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Why is it that we see dudes wearing hats like that we think they have to be shitty sailors?

In the coming 24 hours it is expected that Enda O’Coineen will sail alone around the notorious Cape Horn as he endeavours to complete his solo sailing lap of the planet. O’Coineen set out from Les Sables d’Olonne in France on 6 November 2016 to compete in a round the world race called the Vendee Globe. On New Year’s Day 2017 Enda’s race came to a dramatic end when his mast came crashing down some 180 miles south of New Zealand.

This historic rounding will be only one of a few recorded times that an Irish sailor has rounded the infamous Cape Horn alone. He will be followed in a few weeks’ time by Annalise Murphy as she races around the globe as a crew member of one of the Volvo Ocean Race teams.

Speaking about historic rounding O’Coineen said: “Cape Horn is one of, if not, the most feared pieces of land to round on the planet. And it is certainly living up to it’s reputation as I approach with 60kph winds and roaring seas hurtling me towards the great cape. This will hopefully be the coldest and wildest weather I will encounter as I then turn north and start the final leg up the Atlantic Ocean and into Les Sables d’Olonne to finish what I started.”

“It’s hard to explain why I put myself in this position, alone, cold, and exhausted as the bottom of the earth but as any sailor or adventurer knows as soon as you reach your destination and accomplish your goal you quickly forget about the hardship. Right now I am living on the edge, moment by moment. Having the joint backing of two teams and flying both the Irish and French flags is an honour. The work of Le Souffle du Nord and the Atlantic Youth Trust keeps me motivated during the lows.”

The timing of the rounding coincides with Summer in the Southern Hemisphere however the latitude and converging seas make Cape Horn a daunting prospect year-round. For live tracking of O’Coineen’s voyage visit www.teamireland.ie

 

February 16th, 2018

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You don’t see this everyday….

On Wednesday, an EOD team with the Royal Navy’s Southern Diving Unit 2 detonated an 1,100-pound Second World War bomb in the River Thames. The vintage unexploded ordnance was found on Sunday during construction work near London City Airport. The discovery of the bomb led to the closure of the airport and forced the temporary evacuation of nearby residents.

After examination, the device was confirmed as a WWII-era, 1,100-pound tapered end shell measuring five feet long. Bad weather on Tuesday meant that it was unsafe to detonate the bomb, and the dive team guarded it overnight until calmer weather arrived. It was blown up at 1200 hours on Wednesday in the waters off the UK Ministry of Defense’s Shoeburyness range. Thanks to Maritime Executive.

 

February 15th, 2018

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Life does not always go according to plan, and that is the case for me. Due to some changes in life, I am sadly putting my Santa Cruz 33 Anarchy III up for sale. We never really raced it enough to get it going the way I know it can, but did manage to trophy in the Hot Rum Series and win the CRA Year End Regatta. The boat is a classic, and is a very cool old school racer/cruiser.

Check the ad here and if you know someone who might like this thing, send it to them. – ed.

 

February 13th, 2018

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We can tell you one thing, it appears to only have one sail…. Bring it.

 

February 13th, 2018

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Brian Hancock apologizes for nothing!

I am often criticized about the points of view that I take with my blog and sometimes that criticism is warranted. I often get praised for what I write and sometimes that praise is not warranted. At the end of the day I try and do my best and I am grateful to those who take the time to read what I write. This blog post should come with less hate mail, let’s just put that out front.

At the end of Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race Team Sun Hung Kai Scallyway took a punt and went from dead last to the winner of the leg. I called it dumb luck and I stand by that. It was dumb luck. It’s a long standing strategy in sailboat racing that if you are in last place and have been for a while your only option really is to take a chance and take a flier. That’s what they did and it paid off and I congratulate the crew for doing what they did. They won the leg.

So if I am happy to call something dumb luck, I am also happy to call tactical brilliance when I see it and I think what we just witnessed in Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race is just that and it again involves Team Sun Hung Kai Scallyway as well as the Dutch entry Team AkzoNobel. The fleet was hard on the breeze facing a tactical minefield ahead of them. There really was not a good way forward but the tacticians on these two boats saw an opportunity which they figured would pay dividends. Instead of following the rest of the fleet they tacked off to the north and at times were sailing away from New Zealand where the leg finishes. It was heartbreaking to see them dumping miles to the leaders and at one point they were trailing by over 120 miles. But they persevered and then at just the right time  they tacked to the south. Their timing was perfect and both boats went from the back of the pack, to the front. As this is being written Team AkzoNobel is atop the leaderboard with the Hong Kong entry a scant 2.9 miles astern. Third place boat Team Brunel is 45 miles off the pace.

OK tactical brilliance might be a bit of an overreach because all sailors know that luck is a big part of things and maybe they got lucky. Or just maybe they played a perfect hand. Dee Caffari, skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic grumbled, “They have been dealt a lucky card, annoyingly,” she wrote. “They made a mistake, really.” Perhaps Dee, or perhaps you are sorry that you didn’t follow them.

The best part about sitting on dry land watching the VOR tracker is that it’s very easy to be a Monday morning Quarterback. You are not out there up against it trying to figure out the best strategy. It sort of reminds me of a funny story that took place in the ’89/90 race back when it was called the Whitbread Round the World Race. I was racing aboard a boat by the name of Fazisi which was the first, and by happenstance, last entry from the Soviet Union.

We were dead last on the first leg trailing the fleet by a healthy margin as we approached the doldrums. All the other boats had the very latest instruments to receive satellite weather information. We had an old fax machine and were getting our information from a weather station in Dakar, Senegal. In the words we were not getting much. Instead we did what all good sailors should do; we looked out the window, looked for breeze, played the shifts and went from 15th, where we had been languishing, to fifth. Tactical brilliance or dumb luck? You decide.

