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transpac trash

So other than this most recent Transpac sucking for most everyone, thee one theme that is the most disturbing is the amount of trash that every boat encountered. We ran into Alex Camet (Peligroso) at the airport in Honolulu and he was horrified by it.

He is writing an article for us about it, and in the meantime, K-Mag sent this pic from the J 125 Timeshaver,  - shit on every appendage – an all too familiar look these days in the Pacific…

 

August 1st, 2015

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Twenty I-14s came into Cascade Locks, the heart of the Columbia River Gorge for the 2015 North American Championships, held July 24-26, including 9 boats from Canada, with most of those making the long trek from Toronto. Sailmaker Dave Alexander and 3x world champ Dan Wilsdon made the long flight up from Australia making good use of an idle B6 as well as Marcus Korobacz swinging in from Adelaide and sailing with SF local Mike Lazarro.

The Gorge did not disappoint with boats getting out all week practicing. Blasting up the river hitting speeds in the low 20’s and getting tested by the Gorge shifts and blasts. All week the breeze was pretty solid in the low 20’s with periods higher and lower. Henderson Boats added a new trophy to the mix with the Gorge Speed Challenge… awarded to the average sustained top speed recorded over the 4 days of the event and that led to some beach chatter with people checking their times. Full Sail, Sessions, some Olympia and Ranier were flowing heavy in the boat park with the fleet getting on well. Apparently too much beer hit the slope and a wipe out took out early potential contender Brad Reutenik’s regatta with a broken rib. Where’s a doctor when you need one? Get well soon Brad!

Racing started up at noon on Friday and the breeze was cranked up to the peak of the week hitting the mid to high 20’s and puffs beyond with big shifts, some Gorge stingers and a few holes to keep everyone on their game. However, as attractive as she can be the Gorge can also be a brutal mistress and on day one she let herself be known to a good portion of the fleet, especially new comers. She was full on before the first race and half of the fleet either broke down, were broken down, or hit their limits early and made the smart move and headed in.

Seattle boats sail here the most often… and that was quickly shown with Steve Goodson & Alan Dierks posting a picket fence on day one. Flat boat, flawless crew work and ran a clinic for those who could keep up to see them. In 2nd from Seattle were Boatbuilder Kris ‘Hendo’ Henderson in his latest B6 with his most famous crew, Martin Fabiansson, lead singer of the famed I-14 house band ‘Hoist!’. 3rd on day one were Canadians Lauren Laventure & I14 President du Monde Jason Lemieux with consistent sailing through the day. Myself and Evan Sjostedt got through a tough day in fourth with Peter Haywire & Birdman trying to port tack the fleet every start in fifth. Really gents… did you try to port tack the fleet every race? Commitment!

Lots of beer consumed in Camp Canada and elsewhere that night (I am told) and racing started an hour earlier on Saturday. The day started lighter and the plan was for 2 races and a distance race 8 miles up the river and back. Top Seattle boats maintained form posting a 2, 1 on the first race with Kris Henderson first on this one.

The second race the RC decided to send us on the distance race early. Breeze was about 12-15 but quickly picked up as we started, rounded the top mark and started flying downwind (up river). Tremendous scenery here… if you haven’t been to the Gorge, add it to that ‘sailing bucket list’ we all have… it is epic. Fleet was splitting sides, trying to decide which was best. We had a good lead for a bit until the puffs started hitting the other side. About 2 miles up river the lead boats found the turning mark. Uh, isn’t this about 6 miles short?… (a bit of an RC misread we think but they were solid through out the rest so around we go) A lot of tight roundings at the mark and forced errors sent some searching for sturgeon. Our game fell off quick with a blown jib car, which took us out of contention. Goodson & Dierks took a 5th bullet on this one, Dave A & Dan Wilsdon getting the loaner B6 sorted for 2nd, and Haywire for 3rd. All went in for a long lunch and then upon setting back out a squallish Pacific NorthWest type big breeze canceled it out for the day. Racing done early… oh, what will the fleet do now?

