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Local Knowledge

As if running what has recently been called in the media “the most genuine regatta in China” and maintaining that standard wasn’t enough along comes mother nature to add a little ‘spice’ just in case you had started to get a little blasé about things.

The China Club Challenge Match, sailed off Xiamen is this year in its 12th year and is due to be sailed this year in J-80s. The first problem was that, with racing starting on Friday mother nature in the shape of Typhoon Meranti decided to come calling.

Her advance warning was billed by the Taiwan Weather Bureau as the worst storm anywhere on earth this year has shore crews scurrying doubling up lines and the rest of us bracing for the worse. In the past the ‘worst’ was been a strong wind as one typhoon after another swung north or south and missed Xiamen altogether. If you don’t know where Xiamen is by the way, it is what Amoy Soy Sauce is named after.

This time the lady wasn’t for turning and she came on – head on in fact – and as I lay in bed at 0330 this morning it sounded like express train after express train was roaring past the hotel window. I wasn’t exactly scared but was decidedly uncomfortable as the windows rattled and bowed.

Winds in excess of 130kts had been reported and damage was widespread. Basically – Xiamen Island was trashed.

midnight-2We had two IUs from New Zealand stranded in Hong Kong and a local PRO who couldn’t even get out of his compound for fallen trees and the streets looking like someone had run down them with a giant chain saw.

Now I knew what it was like to live through one of the most powerful forces in nature. Not a good experience, I can tell you.  On the marina at least 4 boats sank, others lost their rigs and genoas unwisely left on the roller forestays shredded like a Kleenex.

Replacement boats were effectively sourced, the officials eventually managed to arrive via later flights or once people had chain-sawed their way out of their compound and the net effect was little more than a few hours delay to race day 1.

This weekend, which was oversubscribed more than 3 months earlier. sees the fleet racing element which pits 30 hopefuls against each other for the right be one of the 16 teams to advance to the elimination match racing element in a few weeks’ time.

With the post typhoon winds forecast to be the typically light and the full moon just behind us, challenging conditions will surely prevail over the next few days. Tune in a few days hence for the race report.

See ya on the water

Shanghai Sailor

 

September 15th, 2016

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Team Anarchy in action tonight at the End of Summer Series, thanks to photographer Justin Edelman. Pictured left – Paige Johnston, Right front to back: Rodrigo Doll, Ed Lorence, Keith Lorence and El Chapo Jr.

 

September 14th, 2016

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morning-commute

This is my morning commute in Northern California! – Anarchist Lyn.

 

September 14th, 2016

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Big Pimpin’

spartanThe Vendee Globe represents the pinnacle of offshore yachting- one sailor, totally alone, circumnavigating the world is a competitive concept anyone can grasp very quickly and equally quickly understand this is no ordinary pursuit.

The individuals who line up for such a challenge are uniquely tenacious and by start day have already been successful in a task some would say rivals what they seek on the high seas- the monumental operation of drawing together all of the funds and technical knowledge required to put one of the fastest monohull boats in the world onto the water and then have it ready to sail 27,000Nm without outside assistance. Simple Right? No. Unbelievably difficult. That’s not even the worst of it- normal attrition rates for the Vendee Globe are between 33 and 66% meaning that even if you get to the start line, getting to the finish line is not a forgone conclusion. Safe enough to say that there are only going to be a few individuals who ever enter the Vendee Globe and take the start line and fewer still who will make the finish.

If then we then as mere mortals want to experience some element of this incredible spectacle how do we get involved? Well we can join one of the estimated 400 million people worldwide who will follow the event online or work towards being one of the 1 million people who visit the race village before start day. If we take it a step further maybe you have a local friend with a boat or a corporate hospitality fund that needs using up so you get yourself actually out onto the water to witness the start first hand. However, once the fleet is gone maybe 10 or 15 minutes- the thrill is over and its just another day on the water.

So, its a closed shop- no doubts but what if there was another option? What if you could go that little bit further- really get under the skin of the event and be out there with them, watch the rounding of Finisterre from a position only a few hours behind as you calculate your own approach? Make your own assessment of the winds off the Canaries and plot your own course into the ‘Canary Cage’- wouldn’t that be awesome? Well, we thought so too and now for the first time it’s possible.

We love sailing- no surprise there- so we decided what the hell; as we own three 60ft Round the World Race boats ourselves why don’t we take our interest in the Vendee Globe to the next level and put on an event of our own that not only creates a spectator opportunity for the start but then sail South in the fleet’s wake across Biscay and all the way down to the Canary Islands? Would anyone want to join us? From the response so far- the answer is an emphatic ‘YES’.

True our boats are not as quick as the Vendee boats but with top speeds of 20-25 knots possible we can stay within an useful distance of most of the pack for the first few days and with satellite communications onboard we can keep abreast of all the early news coming back from the fleet and in our own way try to do our best to beat the stragglers.

Just think about it for a second, the pre-race build up, meet some of the skippers, see the boats, watch the start and then go through the line after them and then keep going and ‘race’ them all them for a week down to the Canaries.

Come on, that’s cool you know it is.

We think its going to be a thrilling opportunity and a unique view into the world of a select group of next level athletes – for companies or individuals this is a great opportunity to really be part of a world class event. The boat we will be using for this event is our Volvo 60 ‘Challenger’ and I will be skippering her. Having raced solo around the world myself in an Open 60 I hope to be able to provide you with a unique insight to what is going on both before and during the race start and then a comprehensive commentary out on the water of the early days of the race.

For more information check out our website and take your interest in the Vendee Globe to a whole new level- we’re going anyway so you can either be there with us onboard living it day and night for a week or still here checking tweets and facebook….

