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Archive for the ‘questions’ Category

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Clean Report

In this double header to celebrate the end of a long road trip, Clean first talks to freshly minted Director of the US Olympic Sailing Team Malcolm Page.  The Australian double gold medalist and multiple world champion answers questions from Clean and the Anarchists, including a frank assessment of where the US team is, why he took the job, why the US team became also-rans for the past three cycles, and the route (and how long it’ll take) to rekindling America’s prowess in olympic sailing, as well as loads more questions.  More than an hour from Malcolm (with thanks to Will Ricketson and Josh Adams for their help and information provided for this podcast), learn more about him at www.ussailing.org.

The second part of our podcast has quite a bit more laughs, when we are rejoined by two repeat visitors, also both world champions.  Bora Gulari and Petey Crawford add their entertaining and knowledgeable voices to the SA Podcast, with the group discussing Bora’s new job helmsman of the Quantum Racing TP52 and his testing of both the new UFO Foiler in Newport and the new Nacra 17 Foiler in Holland. As a past Melges 32 world champ, Petey gets into  the new Melges 40 as the chat moves to the balkanization of big boat one-design classes.  As the drinks kept flowing, they turned to the world’s biggest problems: Foil kiting and the Olympics, the future of live sailing on the web, how to fly commercial using fake ID, and finally some ribbing on Mr. Clean’s performance at the summer’s Sunfish Masters Nationals.  Bring your popcorn for this one.

Our final November episode (sort of) comes to you thanks to our title sponsors Musto performance sailing gear, Torqeedo electric motors, Ocean Planet Energy Systems, and Doyle Sails New Zealand.

Download the podcast for later listening here at Libsyn, and subscribe on iTunes here.

December 4th, 2016 by admin

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screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-12-30-29-pmAs many US Sailing Team fans will already have noted, Managing Director Josh Adams has left for greener pastures, (though he is assisting with the transition to new leadership) while today,  two-time Aussie gold medal crew Malcolm Page was named new US Sailing Team Director.

A college dinghy and team racer who came to the team after years as a magazine publisher, Adams was charged with what may have been an impossible task for someone with his experience level; to bring the US Team back from its dismal, zero-medal performance in London and make a real impression in Rio.  Despite what seemed like a good plan for Brazil, the team’s 2016 performance was only tolerable in comparison to the 2012 debacle, and something had to change for the next quad.

Fortunately, US Sailing finally did what we’ve been begging them for a decade -  quit hiring your management consultant and magazine publishing pals from New England for this essential job, and find someone with a proven history of winning – even if you have to headhunt them from somewhere else.

Enter Mal Page, who aside from being the most decorated dinghy sailor in Aussie history, may be the only sailor to ever win a gold medal with two different skippers.  Page walks away from one of the toughest jobs in sailing – Marketing Director for ISAF – to take on another extremely tough job, but one he’s uniquely prepared for.  We say this not because Page has led a big team to success; we say it because he was part of one of the winningest Olympic sailing teams in modern history, and a very clever lad.

Perhaps more importantly, he comes from a decade worth of training under the world’s best olympic sailing coach – Victor “The Medal Maker” Kovalenko (pictured with Page, above).  While it’s too much to hope that Victor will defect to the USA as part of the deal (Kovalenko has famously turned down some huge international paydays to stick with his adopted homeland downunder), Page should have all the tools he needs to recreate the winning culture enjoyed by the US Sailing Team up until the past decade.

You guys always come up with the best questions, and I’ll be speaking to Mal tomorrow morning for this week’s SA Podcast.  What do you want to know about the 2016 performance, the plans for Tokyo 2020 and the team, about Malcolm in general, or whatever?

Post your questions here.

This post has been edited to reflect the fact that Josh Adams was not fired, but resigned instead.  We note, however, that numerous sources inside both the governing body and the team were extremely dissatisfied with the team’s performance and in our opinion, Adams was not long for the job.

