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Charlie Enright’s Alvimedica Team may be the youngest in the Volvo Ocean Race but they didn’t look it on Saturday; the Turkish-flagged, American-helmed crew looked smart and conservative, letting the other boats mostly take themselves out of racing with a litany of boathandling flubs.  Bad gybes, worse furls, screwy roundings, ugly laylines – most of the teams had one or more of these issues – but not Charlie.  So the boys in orange get the morale boosting In-Port Race victory over Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi team with the Spanish

The coverage itself was a bit embarrassing even for the first go-round, with the sole production bright light being brilliant talker and ex-Olympic Star guy Mark Covell on the microphone.   Unfortunately, the hysterically screaming play-by-play Englishman beside him snuffed that light out most of the time with brilliant observations like “they are really close together!!!” and “this is the team’s third Vendee Race together!!!”  The actual pictures weren’t much better – two helicopters, zero on-board footage, and what looked like iPhone footage from the water making up nearly all the images on the Youtube and broadcast feed.  Even the Virtual Eye (or more likely, a knockoff based on the poor quality and completely inaccurate speeds) was useless.

We get that the VOR needed to cut costs, and we get that the In-Port now counts for almost nothing, and we get that the In-Ports are now pretty much internet only – and we applaud all these decisions.  But we don’t get how the sponsors can look at this level of coverage and not be embarrassed to be involved.  No coverage of any part of the world’s premier ocean race - the Formula 1 of the ocean – should be outspent and outperformed by live coverage of the World Match Race Tour, the Great Cup, or even the 5o5 Worlds.  But this In Port coverage was.

Organizers deserve a little leeway because it’s their first attempt for this one but it ain’t like the VOR staffers haven’t been down this road before, so they don’t get much.  Step it up, guys and girls, or give up on your claims of being the Big Show.

 

October 5th, 2014

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windows

This is the other Windows that we all hate! Props to Anarchist Gino.

 

October 3rd, 2014

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Miami WRace/Donovan GP 26 Chronicles
Chapter One.

gp 26 5 1Sitting on the patio of the Biscayne Bay YC on Sunday, enjoying the evening breeze and the traditional Lime Daiquiris that signal the end of the Lime Cup, it was easy to look across the parking lot and see Cliff Clark’s new Donovan GP 26 “Picarón” on the trailer, and forget about the work that went into putting the boat on the water for the regatta.

After all, just over a week before, the designer/mast builder Jim Donovan arrived in Miami with the mast, and a work/gopher crew arrived to pitch in on the project at various times during the week. Through the week, Jim kept all of us involved and working toward the weekend like an engine firing on all cylinders, resulting in a test-sail on Biscayne Bay on the afternoon before the regatta. Irrespective of the monumental amount of work done, to put any new boat on the water, and this one was no exception, the smile on the owner’s face would never have been as big if the boat had not been so much fun to sail.

The thread about the Donovan GP26 Production in Turkey is chock-full of information about the boat, but hopefully this report can fill in some of the blanks about on the water performance. “Picarón” hit the water on Friday 9/26 for a brief test sail in 8-10 knots of breeze on the flat waters of Biscayne Bay. After a quick look at the working sails and AP spin that came with the boat, we had a look at the MH and Frac Code Zeroes, and headed in to put the boat away for the night, comfortable with the knowledge that everything worked as intended, and that the boat was responsive and fast, even in pretty light conditions. It was time to go racing.

Saturday boat calls are early for the Lime Cup, with competitors headed across the bay and out the Stiltsville channel, to the starting area SE of Key Biscayne, for a race up to Ft. Lauderdale. The usual short first leg to the east was scrubbed this year, due to a missing National Park mark, so the race was essentially a drag race to Ft. Lauderdale, with the requirement of leaving all marks of Government Cut to port, in about 8-10 or 12, roughly out of the east. The Gulfstream was in close enough to make this requirement moot, with most boats heading out aggressively enough to get in the Stream and out beyond the channel pretty early. The angle was close enough to keep us from using the Frac CZ right off of the line (after an operator-error late start), but even with the headsail, we were able to work forward and low on the high boats, including a pair of Tripp 33s, a Hobie 33 and an Evelyn 32, who all fought higher than what we wanted to sail. As soon as we cracked off a bit and set the Fr0, this changed drastically.

