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Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 11.54.40 AMWe’ve already told you how much we love the little Vaavud handheld/iPhone wind speed measurer that our friends from dealer Ronstan US dropped in the mail to us a few months ago; it’s incredibly accurate, ultra-light, and has stood up to the Clean Travel Abuse Test as long as any device we’ve tested.  Equally important is the app that runs it – it’s clear, good looking, and easy to use, and while it’s early, the company’s worldwide, crowdsourced wind map could have amazing implications for those who like watching and using the wind.

But like anything, it’s got a big problem – a problem that Vaavud looks like they’re about to fix, but only with your help.  So head over to Kickstarter and throw a couple of bucks at the new Vaavud Wind Meter 2.0 - with wind speed AND DIRECTION baked in.  If it is as good as the original Vaavud, these things are going to be everywhere – get in early like we did!

 

July 15th, 2014

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GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAArctic sea ice may be thinning at an alarming rate (and the resultant water level rise is having plenty of effect).  For some, that means mo’ money, while for others, more adventure.  And both of those will be subsidized to the tune of millions upon millions thanks to icebreakers and SAR rescues for the shipping and recreational concerns that choose to check out the Northwest Passage.  Here’s a sample of one rescue over the weekend, with a short video on how to tow your ugly-ass arctic shitbox with an icebreaker.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a polar icebreaker, rescued a man aboard a sailboat trapped in Arctic ice approximately 40 miles northeast of Barrow, Saturday.  The crew of the Healy broke a 12 mile path through the Arctic ice with the sailboat, Altan Girl, in tow and led it to open water. The Healy crew conducted a safety inspection of the mariner’s vessel to ensure the vessel was seaworthy and that all the required safety equipment was on board. The mariner intends to sail to Barrow to resupply and await safer weather conditions before continuing his journey.  The crew of the Healy will return to their National Science Foundation-funded research mission. 

It isn’t like this is a usual SAR effort from existing Coast Guard assets, or an unusual emergency or weather-related issue – this ship was diverted from other duties to rescue a clown who went sailing directly into the Arctic ice.  Shouldn’t anyone undertaking a trip through the Arctic fucking Ocean be prepared to be iced in for long periods of time rather than getting a free tow through the ice at massive public expense?  You tell us.

More Rescues

The annual American Powerboat Idiot Crash Day festivities are long over, with predictably nasty consequences in many harbors – especially the three boat/four death/12 injury crash in Miami – but not all was tragic: in Annapolis, three were rescued after two boats crashed and partially sank near the Naval Academy.  In Newport Beach, CA on the 5th of July, a lifeguard rescued a struggling swimmer only to drown.  Here’s an SA Notice to US Mariners:  Stay far, far away from any harbor or river between 7/3 and 7/5.  Talk about your July 4 experiences here.

Lightening The Mood

If you need a little laughter after all this tragedy, go over here to the funniest beach video we’ve seen in a while.

 

July 15th, 2014

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We love to get nerdy, and few can get nerdier than former Air Force Lt. Col., Boeing military aerospace engineer, Oracle Racing designer, and Sailing Anarchist Tom Speer.  This guy has been foiling since Egyptian Cotton sails – that’s why we can excuse the crappy sound and image quality from The Foiling Week’s video of Speer’s talk on the state-of-the-art in foiling, just last week.  It’s embedded above, and here’s the companion PDF to Speer’s talk.

 

July 15th, 2014

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IMG_7647

ROBLE : noun \rō-blā\:

 1. Spanish - A non-standardized Spanish labeling term in the Spanish ‘hierarchy’ of wines, indicating that a wine has been aged in oaken barrels for a shorter time than required for the Crianzaa designation; Spanish wines commonly considered to be younger, fruitier, and spicier than the norm with a bit of added interest from the wood.

2. US -  A non-standardized American woman, and one of the only true full-time professional female racers in the hemisphere, if not the world (excluding olympic hopefuls and a boat prep/administrator ‘pros’); Indicating a beautiful bouquet of brains, power, and talent that is considered younger, fruitier, and spicier than the norm.