 

November 28th, 2016 by admin

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power-to-the-people02Despite the title, we’re not talking about the most entertaining and frightening US presidential election ever (and the first-ever time any presidential candidate said “Grab them by the pussy”). For the sport of sailing, there’s a much more important election coming up in less than a month.  While you probably don’t get to vote for it, your MNA does, so give them a call or drop them an email and let them know what you, their member, thinks of whatever position they hold.

We’re doing our part to find out whether any of the three presidential candidates has a real plan to fix the dismal position ISAF finds itself in after years of bizarre and opaque decisions and increasingly centralized power, and that means you have a chance to make your thoughts known, too.  So get over to the World Sailing Strategic Positioning thread and add your questions for candidates Kim Andersen, Paul Henderson, and Carlo Croce, and we’ll put those questions to them when we interview them this week.  The first interview is Monday and Andersen and Henderson have already agreed to talk to us over Skype; whether or not we get Croce aboard,  we’ll publish it all next Monday in another SA Podcast.

 

October 9th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 12.08.03 PMQuestion of the Week

SA’er Lorax asks: “On a hypothetical vessel returning from Figawi today, let’s say there was, unbeknownst to the skipper, a young lady sleeping in the v berth with his bowman.
When she awakes 50 miles from Nantucket, halfway to Boston, and realizes her possessions are still on the island and she is looking at an epic walk of shame. Say she wanted off the boat NOW, but a detour to somewhere on Buzzards Bay would miss us the tide at the canal. I [hypothetically -Ed] felt a drop off at the bus station in the Cape Cod Canal with bus and ferry fare, along with breakfast and coffee were appropriate. There was other talk if our actions would constitute kidnapping or false imprisonment.
Thoughts?

Answers here.

 

June 12th, 2016 by admin

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As we surmised the day his resignation was announced, former ISAF CEO Peter Sowrey said today that didn’t leave sailing’s governing body voluntarily – he claims he was voted out by the “World Sailing” Executive Committee for refusing to give in to Rio 2016 organizers and the ISAF board on racing in Guanabara Bay.  From Steve Wade’s AP report:

The former chief executive of World Sailing has claimed he was fired for pushing to get rid of the polluted Guanabara Bay as the venue for the sport at the Rio Olympics. Peter Sowrey tried to change the venue but was “told to gag myself on the subject”.

“The board felt I was way too aggressive. They basically voted me out. I didn’t resign. The board finally told me to leave.”

Read on.

UPDATE:  ISAF/World Sailing says Sowrey is full of shit, though their corporatized denial doesn’t really address the facts of the situation.  Judge for yourself, and check back here Thursday afternoon for a full hour-long interview between ISAF Chief Marketing Officer Malcolm Page and Sailing Anarchy Senior Editor Alan Block about the Sowrey mess, the name change, the World Cup and World Sailing TV plans, and the Israel debacle.  This is one you won’t want to miss.

 

 

January 27th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 8.50.52 AMClean Report

The G4 ‘Wipeout’ video has already racked up some 330,000 views in less than a week, well on its way to million-view status.  But I barely had time to enjoy it last week before Gunboat Marketing chief Lauren Bataille sent me a text message.

Still coming?” she wrote of my already-booked trip to Antigua for some G4 racing at Sailing Week.

Maybe I’m crazy, but watching a sweet 30-knot run segue into a gentle capsize didn’t make me nervous; in fact, it had the opposite effect, and sitting here at Newark airport waiting for a connection to Antigua, I find myself watching that video over and over again.  What would I do?  Where would I hang on?  Do I really want to find out?

My answer remains as it was in my response to Lauren.  “Hell f*&^ing yes!

My seven-months pregnant wife always knows how to cut to the chase.  “If she flips, be sure it wasn’t your fault,” was her first directive.  “Oh, and wear a helmet.  And have fun.”  That part should be no problem at all.

Got questions about the interior, the exterior, the foils, the stove, the capsize, the electrical system…or anything else?  Well, so do we.  Plant yours in the G4 thread (without being a dick) and we’ll try to get an answer for you. Keep an eye in the forum, on the front page, and especially on SA Facebook for video and pics from Antigua.

