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Article Separator

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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foo-evil-wave

Creepiest wave ever, shot by best wave photographer ever.  More photos from Lake Erie here.  Thread here, with thanks to Dylan Winter for the find, and thanks to the 1978 movie (back when on-screen death and violence were still taboo) for the title.

January 21st, 2016

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With all the noise about corruption, recession, and pollution coming out of 2016 Olympic venue Brazil recently, you might have missed a little story last May focusing on a few cases of something called Zika in the deep jungle that now threatens not only any chance the Games had of helping Brazil’s wrecked tourism industry, but international health.  Since those early May cases, the mosquito-borne disease has turned into an international epidemic effecting potentially millions of people and damaging the brains of the most vulnerable of all of us: Newborn babies.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.55.44 AMThe virus is generally unremarkable when a healthy adult picks it up, and it’s far less dangerous and damaging than the mosquito-vectored illnesses tropical sailors are most used to; malaria, dengue, and most recently, chikungaya.  But to an unborn fetus, Zika has life-threatening consquences, and while scientists don’t yet understand exactly how, the virus zeroes in on the skull of the fetus.  The resulting conditions is called Microcephaly, and it’s a heartbreaking one that results in a smaller-than-normal skull and prevents proper brain development.  In just a few months, Brazil has gone from essentially zero cases of microcephaly to over 4,000, with estimates of around a million infections of Zika.  And some locals say the beleaguered government doesn’t give a shit.

If you’re not pregnant or intend to become pregnant soon, there’s very little to worry about.  But if you are, or someone back home is, this disease is not to be trifled with, and it’s not just in Brazil anymore; like most diseases spread by the nasty and ubiquitous Aegypti skeeter,  it’s spreading, and fast.  The first suspected case of Zika-connected microcephaly in the US was reported last week in Hawaii, and the virus has been found in several southern states.  Further afield, it’s exploding.

The CDC advised pregnant women to “Consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
Women who are trying to become pregnant: Before you travel, talk to your doctor about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection. Strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip. Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time.”  Their full info sheet is here.

As of Thursday, the following countries have been impacted: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname and Venezuela, as well as Puerto Rico.

More info from the Wash Post here.

 

January 21st, 2016

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This might end up being a beauty….

INTERNATIONAL TWELVE METRE ASSOCIATION
7 Warner St.
Newport RI 02840
20 January 2016

Mr. Thomas F. Ehman
San Francisco Yacht Racing Cup

Dear Tom,

We have followed with interest your efforts to establish a new racing class in San Francisco conceptually modelled on the International Twelve Metre. While we have no issue with the formation of such a class, the International Twelve Metre Class does object to your continued use of the heritage and history of our class in the promotion of your new one.

As I have mentioned to you before, our Class is active and healthy, especially in the North American Fleet based in Newport, and the in the Northern European Fleet based in the Baltic where the newest Twelve was launched in 2015. This is in addition to the recent refurbishment or restoration of several Twelves such as VICTORY ’83, DEFENDER, BLUE MARLIN, ITALIA II, and VIM.

Further, we have registered with authorities our objection to your use of the International Twelve Metre Class Insignia. Such use is completely at odds with the mutual respect for each other that has existed between sailboat classes since the adoption of such insignia at national and international levels.

Read the entire letter

 

January 20th, 2016

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inside out

Our latest what is it. Jump in.

 

January 20th, 2016

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The best scam e-mail of the week…

Message Body:
Sir,

I am very pleased to convey to you on our clients interest to procure “Gun Boats” into the country.  This is made possible because of high increase in ocean pirates.  The said gun boat if imported will play a big part for the Nigerian Navy to fight the pirates to a standstill.

Kindly send me your available models and prices.

Cordially,

Charles.

 

January 20th, 2016

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scooter 1

Local Knowledge

The maiden voyage. It’s been six weeks since I completed the boat, and I’ve been searching the three state area daily since, for a usable surface with just a little bit of breeze. But it’s been either high pressure and no wind, or wind cleverly tucked into one of the numerous storms passing thru. I’ve even travelled to Helena in search of a christening, all with no satisfaction.

This morning dawned clear, always appreciated in winter here in the Pacific Northwest, so I decided to take a drive through the wheatlands to see what the ice on Sprague Lake might look like. And it seemed foolish to travel that distance without Scooter, just in case. Halfway there I drove into a massive fog bank that persisted til I arrived at the ramp, where I could see to the southwest, what appeared to be approaching clearing. The ice was a mottled grey, and looked punky, a distinct possibility since we’ve had rain and temps in the high thirties for days. But it dropped well below freezing last night, and the surface was hard, if grainy. I strap on the blades and set out to inspect. The sun begins to reassert itself, a faint breeze begins to develop, and the ice is thick enough, though just barely. I return to the ramp and commence to assemble the machine.

I have remembered most everything needed, and can fudge the missing bits. I push off into very light zephyrs, getting short rides but grinding to a halt in the lulls. But the sunshine is glorious, I’ve got the lake to myself, and this lovely new toy is whispering promises to me. I stick with it for about an hour, occasionally returning for some tuning or fussing, and the breeze gradually builds to about 10 mph, which is enough to hook up solidly and drive Scooter into the thirties. This allows me to cover some ground, and I carefully expand my territory. The boat feels great, I’m a happy fellow, and the glee continues for over an hour, til it just stops. Now. I’m not far from the put in, I walk her back, and strap on the skates again, and in dead calm sunshine, I proceed to have the sweetest gliding session I’ve ever had. Somehow I found my groove, the strides felt effortless and liquid, and I covered more miles than I’ve ever done before, truly magical.

scooter 2Impending sunset finally urges me back, and it becomes apparent that there’s no more pressure coming, so I load up and motor home in the dying light, smiling inwardly that another glee machine has found it’s way into the stable.

