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There are spots in the Caribbean where you’ve got great racing at a relatively affordable price.  Than there’s St. Barths, where if you have to ask how much it is, you can’t afford it!

Day 1 at Les Voiles De St. Barth saw just how embarrassing a monster monohull can be; it cost Jim Clark around $30M (not including salaries!) to get horizon-jobbed by Phaedo, the trimaran Lloyd Thornburg picked up for less than a tenth of that.  In other Maxi action, the JuanK Rambler 88 finished the same course a long way behind Clark’s big VPLP/Verdier, proving her uselessness as a line honors winner in typical trade wind breezes.  The pretty Bella Mente zippered her mainsail on her way to a DNF.

While Phaedo was untouchable by monohulls or multihulls, the fresh-out-of-the-box G4 Timbalero impressed everyone, foiling and low-riding her way to finish around 10 minutes ahead of the well-sorted Gunboat 62 Elvis,  though apparently she lost by a long way on handicap (as if anyone sailing a foiler gives a crap about that). Erik Maris’ GC32 Zoulou didn’t finish either, sources in St. Bart’s say it’s (yet) another main foil issue with the high-flying racing cat.  G55 Toccata also DNF’d, though we’re not sure why – yet.  

Les Voiles may cost a fortune, but you wouldn’t know it by the third-world scoring system they use.  Squeak your way through Day 1′s scores here. There’s also an Event-produced day 1 highlight video here featuring Rambler, Comanche, and nothing else.

Chat about the Phaedo here, and the Rambler here.

 

April 15th, 2015

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r 88

Kind of funny that almost all the pics of big boats leaping out of the water these days are all multihulls, Here’s one for you prehistoric types from Jesus Renedo showing Rambler 88 getting air at Les voiles de St Barths today.

 

April 14th, 2015

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With so many Olympic sailors having grown up as part of the SA community, we’re especially pissed about the continuing mess in Guanabara Bay, Brazil. Longtime sailing cheerleader Glenn McCarthy is staying on top of it with one smart solution; we pulled this piece from Chicago Now.

HOW HARD IS IT TO MOVE A VENUE?

  • Years ago, a sailing event in Springfield, IL ran out of water in their lake due to drought, within two weeks, they had it rescheduled at Lake Geneva, WI some 250 miles away.
  • People who sail iceboats retain flexibility as a way of life.  A few years ago their World’s Championship was scheduled to be held in Minnesota, they held out hoping for cold to freeze their lakes, with less than a week to go, they shifted their World’s Championship to the Finger Lakes region of New York, 1,000+ miles away.

There are at least two open ocean venues where major regattas in Brazil have been held, one is 2 hours, 75 miles, away from Rio, another 4 hours away.  Having the sailing portion of the Olympics/Paralympics away from the host city is not uncommon.  In the 1996 Atlanta, GA Games, the sailing venue was 250 miles away in Savannah, GA.  At the 2008 Bejing, China Games sailing was held in Qingdao, China some 430 miles away.  In the 2012 London Games, sailing was in Weymouth, England about 135 miles away.

Sure moving the Olympics and Paralympics might be a tad more work, but there is over one year to do it.  That is ample time.  Rather than scrambling for housing for the competitors and race officials, a cruise ship can be rented and anchored off the beach.  A cruise ship is a floating city and can provide housing, meals, medical facility and lighters/tenders for shuttling people back to the shore.  A cruise ship was rented recently for housing for a convention in San Francisco recently.  Security can be done with a couple of Navy boats around the cruise ship.  Problem solved.

Read on.

 

April 14th, 2015

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gp 26 4 11 upwind

Our first day of real sailing on the Jim Donovan-designed WRrace Boat Gp 26 Sleeve of Wizard. The boat is sweet to sail, but we have a lot of work to do to get everything figured out. It helps to have wickedly talented people like Brian Janney and Erik Rogers involved. We are pleased with the first look at the Doyle Sails and are leaning on their expertise in rig/sail set ups to make sure we get this boat right. Photo by DaWoody. More soon and here’s a video he took of our first go

 

April 13th, 2015

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locoDídac Costa finished the Barcelona World Race last week in fourth position after rounding the world non stop. He did that together with Aleix Gelabert on board the IMOCA One Planet One Ocean (the old Ellen MacArthur’s Kingfisher).

