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One of our fav babes is Aly Di Nas, former and now current SCOTW. Click here for more about this pic, taken by Landon Gardner.



October 26th, 2016

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vgThe 29 competitors competing in the Vendée Globe are now onsite in Les Sables d’Olonne. There is just 10 days until the start of what’s likely to be the most exciting Vendée Globe ever. I can say that with the utmost conviction and here’s why. This is one of the largest fleets ever and the pure talent among some of the favored skippers is unbelievable. There are probably ten skippers who could win including Vincent Riou who won the race eight years ago. Take the talent of these ten skippers and put them in incredibly powerful IMOCA 60’s and you have all the makings of an awesome event. More than half of the competitors have done the race before and for five of them this will be their fourth Vendée Globe. For six skippers this will be their third race, but sadly this time there are no female skippers in the race.

My money to win is on Armel Le Cléac’h, the skipper of Banque Populaire. In 2008 on his first attempt, Le Cléac’h made it onto the podium finishing second behind Michel Desjoyeaux, and in the race four years ago he also finished second just 3 hours and 17 minutes behind François Gabart. He is known as The Jackal for his ability to relentlessly hunt down and pass other racers.

My sentimental favorite is Alex Thomson not because he is one of only nine non-French competitors, but because he has done so much to expose sailing to a broader audience through his stunts like the mast walk. This was where he ran up the mast, posed at the top and then dived off. Another stunt was aboard his kite board where he soared ten stories above the mast of Hugo Boss. To cap it off for both stunts he was wearing an immaculate Hugo Boss suit. Thomson is a relentless competitor and while this will be his forth Vendée Globe he has done numerous other circumnavigations. In 1999 he won the Clipper Around the World Race as the youngest skipper ever to win a round-the-world yacht race. He also participated the Barcelona World Race and the Velux 5-Oceans but crashed and burned in those events.

Other skippers that are likely to fill out the podium are Jérémie Beyou on Maitre Coq. Beyou has won the Solitaire du Figaro three times, won the Transat Jacques Vabre and placed second in the 2014 Route du Rhum. he year he won the Transat Jacques Vabre he was sailing with Jean Pierre Dick who is also a contender for the podium in this Vendée. Dick has won the Transat Jacques Vabre on three occasions (2003, 2005, 2011) and the Barcelona World Race twice (2008 and 2011). I guess I could go on since there are so many potential podium placers, but these are the ones that I know well and whose careers I have followed over the years.

There is one skipper that has no aspirations for the podium and that is Richie Wilson, the lone American in the race. This will be Richie’s second Vendée Globe aboard Great American. In the race 8 years ago he finished ninth out of thirty starters and is back eight years later on a newer, immensely powerful boat. At 66 Richie is the oldest competitor in the race.

Every year when I go to Les Sables d’Olonne for the start I look at the boats and wonder how they could possibly every get any faster, but four years later when I compare the earlier generation boats against the latest boats there is no comparison. It’s the same this year with many boats installed with the new Dali foils and with more powerful sailplans some of the boats literally fly out of the water. In future blogs I will examine some of the rule changes and technical advances that have taken place. But for now do yourself a favor and subscribe to the Vendée Globe newsletter and get ready for one amazing race around the world.

- Brian Hancock


October 26th, 2016

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Chinese mariner Guo Chuan trying to sail on a solo trans-Pacific voyage was missing off Hawaii, his support team said on Wednesday.

All attempts to contact the vessel had failed and a rescue organization in Honolulu has sent a searching aircraft, which found the mainsail in water, broken off Guo’s trimaran, but didn’t see the sailor on the deck.

Guo was aiming to set a new solo non-stop trans-Pacific sailing world record from San Francisco to Shanghai within 20 days, while the current trans-Pacific speed record is 21 days.

He departed from San Francisco on Oct. 18. Thanks to crienglish news.com.  Tracker shows the boat currently at 3 knots of boatspeed.


October 26th, 2016

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Everyone who has surfed and sailed knows the common ground. Even recently crowned Wold Champion surfer John Florence knows that.


October 25th, 2016

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champsKieler Yacht Club took (yet) another big week in its stride when 681 Laser sailors descended on the former Olympic sailing venue for the 2016 junior world championships…

So often we’ve seen the battle for Olympic titles come down to a two-horse race, a match race for gold and silver. This summer’s Laser 4.7 World Championships and Laser U21 Youth World Championships in Kiel, Germany, brought one of the most dramatic showdowns between two world-class talents, two names to watch out for on the Olympic circuit.

In the boys’ division of the Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds, Guido Gallinaro won the penultimate race of the competition with ease, and looked set to defend the world title he’d won in 2015. His closest competitor, Dimitrios Papadimitriou, had only managed 11th. It would take a minor miracle for the Greek to overturn the Italian’s advantage. Read on.