3. US –  STEPHANIE ROBLE – Skipper of 2014 US Women’s Match Racing Champion Epic Racing, crowned Sunday in Long Island Sound on her fifth attempt at the USWMR title.

Wanna help more women get into the sport while winning?  Then hire America’s top female sailor and show your family, crew, and friends that you think girls can be pro sailors too. Trust us, there are so many reasons you want Steph sailing with your team; and top teams have noticed –  after more than a year at the top of the US Women’s Match rankings (and 3rd worldwide) and lots of success in classes like the Melges 20 and J/70, Roble’s calendar is getting seriously full a year or so into her decision to become a full-time race pro.  Get in touch with her via Epic Racing or chat with Stephanie at the 80-boat J/70 NAs starting on Thursday, and here’s her report from the event (with photo from Larry Kennedy and a massive gallery here).

Epic Racing was crowned the U.S. Women’s Match Racing National Champion this weekend at Oakcliff Sailing Center. It was a challenging weekend bringing a broad range of conditions in heavy, 40 foot boats called SM 40s. Our team of 6 girls did an amazing job working hard to make the boat go fast at all times, which is not an easy task. We are proud to be at the top of the 8 teams who competed, as each team gave us a run for our money! 

The first day was relatively light, shifty and very hot in the harbor right next to Oyster Bay. The focus was just to keep speed on and never let the boat stall on the foils or sails. This is much easier said than done while match racing and trying to take out your opponent! We finished the first day 5-0 and learned a lot about tactics and strategy (especially in the pre-start) that are specific to these big boats. 

We started day two excited about our momentum from the previous day, but knew we had our two hardest races of the first round robin left. Chantal Hearst, who has a lot of experience in these boats, beat us after we were over at the start and had some traffic issues on the course with some boats in other races. We then raced the next top ranked skipper, Nicole Breault, who had a great team onboard. We earned a penalty in the pre-start and managed to lead around the course. We set up perfectly to execute a penalty play at the windward mark but misjudged our layline back to the finish and killed the penalty too early, giving her an opportunity to pass us on the last run. We ended Round Robin one 5-2. 

As the day went on, the breeze built to a beautiful sea breeze and because of this, we felt much more comfortable in the boats. We were also hungry for more wins after our 2 silly losses in round robin 1. We ultimately finished round robin two 6-1. This meant that we won the double round robin and received honors of first pick for the semis.We chose the 4th place team, Sandy Hayes, and won the series 2-0. 

We started the finals on Sunday in 12-15 knots with jibs (instead of genoas) against Nicole Breault. We knew our boathandling and pre-starts would be our strengths but she was much faster. In race 1 we were in control most of the pre-start until the most important final 30 seconds when we stalled out after being head to wind. We trailed her off the line and around the course until the final run. From two boat lengths back, we matched her gybe to starboard, hit her breeze, gybed back to port, hit her breeze again, and gybed back to starboard right behind her. At this point we were holding her out from finishing but were restricted by rule 17, which means you have to sail your proper course (to the finish). We perfectly executed a double gybe later on so that we could continue to hold her out from the finish. It was a very exciting comeback and amped us up for race 2. 

Race 2, she had us tangled up in the dial up but after we broke free, we rallied for a “wide right” start in the breeze. This is very powerful as we were able to hold on her hip most of the beat until layline. We led downwind, but she passed us by getting to the right of us on the second upwind beat. On the last run, we were all set up to match her gybe to starboard and roll her to the finish. The girls perfectly executed the gybe and we had a very close, photo finish to take the series. 

It was an incredible weekend of sailing. Women’s match racing in booming in the States right now and that was proved by the level of sailing at this event. Our boathandling was INCREDIBLE and the attitude was right on par. The girls worked so hard and gave it their all whether we were ahead or behind. A huge shout out to Janel Zarkowsky (main/tactics), Maggie Shea (trim), Holly Poole (pit/trim assist), Liz Shaw (mast/bow) and Martha Pitt (bow). They crushed it! 

