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the view

This is pretty much the view the rest of the fleet had of lovely Marit Bouwmeester at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to be “behind.” Yuk yuk.

 

April 6th, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

uk ad 4 3Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you favor— the left-leaning progressives who actually care about our environment, or the  right-wingers who support things like abolishing the EPA under the guise of “less regulation” —you are bound to have a dog in the hunt regarding the new RRS 55. By prohibiting the discharge of trash and other articles overboard, ISAF has deemed that rubber bands and yarn used to stop spinnakers fall under the auspices of a rule 55 no-no.

Rules, environment, whatever; but how the bejezus are sailors supposed to set a spinnaker when it’s blowing dogs off chains? Set a chute safely in stops…or break the rule. Talk about a “rock and hard place” conundrum.

Here’s the thing: today rule 55 no longer controls the spinnaker stopping conversation. “How come” you ask? It turns out that the designers at UK Sailmakers have come-up with a way to stop spinnakers that IS EASIER, FASTER, AND ACTUALLY WORKS BETTER THAN RUBBER BANDS OR WEAK YARN.

Introducing SPIN STOPS from UK Sailmakers.

SPIN STOPS are quick-release elastic and Velcro tabs stitched onto the luff and tack of spinnakers. As in the past, your bowpeeps below will run the tapes of the sail; but instead of forcing the sail through a funnel or bottomless bucket loaded-up with rubber bands, they can simply and quickly wrap the SPIN STOPS around the sail and connect the Velcro tabs. No muss, no fuss, no remembering to buy more rubber bands or yarn. Quick, easy, and effective.

UK recommends installing SPIN STOPS on the top half of luff and the first third of the tack finding that both asym and symmetrical chutes once again can be set in all manner of wind conditions with safety, ease, and confidence. Once hoisted, simply trim the sheet as in the past and, SHAZAAM, the SPIN STOPS pop open and the spinnaker’s flying. SPIN STOPS are sized to fit different sized spinnakers and are small enough not to impact the sail’s performance once opened.

One of the worst jobs on a racing boat is going below and re-stop a spinnaker in a seaway (funny how the folks who pay for the sails usually don’t get tagged with that duty). However, sailors who have gone below during a blow to re-stop a chute using SPIN STOPS find they are back on the rail in half the time and only wish that SPIN STOPS were developed years ago.

SPIN STOPS makes sense regardless of which side of the proverbial Rules Aisle you sit. Call UK Sailmakers today at 1-800-253-2002 to discuss adding SPIN STOPS on your new spinnaker or retrofitting SPIN STOPS onto an existing one. To see UK’s SPIN STOP video, click here.

 

April 5th, 2014

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Saying that Waterlust has blown us away, again, never gets old…

 

April 4th, 2014

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A refreshingly honest reveal from the DongFeng VOR Team…

Fear of the unknown is one thing and being scared of what you know is another! For Kit, Horace, Wolf and Liu Xue, Liu Ming and Yiran Zhang, the Chinese sailors on board ‘Dongfeng’, they have had their first real taste of what the Volvo Ocean Race can be like and it is scaring the hell out of them.

After 12 days at sea on the training leg from Sanya and with more rough conditions ahead, the Chinese crew relayed their fears to skipper Charles Caudrelier: “They are scared about the bad weather and afraid to be sea sick again,” reported Charles. “It is hard to realise from the outside and for someone who never sailed offshore, they have to understand there are going to be not easy moments… We will sail through a storm just before arriving in Hong Kong in the next few days. For sure they are not ready technically and physically to face such weather. But, honestly, it is totally normal. I went through the same thing when I started sailing offshore and my first transatlantic experience was not great… I almost gave up at that time.” Read on.

And speaking of the VOR and nebies, , check out the latest from Chris Mus3ler….

For the first time in the modern history of the Volvo Ocean Race, a large portion of the skippers and sailors will be newbies to the race. Most have never lapped the planet on a sailboat. This is in stark contrast to previous races where only the most elite helmsmen – Chris Nicholson, Paul Cayard, Frank Cammas, Grant Dalton – have been able to garner the support of top sponsors and yacht designers to compete. This rarified atmosphere was the driving principle of what is considered the marquee professional ocean race in the world. Read on.

