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The US Sailing proposal is just sort of lame. There should be medals given for backroom politics, because there’s a massive brawl going on over all this around the world.

The winner is going to be Markus Schwendtner, who runs the kite mafia, and basically has control of enough votes to get whatever he wants. Though he had a party foul recently when he tried to file a Regulation 35 complaint against the Israeli Zvi Ziblat. The complaint was rejected by World Sailing. Seems Markus doesn’t care much at all about what used to be the basis for decision making in the sport, especially now that Napier has gotten the procedural rules changed so that the WS Staff can get pretty much whatever they want whenever they want, and he didn’t much like Zvi trying to get some common sense put in the equation. Markus may have fucked with the wrong guy when he fucked with Zvi, who drove tanks in the Israeli army. Andy Hunt is the face of the organization now, Kim Anderson is just window dressing, but Napier really runs the show.

Whatever everyone needs to understand is that the new Olympic format has just about zero to do with what is good for sailing, it’s only about making money for the IOC, then World Sailing, and then whoever can get their equipment made as the mandated equipment for a class. The Olympics is just a sports reality tv show, and the silly World Sailing World Cup of the World Championship Worlds is the thing World Sailing thinks they will make money on, though they just bleed red ink like a stuck pig on the bitch.

There’s a few very experienced Olympians who aren’t pleased about all these class changes, but no one at World Sailing gives even a tiny fuck what any sailor thinks. Santiago Lange had a very good analysis of the changes and costs associated with all the changes in the cat classes, and if the won’t listen to him they aren’t about to listen to a bunch of stuffed shirt blue blazer types at US Failing.

I can’t be bothered to go line by line in the US Sailing submission, but one of the highlights for me was their comparison of snowboarding to sailing, saying that snowboard helped skiing. No it didn’t. It helped ski areas sell more lift tickets to some degree, but the concept of what you see in the Olympics for snowboarding and what happens at a normal ski area are not remotely close to reality. How many ski areas have giant half pipes? How many ski areas allow people to just play boardercross? Same with all the aerial stuff in skiing. It is a tiny tiny subset of skiing.

There is nothing about kite foiling that is similar to snowboarding and facilities. Kiters have zero reason to hang out at any yacht club. Does anyone think that someone sitting on a couch somewhere watching kite foiling is just going to jump and say “hey, that shit is cool, I better start by going down to my community sailing center, sign up for lessons with some dork with a clip board and whistle telling me what I can and can’t do so I eventually get a really cool US Sailing certified daysailer license, and then one day maybe I can go to the kite surfing store and show them I am an actual certified sailor and I can just jump on a board and fly and do cool tricks”.

A core problem is that no one has clearly defined a goal, a goal that is achievable and beneficial. This lofty notion of “sailing on TV will help grow the sport” simply has not and will not work. If Larry Ellison spending literally 10’s of millions of dollars can’t draw an audience with big, audacious boats, what makes anyone think that Olympic sailing, while it competes with sports that already have a big tv following in every summer Olympics is going to move the needle one iota for participation across the board. It won’t.

Kite foiling in the Olympics and on tv will help the kite foiling industry. Period.

Nothing wrong with that, but please, let’s stop with these lofty, unachievable goals.

Here’s what I’d actually propose, presuming we only have 10 medals in sailing:

Kite foiling acrobatic men
Kite foiling acrobatic women

Kite foiling racing men
Kite foiling racing women

Board foiling acrobatic men
Board foiling acrobatic women

Board foiling racing men
Board foiling racing women

Moth foiling racing open
Nacra foiling racing mixed, but both sailors must alternate as drivers.

Only the Moth and Nacra are real boats that cost real money. Everything else is easy and cheap to move around, with low event production costs. If the goal is to sell speed on TV, then why not have everything be foiling? The feature events of course will be the acrobatic stuff.

Race courses would be much shorter than we have today, say something like 8-12 minute races, which should work for commercial breaks. After all, this is ALL about TV.

All starts downwind. Weather boat has right of way, this is so everyone always sails fast, no more luffing. We want to see speed don’t we?

