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Big Pimpin’

ewol banner adEWOL was born in 1997 with the desire to realize a line of yachting accessories featuring advanced technological performances. EWOL is a dynamic company that focuses on the application of new technologies and materials, computer-aided 3D design and verification of structural performance through FEM and extensive testing.

With prior expertise in marine propellers, oil and gas engineering and international product management, the team pointed since the beginning to using advanced materials and solutions in order to obtain a sailboat propeller with a low-drag, slim body but at the same time to be very sturdy and resistant to galvanic corrosion.

After many years of research, design and intensive tests, in 2005 EWOL finally introduced on the European market the E-Cubed 3 blades propeller. Besides matching the initial scope of the development project, this high-tech propeller is easy to install even underwater and can be adjusted from the outside with pitch settings enabling increments of 50 rpm at each step. The low weight of the propeller and its internal gears assure always smooth inversions at the gear box.
In 2011 EWOL presented “EWOL Titanium”, a product dedicated to larger yachts, with Titanium alloy blades enabling reduced weight of about 20 Lbs, high efficiency and mechanical resistance till over 160 cv.

In 2013 EWOL presented “EWOL Hi-Speed”, the only propeller dedicated to fast multihulls, Hi-Speed was awarded by the US magazine “Boating Industry” with the Top Product 2014 Award.

EWOL will exhibit at the Annapolis boatshow from 9 to 13 Oct. 2014.

 

September 27th, 2014

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Robert Scheidt and Felipe Massa meet at Williams' factory

The whole Star Sailors League thing confuses the hell out of us, but we do like their creativity; they used a recent trip by Brazilian Olympic legend and sex symbol Robert Scheidt to the Williams F1 team headquarters to promote their upcoming Nassau Star event.  Whatever – we love F-1 and we love sailing, so here ya go, ladies.  More on Scheidt’s trip here.

 

September 26th, 2014

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It’s been a while since we had this many good ones, and the stories to go along with them.  Enjoy another edition of Video Anarchy.

Big Man in Big Boat

Jim Clark’s record-breaker 100 Comanche is just about ready to splash, and Mr. Clean walked through her last week to show you what this new VPLP/Verdier monster is all about.  Wanna know what the absolute coolest part of this new boat is?  Watch the video.  Editing thanks to Penalty Box Productions, and a huge thanks to everyone at Hodgdon Yachts for their total openness with our bald avenger.

Big Man In Little Boat

The continuing and unnecessary mystery of the cause of Andrew Simpson’s death combined with organizers obsession with a Guinness record may have turned us off a bit on Bart’s Bash, the inaugural festival has already raised some $400,000 for an extremely worthy cause; getting more people into sailing.  And thanks to AC ambassadors like Jimmy Spithill, the event itself accomplished that as well – even in the heart of the Midwest. Petey Crawford shares.

One of the best parts of last weekend was being on hand for the Bart’s Bash Opti race as the bookend to an amazing 3 days of sailing at Pewaukee Yacht Club for the E Scow Blue Chip. Local Opti kids, their parents, and some E -cow sailors were all in on a chance to get to race against Jimmy in what was a World Record event – Bart’s Bash. I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it, I love shooting kids (not Bang Bang but Click Click). Youth events are so much fun to shoot because the kids are always having such a great time. This outing was no different, and the smiles on the faces of the kids and adults alike were priceless. Parents with 1 and sometimes 2 kids all crammed into an Opti is a pretty cool sight for anyone with a love for sailing. Everyone had a great time and the never-ending stream of youth sailors in the autograph line was evidence that they were all stoked to race against Jimmy. I think I even caught him digging it a few times. All wrapped up was an epic regatta of action, smiles, fundraising and a bit of debauchery. Final highlight reel coming up next, with way more killer scow action, awesome aerial footage, crashes, and interviews.

