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When it comes to politics, Florida is surely one of the dumbest states in this country, but them boys know how to throw a cat race!

Title inspiration comes from here.


October 17th, 2016

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Big Pimpin’

far-east-23-bannerThe Fareast 28R was introduced to the US market last year. Since the boats inception we have built and sold over 300 28R’s, they are sailing in 10 countries and have gained ISAF international one design status. Clearly there is a demand for a boat that is fast and fun, but also affordable and simple to sail.

We are now introducing the Fareast 23R. Based on the lines of the 28R with a reverse bow and wide transom the boat sails easily upwind and will plane downwind. With a simple layout the boat can be sailed by any sailor and despite its speed it is by no means intimidating. Factor in the keel lifting system the boat can be ramp launched and trailered from venue to venue.

The Fareast 23R is another high quality, high performance race boat, with an affordable price tag of only $35,000USD – and that includes sails. (Note: I sailed one of these in China in May and thought they were a fun, able, good looking and as far as I could tell, plenty quick little boat. Quite nicely turned out as well. – ed)

For decades sailboat racing has been drifting towards more complicated, more expensive boats. This has put ownership of new racing boats beyond the reach of most sailors. At Fareast we are committed to changing that. We have changed that. We have proven on race courses around the world that we can beat our more expensive competitors boat for boat, and we are doing it on a platform that is fun, fast, and affordable.

Want to learn more? Visit us at the Annapolis Boat Show or visit our website, www.FareastBoatsUSA.com


October 17th, 2016

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screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-1-51-53-pmThe second of three candidates for World Sailing President sat down with us on Friday to explain why he is running for the sport’s top position, and he seems like as solid a choice as anyone.  An engineer and executive who perhaps lacks some of the fire of Henderson (and if you missed that podcast, it’s worth a listen), Kim Andersen is as Danish as they come despite having spend many years living in Australia and Germany.  The longtime Olympic class and now Dragon sailor wants fairness, equality, transparency and solid management for the sport he loves, and he’s got sensible plans on how to repair the damage done to the sport over the past few years.

Both Andersen and Henderson have a mountain to climb; no incumbent has ever been beaten for the ISAF/IYRU/World Sailing presidency, and Carlo Croce has very powerful friends: As the Commodore of the most powerful Yacht Club in Italy and the President of Italy’s MNA, Croce has the ability to influence the voting MNA’s in many ways not subject to public scrutiny

If Croce doesn’t win after the first ballot (the winning candidate must get >50% to win), things get interesting and the horse trading really begins; either Henderson or Andersen will get axed, throwing their support to the other, with the final two candidates taking whatever time they have to drum up support for their bid.  They’re technically not allowed to promise anyone positions, posts, jobs, events, etc in exchange for their vote, but from what we’ve heard, it happens every election.

We gave current President Carlo Croce over a week to respond to our requests for the final interview to round out this series, but other than being told the message was passed on to him, we’ve heard precisely nothing. We’re not saying that Croce has anything to hide, but two of the three candidates have chosen to air their platforms and answer all our questions in a very open manner, and if transparency in our sport is important to you and your countrymen and you care about the future of our sport, get in touch with the president or director of your MNA and let them know what you think.  Perhaps more importantly in a long game like this, make sure you are ready to vote your national MNA bosses out at their next election if they make it clear they don’t care.


October 17th, 2016

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Despite all ISAF’s marketing-speak about eco-friendly sailing being the key to the universe, we all know our sport has a dark secret about the chemical nastiness of modern boat and sailmaking materials and the environmental impact of our sport. Folks like Sailors for the Sea and 11th Hour Racing are doing a good job on the impact part of the equation a select few are trying to address with environmentally friendly-ish epoxy (like this stuff) but the older generation of designers and builders are mostly a long way from any real change, and it’s a genuine threat to the ‘eco-appearance’ of the sport – not to mention the health of the planet. 

That’s why it’s so cool to see the next generation taking on the challenge with what we’re calling the ‘Eco-Skiff’, using it as a platform to prove that ‘environmentally friendly and sustainable’ composites don’t have to mean unreliable, heavy, weak, or expensive.  The Eco-Skiff was designed and built by the sailing team of CUS Brescia, the student sport association of Northern Italy’s University of Brescia under the supervision of several researchers of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the University of Brescia. Our old friend Max checks in with a quick update, and you can find regatta info, pics, vids, and plenty more on their Facebook Page.

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-1-12-34-pmThe objective of this project was to test the innovative composite material and the racing boat in a real contest the “1001 Velacup challenge regatta”, an annual challenge which involves the participation, with small skiff, of all the Italian Universities. In 2016 event, 1001 Velacup regatta was taken in Venice and this boat got the 3rd position overall.

The participation to this regatta requires the boat to be designed and built by university students, the hull, the deck and racks of the boat to be made of at least 70% in weight of natural materials, the overall length and the beam length not to exceed 4.6 meters and 2.1 meters respectively and the sail area not to exceed 33 m2 including jib, main and gennaker.