Only 48h after spending 98 days to round the world, he decided to join the crew of the Cheminées Poujoulat (who won the Barcelona World Race) to take the boat back to France in the Atlantic Coast.

Is he crazy? Actually, I think it’s just because he is #borninmini ;)  Foto credit: Daniel Martin. – Anarchist Gabriel.

 

April 13th, 2015

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Local Knowledge

one first

If someone told me even a couple of years ago that we would see a full on professional racing boat on the Huangpu River in Shanghai I would have laughed at them. If they then told me it would be a 40 foot catamaran right off Shanghai’s iconic Bund in the heart of the city I would have doubled up. Well it is a good job I didn’t say I would eat my hat or right now I would be reaching for the salt and pepper.

As a result of cooperation between the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show, OC Sport and the Extreme Sailing Series sponsor, Land Rover, this weekend there was an eXtreme 40 catamaran sailing on Shanghai’s mother river. They didn’t even shut the river to the normal traffic. This meant at times it was like a pedestrian at a busy corner waiting for the green man to come on but the team from OC Sport clearly knew what was needed to provide a calamity free weekend.

And not just a poodle about out of sight of the public way up river. This was in the heart of one of the powerhouse cities of the world on a waterway that looks like a waterborne highway at rush hour. They say around a million people, locals and visitors alike take a stroll along the Bund at the weekend so doubtless many thousands received a visual treat they could hardly have expected.

It was quite a sight with the early 20th Century Bund to starboard and the ultra modern 21st Century Lu Jia Zhui financial district to port and as Team land Rover passed the legendary Peace Hotel they flew a hull as if to say “We’re enjoying this too”. So the mold is broken and a professionally crewed racing sailing boat has strutted her stuff in front of the Shanghai Sunday afternoon promenaders. In a small way, history has been made. – Shanghai Sailor.

 

April 13th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

nautalyticsA Big SA welcome to our newest advertiser Nautalytics who make the Alloy Compass, something we didn’t realize we needed until we saw it. Developed by a team of racing sailors, for racing sailors, the Alloy Compass has one function – DIGITAL MAGNETIC COMPASS. Designed to replace the high end globe compass, it “wakes up” when it is upright and “sleeps” when it is horizontal.

Featuring a large 1.4” high LCD display made for use with polarized sunglasses (why didn’t someone think of that sooner???), there are no buttons to push, batteries to change or plug in to charge.

The Alloy Compass offers ultra-low energy consumption electronics with a solar cell, worry-free battery, all housed in a solid anodized aluminum housing for $335.00. Finally, navigating made SIMPLE. Made in the USA, the Alloy Compass will tactically get you around the racecourse, no questions asked, at the price of a good globe compass.

The Nautalytics team has been sailing and winning with their new magnetic digital compass and wanted to share it with our readers. Thanks!

 

April 13th, 2015

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broke

If ever a boat died with its boots on, it was this one – David Wallace and Richard Grantham’s ancient Nacra 6.0 has lived through several Worrell 1000 races and countless hours on the Georgia Coast, but a 3.8 mile sprint in 20-25 knots on Charleston Harbor was the end of her days.  Wallace and Grantham drove up from St. Simon’s Island, GA, and they said there’s no question they will be back.  They didn’t say whether they’d be racing or spectating!

Big congrats to St. Pete’s Zack Marks for absolutely destroying Bora Gulari’s record run from last year – official time is 6:10 for the 3.8 mile course. We’re not great at math, but that sounds like somewhere around a 33-knot average to us.

Billy Goldsberry gets the Rescue of the Week award for this one, and you can see a gallery of really cool land-based and sky-based shots of this unique race here.

 

April 13th, 2015

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In just one year, Charleston’s Fort2Battery Race has become the biggest and most prized run-what-you-brung sprint race in the land. Join us here on the front page for the full, 10-minute long sprint at 1 PM EST. BREEZE ON!!!

