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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 7.54.48 AMProviding nearly all the answers to the numerous reasons why normal humans don’t buy moths, Amac’s new Waszp website went live today.  We hear it will be a while before the boat’s really figured out, but as the only guy to have ever been successful at selling production foilers, we wouldn’t bet against him!  Check out the cheaper, easier, beach-launchable details over here and talk about it here.

 

July 1st, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

Is this the coolest regatta of the year?? Foiling Kiteboards ripping around at 30 knots Classic wooden designs and fun family PHRF boats all racing on the same waters under the same premise; raise money for Sail Martha’s Vineyard.
Needless to say when you combine the words “Sail” and “Martha’s Vineyard” you don’t usually get a lot of people reaching into their pockets to support you it can be a definite case of T-Rex Syndrome.

There is a broad assumption that a “Sailing” organization on the “Exclusive” Island of Martha’s Vineyard where seemingly every Hedge fund manager and Venture Capitalist rubs pumiced elbows with the President  is definitely not in need of funding. But with 500 kids and 400 adults involved in programs this year and an operating budget reaching close to $600K SailMV needs to create innovative ideas to raise money(just like all non profits).

With this in mind the Vineyard Cup was created 10 years ago and it has existed as a family fun regatta with a great party but for 2015 SailMV wanted to make some changes to the Vineyard Cup and wanted to provide the Island with an event that was not only beneficial to one of the most influential non profits but also to provide something that was exciting to watch. Enter Lynch & Associates and their commitment to donate $10,000 in cold hard cash as the prize money for the first Foiling Kiteboard Vineyard Cup.

Bill Lynch and Lynch & Associates have been the force behind the North American Speed Sailing Championships as well as Rob Douglas and his 2008 assault on the Outright World Speed Sailing Record in Namibia. With the prize money in hand Sail Martha’s Vineyard has opened up registration to 30 Foiling Kiteboards to race July 10-12 right off State Beach which in the summer boasts 7,000+ Sun burnt spectators lounging on the beach. So if you think you can nail a foiling jibe at 30 knots or if you want to support a great organization check out the Website here.

The NOR is hereRegister here for both Foiling Kiteboards and PHRF/Classics.

 

 

June 30th, 2015

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that bull

One big black mofo hit a slightly smaller white mofo at the ORC Worlds. Pic by Maria Munia.

 

June 29th, 2015

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Being There

loco 1Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week is usually a reminder of what happens when big breeze and Southern California sailors interact. It reminds us that most of the weekend warriors are not used to much more than the average 10-12 kts that frequent the best coast. Torn spinnakers, ripped jibs, flogging mains and a man overboard rescue were just some of the incidents. Sunday was a bit traumatic for one PHRF boat as they rounded up in a 20kt puff and consequently lost a man in the water. My friend Mark Koski was driving the coach boat for me and was following us downwind when he saw the incident that was happening in the other fleet. He quickly jumped into action and managed to pull the distraught and exhausted sailor from the sea.

2015 found me celebrating my 37th birthday the day before the regatta and Monday I find myself feeling all 37 of those years. My weekend was spent on Ed Feo’s new C&C30 “Loco.” Long time friend Dave Millet introduced the C&C 30 to Southern California and Ed is the first one to jump on this cool little boat. Chris Deenan and Bob (forgot last name) came on and In addition to them I recruited Cody Shlub (who is also going on Transpac with me) and Dustin Durant from the Long Beach Match Racing Team.

There was a sense of optimism even thought this was our first regatta on the boat. That optimism was quickly put in check after the first race. Friday was windy and choppy which was less than ideal for us as we watched boats 10 feet bigger easily crush us upwind. A bit frustrating, especially for Ed who was used to his original Locomotion which was an Andrews 45. Positive side of the first race was turning the weather mark. The C&C 30 is fast and fun off the breeze.

Our frustration was still in full effect as we tried to tune the boat for the wind. The wire rigging was stretching and by the second upwind leg we would be pretty loose so keeping the main full was next to impossible. Eventually this was sorted out and on Sunday our upwind speed was improving. Results for Friday were less than ideal. Even though we finished in third place for race two we ended up in a protest. The typical he said she said thing. We crossed Meridian on port but their crew were quick to freak out since it was close. Thankfully no one is under oath in protest rooms (You can figure that out).

