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We thought the title referred to the RC 44. We post this as not only an interesting look from onboard, but how ridiculous the 44’s are. Jesus, talk about past due. With all the stupid rich rooskies in this class, isn’t it about time to start using a new boat? Video thanks to Ollie.

 

January 30th, 2018

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SA Exclusive Pimp!

Velocitek Releases Laser Legal Compass. The International Laser Class Association changed class rule 22 to allow the use of electronic digital compasses which are not GPS enabled. To celebrate this news Velocitek is excited to announce the release of the PRISM, a stripped down racing compass. The Prism provides unprecedented accuracy, coupled with a massive display, in a compact package. At a mere 137 g (4.8 oz) it is the world’s lightest racing compass.

The Prism was developed with input from members of the US Olympic Team and has already been used to win the Etchells World Championship.

“The Prism is an indispensable tool on our Etchells. From the helm, the digits are large and easy to read. The compass heading is accurate and precise, which allows us to capitalize on each and every shift.” Steve Benjamin – Olympic Silver Medalist, Multiple World Champion, US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year

“The Prism’s digits are large enough for everyone on the Etchells team to read easily and it’s so light that it was also an obvious choice for the 470. The Prism is easy to read, at a glance, from the wire on the 470 and that is a huge competitive advantage at the international level where every detail counts.” Dave Hughes – Olympian (US Mens 470 Crew), Multiple World Champion, US Sailing Team Member

How It Works

The Prism uses a high precision 3-axis solid state magnetometer designed for aerospace applications to provide better accuracy than any other small boat compass on the market. The Prism uses only magnetic input as its heading reference, has no memory, no user inputs, and performs no arithmetic functions. It’s legal in all classes that allow electronic compasses.

Full Features

The Prism’s 29.8mm (1.1 in.) tall compass digits can be read from over 40 feet away. The Prism is solar powered with a backup battery. The backup battery will power the Prism for over 24 hours of sailing without solar power.

The Prism uses NO GPS TECHNOLOGY and complies with the rules of any class that allows electronic compasses.

The Prism is now available for pre-order at major marine outfitters and online  right here. at  It will begin shipping to customers on April 16.

Whaddaya think?

Photo credit: Leslie Richter / Rockskipper Photography.

 

January 29th, 2018

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This is an SA exclusive from Dusseldorf. Who knew J Boats was jumping into the foiling game…

 

January 28th, 2018

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As a country, we have lost interest in sailing without lead – more descriptively we have lost interest in athletic sailing.  

Decades ago, in an effort to be more inclusive, the US Yacht Racing Association changed its name to the US Sailing.   Did that well-intentioned change contribute to the steep decline in our Olympic prospects as well the general destruction of American’s ability to sail without lead?  Since that name change, the sport has been reorganized in the US and adult athletic sailing has been largely eradicated.

Look at the evolution of sailing facilities and clubs.  I sail on Narragansett bay – which we would argue is one of the “sailing” capitols of the world.  And why not?  On any given weekend we find J-Class or 12 meter or Maxi or TP52’s doing windward-leewards on the bay.  Great events indeed.  But despite all these “sailors” and all these events, and over 2 dozen Yacht Clubs – there are exactly zero club or facilities on the Bay dedicated to adult athletic sailing.  

If you are 25 years old and want to sail a 49er or Nacra 17 – there are zero facilities for you.  You must keep the boat in your driveway and be a vagabond or tuck it in an unfriendly facility and sail alone.  Not so in Europe.  Not so in Australia.  Not so in China.  And certainly not so in New Zealand.

It’s not just that there are no athletic sailing facilities or fleets.  It’s how we train our “sailors.”  We keep our children locked in the least athletic dinghy ever designed – the Opti.  For heavens sake, it was designed to stay upright no matter where you sit.  A great trainer for year 1, but after 4 years – c’mon.  No wonder American kids prefer the next step to be a 40 year old design 420 over a modern 29er or Nacra 15.  After 6 years in a Opti – you want a stable barge.  

And of course the only adult sailing they can see is “big bots”  We are preparing our young sailors to leave dinghies to sit on the rail until 4pm and then sit in the beer tent for 2 hours.  If you are athletically inclined, you leave sailing and go mountain biking or surfing, because they have learned that in the US “sailing” is a sport for people who want to sit down.

Failure to understand the difference between US sailing and atheletic sailing cost Larry Ellison the America’s Cup and made almost all the US commentators sound silly.  Rule #1 in handicapping any sailing event is looking at who has more successful “time in the boat.”  New Zealand was driven by 2 guys with multiple world championships in flying boats – Oracle was being driven by a great sailor of old fashion boats who trained by boxing.  And yet even brilliant American sailors like Ken Read sounded surprised the Glen and Peter produced vastly superior speed and maneuvers.  Even our best has forgotten that there is a very different part of the sport that is athletic.