 

April 12th, 2015

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It has been a long time since we’ve seen this much excitement around a new boat launch, but we reckon if ever a boat deserved it, it’s the world’s first fully foiling cruiser/racer.  Sick work from all the Gunboat G4 build/design team, and we’re proud to host this World Premier of the beautiful film of Timbalero 3′s sea trials earlier this week (thanks to Richard and Rachel).

Mr. Clean heads down to Antigua at the end of the month for his in-depth, Anarchy look at the G4; in the meantime, head to the thread for all the news and analysis here.

 

April 11th, 2015

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what is it 4 9

Pretty cool, we reckon. Do you know?

 

April 9th, 2015

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When we were putting our new GP 26 together, we wanted to look for a sailmaker on the march, and we started and ended with Doyle. We really liked how they approached the program, so we thought putting a series of articles together outlining their sailmaking process. – Ed.

doyle gp 5SA: I’d like to start with a first article about the things that you guys did in terms of rig analysis, sail design, etc. that I thought were so impressive, and I think anybody looking for sails will find that compelling. I will rely on you guys to provide the substance of that article – tech, renderings, etc.

Doyle: Back in mid-2014 Sailing Anarchy’s editor Scot Tempesta approached Doyle Sails NZ about designing and building a sail inventory for his new Jim Donovan-designed GP 26. Were we up for the challenge? Damn straight we were.

At Doyle, working with the customer directly in the design stages and ensuring an end result that works for their boat is key. The sail design software that we use is highly advanced and allows us to accurately design sails on accurate boat models, and customize accordingly. Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails NZ, led the charge on the design process of the sail inventory for Scot’s GP 26 and he gives his insight into the process here:

This is the first GP 26 to carry a Doyle inventory and our initial steps were to work directly with Jim [Donovan] on how we could best tailor sails to the design. A lot of discussion between us, Jim and Scot took place around the existing GP 26 fleet, how they were being used and how Scot’s boat would be used by comparison. The end goal was to produce a configuration that would be practical for the sailing the boat would do; being based in San Diego the inventory would need to suit typically light winds.

Early on we decided on a square top mainsail. None of the other GP 26s has this type of sail and at this time the rig design is not configured for this type of sail – a job that will come after the launch, when running topmast backstays will be added. In addition, we also designed two headsails and two gennakers, which is a fairly simple and cost effective sail inventory. The plan is also to add a Code O later down the line, once the boat has been out sailing and we have a better idea of how she sails and see if the rig can handle this type of sail.

doyle gp 2Jim supplied our design team with a model of the hull and details of the mast tube section. We then modeled this in our software to establish a base tuning configuration that Scot could start with and to have a good idea of the rigging and sail trim adjustments that he should use through wind ranges.

This will allow Scot and his crew to get straight into sailing at high efficiency, with defined rig adjustments for different wind speeds, and to set the sails to suit all conditions. As the yacht has the ability to do a lot with the mast, this insight into accurate tunings should prove a real advantage. While we would not undertake this detail for all of the sails we design and manufacture, this level of tuning detail is a good exercise to demonstrate the kinds of information that our very advanced design software can provide when required, and much of this information is transferable to other projects of similar style.

doyle gp 1After undertaking our initial analysis, modelling the rig and creating the rig tuning and sail trim tables, we then optimized the sails to match these rig setups. This is where we do adjustments to the luff curves to match the mast bend and forestay sag to get the best match to the mast/forestay and we can see the effect through the mastbend/forestay sag range on the sail and gauge the relative performance differences.

This is the same sort of thing that can be achieved with hours of sailing, and tweaking luff curves on the sails, but before the boat actually sails and before the sails are built. All of this analysis is done with the structure that we are intending to build the sail from, and through this process we can establish if the sail structure is working as we want it to, and within the structural safety limits, and make any necessary adjustments.”

With design work complete it was over the floor for the sails to be built in the dedicated Stratis plant and 7,000 sqm Doyle loft. Next, we’ll see how the things look!