A huge thank you to our only fan for the weekend, Mary Lou Scott for coming down to cheer us on. Thank you to Oakcliff, US Sailing and Darcy Cook for running an excellent event. Thank you to all of our fans and supporters who help us make these events happen. And last, thank you to Helly Hansen for our team swag and making us look good! 

 

July 15th, 2014

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we do it too

Jeez, when power boaters are foiling, you know it’s played out. Actually, there is a pretty cool story behind this

 

July 13th, 2014

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Kevin Hall also jumps into the world of foiling. It is a deep pool. Brought to you by Mauri Pro Sailing.

Having a vision is one thing. Making it happen is quite another. The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and Burning Man come to mind as gatherings which must have started as a vision. Kudos to Luca Rizzotti, Andrea Ratti, Domenico Boffi, and their many teammates for creating a world first: The Foiling Week.

The Foiling Week on Lake Garda could easily become the mecca of modern sailing and design.  The enthusiasm from organizers and participants matches the grandeur of the vision perfectly. I hope sponsors are already climbing over each other for next year’s event. They should be.

A spectacular destination, perfect launching facilities, reliable wind (usually), cutting edge designers, and top sailors came together this week at the Malcesine Fraglia Vela. The passion in the air was so thick you could cut it with a foil.

The morning Symposium featured legends of the sport, past and present. Martin Fischer, Tom Speer, and Andrew McDougal are household names in foiling circles. Those circles are rapidly expanding.

Martin Fischer gave the keynote speech the first day. He talked about the 5 main things you need to sort out to foil consistently: Lift, Heave Stability, Pitch Stability, Sufficient Robustness for the conditions, and, well, money.

foiling week

Tom Speer and James Grogono

Tom Speer gave the keynote the second day. I will be re-watching it on the Foiling Week stream archives with a copy of the graphs as soon as I get a chance. He presented his investigation of the design space of A-cat foils. The primary assumption was that the windward foil will remain down. This means the tradeoffs are very different to those on the AC72. What interested me the most was his process of reaching the conclusions he reached. The conclusions themselves are pretty interesting too.

Andrew McDougall gave the keynote the third day. He took us through the development of the tools he has used to design cutting edge sailboard sails and moths for the last 30 years. He’s out on the water in his moth as I write this. I’m certain he still has a trick or two up his sleve.

The history of foiling leads to James Grogono. “Grandfather of foiling”, “legend”, and the “wrote the foiler’s bible” were bandied about the conference. It is less known that the US Navy achieved 30.6 knots in a boat called Monitor in 1956. James, ever the gentleman, opened his talk with this fact.

icarusJames designed and built Icarus. It was first launched in 1972. Get a tornado, bolt some outboard surface piercing foils on at a 45 degree angle, get 10 of your best friends to help you carry it into the water fully assembled, and off you go.

From 1972 to 1985 James improved the performance of Icarus from 21.6-28.15 knots. The resemblance of the configuration of the final iteration of Icarus to Hydroptere is uncanny. As I learned more about heave and pitch stability from Martin Fischer and Tom Speer, the Icarus/Hydroptere solution became less mysterious. No less wonderful.

In the boat park there were craft ranging from foil boards to GC32s. The important thing about the many different platforms is not how they were different. We were brought together by the common joys of flying above the water instead of sailing on it.

Foiling conversations very often end up in discussions of cavitation, ventilation, or both. I think I still mix them up if I haven’t had enough beer.

Cavitation happens quickly, like the pain when the dentist first drills your tooth. The cavity is a little area of boiling water on the upper side of the foil where the pressure is lowest. It disturbs the flow and causes trouble.

Somewhere around forty five knots, give or take depending on the section shape of the foil, the same low pressure which makes the boat fly also causes the water to turn to vapor. A cavity of vapor forms there, and the next bit of water has to go around it. No good.