Mona Lisa Overdrive

It’s partly a Vodafone publicity stunt, partly performance art, and partly a very creative way to showcase one disabled sailor’s drive, and in a sport that often lacks creativity, we salute 23-year old Lasse Klötzing and the boys behind the First Sailed Mona Lisa project. Their mission: Sail a GC-32 foiling cat through 271 waypoints on the Baltic Sea to create a GPS track of the Mona Lisa over 3 days.  Klotzing will use the Vodafone 4G/LTE network for all their connectivity, and they claim the entire thing will be live streamed on their website over the same network.  It all starts tomorrow morning, and we’ll be watching.  Hit the movie above for the full story.

Title shout for all the cyberpunks out there.

Milk Run

Yvan Bourgnon is easily the baddest motherfucker in all of sailing.  He’s won some of the biggest events in the sport, but it’s his ultra-extreme cat records that have kept us following him for a decade.  This is the dude that sailed around Cape Horn, across the Mediterranean, and across the Atlantic alone on a beach cat, and last year he embarked on possibly the only real challenge he had left:  Alone, unassisted, around the world.  On a beach cat.  With no electronics.

Check out the video above, and read on to learn how you can help this French cowboy finish his trip.

Around the world Yvan was stopped in Sri Lanka, but our Swiss adventurer does not want to stop there!  He needs us to continue.  He wants more than anything to complete his dream, up the channel of Les Sables d’Olonne after rebuilding his cat and a new beginning in Sri Lanka in January 2015.  Yvan has been able to recover much of the equipment (about 1/3 of the boat), Forward Sailing will make her new sails and help fund two new hulls, which are ready to go to Europe. The rest will be rebuilt and reassembled on site in a construction site, with the strong mobilization of Sri Lankans.

But to realize this childhood dream, Yvan needs support and appealed to all lovers of catamarans. He recently set up a crowd funding campaign to allow it to revive its “Louloutte.” He must find € 40,000 budget to rehabilitate his boat.

Today we represent the last chance to Yvan to finish this round the outstanding world. It will only be through your generosity that Yvan will complete the circle.  So hop on board and join this fabulous adventure -contribute here.

Caught in the Glow of the TV Screen

Above is the wholly underwhelming official Volvo Ocean Race promo clip released with yesterday’s announcement that the VOR would be hitting American TV screens, and we’re cautiously optimistic about the deal’s ability to help solve the race’s decade-old struggle to register on mainstream American radar.  The deal commits NBCSN (the America’s Cup broadcast partner) and OutsideTV to air 20 hours of programming produced by Sunset + Vine on behalf of the VOR.  For Americans wanting to see Alicante-sized crowds in Newport next summer, dissecting the impact of this deal is important, so let’s have a look.

OutsideTV is a nonentity in terms of viewership, though its support provides access to the millions of readers of Outside mag and OutsideOnline – a great demographic if you’re looking for new interest in sailing.  Last month’s Outside showed the Abu Dhabi boat blasting around the atlantic to some 1.2 million readers.

The NBCSN deal is more complicated, because the old Versus has been remaking itself as the educated, cosmopolitan man’s sports network.  Their America’s Cup broadcast adds to programming like Formula 1, Premier League, and the Tour De France, and with the US fans going increasingly global in their spectating, it’s a good spot to be in.  All that being said, NBCSN is still a guppy in a very big ocean; it’s only available to a bit more than half of the US, and if you go by the numbers from the America’s Cup – doubtless a bigger draw than the VOR to Americans – the best any sailing show would be likely to get is somewhere around 150,000 viewers, in a country with around 300 million people; 0.05 percent of the population.  Not inspiring.

