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SA’er ‘Ezra’ gives us another disinterested review of the little foiler we dig so much.  Will it live up to the hype? Let’s find out.  Photo not of the reviewer…

I sailed Dave’s demo boat at the Wickford regatta this Saturday and had a blast. Conditions were SSE 15-18 gusting occasionally to 20 with a pretty good ebb against the wind, so some decent chop. The plan was to do some “match racing” with Dave but unfortunately in launching he dropped his rudder and it sank to the bottom (I guess he had forgotten to rig the rudder downhaul -apparently he had a late night the day before- which would have kept it in), so I headed out to the course solo. My impressions:

The boat is really easy to rig. We had to put the boat I sailed together, which consisted of sliding the 3 piece mast together, pinning the wishbones to the spreaders and sliding the mast into the step. Tip the boat on its side, insert foils from the bottom, attach the wand arm to the main foil, tip the boat back up (foils are held in the retracted position by cool little keepers on the rudder head and mast pod), rig the mainsheet and hoist the sail. Because the rig is so bendy, it is really easy to hoist the main even though it has a lot of luff curve with the stays released. Rig Cunningham and outhaul, slide the dolly under and you are good to go. Town Beach in Wickford is shallow for a good ways out, so I put about a foot of rudder down and sailed out to deep water, where I then dropped the main foil and the rudder and went on my way.

It was about a 2 mile beat out to the course. I did a commination of semi foiling and foiling to get out there. For such a short boat, it handled the chop well, although I had my ride height probably set too low so even when foiling I was punching through some waves. What really go me is how much bigger the boat feels than it actually is-the main foil is always working for you, even when “displacing”. Once I got up to the course area I had some great rips with a bunch of down-speed sailing in between (I am NOT in very good hiking shape right now and my hip flexors were screaming!). The boat is really very manageable when down speed-compared to my time sailing I 14s the boat is very easy in the between races milling around mode, even in good breeze and chop. Down speed tacks were the most challenging-it was easy to miss stays, but pushing the main out to leeward and backing the tiller would get you going quickly. I had 3 “near” crashes, the first 2 were nosedives into waves that happened just as I was building speed to foil-probably because I bore off to a reach too aggressively-in both cases I buried the bows to well past the mast pod (in fact I was sitting pretty far aft and was under water to my chest!), but I just held on and amazingly the boat just popped back up and kept going. The third ended my day-I was going nearly DDW, in the middle of the boat on my knees when a puff hit and the boat came up on the foils and promptly heeled to windward, pitching me off. I didn’t want to get separated, so I held on to the tiller extension, hoping the boat would flip or round up. It did stop, but not before I cracked the tiller. Dave jumped in, jury rigged the tiller and gave us a show of how to sail the boat properly!

The boat I sailed had literally been put together the day before, and the only breakdowns I had (apart from the tiller, which was serious user error, but which Dave says he is going to beef up) was a knot pulling through on one of the shrouds which I fixed on the water and one of the wishbones pulled out of its end fitting due to not enough plexus at the bond surface, which we electrical taped to finish the day.

I think the thing that struck me most about the experience and what I think sets the UFO apart is that the boat is so manageable. Yes it is demanding and physical when you are ripping, but when I got tired, I never felt a concern about being able to get back to the beach.

June 16th, 2017

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An old friend on the Med has a great new idea for seaside Anarchists looking to make an easy few grand: Look out your window!

Apparently, there’s something of a crime spree going on in some of the world’s prettiest cruising grounds in Croatia, with three charter catamarans stolen just over the past week.  The thieves are brazen – they charter the boat with all the right documentation, and then disappear with it!

These yachts are big, new cats – check out these stolen boat reports for details on the Lagoon 52 taken from Dubrovnik and the Fontaine Pajot 50 stolen from Trogir.   They may be a long way from home, and if you know something and want the reward (these are expensive boats, after all!), be sure to negotiate it first with the folks listed in the contacts on those reports.  Or if you are a good samaritan, post it in the thread and we’ll make sure the owners see it.

 

 

June 16th, 2017

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Jimmi the Magician

Well-known Aussie yachtie James “Jimmi the Magician” Doherty found himself with a bad ticker yesterday after delivering a boat from Japan to LA for the Transpac, and one of his friends has asked a special favor of the SoCal anarchists: Go and see this legend and talk yachting while he recovers from an emergency heart valve replacement.

