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We’re happy to announce that our random selection committee has picked the winner of a brand new Velocitek Pro-Start in our Smile, Wave and Win contest, and its Brighton, MI sailor Elliott Joseph Falls!  Joseph, send us an email with your address and we’ll have you on the way to perfect starts in just a few days.

Thanks to Velocitek, Smile and Wave, and of course the world-famous Sailing Anarchy for putting together this awesome $599 prize, and thanks to all of you for entering.

 

May 8th, 2013

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The Kevin Ellway-designed Exocet moth took the first five places at last week’s light air Moth Europeans in Sicily, the first time another design has dominated a regatta since the Mach 2 found her wheels in 2009.  The high-riding Exocets seem to excel in the light stuff, foiling early and often, but can they beat AMAC’s proven flyer over the full range – especially in this year’s big air Hawaii Worlds?

 

May 8th, 2013

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It takes ESPN International a couple of months to get a piece on the air – just slightly longer than Clean – but we’re always stoked to see their coverage of the St. Martin Heineken Regatta every year.  Frankly we’d watch presenter and former track star Jo Ankier iron her clothes for 25 minutes, so consider this 25-minute report all just gravy; it’s got an uplifting story on how St. Martin is growing the next generation of professional sailors, some hot Gunboat on Gunboat action complete with super hot gunboatchicks, and the video really captures the feel of the biggest, craziest sailing party in the world.  Click here for the full feature.

May 7th, 2013

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Grand prix catamaran racing comes to the idyllic setting of Lake Traunsee, Austria this week 8-12 May with the much anticipated debut of The Great Cup, as part of Allianz Traunsee Week. Competing will be the first three GC32s built (a fourth is already en route to Europe from the UAE).

For the event, the three carbon fibre catamarans will sail under the colours of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria and to maximise the number of teams competing, each boat is being allocated two crews, who will alternate. Pictured is Spax Solution Sailing Team from the Netherlands, skippered by creator of The Great Cup, Laurent Lenne. How’s this for some power? Pics thanks to Christophe Launay, with tons more here.

 

May 7th, 2013

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Nobody would accuse T-Hutch of sucking (unless of course you are Paul Cayard) but we had to laugh at this shot of Hutch covering the angles on the Mumm 30 Barking Mad at the Annapolis NOOD last weekend from Dan Phelps. Seems a pretty good candidate for this week’s Caption Contest, brought to you by our brand new advertiser West Marine (announcement to follow), and the best caption wins a $100 gift card, courtesy of West. Have fun!

 

May 6th, 2013

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We always say that if you ever ad up what it really costs to own and race a boat, you would never do it. Anarchist Sam has an interesting look at those costs…

Most racing sailors like to compete with a shot at winning. We all know that winning requires two things – good equipment and time-in-the-boat. My boat needs to be competitive and I need to be as practiced as the fleet leaders. In sailing, both equipment and practice time are very expensive and many sailors have limits on what they can spend. Said another way – budget has a huge influence on standings in our sport.

So why doesn’t anyone talk about the real Cost-to-Compete when comparing one design classes? It’s not that hard to calculate.

Why do sailors talk about the price of the boat when calling a class affordable? For many popular classes – especially the fashionable twins M20 and J70 – the cost of the boat is a tiny fraction of the real cost for a sailor to succeed in the class. To win in these two classes, it appears that an “amateur” needs to spend at least $100K per year with many spending 2-5x this much. Professional sailors can own boats in these classes and spend less cash out of pocket – but they may well consume more economic resources than amateurs when you calculate the value of free sails and 100 days/year of funded practice time.

A J70 costs about $50K – so if we assume you sail it for 5 years and then throw it away, THE BOAT costs about $10k/year – less than what the top programs spend to do one Key West regatta. If you were going whole hog at KWRW with half a new suit of sails, some bottom work and a few pros on board the bill for that one event could easily top 2x the boat costs. OK….KWRW is and expensive regatta….but if the if the top amateurs spend $15K there, maybe they do 3 other events that only cost $7K and the worlds which cost $25K…anyway you can easily get to $50k per year without going nuts on upgrades and bottom work and insurance and ..etc. So $10k/year of boat depreciation plus $50K/yr expenses – total of $60k with only 15% being the “price of the boat.”

