner Yandex has a large presence and their local representatives are planning a huge media push inviting local celebrities and sailors to come out for a sail. Yandex is Russia’s leading internet company whose search portal alone attracts over 55 million unique users. “As a company on the leading edge of technology we look forward to associating with innovative projects that push the boundaries and hosting SpeedDream here in Istanbul” said Yandex. Turkey Chairman Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ. “We will all benefit from an exchange of ideas with the common goal of being the best and fastest in the world; SpeedDream on the water, Yandex in search and browsing the web.”
Among their plans are a fashion shoot for GQ and Vogue aboard SpeedDream and Yandex will be hosting the Extreme Sailing Series prizegiving at an exclusive night club on the Bosphorus Strait. Exciting times for sure. Finally, after watching the boat come alive from a series of line drawings to a stunning carbon reality, it will be great to be able to show her off to the world and what better place than Turkey and what better event than the award winning Extreme Sailing Series.
SpeedDream27 will soon be available for anyone who wants to be a part of the future of sailing. Showcasing the boat at the Extreme Sailing Series is just step one in an ambitious plan to develop a fleet of boats to race as an Opening Act in the Series. We plan to field at least four boats in the European venues of the ESS in 2014, and a full fleet of eight boats to race the entire international circuit in 2015. – Brian Hancock.
May 16th, 2013
A boat that could crush it in the upcoming Transpac. More soon.
May 15th, 2013
Francis Joyon is in North Cove Marina in New York taking care of his maxi trimaran IDEC. On Thursday 16th May, the official stand-by began as he awaits a weather opportunity to tackle the North Atlantic record between Ambrose Light and the Lizard. A legendary record.
Francis Joyon is in the thick of it. From Thursday 16th May, in association with his faithful router, Jean-Yves Bernot, the helmsman of the maxi-trimaran IDEC has been watching the weather closely. The goal is to find the right low-pressure area – or preferably one which strengthens off the Gulf of Saint Lawrence – to be able to sail straignt across the North Atlantic in under 5 days 19 hours and 29 minutes. Or in other words keeping up an average speed of 21 knots… These figures may appear beyond belief and out of reach of ordinary sailors. But Francis Joyon is not just anyone and the maxi-trimaran IDEC is not just any old boat.
Fortunately, as when sailing solo, the task is truly reserved for an elite. We can remember how Ellen MacArthur just missed out on it, and indeed only five solo sailors have managed to improve on the record launched by Bruno Peyron back in 1987. A time beaten by Florence Arthaud, before Bruno Peyron grabbed the record back. Then, there was Laurent Bourgnon and yes, already up there, Francis Joyon. It was in 2005 aboard the first IDEC trimaran (6 days and 4 hours). In 2008, Thomas Coville bettered that time with the record that is still his today after completing the voyage in 5 days 19 hours and 29 minutes.
Title inspiration thanks to the greatest punk band in history.
May 15th, 2013
This gorgeous promo video gives a look at the biggest solo one-design racing fleet in the world as they ramp up for the Solitaire Du Figaro; probably one of the toughest competitions to win in all of sailing. And this year’s event will be even tougher thanks to the addition of downsizing superstars like Michel Desjoyeaux, Armel Le Cle’ach, Jeremie Beyou, and Yann Elies. An incredible 40 skippers will race around 1500 miles in stages from the June 2 start in Bordeaux to the finish in Dieppe, and with the organizers making at least a rudimentary effort to keep us anglos informed, we encourage you to check out the site and follow one of the sport’s most competitive and exciting events.
May 15th, 2013
An Anarchist wonders what, exactly is going on with Artemis?
What are they hiding? I have been following this story from the beginning. Looked at every news story, Official statement, forum postings, you name it. And as much as I understand (or think I understand) some of the potential legal issues, liability issues, AC protocol (There is such a thing, correct?), Police and Coast Guard procedures, sensitivity to Andrew Simpson’s family, etc. I cannot understand why Artemis hasn’t said anything. Anything.
I am sure there is much I do not know. I am not a pro. But Is this not precisely when, if you were them, that you would say something? And not just something. Something profound. Something heartfelt. Something revelatory. The AC, and by extension, the sport requires leadership during a situation like this. It is expected that the AC Organizers would do what they have to do, but then why does Artemis not do what they have to do: Tell us what they know. Because we all know that they know what happened. As stated on this site, there must be a number of videos showing most, if not all, of what happened. Release them, make public appearances, hold press conferences. Tell us what in the hell happened.
