An Anarchist (in the real sense of the word) couple may have discovered that 25 feet is just too damned short for a family voyage; at least that’s one theory on why Joshua and Sharon Hakken flew back to Tampa and turned themselves and their two boys in to authorities after escaping from the US to Cuba on their Morgan 25 over the weekend.
The couple lost custody of the kids thanks to the brilliant War on Drugs; a marijuana possession charge last year led to the custody issues in the first place. That’s the same war that’s put a few billion dollars worth of ships, radar and materiel in the Caribbean to save Americans from themselves, and that’s the same massive interdiction and e-warfare fleet that couldn’t find two chubby adults and their kids in a 25 foot sailboat that struggles to move at 6 knots…
The two young boys will likely be returned to their grandmother in Florida later in the week after the family returned home early this morning. Wherever they end up, the Hakkans aren’t likely to get custody anytime soon. On a positive note, Cuba and the State Department seem to be pretty chummy lately; might we see Cuba opening up to some SORC-style yacht racing once again? Write your damned senator to help get rid of door-tending OFAC and let us go sailing to a beautiful country, and stay educated about our nearest island neighbor’s future. Here’s some video, and here’s the thread.
April 10th, 2013
Not much of a contrast in this shot today at the Les Voiles de St. Barth! Photo thanks to Christophe Jouany.
April 9th, 2013
We love this stuff. From SF Weekly
Anyone curious about the French take on the America’s Cup fiasco is in for a lesson on the difficulties of translating colloquialisms, bureaucratic frustration, and swears. Le Monde recently covered the fiscal tussle surrounding the incredible shrinking regatta: Organizers claim sales and hotel tax revenues from the race will suffice to offset anemic private fund-raising. This was not part of the original arrangement; the city was supposed to be made whole beforehand – with tax revenue serving as a cherry on top. Per the contract, however, the America’s Cup Organizing Committee must merely “endeavor” to meet its fund-raising goal.
“I’ve shouted publicly to the rooftops how ashamed I am that I see that language” – the vagueness about “endeavor” — “and not reading into what it said. I was fucking played. All the members of the Board of Supervisors were fucking played,” Supervisor John Avalos told SF Weekly on Feb. 20. Read on.
April 9th, 2013
April 9th, 2013
April 8th, 2013
Old (and we do mean old) ex-sailmaker Keith Lorence has written a good book about his adventures from back in the day. Here is an excerpt from Back When Sailing Was Fun.
I once sold a set of sails to a guy who lived 30 miles north of Seattle. He sent in the deposit, we delivered the sails and went out for a test sail. Because he didn’t have his checkbook with him and was a known local sailor, I thought I could trust him and said that I would bill him. That was my first mistake. This was back in the innocent days of business. Back when sailmaking was fun.
After a year with no payment received, I was getting a bit ticked off, naturally. It was about $5,000 and my fledgling business needed the money. I would call him at 3 a.m. and say “I can’t sleep because I can’t pay my bills. If I can’t sleep, neither should you.”
One night, after a Wednesday night race while sitting in a Seattle restaurant, three friends and I decided that this had gone on long enough. We decided to go and repossess the sails off the boat. We drove 30 miles and got to the marina around midnight. We jumped out exuberantly and leapt over the gated marina fence to get to the boat. We had been thinking clearly enough to bring a tire iron to break the lock. So that’s what we did. The four of us grabbed MY sails and one extra for good measure, and walked back up the dock to the car.
When we exited the gate with the sails over our shoulders, we saw the police car. Parked right behind our borrowed van. Our van had Idaho license plates and the cops were curious. One of our party of four turned back, dropped his sail and jumped into the 48 degree winter water. We never did find out how he got back to Seattle.
The police had stopped for their dinner doughnuts in the marina and thought it unusual for an Idaho state van to be there in the marina with its side door open and they decided to wait and see why. Well, here we came with our booty. They stepped out of their car and said, “Well boys, what are you doing?” “Well,” says I, “I own these sails and am picking them up for repair.” “Yea right,” they said and made us take the sails back to the boat, which had all the signs of breaking and entering.
There was no way of talking our way out of this one, so we spent the night with the real criminals in the Everett jail. The next morning we called one of our wives to come up and get us. Begrudgingly she did, and we all went for ice creams after our night in the pokey.
On the way home, the three of us criminals decided that buying Lasers would be a good idea. So we did. I lucked into a Laser with the hull number 69069. One of my friends named it “Lickety Split” for me. He said it was a no brainer.