Saturday was more of the same except we won a race. We finally got off the line and held our speed. The wind was really far right so the weather mark was closer to shore which helped us out. The further out the mark was the more chop we incurred. By Sunday we found we could really keep up well in the bottom third of the racecourse. By the top third it was a different story, all together.

The last race on Sunday Ed had had enough and turned it over to Dustin. Dustin really is a good driver especially upwind. He was able to keep the heel angle a little more constant and drove the waves a little better. I found this way easier on the main trim and we were in the hunt after the first beat. Again we passed boats downwind and kept pace through the second leg. On the final downwind we gybed behind the J-111, passed her like she was standing still and caught the other boats. I put us on a good starboard layline for the finish and it looked like we were going to win. I call the gybe and we exit into a crash. Shit! I lost my cool a bit but we sorted it out after a minute and finished third. The round up was a team effort and started when we did not gybe at top speed. Big mistake cost us two spots but oh well. It was just good seeing the boat finally perform upwind.

C&C30 for me is a cool boat. It is called a C&C30 One Design for a reason. In PHRF it is hard to rate. We could probably rate 70 upwind and 25 downwind. How do the handicappers handle that? We had to change some of the systems. Cody made a good comment, “Less Gucci more performance.” We had already bypassed the jib halyard lock that never worked and then had issues with the main one! The jib tack has a ton of friction and some other frustrations arose with the placement of controls. Why can’t I control the jib lead from the high side? It is al led under the deck!

Downwind this boat is so much fun. Everyone back, bow up and go. Smiles on faces and people hooting for us as we screamed by them. We have a little more practice and tuning to do but I think this boat has potential. If you want to see more pictures and read more about our program please click here.

Thanks again to Ed and the entire Loco team. Next stop for me is Hawaii on the J-125, my personal favorite boat. – Keith Magnussen.

 

June 29th, 2015

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pond scrum

Just a little pond action at the Mission Bay Pond from last Wednesday, where the cool guys (and girl) hang out for a couple hours. Don’t tell anyone, but this is the Ed’s favorite type of sailing these days…

 

June 28th, 2015

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scotw 6 30Here in Columbia SC at the Ida Lewis US Nationals, we had a great 2 days of clinics and  coaching with plenty of wind.  Sunday, the first day of racing saw light shifty winds from 5 to 10 mph.

After 4 races, Stephanie Houck and Camille White from the Annapolis Yacht Club lead with impressive finishes of 2, 1, 1.

However, the other 38  are still in the hunt with 2 days of sailing still to come.

More to come tomorrow.  -Anarchist Mark.

 

June 28th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

Here’s the latest from the Ask Ullman Series – If you have a question for the experts over at Ullman Sails about anything from sail construction to sail handling and tactics, send them to the Ed and we’ll get ‘em answered.

Ullman Sails’ Larry Leonard sat down to answer this round:

Q: We heard you got onboard Abu Dhabi Racing for a few inshore race days in Cape Town last November as a guest VIP.  We all watched the virtual tracker from our couches or desks at work. What tactical or boat handling tips to be learned from watching the Volvo fleet?  What surprised you the most when you jumped onboard in Cape Town?

A: The biggest surprise was the shape of their downwind sails and their VMG angles. These boats are very fast off the wind. As a result they sailed at very low apparent wind angles. Most of the time they sail at 90 degrees apparent.

To sail these VMG angles the downwind sails must be designed to be more reaching oriented then your typical IRC or PHRF boat. So the sails are much flatter and set using bottom up and top down furlers.

In terms of tactics I think we all saw how AIS and the other tracking information available to the boats minimized risk-taking and separation in the fleet. Constant contact between all the boats removes any tactical advantage a boat may have. Prior to this race boats only had to check in and report their position every 12 hours. This time every move a competitor made was reported by AIS. This made it almost impossible to take advantage of a different strategy.

Q: I would like to know more about proper telltale placement on main and jib. Everybody seems to have their idea of where they should go, or even if they’re needed at all. Surely there is a definitive answer?

A: Telltales are just one of the tools that measure performance. Telltales are evenly spaced along the luff of the jib, at 25%, 50%, and 75%, and approximately 400mm aft of the luff tape. By observing them, the helmsman and trimmer can tell when the wind is no longer attached to the sail and can make adjustments in their heading or trim to correct this problem.

On the mainsail telltales are placed at the end of each batten and sometimes at 50% of the chord at 25%, 50%, and 75%. The most important telltale is the one placed at the end of the top batten. This telltale should fly most of the time if the sail is trimmed properly and with the correct amount of twist.

