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“Just sending my daggerboard off for a quick clean and fair”.

Best answer gets an always-hip SA belt, as does the first to give us the boat name and location.

Answer Here.

May 14th, 2016

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Clean Report

After what was the single most exciting day of match racing I’ve ever watched or commentated in my life, I’m still a little speechless; I’ve never been much of a fan of match racing, and I’d long ago gotten used to a format where the boat that wins the start sails off to victory the vast majority of the time.  But on the Sweet Sixteen day of the World Match Racing Tour Copenhagen, the crowd and worldwide audience saw more passing and more action than in an entire week of hte old-format World Tour.

I’m still a little cynical – maybe we just got lucky, or maybe it’s the newness of the M32 that’s allowing such variety in the racing.  But as I type this on Friday morning, Sally Barkow just nearly caused Taylor Canfield to flip and made the pass, and we’re just on the first race of the day.  Watch the entire replay from yesterday above, and if you like it as much as I did, be sure to tune in today at 1400 CET/0800 ET as the quarterfinals conclude.

 

May 13th, 2016

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We’ve been bitching about the Rio Olympics for a long time now, however quaint our original complaint – sewage and garbage-laden Guanabara Bay – seems in light of recent developments; something of a coup d’etat/impeachment, a crumbling economy, and Zika, which blows them all away.

The Zika virus is potentially so bad that no less than the prestigious Harvard Public Health Review just published a scathing editorial calling for the postponement of the Games to prevent a new and dangerous pandemic.  Read the whole thing and let your own NGB know what you think about it, we’ll leave you with this excerpt:

But for the Games, would anyone recommend sending an extra half a million visitors into Brazil right now?  Of course not: mass migration into the heart of an outbreak is a public health no-brainer.  And given the choice between accelerating a dangerous new disease or not—for it is impossible that Games will slow Zika down—the answer should be a no-brainer for the Olympic organizers too.  Putting sentimentality aside, clearly the Rio 2016 Games must not proceed.

Regrettably, instead of discussing the alternatives, both the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization seem to be in deep denial.  Asked about Zika, the most senior member of the IOC, Dick Pound, mocked it as “a manufactured crisis” for anyone but pregnant women (manufactured by whom?).[19]  With the most recent epidemiological evidence out of Rio, and new clinical studies all but proving that Zika causes microcephaly and, maybe, Guillain-Barré disease, the IOC’s sanguine, official statement on Zika and the Games from January 2016 is hopelessly obsolete—that organization must now break its months-long silence.

Even worse is WHO, which has never issued an official statement on Zika and the Olympics.  When I pressed WHO about that in April, through a spokesperson it “agreed with” the IOC’s obsolete statement, but refused to answer the direct question of whether WHO has confidence in Rio’s Games being safe.[20]  It is deplorable, incompetent and dangerous that WHO, which has both public health expertise and the duty of health protection, is speechlessly deferring to the IOC, which has neither.  WHO’s hesitancy is reminiscent of its mistakes with Ebola, all over again.

 

May 13th, 2016

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Dear Newport Bermuda Race Organizing Authority,

I am the founder and skipper of Abilyn Racing, a sailing program based in Larchmont, NY, focused on shorthanded sailing.  Our weapon of choice is a Mini Transat 6.50 named Abilyn.  I am writing to advise the OA that, despite being ineligible to race in the Newport Bermuda Race on two grounds (length and ORR-calculated stability), we nevertheless intend to “race” double-handed from Newport to Bermuda on June 17.  Our goal is by no means to disrespect the race, its heritage, or the OA.  Rather, the upcoming Newport-Bermuda Race provides us with an opportunity essentially for live practice:  practice for next year’s Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race; practice for future, bluewater racing and passage making; in short, practice for whatever sailing adventures come next.

Our approach to this adventure is well-grounded in the origins of the Newport Bermuda Race.  In A Berth to Bermuda, John Rousmaniere writes that Thomas Fleming Day had a radical idea at the turn of the 20th century—offshore sailing in small boats.  Day believed that “small vessels are safer than large, provided they are properly designed, strongly built, thoroughly equipped, and skillfully manned.”  Confident in his own abilities as a seaman, unphased by those who preached the dangers of offshore sailing, and desiring to “get a smell of the sea,” Day set sail in 1906 from Brooklyn, NY, with three other boats in what became the inaugural Newport Bermuda Race.

Day understood that sailing offshore in a small boat is a beautiful challenge for the prepared seaman.  Even today, to many sailors across the pond and around the world, sailing a small boat across an ocean means only that it must be Wednesday.  It is my belief that, if Day were alive today, he would have smiled and tipped his hat at the thought of sailors venturing short-handed into the ocean aboard 21-foot oceangoing machines.  He would have done so not in amazement, but rather as a gesture of respect and camaraderie that can only be shared among like-minded sailors who understand the importance of safety and seamanship as the bases for offshore sailing.

