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A new eye is sometimes the best antidote to a stale look, and the newest droners to enter the sailing scene have an interesting take on the Moth Aussie Nationals earlier this month in Perth.  Learn more about Perth’s Skyworks WA here, and congrats to longtime SA’er Josh McKnight on yet another title.

 

January 25th, 2016

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Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 8.18.29 AM“Rio vowed Sunday to protect Olympic athletes and fans from Zika-carrying mosquitoes, blamed for causing horrific birth defects.” So says the AP.

Forgive us for not trusting the same Rio government that once promised a clean bay, and if you must go, pack your DEET if you ever want to have kids. Remember:

It only takes one bite, and it’s coming to a neighborhood near you (and for the really good news, it seems to be sexually transmittable, too).

 

January 25th, 2016

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The JC Worldwide media team dropped two great podcasts over the weekend; First up, you can find the inimitable Brad Funk over on JC’s catalog talking skiff sailing, training, nutrition, and what it was like to have then-wife Anna T on her way to Olympic Gold while Funk lost the trials.  Oh yeah, and aliens – lots, and lots of aliens.

Above, we’ve embedded JC’s best work to date; 2 hours of non-stop yappin’ with one of multihulling’s most interesting dudes. So waste your commute with John as he and Extreme 40 pioneer, GC32 co-creator and now Olympic Nacra coach Andrew “Macca” Macpherson get deep into the current state of high-performance sailing.  Lots on the future of foiling, the evolution of safety, and exactly how in the hell JC and Macca got an Extreme 40 to 36 knots a decade ago in Holland.

Bar The Door

Mr. Clean himself became the first guest to fly all the way to Florida just to do the JC Worldwide Podcast.  Got something interesting to ask about Sailing Anarchy?  Send in your questions by Twitter today and tomorrow to @JohncaseyWW and we’ll see how much they make Clean sweat.

January 25th, 2016

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Well, against all odds, your Ed made it to the Düsseldorf boat show; not where you’d expect his GF Raina to learn sailing for the first time ever. It was pretty damned fun to watch an indoor sailing lesson, but the main show starts tomorrow.

We are astounded by the size of this show, which is so much bigger than anything comparable in this hemisphere that is easily amazes.  There are a number of current SA advertisers here and a bunch who are soon to be, but the coolest part of the show so far is the huge number of boats and brands  that we’ve never even seen before.

We don’t know whether European yachting is as healthy as it appears to be, but things seem like they’re humming along just fine from here.  We’ll have a more in-depth look a bit later during the show, so stay tuned!

 

January 24th, 2016

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The J 122 Teamwork shows exactly how it’s done, winning ORC 1at KWRW. So does PhotoBoat!

 

January 22nd, 2016

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Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 2.11.19 PMFlorida’s first three Zika infections were reported yesterday, and along with the horrible damage the virus can do to babies, another rare disease may be connected to the the mosquito-borne Zika.  CDC and Brazilian health authorities are now trying to figure out how Zika may be triggering or causing the Guillain-Barré syndrome, which causes nerve damage, paralysis, and in rare cases, death.  Cases of the rare disease have increased significantly in the past few months, and who knows what other nastiness this little bug may be capable of?

Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Jamaica have all officially asked women to delay becoming pregnant until more can be learned about Zika, while in the US, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and Hawaii have confirmed Zika infections involving returning travelers who were likely bitten by mosquitoes while abroad.  While the Olympics is the last thing anyone with a baby on the way is thinking about, Zika threatens to do the impossible and overshadow even the ongoing media scrum around Guanabara Bay’s pollution.

With Rio 2016 already scrapping bleachers and stands for sailing, swimming, and paddling events, plans for permanent facilities thrown in the trash, and ticket sales moving at a snail’s pace, much of the Brazilian public is wishing its government had stayed away from the 5-ring circus.  And perhaps the biggest antidote for those seeking to host more super-events like the Games is this: Some scientists believe the Zika outbreak in Brazil can be traced to African tourists who came over in 2014 to watch the FIFA World Cup.

One SA reader told us there is no screwing around.  We’ll share his full e-mail:

Good job presenting the scare factor.  Yes, Zika is scary shit.  So are you ready for an article about the ONLY thing that sailors can do…Get self-protection against mosquito bites with modern, effective mosquito repellents.  We call it Personal Protection.

Signed:  David A. Carlson, Ph.D.  [World expert on mosquito protection, 200 publication in scientific papers, Research Chemist (Ret. after 37 years) at USDA, Center for Medical Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL]

 

January 22nd, 2016

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Clean Report

A YUUUUGE thank you to the more than 300 of you who attended the 9th Winter Anarchy drunk-a-thon at the Bottom Lounge last weekend, and to the dozens of volunteers, sponsors, and of course Morgan Kinney for putting it all together.  We’re proud of the roughly $7000 you all raised for the Skin Cancer Foundation, and we’re even prouder that we found a way to help an important cause a little bit while having a good time with great people and giving away some creative and awesome prizes.  We’ll have important news for the 10th Anniversary of Winter Anarchy in the next few weeks; whether you’re a sponsor or a partygoer, you most definitely will not want to miss it.