 

April 25th, 2015 by admin

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crimesceneQuestion Of The Week

I am in boat looking mode. Without getting specific, would you buy a boat if her owner was murdered on board?” -SA’er ‘kidkodine.’

Best answer so far: “Is the killer still aboard?”

Supply your own response – a real one or yet another horribly morbid joke – here.

 

October 8th, 2014 by admin

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ISAF’s Classification Code governs the Pro or Amateur status of every ISAF Class sailor in the world, and it’s been a huge mess for most of the new millennium.  The 2009 changes to the code eliminated the dubious “Cat 2″ category and took a small step to reducing the perceived widespread fraud and cheating rampant in classes like the Farr 40 and Melges 32, but the existing system still relies on an ‘on our honor’ database system along with a few classification czars who travel to  world and continental championships to interrogate sailors and hopefully catch the bad seeds.  Nearly everyone in grand prix sailing has seen how poorly the system works, and that fact, combined with the massive expenses involved (ISAF spends a small fortune to keep the database and application system running, and individual events have to eat the substantial costs of ISAF officials’ attendance) and the shrinking size of most every grand prix fleet needing Classification has finally gotten the ISAF Executive Committee to make a move to eliminate the Classification Code altogether.  The proposal offers to guide classes that wish to use such a system with proposed regulations, but recognizes that it’s really something that should be done by those who know the class rather than an organization that hasn’t got a clue.  

Lazy Class Administrators will hate this one, but we support it wholeheartedly because it’s the only way we’ll see a change.  And given our faith in crowdsourcing, we expect some classes to come up with innovative and creative solutions to classification that will make sense for the future of the sport.  Discuss the new proposal in the thread, and have a look at Peter Huston’s summary of ‘how we got here’ for some more background.

Go back to the mid-80′s when Dave Ullman wrote an article for Sailing World called something like “Get the pros out of sailing”.  What he said was that it was absurd that he could, as the owner of a growing sailmaker, take his loft employees with him on a MORC or PHRF race as his complete crew.  He knew it was a death march.  So, along the way SoCal PHRF created the Marine Industry Racer rule.  It worked pretty well.  Guys that worked for a loft were easily identifiable.

About the same time prize money was just starting in the US with the Ultimate and Pro Sail series.  At the time, the IOC did not allow “professionals” to compete in the Olympics.  So, USYRU set up the US Professional Sailing Association.  Essentially, it was a way to “cleanse” the prize money for people who competed in these two series.  The prize money was paid to USPSA, who then in turn gave it to that sailors campaign fund.

Then the IOC changed their pro rule, so the need to “cleanse” the prize money went away (at almost the same time both series collapsed anyway).  USYRU had in the meantime created the Group 1, 2, 3 thing.  At the time, it was by far mostly about sailmakers.  But there was no way to administer the list.

Case in point, I sailed in two events in Long Beach on successive weekends.  Same sailor in those two events was categorized as a 1 and a 3 on successive weekends.  I called Ullman the Saturday night of the second weekend when the guy was suddenly a 1.  I said “so Judge X says your guy is a Group 1 guy”.  Ullman just laughed and said “nope, he’s a 3, I sign his check every week”.  But nothing happened that weekend, and the Group 3 guy got away with it, blessed by the US Sailing Judges at that event.

It seemed we needed a database of who was a 1, 2, 3.  I went to the US Sailing AGM in Cape Cod in ’94, and started to promote this idea.  Got tons of resistance, not the least of which was from then SW publisher John Burnham, and Bob Johnstone.  We were at a post meeting party the Saturday night of the AGM at John Osmond’s house.  I sat with Burnham and Johnstone and explained what I was thinking.  Eventually, Burnham said “ok, write an article about this” and Johnstone, as he always does, listened and eventually saw the wisdom of it.  It was going to help is brand a lot, and it did – starting with the 105 class.