 

April 4th, 2014

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The droneistas at Pigeonvision follow up their great work in Sint Maarten with this aerial reel from the St. Barth’s bucket. A very pretty view of these jewel-encrusted heavyweights, but they do remind us more than a little of a bunch of hippos wallowing in a watering hole.

 

April 3rd, 2014

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Ronnie Simpson continues with the bad luck, as well as with the perseverance that keeps seeing him through.  Another great story from our West Coast (and now world) wanderer.  As always, you can follow Ronnie’s adventures on his page at Open Blue Horizon, and we encourage everyone who’s enjoyed Ronnie’s great writing and enthusiasm for the sport over the past few years to send him a few shekels via Paypal – just go here and type in rsimpson48@yahoo.com as the recipient.  Dig deep, please!   

sailing into Kahului MondayIt’s the thing that every sailor who sails engineless fears most; dismasting or other major problem with a lee shore, big swell running and breeze-on conditions. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the situation that I found myself in yesterday off of Maui’s east side while sailing my cruising boat; the Cal 2-27 MONGO.

While en route from the West coast to Australia, MONGO and I had just completed a picture-perfect early season passage from San Diego to Hilo, Hawai’i and were now cruising downwind through the islands looking for surf. After three days in Hilo, MONGO and I charged the Alenuihaha Channel from Hawai’i to Maui; known as the most treacherous in the Hawaiian Island chain. The little boat reveled in the big breeze and big waves of Hawai’i, averaging 7 knots VMG for hours, deep-reefed and all. After a brief 22-hour passage, MONGO sailed into Kahului Harbor and dropped a hook.

A strong Pacific high and stalled upper atmosphere low threatened the islands with reinforced trade winds, heavy rain and a lot of swell. Anchored in Kahului, I sought the relative safety of a mooring ball on the leeward side of the island (in Lahaina) as opposed to anchoring on the windward side with a beach park serving as a lee shore. I would sail to Lahaina in the morning, hoping to hit the Pailolo Channel in between Maui and Moloka’i in the morning before the trades built to their daily max.

Up came the anchor and within minutes, MONGO was clearing Kahului’s breakwater and heading north up the coast of Maui under single-reefed main. Taking the scenic route, I stayed relatively close in to shore, watching the waves break on the rocky beach, sending white spray high into the air. Having become an avid surfer in the past two years, I am fascinated by viewing different bits of swell-exposed coastline. Engaging my self-steering wind vane “Francois” (named after VG winner Francois Gabart), I made a cup of coffee and then came back on deck to enjoy my private boat tour of Maui and another tropical morning.

With a coffee in one hand and the tiller in the other, I watched on in horror as the mast broke below the spreaders and immediately came crashing down. Why it occurred, I do not know, but all indicators lead to the starboard lower shroud’s toggle failing on my 4-month old standing rigging. The entire dismasting happened in the blink of an eye and was as unexpected as it was brief. Having now put the boat through its paces for 4,000 miles of coastal and offshore cruising, 2 haul-outs and a thorough re-fit that included new standing rigging, new rudder and all of the safety gear amongst many others boat bits, I felt that MONGO was battle tested, well maintained and imminently sea worthy. Why did the mast fail?… I was in disbelief at what had happened.

image (27)Close in to a lee shore with pounding surf and a steady 18-20 knot onshore trade wind blowing, I had no time to ponder what had failed or why. It simply had. I looked at the rig, saw that we weren’t holed and called “mayday” on VHF 16. I then grabbed the hand held VHF and immediately ran to the bow to begin trying to anchor my engineless, dismasted boat. While anchoring, I continued to confer with the Coast Guard on the radio. I dropped the rig in about 80-90 feet of water, unsuccessfully attempted to anchor in 62 feet of water and finally got the hook down in 50 feet of water. Now to gather the rig back on board.

