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I remember almost 4 years ago an Antipodean writer talking about how “the Aussies had knocked Team GBR off the Olympic pedestal.”

You think?

I also remember looking at the results in somewhat more depth as it is the medals that get all the headlines but sometimes without the detail. In every event Team GBR competed in the medal race. Can you imagine what the tabloids would have said if every track and field athlete (of any country) made their final?

Then I played around and using the low point scoring system gave a team score for the finish place of each competitor.

Well with around 3 weeks to go to the next games I took to wondering if I could find the info and check it out. The wonders of the internet mean you can find pretty much everything.

Guess what, the team that came closest was France with 9 sailors reaching the medal races and the Kiwis just one further behind. The Aussies weren’t even on the podium with only half of the classes having an Australian in the medal race. I have to be fair though that those who did make the medal races elevated the team from down under to the podium on points.”
Why bring this up now?

Well with the Olympic single handed classes currently dominated by the Brits with World Championship victories in Finn, Laser and Laser Radial, the two windsurfers in the hunt (always), the two 470 teams up around there and the 49ers hardly no hopers then perhaps the Aussies didn’t so much knock GBR off the pedestal as GBR just letting them borrow it for a while.

The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) and Steven (Sparky) Sparks, the team manager certainly appear to have the formula well and truly researched and operational.

Odds? Well I reckon that you would get similar odds of Giles Scott being beaten to those certain football fans from Leicester got when wishing their team success in the English Premier League.

Of course the Olympics are a different cauldron altogether and anything can happen but I bet Sparky isn’t suffering many sleepless nights right now other than mulling over what antibiotics to take with the team to Rio.

Will that Aussie journo be able to make his claim again in Rio?

Well one thing for sure, after denying the opportunity for some of their qualifying sailors to actually go and compete they certainly will not have a sailor in every medal race.

For Team GBR?

For sure, medals make the history books but to emulate the feat of their compatriots in 2012 (and 2008 by the way) and make EVERY medal race for a second – oops, sorry, third –  Olympics would be without precedent. In fact I will stick my neck out and say I think I am right in saying there hasn’t ever been a medal race without a Team GBR sailor in it.

Now that’s a record worth extending, Mr Antipodean reporter.

- Shanghai Sailor



July 14th, 2016

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What a stunner of a photo by Joka Gemesi.


July 13th, 2016

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Cleveland_Indians_logo.svg.pngThe Seattle Yacht Club, a nearly 125-year-old pleasure-boating group that hosts events around the region, recently held its annual “Potlatch” event on Bainbridge Island. Billed as an homage to traditional First Nations potlatch feasts, the event features food, boat races, a potluck dinner, and children’s activities.

In a 2009 blog post describing the history of the event, one club member and potlatch organizer wrote, “Believe it or not, in the mid-1940’s members of the Seattle Yacht Club chose this tradition on which to base a family event to be held at their newly acquired property on Bainbridge Island in beautiful Port Madison.” The Port Madison Reservation is home to many members of the Suquamish Tribe.

If you’re starting to cringe a little at the notion of a bunch of wealthy, apparently all Caucasian yacht owners appropriating a tradition from the Native people their great-grandparents forced from their ancestral homes, read no further. Instead, have a look at these images, taken during the most recent Seattle Yacht Club potlatch and posted online. Read on thanks to the thecisfor

Got a comment on this? Jump in.


July 13th, 2016

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Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.09.42 PMAccording to the sentence handed down yesterday by a Lorient judge, Spindrift Racing co-founder and skipper Yann Guichard will avoid jail time for the accident between the monster Spindrift 2 trimaran and Lorient local Virginia Namouric.  Guichard’s sentence of 6 months is suspended, meaning he won’t have to serve it – though he will be require to pay 25,000 euros in fines and several hundred thousand in restitution and compensation to Namouric for the loss of her leg.

Guichard’s conviction was for a deliberate violation of his duty of safety and prudence, and endangering the lives of others; an American court would probably call it reckless endangerment and would apportion blame according to maritime notions of comparative negligence.  Lorient didn’t, despite the RIB driver’s total obliviousness to the 140-foot trimaran; perhaps because the victim’s husband was the driver.  We hope event organizers don’t see this is a vindication of the insane policies allowing (and relying) on unqualified and untrained volunteer support boat drivers at major events.  It doesn’t matter how many courts go against COLREGS and basic rules of the road; as long as unaware powerboaters are allowed to drive near fast sailboats, injuries – or worse – will continue to happen.  Photo from the Ouest France article.