Medal race is one race, winner take all. Only top four from qualifying get to sail in the medal race. 4th place will truly suck, and the agony of losing will make for great TV.

A fundamental problem in the sport is that all of the sport is regulated from the Olympics top down. It is utterly absurd that all of racing around the world has to conform to the massive rules and regulations that get promulgated because of the Olympics. What really should happen is that World Sailing can go run Olympic sailing, the MNA’s pick their Olympic teams, and then let the rest of the sport do whatever they want without oversight and regulation from World Sailing.

In the mean time, anyone who thinks they are sailing in the Olympics for love of country, I have some nice beachfront to sell you in Omaha.

It’s all about the money, stupid. – Peter Huston

 

 

April 16th, 2018

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Who said ice sailors are fucking crazy??? Props to Anarchist David.

 

April 15th, 2018

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It looks like US Sailing is trying for something new in the 2024 Olympics. Highlights are below. Click here to read the entire proposal.

Mixed Kite Triathlon- equipment criteria: a twin tip board with a foiling option: i.e., convertible, with the capability of a wide range of sailor sizes able to compete. Series production of equipment to control cost of purchase and equipment compliance.

Mixed Team Racing- equipment criteria: Provided 2 person (main, jib) dinghies suitable for team racing, crew weight minimums equalized by requirement to carry weight (water) if under the minimum, no trapeze, no spinnaker.

Mixed Offshore Keelboat– equipment criteria: capable of Offshore sailing for 2 people to race for 48 hours. Category 2, Offshore Special Regulations.

Thoughts? Jump in the thread started by Clean

 

April 15th, 2018

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Everything about the Ultim class of giant, singlehanded trimarans is over the top.  The size, speed, and power output of these monsters is hard to comprehend unless you’ve been on one, and the speed at which bad things happen is truly stunning.  All of this makes it a surprise that we haven’t seen more of the big trimarans go over, but with Gabart, Le Cle’ach and the rest of the nutters prepping for a busy year of record attempts and the Route Du Rhum, we’re bound to see a lot more of what we saw early this morning: one of the world’s fastest sailboats – upside down, with the skipper and crew hanging out inside waiting for their shore teams and a tow. Head over here to check out a 360 degree video of the Maxi Banque Pop, and here’s more from their media team:

-Crew (Armel Le Cleach, boat captain Pierre-Emmanuel Herisse, and cameraman Fulvio d’Aguanno) are safe and uninjured inside the boat.

-Capsize occurred around 3 AM off of Morocco,

-Crew quickly triggered EPIRB, support and salvage plans were activated immediately and support operations are in progress.

-Trimaran was headed to Nice to compete in the Nice UltiMed event

-Weather data does not show anything extreme.  Team is awaiting Armel’s explanation for the incident.

-Too early to say if Maxi BP will be able to make the Route du Rhum now.

 

April 14th, 2018

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Surely this is a leftover April Fool’s joke?? A New York Yacht Club America’s Cup effort that is called American Magic? Oh they are going to need some magic if they think they are winning shit.

Why not call it “American Exceptionalism”? Maybe because Sarah Palin has the copy write on that particular bit of absurdity? Given the right wing bent of NYYC, perhaps they should have called this already laughable America’s Cup effort. “Manifest Destiny.” Fuck yes!

This jingoistic slogan is perfectly matched to this odd logo of an eagle (apparently of the bald variety – like most of the male NYYC members) – looking down at where his genitals would likely be, and wondering who the fuck put a white star there instead. Perhaps it is actually quite accurate of how neutered this country has become under Dolt 45?

But wouldn’t have been more bad ass if the eagle had a giant hard on with a couple of weighty testicles hanging low? Now that screams ‘Murica!

Whatever, the truth is that we don’t know dick about what this uber elitist YC AC thing is all about, but god damn if they don’t already look hokey. – ed.

 

April 13th, 2018

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Well, ya gotta give Hawaiian Tropic some points for this one, although I doubt there is much crossover between Nascar and sailing, except for a few kooks like me. But the plastic leis are a nice touch – ed.