But here is the funny part of that story. We were so excited to be back in the game and up with the leaders we called our Race Headquarters in Moscow. “We are no longer in last place,” we told them. “We are in fifth place.” The response we got was dry and succinct. “That’s good news but it doesn’t make any difference. Russian press has been reporting you in first place since the start of the race.”

 

February 13th, 2018

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After seeing some of these pics, we suppose it’s no surprise that Vestas has been in lock down over the fishing boat incident. This is bad. Another view here and here.

 

February 12th, 2018

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Anarchist John sent this in from today, just south of Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas, Cali. Here’s a long shot. Those tides are a bitch!

 

February 12th, 2018

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We had a blast going out on one of these bad-ass machines when the show rolled into Dago last year, and are looking forward to being a bigger part of it this year. Really nicely done promo vid right here…

 

February 12th, 2018

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Big Pimpin’

2018 marks the beginning of a new chapter for Hudson Yacht Group, builder of the award winning HH Catamaran line. HYG announced the appointment of a new company president on Saturday – Chris Doscher has taken the helm effective immediately. Doscher comes to HYG from Beneteau, where he served as the North American sales director. Prior to his position with Beneteau, Doscher co-owned and campaigned a Mumm 30 and Farr 40, and raced on the 75ft Reichel/Pugh designed Grand Prix race boat Titan XV, all while running the private aviation charter business he owned and operated for fifteen years.

Doscher will lead the HYG sales team worldwide, and will split his time between China and the US. “I am humbled by this opportunity to be part of a first-class organization with proven professionals building and bringing to market a fast, luxurious and truly remarkable product offering. This is evidenced by multiple Best Boat and Boat of the Year awards from SAIL Magazine, Cruising World Magazine and Sailing World Magazine.” Doscher said, “I believe my past experiences are a culmination of preparation to lead Hudson Yacht Group in becoming a greater influence in the marine industry worldwide.”

After garnering a multitude of honors in the Fall, HYG’s flagship brand is poised for another great year. Construction is underway on the brand new HH48, and several HH55 and HH66 projects are slated to launch in the coming year. The most recent launch, HH55-02 Hai Feng, will make her world debut at the Miami International Boat show later this week. Company founder and CEO Hudson Wang will be joined by Chris Doscher and vice president of production Bruce Livingston, as well as designer Gino Morrelli of Morrelli & Melvin.

To learn more about HH Catamarans or to schedule dedicated time with the team in Miami, visit hhcatamarans.com or contact [email protected].

 

February 12th, 2018

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With 48 boats from 9 countries racing this weekend’s Star Midwinters, SSL commentator and drone driver Kathleen Tocke gives us her take on the evolution of the Miami event and the overall Star Winter Series. Kathleen’s photos of this weekend’s event with our editing.

Launched in 2012–13 as a way to bridge the popularity of the class after being kicked out of the Olympics, Miami Star sailor Stuart Hebb along with Sailing Anarchy’s own Alan and Meredith Block and EFG Bank pooled their resources and built something new.  Basically copying the successful Jaguar Cup for the Etchells, Hebb packaged existing events with a big Midwinter championship, making Coral Reef ground zero for the series and lining up the race boats on ‘Star Row’ at the club.  The first year witnessed small fleets, but a healthy growth rate has the biggest event now reaching nearly 50 entries and the SWS providing a perfect string of race weekends building to the Bacardi Cup – which is this year followed by the Western Hemispheres.

The highly successful Star Sailors League has helped with the momentum, helping to attract former Olympians back to the class they made their names in. Ireland’s Peter O’Leary is one of those newly returned face, and he’s sitting in second after two light races yesterday. Also returning to the Star this week is crew Anthony Shanks, who is part of a group of former GBR Star sailors being organized by Iain Percy to attend the upcoming Bacardi Cup in March.

Another new face at the front of Midwinter’s fleet is Danish sailing legend Jørgen Schönherr (505, Dragon and FD World Champion), who stated, point-blank, that the SSL live streaming broadcasts were the reason he got excited to join the class and the movement.  He lauds the boats athleticism and its unique position as being the only two-person keelboat with such a high level of competition.  Schönherr has spent time training in his new boat in Lake Garda with a group organized by German Olympian and Star World Champion, Frithjof Kleen.  Kleen also was responsible for training Paul Goodison prior to his win at the SSL Finals in Nassau in December.

The Star is also beginning to turn the tide on its image as being an older man’s boat.  The number of younger skippers and crews has slowly but surely increased over the last few years.  The class sponsored two boats for young skippers this year, and hope to do more in the future.  The Winter Series is also more cost effective for younger teams on a budget.  Teams don’t need to trailer their boats from place to place.  The The young American duo of Luke Lawrence and Ian Coleman have been regular participants on the Star circuit, climbing to 12th place in the SSL rankings last year.  The pair has been helped through boat loans from both the SSL and class members.

US Laser Olympian Charlie Buckingham is an example of a new generation Laser and Finn campaigners who have been attracted to the class, due in large part to the showdown of all three Rio Laser medalists in the SSL Finals in 2016.  They see the Star in their future after campaigns and the Star offers them the unique opportunity to compete against legends of the sport like Robert Scheidt, Torben Grael, Jochen Schümann and the Star also allows them to compete against fellow Olympians from other classes whom them know, but never had the opportunity to compete against.

Follow the Midwinters Action with results here, and drone video, pics, and updates on Facebook. 

February 10th, 2018

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