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Brad Jackson and Rome Kirby get the boot while Simeon’s back for the start, and Volvo 65s have to find their way through an uncorralled spectator boat fleet.   Watch it all live here, but watch the Sailor Girl’s dock walk first.

October 22nd, 2017

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Yep, that’s your faithfull ed in red out on the Extreme 32 “Lupe Tortilla” before the start of today’s Extreme Sailing Series in San Diego today. Cracking wise and thoroughly digging the ride, Ed was nearly at a loss for words. (Right).

Hooked up by Andrew “Macca” McPherson, the ed and his beautiful fiancee Mary Hardy enjoyed a rare breezy dago day.

“Having never foiled before, it was amazing to watch this thing effortlessly elevate on the foils. I think we hit just over 26 knots and it was nothing short of awe inspiring. What I really enjoyed the most was watching the team of only five sail this thing very close to its maximum ability. The communication was fascinating – almost a different language as the boat is seemingly from a different planet than ‘normal’ boats.”

The team didn’t fare too well in the racing, but the experience of sailing on these boats will blow away whatever you thought you knew.

 

October 21st, 2017

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Volvo Ocean Race Breaking

The biggest news in Volvo Ocean Race world is not the impending 1400 start of the first leg of the 2017 VOR – it’s once again recently axed skipper Simeon Tienpont and his contract dispute with AkzoNobel, because he might just be back on the helm when the gun goes off for the leg to Lisbon.

According to a respected publication, Simeon won the emergency arbitration he brought in Amsterdam against the sponsor on Friday, and he is already in Spain to discuss the future setup of the program.  While we don’t know exactly what the arbitration award requires, a look at a fatigued Brad Jackson at the pre-start Press Conference makes us think he wouldn’t mind Simeon’s return at all.

AkzoNobel didn’t have much to say. “We are evaluating the current situation and working with Simeon Tienpont,” said a spokesman.

It’s probably something they should have done last month…

Talk talk talk here.

 

October 21st, 2017

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I don’t know what all the hype for the cup was about. Mickey Mouse made a foiling multihull in 1979. – Anarchist Tarquin.

 

October 20th, 2017

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I was trolling Facebook the other day and saw a comment in one of the sailing forums, can’t remember which one. A lady was asking for some advice. It seems that she and her husband have been saving up for years to retire on their boat and to sail around the world, but they were starting to get cold feet. Their reason was the amount of big storms out there these days and the effect that climate change is having on global weather patterns. They were seriously thinking about not going.

At first I saw her point and almost agreed. But then I thought, how ridiculous. When I did my first circumnavigation we were guided by a tome of a book called Ocean Passages for the World. It detailed the best routes and the best time of year for different ocean voyages. For most cruisers it was a bible. We also bought weather charts that showed the various wind strengths and direction for each month and would use the charts to plan the best route. There were no forecasts for most of the world. Sure around the English coast you could get the shipping forecast but nothing for the mid Atlantic. We were at the mercy of the wind gods.

For the first few years the weather charts were fairly accurate and the weather quite predictable, but then it started to change. I once did a Southern Ocean passage in the 80s where the weather chart claimed that for the month of January there was zero chance of easterlies and a 95% chance of strong westerlies. We beat into easterly headwinds for a week. My point is that things have been changing for the last couple of decades.

For our cruising couple with cold feet things have never been better. There is so much accurate weather information available and much of it is free. You can compare various forecasts and make a highly educated decision. Once you have set off you can get updated forecasts along the way and plot your course accordingly. Boats are so much safer now than in the past and we are all so much better educated about how to deal with bad weather. Heck thinking about it now we must have been crazy to set sail without on-board real-time weather info, say nothing of tracking that allows those at home to follow every inch of your voyage. And we used a sextant? Madness. 

To the couple with cold feet I say go for it. I think it’s safer now than it has ever been. Take the usual precautions but don’t let the nonstop babble on TV about the state of the world get in the way of what sounds like awesome plans.

– Brian Hancock

 

October 20th, 2017

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Big Pimpin’

Same Same but different…the 2017 Fremantle to Geraldton Race started in a SW Seabreeze which just filled in time for the start. Pretty normal you would think being Fremantle in Spring…but even the weather bureau got this one wrong, along with predict wind and every other provider of data.

Intense cells produced by a trough produced rain, lightning and downdrafts across the 220 nm race north changed the race strategy significantly and it was a race of many sail changes and a wind direction that did a few laps of the compass rose.

Our team worked really hard all race, day and night to make sure we always had the right sail combination and were on the making board going as fast as possible. This, some great navigating by the Scoop plus our dynamite new OneSails A2+ were instrumental in the win. – Paul Eldrid, OneSails.

Music from one of the greatest rock tunes ever.

 

October 19th, 2017

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Gary Jobson’s in hot water again after specifically telling reporters in August that a report of the National Sailing Hall of Fame moving to Newport was erroneous.  “For the record: The National Sailing Hall of Fame is located in Annapolis, Maryland, and we are diligently proceeding through the development process for a new facility in Annapolis,” Jobson said in a written statement after rumors surfaced of the NSHOF looking at a Rhody option.

Today the long-rumored move looked a lot closer to reality, after the Newport Daily News reported this morning that more than 100 people gathered in Newport City Hall on Wednesday to listen to a pitch by Sailing Hall of Fame President Gary Jobson about their proposed spot for the organization and Hall.  The full timeline of Jobson’s efforts to shop the NSHOF around are in this piece in Newport This Week.