With 9-11 foot pounding surf rolling under the boat and one wave breaking over the bow, MONGO rode the seas like a bucking bronco making the task of recovering the rig exponentially harder, while also inducing a serious rig-on-hull thrashing. I used a couple of halyards led to winches to begin winching the rig back up next to the boat. With the spar full of water and the main sail impeding my efforts, I struggled to get the rig back on board. An hour had passed since the dismasting. My anchor had held, the Coast Guard was on the scene and the rig was secured to the side of the boat. Had I had more time, perhaps another hour, I believe I could have gotten the rig back on board. But I didn’t. The Coast Guard was circling a disabled sailboat that was anchored just outside of big surf. They were ready to get the rescue under way.

With the rig secured to the side of the boat, the Coasties threw over a heaving line with two tow lines on its end. I caught the line and rigged up for tow. The USCG wanted me to cut my anchor rode, but I pleaded for them to help me retrieve my anchor. I was just dismasted; losing my primary ground tackle seemed unnecessary. The Coast Guard indulged me and powered forward so that I could retrieve the anchor and chain. We towed east to get into deeper water and then south towards the harbor. Halfway back to Kahului Harbor, a wave broke into the side of the boat and began ripping the mast away. The bottom section, which was pointed at the sky, swung precariously around the cockpit, missing my head by inches and ripping the front of the stern pulpit off. The top section of the mast began ripping stanchions out of the deck as the bottom section began to threaten not only myself, but my wind vane Francois as well. The port side of the boat was oil-canning and flexing horribly and there were already two holes in the boat by the hull-deck joint. I feared being holed worse, so I grabbed a rigging knife, cut the halyards and jettisoned the entire rig and the main sail. The man had been kicked while he was down.

With no rig over the side, we could tow at 5 knots, the helm was neutral and MONGO felt like a boat again. I cracked a luke warm Coors Light. It was the first thing to go right all morning. Back into Kahului Harbor, we towed up to the commercial wharf next to the harbor’s lone Pilot Boat and tied up. I was boarded by the Coasties, cleared and then we moved the boat to its own side-tie. My boat had been dismasted, but all’s well that ends well and we were back in port safely with minimal injury to myself, and despite MONGO getting pretty trashed, she’s salvageable. This hectic morning was finally starting to normalize. I began cleaning up the boat in an effort to restore order. An hour and a half later, an 8.2 earthquake hit Chile. Tsunami alerts were issued and the port began buzzing with activity. I was informed that the harbor closed at 6 pm and that if the tsunami posed a real threat, the area would be evacuated. The man was getting kicked again while he was down!

Side-tied to the leeward side of the wharf, I inflated my kayak (my dinghy) and rowed two anchors, chain and rode out to leeward about 40 feet. I then tied two old halyards to massive tires that acted as fenders on the wharf. I eased off on the halyards and took up slack on the anchor rode. MONGO was now secured at four corners some twelve feet to leeward of the wharf and 20 feet to windward of two anchors. Theoretically, she could rise up and down ten feet if need be. Whether or not she would push her keel through the hull remained uncertain. “Be brave, MONGO”, I whispered to the boat as I left. I took one last look and then pushed off with my skate board headed for the nearest bus stop.

I grabbed a bus and went to Lahaina; in part to get away from the boat, in part to head for the hills in light of a potential tsunami and in part to begin sorting out the logistics of what will come next. The tsunami never materialized in Hawai’i, much to my relief. A million thoughts ran through my mind as I tried to evaluate the situation and come up with a plan to move forward. I thought of the one thing that I didn’t have on board that I needed; a hacksaw. I realized I didn’t have one on board halfway between Cali and Hawai’i and added it to my list of things to buy in Honolulu. Not having this saw nearly caused me to lose the boat as the mast was pinned to the port side at a precarious angle and threatened to be holed more severely than she was, as I couldn’t remove the port lower shroud. I eventually managed to break the turnbuckle, freeing the rig.

dismasted Kahului tuesdayI thought of the irony of sailing 4,000 miles (originating in Tacoma, WA) on my boat that I purchased for $4,000 only to lose the rig in 18 knots of breeze with only a reefed main up, less than a mile from land. I also thought of the irony that my friend Ruben and I left Kahului in 2012 and rescued the abandoned Bela Bartok and sailed her to Honolulu, only to be rescued myself two years later and towed into the very same harbor we had left from; Kahului Harbor, Maui. I thought of the fact that I had lost the rig on April Fool’s Day. Murphy was clearly a sailor although his sense of humor fell on deaf ears this time.