Columbia Gorge Racing Association always puts on a nice event with a picnic style catered meal on Saturday night. We shared the course with 5o5’s, some Weta’s, and a horde of Aeros who were also in attendance for the feast. Add the pre-primed I-14 fleet with the party being strongly led by 9 Canadian teams staying in the adjoining camp, add lots of beer, a seeming never-ending cask of orange whips, a lovely Beaver inspired Piñata filled with airplane bottles of booze and let the games begin. Who doesn’t want a whack at the beaver? I’m pretty sure we will be invited back, I’m pretty sure the other fleets may ask to move their Gorge weekends away from ours, and I know we have inspired some converts. Well done!

So with hangovers in full tilt, we started at 10:30am on Sunday. Do they do this on purpose? A bit misty but breeze was on, we got a race in and then the fans shut off with an abandoned race to the chagrin of launched Laventure & Lemieux… and then a northerly filled in… and finally back on to some good Gorge breeze. At the end, we got 3 races in with super tight boat on boat racing in all parts of the fleet. Dave A and Dan Wilsdon showed their form winning the first 2 and then retiring for the day. Seattle team (Mike Karas?) that jumped in the regatta last minute on Chris Rutz’ borrowed B5 found the magic first beat lift and never looked back to take the final race, well done fellas, looking good, lets see you again soon.

i 14 gorge 2Goodson & Dierks showed they were human and posted an 11, 6, 5 for day 3 but still captured the North American Championship Title by 6 points. Kris Henderson and Hoist front man Martin got 2nd showing Seattle is tops here. Myself and Evan Sjostedt had a fair day with a 2,5,2 for the bronze. Lauren & Jason solidified 4th place being the top Canadian team and Lauren the top female 14er… solid and looking faster all the time. Haywire and Birdman 5th. See full results.

Seriously, a really fun regatta with lots of good sailing up and down the fleet. Great to see a number of ladies in the fleet on helm and crew… and fully competitive in breeze. Every boat in the fleet had their moments both good and bad and everyone learned how challenging the Gorge can be… how big those shifts can be and how critical that top boat handling is. Keep coming back and you will do better! The boats that sail here, do well here, and they do well in big breeze elsewhere.

Special thanks to CGRA, Dierk & Susan for putting on a great event and putting up with us. We do enjoy it! Photog Sean Trew for his work… love the photos Sean! To the Canadian fleet and especially Jason Lemieux, Chris Leigh, and Ashley Warburton for getting your fleet organized and out to this event. Great meeting all of you! So important we get our fleets together often and this is one of the great venues to do it, thank you for making the effort.

The Henderson Boat Company’s Gorge Speed Challenge ended up a tie. Jamie Reid and Cam Puckey posting a sustained 19.8 on Friday on Cam’s boat… Myself and Evan Sjostedt with the same, both done on Hendo built B6’s. Fun inaugural run and we’ll keep this one going at all 14 Gorge events. Check a vid from Monday prior… this one was faster, but not in the event window: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfkMqTm0uLo&feature=youtu.be
Lastly, hats off and huge congratulations to Steve Goodson & Alan Dierks on winning the 2015 International 14 North American Championships and the William Randolph Hearst Perpetual Trophy. Well done, and phenomenal sailing all around, you deserve it!

Skiff sailing is alive and growing in North America with the 14’s. The 14 Class has fleets in Toronto, SoCal, Seattle, NorCal, and Kaneohoe, HI and we are building elsewhere. The International 14 Class has a long history, crushing boats, tough sailing and heaps of fun. Check us out at: Web: I14usa.org Facebook: I14USA, I14 Twitter: #I14USA, #I14NA

-TG
USA 1187

 

July 31st, 2015

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Has some of the true adventure been lost from modern day ocean racing? My first long offshore race was the Parmelia Race, a 13,000 mile jaunt from England to Australia. Nothing compares with rolling through the Southern Ocean trying to snatch a sun sight after five days of grey skies knowing that you are fast approaching the coast of Western Australia, but not really sure where you are. It was 1979 and the only way we could communicate with the outside world was to patch a single-sideband call through Portishead Radio in England. All we had for entertainment was the BBC World Service which we wired through to a cockpit speaker and listened to the evening news, or on Sunday nights a radio drama. Those we heady times for a 21 year old kid who grew up landlocked in South Africa.

So it was with great interest that I read about the Golden Globe Race being managed by long time solo sailor and adventurer Don McIntyre. Don competed in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge Solo Around the World Race at a time when the race was still an event for those seeking pure adventure rather than the competitive, professional event that it became. A sailing adventure, by my definition, attracts social misfits, renegades, loners and those running from ex-wives and/or the government and the early single-handed races attracted their fair share of all of the above.