Let’s add that to the VOR’s choice of producer; the ubiquitous Sunset + Vine.  Responsible for a lot of VOR movies – especially the live racing – for the 2005 and 2008 events, their work always seemed to make extremely exciting action somewhat less so.  Shirley Robertson’s CNN Mainsail show has always been reliable and watchable and full of good info, but again – it just lacks a little soul.  That might work for overseas markets, but not here – remember the America’s Cup Undisclosed or whatever that 750,000-episode long series was called?  Whatever it was, it failed – and badly.  Whether it was because S+V underbid the series by a fortune or because they are just not that good, the awfulness of the AC Underfunded series was epic.  The series never picked up any devotees and had a constantly shrinking viewership throughout its life, and if that’s the kind of product they feed to American TV, they won’t even get a tenth of what the AC got.  And we don’t know who made the promo above, but it has the same scent.

But of course this is a very rapidly changing world, and the AC suffered from awful promotion and almost zero advertising when it counted; if a growing network can succeed with a shit ton of cross-platform and cross-partner promotion, and if the live racing and weekly highlight shows are reliably spectacular and engaging, this deal could open those elusive golden doors to the US public.  We have heard that the deal includes a big number of tune-in promos to the race programming over the 9 months. That’s a positive, especially if they run during NHL, Premiere League or F1.

That is, if NBCSN realizes what it’s selling, and if we go by NBC Sports President of Programming Jon Miller’s statement, our optimism wanes. “NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Louis Vuitton Series and the 34th Americas Cup was a tremendous success and demonstrated the country’s strong appetite for sailing on television.” said Miller.  We struggle to reconcile Miller’s statement with the fact that the final race of the ‘biggest comeback in the history of sport’ drew a rating of around 189,000 households; around what Major League Soccer games get.  Does that really mean the country has a strong appetite for it?

While we sound cynical, we’re actually quite pleased; while Americans won’t soon see VOR in-port races on a major network, the new deal is a long way from the last-second FSN regional programming they had last time ’round, which wasn’t worth the dinner napkin it was written on.  Is a hundred thousand or so bodies on a dying medium worth the effort when the digital avenue could garner significantly more if executed really well?   That’s a whole different conversation.  And we’ll be in Alicante in two weeks to have it.

Iggy Pop supplied the title.

 

 

September 26th, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.55.11 AM

No, that’s not the topographic cross section of some Patagonian shore; it’s the 5-year share value of the First Marblehead Corporation (NYSE:FMD) founded by Dan Meyers – the man who is trying to bring SA down with an army of lawyers and a frivolous lawsuit.

We’re surviving, but FMD shareholders clearly haven’t, and with the stock hitting an all-time low today of just $3.13, we’re guessing that no one’s averaging down. And remember that earlier this year after trading below $1.00, FMD desperately executed a 1-for-10 reverse stock split to keep from being delisted by NASDAQ as a penny stock; that means a stock that traded at over $50.00 a few years ago is now at the equivalent of 31 CENTS. By contrast, here’s the S&P 500 for the same period.  And remember that Dan and many of his cronies sold out for millions and millions before the stock tanked.  

Still have FMD stock?  Sell that shit today!  Or call FMD Investor Relations staffer Alan Breitman at (617) 638-2065 or info@fmd.com and let him know that Dan’s very public legal battle with a sailing website is making anyone his company look stupid. It certainly ain’t helping your investment outlook!

 

September 26th, 2014

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the google

Who can forget when The Decider shared with the world that he uses “The Google“? Maybe those fuckers in the Thistle class should take a look at it every once in a while too! Thanks to hottie Aly.

 

September 25th, 2014

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140924_TODD_0761It wouldn’t be a J/24 Worlds without controversy, with Helly Hanson and several other top teams getting redress/AVG for their black flag DSQs while others didn’t after a marathon multi-day protest bonanza.  Check the thread over here for protest forms and jury decisions, and thanks to Paul Todd/Outside Images for the great shots with a massive Day 3 gallery here.

We had an on-time start on Wednesday for three scheduled races thanks to an unpredictable forecast for Thursday.  Another gorgeous Newport fall day on the ocean course, with wind at 75 true on the way out and 90 soon after passing R4.  12 knots with trending right breeze and the RC again had a hard time lining the three-boat startline up.  Around 1230 we went off with a few U flags awarded.  I have no idea what a U flag is but I’m happy we didn’t have to learn it.