But they aren’t. And the question is why? Is there something damning to the team? The designer? The builder? Is there a trail that leads to what happened that they do not wish to reveal? Is there a massive cover-up? Are they buying time in order to do just that?
Who knows? But because of their unbelievable silence, we are all, myself included as evidenced by this, doing exactly what the team has asked everyone not to do: speculate. Of course we are speculating, what do you expect we would do?
Artemis, for the love of God, while there is still time, attempt to rescue this. Have your World Champion, veteran CEO take control and take charge. Knowing all the considerations that the team surely has, still show us some honesty, some transparency, and some insight about what happened. Because if you do not, this is going to be a cloud that will follow you for the rest of your lives.
May 15th, 2013
You can dream. And then make it reality?
May 15th, 2013
Despite the public’s clamoring for information about Artemis’s crash and Bart’s death there were no real answers given at ACRM’s somewhat fluffy Press Conference, and neither Iain Murray nor Tom Ehman offered a timeline for when they can be expected. While the newly appointed Investigation Panel includes a list of people that no one can accuse of being whitewashers, it’s a bit troubling for someone as invested in the event as Murray to lead it as Chairman – though without him, the process of investigating and solving the safety issues would likely take way too long.
Meanwhile, Artemis continues to treat any information about the incident as ‘top secret’, and Kiwi reporter Amanda Gilles found that crews of every other team have been given gag orders as she reported in an excellent piece after flying all the way across the Pacific to cover the story. At the same time, AC head boss Stephen Barclay continues to bitch about speculation from the media and public, claiming that it’s ‘disrespectful’, and that ‘no one…knows what happened.’ Others say the public has no ‘right to know’ anything about the incident; Artemis is a private team practicing for a privately owned regatta, and they can stay as quiet as they want, crying and moaning about those irresponsible reporters disrespecting the memory of a sailor who didn’t make it. The public may have no right to know. But here are some rights they do have?
- -They have the right to ask questions. And as our exploding forum traffic has shown, they are doing just that.
- -They have the right to speculate.
- -They have the right to attack silence
- -They have the right to fire up others who also want to know
- -They have the right to make the silent look like the guilty.
If this were any past America’s Cup, no one would be the least bit surprised at the silent treatment from a team or the event in tragic circumstances. The AC has always been about secrecy, and the sailing was always miles away from the public eye. But this one was supposed to be different; “to bring the fastest boats and the best sailors together” in a format that brought the excitement and the drama right to your computer or TV screen. It was meant to be transparent, and young, and to dispel the perception of yacht racing as a sport for the Thurston Howell IIIs of the world. It was meant to stand with Formula 1, and the World Cup, and NASCAR, and the other tier 1 sports.
But if its leaders immediately turn into epaulette-gilded yachties, pulling their heads in to hide amongst committees and panels at the first sign of difficulty, they will lose all those fans they gained by advertising themselves as ‘extreme’ and ‘modern’ and ‘the F1 of sailing’ and so on. Vulgar or not, the AC gained an absolute shit ton of exposure from Simpson’s death – most of you know our own site got blown out for a few hours, with traffic peaking more than 1000% over our average and millions of pageviews in minutes – but silence from all parties will not create an air of mystery – just one of incompetence. The made-for-youtube series was called AC Uncovered – not AC Covered Up…
Because while Barclay says “no one knows what happened,” we all know better. Artemis’ RIB saw the whole thing, and their crew included a videographer and photographer along with half a dozen other coaches and watchers. Oracle’s RIB watched some portion of it too. The sailors – at least those not grinding – saw most of what happened. There were a dozen waterproof cameras on and around the boat, filming the whole thing. Perhaps no one really saw what happened to Bart, but that doesn’t excuse the silence on everything leading up to it. Perhaps they don’t know exactly what led to the failure, but they know what broke and where.
The public may not have a right to know, but they deserve to know, and the PR arm of any other major sport would be way out ahead of this story, not covering up. Simpson’s thousands of fans back in the UK and around the world, and everyone who has invested their time and money on following the AC over the past year has earned that bit of respect.
You know we’re right about this. Jump in and comment here.
May 15th, 2013
Bodacious Dream captures the first leg of the Atlantic Cup Race - 1st across the finish line in New York City at 21:06:15 EDT. Total Elapsed Time to Finish … 79 hrs. I min. 15 secs. Braving all manner of obstacles, the guys managed to hold onto the lead position all the way from around Cape Hatteras, NC! Way to dream it and live it … Dave Rearick & Matt Scharl … and the whole Bodacious Dream Family!