We have brain washed 2 generation into thinking that “sailing” is a sport where grown-ups sail with lead keels and mostly keep still.  Look, I love both forms – I’m a proud member of the NYYC,  have owned and loved a Swan 46 and I currently sail an A-Cats and F18.  That’s why I see the dichotomy.

Wanna keep young athlete’s in the sport?  Wanna win Olympic medals?

To change the game – maybe backwards – we must admit that our sport needs to be segmented.  The same governing body that presides over the 12 meter nationals is not going to understand the Moth class members.  We could invent new words to help with this segmenting or we could do what many Australians do and what American’s used to do – call anything with lead a Yacht and the rest sail boats.

Step one, do the math and accept we have a problem.  Step 2 find common language – if we can say “Yachting is in great shape in the US – sailing is hurting badly” then we can go to work.

Split US Sailing into USYRU and US Athletic Sailing Association.  Have the USAASA undertake to actively promote development of facilities and clubs.  Once you have focus on the issue, progress can be swift.

– Anarchist Chris

 

January 28th, 2018

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Day two at The Boot failed to convince me that this show, like an alien from space, (and perhaps delivered via the craft pictured above) isn’t growing larger by the day, with the goal of encapturing us all and never letting us leave…ever!

Naw, the show is just amazing, and though  I have whined like a two-year old about how much there is to cover, I feel very lucky to be a part of it. And speaking of that, I want to thank all of you fans of SA who have been so kind in coming up to me and saying how much you enjoy our site! You have no idea how much that means to me. Honestly, it is just so great to know that so many of the professionals and sailors in our sport appreciate what we do.

Don’t get me wrong, I have received a little stink eye from just a couple of folks who clearly don’t like us, but that just comes with the territory!

One of the things that is both understandable and ridiculous are the barriers to entry to step aboard the huge and hugely impressive offerings from the Big Ballers in the industry. Solaris, Swan, CNB, etc. make it so that you have to make it by the gatekeepers – always nice looking youngish women who have clearly been told not to let the riff raft in. I get it but jesus, it’s harder than trying to get into club Berghain. Here’s a great story related to that superior ‘tude.

Beneteau has a huge display here  – you have to climb up 20 stairs just to get to the gate nazis (oops, bad word to use here!). I walked up to the cute thing and said, “Hi, I’m from Sailing Anarchy and I’d like to talk to the person who handles your advertising.” She looked me in the eyes and said “They’re not here.” Okay, well may I simply get their card? “No” was the totality of her response.

I couldn’t fucking believe it! So I said “really?”  She said I don’t have one here, and I responded by asking if she could get one for me. She replied with a glare and again, said “No”. By now I’m really amused. I asked, “Is that really your answer, no?”” She just stared at me the way a princess would stare at a bum, and said “yes.” I just laughed at her and left. Of course I don’t expect her to know or really even care who we are, but jesus h. christ, get off your ass and get me a card!!!

I am not expecting that reception when I sit down at talk to talk with Oyster CEO David  Tydeman today. Although maybe I will as I completely missed our planned visit yesterday…!

The space craft looking thing pictured at the top is a very cool and no doubt expensive high-end rib that I stumbled upon as I made a quick tour of that part of the world. And to all of you fantastic gear, rope, electronics, et al folks, I am going to do my best to harass you today!

So much more to show and tell but I will indeed do so tonight. – Ed

January 26th, 2018

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One boat missing in a race worth half-points in a series that isn’t even counted other than for the tightest tie-breaker, but it’s live and it’s in Hong Kong, so why not?

January 26th, 2018

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Our Volvo Ocean Race coverage is brought to you by Musto, the Official Apparel Provider for the VOR.

With the Volvo Ocean Race organization’s lips sewn shut by the lawyers and probably some post-deadly incident PTSD contributing to the blackout there’s not much to talk about, though we have multiple reports that Vestas probably can’t be fixed in Hong Kong and needs to be shipped to Auckland where Bicey can trust the repairs.  The police investigation is locked down tight as well, though there are a few new details in this Morning Post piece.  Fortunately for the VOR staff, there’s a whole mess of time to kill and silly motorboating shit to do over the next week, and it’s possible the news cycle will just sort of slide by while the locals forget about yet another maritime crash.  After all, the number of fishing boat kills in this part of the world is pretty crazy – here’s a report frorm three days ago of another fishing boat collision that killed 7 in the area (including a rescuer), and there’s been at least another once this week.

With so little to discuss, we turn to our local guide Shanghai Sailor for intel on the ground:

Things started to get under way in the Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong stopover with today’s practice race.

Obviously no Vestas 11th Hour but also no Mapfre as she is still undergoing maintenance with an obvious push to get her ready for Saturday’s in port race right in front of the race village and the round the island race the following day.