The first Golden Globe race was held in 1968/69. It was the first ever solo non-stop race around the world and was won by Robin Knox-Johnston in his leaky double-ender Suhaili. Robin’s circumnavigation was pure adventure; over three hundred days eating canned food, no communication with the outside world except for a brief rendezvous off Tasmania to exchange mail, catching rainwater to survive,
and receiving a hero’s welcome when he returned to England. Now McIntyre wants to recreate that event on the 50th anniversary of Knox-Johnston’s circumnavigation, and he wants the race to have the same look and feel of the original. I love the idea.

In order to make the Golden Globe Race as authentic as possible McIntyre has a list of do’s and dont’s. For starters your boat must be “designed prior to 1988 with a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge.” That rules out most boats, but I am sure there are plenty of oldies but goodies out there with a lap of the planet left in them. The boat must be fiberglass, have a minimum design displacement of 6,200kg, and a hull length of between 32ft and 36ft.

Competitors have to navigate with a sextant, use paper charts (can you still get paper charts?), hand write their log books, and hand steer or use a wind vane. No powered auto pilots permitted. There are plenty of other rules including no outside assistance and one requirement that I think is quite clever. All sailors will be required to make a mandatory rendezvous off Tasmania in the same bay where Knox-Johnston stopped to make repairs to his boat. They will sail through a “gate” at which point the clock will stop, they will meet with the Race Director and media and hand over film and photos, but they may not take anything on board and definitely may not receive assistance in any way, by anyone. The clock will restart when they pass through the “gate” a second time.

McIntyre expects that he will get 25 entrants, the maximum allowed. He has received interest from 48 sailors in 15 countries, most of whom have been drawn to the race because of its simplicity and authenticity. This email from one potential competitor sums it up for all potential competitors. He wrote, “What I love about this race (apart from it solidifying a dream long held) is that you’ve created something that the average sailing person worldwide (with commitment) can compete in. It is therefore truly an open race as it is not open in class but truly ‘open to all’.”

I would love to enter but don’t think I have it in me anymore. I have been too spoiled. There were some answers that I didn’t see on the race website. I wonder if you can have modern foul weather gear. Clothing has come a long way since the days of oil skins (canvas coated with multiple applications of linseed oil sometimes finished with a layer of paint.) How about my iPad? Just for reading and music of course and are competitors required to eat a certain amount bully beef (spam) just for authenticity. I don’t know the answers, but look forward to following the race. Oh, and one last thing, Don McIntyre will compete in his own event. Now that’s commitment. – Brian Hancock. Check out his excellent blog.

 

July 30th, 2015

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150729_RYS_Bicentenary_009

The Royal Yacht Squadron celebrates their 200th anniversary with some big boat racing this week, something that might go unnoticed if it weren’t for Mark Lloyd’s eye for detail and impeccable timing.  The exclusive, absolutely spellbinding shot above of George David’s Rambler 88 is his gift to the Anarchists; check out the gallery here.

 

July 30th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 10.41.09 AMFor almost two years we have been railing against the ridiculous state of affairs at Rio’s Olympic sailing venue, but official reactions from ISAF, the IOC and pretty much every other organization with an interest has been to plunge their heads deeply into sand.  We’ve wondered how long they could go on without meaningful action, but a report published today may change all that.

Despite multiple reports that Rio 2016 officials have already failed on the ‘guarantee’ they made on the water quality of the olympic sailing and rowing venues for the 2016 games, local politicians are still disputing the science with bullshit stunts like this one, and credibility challenged statements like last month’s from Rio2016 organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada.  Adrada said that Rio would “guarantee safe competition and we will guarantee the health of the athletes,” although it’s pretty clear that a guarantee from the Rio2016 Committee is worth about as much as a bucketfull of the shit at the water’s edge in Guanabara.  And remember: They’ve already told us there’s no way in hell they’ll change the venue to a safer one…because dustbuster boats.

While the questionable value of Rio2016′s ‘guarantees’ is fairly obvious, quantifiable scientific data on just how nasty the water is was not; most national teams funded their own independent water quality tests, but judging from the official zeal with which those test results were guarded, there was some shit in there that no team wanted the public to see.

