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Archive for the ‘Big Pimpin’’ Category

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Jen Edney is one of the most exciting young photographers to come along in years.  But can she write?  Peter Johnstone and the Gunboat folks gave us all a chance to find out with this excellent NC to Miami delivery report from the Gunboat 55 Toccata.  And for those of you waiting for the details on the loss of the Rainmaker, sit tight.  It drops soon.  Those of you confused by the title of this one…really?

I hear the buzz next to my head, my alarm waking me up to make sure I don’t miss sunrise.  I roll over to my side, peaking out the porthole – thankfully, it’s still dark.  I hit snooze, and this way-too-comfortable bed keeps rocking me back to sleep, rather than tossing me out of my bunk. More sleep…

Buzzzzzzz! It’s 20 minutes later, and I see light starting to tickle the water with reflections.  Now I’m excited to get up, and even more excited when I realize I don’t have to suit up in foul weather gear to go out on the deck to “use the head!”

Gunboat55_Toccata_Day4_-2812I peel myself out of bed and walk up the steps to make a cup of coffee, and rather than hunkering down in a deep galley looking at a gimballed cooker, I feel like I’m walking into the cozy family room of a modern Manhattan apartment with the best 360 degree-view of the ocean in the city.  But it isn’t, of course – it’s a Gunboat, and we’re motoring along, waiting for the slightest zephyr of breeze to let us get the sails up.

The hectic day before was a bit of a blur, as pre-delivery days with a narrow weather window usually are.  I helped with the extensive job of finishing up provisioning and making sure everything was loaded on the boat as quickly as possible, and seeing the food that was being passed onboard, I realized it was going to be a far cry from my racing yacht days of one-pot meals and freeze-dried hell.

“There’s a serious flood of emotions right now,” said Carolyn Groobey, proud co-owners of Toccata.. “We’ve been anticipating this day for so many years, so my heart was pounding like I’d just won the prize I’ve been striving for.” At the same time, there was some heaviness. “This was a goodbye for a while to our families, dogs, and the Gunboat family for a while.”

Gunboat55_Toccata_Day4_-2397Within hours of arriving in North Carolina I heard the phrase “Gunboat Family” and “Tribe” more then a handful of times, especially when listening to Chris Bailet recount the reaction after the loss of the boat he was delivering, Rainmaker. “We had no idea what was going on back on shore,” said Chris.  Apparently the coast guard was in touch with Lauren and that started the ball rolling, and the entire Gunboat staff was working angles for both getting us home and readying a salvage mission. “I was only able to get one call out to Peter. It was chopped up and cut out halfway through the conversation. But it was enough to let him know the situation, and enough to get people moving.”  Johnstone had calls on from Florida to Annapolis, people were ringing their cousins’ second uncle with a Commercial shrimp boat in Charlestown to get out there. By the time we landed, the Gunboat team was at Dare County Airport, open arms and hot pizza, with a meeting scheduled for a full review and salvage operation. “This level of camaraderie and support – it’s just not something you feel with any other boat company, said Chris.  “Ask any of the crew or owners on any Gunboat – it’s a family. Or as Peter so appropriately put it before, a TRIBE” [PJ’s first Gunboat – the boat that inspired the Gunboat line – is called Tribe -ed].

Having only met them the night before, I didn’t realize how strong the relationships were among the crew, though I learned the next day that PJ and the Groobeys had built a friendship over the preceding 3 years.  They recounted stories with laughter and nostalgia,  discussing the journey that led up to this monumental maiden voyage. “That unique Gunboat sense of community is important to us, and it’s one of the big reasons we bought the boat,” explained Carolyn.  “From the beginning, we felt like part of a big, awesome family, welcomed by the high-caliber folks that make up the tribe of Gunboat owners, employees, skippers, and crews.”

Gunboat55_Toccata_-1089For this trip, the new owners were eager to get acquainted with their boat – meaning lots of helming.  And the diminutive Carolyn Groobey proved to be the rock star, hitting 21.8 knots for Tocatta‘s first ‘personal best’ speed.  “It was a real gift to have Peter do this passage with us. We were learning ‘the Gunboat way’ at the feet of the master,” she said.    Curious to know a little more about how these boats handle after only a few days onboard, I asked Chris Bailet what he thought was a standout feature of Gunboat. “All of PJ’s boats seem to have the perfect combination of speed and comfort, without tradeoffs.  I’ve been on a lot of Peter’s boats, and you can ramp it up and send it while feeling completely stable, and not have the wave slap sending your coffee machine into a charter guests face. The beam keeps it stable and all that freeboard makes you feel like you’re at the bridge. I love the boats and the family, especially the 55, that thing is like a guided missile.”