gp sailing sternWith the slightest hint of following sea, we were able to repeatedly put the boat on waves, effortlessly getting onto a plane and staying there from wave to wave in the puffs. I say effortlessly because you really don’t notice the transition, it is so smooth; even in displacement-mode, the boat puts out very little wake, unless you A) have a fat guy on board and B), he is sitting or standing in the stern and to leeward (we tested this extensively on Friday). This allowed us to roughly parallel the coast, and maintain our position in the Stream, while not working way out with some of the rest of the fleet. Eventually, we needed to soak down to the finish, so we shifted up to the MH Code 0, and worked down on every puff. One interesting observation here is that we were the only boat (if memory and observations are correct) using a Code sail at this point, staying on edge and hiking like hell. It gets the apparent forward, and keeps it there. This has something to do with our inside position, negating the need to drive down as much as the outside boats did, but there were boats on the inside flying reaching kites. W

e finished off of the Dania Pier without ever having to do the low and slow soak to the finish; we were juiced up the whole time, thanks to early planning and soaking on puffs. The end result on Saturday was that while we could not hang within seven seconds per mile of the beautiful brand new Oyster 57, who corrected out about 10 minutes ahead, we were competitive with everyone else, edging a well sailed Farr 395 by about a couple of minutes.

Sunday was a different beast, with pretty steady 10 kt breeze a bit farther forward than what we saw Saturday, for the shorter ride from Lauderdale to Government Cut. Seeing a bit of north current on the pin, we were committed to getting in toward the beach. Having done this race a time or two, we knew that a lot of boats like to fight high on the Sunday leg, and we were content to let them go, knowing that we wanted the chance to get the Fr0 into clear air, and fairly certain that we could hike the boat down to the point that we could keep it off of the beach. This meant that the Fr0 was going to be on the jib halyard, which in turn meant that we were starting bareheaded. The predicted fight to go high materialized right on cue, and we had a nice lane to drive right over the pin just as the kite was hoisting, a few seconds late, but with a nice clear lane to head down toward the beach, and out of the north current.

Once we settled into a lane, with two bubbas hiking and the two skinny guys sailing the boat, we were comfortably making our way down the beach, hitting eight and change often, and staying in the sevens pretty regularly. That put us to leeward and even-with or a bit bow-out on the Aerodyne 38, and a couple of lengths behind the Farr 395 (and well inshore of both), with all of us watching the Oyster 57 sail away to the win. The finish was offshore enough that we had to downshift to the jib a couple of miles from the end. This allowed the Aerodyne to leg out a bit, beating us across the line by a couple of minutes. The corrected results put us in third for the day, 20 seconds or so behind a Beneteau 36.7. The combined times for the two days left us comfortably in second.

By the time the party started, we had already finished removing the rudder, lifting the keel, putting the boat on the trailer and cleaning everything up, with an hour to spare. This was despite taking an extra hour to get in from the race course, so that we could sail down and around Key Biscayne on the way in, to give the fat guys a chance to take the helm and have some fun. The tear-down was neither effortless nor overwhelming. With a bit of practice, it will be a smooth operation.

gp 26 sailing rigConclusions about the boat…. To use single-word descriptions, “fun”, “fast”, “effortless”, “value” and “fun” spring to mind. (I like fun.) I say “effortless” to describe the ease with which the boat planes; it is easy to overlook when you have made the transition, it just happens. Add a little bit of wave action to the mix, and the fun-factor goes up exponentially. It will be interesting to see how the various boats perform with the different rigs (Picarón has a Jim Donovan-built mast and boom), when the east-coast boats get together, and they Should Get Together.

This is an awesome amount of boat for the money, a boat with the ability to peg the giggle meter at the red line, to go offshore (and come back in one piece), and do it in a hurry. Sail one, or two. Here. – Chris Woolsey.

 

October 3rd, 2014

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what it is 10 1

Admit it, you have no idea.

 

October 1st, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

fireballWeathermark Sailboats is happy to announce the appointment of Mike McEvoy as agent for the North American market. Mike has over 40 years’ experience in Fireball, many years as a race coach in Canada, and in sailing retail. The principal at Weathermark is Dave Hall. As an old hand in the Fireball, and in the sailing industry, Dave has put his years of experience and thoughts into the construction of the hull, deck and internal design.