Those guarding the results have just learned what happens when you’re a little too good at hiding the truth, because the Associated Press got motivated enough to find the truth to spend a small fortune on it.

AP commissioned four rounds of testing in each of the three Olympic water venues and off Ipanema Beach.  Their summary? “Not one water venue [is] safe for swimming or boating, according to global water experts.”

Multiple national officials over the past year have told us that their investigations were ‘inconclusive’ or ‘showed manageable levels’ or some other crock of shit designed to avoid making waves, so it was surprising to see such unquestionable lab results from the AP tests, which:

found high counts of active and infectious human adenoviruses, which multiply in the intestinal and respiratory tracts of people. These are viruses that are known to cause respiratory and digestive illnesses, including explosive diarrhea and vomiting, but can also lead to more serious heart, brain and other diseases.

The concentrations of the viruses in all tests were roughly equivalent to that seen in raw sewage — even at one of the least-polluted areas tested, the Copacabana Beach, where marathon and triathlon swimming will take place and where many of the expected 350,000 foreign tourists may take a dip.

Perhaps most importantly, the test results viral discoveries call into question all national teams’ strategies of disease prevention.  Basically, you’re going to get sick if you spend any amount of time in the water or catching spray.  From the report:

Kristina Mena, a U.S. expert in risk assessment for waterborne viruses, examined the AP data and estimated that international athletes at all water venues would have a 99 percent chance of infection if they ingested just three teaspoons of water — though whether a person will fall ill depends on immunity and other factors…Viruses can enter the body through the mouth, eyes, any orifice, or even a small cut.

The certainty of infection, and the risk of much nastier bugs they didn’t test for, creates a new problem for every official associated with the event; they can no longer claim that death/disease/complications/infection wasn’t foreseeable for their competitors.  And under the laws of quite a few nations, that means they may be liable in court if and when the shit hits the fan.  SA’s Legal Research Department isn’t sure whether this liability could extend to the directors or CEOs of national sailing teams, but if there’s one thing that can motivate action when even concern for the health and safety of competitors can’t, it’s the threat of multimillion dollar lawsuits.

One of the few good eggs at ISAF – Head of Competitions Alastair Fox – made some noise about moving the venue back in April, but was quickly silenced.  Will Alastair or anyone else at ISAF have the balls to do something about it, especially now that they are properly on notice about just how bad it is?

Read the full report here, and send the IOC your thoughts via email.

Thread here.

July 30th, 2015

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First there was moth.  Then AC72.  Then C-Cat.  Then there was GC32, then SL33, FP, FCS20, Stiletto, that orange scow thing, and the hits keep on coming.  What do they all have in common?  You aren’t going to race across the ocean in one.

That changes today, because the first ocean-ready racing foiler is now flying (with apologies to the floating museum that is Hydroptère). Spend a minute with the modified Mod70 Edmond de Rothschild with L-foil and T-ruddered joy in her first-flight video above to see what’s coming, and if you like this, just wait til you see the 105′ foiling singlehanded Macif and the even more extreme Banque Populaire behind her in a few months.

 

July 30th, 2015

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scotw 7 28

Kelly Johnson of Windsor Ontario preparing to start the 2015 Bayview Port Huron to Mackinaw Race aboard her vintage Viking 28 Shenanigans. She went on to win the double handed class and finish 18th out of 100 overall.

 

July 29th, 2015

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post-20188-0-05869000-1437896549Who says beach cats can’t race offshore?  Randy Miller’s M32 catamaran horizoned the 100-ish NM Santa Barbara to King Harbor fleet this weekend, beating Bill Gibbs 52-foot cat Afterburner by almost three hours and the first monohull – a TP52 – by almost two and a half. Here’s Randy’s report, from the thread.

We deployed our gennaker right from the start and that kept us moving through the glass at 6-8kts but at least 15 degrees lower than most everyone else.  We made two short miserable tacks back to the fleet through about 120 degrees and then made up our minds that we needed to just keep the boat moving down the course, sail our own race, and that patience and perseverance would win the day.  Credit to our most excellent navigator. So we followed the beach with the gennaker up trying to sail as tight as we could without parking the boat and waiting for the pressure to build and clock North.  It finally happened at around 14:30.  The wind began filling in and clocking North and we got lifted right up to the West end of Anacapa doing 12-15kts close reaching in the light but building breeze.