Chris and Carolyn had similar feelings about the comfort of the boat, as did I, especially when compared to my last big delivery – the turboed VOR 70 Maserati.  Comfort is not a word I’d use when describing any VO70, but that’s what it takes to get real speed out of a design like that.  Gunboat does it smarter, as Groobey summed up: “We are deliriously happy with the boat. It’s solid, strong, and very comfortable. The openness and 360 visibility in the boat makes it both a great sailing platform and living platform. We love the galley up configuration. As you are sailing along, various crew members are cooking, sailing, reading, and relaxing – it’s all about the family; the tribe – that’s what Gunboats do.”

 

February 16th, 2015 by admin

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IMG_1169The Sailing Anarchy/VOR “Show Us Your Boatyard” competition is off to a blazing start, with over 50 submissions coming in over the past few weeks.  They’ve been so good that the SUYB leaderboard (left) is now a permanent part of the traveling VOR race village show – be sure to check it out when you come down to visit the race.

Your submissions are also providing plenty of entertainment to the awesome girls of the Boatyard (the competition’s judges), and they remind you that Leg 3′s Boatyard T-shirt winners will be announced immediately after the Sanya In-Port Race.  Keep sending in your submissions, and if you want extra consideration, post ‘em straight on the Boatyard Facebook Page with a hashtag #showusyourboatyard.

Full contest details over here.

 

January 30th, 2015 by admin

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Wanna watch the most insane sailing you might ever see?  NOW IS THE TIME, and it’s live from Australia!

One final day, 25-30 knots, and 80 of the world’s fastest dinghy sailors will put on a show for you today, and we’ve got our superstar team on the water to bring it all to you live.  Watch today and you might even win a highly sought-after Sailing Anarchy/Sperry/Line Honors/Moth Worlds Flexfit gangsa cap like the ones we rock.  And yeah, we’ve got another special guest star on the microphone today…

Please go and thank Sperry for their patronage, but only if you want more…

 

January 15th, 2015 by admin

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big pimpin’

PH-JOY-2014MSC_116We’d like to welcome our friends at Melges back for another year of pimpin’, and the timing couldn’t be better; there’s all sorts of exciting fall/winter action going on across the Melges fleets, and we’re going to help highlight just how fun and accessible it can be.  Here’s some news from the M32 fleet in Florida, and watch for a feature from Jaime Torres soon on the M32 Caribbean Fleet.  For everything Melges, check their site.

With a fleet and sailors diverse as the nightlife on Ocean Avenue, the Melges 32 Gold Cup kicks off in just two weeks, featuring 18 ultra-high performance Melges 32 teams from 9 different countries.

This “Florida Classic” will decide not only the new Gold Cup titleholder; it will serve as the final notice for teams looking to challenge for the ultimate goal: the Melges 32 World Title. Louisiana skipper Chris Wientjes (Stormvogel, Metairie, LA) can’t wait for it all to begin. “The Melges 32 Class always brings great talent to its events, but there’s no doubt these two will bring some of the best sailors in the world to Miami,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to testing ourselves in both the Gold Cup and Worlds.”

It may have started as a low-key tune-up regatta in the Melges 32’s fledgling days in 2006, but the Gold Cup has emerged as the longest-standing Melges 32 regatta on the annual calendar. Regularly featuring more than 20 teams – from the highest-level international two-boat programs to more modest but still ultra-competitive local and Caribbean teams – winning the Gold Cup has historically required great boat speed and teamwork along with a strong understanding of tricky autumn breezes and meandering Gulf Stream current and waves.

2012 World Championship runner-Up Alec Cutler (Hedgehog, Bermuda) recognizes the balancing act between sailing hard at the Gold Cup without tipping his hand for the upcoming Worlds a month later. “Gold Cup may be a Worlds tune up, but it is also a coveted trophy for our team,” said Cutler. “Our goal is to hold off from some of the big decisions until after Gold Cup while racing hard, having a good time, and learning the venue.”

Read on.

 

October 27th, 2014 by admin

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Rio 100 2

Thanks to income inequality and the booming markets, the maxi class continues to roll; Fresh off a huge acquittal in one of the biggest insider trading trials in years, Flash memory tycoon Manouch Moshayedi bought a motherfuckin’ boat, then made her a Transpac weapon.  Here’s the story from our friends at Doyle NZ.  Back to Eddie Murphy’s “Raw” for the title shout.