After much thought and reflection, I realize that MONGO and I were dealt a serious blow and my journey to Australia has run into its first major roadblock. Rather than throwing in the towel and abandoning the voyage, my resolve has been solidified. I will continue to sail my boat to more land falls, both near and far.

First things first, I will source an outboard motor bracket and bolt on a borrowed 4-horse outboard from the Alameda-based Valiant 32 Horizon. I then plan to head to Home Depot to purchase wood, screws and glue to build a temporary box-section mast and then set sail for Honolulu next week. Once in Honolulu, I will re-build. I will re-rig and continue on my journey, stronger than before.  Hopefully you’ll follow along, and of course if you want to send any mail, I’d love to hear from you at rsimpson48@yahoo.com.

I also want to extend my sincerest gratitude to the US Coast Guard out of Ma’alea Bay, Maui, the Kahului harbor masters, Zach Streitz of s/v Horizon, my friend Leah whose couch I crashed on last night, and everyone else that has sent me messages of support. Let the next phase of this journey begin.

Aloha and mahalo,

Ronnie Simpson, s/v MONGO

April 3rd, 2014

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A little Big Pimpin’ from the boys at Velocitek, sponsor of our Gear Anarchy forum!

velocitek pimpCharleston Race Week 2014 is just over a week away and there are over 280 boats entered. With the release of our new tactical weapon, the Shift, Velocitek now offers a device legal for every class competing at CRW. To help boost your performance in Charleston, we’re offering free UPS 2nd Day Air shipping right here through April 13.

And if you need any more incentive to place your order now, here’s a Velocitek win list for the One Design classes that will be in Charleston:

J/80 – 2013 World Champion – New Territories, Hugo Roca – ProStart
J/24 – 2013 World Champion – Helly Hansen, Tim Healy – Shift
J/24 – 2013 North American Champion – Helly Hansen, John Mollicone – Shift
J/24 – 2014 Midwinter Champion – Helly Hansen, John Mollicone – Shift
J/22 – 2013 World Champion – Dazzler, Allan Terhune – SpeedPuck
J/70 – 2013 North American Champion – Muse, Heather Gregg-Earl – ProStart
J/70 – 2014 Midwinter Champion – Helly Hansen, Tim Healy – Shift
J/70 – 2014 Key West Race Week Boat of the Week – Helly Hansen, Tim Healy – Shift
Melges 24 – 2014 World Champion – Blu Moon, Flavio Favini – ProStart and Shift
Melges 20 – 2014 Bacardi Sailing Week – Ninkasi, John Taylor – ProStart and Shift
Viper 640 – 2013 North American Champion – ARGO, Jason Carroll – ProStart

Why do all of these One Design Champions use Velocitek? Learn for yourself – get the Velocitek edge and sail faster.

 

April 3rd, 2014

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Larry Punchable

2-time America’s Cup winner and Oracle Team USA principal Larry Ellison ranks as the most punchable CEO in America based on criteria such as  scope of influence, public image, annual income, and general physical appearance, according to one of the most reliable sources of fake news in human history…read on.

 

April 3rd, 2014

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Flavio_Favinii1Deneen Demourkas took a minute from her regatta to share some thoughts about a tragic accident yesterday; we’re pleased to report that Flavio Favini’s doctors are optimistic after a long day of surgery to fix many of the serious injuries he suffered when his balcony collapsed on Wednesday, dropping the well-regarded pro racer some 30 feet to the ground below.  Flavio’s not out of the woods yet, and we want to add to Deneen’s thoughts and wishes for a rapid, complete recovery.  Flavio is one of the best human beings in the sport; a consummate professional with a huge smile and generous heart, and one of the most ethical, honest sailors you could ever hope to race with or against.  Feel the love, brother.