Just need more ice and air……..

- Dave

 

 

January 19th, 2016

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kwrwscotw

From KWRW here is Blaire McCarthy, a 15 year old sailor who is skippering Eagle’s Eye, a Fareast 28R. She’s the 4.7 national champ 111 lbs. Pretty Impressive. Photo thanks to Photoboat!

Allen and Daniela of PhotoBoat.com are celebrating 10 years in business and as many trips to Key West Race Week. They’re on site this year ready to capture close-up KWRW action in their RIB. They’re on the job taking photos for participants, stock photos and editorial photos. Get in touch with them now to ask for that special shot.

 

January 18th, 2016

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The JC Worldwide podcast continues with this week’s guest, US Sailing Team physical therapist, acupuncturist, and chiropractor Dr. Julio Pardave.  Learn about new and old sports therapy for sailors and whether acupuncture and chiro are not [always] horseshit!  Some great tips too on injury prevention and healing for racers, how Dr. P has x-ray vision, and how JC can turn acupuncture needles to lightning bolts!  Road warriors can look up JC’s Podcast on iTunes and subscribe today, just in time for a crazy chat with crazy Olympic 49er sailor Brad Funk!

 

January 18th, 2016

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Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 11.15.04 AM2-time Melges 32 World Champ Jason Carroll doesn’t do things by halves, and he poured a small fortune in upgrades into the well-worn Gunboat 62 Elvis over the winter in preparation for an active 2016.  Ryan Breymaier took the Navigator’s award last week guiding the big cat from Lauderdale to Key West.  Here’s RMB’s first (of many) high-speed reports from 2016:

The forecast was for northerly 15 knots at the start and easterly at the finish, which would have meant short-gybing all the way from Lauderdale in order to avoid the worst of the Gulf Stream current; not the forecast we were looking for, considering that Elvis has been modified with 4 meters more rig, a longer boom and a longer bowsprit in order to power the boat up and fix persistent lee helm.

The end result of the mods is that the boat has 50% more mainsail and 55% more downwind sail, with a roller-furled, tight-luff gennaker replacing a spinnaker in a sock. We were afraid that we would not have quite enough power in the VMG conditions with a tight-luff sail and would have bad gybing angles resulting in about a thousand gybes down the course.

The boat also has bigger winches to deal with the sailplan, a real traveller and hydraulic mainsheet (instead of a bridle mainsheet to the transom corners), and the secret weapon; tillers which allow steering from outside instead of the wheel inside just aft of the mast – which is ideal for communications and comfort, but not at all for feel.

Start day dawned exactly as predicted with a nice northerly. We happily got our favored pin end and headed offshore on port with the big A3 pulling nicely.  We even lifted a hull as we crossed the line! Regardless of the adverse stream, there was more wind offshore and we wanted to avoid the wind shadow that is often found near the Miami skyline.  This was an immediate split from our main competition, the newly launched Arethusa, 60 feet of Nigel Irens-designed Gunboat. They outweigh Elvis by around 8000 pounds, but have a big mast and the soft luffed full-size kite which we feared would be our undoing.

As Arethusa (and most of the fleet) headed inshore, we made a couple of short gybes and stayed in the pressure offshore, especially in light of the approaching transition zone which we could see in the cloudline ahead.  Sure enough, we ran into the clouds and were rewarded with an earlier than expected easterly shift and pressure.  We started to soak, but not too much in order to keep the speed advantage given by luffing slightly with our tight luffed sail.  Elvis loves this; we were sailing between 2 and 5 knots faster than the breeze at 130 TWA.

After a little while the northerly tried to reassert itself so we went back inshore to consolidate and cemented about a 4 mile lead.

We had been watching the radar further down the course, where there was plenty of squall and rain activity.  This is classic KW race behavior, with the northerly on the north side of the keys fighting against the easterly breeze offshore.  As the squall line  showed itself to be just South of the lower keys, tactician Anthony Kotoun and I agreed to gybe back inshore in order to get into it as late as possible.

We were rewarded with a huge northerly shift as we got to the beach with the TWD going from 75 to 350 in the space of about 5 minutes.  We were on starboard so we just bore away and found ourselves headed SW in the perfect direction down the rhumb line, but directly into the squalls.

As we came into the first rain the breeze came up quickly and we eased sheets to stay on course and peeled to our Screecher/FRO, and one of those spectacular runs you hope for came together; 30 knots of boatspeed at the peak, with about an hour around 25.  Awesome crew work from the Elvis crew through 3 headsail changes and reef in and out allowed us to stay at full speed, putting a further 8 miles on our competition.  That’s when we decided to do some monohull hunting, looking for Wizard and Spookie, who had started half an hour ahead of us.

As we finished the last 25 miles of the race we realized that Wizard had the VMG edge on us (to be expected as they are 70 feet or so and very well-sailed) and that we were just slightly faster than Spookie who we passed in the channel heading up to Key Weird.

Unfortunately for the more awake amongst the crew, we arrived a couple hours after last call and so had to content ourselves with a big lunch and even bigger evening the next day.

I am definitely looking forward to getting to the Heineken regatta where there promises to be a big Gunboat fleet to line up against, as well as the awesome dock parties which I am confident we can also win, especially given all the training the boat’s built-in rum pump has given us all!  The Elvis team are a great crew; sailing regularly with the same core team shows in the quality of teamwork on the water. It’s also been a lot of fun for me to reunite with some guys I haven’t sailed with since college 13 years ago – a great way to start the 2016 racing year.

Ryan out.

January 18th, 2016

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