#121- Lecoq Cuisine – 2nd across the finish line at 21:14:43 – (That’s an insanely skimpy 8.5 minutes behind Matt & Dave in a 3 day and 4 hour contest! Respect!) #90 – 40 Degrees finishes in 3rd position arriving at 22:01:12. An amazing finish to an amazing race! Congrats all around!
May 15th, 2013
One of motor racing’s engineering and design geniuses is to become an entrant in next year’s Global Ocean Race joining the eight teams already preparing for the start. Mike Gascoyne, famous for his work with several Formula One racing teams and now CEO of Caterham Technology and Caterham Composites, will be at the PSP Southampton Boat Show for the start of the round-the-world race in September 2014 with a new Class40 boat, Caterham Challenge, to be launched this summer.
Since the late 1980s, Mike Gascoyne has been at the highest level of F1 design and Caterham Challenge will bring the sport’s standards of technology, innovation and logistics to offshore yacht racing. Gascoyne’s team – which includes the UK’s most experienced round-the-world sailor, Brian Thompson – is building an Akilaria RC3 Class40 and their high-powered racing yacht will be launched on the South Coast in early August 2013 with sailing and training in The Solent and English Channel. Read on.
May 15th, 2013
Michael Hennessy and Rob Windsor on Dragon went from heroes to zeroes on the first leg of the 2013 Atlantic Cup. Here’s how it happened – from Mike’s keyboard:
You might have heard the story: You’re a good person. Someone who loves his family and friends, who works hard, gives back, pets dogs and kisses babies. A pillar of his community, with a reputation built through years of contribution. But get caught just once behind one happy, good looking ewe and *poof*! Just like that you are a sheep fucker forever. Or a Kiwi, as commonly known. Or Aussie if you listen to the Kiwis.
My sheep fucking moment came at 3:00 on Monday, 25 hours into the race. I had done pretty well up to that point, if I dare say. I had timed the front an my arrival at the Gulf Stream perfectly, reaching the advantageous current just as the front moving over top the boat freed us to gybe right on to track for Hatteras. Then we sailed with abandon and a dash of skill through the first night and next morning in blast reaching contions, allowing us to reach Hateras right at the front of the pack.
Then we managed the transition to lighter air as it clocked forward. While we lost some ground to Bo Dream andd Le Coq who were deeper in the Stream and had better current, we were within spitting distance and even crossed within two boat lengths of Le Coq on Sunday night, and were making time on the boats inside of us.
Then Monday we were diving to the west, still looking good, and I got distracted by an ewe. That damn sheep came in the form of gribs that showed a clock to the west. We were on split boards at the time, with no favored tack so when the shift came we made our move and went back east. Bad, bad sheep fucker. Had we only kept going we would have covered every one but Bo Dream. But no…..we commited the cardinal sin and now we have paid a hefty price. Sheep fuckers.
At this point, all we have going for us (beyond charm, wit and dashing good looks) is that we are stubborn, won’t ever quit, and are east of the pack we chase. We have to sail fast, and hope the wind dies for them. The 0600 report shows at least some of them sliding to the east, so some of that advantage may have been erased along with better boat speeds for them as they footed off, but I will remain optimistic and hope that we end up getting judged for more than that one cute, flirty sheep.
Update: Mike and Rob didn’t get DFL, but close. On to the next leg!
And from GyphonSolo2:
We finished leg one of the 2013 Atlantic Cup at around 11:00pm in New York City last night. It was very cool to come bombing in from offshore in a 25 knot breeze behind us and doing 15 right into Ambrose channel and the shipping lanes of one of the world’s busiest ports! We doused the kite and got out the jib as we approached the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the wind went all squirrelly as the tides for different rivers came together. We then had to get the kite back up and were sailing rather leisurely to the finish line just opposite the Statue of Liberty when we heard our competitor Dragon call in to the race committee that they were right behind us! So Tristan and I got to work and gybed about 6 times in the light and flakey dead downwind conditions and finished in 5th place, about 5 minutes in front of Dragon after 650 miles. All seven boats finished within 3 hours of one another so it is clear the racing is very close. We were disappointed in not finishing on the podium for sure but are resolved to sail harder, faster and smarter in the next offshore leg to Newport and in the inshore series. We look forward to the pro-am race here in NYC on Friday and then for the next start on Saturday.
Thank you all for your ongoing support.
May 15th, 2013