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Big Pimpin’

madmarineMadman Marine is a Brisbane, Australia based company established in 2013 to market autopilot remote controls and NMEA to WiFi Bridges. These low cost products have been sold to many different locations around the world and are enjoyed by owners of all different types of boat, whether sail or power, large or small.

Last year Madman Marine introduced the world first iSteer remote control which allows your Raymarine autopilot to be controlled easily and conveniently from an iPhone or iPad. As well as providing the usual 1 and 10 degree course change controls, most other functions such as autotack and mode selection are also provided in the iSteer app. The current autopilot mode, course and vessel heading are conveniently displayed along with a compass rose type display for those who’d rather not look at numbers.

All prices are in Australian currency and so even though Madman Marine products are already fantastic value for money, those in the US are particularly fortunate at present due to the current exchange rate which makes Madman Marine products even more favourably priced!

So for fast, friendly service and low cost products developed and used by a fellow sailor don’t go past Madman Marine!

 

March 19th, 2015

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trukin

Patrick Rynne of Waterlust fame sends this mouth cam shot  snapped last week in Turks and Caicos. He has a terrible life.

 

March 18th, 2015

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meth

Once again the central Sierras are too dry to support sailing this summer.

Southern California Edison gave us the bad news at the March 17th Big Creek community meeting. The word is that Huntington Lake levels will be higher for part of the summer but not high enough to hold the High Sierra Regatta. California is in the fourth year of drought now and things are getting serious. Last year the high elevation lakes were drained below the usual levels because of demands from the people who actually own the rights to the water. This year we are again running at 44% of normal precipitation, the snow pack is at 13% of normal for this time of the year.

The expected snow melt runoff will be 14% of normal. Recreation is far down the list of priorities well behind drinking water (several San Joaquin Valley cities are currently trucking in water for household use), water for farming (hundreds of thousands of acres are not being farmed because of water shortages) and power generation (the actual reason these lakes exist). As we were preparing for this year’s regatta we could see there was a good chance we would not have enough water.

But we planned it like it was a sure thing. We have everything ready to go, Notice of Race, Race Instructions, new High Sierra Race Course Sheets that will allow us to implement a 5 new race format & professional race management…everything but a tee shirt design. We are just going to put it all in a box and pull it out for July 2016. SO…ave the dates July 10, & 11 and July 17 & 18 2016 for the rescheduled 61st annual High Sierra Regatta.

Of course you know the real reason this is happening is God punishing us for disrespecting Scott Tempesta a few years back. We are going to fix that by having Scott bring his amazing GP26 up in July 2016. In fact I have even taken the trouble to recommend a graphics package for it. After all, these boats are made for SPEED and another word for SPEED is METH and one synonym for METH is FRESNO…so… – Danial Irwin.

 

March 18th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 9.37.01 AMGood drone video fascinates sailors, mostly because it gives us a view that helicopters have never been able to show us before – a close-up aerial.  For coaching, it’s invaluable, but for everything else, UAV’s are kind of a pain in the ass.

Drones are expensive when you consider that the average maritime operator loses 2-3 each year.  They’re annoying and potentially unsafe – sooner or later, a big one’s gonna go through a sail or hit someone in the face, and then they’ll be banned from regattas. They’re also now regulated throughout Europe, the US, and the Antipodes, and thanks to those regulations, drone pilots have jacked their prices up, often actually costing more than a helicopter rental.  And unless you’re a top team with clever coaches and daily video debriefs, the footage really isn’t worth much; you don’t have the still-photo capability that a dude in a helo does, and a highlight reel editor only needs 20 or 30 seconds of HD aerials for his daily piece – it’s just not worth the thousands of dollars that the geeks want to charge for it.

But a balloon?  A controllable blimp?  Cheap and reliable, with minimal battery requirements and the possibility of a long tether with a live HD feed?  Now that’s something we can get into, and thanks to Massimo Tomassini and Petey Crawford for the discovery.  Anyone know more about this one?  Get in touch.

 

March 18th, 2015

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Clean’s obsession with Ted Kravitz’s Formula 1 ‘Notebook’ inspired his series of SA ‘Dock Walks’ this past year, and it’s quickly become a crowd favorite whether at the Melges Worlds, VOR starts, or Key West.  Thankfully, awesome Aussie broadcaster Nic Douglass picked up the torch in Auckland, and her 40-minute dock walk gives you ‘the real feel’ of being an insider in a race like this as well as some shit you’d just never see otherwise.  It’s long, it’s rambling, and it’s real – and quite a bit more interesting than the pretty but incredibly dull leg start…

Big thanks to Nic for sacrificing her spot on a start boat for this piece, and to photographer Jen Edney for making it all look good.  Two sailor chicks of the week?  Hell yes.

 

March 18th, 2015

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2 down

How did these two end up without rigs? Click here and read all about it.

 

March 17th, 2015

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Designer Robert Perry has been one of best friends and great contributors here at SA. When he sends us things like this, it makes us know that what we have been doing for 15 years has been worthwhile.