For those not familiar with the two inports they will score half points each to give the overall score for the stopover and for those who feel the in port racing doesn’t matter it should be remembered that if the offshore legs result in an overall tie then the result on the inport racing will be the tie breaker.

It may be considered bad luck by some to win the practice race but that didn’t stop Dongfeng and Brunel duking it out at the front of the deleted fleet. Each time the two boats approached the top mark Dongfeng tacked in front of Brunel with the teams selecting opposite marks  and Dongfeng immediately going into a gybe set.

Nothing between them as the second time around Dongfeng had gained a mere boat length after two legs and pulled almost the same move on the Dutch boat. Last lap they changed it up with Dongfeng tacking for right hand mark with Brunel going left but Dongfeng held on to the finish.

Spare a thought though for one sailor where the pain of watching must have matched that she suffered with injuries earlier in the race. When chatting with Annie Lush while watching the practice race I was able to learn she hopes to be fit enough to shortly re-join her Brunel team-mates, perhaps as early as the leg from here to Auckland.

We wish her well.

Shanghai Sailor

January 26th, 2018

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A little reminder of the best thing to do while sailing, even if you are a Muppet.  Maybe don’t do it exactly the way the Pistols imagined, though. (full lyrics here and not for kids, dumbass!)

January 26th, 2018

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We reported extensively on ‘keelgate’ at the J/70 Worlds in Italy over the summer, and while there were some irregularities in the way it was handled, we praised the Classes – both the International and Italian J/70 Classes – for getting ahead of the story and addressing the average sailors’ concerns with ‘cheater’ boats.

The International Class has taken the Italian recommendations to heart and suspended a whole grip of Italian and Russian sailors from the incident.  It’s the first time we’ve seen a mass ban in recent memory.  One thing that is really interesting: Neither the guy who did all the modifications in Lake Garda nor the pros who advised the owners gets any penalty whatsoever.  Should they?  Answer here.

 

The International J/70 Class Association (IJ70CA) Executive Committee (EC) has unanimously agreed to the J/70 Class membership suspensions listed below”…”The J/70 EC has found that the individuals below have been involved, to different degrees, in the “Intentional violation of the Class Rules” and/or “unsportsmanlike conduct” at the 2017 World Championship and/or some extended period prior to the World Championship.

-Carlo Alberini owner of hull #949, Class membership is suspended for 12 (twelve) months commencing on 1 December 2017
-Claudio Dutto owner of hull #922, has been warned that although the EC did not suspend his membership, he needs to be more diligent that his boat is in compliance with the Rules at all times
-Mauro Mocchegiani owner of hull #1088, Class membership is suspended for 4 (four) months commencing on 1 December 2017
-Alessandro Molla owner of hull #570, Class membership is suspended for 4 (four) months commencing on 1 December 2017
-Achille Onorato owner of hull #1269, Class membership is suspended for 4 (four) months commencing on 1 December 2017
-Alessio Querin former owner of hull #922, Class membership is suspended for 24 (twenty four) months commencing on 1 December 2017
-Marco Salvi owner of hull #910, Class membership is suspended for 12 (twelve) months commencing on 1 December 2017
-Alexey Semenov owner of hull #667, has been warned that although the EC did not suspend his membership, he needs to be more diligent that his boat is in compliance with the Rules at all times

In addition to the suspensions, the following boats have had their Manufacturers Declarations withdrawn and are not permitted to sail in J/70 events until the boats are inspected and corrected by the Licensed Manufacturer.
Hull/sail #949 owned by Carlo Alberini
Hull/sail #1269 owned by Achille Onorato
Hull/sail #570 owned by Alessandro Molla
Hull/sail #910 owned by Marco Salvi
Hull/sail #667 owned by Alexey Semenov

January 26th, 2018

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If you’ve  never been, the Dusseldorf Boat Show is massive, in ways that are hard to imagine. Picure something like 10 huge indoor sports areanas, put them on one propery, and then fill the things full of boats! All kinds of boats – Giant performance cruisers, any number of dinghies, sport boats, cruisers, odd one-offs, multihulls of every stripe. And that is just one hall!

We are embarking on our second day here and are both stoked and awed by the enormity of this monstrous show! Hopefully I won’t be wasting my evening at the adult ballet (Wasting is awfully harsh. Perhaps I meant ‘find a more productive way to spend my evening’) and can sit down to write a proper review, but in the meantime, the new RS 21 is my favorite so far!

Today we are meeting with Sttuart Johnstone of J Boats and the big cheese from Oyster to start the day, with a fuck-ton of many more all day,

But there is one huge thing lacking at this show: Where in the hell are the bars?? Each hall should be serving drinks, but I couldn’t find a single one. What in the hell good are boats if they aren’t combined with booze?

 

January 25th, 2018

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