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World class sailing photog Sander Van Der Borch took a month off from his busy schedule for a cruise with his family, and like most people who live their passion, he just can’t stop working.  Sander had the camera ready when a summer squall came overhead, and grabbed one of the prettiest sailing/lightning shots we’ve ever seen.  Time for new desktop background…

August 17th, 2015

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not bossy

No Ms. Bossy Pants here.  Zoe is handling driving quite nicely at 9 years old.  And let this be a lesson to y’all – let the chicks steer, would ya!? Afraid they’re gonna be better than you?

Huge props to Anarchist Augie.


August 16th, 2015

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Local Knowledge

mahaloThe 3rd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Trophy Regatta will be held in the waters off Mala Wharf over the weekend of August 22 and 23. Over 36 boats and over forty sailors will be competing in O’pen Bic (single man, single sail) and RS Feva XL (two-man, triple sail) boats. Sailors range in age between 8–17 years old and are comprised of members of the Lahaina Yacht Club Junior Sailing Team from Maui and the Hawaii Kai Boat Club Junior Sailing Team from Oahu. This will be the largest junior sailing regatta ever to be held in Maui waters and reflects the growth of junior sailing in Hawaii.

Six races will be held each day, with three separate classes: Bic under 13 yrs old, Bic 13-15 yrs old, and RS Feva. The fleets will be started separately to spread the boats out on the course, and the racing is expected to be close in these one design sailboats. Both teams have been training and making improvements on their technical abilities and boat handling skills.

Junior sailing is growing by leaps and bounds on Maui, the boats are exciting to sail, and there are motivated sailors and coaches. Although the competition will be heated at the top of the fleet, the emphasis is on sportsmanship, good clean fun, and instilling the joy of sailing in a new generation of children here in the Islands. The kids are developing skills that will last for their entire lifetimes.

The event is being hosted by the Lahaina Yacht Club with support from Matson, West Coast Sailing, RS Sailing, Open BIC, 2015 Trilogy, Bluesmiths, Neil Pryde Sailing, Pioneer Inn, Sheraton Maui, CJ’s Catering, Starbucks, HFM Foodservice, VIP Foodservice, Tropic Water, Maui Soda & Ice Works, and the tireless volunteers and coaching staff of the LYC Junior Sailing program. At the end of the day it is about the kids having fun!


August 16th, 2015

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super 1

Pretty bitchin when something that looks this good from this angle, can look this good from this angle. It is the Vismara62, designed by Mark Mills.


August 16th, 2015

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parked up

As the Fastnet fleet parks up in not much wind, nobody did a better job of parking up than the most unfortunately named Lucky, an R/P 63 owned by Bryon Ehrhart which hit the bricks between Hurst Castle and the Needles on its passage out of the Solent earlier today. That was the end of their race.  They had to know that name would come to bite them, didn’t they?

Update: There still isn’t any wind, but you really should take a look at the front of the fleet as there is one hell of a battle going on between five trimarans. Track the fleet here. Photo thanks to Ingid Abery.


August 16th, 2015

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We find nearly every “official” comment from the Olympic authorities regarding the Rio water pollution issue to be disingenuous, distorted or false. Here is a perfect example:

The World Health Organization’s top water expert said Friday the body “never advised against viral testing” for Rio de Janeiro’s polluted waterways where about 1,400 athletes will compete in Olympic events next year.

Bruce Gordon, the WHO’s coordinator of water, sanitation, hygiene and health, told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Geneva that testing for viruses “would be advisable” given it’s known that human sewage pollution is rife in Rio’s waters.

“WHO would support additional viral testing to further inform the risk assessment by authorities and to verify and address concerns raised by independent testing,” Gordon said, indicating it was WHO’s official stance. “In this case, measuring coliphages and enteric viruses would be advisable.”

The comments come after Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said earlier this week at a press conference in Rio that the International Olympic Committee ruled out viral testing because the WHO made it “very clear that bacterial testing is what should be followed.” Read on.


August 16th, 2015

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It’s the best sailing coverage we’ve seen since the America’s Cup, and thankfully, it ain’t a US-One rout – in fact, Taylor Canfield is just 3 points ahead of 2013 Series champ Matias Rahm, and coming on strong. Here’s the final day of action from the 3rd stop of the M32 Scandi Series right now for you…live.


August 16th, 2015

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bossy pants

Gee, wonder who the tactician is in this picture? Photo thanks to Max Ranchi from the ORC Europeans.


August 15th, 2015

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Rail Meat checks in on the eve of the Fastnet. That’s his godson getting ready to assume skipper duties in the not-too-distant-future… Jump in the thread here.  UPDATE: For the full light-air starting video of the biggest fleet in Fastnet history, click here.

slownetDragon is prepped and ready to go, excess weight off loaded, GRIBs refreshed, provisioned and some extra water laid on to account for what will likely be a slow race.  We have been in Hamble since last Sunday, making it a pretty leisurely time for getting things sorted.  This is in no small part to the help I have received from Phillipa Hutton Squire and Paul Peggs.  Both local to Hamble and both plugged into the Class 40, they have been a huge help with logistics.