I posted a simple question about vangs for my new four Betts boat project on SA this morning. The response has been amazing. SA continues to be the very best resource anywhere at any time for data, ideas and info on sailing. It’s like I have staff of 50 experts crowding my office. The WLYDO ( World’s Largest Yacht Design Office we call it over on Cruising Anarchy).

Thanks for the effort it takes to keep this rambling on. I’d be sunk without it!

 

March 17th, 2015

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The waterfront was a ghost town at dockout this morning thanks to two days of Cyclone Pam-induced delays, and the massive storm’s lingering effects will make the first bit of the toughest leg of the VOR a rough ride. None of Pam is in Auckland Harbour though, where it’s currently light and shite.

But it’s live, and you’re at work, so check it out above.

March 17th, 2015

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Keith K-Mag Magnussen gets ready to crush it to Cabo…

time 1The 2015 Newport to Cabo Race is almost here and the excitement is reaching fever pitch. The long list of entries displays the growing popularity of mid distance racing. Almost every kind of boat is represented and every kind of sailor. Most will go unnoticed on the websites and forums but it is important to remember that all the sailors are experiencing similar scenarios while thriving in the offshore environment.

Only lacking from the list of boats are the new canting keel monsters that will grace the startling of Transpac. Would it be interesting if they changed the barn door rule to include those boats like they did once before? Drama to come? Well, one can only hope.

Anyways back to present day and away from day dreaming…

So there are some big boats racing on their own, a big old trimaran that will surely demolish some sort of elapsed record and some slick catamarans. There is also a big group of boats that make up the race so let us start there.

Hobie 33 in PHRF called “Bazinga” and owned by Steve Campos is family run and adventure seeking program. They are from Arizona and are looking foreword to their first race in preparation for a Hawaii race. They have been working hard, practicing and will be racing on one of the all time great boats, the H33. What a cool platform to introduce people to surfing down waves in open ocean scenarios. Unfortunately the 30-40 foot ULDB boats seem to be a bit sparse in this one. Remember when Mad Max did the race? Overall winner in 2005! Yes people you can do it too so get your 30 foot somethings out of the barn and make it happen.

PHRF this year is home to some classic yachts and racer/cruiser boats that are embracing the offshore racing challenge. They will be racing in style, eating well and pushing their respective boats to the limit. Second Wind and Between the Sheets are two great examples of well sailed and experienced offshore racing programs. Should be a good tight fleet.

ORR sets off on Saturday and this is what everyone will be looking at. The SC-50 and 52’s have been lobbying for a class and the West Coast 70 fleet is also in that boat. What are the class breaks you ask? Not posted yet. That is ok with me because we are all ORR so we all essentially race each other anyways. Plus I think I know what they will be.

time 2Let us talk about my boat for a second. The J-125 “Timeshaver” is my ride and one of my favorite boats and teams. Owner, Viggo Torbensen, has spared no expense. With some help from Ropeye our boat is outfitted with the latest Gucci stuff. Single point soft pad eye attachments that are light, recessed and strong are all over the boat. Erik Shampain and Eastwind Offshore Sailing have helped with rigging systems which include a new floating #3 jib lead (Thanks to the J-125 Hamachi for inspiring that one), custom Genoa Staysail attachment point on the mast, new runner system and too much other stuff to mention. Also involved is a brand new spinnaker inventory from Ullman Sails. We have been working hard to optimize the inventory and feel that we are about there.

Viggo has done more than we asked for and even though we are scrambling a bit we will be there. It is always the last 10% that takes 60% of the time, or something like that. Hopefully we can match pace with the well sailed Rogers 46 that seems to pop up and win like it is easy. Well sailed boat and one to look out for.

What does the weather look like? Talked to the Hippie yesterday, and while we are a ways out, he was uncommonly optimistic. He is racing with his son Erik and new owner on the SC-50 Horizon, one of my main nemesis (in a super nice and friendly way) over the years. New owner but similar team will mean these guys will still be in it to win it.

Regardless of what happens, this time next week we will be sailing somewhere off the coast of Baja towards warmer weather and hopefully good surf.

 

March 17th, 2015

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VOR Inside

Mark Chisnell previews – again – the action for Leg 5 as the start is postponed to Tuesday evening at 20:00 UTC. Last week we looked at the overall strategy for the most demanding leg of the race; down into the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn before turning north to Itajai in Brazil.

We also worried about an ugly little storm brewing north of Fiji. A week later, that storm is called Tropical Cyclone Pam, and it’s already taken lives in Vanuatu and made headlines around the world. Read on.

 

March 17th, 2015

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5 5 meter

Take a look at this Danish designed New Nordic 5.5. It will at the Worlds in Denmark 2016. Regards from Jørgen the Denmark boat builder.

 

March 16th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

yachtapaloozaSpring weather hit Chicago like a ton of bricks. It feels amazing and it’s likely that you’ll find random (crazy?) folk walking around in flip flops when it’s only 50 degrees out.

The tiger is out of the cage, bro.