No one has done more Melbourne Osaka races, and he usually delivers back to Oz singlehanded.  He’s sailed tall ships, fast boats you all know, and everything in between; even sailed a square rigger to Siberia with a Russian crew.  Jimmi has hundreds of thousands of miles delivering, and lives on his half-tonner in Australia.

His friends wrote that “Jimmi is by himself and now faces another 10 days in hospital alone, and another 3 weeks before he can fly  back to Oz.  If any sailors nearby feel like dropping in to Cedar Sinai Hospital in LA to go and talk sailing for a half hour, it would do wonders for him.  He is the real deal.”

Photo thanks to Tak Yamakasi.

June 16th, 2017

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Year one of the Race2Alaska had Tripp and Chris Burd on a hate mission onboard a 22 foot/year-old racing cat with a fresh coat of paint and a 38′ mast. No shelter but an endless supply of the adrenaline-filled moments the Burds seemed to feed on. They finished, set a world record for open boats and got a sweet Waterlust documentary courtesy of the good folks at Sperry.

Last year Tripp Burd returned as a part of another team who dreamt big, broke their boat, then rallied only to bow out after Victoria. Sometimes all the right pieces fall apart leaving Tripp with unfinished business, and family members who didn’t look busy enough. Voila-2017.

Refuting cultural assumptions established by Lynyrd and friends, these Burds actually can change. Lesson learned from the unsheltered year one, Team FreeBurd chartered the fastest remaining boat from the previous race from some guy rumored to be able to pick winners – Mama Tried, a physics bending three-wheeler handed to the league of mortals by multihull legend Pete Melvin. Mama Tried rallied north in 2016 respectable time as Team Pure and Wild.

And after 4 days and change of extremely tough sailing, pedaling, paddling, and drifting,  a threesome of the nicest, fastest, and prettiest boys in sailing have finally won it – and Team Freeburd/Pure & Wild beat Big Broderna by just 6 minutes after 750 miles!  Amazing.

Shitty photo of (left to right) Big Bro’s Sean Huston, Nels Strandberg, Marshall Lebron, Lars Strandberg and Pure & Wild’s Tripp Burd, Trevor Burd, Chris Burd from the event Facebook page, but the videos – including live finish vids – are where it’s at.  And the thread just keeps on trucking…

Special thanks to Morgan, Jake, and Grace Glenn for making covering this thing easy.

 

June 15th, 2017

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Red Bull’s “Raw 100” is the kind of outside-the-box thinking we dig, and they pulled together a team of folks who’ve frequently graced these pages  – Matt Knighton, Sam Greenfield, and Javier Salinas – to get funky with Oracle’s AC50 in Bermuda. No slo-mo, no music – just some of the tightest and most interesting shots and sailing sounds you’ll ever get.  How many drones did Sam wash in order to get the shot from underneath the flying hulls?  We’ll never tell.

We can tell you that regardless of how you feel about 4 full-time grinders or the Cup in Bermuda, these boats are pretty goddamned insane – as is the video.  Enjoy.

 

June 15th, 2017

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The world’s toughest inshore race is nearly over, at least for the Burd Boys and their competitors aboard the Big Broderna (F-31 trimaran).  They’re neck-and-neck with around 50 miles to the finish of the 2017 Race2Alaska, and our old friend Morgan is on the water covering it.  Track ’em here, and chat about it in the thread.

June 15th, 2017

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The Black Nessi team wins the 50 miles trophy in Lake Lucern Switzerland in the category racer 1 (srs handicap)
very light wind conditions. – Anarchist Pascal. And everybody is looking everywhere! – ed.

 

June 15th, 2017

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This America’s Cup match will break one of these teams. Dramatic? Well, let’s start with the Kiwis. There are still ghosts in the shed from the 2013 last race loss to Oracle. Yes the team has evolved, but the logos, uniform and many of the faces are still the same, with that loss part of the teams DNA, driving them forwards on a daily basis. At the head is Grant Dalton, a man who has never won the America’s Cup, and if the Kiwis lose this, how can the team rebuild? Long term it will – New Zealanders are brilliant sportsmen and women and highly resilient at punching above their weight, but lose now and sponsors and supporters will be looking for fresh initiatives from the top.