A perennial problem for potential Fireball purchasers in Canada and the USA has been the availability of boats without a long waiting period and in the face of high shipping costs. With regular shipments to the East Coast due to our partnership with Rondar Raceboats , and to the West Coast, we can supply boats, spars, and sails for the North American market with very reasonable shipping rates The first Weathermark boat in North America has arrived and will soon be seen on the regatta circuit. Currently we are taking orders for early winter delivery.

The hull is the current “wide bow” thinking but has a slightly more vee’d entry and is not as bulbous as the other current boats available. This makes the boat kinder through the water. The water line length is also maximized and the aft rocker is as flat as the rules permit.

Inside, the forward part of the centerboard case is a low as practical to save those shins. The substantial jib bars go from the front of the case to the side tanks in line with the shrouds forming a rigid frame and fairing into an extra bulkhead.

The centerboard case rises after the thwart onto a flat table to allow owners a free hand in the way they like their controls. The deck has been made functional and aesthetically pleasing.

All hull and deck moldings are in epoxy resin with the choice of Kevlar or S glass, they are vacuum bagged and the moulds have been made to enable them to be laminated using the ‘Infusion’ method. All hulls and decks are post cured in a single large oven.

For enquiries from North America contact Mike at mike@weathermarksailboats.com or call: 613-796-2122. European inquiries can be sent to Dave at dave@weathermarksailboats.com or ring + 44 (0) 7802 611599. Weathermark Sailboats will be at HPDO at the American Yacht Club October 11 and 12. Stop by and say hello!

 

October 1st, 2014

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You thought rudder problems were an issue in your wee yacht? Well, when it hits one of the world’s largest container ships as she enters Suez Canal, it’s a whole different ballgame.  Check out the Colombo Express taking a chunk (and some containers) off the Tanjong in the spectator video above; the canal was shut down for about half a day with minimal pollution issues and no injuries; a lucky end to a collision that could have been a hell of a lot worse.  Thanks to SA’er ‘pipe dream’ for the heads up.

 

October 1st, 2014

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Here’s how you make your fleet and your racing look good – even in light air. And a reminder for you hack videographers out there to back it down sometimes. Slow motion is a great way to capture the action in a way that is very fitting for our sport, you know, given that it is slow already… Props to Anarchist Mike.

 

October 1st, 2014

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Braveheart Powered by North Sails.Our Classified Ad section is blowin’ up of late – check out the offerings – A cherry Cal 40 (one that if we weren’t being sued by Dan Meyers (he of the rapidly sinking, First Marblehead stock price as of today, we would look really hard at buying).

But wait, there’s more: A flying Tiger 10m, A Farr 40, a Corsair 750, Melges 25, Blusail 24 (a boat that will forever be linked with Sailing Anarchy), Evelyn 32, Viper 830, Synergy 1000, Hendo 30, TP 52, Olson 29, Farr 30, J/80, 1D 48.

Come on, you tripping’ if you ain’t checkin’ it. And by the way, the title sponsorship of these incredibly active Classifieds is available. Hit us up if your company is interested.

 

October 1st, 2014

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pogo 3 2

The very first sail of  Olivier Taillard’s Pogo 3 # 1 Alternative Sailing! Sending it hard in 15kts of breeze in Benodet waters!! More at FB Olivier Taillard.  Photo thanks to  Erwan Tymen.

 

September 30th, 2014

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hold me

Note, H 20 logos are from previous event.

The Sportboat with Cupholders  had two days of tune-up sailing this weekend. The Harbor 20 Class Championships are next weekend, hosted by Newport Harbor YC. Saturday brought out 35 Harbor 20s for the BCYC Tune-Up Regatta. PRO Bill McNamara set up tight courses guaranteeing plenty of intense action throughout the day. Mayham at the marks was the byword for the day.

Defending class champ Bill Menninger (1-5-1-1-5) held off Argyle Campbell (5-3-2-3-7); Jim Buckingham (7-2-5-7-1) and Doug Rastello (2-9-6-2-3) to win the day in As. The fleet packed the BCYC bar afterwards and many stayed late into the night.

Sunday, NHYC hosted the W.D. Schock Fall Regatta.  Unusual Southerlies kept the 33 boats focused with oscillating breezy conditions. The NHYC RC set up the windward mark just off the front dock for maximum entertainment of the brunch crowd. The brunch crowd got a full measure of action as the Harbor 20s contended with a crowded field, oscillating winds, and maneuvering through the NHYC mooring field. Choosing a clear lane has special meaning in these circumstances.