We again had to tack to port and duck a couple of boats, but within a few minutes of the start we were going to the right with a great lane and following our game plan.  We got a nice right shift, tacking over together with Helly Hanson and Will Welles.  It looked great under the boom (though I’m no longer allowed to look under the boom) until only one boat crossed…and tacked on our lane.  Two tacks and a new layline was expensive, and we lost out to everyone leeward who didn’t need to tack.  And of course the left came in strong at the final approach.  And of course, we round in about 10th – again!

I don’t understand why gybing immediately at the offset under this big fleet has been working consistently but Mauricio won the race doing the same thing and HH got into second.  Travis Odenbach had a great race to take 3rd; we stayed only long enough to clear the fleet and then gybed, but it was too late – we lost ten boats in that one and had to play catch up again.  17th place.

140924_TODD_0760The second race started in a bit less breeze and we were happy to have eased the rig at the last minute.  Best start of the regatta for Clear Air, a neat split in the fleet, and we got to go straight for the longest we have all week.  We worked the left and looked great until the right shift came back, and the port side caved.  Travis had it right again and led around the mark with Welles second, with the rest mixed up.  We rounded in…wait for it…tenth again.  Not bad for being on the wrong side, but most amazingly, the leaders from both sides converged at the weather mark bow to bow in both races!

The one time gybing on the mark didn’t pay, and the boats that stayed on starboard had a nice lead at the bottom mark.  Some passed us.  It is time for us to get a break!

The wind kept tracking right and the second and third upwind was pretty one-sided, Odenbach again played the right and won by a good distance over Alejo from Argentina and Mike Ingaham.  Will now has a nice little lead cushion against Muauricio in second.   Team Tarheel consistently strong and comfortably in third.  I have not seen this many letters on a scoring sheet before.  Many boats are dropping DSQ/BFDs (or U flags) and scoring penalties; forecast is changing fast from light to windy with gusts into the 20s for Friday.  Stay tuned for more action from the course.

Huge thanks to Lavalife.com, Sailing Anarchy, and DryUV for their support in our quest, and an even bigger thanks to our hosts Adrian and Matthew Buechner and the many families in Newport that embrace sailing and have put J24 teams in their houses.  You have made the Worlds experience possible for many sailors.

Rossi
CAN 5483

September 25th, 2014

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kooks

This is who, and not your usual perspective on them, either! Go the Bart!

 

September 25th, 2014

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14 1It was decided a couple of years back that the 2014 I-14 US Nationals would be held at the High Sierra Regatta on Huntington Lake. Two years later and we are now in a major California drought and Huntington Lake is not looking so good anymore. With historically low water levels unseen before, this put the 2014 National Championship in uncertain limbo. What to do. Enter the always accommodating Richmond Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay. Great venue, great people, and it was a no brainer. This was the same venue of the wildly successful and windy 1997 I-14 Worlds and host to this year’s International Canoe Worlds. With an already packed summer schedule, RYC welcomed us with open arms and it was quickly decided our Nationals would coincide with the RYC Totally Dinghy Regatta and Wylie Wabbit Nationals. Problem solved.

Team Newport Adhesives and Composites (Paul Galvez and David Liebenberg) were one of the first teams to arrive earlier in the week. I barely made it as I just got back from a Baja adventure, narrowly escaping the clutches of Hurricane Odile by only a few short hours, then drove 7 hours north the next morning from the OC to the Bay area. After a Red Bull binge, I rolled into RYC late night only to find a bunch of drunken International Canoe sailors in the parking lot singing and laughing amongst each other as they wrapped up their World Championship. Innocent bliss was my first thought until I returned the next morning and found what appeared to be a used condom sheathing my bowsprit and an empty bottle of Jack beside it. I didn’t know what happened. I didn’t want to know but if you saw a frustrated looking guy the next morning dousing his skiff repeatedly in a full bath of denatured alcohol you now know why. End of subject.