Our court dates were set, and our attorneys were ready. But I had to go and sail in Europe and couldn’t make the court date. “No problem,” said my attorney, “when will you be back?” I gave her a date and she fixed it. Little did I know I almost wouldn’t make it back due to extreme weather in England.
When I returned home, I found that my two fellow captives had been given one year probation and a $600 fine. Not too bad. But my attorney informed me that I had a different judge. And he was the hanging judge, and not lenient at all. This made me a bit nervous to say the least. Would I get jail time?
I went to the judge to plead my case with my attorney and explained the situation; with fear of the hanging judge in my heart.
I needn’t have feared; it turned out the judge was a sailor. He knew the person who stole the sails from me. He said that he knew that this person had done this before. This guy was a crook and the judge really couldn’t blame me for wanting MY sails back but, never the less, breaking and entering is still against the law. The judge told me that because my other two compatriots had been fined and put on probation, the law said he had to do something. He gave me half the fine and half the probation and said that if it were not for the previous judge’s decision, he would have let me off clean.
Lucky for me that the hanging judge was a sailor!
April 8th, 2013
Bunch of us returning from the Newport to Cabo are holed up in Turtle Bay waiting out the big blow coming down the coast. In the pic crews from Dorade, Condor, Bad Pack, and El Invisible’ Mano.
Cheers, Lord Nelsen,
El Capitain and random Ponga operator
April 8th, 2013
A bitchin’ looking project from our newest advertiser…
Box 8.5 is the yacht bred from our frustration that mid sized high performance cats are financially out of our reach. Spending 300k on a lake boat didn’t sit well with us so we went about designing and building our 28ft option to enter the market 1/3 the cost of boats only 5ft longer! The concept is for a one-design yacht that is easily and quickly rigged and de-rigged, light enough to tow with a regular vehicle and able to be shipped in a container with up to three other boats. The yacht is designed to be manageable in the marginal moments of bearing away and windy running, carrying the main beam aft and the buoyancy forward with lots of reserve buoyancy while still supporting enough horsepower in sail area and smooth underwater lines to hit 20kts in 12-13kts of wind!
We offer the yacht in kit set options, differing in stages of completion to give people more options to fit their budget. Initially the kit concept involved CNC machined polystyrene cores wrapped in carbon laminates. Our first yacht seen in the sea trials video is built this way and to be honest we have become very attached to the “poly plug”.
The reality however became obvious when we had fluctuations in weight in the two hulls from resin soak and the worry that kit set builders could modifying the hull shapes which is clearly not conducive to a strong one-design class. The new hulls are all female moulded carbon/foam/glass and epoxy infused. The kit set purchaser gets the hull “shells” in two halves with all the materials to join them and finish the yacht along with everything else for a complete platform. The finished yacht buyers get a boat ready to sail, all that is needed is sails.
Masts are 230mm rotating carbon sections supplied by C-Tech in NZ along with all the carbon tubing for tillers, bow pole and lifting posts. The Box 8.5 may not be the fastest most technologically advanced new one design on the market but the “bang for buck” is unparalleled. With two sold and more in the pipeline we are finally be able to go racing a mid size high performance multi for realistic cost.
Two boats will compete in the Bay-to-Bay yacht race next month in Queensland, Australia and at least two will be at the Multihull Nationals in Airlie Beach later in the year. Check out the sailing video from the weekend just past. If you want more info contact Matt direct or visit our web site. Platform kit sets start at $29,990 AUD. The completed yacht option is $75,000 AUD (both ex GST).
April 8th, 2013
SCA’s Volvo Ocean Race all-girls team is taking form, with the first five announced on Friday. This smartly produced corporate vid gives you all the details and a nice ‘meet n’ greet’ with the awesome ‘pink ladies of the VOR’; more on ‘em here.
April 8th, 2013
73 days into a leisurely row across the Atlantic wasn’t quite far enough for the OAR Northwest team on their Africa to Miami trip; they were rescued two days ago when their boat went over in an unrecoverable capsize. Here’s the statement from OAR Mission Control’s Greg Spooner, and we encourage you to check out the excellent OAR blog for some great ‘day in the life of an ocean rower’ stuff here.
At 3:50am Pacific Daylight Time this morning I received a phone call from the United States Coast Guard station in San Juan, Puerto Rico, indicating that a distress signal was activated on board the ocean rowboat, “James Robert Hanssen”. The boat and its crew were 73 days into a trans-Atlantic rowing expedition between Dakar, Senegal and Miami, Florida, to study the health of the Atlantic and inspire kids to make their dreams a reality.
