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ted-irwinTed Irwin was both an innovator and an icon in the heyday of the fiberglass yacht Ted Irwin passed away yesterday. He was a true innovator as a designer and an industry icon.  Here’s a little about Irwin from the Irwin Yachts support website; read the full story to appreciate just how much impact Irwin had on sailing.

At fifteen, Ted started building boats of his own design in his backyard. From this self-taught experience came the knowledge that was to later enable him to design a “moth”. In that boat he won the North American and the world championships in its class.

After several years of formal education, painting, and backyard boat building, Ted landed a job as a draftsman, illustrator and part-time builder with Charlie Morgan. Ted was twenty-one. By 1963, Ted had served a stint in the Coast Guard, done some more studying and decided that it was time to go out on his own.

10859435_10204740332002679_106091275_n(1)Ted rented a small Quonset hut on St. Petersburg Beach for $75 a month. There he built his first commercial sailboat. It took an arduous six months to build his first 31 footer, but it was an effort well spent. That boat, named Voodoo, was to launch Ted’s career by logging an astounding racing record.

Voodoo raced for two years in the Florida Ocean Racing Association, 1964 to 1966, and swept all honors. Ted, sailing Voodoo, won twenty-four out of twenty-eight races during that period. Voodoo and her crew did so well that a sailing editor said, “All the other boats were racing only for second place”. Other successes followed. Some of his famous racing yachts with names known the world over include: Voodoo, Black Magic, La Pantera, Razzle Dazzle and R2D2.

Read on, and thanks to Frank McCarthy for the heads up.  Top pic from the Irwin site, let us know if you are the author of the pretty one.


February 8th, 2015

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The Franco/Chinese team aboard Dongfeng can’t seem to put a leg wrong, stringing together a brilliant day to win yesterday’s Sanya In-Port Race in front of their home crowd.  And now, the real race begins yet again with the Sanya to NZ leg ready to go.

Watch yesterday’s full replay below (or here), and get ready for more tight action with Chris Nicholson guest-commentating and our old pal (and 5-time RTW’er) Mase helping call the shots from the booth.


February 7th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 10.03.27 PMAt this point, former Oracle Team USA grinder and 5-time AC sailor Matty Mitchell’s allegations against the AC34 jury and fellow competitor Simeon Tienpont are all he said/she said at the moment, but take a few minutes and listen to what the Kiwi has to offer in this excellent interview with NZ Channel 3.  He’s believable as hell, and his story is frightening.  Railroaded by ISAF, burned at the altar by his team, and stabbed in the back by a lying crew mate – and now he’s fighting back.  Collusion, blackmail, all sorts of nasty shit – given the way ISAF has been conducting itself lately, anyone surprised out there?  And then there’s the part Oracle played…but that’s another story.

It’s great to see an honest discussion rather than the media-trained corporate speak we’ve gotten used to from Cuppers; we’re hoping to speak to Matty soon, but we’re not sure we need to after this comprehensive chat! Want to know more or share your view?  Hit the thread in America’s Cup Anarchy.


February 6th, 2015

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land yacht

Nestled in the rocks of Friuli, the pilot house, built in 1950, to the sea looks like a ship ready to emerge. The Pilot Port of Marseille have always camped on the island of Ratonneau, waiting for the vessels bound for the southern entrance of the port of Marseille, before control passes to the city of Marseille.

Check out the diary here. – Christophe Launay


February 6th, 2015

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Brock Callen sent this little snippet of the life you are not living!


February 5th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

farr 280After winning Charleston Race Week 2014, several ORC European Championships, the Storm Trysail Club’s Annapolis Fall HPR Regatta, and being named Boat of the Year, four Farr 280’s took on Key West Race Week. This one design class is on a roll with Joe Woods’ “Red” dominating the PHRF 1 fleet and taking honors winning the Farr 280 subclass.

Impressive showing with all four Farr 280’s beating the C&C competition overall and boat for boat! Check out www.farr280.com.


February 5th, 2015

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The anonymous piece We Suck published earlier this week contained a little tidbit you might have glossed over; the end of Paralympic sailing.