As the 14’s rolled in, so did the who’s who of Skiff Sailing. World, North American, and National Multi Class Champions in full force along with several AC Youth veterans, and of course the local Skiff Foundation characters. Add the I14 Elders of Champions Past and we have ourselves a downright regatta of epic proportions. The Elders chose to sit this one out but were still on the water to set marks, critique your spin hoist, or just stir up the bullshit in the bar. Those guys have been there, done that and for that we love them. Laughlin/Arens/Bates/Schmidt. When the Elders appear in force, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It was also a great opportunity to check in on one special member of the 14 Brotherhood, Rand Arnold, as he battles some serious health issues at the moment. Great to have him make a guest appearance and make everyone’s weekend in the process. Prayers to you – brother, get well soon.

Sailing the bay in Summer, I wanted to make sure the boat was ready for a typical bay thrashing. We had some uncommon breakdown issues at the Hawaii event earlier this year that kept us off the podium. That was not going to happen again. Since I was short on time and tools, we hit up Scott Easom over at Easom Rigging. Not only did he keep his shop open after hours for us, he helped fix a complex problem on our vang strut with a simple solution. On top of that, he gave us some fine brew while we cut, drilled, and epoxied into the night. We were now bombproof and ready. Thank you Scott. The short training sessions leading up to the regatta went well. Yes, we had a training deficit, but we re-confirmed what we already knew – our boat speed was excellent especially in twin wire conditions. We also saw that the competition for this particular event was ripe with talent. Many of these teams have trained very hard leading up to this event. Everyone was ready for the show but there was only one boat we were really concerned about. We had a feeling it was going to be a long hard fought regatta between us and we were correct. May the best team win.

Eight races were scheduled for the three day event including a throw out and a long distance race. At least one distance race is required for the class championship and a nice barn door style trophy is awarded separately for this race alone. Lot’s of big names in yachting on this one.

Friday brought us some light breezes for the first two races scheduled including the Long Distance race. Out of the gate, Brad Ruetenik and Garrett Brown out of San Diego demonstrated their light air power with a commanding lead in race one followed by Dalton Bergan and Fritz Lanzinger (the ones to watch) with Terry Gleeson and Evan Sjosted (sp) catching third. The next and final race of the day was the Long Distance race filled with light breeze, big holes on the course, and some strategic pressure areas. Paul Galvez and David Liebenberg battled hard with Dalton/Fritz from start to finish leaving the rest of the fleet in their wake. Galvez/Liebenberg take the Long Distance race but only by a few feet. We have the making of a boat race folks.

14 2Day two starts out with better pressure and twin wire breeze but with some bay chop ebbing for good measure. Gleeson/Sjosted win the lighter first race of the day against a very tight fleet at the front trading places with Galvez/Liebenberg and locals Chris Rutz/Mikie Radjowski. The next race has the breeze building and Galvez breaks a jib halyard right at the gun as if a stray bullet from the RC had severed the halyard. Weird. Galvez is forced to capsize and repair but climbs from a deep DFL to 7th place. Not good. Bergan/Lanzinger win this race in commanding fashion. Another Seattle team, Bersch and Shinstone capitalize on this and get 2nd coming to life as if a switch has been turned on and they are now another new threat for the rest of the regatta. Things are getting interesting. Galvez/Liebenberg take the next race followed by Ruetenik/Brown and Bersch/Shinstone. Back to the dock for snacks, beer and thrash talk.