Here’s Deneen, from Groovederci’s Facebook page:

Flavio, from the first day I met him when starting my sailing career was always kind, always generous, always a friend. I have watched his children grow, his career soar… a lovely man, a truly lovely man, one hell of a sailor. And now, I ask that you join me in saying a prayer for him and his family. Flavio, I love you, you are one of my biggest heroes and I can’t imagine not having you on the starting line. The entire Groovederci team are thinking of you and your family, sending our love to you and your family with wishes for a fast recovery and looking forward to your schooling us once again on the race course. God’s speed caro amico! Groovederci will dedicate this week to you, your family and your recovery. Keeping all of you close to our hearts.

 

April 3rd, 2014

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jesus sofia

And at the end somebody always gets hurt. Awesome shots at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia from the world-renown Jesus Renedo.

 

April 3rd, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

 Sailing Anarchy - ProductIt’s a good time to welcome Sailing Anarchy’s newest advertiser, Afterguard! These guys have created the first really exciting new navigation/tactical technology in a long, long time, and they’re the only company offering a heads-up display for sailing.  This is no fly-by-night piece of vaporware, either; we spent a long time talking to Alex and his Afterguard team as well as the folks at Recon who build much of the hardware, and they’re definitely for real.

We recommend having a peak at the Afterguard website to learn more, have a look at this HD sizzle reel from their Miami testing with the TP52 fleet, or click on one of the banners you now see around SA.  We are pretty sure they’ll sell out their first production run pretty quickly, so order yours today if you want to be at the front of the line.  Here’s a quick Q&A with Afterguard boss Alex Moret.

SA: The Afterguard HUD has been called ‘trickle-down’ technology from the America’s Cup, but your tech is a long way ahead of the semi-secret HUD sunglasses and backpack that Jimmy Spithill wore in the Valencia AC.  Can you explain what Jimmy used, and how Afterguard differs?

AM: The screen Jimmy used in the America’s Cup was groundbreaking. It was very cool and certainly an exciting step forward for technology in our sport, however, it was really just a one-off. It wasn’t a system that was ready for the consumer – the glasses were hard-wired to a computer that had to be carried in a backpack. It was bulky and quite technical to run. It was definitely inspiring and got the world excited, but it had a long way to go. Our technology is built right into the glasses – no wires, no backpacks, no technical experience needed to operate and very easy to integrate with your current boat instrumentation. With the advancements that have been made in miniaturization and wifi technology, we are finally able to bring to market a Heads Up Display that is small, light and powerful, so that you don’t have to sacrifice mobility or maneuver with something that is distracting and cumbersome.

SA: What intrigues us most is Afterguard’s “Virtual Tactician” feature, which can actually tell you whether you will safely cross a starboard tacker, or whether you will lay a mark, all without screwing around with a tablet around your neck or a laptop down below.  This is potentially game-changing stuff, so can you explain how the sensors, processors, and software can accomplish this very complex task?  How accurate, and therefore, reliable, is it?

AM: What the patent pending Virtual Tactician does is really simple and intuitive. How it does it is quite a bit more complicated. The Afterguard Heads Up Display integrates a 9-axis accelerometer and magnetometer that very precisely tracks the movement of your head and combines it with the information pulled from your boat instrumentation. With all of this information, the system knows what direction you are looking and what your boat is doing relative to the conditions and targets. The magic of the Virtual Tactician is that it allows you to simply turn your head, line up a mark or another boat and make a clearing decision.

SA: What led you down this path of developing something so highly specialized?

AM: Heads Up Display is something that both Ross and I have been dreaming about for years. When we first saw it in the America’s Cup, we knew that it would be killer to have something like that on our own boats. In the last few years, Heads Up Display technology has really started to mature, and the cost of miniaturized sensors and components has become affordable enough that this no longer had to be a dream. Although the market is niche, we believe the product is the kind of game-changer that grabs the imagination of anyone who’s raced a sailboat.

SA: Does it work for those of us who wear prescription eyeglasses?  What about the lens tint – is it variable, or are their options for foggy/clear/dark sails?