It is with the principles espoused by Thomas Day in mind that we intend to get a smell of the sea ourselves on June 17.  Our boat—a Pogo 2 Mini Transat designed by Groupe Finot and built to offshore standards—is properly designed and strongly built.  Indeed, Mini Transat boats have been racing across the Atlantic since the 1970s with crews of one.  At least one Mini has circumnavigated the globe.  And another Mini was recently sailed from the Caribbean to NYC, where it is staging for a record attempt between NYC and Lanzarote.  Our boat also will be thoroughly equipped as we are adhering to the Newport Bermuda Race Safety Requirements, as supplemented by guidelines promulgated by the Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race organizing authority and the Storm Trysail Foundation.  Finally, our boat will be skillfully manned as my co-skipper and I have substantial ocean racing experience, including five Newport-Bermuda races between us both.  I also previously qualified for the Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race aboard Abilyn.

In view of our intention to “race” along with the fleet to Bermuda, we respectfully request that the OA permit us passage out of Narragansett Bay on June 17 by way of the official Newport Bermuda Race starting line.  As a gesture of good faith—and regardless of whether the OA grants our request—we will donate $500 in the name of the Newport Bermuda Race Organizing Authority to the Storm Trysail Foundation, the preeminent organization providing education to young sailors about the importance of safety at sea.

Please let us know at your convenience whether the OA will grant our request.  We are amenable to speaking further about logistics, including, for example, an appropriate timing for our start so that we do not interfere with the starts of any official entrants.

Respectfully submitted,

Josh Reisberg

Read on, or get in on the argument here.

May 13th, 2016

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The Ed checks in from the Shanghai Sailing Club and the Fareast 23 International Regatta

We had our share of issues, but we were second or third in the practice race today. Shit gets real with 4 races tomorrow and the day after.  Twenty-eight teams sailing Far East 23s and big breeze should make for some fun!

May 12th, 2016

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Big Pimpin’

upfront bannerWith worldwide shipping rates at an all-time low, upffront.com is going one-step further; for orders placed before 30 June 2016 shipping will be ABSOLUTELY FREE!*

Upffront.com is a comprehensive online purchasing platform for performance sailing hardware and rigging systems; orders are processed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and we deliver to customers located anywhere in the world.
The speed and simplicity of purchasing online and dramatic improvements in the efficiency of the logistics industry are changing traditional purchasing practices and upffront.com is at the forefront of this transition in the sailing industry.

Our aim is to make it quicker, easier and more cost efficient for our customers to meet their sailing hardware and rigging needs.

The upffront.com site is accessed via a simple and secure login process and provides an easy to navigate website that standardises an extensive range of product information. We are continually updating technical data to ensure that our customers can make accurate and informed choices between leading brands based upon their specific requirements. One of our key objectives is to provide information relating to connectivity between products; a range of tools and configurators help customers build multi-product systems online, allowing flexibility in terms of both brand and price.

The majority of products are available from stock and our extensive distribution network allows us to offer our customers improved shipping times, reduced costs and a truly worldwide service.

For our current clients, and for all those who are willing to take the plunge and start purchasing their sailing hardware and rigging systems online with upffront.com, we are offering FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY* on orders placed before 30 June 2016.

For more information visit www.upffront.com or email [email protected]

 

May 12th, 2016

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This is one of the funniest sailing videos we’ve ever seen.  Turn the sound up and watch through to the end for full effect.  Clean and the WMRT team are live from 1400 CET/0800 ET through Saturday; watch ‘em here.

 

May 12th, 2016

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Thanks to SA’er ‘Francis’ in the Saxophone piece below we’ve already heard how much better the AC folks – with help from NY Organizers – have gotten at the overall ACWS atmosphere – at least if you are on the ground.  Unfortunately for the sport and fans of competitive sailboat racing, they seem to have gotten worse at everything else.  Here’s what the world – and the Anarchists – had to say about the actual race viewing in Manhattan.

Manhattan Mixer

Ben Ainslie echoed the sentiments of all sailors in this piece decrying the ridiculous race management necessitated by choosing an idiotic venue, and wondering how much more the AC is going to sacrifice in the name of the almighty dollar, and how far down on his knees Russell Coutts is in search of the almighty dollar.  SailorGirl Nic Douglass caught up with Ben here.

SA’er ‘_____’ brought his family, with a mostly negative review:

We were there on Sunday. The damn buildings…completely wrecked what would have been a puffy enough NWerly.  The course was too short. The boats looked like pinioned ducks trying to fly off the pond.  The crowd cheered to “let’s hear it for team USA”. Which I found bemusing.

I said to my kids, “I’m cheering for the French Team–I bet there are Frenchmen on it!” Apparently there was a french couple near us that heard me. Not sure they appreciated that bit of boorish Yankee humor–I’ll never know (my kid speaks french but didn’t hear anything other than a few words here and there).  There were a lot of foreign languages–I heard French, German, Spanish, possibly Russian. Lots of people there.

I was glad to have seen it, but frustrated by what was obviously a PR spectacle.  The Newport event without hydrofoils was much better in last go around–the boats got up to speed at least.