There are still a few Special Edition 2016 Winter Anarchy tees left; if you pick one up before Monday, Morgan will throw in a new SA alloy buckle belt with it.  All profits go to Skin Cancer Foundation.

Show Off

Key West and Chicago’s Strictly Sail show were the industry’s ‘must attend’ winter events for years.  The boat show, though, wishes it only contracted by the third that Race Week did over the same period of time.  Plagued by America’s general move away from boat shows and an expensive show at logistically difficult Navy Pier, Chicago’s big event moved last year away from downtown, becoming the tiny third wheel in the ironically named ‘Chicago Boat, RV, and Strictly Sail Show‘ at the huge McCormick Place convention center.

The sailboat industry was, quite literally, a side show, and few vendors had any optimism at all about making any kind of money there.  It remains a convenient spot for many industry workers to work out deals and check in with far-flung friends, but with fewer exhibitors than ever, there aren’t many out-of-towners coming in anymore.

For locals, it’s another story; a great excuse to break up the coldest part of the winter with a few drinks and a peek at the few interesting things there; the full J line up, relatively new dinghies from Melges and RS, and a few bits of hardware and software scattered around.  Area Yacht Clubs were looking for members and promoting their races, while a few MCSA university teams showed up to find supporters and recruit sailors.  But the show was dominated by the ACWS Chicago booth that was loaded with the baubles and trinkets to suck almost any sailor in.  VR goggles with the full AC45 onboard experience loaded in, a one-on-one match race game complete with carbon wheels, and even a long line to take your selfie with the real America’s Cup, which somehow managed to look gaudy even against the backdrop of a tiki bar set on a fake beach under a plastic palm tree to the sound of a live Jimmy Buffet impersonator.

Don Wilson’s ACWS organizing group included a diverse mix of volunteers doing their best to spread the message, and heavily discounted tickets seemed to be selling at a brisk pace.  It’s a very different place from Newport, but the pride amongst many local sailors that an America’s Cup(ish) event was coming to town reminded me of Rhode Islanders just before the Volvo.  Will the windy city turn out 130,000 fans for the ACWS like Newport did for Brad Read’s Volvo?  Not a chance.  But if the weather doesn’t make a complete mockery of the silly two-day format again, the event could easily hit her smaller targets and be considered a home run by AC teams, hospitality sponsors, and the City.  There’s also another reason to go: It could be the last time anything like it sees freshwater.  Alternatively, it could be the pioneer event that opened Chicago to inshore racing’s upper echelons.  It’s no secret that Wilson has big aspirations in the sport, and both his passion for racing and his bank balance are both off the charts.  That’s a potent combination that’s brought the billionaire commodities trading genius plenty of success on Melges 24s, Farr 40s, and match racing boats, and last week Wilson helmed his M32 cat to victory in Bermuda against three pro helmsmen.  Could we see a Chicago America’s Cup team some time in the next decade?  Sure.  And you can say you knew them way back in 2016.

My trademark Mr. Clean shaky cam footage of the boat show is below.

Spreader-level overview of the show

Lightning Round look at new stuff

Should you make plans for the ACWS-Chicago?

 

January 22nd, 2016

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Hap Fauth’s 72′ Bella Mente is crushing it at Key West. PhotoBoat is crushing it too!

 

January 21st, 2016

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Big Pimpin’

  • c sprit sprit.pngThe true believers have spoken…

  • “This is the new way of doing bowsprits.” – Joe Poire, Partner Ventus Navigation Systems, Newport Beach, CA.

  • “We study all the aftermarket bowsprits and we like C Sprit the best.”  - John Franta,  Manager Colligo Marine, CA

  • “A great choice for any racers, cruisers, or short-handers.” – Harry Pattison- Elliott Pattison Sails, Newport Beach, CA.

  • “Well received at the Annapolis Boat Show.” – Mark Ploch, Doyle Sails, City Island, NY.

  • “Installation was very easy on my O’Day 39 and the asymmetrical spinnaker sets and gybes are a breeze. I highly recommend C Sprit to both cruising and racing sailors” Mike Price, Ullman Sails, Newport Beach, CA.

  • My C Sprit works as advertised.” – Dan Schrantz , Hunter 34, FL.

  • “The C-Sprit has simplified our jibes during racing, our Ericson 35 and allows us to trim the kite without concern of clearing the bow pulpit.  We now spend more time focusing on sail trim and our next maneuver.” – Robin Basham, Manager of Rigworks, San Diego CA.

  • “I bought a C Sprit to help control my spinnaker easier on my Santa Cruz 40.” Jim Murphy, SSS, San Francisco Bay, CA.

  • “I chose a C Sprit after many hours reviewing single tubes and A frame configurations made from alloy, steel and carbon. I especially like the triangulated design with quick release pins and folding ability for compact stowage. I look forward to improved light air performance and ease of sail handling during an upcoming circumnavigation of Australia and solo Tasman Sea race adventures.” Kevin Le Poidevin, Sigma 36, Port Stephens, Australia.