July 13th, 2016

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Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.06.38 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-13 at 4.06.38 PM

No caption necessary, and head to the excellent Georgy Akimov’s site if you want to waste hours looking at more pics like this.  Thanks to RM and Facebook for the find.

July 13th, 2016

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Two of France’s most successful racers ever share the nickname “Le Professeur”, and both of them – former F1 World Champ Alain Prost and 2-time Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux – were on hand for the baptism of Groupama Team France’s new AC45 Turbo/Test platform on Monday.  Designed by a team led by our old friend Martin Fischer (who co-designed Franck Cammas’ C-Class killer), this thing almost looks more at home on the Mulsanne Straight than it does in Bermuda.

While only the biggest upset chaser would be betting on GTF to take Larry’s bauble away, we can dream…go here for the very cool launch video.

July 13th, 2016

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Welcome to Miami… the coral city. Waterlust has teamed up with Coral Morphologic, a Miami-based hybrid art/science endeavor. Their art and research aim to celebrate and visualize the connection between Miami and its marine origins, and in doing so, to better understand the future of corals in their ever-changing habitat.

Coral reefs contain the most diverse ecosystems on our planet. They provide vital shelter for marine organisms and help protect our coastlines from damaging effects of coastal storms and waves.

Through photography, film, and now our Cosmic Coral collection, Coral Morphologic captures the beauty of Earth’s most fluorescent forms of life in hopes of inspiring future generations to study, preserve, and restore our world’s underwater cities: coral reefs.

Visit to learn more and support their work by purchasing a pair of Cosmic Coral leggings.


July 12th, 2016

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At Sailing Anarchy, we love bucking the conventional norm. A site who’s motto is “where the status quo blows”, we’ve always loved the somewhat quirky Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Hawai’i.

Lacking the traditional formalities of the more prestigious ‘Transpac’ race, the Pac Cup labels itself as ‘the FUN race to Hawaii’ and is a “run what ya brung” affair built around inclusiveness and participation.

As a result, people bring pretty much anything and everything to the starting line of Pac Cup, which is clearly evidenced by the tiny green Moore 24 Mas! which started in yesterday’s first start and currently leads the fleet overall on corrected time. Built with pride by stoned hippies in Santa Cruz some three and a half decades ago, Mas! is just the latest in a long line of Moore 24′s and other locally built ultralights that have been a staple of the Pac Cup since the race’s inception in 1980.

In the wake of the Moore 24 – still one of the biggest one design fleets in San Francisco Bay – being charged offshore to many Pac Cup and Singlehanded Transpac victories for decades now, we have begun to witness a trend that we absolutely love; taking fast ultralight inshore one-design boats and sailing them balls to the wall in the open ocean. Having just recently watched in awe as Randy Miller and crew absolutely crushed the ‘Race to Alaska’ in a Marstrom 32 catamaran, we were stoked beyond belief to see a different kind of M32 signed up for the Pac Cup.

As recent aficionados of the Melges 32, (like fucking bat-shit crazy for the things! – ed) arguably still the measuring stick for what a fast sportboat should be and what a good one-design boat can and should be, we are watching with bated breath to see what happens when the Melges 32 ‘Rufless’ takes on the Pac Cup in what we believe to be the first Melges 32 to ever tackle a major Category 1 ocean race. Making this particular effort even more interesting and exciting was when we got to know the boat, the owner and the crew of gangsters that will attempt history this week, beginning on Thursday at 1:10 pm PDT.

When we first heard of a Melges 32 being entered in a Hawaii race, our first thoughts were “that’s frickin’ awesome…. right?”, to be quickly followed by “that’s crazy… do they have ANY idea what they’re getting themselves into???”. Turns out, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes. Purchased out of retirement by renowned Bay Area boat builder Rufus Sjoberg, the boat started life as the Melges 30 ‘Muddy Waters’ in San Diego. Brought back up to Rufus’ Quality Care boat shop in Richmond, CA, the boat received the full Rufus treatment in a long and tedious process that spanned more than a year. When he wasn’t busy working on client’s boats, raising his family or jet-setting to exotic locations to work on the likes of Team Alvimedica in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sjoberg spent the better part of a year bringing his Melges back to life. First, the Melges 30 spar was scrapped in favor of a 32 rig before custom carbon bulkheads were built in and adapted to fit the 32 rig. The keel trunk was beefed up, custom bunks were built, a dodger and new deck layout fitted on, nav station built in and more to reflect Sjoberg’s blue water ambitions.