Day three and we go into the last day with Bergan/Lanzinger 2 points ahead of Galvez/Liebenberg. It’s still up for grabs but the window is closing and the drama is escalating. Big wind is forecasted but it never really gets nuking. For the first race of the day, Bergan/Lanzinger start perfectly to leeward of Galvez/Liebenberg and control them the entire race. They gain another two points. Ouch. Galvez comes back to win the next one but Bergan is still second and now there is one race left and a three point separation between the two teams. For the last race, a full blown no holds barred match race ensues. The wind is up, and Galvez/Liebenberg nail the boat end with fury sailing a nice powerful low mode to camp on Bergan/Lanzinger, taking them way outside to the left side of the course far beyond the layline. Voices are raised and the adrenalin is pumping. The two teams drag race each other to the weather mark coming in hot on port tack while the rest of the fleet creates a near solid wall of starboard tackers. Galvez dips and ducks, finds a hole and rounds while Bergan does the same, both now very well mixed into the fleet. Remember Galvez needs a three point gain to win on tiebreaker. Galvez finally gets his three boat separation downwind after a killer run but it does not last long as they round a very crowded leeward mark stacked with boats and fouls. Bergan is buried deep too. After a penalty turn, there is still a chance upwind for Galvez as the two teams intentionally split tacks into another fleet of boats but all hopes are crushed as they lose one boat by a nose hair at the finish. Galvez/Liebenberg win this battle but it is the combined experience of Bergan/Lanzinger that war and the regatta by one point. Bergan/Lanzinger have the skills and it showed. Very well done boys.

No matter where you were on the course, there was some epic racing whether at the top, middle, or back of the fleet. Make one mistake and it was a mighty big task to get back in it. This was by far the most competitive US I-14 Nationals I have ever seen. RYC showed once again why they are the go to club in NorCal for small boat racing. Congrats to everyone for making this one a memorable event.

Fourteens Forever! – Paul Galvez.

 

September 25th, 2014

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sdotw 9 24

OMFG do we love the SDOTW! LOL! Here’s the first from the email below.

It’s too hard to choose so I’m going to have to send you all of these, to be released when you think the public is ready - Team Stout’s SDOTW. 

Got a SDOTW? Then send it on in!

 

September 24th, 2014

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Of course we laugh at virtually everything the little Yacht Club from the Meth Capital of Cali, Fresno Yacht Club does, but we really love that we were copied on this wonderful little note!

We need a count of those of you who are planning to race this coming Saturday the 27th.  At this point I have not received any response regarding planned attendance.

It makes no sense to field a Race Committee if there are no boats/fleets who will be there. Please let me know.

Oh yeah, and there’s this nice little piece of news….

 

September 24th, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.18.50 PM

Rossi checks back in for a Day 2 report from the J/24 Worlds.  Full results here, more great Paul Todd/OutsideImages shots over here, and some real time coverage at the J/24 Facebook Page here.

After two hours of postponement for Day Two, we were off the dock at 11 – the best call the RC made all day!  By the time we got out on the ocean, the Newport sea breeze was building nicely.  We waited for a short little postponement on the water while the wind shifted between 200 and 230. Waves were much smaller if any factor at all.

The RC had a tough time holding the three-boat line on station, with one end always favored; Race Three for the championship hit a few General Recall snags; finally, a Black Flag start sent the fleet off with a handful picking up BFDs.  I again screwed the start up, and we were hosed – tacking to port to salvage.  Halfway up the beat I second-guessed my tactician Chris Snow and made him go hard right; that was expensive at the top mark when the left came in hard on our approach.  Oops.

Carter White led the race at the mark with Mike Ingaham in second or third; I lost track after that looking for a place to dig into the starboard tack train.  After an average downwind and a great second beat – we tacked maybe 6 times on that shortened leg but still somehow passed a few boats – we finished 14th.  We’ll take that, and move on.

Race two was a messier story for many; after two general recalls and around ten boats getting the BFD boot off the line, we took a seventh in the last race and moved up to the top ten.  Team Tarheel won the day and is looking solid now, while Tony Parker is on the move.  Will Welles is looking untouchable and Mauricio may be the only one with a shot at him, but it’s still early days and the throwout comes in after today’s first race.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.18.26 PMA number of top competitors – including Day One leader Mark Hillman’s boat and the Helly Hanson team- were still in the protest room at 10 PM.  Not sure how they can get rid of the BFD but you never know what happens in the room.