After the article was published, I called then US Sailing Pres Dave Irish and told him I’d raise my hand and run a new entity that was needed to get this all organized.  At the time, I was President of what was left of USPSA.  We had no real reason for being after the change of the IOC pro rules, and I was either going to find a way to create some sort of value, or close it down.  I wasn’t interested in trying to be a “sanctioning” body only, and charge events fees just because.

Irish said “dumb idea, we don’t need this list, too costly to maintain ect”.  We closed down USPSA, and I dropped the idea of a Group 2 and 3 list.

Then, as Irish is leaving office, he appoints himself as the eligibility czar, sets up the Group 2 and 3 structure and CHARGES Group 1 people $25 to have their virginity blessed.  I cringed, thankful I had nothing to do with that.  Eventually that nonsense stopped, and the list sort of worked, sort of.

But how does an event that is run in the US know anything about who was a really a sailmaker or whatever in Italy or whereever?  Impossible.

In the early “00′s, then ISAF Pres Henderson called me for all the background on how the US started the list.  I told him.  He asked me if I cared if ISAF took over the responsibility.  I had no dog in the hunt, and told him good luck.  Now we have guys in Dragon’s, Etchells, J70′s, various Melgi classes etc. paying people a couple of hundred bucks a day (or a lot more in a few cases) to pull ropes for them.

How exactly does ISAF propose to monitor who is paying who?   While the notion of this list is worthwhile, it is simply unenforceable.

Besides, it is often less expensive to pay people to sail than it is for an owner to have to appease the Group 1 guys.  As the longtime Farr 40 Class saying goes: “Best amateurs money can buy!”

ISAF and US Sailing (and probably a ton of other MNA’s) are becoming mostly just regulatory and taxing authorities.  They do not provide added value for sailors.  One of the biggest problems with the current system, and all of ISAF, is that pro sailors have almost zero voice within the organization.  The “athlete’s council” (or whatever it is called) is there only to serve Olympic sailors.

Everyone knows in which classes people get paid to sail.  The sport tends to be self-selecting.  If you want to sail in a class where people pay others to sail, everyone knows where that is.  If you don’t want that, you also know where to look.

The smart classes who want some sort of system to identify paid sailors will get together and figure it out on their own.  They are best served by keeping ISAF out of the equation.

 

September 24th, 2014 by admin

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yandy99547Question of the Week

California Anarchist “EarthBM” wonders about the mysterious world of catamarans, and if he’s got the question, many more do, too.  Here’s the 2014 version of a question that’s been asked for decades.

I don’t want to start any tribal wars, but I have a simple boat design question. Why do multihulls (supposedly) not point as high as monohulls?

Is this because of leeway? So with effective foils, this goes away? Or is it because of the geometry where the lateral resistance (from the leeward hull) is leeward of the center line? Why would this matter with a balanced helm? (This reason would explain tris pointing better than cats).

Tell him what’s what over in the Multihull Anarchy thread.  Photo of some very high-pointing cats from the Little AC/Meredith Block Photos.

 

September 3rd, 2014 by admin

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hqdefaultQuestion of the Week

Singapore-based Anarchist “Laurent” asks a question that’s on a lot of our minds at one time or another.  To find answers or give them, hit the thread.

Let’s say that you want to build a boat (or more accurately, get a boat built) to a design/concept that you cannot find in normal sailboat production.  What you want is off-the-charts enough that there’s nothing out there that’s even close to it.  At this stage, you already understand that resale value of what you want will be close to zero…and you don’t care. You have some engineering background but you are no yacht designer, so it’s time to get help from a pro. But how?

How do you select a yacht designer?

How do you approach him? Do you just email? “Hi, I want you to design a boat for me, can we talk?”

How do you frame a contract/deal so all parties are happy? How do you define the “deliverables” (some sets of drawings could be considered “enough” for the designer, where you are expecting fully detailed construction drawings, etc.)

Are there “predefined/preformated contractual agreements for yacht design?

How do you manage the timeline?  How do you know you are not getting ripped off?

If anyone could share their experience, it would be a big help.  Without naming names, if you do not want to…

This is about EXPERIENCE.  If you’ve never been through part or all of the process, go away.

 

August 5th, 2014 by admin

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