Ventilation is when air gets sucked down the foil from the surface and creates an air bubble which disturbs the flow. Think of a kid blowing bubbles in his milk with a straw. Those bubbles stick around for a while. The top of the milk is not a smooth surface. In the Bladerider moth this was especially bad gybing from port to starboard in cold water. The rudder would pass through the wake of the wand and could easily ventilate. It feels a lot like catching weed. The thing still works, it’s just really draggy.

In this context, there are three categories of foils. Subcavitating foils, base-ventilated foils, and super-ventilated foils. The second two use the word “ventilated”, but they’re actually all about avoiding cavitation.

Subcavitating, or “wet” foils are what most of us are used to looking at. Like a regular airplane wing.

Base-ventilated foils are a big part of the solution which allowed the Vestas Sailrocket to reach speeds of 65 knots. They are shaped more like a wedge. The foil is designed so that air purposely becomes fed to the foil in just the right place. Cavitation can then either be mostly avoided, or the vapor pocket can be delayed until an area behind the foil. The second one is the fastest. The downside of this type of foil is it only works in a very narrow range of angle to the water. Not great in big waves. The other downside is the successful ones tend to be kept a secret. For good reason. Making it work is no small feat.

Super-ventilated foils are designed to keep themselves sheathed in air so that more air doesn’t bother them. They have more drag than base-ventilated foils. They are the happiest of the three kinds of foil above water-boiling speeds or in rough conditions. Designers use the word robust.

The C-FLY project is a catamaran with diamond foils on the bows. It’s a successful concept-proving boat. Their goal is to break ocean going records on foils. The sea-keeping characteristics of their design and the prototype here are notable. The idea for this design is consistent reliable lift through seaway, not top speed in flat water. It’s important to remember that the goal is to keep the air attached. The water moves around the air. The most amazing thing about their super-cavitating foils is what they look like. They have 5 ten millimeter steps down along the top edge of the foil. It’s rather counter-intuitive.

I understand another hat has been thrown in the ring of ocean-record foiling pursuits. Vestas Sailrocket 2 and Paul Larsen and his team have similar plans to sail across oceans above the water the whole way. Maybe one day we’ll see them on the same course.

More familiar looking to fans of the AC72 is the GC32. Designed to fit in a trailer you can tow behind your car, and to be rigged and launched without a crane, and to easily take sponsors for rides, yesterday they hit 37.8 knots on the lake. The GC32 may also be evidence that the design space of practical foiling catamarans is converging. It has the same length to width ratio, and the same exact daggerfoil rake range, as the AC62 Class rule. I suspect it will be hard for a person such as a Melges 32 owner to go back after getting a ride on a GC32.

The best thing about The Foiling Week was being under one roof. The joy of investigation and discovery, the step-change in performance brought by foiling, and the passion which comes from sharing these things face to face.

 

July 13th, 2014

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Inspired by my father, I’ve always had a love of the wind and water.  From that first sail, in a light summer breeze on an El Toro at our local reservoir to a bald headed jibe in 30 knots of breeze and ebb tide, racing on the SF Bay, a wealth of memories comes to mind.  Now reaching my seventh decade, I’m beginning to see life’s horizon in the distance.    This certainly causes one to reflect on what you want to do when you grow up and what remains undone.

Said so eloquently, the essence of happiness is simplicity.

And kite boarding may be one of the most simple and intimate ways to connect with the wind and the waves.  The City Front spectacle of kite boarders skipping over the ebb chop sparked my imagination.  This would require a skilled and knowledgeable guide before venturing into this unknown water wilderness.   Nat Lincoln, Edge Kite boarding instructor became my trailblazer on this new journey, keeping me off the lee shore and always offering encouragement.  After hearing that his AC skipper client was up and riding independently on his very first day, I was determined to put my best foot forward!  However on day 4, I was mostly in the water rather than riding on top of it.

Anxiety increased with the wind speed and the kite size and I set a eject record of sorts, clumsily hitting the safety release with my board within the first few minutes of body dragging out to the launch site requiring a shore side untangle of lines and equipment.  But day five was a different story.  The wind was stronger, the kite bigger and suddenly I was in charge, skimming across the water not bothering to watch the kite, but taking in the texture of waves and water as my board carved through the ever changing seascape.  An epiphany of sorts, my journey has just begun.   – Anarchist Dr. Joe.