Dragon’s crew for the race is rock-star awesome.  Simon Day and Richard Feeny have come over from the States for the race.  Simon’s day job is as an engineer at NEB, but he has also owned and campaigned a Mini, and clocked some time on Toothface I and II.Richard might be lacking in Class 40 experience, but he comes to the table with a vast set of experience in racing including racing, development and coaching in the multi-hull classes including a stint racing in the Extreme series.  Our fourth brings to the table the local knowledge.   Two time Olympian and pro driver / tactician Andy Beadsworth lives on the Solent and is filling in a huge hole that cost me several places in the 2011 edition.  We have also had a great assist from ian Moore who shared some nav and meteo thoughts with us today.

The weather window is looking challenging.  The Azores high has been split into two and located pretty far west and south, but is organizing itself and moving north and east.  Combined with a high that is sitting on the Channel and then a loosely organized low that will be moving towards Greenland in the next couple of days we have a lot of different inputs into the picture.  We are expecting a light north westerly gradient on Sunday for the start, with the fleet sailing into a ridge of high pressure and light air on Monday that will persist into Tuesday.  By Tuesday, the southeast boundary between the low pressure system and the Azors high should produce some reasonably strong southwesterly flow with winds in the low teens for Wednesday into Thursday.

We start mid day on Sunday, on an outbound tide that should see most of the boats able to make the Needles at the western end of the Solent so long as we get any type of breeze at all.  But after that, it is anybodies’ guess.  The next gate is Portland Bill, 30 miles or so to the west and the tide turns there at 6:30, producing vicious currents.  Some of the fastest boats are going to struggle to make it there in the predicted conditions, and there could be a lot of kedging come nightfall on Sunday.  If any boats do make it there by the tide turn, they could stand to make huge gains on the fleet over night into Monday.

The predicted conditions across the course should result should be a race that favors smaller boats who will be able to ride the south westerlies into the back of the faster fleet as they come down from the Rock.  Faster boats that will have struggled to finish by Wednesday evening are going to be sitting in Plymouth watching the slower portion of the fleet romp down the rhumb line all day on Thursday and end up correcting out in front of them.

If I was racing in IRC, I might care about all of that, but the reality is that we have 23 Class 40′s registered and that is the only fleet that I am going to focus on.  Of those 23, there are probably ten or so boats that have a shot at getting a podium spot, and I expect it will be a close thing the entire way.  Looking at the scratch sheet, the handicap looks something like:

  • Tales II - This Botin designed weapon is very probably the fastest boat in the Class 40 fleet.  Plus, she has a crew that is top notch.  She has won all of the relatively short list of races that she has been in since being launched in 2014, but it is a very impressive list of races.
  • Concise 8 -  Helmed by Jack Trigger since Ned Collier Wakefield graduated to the Mod 70 that is now Concise 10, this Ker designed had lots of teething pains with its rudders for its first year or so of existence. They seem to have fixed those issues, and the boat has shown some very good speed in the races it has competed in this year.
  • Stella Nova - Fresh off a dominating performance in the Transat, Burkhardt has an incredibly impressive crew on this Mach 40 design that has really strong reaching abilities, particularly in heavier air..
  • Visit Brussels - Roaring 40 – Michele Kleinjans has as many miles under his keel as anyone in the Class 40 fleet, and has beat Dragon in both of our match ups this year.  The Farr design is a good all-around boat, and Michele knows how to sail it.
  • Nivea - This Pogo S3 is new to her owner, but he has got a great crew around him.  Ana Maria Renken is joined by Miranda Merron and legendary French offshore coach Tanguy Leglatin.  On talent alone, this boat is one to keep an eye on.
  • Concise 2 - Another boat in Tony Lawson’s stable of sailing hardware, this Akilaria is being helmed by Phillipa Hutton Squire.  Her all female crew is all UK based and bring local knowledge to the event.  A third place in the Round the Island race make them a contender for the podium here.
  • Moonpalace -  This is a Dutch entry, another Pogo S3 and skippered by Adrian van Oord.  The boat is very well prepared, and it will be interesting to see what Adrian can do with a boat that is new to him this year.
  • Silvi Belle 2 - This boat is third generation Akilaria and helmed by Mike Gascoyne.  previously raced as Cat Phone, she had an unfortunate dismasting in last years RdR but he has a crack crew and a decent shot of making it to the podium
  • L’Express Conquerants and Red round out what I view as the top ten.  Both have not seen much racing this year but the skippers are talented and the designs are fast.

Its difficult to assess where Dragon might show amongst this group. We have a top notch crew, and the boat is prepped as well as she has ever been.  Most of all, these conditions are indisputably in our sweet spot.  I feel as if we have as good a shot as any boat in the Class 40 fleet, and we are going to be gunning for it.  The race will be won by whom ever can best navigate the predicted light air, and make the fewest mistakes.


August 15th, 2015

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For the first time since Day 1 of the 2015 M32 Scandinavian Series, Taylor and his US-One boys are off the top of the leaderboard thanks to stellar starting and solid boathandling from Nicolas the Duck Hunter’s Essiq Racing Team.  But we know Tay-Tay, and he loves when he’s a little behind…look for fireworks with more solid Easterly breeze in Copenhagen – live.  Results here, Day 2 Highlights here.


August 15th, 2015

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