  • “A huge improvement on the clunky aluminum tubes that used to be the market leaders.” -Eric Lambert, PSSA Staff Commodore, Marina del Rey, CA.

  • “There was much interest at my yacht club as I installed my new C Sprit.” – Nick Mather, Reliance 12M, Lake Ontario, Canada.

  • “I anticipate a strong demand for the C Sprit, especially when combined with top-down or code zero furlers.” – Rob Muschamp,   Bainbridge International /Karver, Canton, MA.

  • “Six point to point races this summer, five wins, one second. The C Sprit has allowed me to focus more on my shorthanded sailing, and less on sail handling.” – Rod Percival, PSSA Singlehanded Sailor & Fleet Captain, Marina del Rey, CA.

  • “Our A-2 spinnaker works great with these bowsprits here in SoCal.” – Sam Heck.  Quantum Sails, Long Beach, CA.

  • C Sprit.

 

January 21st, 2016

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Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.39.35 AMAs we pointed out last week, ISAF WORLD SAILING’s mealy-mouthed response to Malaysia’s violation of ISAF and IOC rules in their discrimination against Israeli sailors didn’t actually say much, nor, in our opinion, will it prevent a repeat violation amongst the Israel-haters hosting many of ISAF’s coming events.  As far as we can tell, ISAF WORLD SAILING hasn’t even invalidated the World Championship status of the Langkawi event despite clear noncompliance with the Racing Rules of Sailing and the ISAF/Malaysia’s Host Venue Agreement – and the fact that two of the perennial medal winning juniors couldn’t attend.

We’re not sure why World Sailing is so weak-kneed and impotent, but usually these things flow downward from the top; perhaps President Carlo Croce is too busy? Remember, this guy – ostensibly running the organization governing the entire world’s sailboat racing – is also the President of the Italian Sailing Federation and the President of Italy’s biggest yacht club.  Busy man?

Like us (and anyone else who’s been paying attention), the Israel Sailing Association has no faith in ISAF World Sailing, and they’re not going to hide quietly by while their athletes are unlawfully excluded from this Olympic-funded sport.  After reading the World Sailing statement on Malaysia’s malfeasance,  the ISA asked on Monday for a guarantee from Croce that Israeli sailors won’t be excluded from any future ISAF events.

“We are very concerned that their decisions have no teeth,” ISA President Gili Amir told The Jerusalem Post. “If we don’t remain on guard, we will find ourselves in the same situation ahead of the championships in Oman as we did in Malaysia.

“There are a lot of politics involved, and everyone just wants to get away with the minimum required. The president is facing an election in November and this is all politics. He wants everyone to support him. No one knows what will happen the day after the president is chosen and we are concerned.

“If there isn’t a proper warning period to make sure host countries act according to the Olympic Charter and that if they don’t they will lose the competition or be barred from taking part in the Olympics or sanctions of that sort which can change their stance, there is no point to this entire episode.”

Israel’s Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan did not have an opportunity to defend their titles at the Youth World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia, earlier this month after the ISA said that it will not be participating in the event due to the demands made by the organizers and the fact the surfers had yet to receive visas.

The ISA claimed that it was told the surfers would not compete under the Israel flag, wouldn’t be allowed to use any symbol identifiable with Israel on their cloths or surfboards and that the national anthem would not be played should an Israeli win a gold medal.

“We are disappointed that Malaysia hasn’t been punished,” said Amir.  “We are also skeptical whether World Sailing plans to enforce its own decisions.  We are afraid that this is all politics and we only trust ourselves.”

After investigating the matter, World Sailing wrote in a statement last week that “all World Sailing championships involve an element of country representation, and at all these regattas, flags shall be displayed and winners’ anthems played. They shall be displayed and played equally for all competitors.

Organizing Authorities who are not able to meet this requirement should not bid, and will not be selected, to host future World Sailing championships.”

The sport’s governing body said that it “deeply regrets” that Israel’s representatives were unable to compete “due to the conditions imposed by the Malaysian authorities,” but also added that the ISA’s conduct contributed to the unfortunate outcome.

“That is complete nonsense. We did exactly what we were supposed to,” insisted Amir. “They received our letter 24 hours before we sent it to the media. They are telling tales. They had to somehow appease the Malaysians so they wrote that nonsense. It is entirely inaccurate. We went exactly by the book and they are looking for excuses after not meeting their obligations.”

Amir believes money is ultimately the source of the problem.

“Organizing an international sailing competition is an expensive business and World Sailing chooses countries in which it makes money,” explained Amir. “Places like Oman, Malaysia or Abu Dhabi pay World Sailing a lot of money to host events. They don’t even have any sailors so what incentive do they have other than a political one?

“This is a growing trend in recent years, with more rich Muslim countries bidding for competitions. We are waging a battle for all of Israeli sport and this shouldn’t be the case because this isn’t our private war. Israel has a Foreign Ministry, Sports Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office and I see this as their responsibility. They don’t give us the support we need. We shouldn’t even need to deal with this.”

Read the rest of the story here.

 

January 21st, 2016

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