On 31 January, the International Paralympic Committee announced that Sailing got the boot from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  The RYA immediately posted a statement decrying the decision and announcing their willingness to help try to reverse it.  US Sailing published President Tom Hubbell’s willingness to do the same.  Yet the reasons behind this big move remained largely secret – until ISAF published their own response nearly a week after the fact.  As usual, ‘getting ahead of the story’ to ISAF means something different to ISAF than the rest of the world.

For those who delight in ISAF’s lunacy (and it’s been getting almost laughably dysfunctional lately), have a look at the ISAF statement.  ISAF takes over the IFDS in November, and two months later, the IPC gives sailing the ease.  Coincidence, or yet another example of ISAF’s ‘reverse midas touch’?  You know how it works: Everything they touch turns to shit!

The ISAF Disabled Sailing Committee (IFDS) is profoundly disappointed by the decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to exclude sailing from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
IFDS responded in a timely and comprehensive manner to queries from IPC, with details of sailors that participate regularly in international regattas or national championships, on Paralympic boats. IFDS ensures an extensive quadrennial program of international competitions replicating the Olympic Program organized by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), including ISAF Sailing World Cup. IFDS sanctions and organizes yearly Combined World Championships in the Paralympic classes.
Development has resulted in the regular addition of new countries to competitive sailing. The process of merging with ISAF (with a membership of 139 Member National Authorities) was completed in November of 2014, with the main aim of opening a whole new field for the development of disabled sailing. During the period of pre-merging, ISAF always respected the independence of IFDS decisions. Through ISAF’s development programmes, worldwide participation initiatives and event structure, the opportunities for disabled sailing are better than ever before.


February 5th, 2015

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miss world

First, young Sam Greenfield parlays his video talents into a dog-day internship at the Volvo Ocean Race last year.  Then, he turns that into a full-time job editing video for the race.  Then, he does a last-minute Safety At Sea course and becomes the substitute OBR aboard Dongfeng Race Team.  He sets sail from Abu Dhabi with a drone and a big dose of youthful exhuberance, immediately branding his own feel on the VOR media effort.  Next, he wins the leg into China, having been a very important part of the team (according to the sailors).  And then this morning, he escorts the South African Miss World to the top of the DFRT mast for a video and selfie shot.

Note to Sam: FUCK YOU (yes, we love you).

Note to young videographers: This is where some Sailing Anarchy exposure, combined with talent and a shitload of hard work can lead you.

Note to World: This is NOT A SELFIE, no matter how hard Sam (behind the camera) is trying to make it look like one.  You can perv on some real selfies of Rolene Strauss over on Instragram.

February 5th, 2015

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modern classic

The Mumm 36 was a bitchin’ boat for it’s time, and it is very cool to see the boys at Carbon Yachting bring one up to what’s happening today - a revamped deck layout, swept back Hall Spars Rig, 3Di sails etc. It looks good and no doubt goes along just fine. There would be way worse boats to own…


February 4th, 2015

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Just a nice little reminder about the nearly complete and total shit show that the America’s Cup has devolved into. Oh, they must be so proud!

New Zealand sailor Matt Mitchell has filed complaints of gross misconduct against the five members of an international jury that assessed the harshest penalties in America’s Cup history, alleging “a trail of conspiratorial ineptitude that is hard to refute.”

Mitchell’s filing Wednesday with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is the latest fallout from one of the biggest scandals in the cup’s 164-year history.

It comes less than two weeks after Mitchell asked ISAF to investigate former Oracle Team USA teammate Simeon Tienpont for breaking a racing rule and lying during a hearing prior to the 2013 America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay.

After investigating the illegal modifying of catamarans Oracle sailed in warmup regattas, the jury docked the syndicate two points in the match against Emirates Team New Zealand, tossed sailor Dirk de Ridder from the regatta and suspended Mitchell, a backup grinder, for the first four races. Oracle rallied from an 8-1 deficit to win the final eight races and retain the Auld Mug.

Mitchell says he was punished because Tienpont lied to the jury.

Now Mitchell is going after the jury, saying the investigation and hearings were conducted in a clandestine manner. Jury member Graham McKenzie of New Zealand faces a further allegation of witness tampering by acting in an intimidating and-or threatening manner. Read on.


February 4th, 2015

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