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Again, under the title of what won’t people sail….Props to Captain Bastard!

 

February 9th, 2017

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Blue Robinson talks to Leon Sefton, head of Volvo Ocean Race TV, about the increasingly complex role of the onboard reporter

like to watchSeahorse Magazine: What are your expectations of the onboard reporters this time?

Leon Sefton: For the 2017 edition we are looking for multi-media reporters who are also good storytellers. This is a particularly difficult role to fill, given the complexity of skills the onboard reporters need to bring to the position. They have big shoes to fill, so to make the OBR candidate list the new entrants are going to have to be of a quality to knock existing people out of contention – or at the very least be on a par with their predecessors. They must be outstanding photographers, videographers, interviewers, writers, all-round modern media communicators; plus they need to be able to withstand everything that life onboard a VO65 can throw at them.

SH: Quite a big ask…

LS: It is a big ask, so we designed an application video that targeted people who want to see what lies over the horizon. People who work in media, proven storytellers, people who love this race and want to take part in something big and want to help us dig into the minds of sailors who drive themselves relentlessly – obsessively – to win. Deciding who will get the opportunity to join the OBR team is difficult, partly because we have had so many strong applications; the real test is to send the best candidates offshore, to see how they perform and we have already begun this process.

This will involve a sign-off from skippers that the OBRs are safe to go to sea in brutal conditions. While holding the right media credentials, if they also have sea miles under their belt that clearly is a positive, or the ability to impress on us quickly that with the right preparation they can get to grips with the seriousness of ocean racing. We are also mindful how people from outside our world bring a fresh perspective.

SH: And so far… Read on.

 

February 9th, 2017

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crash test dummy

Maybe! What do you think?

 

February 9th, 2017

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yokel 2Adding to the list of financial issues in the rags to riches article, it seems the Professional Windsurfers Association has an issue (see below). Here at  SA, yesterday we were cut out of the Newport to Ensenada race advertising budget (an event that we worked with for a number of years), as some PR douche deemed that we should be giving them free publicity instead of an advertising agreement. Listening to the spin from wanks like this will make your head explode.  So we quit listening.  

And speaking of not listening, Southwestern Yacht Club has done nothing to halt the bleeding of entries from its once desired San Diego to Ensenada race, reaching a nadir of a dismal 37 boat turnout last year (many of which were cruisers that motored during the race) from a high of well over 100, has refused a meeting with us to help them get the race back on track. Because after all, why listen to someone with a hugely popular sailing website, 4 decades of racing, experience running successful regattas, and a keen knowledge of, and interest in, their event? They are beyond hopeless.  

And add to all of this, there is a rumor that Sperry – a company that seems to think that the best way to reach the sailing community is to spend millions on the AC – has just fired its president, which it just hired 2 years ago. It would appear there are a lot of yokels in this sport.

Dear Sailors;

Despite every effort on the part of the PWA, we have been informed by the organisers of the Marseille event that they have a lost a significant sponsor at the last minute, meaning that they can no longer proceed with the event. The sponsor in question had preciously committed to the event, and every assurance had been given to us by the event organiser, so their loss was impossible to predict from our side. As a result, and with less than 2 months until the event was expected to start and no available solutions to the problem, we have been left with no choice but to cancel the event and remove it from the 2017 calendar.

We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience this has caused but it was due to circumstances that were entirely outside of the direct control of the PWA.

Kind regards

Professional Windsurfers Association

 

 

February 9th, 2017

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A little learnin’ from Waterlust. Title inspired by super creepy R. Kelly.

 

February 9th, 2017

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Bankruptcy_monopolyGunboat USA’s is well-documented for the multihull sector.  Hall Spars just reportedly sent out the official notices of theirs, showing that even the world’s best racing spar builder isn’t immune.  Hathaway Reiser shows that sailmakers – even from the 1800s – can’t hold it together.  Brewer’s Yacht Yard seems to have sort-of saved itself by selling to a marina holding company.  And now, Navtec USA gets on the list of shuttered American sailing outfits, with at least one Anarchist warning that ‘another unnamed northeast raceboat building company…will likely be shuttering their doors soon.’

Fortunately, we have God to thank for the bounty that is soon to come.  Everyone, hold your breath…and….GO!

February 9th, 2017

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Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 9.45.32 AMIn an interesting bit of offshore racing news dropped today, ORC announced that the first-ever Offshore Racing World Championship will take place in the Netherlands in 2018 under a joint IRC/ORC scheme.  It’s a fascinating conclusion (subject to change, of course) to a conflict that nearly came to blows at World Sailing’s Annual Conference in Barcelona late last year.  Our own reporter watched Stan Honey scold the IRC and ORC representatives and send them off without their supper to work out their issues, and it seems they’ve reached that agreement to try to mend offshore wounds and bring handicap ocean racers together.

We all know the sport has been in trouble for a long time, and with a few noteable exceptions, handicap racing is struggling harder than any other sector to stem its losses, which result as much from unhappiness with handicap rules and complicated, competing ratings systems.  That’s why we applaud the ORC and IRC brass for putting aside their self-interest and doing right by the sport for once. Now, if the boatbuilders and classes would just follow their lead, we might start getting somewhere!

Here’s the Worlds site, and here’s the ORC release. Max Ranchi photo of the last ORC Worlds.