The signal from a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) attached to a life jacket was activated approximately 400 miles north of Puerto Rico.
A Coast Guard C-130 airplane was deployed and made visual and radio contact with the overturned boat and life raft. The ocean rowboat suffered a catastrophic capsize event, unable to self-right as designed.
The four rowers were able to safely deploy their life raft and are awaiting rescue by a passing commercial vessel. Many years of preparation and training went into the trans-Atlantic ocean row to mitigate the risks involved. Unfortunately careful planning cannot make an important expedition like this 100% safe.
We are extremely grateful for the services of the United States Coast Guard, and all other agencies involved in the successful location and rescue of the four rowers. They put their lives at risk to save ours.
More information to follow as it becomes available.
April 8th, 2013
Some great SCOTW board action from Jesús Renedo in Palma. Pictured here is the stunning Spaniard Blanca Manchon. Winner Flavia Tartaglini looks awesome here, and gets a helluva nice congratulations from runner-up Bryony Shaw.
April 8th, 2013
I have just had the great pleasure of being invited to join Ant Day and crew on his lovely Xc-50 “Explorer” for the 480 mile San Fernando Race, from Hong Kong to the Philippines. I’ve done the race several times before, however always on serious race boats, and this was a great chance to join some old friends on a boat with a little more comfort, including air-con, proper beds with pillows and a menu big enough that I have gained weight for the first time ever during any offshore race; a face I took great pleasure in reminding the boys on my usual ride for this race, the exceptionally well campaigned A-35 Red Kite 2.
Red Kite 2, the two time defending champion, was lining up to try & become the first boat ever to win the race three times in a row. Meanwhile perennial race favourites Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi and Sam Chan’s Ffree Fire were both missing this year, with the latter losing her rig during the Manila – Boracay race earlier this year.
However there were plenty of other boats who fancied their chances of knocking RK-2 off her perch, including the Santa Cruz 7 Antipodes, TP-52 Standard Insurance Centennial and Jamie McWilliam’s Ker 40 Peninsula Signal . This race often turns out to be a long 2-sail reach, so the bigger boats in Premier Cruising also stood a chance of doing well, including Peter Churchouse’s ubiquitous Warwick 65 “Moonblue 2” and Peter Cremer’s stunning new Warwick 75 “Shatoosh”, making her offshore debut.
The race started on Wednesday, right out in front of the RHKYC in Victoria Harbour – a stunning backdrop, albeit with very little wind! Fortunately the tide was running out, so we made a slow & fairly painful journey out of the harbour, with PS8 and Standard Insurance making the early running out through the Lei Yue Mun gap.
On board the good ship “Explorer”, reactions verged on hysterical when our navigator popped his head out of the (air-conditioned) hatch and gleefully declared that, at this rate, the 480 mile race would take us 10 days, 1 hour…
Fortunately, the breeze eventually filled in, and we started an enjoyable first night, 2-sail reaching between 8 – 9 knots of boat speed. Day two saw the breeze drop a bit – not a bad thing at all for the Explorer; fishing speeds are important. We dropped a lure over the side and our first sashimi guest jumped on – a delicious little Dorado (mahi) – perfect for some soy sauce and wasabi accompaniment to our afternoon sundowners.
You can take the boy out of a racing boat, but some old habits die hard, and some fairly lively debate ensued over whether we should tack or not – “We should tack now, head towards the new pressure and gain on the shift” vs. “The breeze will lift us again, so there’s no point” & “I’ve never tacked in a San Fernando Race before…”
Eventually common sense prevailed, and we tacked late in the afternoon and sailed on Starboard for a few hours until the new breeze eventually filled in from the North and we flipped back onto Port, heading straight for the finish. Unfortunately, the day and a half of spectacular, if uneventful reaching was far too fast for fishing, though none of our hard work swapping between jib and code zero went unrewarded; plenty of great food was still on hand; days were hot with nice breeze and nights, cloudless with a full moon.
Sure enough, life comes around to bite you on the arse, and on the morning of the fourth day we started slowing down and eventually ended up drifting around in circles off the coast of the Philippines, within sight of land. Anyone who has sailed in these parts will know exactly what I’m talking about.