 

July 13th, 2014

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SD Bay with CVBMP boundary_3For the love of all that is not wrong, please don’t hold the America’s Cup in San Diego. It’s bad enough that yet another round of poor decision-making by the powers that be took the AC out of the best venue ever – San Francisco, (or Frisco, as we like to call it) – it is something entirely different to drop it in Dago.

And yet, even that choice has been further butchered by the potential decision to hold the AC IN SAN DIEGO BAY!!!

What in the christ could they possibly be thinking?? First, it is tiny compared to the bay in Frisco. There is no way to race giant foiling catamarans in that space. Not even close. Never mind that there isn’t any wind – the bay is a joke. They could move it to the South Bay – under and south of the Coronado Bridge, but there is incredibly limited access, sunken wrecks, shoal issues, with no viewing or infrastructure. Plenty of room, decent breeze, but between the cranks in Coronado, the military squawking, and the crystal meth in Venereal Beach, good luck getting that one through.

So it goes back to the narrow, constrained and incredibly limited “north” bay.  Add the gestapo-like Coast Guard and Harbor Patrol (little more than jackbooted SDPD with bad attitudes) for traffic enforcement that is particular to San Diego, the many self-important local Napoleons who will be climbing all over each other to get  their tiny piece of “management” (you know who you are – those of you who ruined the Hot Rum Series so that you could slavishly bow down to the SD AC 45 regatta.), San Diego is perhaps the worst possible choice for the AC.  The notion of foisting the America’s Cup on this sport by picking a light air, cramped, boring venue is a sure way to impress nobody.

After the incredible racing venue that Frisco would easily repeat for the next Cup, to choose Dago would to essentially admit that the AC cares little about the actual racing, but sure seems to care about something else. That something else is money.

 

July 13th, 2014

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marblehead

No, not that First Marblehead, the failing student loan company that allegedly owes the IRS $300 million, is facing shareholder lawsuits, with a founder who acted in bad faith and was ruled to owe an investor $45 million, and of course is suing Sailing Anarchy as only someone like him would.

No this is Marblehead  is significantly skinnier, faster and a hell of a lot more fun. And the real First Marblehead  is Brad Gibson from GBR, winner of World  Chaamps held for the first time in the Netherlands. These things have gotten very trippy looking – check this video.

 

July 13th, 2014

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Of course are forums are filled with some of the most interesting stories anywhere (what, are you new?). Here’s a great example…

After spending some time in Taiwan  I met a man who owns a resort on an Island in Indonesia. He said he wanted to build a sailing boat that could carry 50 plus people, with a Bar n Grill , live reggae band, or DJ party boat that could do beach landings and eco tours. He wants it built from local wood carvel style. Also, the project is to be done on the beach with minimal power supply and manual hand tools and some very minor power tools.. Upon arriving at the site of a small fishing village near a small river inlet , I had my first glimps of whats to come. no road, no heavy equipment, just sand and water…

Read on.

 

July 13th, 2014

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14 ha

An International 14 sailing at Shilshole Bay yesterday off Golden Gardens Beach in Seattle Washington by Andie deRoux.

 

July 12th, 2014

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ArchimedesStartshtp-2014-480-MThe diverse fleet of 18 veteran and virgin Singlehanded Transpac “buglighters” which set off from Frisco 13 days ago is approaching their finish at beautiful Hanalei Bay, the first of four Hawaii-bound fleets to reach the Islands this summer.

Racers have enjoyed overall good conditions after a blustery, stomach-churning start in this 19th edition of the longest singlehanded race in North America.

While the boats range in type from a Mini 6.50 to a 44′ Nauticat live-aboard ketch, SHTP fans ashore have followed a very close and exciting race since the start, with added drama from a catastrophic rudder failure, boom breakage,  autopilot woes, and the usual bags-full of shredded kites.