 

February 9th, 2017

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Sailing Yacht Orion owned by fellow anarchist and two-time Thai F-18 national champ ‘Orca99′ ran aground in Columbian waters last night, and he may need your help right now!

The boat hit the bricks at 14deg 24.728N / 80deg10.543W at approximately 2100hrs local time in the vicinity of the Serenna Banks. Skipper and 1 crew who were on board waited out the night, and were rescued by fishermen in the morning. Both are now on an island possibly known as Majuli approximately 12nm Southwest of the yacht.  Attempts by the fishing boat to pull Orion off the reef were unsuccessful. Their Van De Stadt Cumulant is 40′ and weighs approximately 18 tons .  Columbian Search and Rescue Station San Andres has been alerted and is possibly on scene already.

This is call for help from the Anarchist community. Need advice on plans to float Orion free of the reef.  Need advice on local tides. Anyone who may know of possible local assistance available in the area please PM Seaferns or post your info in the thread.  Thanks in advance for your help.

 

February 9th, 2017

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Before you righties start bitching, remember, this is sailing. Like to see the Orange Anus try it…

 

February 7th, 2017

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Longtime Anarchist Dave Clark updates all of you foiling freaks on the new UFO.  Ask him specifics in the thread. Check out the latest video of some winter UFO foiling from the air and the water over on Youtube.

Production orangeHey Folks,

Time to get excited! Things are coming together over here in Rhode Island. The UFO is finally through the stage of production preparation that I’ve come to refer to as “Industrial foreplay” and it’s go time. The hull and deck molds move back onto the Zim Sailing factory floor this week, where they’ll commence to build the first 40 boats. The first 100 sets of foil struts are being finished up at the extruder in New Hampshire. The next 50 sets of spars are on their way from the manufacturer overseas. North Sails is hard at work making the first 20 suits of sails and Schaffer Marine in New Bedford is going full-tilt machining parts. The objective is to build 100 to 150 UFOs in 2017 with the capacity to step up production further as the class grows. This is the start of the period where you folks with deposits will be getting the heads up of the materials nearing the mold and thus the option to opt in or out.

The Tweaks: What’s changed since The Foiling Week?

Controls: Every little percentage gain in foil control allows for a truer flight path. While these things aren’t noticeable in the beginner or intermediate use ranges, they pay off in spades at the high end, enabling you to fly higher and more aggressively in all conditions.

We added a stiffer all-carbon wand with a carbon paddle, taking all available buffering out of the wand. Buffering does a few beneficial things but also comes with some flaws, especially in extremely gusty conditions. All told the stiffer wand realizes the full benefit of our ‘mountain goat’ style gearing.

We lengthened the wand sprit. There’s been a revolution in the moth class around getting the wand as far forward as possible, as it increases the gain on the sensor and thus responds to pitch changes more immediately. This enables the boat to be flown more confidently in big waves.

Both of these things benefit performance racers and recreational sailors. From a performance racers perspective, the combined effects enable you to race harder. From a recreational perspective, it makes the boat hardier and smoother in challenging conditions.

Sail: We found it necessary to add a full-length batten just above the clew to get rid of a set of creases that propagated upwards from the tack. Further we added a cutout for the clew to add an extra bit of leech tensioning capacity, as a tight leech is critical to going really really fast on foils. We also added a fillet bulb to the bottom of the endplate which assures a solid deck seal. This bumps up the efficiency of the sail by another increment. The front end of the fillet bulb additionally functions as a pouch to stow the halyard and other items, closing with Velcro.

Dolly: While the single-axle beachcat dolly is the best option for a catamaran, keeping the bunks upright and lining them up on both bows is more annoying than it should be. Further, while a retaining strap across the deck does hold the dolly, it’s more trouble than it could be to tie on and untie. We found that the easiest usable configuration is a beachcat dolly with cylindrical pads and short tethers on either side, which clip to the gunwales. This makes the dolly easier to put on and take off the bottom. Further we concluded that a wider wheelbase made it easier to pull the boat towards a ramp on a reach, so we moved the wheels outboard of the hull. A tertiary benefit is that the new dolly from Dynamic Dollies packs exceptionally well.

Hiking straps: Outstandingly short sailors and outstandingly tall ones pointed out that the straps were either too far away or too close for them. Making their position adjustable solves this problem easily.  People also wanted the straps to stand up more, so that sliding a foot into one would be easier. To do this, we rigged them with rigid tubing, which causes the straps to stand up.

Cosmetics: While I personally often scoff at considerations like this, it’s nonetheless an important feature to a good percentage of people and the UFO has gotten noticeably more spruced-up. While our original hull tooling was incapable of imparting a high gloss finish, the production tooling imparts a polished gleam to the gel-coat. Further, all the aluminum parts are anodized black, there’s a little bit more exposed carbon in the package and a few more decals and bright colors.  In line with the UFOs alien aesthetic, the production sails are clear with neon green trim, which together with the white hull and black hardware, foils and spars yields a tri-tone neon green, white and black color scheme. The available deck pad color options are neon green, black and white and the gelcoat options are black or white.

The fully enumerated list of tiny updates, improvements, cleanups is too long to go into. This is merely the shortlist. Beyond that, it’s the same old basic fun-machine we know and love.  And with that, I need to get back to the fight.

Cheers,

Dave Clark
President
Fulcrum Speedworks llc.

 

February 7th, 2017

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