The designed boat is a typical skiff sailing boat, which is characterized by a large sail, a minimal draft and stretched water lines that allow the boat to reach high speed on the water (up to 9 knots upwind and 20 knots downwind). The entire hull is made of the innovative composite material made of BIOMID® (fibers coming from cellulose) and balsa wood while racks, mast and boom are made with an extruded aluminum.

This innovative composite material shows a lower environmental impact with respect to conventional materials. for example, considering as alternative glass fiber composites, this is due to the fact that: (1) natural fiber production has lower environmental impacts compared to glass fiber production; (2) natural fiber composites have higher fiber content for equivalent performance, thus reducing the more polluting polymer content; (3) these natural fibers presents a positive economic outlook that show a great potential for use in other sectors.

-Massimo Collotta,(Ph.D, P.Eng.)


October 17th, 2016

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We love the local knowledge that you in the community send to us. We feel like we don’t spend enough time  giving you the people some love. So by all means, send in your local knowledge!

The Italian team Tiliaventum on Serenity (1936), 1st and a special team for all on Capriccio during a special week on the sea in a fantastic atmosphere! – Team Tiliaventum.


October 16th, 2016

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Big Pimpin’

rootsWith the race heading back into the Southern Ocean, Richard Mason, veteran round-the-world racer and now operations director of the Volvo Ocean Race, talks to Blue Robinson about the evolution of the event, breaking records, getting the real story off the boats… and the smart boat choice for 2020

Seahorse Magazine: Before the last race what were the big reasons for moving from the Volvo 70 over to the 65?

Richard Mason: Money. To be competitive, campaign costs and the cost of boat development were very, very high, which created an arms race, so that really drove the move to the 65. Of course it’s not just the boats – you now have shared economies in the rigging, the sails the equipment onboard, plus maintaining and running all this with a common shore team.

We are really starting to see the impact from that decision, the benefits of Nick Bice setting up the boatyard and of us now supplying everything to the teams.

SH: Was the last race essential to consolidating the event?

Read on.


October 16th, 2016

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post-17096-0-66375300-1476471989An epic story of a piece of history’s restoration ends with a splash…with thanks to sleddog;

Last evening, as the sun set into a thick fog, the acerbic and perpetually weird Bill Lee’s iconic ‘Fast is Fun” MERLIN was lowered into the Pacific at Santa Cruz Harbor after an absence of many years in Great Lakes waters.

Bill and crew spent recent months removing the dysfunctional canting keel, daggerboard, hydraulics, and massive internal structure, and installing a new, Alan Andrews designed, torpedo type keel. Bill had a broad smile last evening when he saw MERLIN floating evenly and exactly on her original, 1977, designed lines, indicating a displacement of 25,000 pounds had been met.

MERLIN will compete in next summer’s Transpac, 40 years after breaking the Transpac elapsed time record.

Welcome Home, MERLIN! A re-christening ceremony will be held February 26, all invited. Regarding questions about the paint job, cabin shape, and other refinements, Bill would say MERLIN remains a “work in progress,” with nothing off the table, but jesus, can’t  ya at least paint the god damn thing something other than that? Say, white?

It is worth noting that design hack Leif Beiley is the one who orchestrated the butchery, as noted above, to virtually destroy as much of the originality of Merlin as possible. Y’all remember that tool, don’t ya?


October 14th, 2016

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Croatia’s very popular Viška regatta (Split to Vis) saw yet another failed string product on this RC44:  The new Self-Reefing Main!  Here we see the Jugo wind showing how effective it is…Photo credit B. Vukičević with many more here. (note: we originally thought this was a North sail, but apparently not – ed.)


October 14th, 2016

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After a very strong Marstrand finale to the inaugural World Match Racing Tour,  our friends in M32 World have been extremely quiet, with no firm announcements for the 2016/17 WMRT season other than a teaser telling us there would indeed be another million on offer for the winner of the series. This week, we found out what they’ve been up to: First, and as you can see by the titillating video above, they’ve gotten International Class status from ISAF and the inaugural M32 World Championship will be sailed on the Devil’s Island immediately after the Tour finale in Marstrand.  While future M32 Worlds will be qualified events, this first year is first-come, first-served, and capped at 25 boats, so get registered now.

Far more importantly, M32 World announced that the Volvo Ocean Race will now feature the M32 cat for Pro-Am and guest racing at 8 of the VOR Stopovers. Each boat will be branded like one of the teams and sailed over the course of the stopover, allowing non-stop sailing action for spectators and VIP/hospitality guests.  Instead of a two days of in-port and pro-am racing, those eight stopovers will now be full of racing action – a move that pleases both VOR, the teams, and the local vendors while increasing the crossover between long time circumnavigators and inshore cat racers.



October 14th, 2016

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screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-3-10-20-pmIt must suck to win an Olympic gold medal in your fifties and find out you’re not even ranked in the the top ten in your class!  This screenshot comes from Santiago Lange’s current, official World Sailing Rankings for the Nacra 17 – apparently, the Princess Sofia is worth 100 points, but the Olympics is worth nothing at all.   Unless it’s yet another in the endless parade of World Sailing fuckups?

Title shout to the Chocolate Factory and to the late, great Gene Wilder.

October 14th, 2016


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