At this writing (Friday afternoon), the now-kiteless Islander 36 Frolic  is the guestimated overall winner (by 5 hours corrected), having passed Wyliecat 30 Bandicoot on the leaderboard.  Spinnakers?  We don’t need no stinkin’ spinnakers!

Barn door honors are up for grabs between the E-27 Archimedes and the PJ49 Scaramouche V, currently estimated to cross the line within minutes of each other ~1840hrs PDT Saturday. Add your comments to the thread here.  Thanks to Anarchist Pogen.

 

July 12th, 2014

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freaky styley

Just have to love the look of the Half Pounders! We’d suggest clicking on the title inspired song and then clicking through the photos for the full effect… Photos thanks to Fiona Brown.

 

July 11th, 2014

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sb kh picSo Cal, where you at?  By far the best Coastal Race here is the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, and everyone who has done it knows it.

Give your cheap-skate skipper a nudge by reminding him that the Early Entry Deadline is Sunday, July 13, 2014 which saves forty bucks on registration.  Be sure to remind him that buys a lot of beer.

And since the race starts in beautiful Santa Barbara, you might as well make a week out of it:

Wednesday, July 23: Enjoy SBYC’s famous “Wet Wednesday Races” followed by post-race party and BBQ (no entry fee).

Thursday, July 24: SBYC’s racer’s cocktail party and BBQ with the all girl rock band Midnight MYNX, Captain Morgan girls and much more!

Friday, July 25: SBYC Racers Breakfast and then get your race face on. Bar opens at 1600 with Beer Olympics and Brian Session Trio at 2000. Club house open all night for racers.

Saturday, July 26: Start the morning off at KHYC’s Bloody Mary Bar with Race Awards party starting at 1400 and Beer Olympics finals in the garden!

Go for it! There are already 66 boats entered, so line up and see what ya got.

 

July 11th, 2014

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rocking the grave

You sorta knew this was coming, right? After we showed you how to Rock the Cradle, now we show you how to rock the final After Regatta Party. Tip o’ the hat to Anarchist David.

 

July 11th, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 12.53.01 PMClean Report

After a five-year hiatus from covering the Midwest’s second-biggest freshwater distance race, we’re heading up to Port Huron, Michigan for the start of the Bayview Mackinac Race tomorrow.  With Luna Rossa Challenge’s Bora Gulari aboard the TP52 Natalie J, Annapolite-turned ocean racer Ryan Breymaier joining the F-31 Cheekee and a pile of fun boats including the old VO70 Il Mostro, there will be plenty to see, and you’ll be able to watch all the action via Sailing Anarchy’s Facebook Page starting around 10 AM EDT tomorrow.

LINE UP

Years of live coverage of the Chicago Mackinac and the 4 hours we’ll be spending on the water tomorrow have reminded us of conversations we’ve had over the years about the start of the Mack races, and a basic question we still don’t know the answer to: What is the purpose of starting each section separately, with the slow boats first?  Sure, we understand that the slow boats will get there a bit sooner compared to the fast boats, but that seems like a silly reason for expending all the extra resources to involved in banging off 15 starts rather than a single one.  Think about it; that’s 15 starts at 10 minutes each, or nearly three hours of starting.   The format guarantees a weaker experience for spectators (who rarely want to sit around watching 6-10 boats sail off a line every ten minutes), a tougher day for the Race Committee, a long, long wait for the racers on the water, and perhaps most importantly, a poor spectacle for the TV, print, and online media so important to getting new interest and keeping sponsors happy.

Think about the incredible action at a Sydney-Hobart start, with simultaneous guns over just three lines and course boundaries for spectators for a mile or so up the course to guarantee tacking or gybing in close proximity to the fans; contrast this with the Macks, where the Coast Guard sets a cordon to keep powerboats half a mile from the starting lines…not that there is much to see anyway. Nearly no boats chase the Mack fleet…because it’s already so diluted at each start that there’s not much to chase.

Our suggestion for the BYC and Chicago Macks:  Four simultaneous starts:  One for racing fleets,  one for cruising fleets, one for multihull fleets, and one for shorthanded fleets.  Win, win.