 

 

April 9th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

Strictly Sail Pacific is on in Oakland! Whitecaps Marine will be exhibiting at the Show, but if you can’t make it, that’s no reason to miss out on some of our great deals.  For ONE WEEK ONLY we will have 15% OFF Gill, Henri Lloyd and Zhik and even more savings on select gear packages (15% off excludes items marked as clearance and already discounted team gear packages).

Sale runs from April 9 – April 15.

As always, we offer FREE SHIPPING on all US orders. No minimums, no coupons – just simple, free ground shipping.

Follow us to stay up to date with special offers:

Twitter: @whitecapsmarine and Facebook: www.facebook.com/WhitecapsMarine

 

April 9th, 2015

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Tweet your questions here!

 

April 9th, 2015

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150401_LendingClub_002

Well, that didn’t take long!  Lending Club CEO Reynaud LaPlanche has only had his VPLP trimaran Lending Club for a few weeks, and he’s already set his first passage record.  Look for some serious records to fall over the next 6 months thanks to this youthful and enthusiastic Franco-American billionaire.  Project Manager and skipper Ryan Breymaier tells the story exclusively for you Anarchists…Mark Lloyd photos (except the last one, credit Quin Bisset) with galleries over here, and be ready for the LC’s next assault – the ages old Newport-Bermuda passage record – coming far sooner than you think.

About 15 minutes after our start in 20 knots of breeze upwind, JB Le Vaillant looked at me and said “We should turn around, go back and put all the sails up and start over!”  I was tempted to agree with him as we found ourselves with the J2 and 2 reefs in the main upwind in 12 knots, tacking towards the Needles.

150401_LendingClub_004NOT ideal, especially for breaking a record Brian Thompson and his crew set on Maiden 2 after waiting for weeks for ideal conditions; ENE breeze, super flat water, sunshine sailing.  Brian and his team (which included SCOTW Adrienne Calahan and C-Class hottie Helena Darvelid -ed) did the record back in 2002 with the full main and big gennaker.   Lending Club crew Stan Delbarre was with them on their record run, and he’s been warning me in quiet tones for weeks.  “Ryan, this will not be as easy as you think.”

Those words were ringing in my ears as I looked back to see a glassed off Solent arriving with the rising sun.  We’d pinned our hopes on the NW breeze coming after the frontal passage with a shitty (but improving) sea state and plenty of breeze to power across; our window before leaving for the States was short, and it isn’t the right time of year for Easterlies…

In the end, after hurried discussion with JB, Boris Hermann who was navigating, and Renaud who was driving,  we decided to take our chances.  Just tacking back and setting the right sails and then restarting with full main and J1 would have taken forever…besides, in front of us at Hurst Castle we could see breeze on the water, and the buoy observations showed 25 at Portland Bill and 28 mid Channel.

150401_LendingClub_105It was as if the helicopter taking video had put a line on our bows; our nose poked out into the pressure, we bore away to 195 true, our course across the channel, and then the wisdom of our 2 reefs J2 sail plan made sense, as the boat leapt to full potential, daggerboard up, foil down, traveler down, and a hand on the sheets, flying 2 hulls full time across the channel, touching 37 knots several times…

IT is amazing how quickly the decisions are made at those speeds, Boris says to me “don’t freak out, there is a cargo ship 4 miles ahead, it will pass 1/2 a mile behind us in a minute or so, come up 3 degrees on average to be sure they pass”, which means a corresponding retrim of the traveller so as not to fly too high; no swimming for this crew today, thanks very much.  Thank God most boats have AIS these days; without it, we would never have even seen the little fishing boats in the waves until almost too late.

As we got into the lee of Jersey, the sea flattened out completely, and breeze went aft another 15 degrees.  Sailplan management is key in general on such a big boat, but here it was just 15 minutes of hard work.  First shake out the reef.  6 minutes with 7 guys rotating on and off the handles, including two on a top handle in the halyard winch, 4 on the pedestals, and one resting, with just the driver with one hand on the traveller keeping us going quickly.  Then comes sheeting back in, and getting the traveller back up, another 3 minutes for each with 4 grinding on the pedestals.