Following her major refit at Cookson’s, Rio 100 (ex. Zana/Konica Minolta/Lahana) is back on the water this week and she is raring to go. Purchased in 2014, the yacht has been redesigned and reconfigured by her Kiwi designer Brett Bakewell-White for use on the West Coast of the USA. “As part of her refit, Doyle Sails supplied her with a new set of Stratis carbon ICE sails, including a mainsail, two jibs, two reaching sails and two spinnakers,” says Mike Sanderson, Head of Sales at Doyle Sails NZ. “This was an exciting project for the Doyle team, particularly since Doyle NZ built so many sails for this boat during her previous life.”

Choosing a sailmaker was a key consideration for the refit. “Between the top sailmakers, there is really very little between the products, so we also looked closely at the customer service side in making our choice,” said Keith Kilpatrick, captain and project manager for the Rio refit. “I was very impressed with the Doyle operation. Just seeing it in action, and the hands on approach, reassured me that we would get the attention we needed for a programme like this; we felt that with other big sailmakers we would be just another customer. We are looking forward to seeing the sails in action in sail trials.”

Sail trials are scheduled for this week, with the upcoming Coastal Classic the yacht’s first official outing. The yacht will then be gearing up for the 2015 Transpac race, where the Barn Door Trophy is firmly in her sights.

 

September 18th, 2014 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

Bob Hillier and the folks at Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters continue to provide one of the most complete lines of racing apparel and accessories anywhere, and now you can try it all before you buy at the new Line Honors shop!  Support Line Honors just as they support so many teams and events around the world – stop into their brand new store on downtown Lake Geneva, WI for the Grand Opening on October 3.

 

September 18th, 2014 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

the look 9 11Huge thanks to Mark Miachelsen and the folks at DryUV for kitting out the B Squared team at J/70 Worlds.  Now if we could just be up there with these guys!  Paul Todd photo of more gorgeous Newport conditions. Get your DryUV stuff today at a ridiculous price!

UPF50+ 100% moisture management tech shirt for under $20 INCLUDING YOUR LOGO. You can’t beat that and this deal won’t go on forever. Get on it people. . Elite Polos in a wide variety of colors along with the best name in hats FlexFit are now In THE HOUSE.

True Sport moisture wicking shirts come in a huge number of colors and in short, long and for girls, cap sleeve. Matching youth sizes also available in short sleeve. Order six of any mixture and get FREE dye sublimation logo on the shirts (Light color fabrics only for free graphics). Screen printing and embroidery are also available for an additional charge.

 

September 12th, 2014 by admin

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With six races down and one throwout already counted, John Kilroy along with pro trimmer Jeff Reynolds and UK Olympic golden boy Paul Goodison is walking away with the second-ever Audi Melges 20 World title.  Meanwhile, Monaco’s Guido Miani won the breezy day yesterday with a 1,3,1 and sits tied with Italian standout Fremita D’Arja, both 14 points behind Kilroy.  The Kilroy nipper continues to excel, though he’s dropped back to sixth, while Aussie gold medalist Mal Page has helped young Achille Onorato climb back up to fourth…three more days of action ahead and get over to Facebook to watch it all unfold.  Yesterday’s photo gallery is here.

 

August 29th, 2014 by admin

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VXOne-Rig

Big Pimpin’

The father-and-son team behind the VX-One’s steady growth can now move a mini-fleet all by themselves; their ability to transport 10 boats in their two rigs at a great price makes fleet-building that much easier.  Get up to date on one of the quickest and hottest new sportboats in this 8-minute Mr. Clean interview with Brian and Hayden Bennett this past Sunday from the shores of the newest VX-One home; Michigan’s Macatawa Bay Yacht Club.

August 21st, 2014 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 3.42.43 PMBig Pimpin’

In between forecasting the latest storms’ landfalls, our friends at DryUV still have to pay the bills, and they do so with a great line of technical apparel for all your racing and shoreside needs.  And check this out:  The 60+% off deal is back on!  That’s less than 20$ for DryArmour’s super comfortable, super efficient Pro-Tech UPF 50+ shirts – and that includes your team or sponsor logo!

You don’t have to worry about any more poor-fitting ‘yachtie’ hats, either; DryArmour e just added FlexFit Hats to their awesome lineup.  Add in their compression shorts, hoodies, and polos, and you’re covered from skin to foulies – all at a huge discount.  Mark can help with your graphic design and is always available to his customers; order your gear today and check out more about the sale right over here.

 

August 6th, 2014 by admin

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