AM: The screen itself is set to optical infinity, which means that most individuals, regardless of whether they are short or long sighted, are able to read the display. The lens of the sunglasses themselves are not prescription at this time, but it may be something we introduce in the future. At the moment, we just have one set of polarized lens that we have found work best in most environments. In the future, we plan on having a selection of lenses that you can swap out.

SA: Are they battery hogs?  How will the Afterguard work for longer races, where you might want each rotating driver to slip into them as they start their stint?

AM: The system has been designed to be very power efficient, so users will get about 4-6 hours out of a battery. The batteries themselves are interchangeable, so with a couple of backup batteries, the Afterguard would be good to go even during a long offshore race.

SA: Is Afterguard’s “Performance Dashboard”  a repeater of on-board instruments, or does it do its own calculations?  Can the display incorporate GPS info and navigation aids like XTE and CMG? How much overall customization is available for the display?

Sailing Anarchy - RossAM: The Afterguard system pulls the data directly from your onboard instruments, so any data that you see in the HUD is consistent with what you see on your existing instruments. However, for situations where your onboard systems aren’t providing a particular piece of the data, the HUD will use its own sensors to augment each of the screens. Regarding GPS, XTE and CMG, the system receives all of the raw data from the onboard instruments, but currently doesn’t incorporate all the data it receives into the screens.

SA: How much wet can the glasses take?  Any plans to do a leaner, and fully waterproof dinghy/moth/olympics version?

AM: The Heads Up Display has been designed to a standard called IP65 which means it is splash resistant, but can not withstand full immersion under water. Basically, it can get pretty wet, but you won’t want to take it for a swim. We’re definitely toying around with the idea of a fully waterproof HUD, maybe even something that could also work for kite boarders and wind surfers.

SA: Is there a way to record video with the HUD info for later coaching/debriefing?  If not, is this in the plan for future upgrades?

AM: Yes, the hardware is already there with a built-in HD camera, so there is definitely a plan for future upgrades.

SA: When can we expect the first units to ship, and how do folks get on the order list?

AM: We’re only doing a limited production for the first run, so there is a small quantity available for preorder on Afterguard.co for early adopters who want to be the first to get their hands on an Afterguard system. We’ve already placed orders for all the necessary components and have booked manufacturing time, so we should be on track to ship the systems in the fall.

SA: What’s the discount for SA’s early adopter techno-boffins?  Got any high-profile customers you can share with us on the ‘first run’ list?

AM: For those lucky enough to get one of the preorder systems, we’re giving a pretty hefty discount of $600 off of the retail price. The solo Afterguard system that includes the Central Communications Unit and one Heads Up Display is going for $1899, instead of the $2499 retail pricetag. We want to reward the sailors who are willing to get behind us and the product, and who are as excited as we are to start racing with the system.

SA: Thanks Alex – we’re stoked to see the first units and sign us up for a test drive.

AM: You got it, and thanks so much for your interest!

 

 

April 3rd, 2014

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Turbo Bird - TP52 Phoenix - Pierre Orphanidis Photo - Vsail

Pierre Orphanidis went out to watch and shoot the newest TP52 on her sea trials last weekend; below is some info on the first ‘Turbo TP52″ to race in the 52SuperSeries fleet; go here for loads more pics and a few more bits of info.

Although Phoenix is the first boat to have been designed to the 2015 TP52 rule, she still has to race under the current rule this year. Sail area next year will increase, an additional 5m2 for the mainsail and 10m2. The mainsail in 2014 will remain as is but the spinnaker has already been adapted to the new rule, hence the increase by approxaimtely 75cm of the bowsprits. During these initial trials in Valencia, the Phoenix sailing team uses a set of 2011 and 2012 sails from Azzurra. In fact, her design is an evolution of the Italian one.

The remaining two major modifications Phoenix will undergo next year will be to increase draft by 15cm and get rid of the additional 200kg in the bulb that have been added this year in order to comply with the current rule.

 

April 2nd, 2014

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Not the best wipeout video ever, but there are enough laugh-out-loud moments in this 4 minute WinFail compilation that it’s worth a look.