While we could hide in the air-conditioned comfort down below, life on deck was hot. Damned hot. Fortunately, this meant a nice sea breeze eventually filled in, and we finally knocked off the last 20 miles late on Saturday afternoon, to enjoy several refreshing San Miguel’s on the beach as the sun set.
As far as the results are concerned, “Antipodes” sailed very well to record the double of Line Honours & IRC overall, however they just missed out on breaking Ffree Fire’s 2001 race record by a couple of hours. The race was something of a big boat benefit, so Red Kite 2 missed out on her goal of another overall win, however she did manage to win her IRC 2 division.
In our “Premier Cruising” division, Shatoosh stretched her legs to narrowly beat Moonblue 2 over the line, with the latter taking the IRC honours. We were very happy to end up with 3rd on line & handicap in division.
For me it was a very pleasant change to do a race like this on a boat with a few more creature comforts than usual, with some very good old friends. It was the most fun I’ve had offshore for a very long time, and something this 40yr old body could well get used to…
Finally, I’d just like to point out that as much fun as the race is, with a beautiful destination at the end; the best thing about the race is the support they offer to the Home of Loving Faithfulness Youth Shelter in San Fernando. The race has supported this charity for over 20 years, and a visit to the kids at the shelter after the race is humbling, to say the least. From me at least, I give them an unconditional thanks & respect to those who generously offer their time & money to support the shelter.
April 8th, 2013
The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race has announced its route, with no real surprises coming for dedicated VOR-watchers and not a huge difference from the 2011-12 route. Leg 2 will provide an early ‘come to God’ moment for everyone; the massive Brazil to Abu Dhabi leg will separate the men from the boys, or the women from the girls, as the case may be. VOR still haven’t announced how they intend to deal with the piracy problem, though they are well aware that the last solution made following the race a bit of a chore…maybe one-design means they’ll be close enough to together to guard with a couple of fast PT boats, or a destroyer on paid assignment…hell even a few H/K helicopters would be cheaper than chartering an entire cargo carrier! In other news, the VOR is now so huge that a single Earth can’t even contain it; hence the need for two South Americas, two Europes, and two Africas.
April 8th, 2013
Without racing a Finn seriously since the Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth,UK, last June it would seem that Giles Scott has lost none of his ability to dominate an international fleet, as the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía MAPFRE in Palma de Mallorca drew to a close on Saturday.
Having been denied a place at the London 2012 Olympics by his team mate, and some time training partner, Ben Ainslie, Scott took it hard and distracted himself with some different sailing ambitions, which ultimately led to his current position on the Luna Rossa America’s Cup team.
However, his ultimate goal of Finn gold in Rio in 2016 is never far from his thoughts and the Princesa Sofia regatta this past week was as good an indication as was needed that Scott is still at the top of his game and the one that everyone else needs to beat
He wasn’t totally dominant in Palma with 2012 leather medalist Pieter-Jan Postma scoring a slightly better final series than the 2011 world and European champion. However Scott did enough to convince himself that he is on track and not losing his affinity with the boat that many others would have done after a 10 month absence.
Postma’s inadvertent capsize in the final medal race gave the event to Scott on a plate but Scott claims he had the win in the bag before that happened. In fact Postma was Scott’s only real challenger by mid-week taking it right down to the final race.
London bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert was showing good form early on, and led after the first day, but faded mid week and could only manage fourth overall. The bronze eventually went to Vasilij Zbogar who has been putting on a lot of hours at Luca Devoti’s Valencia based Dinghy Academy. While Scott and Postma shared most of the race wins, Scott’s team mates Andrew Mills and Mark Andrews were also up the front on several occasions despite a degree of lack of training, and won a medal race apiece.
Due to America’s Cup commitments Scott is only able to sail a couple of Finn regattas this side of August, after which he plans to sail Finns full time again. Great Britain has won the past four Olympic Finn gold medals and based on current form it would be hard to argue against it being the favourite nation for a fifth gold in 2016.
The week in Palma also tested a fairly radical new scoring system which in effect reduced the value of the opening races and heavily weighted the two double-points medal races. It raises the possibility that a sailor could discard the first three days, produce an average performance in the finals series and then win gold by sailing a blinder in the medal races. Sailors are repeatedly asking for a scoring system that rewards consistency over the whole regatta, reflects changing weather patterns and doesn’t weight the whole event on one day. The trialled system falls short in a number of these areas, even though, this time, the overall results probably reflected the performance of the sailors. But it is not hard to imagine a very different outcome. The jury is still out on this particular format but all sailors who provided feedback provided negative feedback.