Hey, wait! I said over $100k/year or more to win in the J70 and the math just added up to $60K. That’s right, because the successful amateurs in fashionable classes like the J70/M20 – very often have multiple programs running simultaneously – a M32, Farr 40, TP52, J/105 etc. When I did my brief stint with the Freedom syndicate way back in 1983, 2 boat programs were a new luxury in the Americas Cup. DC proved that they were a huge competitive advantage for both boat development and team training. Today one boat programs in hot classes are the exception. Just listen to Clean’s interview with Terry H. from CRW – on how a M20 program fills the gaps in a multi boat campaign.

If we assume that a top J70/M20 amateur has at least one other program, then it safe to assume her other program is more expensive. So my over simplified math is to double the $60K/year we derived above and we get over $100k/year as the Cost-to-Compete. Again, many Pro sailors have jumped into these “affordable” classes and they spend less cash and win – but remember they get a deal on their equipment and the amateurs actually pay them to spend “time-in-the-boat” Imagine how the 83 Cup could have been different if DC had been smart enough to convince Alan Bond to pay the US team to practice 200 days a year thereby allowing the Freedom Syndicate to put all its resources into boat development!

There is nothing wrong with very high Cost-to-Compete – it is great if a class can find a group who can afford to spend $1 million/year campaigning a boats that costs $50k. But the sport needs less deceptive talk about “affordable” prices and more transparency about Cost-to-Compete. Most of the changes in the sport since 1983 have increased the Cost-to-Compete, but this has been ignored for fear of scaring away customers. The result is we see more churn – people jumping in, getting hit with the real expenses and getting out. And we see more boats sitting on their mornings instead of the line.

The best thing US Sailing could do for the long term health of the sport is to conduct a study looking at the top ten boats in each one design class and do a rigorous version of my Cost-to-Compet SWAG – then publish the results. Letting people get organized around this principal – intelligently select a class that is in line with their financial resources – would be a huge step forward for amateur sailing. My guess is it would be really good news for the Lightning class. Jump in the discussion.

 

May 6th, 2013

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Not sure how Brian Carlin got this shot (rumors that he fell overboard while drunk are unfounded ;0), but he ads:  ”Was out today shooting the 320nm race in France, got is shot pre-race of Jack Bouttell (Artemis Offshore Academy) who is competing in the Solo Concarneau.”

 

May 6th, 2013

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The MOD 70 Class was neutered almost before it began; what looked to be a fully subscribed circuit of hyper-fast one-design racers with a major international and round the world race schedule imploded with the European economy, resulting in a scattered fleet that doesn’t even have its own series, taking part instead of smaller events (like Spindrift Racing’s win last week) and the new mixed Multihull Tour put together by Mark Turner’s OC Sport this June.  Can Turner’s proven group save the MOD 70 class from itself?  It doesn’t really matter – with plenty of hardcore cats and tris already signing up, the Route Des Princes should be plenty badass, and with an Englishman in charge, extreme racing fans outside France will get to check it out too.  

Meanwhile, the MOD creators seem to have abandoned their strict rule requiring purchasers to commit to a MOD race schedule; at least we doubt that Tom Siebel, new owner of Orion Racing (ex-Veolia), and his skipper Cam Lewis have their sights much beyond some Pacific records and playing on the West Coast.  You might remember Siebel as the guy who brought the sexy Sig 45 to Mexico, and he’s clearly got the multihull bug.  We’re told you’ll see both boats on San Francisco Bay soon. We’re also told the MOD 70 top speed still hasn’t been bettered by an AC72… More from Puerto Vallarta man-on-the-scene Mike Danielson:

Cam Lewis and a number of the soon to be team were here at Marina La Cruz to get acquainted last month for Banderas Bay Regatta sailing the Sig 45 “Vaminos”. The Sig split for SF last week so now the team gets to play with the new toy in town – this MOD 70 arrived in time for some May fun before splitting to California as well. We got to see Loreal show up in the Last SD-PV race, It would be great to see both return in the SD –PV race next winter. It’s hard to find a better place to tune up other than Bandeas Bay. This time of year we have conditions on like clockwork at 1300 with the thermal building breeze up to the high teens- early 20’s right outside Marina La Cruz. If you’ve ever been down for MEXORC then you know what I’m talking about…Viva MEXICO!