At Crowley’s Yacht Yard we are pretty stoked about spring and our upcoming open house, Yachtapalooza, Saturday March 28. At the event we’re gonna set things on fire, break shit, have a paddleboard pool, rock out to the Chicago Blues All-Stars, eat from the Tamale Spaceship, drink fu*%#n’ beer, get weirded out by the Red Moon Theatre, fly drones, run a CR 914 Regatta, Next Level Sailing will have ex-AC boats Stars and Strips and Abracadabra on display, and have a great time. Other happenings include samples from the Calumet Fisheries, tons of seminars from weather to splicing, and unbeatable sales on everything from bottom paint to shoes. It’s a good time. You should come.

Yachtapalooza is held at Crowley’s Yacht Yard located at 3434 E. 95th St., Chicago, IL and runs from 8am – 4pm. If you want more info, check out our Guidebook . You can also download the free Guidebook App and check out the deets there. And if you’re ready to keep the party going, be sure to head over to Aftapalooza at Columbia Yacht Club. It’s all happening, man.

 

March 16th, 2015

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birthday bash

“Dead anarchists make martyrs, you know, and keep living for centuries.” -Ursula K LeGuin

Today marked the Centerport Yacht Club Frostbite Fleet’s Annual St. Patrick’s Regatta in Centerport, NY. As suggested in the many “how cold is it?” posts on the front page lately, many northeast US sailors are still frozen under the effects of a particularly brutal and icy winter. With only half of Northport harbor thawed and liquid, former SCOTW Aly and her partner Nick Barta found themselves unable to launch their JY-15 Tropique from the east side of the bay.

Determined to race, Nick and Aly borrowed a tired JY-15 at CYC and hit the race course for some match racing fun. Team Tropique [https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1476881025925068] emerged victorious, but sadly their borrowed boat made the ultimate sacrifice. Only upon returning to shore did Aly and Nick notice that their valiant little boat had completely cracked in half but held together like a champ to take 2 bullets and win the day.

Please take the time for a toast to this martyr JY, and wish a happy birthday to Aly!

 

March 15th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’/Class Action

Some Nice work from our friends at VX One.

 

March 15th, 2015

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stairwayAnd wrapping up is exactly what Auckland is doing right now with Cyclone Pam bearing down n New Zealand’s Eastern Coast – close and thankfully no cigar but the breeze is up already.

A worry enough that the canvas elements of all the team bases were ‘furled’ yesterday and this morning with the final activities moved indoors inside the Viaduct Center. The team walk still went ahead but down the stairs inside the center which were later decorated with the volunteers who have been one of the real joys of this event. Friendly, knowledgeable and seemingly tireless, no event of this magnitude could function without them.

The sailors were blessed by a Maori religious leader and it was good to see the local religion respected by his words being listened to in silence. So the sailors are in a bit of a limbo for 48 hours at least one took the opportunity to show his respect in a different manner and dream of what the future might bring. – Shanghai Sailor.

 

March 15th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 10.19.02 AM
After the loss of their J/111 Django, owners AJ and Atka Reid turned lemons into lemonade and commissioned a brand new raceboat, and their stoke is complete today with this gorgeous Bakewell-White 37 launched today as Anarchy.  We’ll have the story from AJ himself as soon as he’s got a few hours in, but in the meantime, go check out this great gallery from our friends at Livesaildie.  This shot from Brad Davies.   Like the Anarchy Sailing Team here for a very entertaining bunch of guys and gals.

March 15th, 2015

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fanny

And the sunset ain’t too bad either. Thanks to Fanny Adam for the love.

 

March 14th, 2015

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vor funSam Greenfield has done it again. The VOR Leg 4 Prizegiving in Auckland featured video from Donggfeng Race Team’s drone which had been christened ‘White Wind’. Sadly, due to power failure ‘White Wind’ took an early bath on Leg 4.

When Inmarsat VP Chris McLaughlin came on stage to discuss the OBR role with Sam he asked if the drone had any more uses. In response Sam flew one from the side of the room to above the stage with a bottle of beer suspended below it and Chris pro promptly chased it across and off the stage.

Sam put together (mixed) a video comparing the drone’s career with Top Gun. The link to the video is here  and was put on a Chinese video site….

Worth a watch, made me smile. – Shanghai Sailor.

 

March 14th, 2015

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For our money Auckland is probably the second-best city in the world for yacht racing.  It’s like San Francisco with a fraction of the shitty weather and pretentious douchebags, and we’ve got an hour of cityfront racing coming to you live from The City of Sails…now.

For the pre-race Press Conference, head over here.

 

March 13th, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 10.34.11 AM

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Sea Shepherds continue to be the only thing between the slaughter of some of Earth’s most interesting and intelligent creatures and the blubber-loving Japanese, and the Farley Mowat is their latest war machine – one of two ex-USCG cutters they’ve added to the Shepherd fleet.  And this is only the beginning – an €8.3M donation means they can put their logo and sharktooth bow on a badass new ‘Sea Axe’-bowed Fast Crew Supplier next year.  Seriously awesome, but as always, the SA community is conflicted. But we aren’t. Their cause is righteous.

Thanks to BladeLWS for the iPhone-to-bino shot.

March 13th, 2015

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