150401_LendingClub_066Next, bear away and unroll the J1, 2 minutes grinding with the boat dead downwind to unload the sail, even with it in the lee of the J2, which is on hanks, so as soon as the J1 is sheeted, is just dumped completely, halyard runs, and the sail falls onto the net (thank god for not having to pull it over lifelines out of the water) to have 2 sail-ties hastily thrown around it so the two bow guys can come back and start grinding again, as the call has been made to get to full hoist on the mainsail!

Another 12 minutes or so, 7 crew over their aerobic threshold, with dead arms, and we still cannot let up for a second, as we are now flying two hulls full time on flat water, which means a 30 second grinding effort every minute or so for 4 guys in low gear to keep the traveller just where it has to be, central hull just kissing.  If it goes in, the boat-speed drops 2 knots, which is unthinkable, as Boris has informed us that we have 55 minutes left, and 25 miles to go.

I remember telling the grinder in front that we were literally lifting the hull out of the water with our backs, and it’s truly amazing to see the immediate effect of each turn of the handles.  The central hull literally lifts centimeter by centimeter with each millimeter the traveller goes up the track.

LC-credit Quin BISSETIn the end, we were 9 completely exhausted but extremely happy guys crossing the finish line with 8 minutes to spare in Dinard.  For next time, we’d like to order up a 10 degree righty in the Solent, and we will shave another 30 minutes off the record!  It’s never finished, is it?  On this boat, it really isn’t.  You sheet in, the speedo hits 30, and then you keep grinding.  Everything is easy, except the grinding.

We all owe a huge thanks to Renaud for making this possible.  Sure, the company he founded is on the sails, but he is personally financing this project, and without his vision and energy we wouldn’t be here. Also thanks to our technical partners; Guy Cotton foul weather gear, Marlow ropes, Great Circle weather date analysis, Switlik Survival Equipment and Underwater Kinetics technical equipment, who have made our lives much easier onboard this beast!

April 9th, 2015

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deeper

Who in their right mind could argue with this statement? Certainly not us, although we bet there will be a few angry females who can’t wait to bitch about it!

 

April 8th, 2015

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Anarchist Josef Andresen takes us into his world of the Moth…

moth miami 1Just 12 months ago I flew to Miami and spent 3 days on Biscayne Bay, jumping into the world of Moth sailing.  My initiation was much more swimming than sailing, ending up bruised and exhausted yet wanting more.  However on the 3rd day, just hours before heading home, I found myself foiling (flying) over the water for mere seconds in what seemed like an eternity.

I was hooked on this new sailing challenge and purchased a used boat several months later.   With a busy work schedule and little experience or confidence, I found limited opportunity to get on the water except on a couple of occasions with a small cadre of devoted local Moth sailors who are now growing in number.

Was it time to head back to Miami for a jumpstart?   March weather forecast: air temperature, 86 degrees, water temperature 77 degrees.  Lets go!  After an email to Anthony Kotoun, U.S. Moth Nationals champion and East Coast Moth Mach 2 sales agent, I got a heads up that Victor Diaz-de-Leon would be happy to spend some time on the water with me.

Victor has an interesting story: Venezuelan born, sailing since age 6, he immigrated to the US as a teenager and attended St. Mary’s College, majoring in economics.  Sailing is his passion and he is an up and coming rock star in the sailing world who if you haven’t heard about yet, you soon will.    Sailing on “Catapult”, second place boat at the J70 worlds in Newport, Rhode Island this past Fall, calling tactics for 2nd place finisher, 12y/o Gannon Troutman in the J70 fleet at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 and sailing regularly in San Diego in the Etchells fleet, Victor has a busy schedule.   He was in San Diego but had 2 days free and agreed to meet me in Florida.

 We met up at the Miami Rowing Club beach.  Short in stature, with a bigger than life smile, piercing green eyes and a full beard hiding his 23 youthful years, Victor gave me an enthusiastic hand shake and hug, “Welcome to Miami!  You should have a great time with Thomas, Ainsley and Tyler.  They are all learning and are here to sail their Moths!”    His boat was just 3 months old so I brought my own foils to use since this is one of the more expensive things that can break.  Like setting up a Formula One race car, I watched closely as Victor carefully assembled the foils and fine-tuned the rig.   “Let’s tighten up the rig and reinforce everything since I know there will be a few crashes”, he said, smiling.