From a mothballed and delaminated piece of shit to a fully pimped offshore-spec Melges 32, ‘Rufless’ was born. After hitting the water in 2014, ‘Rufless’ came out swinging in 2015 and proved herself to be a weapon on the race course, handily claiming the 2015 OYRA (offshore yacht racing association) season championship. After two years of extensive sailing and nearly twice that long re-building and maintaining it, Sjoberg has become intimately aware of his boat and equally confident in it.

“You know, everyone thinks we’re gonna die, but the boat is strooooong”, insists crew member Ruben Gabriel. And apparently it’s got wheels, too. Routinely capable of hitting speeds in the mid-20′s and sitting on boat speeds of more than 20 knots sustained, ‘Rufless’ is predicted to put up some big numbers, make that huge numbers in the Pac Cup. After strong coastal northwesterlies foreshadow a fast start, a very northerly Pacific High opens up the possibility of a near straight line course to Hawaii with the potential for some tropical storm or hurricane-reinforced trades upon approach to Hawaii. According to currently forecast weather models and the boat’s impressive speed potential and polars, the computer insists that a crossing of six and a half days is possible. With a custom inventory of fresh Doyle’s, an ultra-fast whip that has been dialed to the nines and a boat chock full of world-class talent and good helmsmen, we’re expecting big things out of this relatively small boat in the Pac Cup.

If they don’t disintegrate at blinding speed, the boys stand a very good chance to be in it to win it on corrected time, reach the barn ahead of most of the fleet and break War Pony’s eight days and change record for sub-40 foot boats. At any rate, it should be fun to watch. Follow along on the tracker here, and stay tuned to the front page and the forum thread for all the Pac Cup dope that you can handle. If the boys have a spare minute while underway and aren’t fully stacked on the windward aft quarter, Clean hopes to get a few updates from avowed Anarchist and Mothie Johnny “nugs” Goldsberry.

I’ll be a few days behind on the pointy end of the Swan 42 ‘Elusive’, hopefully fighting for a division win against that pesky Melges 32 that has to race against a slower fleet of 40-50+ footers… hopefully we’ll send in an update or two.

Fair winds and following seas to everyone sailing to Hawaii this week,


Ronnie Simpson

(Title inspiration thanks to Cypress Hill – ed.)


July 12th, 2016

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dr death

Super stoked to see the High Sierra regatta rolling again!

I opened the skippers meeting by saying, “My name is Daniel Irwin, I have been waiting nearly 3 years to say this. Welcome to the 61st running of the Huntington Lake High Sierra Regatta!”

Because we had made so many changes to the regatta format, we brought Andrea and Doc Caroe up as PRO for the regatta. That was a good move. Andrea was in charge and had no problem working out the continuous rolling starts.

I learned a lot about race management. In 2 days there was only one misstep (mea culpa) and it wasn’t her doing. After I put up the wrong flag and realized it 2 minutes into the sequence, Andrea sprang into action and put up the “cat in the hat” flag. Calm as can be…I was so impressed, but I told everyone I messed up on purpose so I could see if I could rattle her. NO way!

The newspaper was happy to cover something that didn’t involve “black lives matter”, vicious cops, drug dealers or murder so we got a nice write up and pictures. If only the reporter had listened when I SPELLED my name for him.

Here’s the hook…We’re Back! and We’re happy to be back.

Daniel IRWIN
Commodore Fresno Yacht Club


July 11th, 2016

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the kid knows

…I’m coming after you. Oh sure, go ahead and enjoy it now, but just remember, your time is almost up, and I’m lookin’ at you. Yeah, I’m one of the Young Guns, you got a problem with that? Didn’t quite expect me to be trapping at the tender age of 4, did ya? Well get used to it, pops. Trap today, helm tomorrow.

As Kenny Powers once said. You’re fuckin’ out, and I’m fuckin’ in!”

Awesome photo thanks to dr.Lojz!


July 11th, 2016

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