April 2nd, 2014

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FishingTrawler_300pxDid anyone misplace a blue mast about 170 km west of Darwin, Australia last year?  If so, call Bill Passey from Australia Bay Seafoods to pick it up.  Passey said one of his ground trawlers had a huge snag last week in 90 meters of Timor Sea while fishing for snapper, and after about six hours of tugging, ‘something finally gave way.”  The fisherman hauled up a mast and sails that have become quite the mystery over the past few days.  Northern Territories water police are taking this thing seriously; while they can’t find any unaccounted-for Australians in their database, the boat could be from anywhere.

Springing to mind immediately is the tragic loss of the classic gaffer Nina last year; the timing works out but the mast color and location don’t.  One Anarchist suggested the mast may have fallen off a Fremantle to Bali Race competitor last May; the timing and location both work for this one, we can’t find any that fit the mast profile.

A huge percentage of Australia’s racers read Sailing Anarchy, so spread the news around amongst your friends and let’s see if we can solve this mystery.  Brainstorm in the thread here, and thanks to Bill E Goat for the heads up.  Here are the full details reported so far:

-Mast color: Blue
-Timing: “8-10 months in the water”, according to a shellfish expert’s examination
-Location: 170 km West of Darwin
-Depth: 90 meters
-Sails: “Match a type made by a boutique sailmaker in Sydney”
-Hardware: “Stainless rings on mast (maybe spinnaker pole mounts?) made in Auckland”

 

April 2nd, 2014

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marit

Sure, some of you fell for our April Fool’s Day joke, and some of you didn’t.  This shot of the awesome Marit Bouwmeester from the Trofeo Princesa Sofia however,  is no joke! Thanks to Jesus Renedo, with more info coming soon.

 

April 1st, 2014

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Given the rabid hysteria from the insane gun nut, “2nd Amendment” tea-tards in the good ol’ US of A-holes, it comes as little surprise that El Cajon Congressman James “Jimmy” James has authored a bill, CL 0076-b, that would allow licensed gun owners the right to carry concealed weapons on “Public and private “Golf courses, Country Clubs, and Yacht Clubs”.

That this bit of insanity is beyond belief was only made more incredible by what he said: “There ain’t nowhere that Americans shouldn’t be able to carry a gun to protect themselves, their family of their club. I think it’s a God given right. As George W. Bush once said, “you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists.” We gotta make it clear whose side we are on.”

 

April 1st, 2014

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Clipper RTW team Derry-Londonderry-Doire show their successful recovery of Andrew Taylor after a wave knocked him off the boat during a 35-knot squall about halfway across the Pacific.  The 90-minute rescue was compounded by hail and breaking seas, but Taylor’s drysuit and PFD made it a fairly textbook – if slow – rescue.  No word on what the holdup was, or whether the Clipper crew was wearing a PLRB; official news here and thanks to Richard for the heads up.

 

March 31st, 2014

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Professional racer Steph Roble checks in with her final report from what was by all accounts a barnstorming St. Thomas International Regatta, and we advise you to watch this one; Roble has a keen mind, serious competitiveness, and a great attitude in a hell of a package, and we urge you to go and like her Epic Racing Facebook page to follow her pro sailing and Women’s Match Racing exploits this summer. Congrats also to Jaime Torres and his Melges 32 Smile and Wave for following in his father’s footsteps to win the Rolex…ironically, the year they no longer give out the watch.  Follow SnW’s Facebook Page to watch the Caribbean M32 fleet grow.  Photos from Dean Barnes, and you can see all the galleries from the STIR here.  Dean Barnes photos.

dlb01975489olWhat a day! Team Line Honors started the final day of STIR with a 2 point lead over Puerto Rico’s Cachondo, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy to beat them. All week, it had been tight between us and today would be no different.

We sailed out to Jersey Bay this morning feeling good with our waterproof speakers blasting. The race course was much more open than yesterday’s tight courses, and we knew this would be more boatspeed and shift, and less boat-on-boat tactics. We won the first two races by winning the very favored boat end of the line and staying on starboard, getting out to the left where a nice geographical shift helps. The RC had 6 races scheduled – we knew we had to pace ourselves, but after two bullets, we were feeling pretty darn fine.