Near Anacapa we saw a ton of wildlife.  Several whales, a large pod of dolphins, seals jumping out of the water, big fish jumping out of the water.  All very cool to see.

On the back side of Anacapa the wind was steady and mostly West with still some South I think so no lee off of Santa Cruz Island.  We bore away around Anacapa but stayed on Starboard for another 45 minutes making 17-18kts with great VMG towards King Harbor.  Then we gybed in for Malibu and slowly accelerated up to 20-22kts.  We had to gybe twice to clear a freighter in the channel but kept on building speed until we blasted by Pt Dume doing 24-25kts.

From Pt. Dume we had just about a perfect layline all the way into King Harbor that allowed us to come up at the end into the fading breeze to keep the speed on all the way to the bell buoy.

Even with 150lbs of extra safety gear and a painful start, we kept the boat moving and had a blast sailing 97.7 miles at an average speed through the water of 13.4kts.  We had a great crew that sailed well and stayed focused for the whole day.  This after 3 straight days of loading, and trailering, and building, and launching, and staging vehicles and driving around LA.  What a mission! Thanks guys.

This was my first mid-distance race on the boat and it was a fantastic experience.  I can’t wait to do more.  Hopefully the ORCA guys didn’t mind us playing in their sandbox.  Thank you ORCA for helping me satisfy the safety requirements for the race.  Santa Barbara and the whole coast and waters were absolutely beautiful.

post-20188-0-33745100-1437892996The only negative was getting a call from the race committee this morning delivering the infuriating news that one of the TP52s (guess which one) lodged a protest against us saying they were “sure [I] didn’t complete the proper course in the Santa Barbara race and should withdraw.”  And that I “should have rounded Anacapa Island.”

I replied by providing my GPS track.  This satisfied the race committee but not these guys because according to them, “not one person in the fleet saw [us] round Anacapa Island.”  Apparently, the mind cannot comprehend that inshore and in coastal waters an M32 beach cat crushes a TP52 lead mine all day long.

Despite the annoyance of managing the protest today I still managed to take my wife, uncle, and 93-year-old grandpa for a joyride out of Marina Del Rey and get down to King Harbor for the party and to pick up my winning silver octopus cupcake stand trophy.  Good times!

 

July 28th, 2015

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OCEANS-CHASE-08-master1050Even the most corporate-raiding sailor still considers himself something of a conservationist; the time we all spend amongst nature’s beauty means we pay more attention than most to the problems facing our natural world.  But to the overwhelming majority of sailors, seamanship and respect for other vessels is at least as powerful as our love of nature, which is why there’s such a love/hate relationship between sailors and the activists at Sea Shepherd.

Here at SA, we are overwhelmgly in favor of what they do. If world governments took more responsibility for the stewardship of our oceans, there wouldn’t be a need for the Sea Shaepards, but they aren’t, so we can thank this intrepid organization for their incredible efforts.

We don’t need to get too deep into who they are; the Whale Wars show and this story show just how agitating Paul Watson and his groupies can be.

New York Times Correspondent Ian Urbina shared a brilliant story this morning that shows the other side of the organization, though – the side that stands up for those who cannot.  It’s a story of a ten thousand mile chase through squalls, storms, and the Southern Ocean.  The cast of characters includes ships named after a Simpsons creator and a game show host and the world’s most wanted pirate fishing captain, and it all ends with a mysterious sinking and the hunters rescuing the hunted.  We’re not even going to give you an excerpt; the article is the single best piece of maritime journalism we’ve seen this year, so go over to the NYT site and check it out right now.

Photo from Simon Ager/Sea Shepherd Global. Title inspiration comes from the realization that a good song can become great when sung by a hot sailing chick.

 

July 28th, 2015

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Mini sailor on board “roll my chicken” the prototype 679, I am preparing the Mini Transat and also having fun with this fabulous machine.  We had fun last week end in La Rochelle (France) and made this video, a tribute to the performance of Alex Thomson and a good exercise for me and two young film makers. I hope you will enjoy it!  - Anarchist Vincent.

 

July 27th, 2015

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