With the lighter northerly breeze forecasted for the next few days the dogfight is on, and will be a good one until the last leg on the last race. Things are just warming up here in Newport.

Rossi Milev,  CAN 5483 Clear Air/Lavalife.com/Sailing Anarchy

 

September 24th, 2014

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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

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This one is for those of you who would never want or get the chance to climb nearly 200 feet of mast.  The climber is scampering up the mainmast of the Sedov – the world’s largest auxiliary barque at her launch in 1921, and now a Russian sail training ship.  Thanks to Ahab for the heads up.

 

September 24th, 2014

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Most of you are too young to read (or remember. or care) the Sailing Scuttlebutt website – the original press release cut-n-paster for retired sailors.  It appears from yesterday’s headline there (shownhere) that years of disappearing readers and dismal audience numbers has finally caught up with them.

Never original, a study in ripping off SA, this is an all-time low, and one that makes us smile, as does almost anything the buffoon who runs it does.

Is this their farewell? Probably not, but we’re glad to see they’ve admitted the defeat that’s been obvious for the better part of a decade. Suck it up, asshole.

September 24th, 2014

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One of my away team crew members wanted to see if she was SCOTW worthy.  After earning a bullet at the Raritan Yacht Club Fall Series race on J105 Skal (“cheers” in Danish), she was caught in this adorable smile.  She is hoping with a little recognition, she can get on some fast boats back home at Chicago. (Gee, ya think? – ed.) – Anarchist Chris.

 

September 23rd, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

fastsailing_sailing_anarchyFed up chartering sailboats that sail like floating bathtubs? Well then check out these guys at FastSailing.gr. They charter Pogos in one of the best sailing areas of the world, Greece!

Superfast planing hulls, wide comfortable boats, plenty of sun, wind and hundreds of beautiful islands to discover. Ideal for some cool cruising and of course for blasting the speedo!

What’s not to like?

 

September 23rd, 2014

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Rossi checks in from Day One of the J/24 Worlds.  Chris Howell photos with 80 or so excellent Day One pics here.

For day one of the J/24 Worlds, the RC sent us outside on the ocean for some seriously epic conditions.  Some of the biggest ocean swells we’ve ever seen on a J/24, well over 6 feet (2m) with much bigger mountains rolling through from time to time.  Winds out of the W/NW at 15 gusting 20, and the waves were so big and so strong on starboard tack that if your crew missed a puff call, you wiped out upwind.  And on port, you were surfing down waves upwind.

No question that many locals did great in these conditions while lake sailors like me struggled.  I was so worried about the boat not behaving as I’m used to in the pre-start tune up that I talked my crew into a late headsail change, switching to the jib with less than a minute to the first gun.  Definitely not a great start and had to tack soon after the gun, but the boat behaved well with the jib and our boat speed was great!  We tacked in a few small shifts – more than anything to move the jib car positions – and by the time we looked around, we were in good shape.  We rounded in fourth and for us at least, the jib was the way to go.  The big boys all had the genoa up, and somehow, made it work.  Local sailmaker Will Welles led from the start and never looked back, leading solidly over John Mollicone and the HH boys.  Chilean Vern Robert and the Team Gringa DC took third.  Mark Hillman, filling in for his boat owner (after a car vs. man incident in the parking lot), fought all the way round to finish fourth.  As for Team Clear Air/Lavalife/Sailing Anarchy, we lost a few boats on the second upwind, finishing eight.  Not a bad start, considering!

In Race Two, the waves shrank quite a bit and half the fleet switched to the jib.  We decided to emulate the top boats and go for the genoa.  It was a horrible start for many top boats, with a huge pack fighting for the favored pin…and many of them failing to make it.  We were one of the first to bail on port, and we took about 20 transoms before the first tiny lane opened up.  The good news is that the lane was just below Mollicone – someone you never want to be to windward of – and we were able to hang in there just to leeward.  Things were looking grim for both of us, but we headed to the far left where boats were looking solid again.  The left led again, with Uruguay leading around the mark and the on-fire Will Welles in second, with Odenbach’s Honey Badger in third.  I lost track of the rest to double focis on just getting around the mark; we got there in tenth place.  Not bad for taking two dozen transoms at the start!