 Q: How often should we be thinking about altering the position of the draft in our sails?  Multiple times a leg? Once a leg? Once a race?  More or less in heavy breeze compared to light air?

A: Altering the position of the draft in a sail is fluid and changes with every change in sail trim. This is normally achieved by adjusting the halyard or Cunningham. Tensioning one of these controls moves the draft forward while easing moves the draft aft. Seeing these changes is made easier by looking at draft stripes that are normally located at 25%, 50%, and 75%.

Realistically on the racecourse you cannot pay such close attention to changing the draft position with every change in sail trim.  Instead, finding settings for various points of sail in practice, pre-start and in-between races is the best way to ensure you at least know where the draft should be for any set of conditions.

 

June 28th, 2015

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renewables like never before!

Shot today at the Cobh Traditional Sail Regatta (Ireland). The Spirit of Oysterhaven may have gone OTT with their turbine.  Photo credit Atlantic Youth Trust. PS – that’s our Naval Base in the background! Yes we have a Navy! – Anarchist Niel.

 

June 27th, 2015

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The Swiss sailor Laurent Bourgnon was reported missing on Thursday after failing to return from a diving trip in French Polynesia. Laurent who, you ask? Well let me clarify that. If you are a non-European you probably have never heard of him and wonder why this is big news. If you are Swiss or French he is a household name, a sailing superstar, someone small French kids aspire to be, someone to whom the French President awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, equivalent to America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom. So yes Bourgnon is a big deal and when he went missing with no trace it looks like we may have lost one of sailing’s best.

Bourgnon’s sailing achievements are too long to list, literally. He won so many offshore races from the Route du Rhum, Québec-Saint Malo and The Transat, a transatlantic race where he sailed double-handed with American Cam Lewis. In 1994 he set a new North Atlantic record sailing single-handed on his 60-foot trimaran Primagaz. His time of 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds stood for 11 years until it was finally broken by Francis Joyon sailing his 118-foot trimaran. Bourgnon was not only a famous sailor but he was also a pretty decent rally car driver and placed consistently near the top in numerous Dakar Rally’s.

If indeed Bourgnon is deceased (as of now there is no body, dead or alive) it will be the second blow to sailing this year. In March Florence Arthaud died in a helicopter crash in Argentina. She too had won the Route du Rhum, but her victory was spectacular not only in her accomplishment as a sailor, but in the showmanship she displayed as she crossed the finish line in Guadeloupe. With the windward and main hulls of her bright golden 60-foot trimaran completely out of the water, she stood on the windward hull, her wild hair flowing in the night breeze, and roared across the finish line beating all her male counterparts by a significant margin. The photo of her finish, taken by photo journalist Thierry Martinez, remains one of the most iconic in sailing. Arthaud went on to become one of the most well known people in Europe gracing the front pages of many glossy magazines.

What you have to understand is that the Europeans, the French especially, feel an incredibly affinity with the ocean and have a deep respect for those who challenge themselves by taking on some huge sailing challenges. In 1976 when Eric Tabarly won the OSTAR, a single-handed transatlantic race, he was honored with a ticker tape parade down the Champs-Élysées. When French President de Gaulle invited Tabarly to receive his Legion d’Honneur, Tabarly declined saying that it coincided with the day he had set aside to paint his boat. President de Gaulle rescheduled the ceremony and sent another invitation that read, “I would be delighted to be able to count on your presence… if the tide is favourable of course.” Such is the pull of sailors as celebrities in France.

It’s hard to imagine someone like John Kostecki or Ken Read or some other top American sailor being touted up there alongside LeBron or Tiger Woods. It’s just never going to happen. Yes the Newport stopover of the recent Volvo Ocean Race was a great success, but measure it against the Vendée Globe where millions of spectators show up to see the boats and will stand for hours in the pouring rain for a chance to walk the pontoon, and you will see the difference between sailing in America and sailing in France.

I can only hope that they find Laurent Bourgnon sitting on a sandbar waiting to be rescued, but with each passing hour that seems less and less likely. If he is gone then the world will be a lot less colorful, of that I am certain.

- Brian Hancock. Take a look at his new website – All About Sails.

 

June 27th, 2015

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on the rocks

Wheelers Bay Ventnor RTIR 2015 from Anarchist Marcus. Who knows the story??

 

June 27th, 2015

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