Argyle Campbell/Guy Doran (5-4-2-4) won the hotly contested day, besting Jim Buckingham/Eric Lidecis (9-2-3-2-2) and two-time class champ Bob Yates/Phil Thompson (4-8-1-1-8). The club porch was a beehive of activity as the fleet mingled over (in)famous NHYC Mai Tais. The Harbor 2’0s meet again this weekend for their class champs. Another record-breaking turnout is expected for the most active Corinthian keelboat class in North America.

 

September 30th, 2014

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lewward, um yacht

Well one is a yacht and one isn’t, but one does have rights, and one doesn’t! Thanks to Juerg Kaufmann.

 

September 30th, 2014

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140925_TODD_0250While our good friend Rossi and the Clear Air/Lavalife/Sailing Anarchy team didn’t win the J/24 Worlds, they sailed a strong top-ten regatta while writing daily reports for all you J/24 fans, and we’re damned proud of them.  Here’s the report from the penultimate day of the event – come back tomorrow for the final report. Paul Todd photo and some huge galleries to browse from Worlds at this link.  

Day Four

The RC made a good call racing us inside the Bay, North of the Newport bridge, with wind forecast to increase to upper teens gusting in the twenties – too rough for the RC to anchor outside (and here is a good time to thank all the volunteers  on and off the water – without you, we can’t race so thanks!).  The bay is plenty big and made for a good tricky race course for 70+ boats.  The local guys maybe had a small advantage, but conditions were very tricky for everyone.

We had a good start and headed to the left shore with Will Welles, Hillman, and Tony Parker  just to leeward.  It looked like our side was favoured and we could tack and cross the fleet but we were convinced the left was the way to go and did not want to give that up. Well, a 20 degree right shift came in half the way up the beat and we went from wining to salvage mode in a hurry.  We took many transoms to make it to the right and rounded the mark in the 40s or 50s.  On the other hand, team HH and few others that I could not even see were well ahead of the fleet.

We gybed on the mark and few more righties helped us pass a pack of boats that went straight. Rounded the bottom mark in the mid 20s, finally a small break for Clear Air!  A few more breaks came our way on the upwind, and we passed a few more to finish 14th.   Again out of the top ten but we were happy about decent recovery.  A few boats got stuck on the left and could not get out – one of them was regatta leader Will Welles, making life harder for his team with a 46.

Race 2  gave us another good start on the boat, feeling good until the boats that started in the middle tacked and were crossing.  We tack to leeward and head back to the right, favored all day.  We tack back short of layline, anticipating it to be very busy place.  That worked out very well for us and a small left shift at the top put us in fifth around the mark.  Has our luck changed?

Motorhome with local fleet fifty sailor and past world champion Jens Hookanson calling the shots rounded the mark first with a small lead, with Will behind and Mauricio just behind him. Will and Mauricio started fighting (they had been 1-2 for most of the week) and that opened up some space for us to sail our own race. Mauricio managed to get inside at the bottom mark and passed Will, while we went to the right gate and once again, a shift came our way and we were gone from the fleet. Motorhome won the race comfortably, while the Japanese boat Gekko passed us to get second.  Behind us the fight was on; Mauricio ,Will, and Hillman finished overlapped at the finish line and Mauricio got the all-important two points on Will.

Racing on the bay felt much more like the lake conditions we know so well.  Check back tomorrow for the final day’s report!

 

September 30th, 2014

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Onboard Shamrock V (JK3) during the Regates Royales in Cannes, France.

For sailors aboard the J Class Shamrock V at Régates Royales in Cannes, light air doesn’t mean cracking beers and going swimming.  It means music from a violoncello as pretty as the yacht, with young Audrey Measson on another kind of bow.  Go here for the full series from the excellent Christophe Launay.

 

September 30th, 2014

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cat scratch fever

What else to explain this dude thinking his awesome trimaran is a catamaran? You can right the wrong right here.