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 10.30.59 AMThe first downwind saw some really big puffs roll through the fleet – the boats that gybed early made it to the bottom without another gybe.  We got pinned and lost a few boats, taking the right hand turn to head back to what we thought would be the favored side again.  This time?  Not so much.  The wind went right 30 degrees and stayed there, allowing about 30 boats to pass us without anything we could do.  We took our medicine and headed back over the right, rounding mid fleet, and heading down the no-gybe run, there were no passing lanes.  Hillman’s team saw the shift before out happened and came from way behind to take the win in the race, while the Chilenos aboard Team Gringa took second again, tying Hillman for the lead after day one.  Welles showed great speed and smarts to own third.  4-time World Champ Santa Cruz somehow turned a dismal position (around us) into a fourth place at the finish of that race; that’s a regatta-winning performance and I would love to know how they do it!

After the first day, a lot of the players are the usual suspects, but there are obviously the South Americans and Germany who are right in the mix. For us, we looked and felt great in our new Pro-Tech gear & Henry Lloyd shorts, and we hope on day 2 to sail as good as we have looked!  With a two-hour postponement for no breeze and a wonky northerly-turning-thermal morning, it might be a tough day.

We had to take a reality check to remind us this is the J24 Worlds and will be tough to win. As it almost always does, the Worlds will come down to the last race.  Stay tuned: The marathon has just begun.

-Rossi Milev, CAN 5441 – Team Clear Air/Lavalife/Sailing Anarchy.

 

September 23rd, 2014

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Here’s a couple hints: It is new and it is sailing. Now complete the equation, please!

 

September 22nd, 2014

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A little community update from the Parkstone Yacht Club ‘Barts’ Bash 21st September 2014

bash it upWhat a day and what a race! Bright sun, 10 to 18 knots of northerly breeze, and a rather astonishing entry of over 200 boats, and 600 competitors gathered to celebrate Barts Bash at Parkstone Yacht Club. Competitors raced in four fleets, two youth starts and two adult starts, with the adult dinghy start of ninety-two boats hitting the line within a few seconds of each other. The sight of this fleet powering their way down the harbour was something the helpers and independent observers for the Guinness book of records will remember for a long time. The fleet was led away by the eventual first boat to finish, a Dart, closely followed by a 49 er and a junk rigged day boat. The course was a tour of the harbour, over 10 km in length and with several challenging legs, tacking between islands and shallows. The youth fleets raced on a smaller circuit near the Club, with a mass of Toppers, Optimists and unique to Poole, the tiny AB dinghy.

The presentation after the event was on the balcony, by Barts friend and ex Olympian, and now team SCA sailor, Annie Lush. Annie told the audience of Barts generous character, and how he supported the Match race Girls during the 2012 Olympics, by staying behind after winning his medal, and working with the team everyday, a truly kind and generous spirit.

Bart sailed a J 24 at Parkstone with Annie and current Olympian Ally Young, so he would have been immensely proud of his legacy at Parkstone Yacht Club. Annie presented prizes to the first overall in most fleets, but the best applause was for the youngest competitor, a one year old in a J 24 and the oldest combined crew of a Poole Dolphin, where the three crew averaged over eighty.
Parkstone Yacht Club are delighted to have supported Barts charity and we hope that this event will become an annual part of our calendar, it was a brilliant gathering of old and young, racers and cruisers, and a great legacy for Bart. – Anarchist David.

 

September 22nd, 2014

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We wanna be 19. This is U of M and Hope college having a little fun at an Ohio State Regatta. Props to Anarchist Jeff.

 

September 22nd, 2014

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