It feels like these toys are expensive, and the guys paying for them need their exposure, and that that is more important than making a viable set of races. Which is too bad. At least NASCAR builds tracks big enough.  The ferry terminal with the tarpaulin design got in the way of watching. So did the sculpture. And the buildings on far side problem.  Not sure this is such a perfect location. Somewhere else along the river would have been better perhaps. Maybe not really.

’6924′ snarks in:

I was there all day Sunday, great event, plenty of noobs, plenty of brooze, and beaucoup ladies. My group got pleasantly tipsy, watched a little sailing, and tried to behave adult.

Only a killjoy would complain about the corporate vibe, the stupid courses, the dumb Sh”t commentary, and the overbearing security

They should do this every year – maybe have a night race with flaming torches on board the boats or topless dancers on a barge in the river too.

Live: Dead

‘pwormwood’ summed up the wholesale failure of the live racing feed, echoing hundreds of comments on SA and the various social channels.  We searched high and low, in three different languages, and still could not find even a remotely positive review of the broadcast, whether you paid for it on the app or watched it on pay TV.

Unbelievably bad TV programming – they interrupted 11 minute races with 2 minute commercials, completely missing the finish of one race and spoiling the ever changing plot in the other two.  Then they fill the time between races with fluff bullshit rather than get the commercials out of the way.  WTF – the commercials so destroyed the continuity that it was frustrating rather than pleasurable to watch the racing.  With three 11 minute races in an hour of programming, there are 27 other minutes for commercials.  A normal TV show has about 15 minutes of commercials, so there is more than enough time for commercials without interrupting the racing.  It is amazing to me that a good sailor like Russel can watch that hour of programming and think to himself: “I can’t wait for my sailing buds to watch this – they’ll love how we captured & clarified the racing…”.  Frankly, I was embarrassed for having invited a sailing friend over to watch it…and I won’t do that again.  Fortunately, with the M-32′s, the GC 32′s, the TP 52′s, and even the Stars, there’s plenty of performance sailing to watch that allows you to view an entire race, start to finish.  In terms of quality of content, the AC is looking up at ALL of those programs.  I was glad to hear that the on-site experience was much better; but you are not going to develop a sustainable financial model just filling the “stadium”.  If you’re going to completely bastardize the racing to fit a TV program, you ought to at least make it a good TV program.

In an unrelated note, Longtime SA’er and New York Times reporter Chris Museler stayed away from criticism and grabbed a meaty look at how the young guns were displacing veterans in this piece.

People like the fawning Jimmy Spithill and the foreign sailing press can be forgiven for their ignorance of the realities of New York; the ‘huge crowd’ along the water was anything but impressive to folks who know a hundred thousand new yorkers and tourists will turn out to watch paint try if it’s colorful enough.  When we asked a highly respected journalist about the AC’s claim that ’75,000 spectators lined the banks on Saturday’, he gave us a great answer: “If bullshit were music, they’d be the Kings of Jazz!”

And while surely the handbag-sellers, watch-purveryors, and financial product pushers will be overjoyed with the b-to-b and hospitality trips that New York makes so easy, but by any logical metric, the ACWS New York failed to deliver anything of value to the sport or to a meaningful portion of the public.  Friends of Sailing Anarchy at the NYFD estimated around 50,000 people combined over two days, which would be a great number in a small town, but in New York, isn’t much higher than the number that would be through there on a typical weekend.  Remember when 50,000 people for the Volvo Ocean Race Miami was a huge failure?  New York makes Miami look like a country town, and with the joke of a competition put on by the event, there’s not much to build on when and if they return.

Once again, the Bermuda America’s Cup cycle confirms what we’ve said all along; the greater public, the sailing community, and the sport are all just an afterthought, and you should feel lucky that they give you and the rest of the peons even this piddling amount of consideration.  While the in-person experience is worth the trip if the venue allows decent sailing, the rest of the decisions – format, venue, TV and internet, marketing, commentary – are destined for history’s dustbin as soon as someone competent takes over in (hopefully) a year and a half’s time.

Read the ACWS NY thread for the most complete wrapup of the event.

#nevercoutts

May 11th, 2016

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Big Pimpin’

Our buds over at HH Catamarans pushed the all-new HH66 cruising cat hard in her recent sea trials, with the boat passing with flying colors and now tucked away for her shipment to a happy new owner in Valencia, Spain.  The boat looks especially slick in the hands of a few well-known ex-Gunboat peeps you’ll see in the video, and we look forward to our first sail aboard this sexy carbon beastie.

HH has revamped their Facebook page and website in time to take your order…check ‘em out here.

Title shout nostalgia from 1987.

 

May 11th, 2016

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FAREAST23R-23

Team Anarchy is headed for China today to sail in the Fareast 23r International regatta. Sailed in identical Fareast 23R’s in Dishui Lake outside of Shanghai,  Scot Tempesta, Taylor Schlub, Damian Craig and Andrew LaPlant will represent Team Anarchy and the gang is jacked.

It should be really fun and we’ll get you updates as we go!

 

May 9th, 2016

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