To keep things simple, Victor launched the Moth off the beach and I jumped in the VSR RIB and followed him out to the central bay, dodging anchored boats along the way.  It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon with a southwesterly blowing at about 12 to 15 mph.  I watched in awe as he foiled across the water effortlessly.  Now it was my turn.  I came up along side and caught the Moth’s wing on her port side.

“Ready?”  I nodded and jumped over the wing and landed in the center cockpit, grabbing the mainsheet quickly.  The boat came to life, powering up immediately with a rush of water underneath.   Suddenly I felt weightless as the boat rose up out of the water and I was foiling quickly away from our transfer point.

As quickly as this all happened, I found myself falling to windward and splashing into the warm water of Biscayne Bay.  I hung on to the windward wing and grabbed for the mainsheet, pulling myself back into the cockpit.  Like a horse out of the starting gate, the boat lurched forward again and I was foiling forward 50 to 100 feet at a time.

Four hours passed since we left the beach and the sun was beginning to set behind the western Miami cityscape.  After each capsize, it was getting a bit harder to climb back aboard.  Victor appreciated my enthusiasm but saw that it was time to call it a day.  We traded places and headed for shore.   “Let’s meet up tomorrow with everyone and review the video and have a debriefing”, he suggested.  “Sounds good” I replied.

moth angleThe next morning we all gathered around the TV monitor and watched replays of the previous day.  Time after time, I was rising up out of the water, foiling forward and then quickly falling to windward, back into the water.  “Let’s look at what happens to your righting moment when you start foiling”, Victor said.  He pulled out a series of sketches showing that the center of gravity and righting moment dramatically shifts from low riding to foiling resulting in increasing windward heel.  “As your speed increases, the apparent wind moves forward and you need to trim in quickly to compensate”, Victor summarized.  Now I had a better idea and visual of what was happening and how to respond.

We headed out on to Biscayne Bay mid afternoon as the wind picked up; another day of perfect conditions.  Now it was my turn to take the tiller.    Balance, trim in, hike out and I immediately felt the quick acceleration, elevation and then silence.  The only sound is the wind and a faint tapping sound of the wand hitting the surface of water, instantly adjusting the main foil flap angle of attack.   I start to fall to windward.   “TRIM, TRIM!” I hear shouted behind me.  This quickly jolts my attention to our “sailing 101” discussion a few hours earlier.  I pull in on the mainsheet, the boat immediately rebalances and locks into its trajectory.  I look back over my shoulder.  Victor and the blue RIB is suddenly several hundred yards behind and I start laughing realizing that I’ve just stumbled forward in my learning curve.   “Nice Job” Victor shouts as he finally catches up as I let the boat settle back down on the water surface, low riding again.   Before he can say another word, I’m gone.  Foiling 300, 400, then 500 yards at a time!

Hours pass and the sun is low in the sky.  I’m exhausted but elated at the same time. I can’t wait another 12 months for more of this.  The fleet moves North in the next few months.  Newport, Rhode Island here I come!

 

April 8th, 2015

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foiling-flightNew York Times correspondent Chris Museler was so inspired by our coverage of foiling boats over the past year that he’s doing something really interesting with it, and he wants you to all be part of it – live, online, or via Twitter; your choice.

Tomorrow, Thursday April 9th, Chris will run a live, webstreamed talk called ‘Foiling In The USA”, where he will talk to some of the most interesting folks in foiling and answer your Tweeted questions about the foiling landscape. It all starts at 1900 (7 PM) EST, 1600 PST, 2300 GMT.  If you want to ask your question in person, head over to the Doyle Long Island loft for free pizza – everyone’s invited.

This is all about having an open discussion on how the rapid development of hydrofoil technology is going to change the way we enjoy sailing!! Will we all be cruising on hydrofoils in the future? Will kids be flying out of the water on mass-produced plastic foilers at their learn-to-sail camps? Here’s the line-up to answer those questions:

-New York Times correspondent CHRIS MUSELER makes sense of the latest developments

-GunBoat founder PETER JOHNSTONE on live SkypeVideo chat about the foiling G4 cruiser/racer catamaran in trials THIS WEEK!