For the record, and to be perfectly clear – we have been quite impressed with the success of the NSHOF’s vision, and Gary’s been a big driver of it, so for that, we salute him.  We also don’t think it’s a bad idea at all for the NSHOF to move to the city that’s the clear capital of sailing in America, and it’s likely that there’s way less money available from the Annapolis community and government than in sailing-subsidized Rhode Island.

But if the guy doing the negotiating is making misleading statements to the media that make it look like city is being played against city – and his credibility has already taken a recent hit – the whole thing might well be doomed.

 

October 19th, 2017

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We’ve gotten a surprising amount of mail and comments questioning the newsworthiness of Il Mostro’s smashing of Steve Fossett’s 20 year old Chicago-Mackinac course record, and we wanted to set the record straight for all the coastal-living folks who don’t get it.

Firstly, about record-setting in general: Part of the problem is that there’s not a huge record-setting culture in American sailing, and many US sailors just don’t understand the point.  Lloyd and Brian T did a great job smashing tons of records on the Phaedo 3 just as Ryan B and the Lending Club folks did with their big trimaran, but they’re the first American-owned teams since Fossett to really take aim at record-breaking campaign  and it will take many more of these to develop the kind of US prestige and status for world records that they have in places like France and the UK.

Secondly, the Midwestern angle: Understand that this record was more for Midwestern fans of adventure and sailing than a world-wide audience.  You ocean-dwellers don’t realize that the Chicago Mackinac Race is a monster in local sports, and in fact it’s a bigger race by participation than the Newport-Bermuda, Transpac, and Ensenada Races combined.  Hell, with an average of around 300 and a 2008 fleet near 450, it’s the biggest distance race in the hemisphere by far.  Add that to the sheer volume of media the race gets from TV and news reporters in the third-biggest city in America (and the tens of millions of hits their race tracker gets) and you have lots and lots of reasons for even the average joe in Chitown to pay attention.

Thirdly, the whole Course vs. Race record thing.  Think of it this way: If Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap ever at COTA in Austin next week, he’ll have the highly prestigious F1 Race Record for the track for another year.  He probably will get the “Course Record” in qualifying as well, as he’s done the past couple of years.  But if some unrestricted 3000 hp frankenstein of a ground effect car can somehow go and do 500 laps of practice and then set a lap time 1 second faster than Hamilton, Lewis will no longer own the outright lap record.

It’s the same here: Il Mostro sets the outright course record, which for the vast majority of big records (think RTW, transatlantic, route of discovery, round britain and ireland, etc) is the one that counts most.  To those who race the mack regularly, maybe not, but it will be Thornton’s and Il Mostro’s name on the WSSRC page, and that’s pretty damned sweet.

Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly to us, Il Mostro becomes the first monohull to beat a record set by a multihull in ages!  With monohulls generally relegated to their own ‘division’ records in most passages or races – akin to the ‘tallest midget’ award – it’s refreshing to see a big, oceangoing yacht take nearly an hour off a record set by a fucking America’s Cup catamaran that weighs not much more than Il Mostro’s mainsail.  Seriously boys – props.

And finally, the Club: We really love the fact that the entire thing was orchestrated with the owner of the Mack race, the Chicago Yacht Club.  While all clubs have their issues, the CYC lately is about as far from the stuffy, elderly-run clubs we all know about as you can get, and they’ve made a targeted effort to get more things happening out-of-season to make sure their race continues to set the standard of offshore US races.

The course requirements (minimal), start line, and finish line were all agreed upon between the owners, yacht club & WSSRC, and the commodore of CYC & Chicago Mac chairman both met us at the dock pre-start. The club & WSSRC had representatives visually confirm the start & finish along with an onboard supplied tracker.  Additionally the club is encouraging any/all boats to make additional runs at the record, and as the record-setting navigator told us, “It’s waaaay more fun to pick a nice time to sail up the lake!”

Agree, disagree or throw shade at us here.  Photo from Tim Devore and crew list here.

October 19th, 2017

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With the Volvo headed back in a few months and a new State law passed last month to bring more and bigger sailing events to the Ocean State, Rhode Island may be the hottest sailing community in the country.  The Captain of Rhode Island’s Official Sailing Education Vessel is hot too, but for different reasons: He took the Oliver Hazard Perry out earlier this week and did his best impression of a ping pong ball in Newport Harbor, using at least four yachts and powerboats as fenders in the process.

Watch the video to see why you don’t take a full-rigged ship off the dock in 25-30 knots of onshore breeze – and if you do, you make sure you don’t foul both props with a dockline!  What could they have done once propulsion was gone?  Let ’em know in the dicussion thread, and tip o’ the hat to SA’er BrickTopHarry for the find.

 

October 19th, 2017

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After an extraordinary incident in which the same vessel had to be rescued twice in two days, Irish politicians are contemplating measures to penalize boaters for going to sea during heavy weather warnings.

On Monday, the Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat and her crew of seven volunteers had to launch twice into “ferocious seas with wind speed in excess of 70 knots” to rescue a yacht crew in distress. The conditions were extremely challenging, with swells to 20 feet, but the team managed to secure a tow line to the yacht and brought it safely back into Rosslare Harbour.

“When the lifeboat crew reached them they were side on to the weather, taking a ferocious pounding and in danger of getting overwhelmed. I think if another hour had passed this story may not have had such a successful outcome,” said Dave Maloney, Rosslare RNLI lifeboat operations manager.

On Tuesday afternoon, another RNLI lifeboat had to deploy to rescue the same yacht after its crew issued another distress call. The lifeboat put one of its volunteer crewmembers aboard the yacht to assist with the tow back to the port of Arklow.

Read on.

 

October 18th, 2017

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