The sailors now have two weeks off before the final event in the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup takes place in Hyeres, France. – Robert Deaves.
April 7th, 2013
A cool shot by Da-Woody taken from Bird Rock in La Jolla of at least one loney racer in The Border Run (Newport to San Diego) being sailed this weekend. Ullman Sails’ Keith Magnussen (K-Mag) aboard the J-125 Timeshaver reported earlier that in addition to a collision at the start for them, the majority of the race was a genoa reach in not nearly enough breeze…
April 6th, 2013
Sailing legend Jack Sutphen passed away last week and Bill Center from the Union Tribune does a nice job writing about a great man…
Jack Sutphen once joked about how a “bitter pill turned into good medicine.”
“Looking back, one of my worst days changed my life in such a positive way,” Sutphen recalled of that day in Newport, R.I., in 1974 when he was removed from the crew of America’s Cup defense candidate Courageous to make room for an aggressive young helmsman named Dennis Conner.
It’s not unusual in sailing that such a move leads to bitterness. Instead, it led to a friendship of more than three decades between America’s Cup legend Conner and Sutphen, who died in San Diego on March 24 at the age of 95. In 1979, Conner invited Sutphen to join him in San Diego as a trial horse skipper and aide to the Freedom campaign that resulted in a successful America’s Cup defense a year later. That was the first of seven America’s Cup campaigns that Sutphen assisted Conner.
“The passing of Jack Sutphen is a huge loss for the sailing community,” said Conner. “He was a sailor’s sailor from Frostbite dinghies in Larchmont (N.Y.) to maxiboats of 12 Meters world wide. “Wherever Jack went, he left his mark with friendships and respect. Jack had a huge impact on the America’s Cup from 1998 through 2003 as a sailmaker, a crewman, a coach and a friend.” Read on.
And jump in the thread with your comments…
April 6th, 2013
A crisp, sunny spring day greeted the 200 youth sailors who began competing at the ISA (Irish Sailing Association) Youth National Championships on Lough Derg, Co. Tipperary yesterday. Entrants in both the Laser Radial and 420 classes sailed the scheduled three races in gusty 10 to 15 knot winds. They have been joined today by the Laser 4.7, Topper and Optimist fleets take to the lake for three more days of highly competitive racing. Good times!
April 5th, 2013
Chinese skipper Guo Chuan crossed the finish line at around 1.00 GMT/UTC on Apr 5, setting a new world record of Class 40 solo non-stop circumnavigation. The circumnavigation is from 18 Nov, 2013 to 5 Apr, 2014. The whole journey lasts 137day20hour2min28sec. Impressive. Some of Guo’s quotes:
-I am extremely happy today. I have not seen so many people for such a long time. And today I saw so many, so many relatives, friends, fellow countrymen. I must be the happiest man in the world today.
-It is difficult to describe my feeling at the moment. It is still like a dream, I feel like being in a dream. Sometimes during the journey, I do not know if I could go home. In Cape Horn, when I could not see anything in the wave, I felt it might be too far to go back. Several days ago in Taiwan Strait, I suspected if I could go home with the boat safely. But finally, it is all over.
-I have to say many many thanks to my family, my friends, my sponsors. But I’d like to say ‘THANK YOU’ to the wind as well. For the whole journey, wind is always accompanying me. It is fighting with me, it is driving me back home.
April 5th, 2013
Remember back in 2009 when our Canadian pals turned a C-Class Cat into a full foiler? It was either the greatest head fake in Little America’s Cup history or a genuine experiment, but either way, Off Yer Rocker was never able to show any real speed, and the T-foils were scrapped in favor of regular curved blades.
Fast forward to the 2013 Little AC, and have a look at Franck Cammas training on the modified foiling Martin Fischer-designed F-18 Phantom. Given the absolute foil secrecy behind some of the teams and the foil-immersion we’re all experiencing with the big AC, does anyone think the next Little America’s Cup will be a low-riding one? More info from Alex at Sail Innovation here.
April 5th, 2013
You gotta have the jacket that is… These are the brand new SA Core soft shell jackets, and they are the shit! Two layer bonded stretch soft shell, charcoal color fully loaded with SA logos, (here too) they are easily the nicest product we’ve had yet. $95 delivered anywhere in the good ol’ U S of A. Oh and we have XXL too! What are you waiting for?
April 5th, 2013