-The Foiling Week founder Luca Rizzotti will chime in from Lake Garda to explain the vibe when the world’s top foil designers get together to create the future of the sport

-AND contributions from other influential visionaries including radical kite foiler Bryan Lake, Waterlust Project filmmaker Patrick Rynne, US Sailing Executive Director Jack Gierhart and more!!!

Big thanks to Mark Washiem from Doyle Sailmakers Long Island for the space (and Pizza!) to share cool ideas with Strong Island sailors.  And a huge thanks to US Sailing for stepping up to support foiling in the sport by Sponsoring the LiveStream broadcast.

Finally, Tweet your questions to @OakcliffSail, and thank them for sponsoring and running the Twitter feed.

 

April 8th, 2015

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Machete

The 20 knot home build canoe from our friends at Wooden Boat magazine…

I started out looking at high performance sailing and feeling horrible about exhorting my friends to blow the cost of a new Subaru on a new IC. It just wasn’t right. There had to be a better way to grow the sport. So I went after the cost and built a tortured plywood IC in a jig with a host of CNC cut bulkheads inside and thought about making the final product more affordable that way. I named her Dance Commander and got fifth overall at world’s in her. I was in position to snag the bronze by the last race when my halyard blew up. The boat went like a bat out of hell and held up to 20+ knots in San Francisco bay for two weeks of total war without complaint. As I was driving back across the country, though, I realized that what I had really proven was the ongoing relevance of wood. With cheap okume and white pine, I’d built myself a weapon that could lead a fleet almost entirely dominated by carbon boats. It’s important to note at this point that I’m no genius builder. My dad is a great designer and I did an acceptable job of assembling the boat. So with the right design anybody could do what I did. “Awesome!” I thought “Let’s make it happen”.

When I got back East, my dad went back to the drawing board and I got back to peering over his shoulder urging “Pointier! Scarier! Meaner! Sharper!” There were two criteria: fast to sail, easy of build. I was very wary in protecting ease of build. It’s common for a career boatbuilder to begin sentences with “It’s not that hard to….” and that’s a dangerous path to tread in kit building. What came out the other end is Machete, the most aggressive looking canoe I’ve ever sailed and by far the easiest build. I constructed the hull in a shed in Ithaca over the winter, using nothing but hand tools. It went together like cookies and milk. It’s a miracle of CNC cutting and good designers how these complex shapes break down into a set of tinker toys for grown-ups. I really have to thank my dad for designing such a beautiful and intricate craft. It was an indescribable pleasure bringing it from a box of cut-outs to a three dimensional real hull.

Part of the Machete kit concept is the notion that the truly rewarding part of building a boat is building the hull. The hull is the true “boat” part of the boat. It’s the part you name, paint, fare, talk to. The other stuff just gets in the way of getting on the water and sailing the wonderful boat you’ve just built. With that in mind, all the other parts can come prefab, enabling you to stick to the good part and not be driven up the wall making foils while your beautiful hull sits in your shop looking on expectantly. So, I came back to Rhode Island with my finished hull and took the foils, seat carriage and seat etc, for which we have good reliable tooling, out of stock and rigged her up. Great. Hull done. Time to sail.

Machete weighed in finished at 50kg all up, the minimum weight for the class. We’ve been doing sea trials in the last week and the thing goes like a missile. She will go up against a good group of other IC’s in Oriental, NC this coming weekend and I’m certain that she will do nicely. In many ways its feels like a vindication of a hunch my dad and I have had for years; that you can get to the front of a high performance development class with wood and clever geometry as opposed to the wholesale application of exotics. For me, the machete project has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I am preparing kits with the hope that other people can have that experience too.”

Read the full article here and title inspiration thanks to Peter Murphy.

 

April 8th, 2015

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The new TP 52 Quantum  Racing. New boat, new look. Like it?

 

April 8th, 2015

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