May 6th, 2013

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A mixed bag of conditions hit Antigua Sailing Week this year, but most agreed the most interesting part of the regatta was the inaugural Nonsuch Bay RS Elite Challenge, an invitational regatta sailed in Nonsuch Bay Resort’s fleet of RS’s answer to the Dragon.  Organized to drum up business for the sailing-centric resort on Antigua’s Far East coast, the regatta pulled hundreds of lay day layabouts to Pigeon Beach to watch 8 teams square off on tiny, action-packed courses just yards from the sand, with a cricket match, wet t-shirt contest, and all the ribs and beer you could drink. We’ll have a more complete report from Antigua later in the week, but in the meantime, enjoy a little Anarchy-friendly action from the RS event, won by Dragon sailor Mark Dicker.  Clean’s coverage of Antigua Sailing Week is sponsored by Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters, and Acqua Films did a great job of capturing just how spectator-friendly you can make a sailboat race – if you just try hard enough.

 

May 6th, 2013

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Around a quarter of our North American readers live on or near the Great Lakes; besides being the planet’s largest supply of freshwater, they’re the playground for hundreds of thousands of Northern sailors, and more than a decade of lake level drops is playing havoc with boaters’ access and ship traffic everywhere from Wisconsin to Buffalo.  Despite recent flooding, most areas remain near record lows, and if you’re not dredging like our industrious friends up on Lake Musketucky, you might not be going sailing this summer.  The fascinating infographic above tells much of the story, and the IJC published a study recently with its recommendations on how to deal with a problem that isn’t forecast to change much in the near future.  It’s a contentious issue with countless stakeholders – discuss it in the thread.

May 6th, 2013

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The VX-One fleet took a page out of the mothies’ book when they started going for top speed bragging rights whenever it was too windy to race.  At last weekend’s McIntosh Cup in Savannah, Andrew Brennan caught Brian Bennett and crew on video as they upped the ante to a zippy 24 knots while two sail-reaching in the ultralight sporty.  The VX is quietly marching along, gaining converts from other small boat classes thanks to its design (the most modern of any of the production sporties) as well as its dinghylike feel and sub-500 lb weight.  Think they’ll get to 25?  30?  Tell ‘em so here.

 

May 6th, 2013

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We wondered why the new big bad Wally Magic Capet 3 was so quick, and Ingrid Abery has just provide it! And here’s a peek at the crew of Ingrid, Pedro Martinez, Jesus Renedo and Ruben Ballester snip-snapping away! Final results from Palmavela here.

 

May 5th, 2013

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Ah yes, the fine art of Flying Tiger sailing! We have no idea what in the hell is going on here, but the FT 10 Mile High Klub seems to be somewhat off form at the SDYC Yachting Cup. Photo SDYC  -  more here.

 

May 4th, 2013

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Great shot from the Extreme Sailing Series in Qingdao by Mark Lloyd.

 

May 4th, 2013

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Brian Carlin knocks one (or is that two?) out of the park.

 

May 3rd, 2013

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Post of the Week

Thanks to maxmini for this beauty, with a few slight changes….

As AC34 is pretty much a forgone conclusion and Larry will still be in charge for AC35 I thought it might be beneficial to all if we brought forth into the light of day some persistent rumors we have been hearing in the waterfront bars and sea side AA meetings lately. These are a few of the AC35 protocol changes . Feel free to add those pearls you have heard as well . I will be making revisions as they become noteworthy

In no particular order:

1/ Do to his having control of the majority of land in the bay area San Francisco will be renamed , ellectriclarryland. All maps should be changed to reflect the update .

2/ All challenging teams livery will be in basic black while Oracle will remain the good guy white.

3/ Each challenging team will have at least one Ellison relative or close personal friend as a member of the after guard.