See you on the water.

Chris Stanmore-Major
Spartan Ocean Racing

 

September 14th, 2016

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Phil Sharp is crushing it  in the record 30 Class 40 boats on the start line of the Normandy Channel Race, a double-handed 1000nm zigzag endurance adventure starting and ending in Caen.

“Currently we’re screaming down a wave at 20knots, and averaging between 18-19knots, it’s insane, the boat is like a wild animal! It’s seriously windy, rough, and the sky is grey and dull. We didn’t expect this amount of wind as the forecast completely underestimated the force, but it’s definitely an exciting surprise!

“Last night was mad coming around Fastnet in the dark, and the conditions are still massively intense. Since then we’ve had to change sails twice to downsize to better cope with the ever strengthening wind, which uses a huge amount of energy, especially because the sea is so rough as it forces you to work twice as hard.

“At the moment we are reaching at a really fast angle and the boat is just accelerating down waves with serious speed. The motion is awful, it’s really violent, we are being thrown around so much that sleeping is near impossible. We literally haven’t stopped, and the amount of winching is phenomenal, it’s physically exhausting. Under the circumstances we are doing our best to manage our energy, thinking ahead for strategic decisions, which makes things interesting when the weather forecast changes!

“Going forward the forecast has changed for the worse, giving us more upwind through the Scilly Islands and Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) course. Getting through this cleanly will rely on sound tactics as we will probably have to make multiple tacks, and each tack could be the difference between losing or gaining miles”.

 

September 14th, 2016

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From the Facebook. Jesus.

 

September 13th, 2016

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We’d love to know how that statement can be made, not only in good conscience, but ANY conscience, and not have people go ape shit. We blame US Sailing. We blame Dee Smith. We blame his enablers, sycophants and the ass-kissers.

But finally, we blame you, the rank and file for letting this happen to your sport. For not getting off your collective asses and making a statement. For not screaming to the cronies and good ol’ boys at US Sailing for creating this injustice. For acting like the rules, and ethics and morals and good judgment of this sport don’t matter. Because guess what? They don’t.

For US Sailing shitting on the real handicapped sailors. Their hard work, their dedication, their life struggles ignored, marginalized, so that a non-handicapped sailor might bring home a fucking medal. One that ultimately means nothing. How could it? Lies, manipulation, deception and arrogance are not the stuff of honor. They are quite the opposite.

Shame on our sport.

 

September 13th, 2016

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Dunno, but it looks pretty bitchin’! What do you think?

 

September 13th, 2016

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“On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open & the world is full of beauty. Today is such a day”~ Rumi

Never in my life have I felt at home living in a house, a solid unmoving structure. Most girls grow up desiring a beautiful house, a successful career perhaps, a husband, white picket fence, a pet, & maybe those 2.5 children…I have never desired any of those things, but somewhere along the way into adulthood, I curiously started following that construct, that path that everyone seems to think they have to take, which for me personally I kind of view as a trap.

I owned a gorgeous 1922 English Tudor, which was a woman’s complete dream ~filled with antiques, a completely remodeled kitchen to easily enjoy preparing gourmet meals from scratch, a bourgeois white fluffy carpeted office, & a wood-burning fireplace lined with large bookshelves. I had chandeliers, an arched front door, slate backsplashes, a white claw-footed antique office desk… I always drove nice cars.. I had a loving German Australian shepherd, & even had a 10 year relationship going at one time, as well as a very high paying corporate finance job in management. A job that let me take killer vacations to places like India & Brazil .. I attained the degree & a handful of financial licenses in the Wall Street world.. I had it all, from the looks of it..

But NONE of these things made me happy, nor at peace. Something was always off, amiss… these things didn’t sustain me, feed me, or make me feel content whatsoever. There was always a nagging ache for more. I felt chained by these THINGS. I have always been a seeker by nature for as long as I can remember back into childhood. I questioned organized religion when I was 16. I’ve always asked why. I’ve always looked at society like something was askew.. I’ve always known there was far MORE to this life. I didn’t want to follow that conveyor belt of uniformity, of lifestyles around me that all seemed to be fabricated from an eerily similar mold.

It wasn’t until I finally grew the balls after years of deliberating in my head, to take the plunge & say goodbye to it all. I sold my house including everything in it, I quit my job, & left my relationship.

Read on.

 

September 13th, 2016

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Big Pimpin’

must-be-the-moneyFor the past few years the Star Sailors League (SSL) has been attracting some of the biggest names in sailing to compete at some of the fiercest but most friendly grand prix events anywhere. In 2013 Olympic medallists and America’s Cup legends came together to create the League, using a ranking system based on the tennis ATP Tour.

The League has already attracted some of the sport’s greatest talents, including Robert Scheidt, Bruno Prada, Jochen Schümann, Torben and Lars Grael, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Mark Reynolds, Diego Negri, Xavier Rohart and George Szabo.

Having for too long been the Olympic Finn ‘nearly man’, Lööf grabbed the Star gold medal in the final race in Weymouth. The fast Swede has now joined forces with his Finn and Star nemesis Iain Percy at ArtemisThe climax is the SSL Final which take place in Nassau in the Bahamas at the end of the year. A prize pot of $US200,000 is up for grabs, with $40,000 for the winner.

Just as there are four major Grand Slam events in professional tennis, the long term aim is to bring in four Grand Slams to the SSL. It trialled its first SSL Lake Grand Slam in Switzerland last year, and the first SSL City Grand Slam in Hamburg last May. Each Grand Slam offers a prize pot of $100,000 and a winner’s cheque of $25,000. Read on.

Title inspiration thanks to Nelly.

 

September 13th, 2016

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