 

September 29th, 2014

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Good story found in our Ocean Racing Anarchy forum, brought to you by Fisheries Supply

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, I set out on my first solo offshore adventure in attempt to qualify for next year’s Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race–a 1,300 mile race comprising a single-handed leg from Newport, RI to Bermuda, and a double-handed leg back to Newport. The qualification requirement for Mini sailors, as specified in the Notice of Race (NOR) is sailing 200 miles offshore for no less than 48 hours–all other eligible boats have a qualification requirement of 100 miles / 24 hours. I sailed offshore technically for 29 hours before heading home, and clocked in nearly 205 offshore miles–most in between 17 and 28 knots of breeze, and while bashing through tall, steep, short-period waves that, more often than not, would break over the deck of my diminutive 21-foot Mini Transat boat.

Although I did not technically qualify as I was not offshore for 48 hours, my adventure was by no means a failure. As some have reminded me, I went FAR outside my comfort zone, returned home safely (and with no breakages to report), and with an additional 205 miles of well-earned and hard-fought ocean sailing experience–nearly 176 of which were achieved in 24 hours.

Before I try to describe the journey in some detail, let me first thank everybody who tracked me online, and offered amazingly reassuring and positive feedback as I sent some alarmingly negative sat comm messages when conditions became toughest. Although I did not receive your comments while underway, I looked at each message when I got back, which helped get my psyche back to equilibrium. Read on.

 

September 29th, 2014

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Big Pimpin’

B&G, world leader in sailing navigation & electronics and official Supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race, is delighted to be able to offer exclusive places for six lucky people to attend a VIP Experience at the Volvo Ocean Race start in Alicante, Spain.

Those wanting the chance to take part in this once in a lifetime event, should enter the B&G competition by visiting www.facebook.com/bandgsailing. The winners, who will be chosen at random via a prize draw, will receive return flights from Europe to Alicante, hotel accommodation for two nights and a tour of the Volvo Ocean Race Museum at the Race Village. They will then enjoy a boat trip to get up close and personal with the Volvo Ocean 65s and will be on water to watch the start of leg 1.

 

September 29th, 2014

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When the pure righteousness of being a kid and a dad are captured like this, it simply has to be shared! Props to Anarchist Brock.

 

September 29th, 2014

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We love these sort of comments. Got a Reader Rant” Well by all means, send it in!

In the “womp em” article…. great! Yet another plumb bow, chine stern machine – blah, blah, blah …. Same old, same old, same old …..boring-boring-boring. Now if you could tell your gentle readers what that really cool looking daysailer is in the water in front of the monsters, that would really be something to write about !!

Update: So we have received a number of e-mails on this very subject. Here’s a good one:

A Hodgdon 21 is one of what’s known as the “sister sloops,” and is more properly considered a variation of the Boothbay Harbor One Design. The design was created by Geerd Hendel, draftsman for Starling Burgess, for the Boothbay Harbor YC. (As it happens, hull #1, Loon – currently for sale in Gloucester, MA – was Burgess’ personal boat.) Slight variations of the design were created for nearby Christmas Cove YC, and other clubs on the Great Lakes. More info here:

The Hodgdon family built many of the BHOD’s, and other variations, at his yard in East Boothbay. My family owns BHOD #25, which was one of the last wooden hulls. Hodgdon, Christmas Cove, later BHOD, GL 21′s were built glass.

The design is obviously not as sporty as what we typically see on Sailing Anarchy, but it’s a great-sailing boat, and equally well-versed for one-design racing, family day-sailing, and as a junior trainer. There are several builders who are ready and willing to put a new boat on the water for spring 2015.

 

September 29th, 2014

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This weekend Lorient hosted the DEFI AZIMUT a mix of overnight and daytime racing, popular with the maxi tris and the IMOCA and known as the last practice run before the Route du Rhum (starting november 2nd).

Last night they held the offshore event and Francois Gabart arrived first of the IMOCA fleet at 05h50 this morning. However he didn’t cross the line on purpose and declared himself forfeit beause he was forced to have his media man take the helm while he fixed an electronic problem at some point during the race. This meant winner winner chicken dinner went to Jeremy Beyou who crossed the line just 40 seconds later.

Seb Josse with his major modified MOD70 (rudder elevators, lots of weight loss, the boat, not him) won the multi class. Loick Peyron suffered on BP because of very light air. Website for the racing is here. – Nicola Breymaier.

 

September 28th, 2014

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comanche launch

The latest big boy gets ready to get wet. Damn, that’s pretty bad ass. Pretty mean from the bow, too. See Video Friday for Clean’s closer look. And big ups to Anarchist David.

 

September 27th, 2014

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