4/ As Nascar fans will make up most of the viewing audience at AC34 in a effort to clean up the waterfront and prevent any hazardous waste issue spittoons , Carbon Fiber of course, will be positioned every 100ft surrounding San Francisco Bay. Skoal will become the primary event sponsor for AC35.

4a/ The other primary hazardous waste concern will be the multitude of small pieces of carbon fiber and mylar film that will be washing ashore . When confronted with this issue a team spokesman said that the spectators could view them as ” lovely parting gifts ” and to take as much home as they could carry .

5/ There will be no BMW’s allowed within the city limits during the regatta .

6/ The Golden gate bridge will support a number of Oracle luxury suites during the regatta . The bridge will be closed for traffic . When Larry was posed the question as to how people will get from the Sausalito area to Ernieville and visa versa his response was ” they can use their helicopters “.When it was mentioned that some of the people may not own a private helicopter he responded with, ” oh ” and walked off.

7/ There will be no direct eye contact with LE .

8/ Do not speak unless spoken too and always respond with ” his lordship. ”

9/ The name Ernesto Bertelli will be stricken from all written and on line media .

10/ Anyone whose entire sailing experience is derived from the INTERNET will hereby be called Eagletarians.

11/ All INTERNET postings will be moderated by Team Oracle representatives to provide fair and equal coverage.

12/ All challenging designs must be checked by team Oracle representatives for ” safety ” concerns prior to the actual build . Oracle may at its discretion make changes to the challengers design for ” safety ” concerns . Those designs MUST be incorporated into the build .

13/ If , due to the lack of actual competition , the TV media becomes board and discontinues coverage a group of actual courtroom artists are on standby to jump in and provide some vivid four color drawings that may or may not be picked up by the local papers within days of the actual event.

14/ Under no circumstances will a larger yacht be allowed on the bay than whatever Le’s current toy is .

As for the regatta itself

1/ The number of actual races to be run will depend on how long His Lordship remains interested . When he becomes dis interested the regatta is over , Oracle is declared the winner once again and the racing stops .

2/ All challenging yachts will be equipped with a remote controlled incendiary device .

3/ There will be no passing of Oracle under any conditions . ( see rule #2 )

4/ At the outside chance of a close crossing the challenging boat must bear off and allow Oracle to pass. If LE is on board the crew of the challenging boat must , in unison repeat , ” lovely day your Lordship “. If LE is not on board the crew must respond with ” looking good guys ” and give thumbs up for at least 30 seconds to be timed by the closest team Oracle on the water referee.

5/ As there will be some complaining of the actual distance between all challenging boats and Gods chosen ones ,team Oracle,that will occur during AC 34 this time around they will try to slow down until there is only a 5 to 10 min lead. If however that five min lead is reduced further see rule #2.

6/ During the pre start , as the new owner of the Bay, His Lordship ,will be allowed to pick which side of the course he wishes to start on . The challenging crew will compliment him on his fine choice and proceed in the other direction . If at any point the challenging crews choice becomes favored they must immediately begin penalty turns until notified by the Team Oracle on the water referees that they are allowed to proceed but not to let it happen again . if it does happen , see rule #2.

Jump in the thread here. Besides the yuks, there is one interesting bit of rumor in this thread… And thanks to the Butthole Surfers for the title inspiration.

 

May 3rd, 2013

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Anybody who has ever sailed on a big boat understands the division of labor – those who actually work versus those who don’t. Here the divide is clearly illustrated by Jesus Renedo in Palma. Oh and how ya like the size of the rig here? Magic indeed.

 

May 3rd, 2013

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Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that New England Boatworks will pay a $31,500 penalty and take steps to reduce its emissions of volatile organic compounds from paints and thinners used at its Portsmouth, R.I., facility under a settlement with the agency to resolve allegations of Clean Air Act violations. Read on.

 

May 3rd, 2013

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Where to start with this? Some dramatic footage that leads to a staged sinking?  A quick jump in the raft, and salvation – and all thanks to Breitling! It’s either brilliant marketing or a crass attempt to cash in on recent sailboat-related tragedies. Perhaps a bit of both…..

 

May 3rd, 2013

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Everything about this picture is odd and that’s precisely why we love it. Thanks to Gabor Tursci.

 

May 2nd, 2013

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