Shot of Lucky Strike (ex-Lucretia) sporting the SA flag yesterday on the Black River, thanks to Anarchist “Geff”.

 

July 11th, 2014

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droneWe love the innovation in coverage that we’ve seen from quadcopter/drone shooters over the past year, but it’s time to inject a little common sense into the mix before we see the first inevitable fiery crash.  The problem comes not from your little Phantom crashing into a boat, after which you might need to pay for a sail repair – no, the big issue is something that any drone operator should realize is a REALLY BIG DEAL: Other aircraft.  So here’s our Public Safety Announcement:  DO NOT DLY YOUR DRONE ANYWHERE NEAR HELICOPTERS OR SMALL PLANES.  If a bird can take down a jet and a sparrow fart can take down a helicopter, what do you think your quadcopter can do?  It can kill, and if it does, you will end up either in jail or bankruptcy court when they sue you for tens of millions for wrongful death.  Plus, you’ll have fucking killed someone!  Don’t believe us? Here’s a note from a well-known videographer.

Want to know the sketchiest thing that’s ever happened to me when shooting from a helicopter?  It happened yesterday, just off Fort Adams, while I was shooting the Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi teams as they set out from Newport for Europe.

While we were flying along chasing boats, the pilot suddenly yelled “FUCKING DRONE!” and threw in a huge turn and began climbing hard.  Suddenly, looking out the open door, I’m staring at a toy that could eviscerate our tail rotor and kill us all.  It passes 50 feet below us in the opposite direction; so close that I can easily see that it is a Phantom 2 with a GoPro Hero aboard.

I’m sure I love my drone just as much as the guy who shot this video, but when helicopters are in the air, all drones should be grounded.

-Near-Miss in Newport

 

July 11th, 2014

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vision-hydros

Our non-Swiss readers may not know that the HYDROS team up in Lake Geneva isn’t just a bunch of sailboat racers – it’s a big partnership between commercial players in the energy market, a major bank, one of the Europe’s top universities, and a pile of really bright sailors and engineers thinking up ways to push the boundaries of energy efficiency within a spirit of environmental responsibility.  As the closet tree-huggers most sailors are, we love what Jeremie and the team are doing – and not just with foiling sailboats.

render_hq_006-2Enter the bit of news we got today about the HYDROcontest, where in just 10 days, 14 student teams from 7 nations will come to Lausanne with the 20 or so  electric-powered boats they’ve been working on for the better part of a year.  The goal?  The fastest boat, using the least amount of energy; the winner may have the potential to revolutionize powerboats and shipping.  Check out the first episode of the HYROcontest series on Youtube here, and subscribe to their channel for frequent features showing off the new concepts they’ve found.  Note: The pic to the left is NOT one of their concepts – just a cool pic we found!

 

July 11th, 2014

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With no one dying, no boats breaking of late, and nothing really special in their media output, we can be forgiven for forgetting the pay-as-you-go Clipper Race has been ‘raging’ for months, and as we speak, beginning its final points scoring leg.  Sir Robin’s pay-as-you-go crew are quietly getting their work done, training newbies whilst racing ’round the world on their heavy 70′ racer/cruisers.  The boat’s size and stability are two reasons we were a bit shocked by this knockdown-plus video from two days ago.

Very, very few sailors will ever find themselves actually inside a waterspout, and a huge thanks to Team GBR for sharing it with all of us.  Show up tomorrow (the 12th) in St. Katherine’s to check out the fleet.

 

July 11th, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.59.10 AM

California Anarchist ‘Point Break’ shows us that there are much, much better uses for a pram than putting the silly thing into water.  He writes “done in time for #6 grandchild. Pattern/Plans from Jordan Boat Works. Fun Build. Wood is maple with oak trim. Finish is a minwax conditioner, followed by a natural stain, finished with 3 coats of miniwax low VOC polycrylic. Mrs PB made the custom fitted mattress and sheets.”  Wanna know more?  Hit him up in the thread.

July 10th, 2014

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