Should Australian skipper Glenn Ashby (who coached Jimmy Spithill at BMW Oracle in 2010) and NZ helm Peter Burling and crew win, with their brilliant use of grinding leg muscle (plus every other ounce of technology crammed into that boat) Dalton will get his Knighthood, and the World of the Cup will tilt back to the land of the long white cloud – where memories are also long, on who was with them – and who was against them…

For Oracle Team USA, this should be their time to shine. They have an unlimited run of training, preparation and resources since they retained the Cup in San Fransisco, and have gigantic computing power on their side, with foil, aero and hydro talent in deep ranks. Australian skipper Jimmy Spithill is unquestionably as tough as teak, but he does have flaws. Not winning any World Series event rankled, plus Tom Slingsby’s poor showing at the Toulon event was a shock to the team. I saw that up close.

Early on in this cycle Spithill was publicly gunning for Grant Daltons replacement, not a very dignified approach and his Oracle team mates asked he tone down that line as it could have backfired badly, and so is Spithill capable of making errors? Of course he is – but they will be very fine ones, and it will take every ounce of the ice in Burling’s veins to unsettle Spithill in a dial up or boundary approach.

But if he manages this and Oracle lose this series – with every investment they have made, as Dennis Conner said there is no excuse to lose. Remember what happened to Chris Dickson when he lost at Oracle? Fascinating times…

Blue Robinson.

 

June 15th, 2017

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Big Pimpin’

Chris McGrath feels as if he has landed on his feet at Musto. He has been tasked with elevating Musto’s footwear range to a new level of technical performance, and finds himself right back in his element. ‘Working closely with athletes at the top of their game, taking feedback from high-calibre professional sailors, passionate people like Ian Walker and Pete Cumming, and trying to solve the challenges of creating what they want in order to perform at a higher level – that’s the stuff that I love.’

Above: those old-school blue canvas sailing shoes are now de rigueur for today’s fashion kids… but they are rarely if ever seen on the water (OK, other than maybe worn by stewards on a large and similarly fashion conscious superyacht). Today’s best performance deck shoes are much closer to what you will find at your local running track, yet they have to meet a vastly wider and in some ways very much more demanding set of performance criteria. To those still going afloat even in the best traditional ‘deck shoe’, go get some – thing less medieval. Leather deck shoes are fantastic, but when you’re trying not to slide around, sweating on the end of a winch handle, you really need to treat yourself…

In his youth McGrath was no mean athlete in his own right, winning a bronze medal for Great Britain in the Open Water Swimming World Championships in 1994. But since then he has forged a career with an enviable CV in the global sporting arena. ‘I started out working at the McLaren Formula One team for three years, working in 3D design creating gloves, helmets and so on. That’s when I really began to work closely with athletes, listening carefully to what they want. Often you find sports people are frustrated designers; they have some amazing ideas, but you’re the link between that creative spark and bringing it to reality.’ Read on.

 

June 15th, 2017

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We went fishing out of eagle point marina this morning. The wind was blowing like crazy and it was way to rough to go but everyone wanted to, so off we went. Headed south towards Hannah’s reef. About half way there I see something in the water, first thought was a pelican. Then it waved at me! I made a hard turn to starboard and we pulled him out quickly. He was holding onto one of the white PVC pipes that marks reefs and shallow spots.

We had him sit on a ice chest and gave him water. We called his wife as soon as we had him in the boat. He said they were on a sail boat yesterday and a line had wrapped itself in the prop. One of the guys went overboard to free the line and somehow they both ended up in the bay. With the way the wind was blowing their sail boat left them in a hurry. He said his friend died in his arms overnight. I don’t know at what point they became separated. He said he had been in the water since yesterday afternoon. I am guessing he had been in the water either drifting or holding onto the pipe for 15-16 hours. He did have a life jacket on!

He was pretty cut up from barnacles and oyster shells. He had a pretty good sized scrape on top of his head. I honestly don’t know how he held on to that pole for that long. I am guessing that is when he was separated from his friend. I called the coast guard and met with them. They asked if I could take him to the dock so they could continue to search for his friend. We booked it back to eagle point, he puked a good bit of the ride back. Probably from all the salt water he had swallowed. His wife showed up at the marina and so did the wife and child of his friend. An ambulance showed up and took over.

I will never forget this mans eyes when we pulled him in the boat!

On the way back to the ramp we passed a 6-7 ft alligator swimming about 300yds from where this all happened. Lifted from FB. – ed

 

June 14th, 2017

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