In the start of race 3 we played with the Cachondo boys for a bit, but at a minute to go, he went off for the crowded boat end while we went mid-line. The boat was so favored that Marco took the lead at the gun and basically sat on us the entire rest of the way; we grabbed a third place in this one.

dlb01975386olFor the final buoy race, we wanted to put some more point separation between our boats, and as befits the Match Race World Champion at our tiller, we went after Marco and his boys on Cachondo. And we misjudged our time and distance to the line…starting behind Cachondo…and then we missed a right shift on the last run, and lost 4 boats. We were extremely annoyed, and now, instead of a nice lead, we had a 3-point deficit going into the distance race that would end the regatta.

The race started in Jersey Bay, went up and around Great St James Island, through the awesome Current Cut, and to the finish line directly in front of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. “How the f%^$ are we going to make up that point gap??” we all thought to ourselves. Naturally, we all thought the same thing: “Let’s match race him,” and somehow, magically, put 3 boats between Cachondo and us before the finish. Sure…no problem.

Taylor went on to manhandle Marco in the pre-start, and on the beat, we pushed him hard to the right side of the course while the rest of the fleet went hard left. Our only hope was to keep sending him back, hoping we could somehow squeeze boats behind us. But with such a gap and so much leverage on the fleet, we didn’t know if we would be first, last or somewhere in between. We tacked about 12 times up the beat while Marco tried to break loose; finally we got to the layline to the cut of the island and left him to extend. We caught up to the fleet but left enough distance between us that exactly 3 boats were between us; we were all wound so tight as it unfolded! We hoisted the kite and snuck in front of a couple of boats, which we managed to pass on the reach, and coming into the final run to the club with spectators stacking the beach, we had 5 boats between us and Marco.

dlb01978039msNo one said anything; we all knew what was happening, but we had to keep our cool until such an unlikely scenario actually came true. Taylor’s dad and regatta organizer Bill Canfield was on the finish line boat for our final race, and what an experience – live music blasting from the stage, hundreds of competitors already partying it up, Bill on the RC boat with a big smile, champagne sailing conditions, and just enough boats behind us to take a hard-earned win.

We could have easily given up and handed the regatta to Marco, or fight hard against the odds and send it. We sent it, and it goes to show that hard work pays off, and aggression is competition, and to never ever give up no matter the circumstances. We are proud to represent Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters as the champions of the St Thomas international Regatta. One final shout out to the team: Mike Rehe, Taylor Canfield, Matt Clark and Taylor Ladd. And a big thank you to Sailing Anarchy for giving us a lot of love. Now it’s time to fill the glass with rum and celebrate!

 

March 31st, 2014

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One of those quietly fascinating threads that could only happen in the Sailing Anarchy forums has been gathering steam since the end of 2013, and at over 20,000 views and nearly 1200 posts, it’s become Gear Anarchy’s most viewed thread, because it is a comprehensive resource for cordage testing information that’s uncluttered by manufacturer puffery and glossy brochures.  We’re not saying that the ‘official’ numbers are wrong – we’re just glad that Evans Starzinger, Brian Toss, and a pile of other smart guys are making and breaking hundreds of knots and splices in dozens of materials entirely because they want to improve the information available to the public.

The thread starts here, and we humbly suggest you pack a lunch.  And be sure to check out Evans’ website to see where he’s coming from, and Toss’s because, well, he’s awesome.

 

 

March 31st, 2014

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MEXORC 2014

Banderas Bay’s biggest events finished up over the weekend, with Grand Illusion, Hamachi, and Bandida taking the MexORC trophies in the big boat racing and Mike Ingaham’s Digger winning against a tough J/24 fleet that includes multiple world champ Mauricio Santa Cruz in the Copa Mexico.  We’d give you more info, but that would spoil your fun in figuring out a website that’s as easy to navigate (and full of unwanted music) as the streets of Tijuana!  We’ll have more later this week from photographer/writer Jen Edney; her photo of the ORR1 fleet at the line is above.

 

March 31st, 2014

Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

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