 

April 13th, 2018

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In F1 Lewis Hamilton knows where his power is coming from because his Mercedes is fueled up before the race with a carefully calculated amount of fuel that depends on conditions, track layout, driving style and so on. A sailor, however, never quite knows how much power he’s going to get, which direction it will come from and how long it might last.

Solving the problem of predicting weather and current conditions has gone through a quantum leap in the past few years, particularly in long-distance offshore racing. But big gains are also being made in short-course competition, particularly in Olympic sailing. At the forefront of this drive for greater knowledge and forecasting accuracy is Buell Software, in Germany.

It all started just over 20 years ago when Ingo Buell, a PhD in physics, entered a national competition to win a prize fund put forward by Daimler Benz Aerosail to develop technology that would help Germany’s Olympic sailors succeed at the Atlanta Games in 1996. Aided by his Masters students at Kiel University, Buell developed some routeing software. Jochen Schümann, competing in the Soling keelboat, analysed the printouts every morning before racing. He went on to win the gold medal, and so Buell Software was born.

Buell have provided current and tidal analysis to a number of Olympic teams for the past two Games, London 2012 and Rio 2016, but their new program for 2020, SailTokyo, takes things to a new level with integration of wind data and many other new features, as sales manager Yvette von der Burchard explains: ‘It’s a cloudbased team solution designed to prepare your sailing team for the Olympic Games – Tokyo 2020, Marseille 2024 – and all the World Sailing events and Olympic class world championships.’

Read on.

 

April 13th, 2018

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Not all old ads are for sailboats…..Thanks to Anarchist Ben.

 

April 12th, 2018

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Sadly, for the second time in succession at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club events I have attended I have participated in a minute of silence.

Not much more than a couple of weeks ago it was for John Fisher, this time at the Rolex China Sea Race Prizegiving at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s main clubhouse at Kellett Island it was for sad loss of former Royal Hong Kong Commodore, Mark Whitehead. At least he passed away peacefully while off watch in his bunk on Orient Express. No less of a loss for all that.

The prizegiving itself was more or less a time for congratulations to the category and class winners from the cruising division all the way up to IRC Overall. It was the sort of prizegiving that was a joy to attend.

Plenty time for plaudits, applause, receipt of the spoils and photographs without dragging it out for half the night. All done and dusted in not much over an hour – well done Royal Hong Kong organising committee and sailing office.

The two big prizes of the night, not only in terms of achievement but also as they carried, on top of the trophy, a Rolex Yachtmaster Chronograph for the winner as part of Rolex’s generous and continuing sponsorship of this event which is Asia’s premier blue water event were rightly saved to the end.

The overall line honours victory. Along with a new outright course record went to Kark Kwok’s latest Beau Geste, a MOD 70 trimaran which smashed the old record by a significant margin.

The other timepiece went to Mandrake III who acknowledged they are having their best season ever. In fact as part of a wrap up speech owner Fred Kinmonth joked he and his partners had been together longer than his marriages and that it was very pleasing to see so many younger crews and Chinese teams entering the event.  

In fact hot on Mandrake’s  heels and second overall by less than 10 minutes was the mainly Mainland Chinese crew of YF Liu’s Seawolf which compared to many of the entrants is a newcomer to the sport of sailing. Perhaps this is a portent of the future with a growing number of Mainland Chinese yachts entering the race.

Who knows what 2020 and the 30th anniversary of the event will bring. – SS

 

 

April 12th, 2018

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Brian Hancock’s Say It article raised some hackles. We like this post from Ryley in our forum…

“The VOR, as fun as it can be to follow, violates the first rule of destination sailing – never try to sail to a schedule because you’ll get burned. Hancock is disingenuous when describing how easy it was for Kenny Read to get a new rig in his boat to be able to continue racing – the logistics involved in even a simple repair is astounding, and all has to be completed based on the arbitrary VOR clock.

Brian, you seem to be reliving glory days of sailing that simply don’t exist in an Internet economy. Next you’ll be telling us all how you sailed upwind, in both directions, 1,000 miles to school every day.”  Jump in this thread.

 

April 12th, 2018

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