October 25th, 2016

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A small handful of media standouts have emerged in sailing over the past few years, and few of them have been more prolific than Brian Carlin.  He’s also stayed almost entirely in the fast lane, resisting the urge to take paychecks from anything that ain’t high energy and high adrenaline.  Brian takes a look back on his 2016 season with this showreel, and be sure to pay attention to the 2016 Vendee Globe for more great work from the little Irishman.


October 24th, 2016

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If you’ve ever wondered why our sport is so damned strong in New Zealand, just look at this shot from down below on Ika Moana II during the famous Coastal Classic race from Auckland to Russell.  The country has more sheep than people and isn’t much bigger than a medium-sized US state, yet they pull 140 entries for this 120-mile race, including around 30 multihulls and literally dozens of full-family programs to the line.

The future looks bright in the Land of the Long White Cloud; take a chapter out of their book and make sure your kids learn to love sailing with you before you shove them into some Opti class and forget about ‘em…

Coastal Classic thread is here.  Results here.  Awesome pic thanks to Gillian Williams, skipper of Ika Moana.

October 24th, 2016

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screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-10-04-11-amUnlike the messy US Election, the choice for the first-ever Olympic foiler was a much less nasty affair.  Plenty of questions remain about the equipment and event choices for Tokyo 2020, but the odds-on favorite for the first flying boat at the Olympics is now the Nacra 17 in its new 4-point foiling configuration.   A majority of the 89 votes cast during an EGM held over the weekend called for the full ‘evolution’ of a boat that had more than its share of problems in its first quad, and while no one thinks this will be an easy transition, Anarchists who’ve tested out the new design have walked away with big, big smiles on their faces.  We’ll have more on this in a couple of weeks in Barcelona, but for now, here’s the press release from the Class:

On the 19th of October the Nacra 17 class members assembled for an electronic Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). Three topics debated were
a) an update to the class constitution
b) advertising
c) whether or not class members recommend full foiling for 2020 or not

A presentation covering the proposed changes to equipment, pricing, and procedure was shown to 50 members in attendance over the course of 2 hours. Details of how the boats would be made stronger and more consistent were included. Also shown was three pricing options for a mk 2 Nacra 17 was presented which can be downloaded here.

The three options for equipment going forward are:
a) retrofit a mk1 boat to go full foiling for 7,900 euros
b) Buying a new platform for 14,500 euros, retaining the ability to sell the mk1 platform for a next cost of about 7500 euros
c) Buying a new boat for 24,250 euros, an increase of about 2000 euros from the mk1 price

Following the presentation was a discussion with questions and answers from class members and leadership. At the close the meeting, voting was opened to class members. 89 members voted from the total membership of 132, above the 40% threshold required to form a quorum. All of the motions passed, with the advertising and constitution motions receiving 87% support or higher. the major question of whether to recommend to World Sailing whether Nacra 17 should go fully foiling for the 2020 Olympic or not was a closer vote, but ultimately passed 48 votes to 33, for a 59% support level.

As such, the Nacra 17 class has sent a letter to the head of the Equipment Committee of World Sailing with the class recommendation.  Class president, Marcus Spillane, will convey this position at the World Sailing Conference next month in Barcelona. Equipment of the updated configuration will become available following confirmation from World Sailing Conference of their position on the matter. Team wishing to get onto the waiting list for mk2 equipment should be in contact with the Nacra Sailing head office.


October 24th, 2016

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Lloyd Thornburg’s mighty MOD 70 Phaedo was well on her way to the rare triple victory in the Rolex Middle Sea Race last night, with a big lead over Giovanni Soldini’s non-foiling (for-the-moment) Maserati and what appeared to be a couple of hours in hand on the outright race record of a hair under two days. And then they did something you almost never, ever see at this level: They sailed around the wrong mark, costing Phaedo the win, the all-important record, and plenty of embarrassment.  Phaedo co-Skipper Brian Thompson wrote to organizers that “we scored an ‘own goal’”, allowing Soldini and his crew (which includes Monaco’s prince and playboy Pierre Casiraghi) to easily win the race despite their boat problems on the delivery to Malta.

Phaedo is just about finished, while Maserati is likely showered, shaved, and already on the piss.  You can play back the tracker yourself to watch the gaffe unfold (or watch the slower boats still competing), or just watch the GIF above for the money shot.

Results will be updated here.


October 24th, 2016

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The first blustery, chilly weekend of the season is upon many of us, and what better time to remind you just how much fun frostbiting is?  Never tried it?  Got kids?  Call your area clubs and find out how to get on the water, all winter long.  Huge thanks to Director/Producer/Writer/Videographer Thurston Smith, and to the early adopters who helped him pay for this great little documentary.

October 22nd, 2016


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