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Posts Tagged ‘Foiling’

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Charleston’s Fort 2 Battery Race was bigger, badder, faster, and nastier than ever, though you wouldn’t know it from the ballerina-like gybe in this great Penalty Box Productions teaser from the race.  Enjoy (and share!) the quick edit above, and keep an eye out for a feature from The Rev Petey next month.  For the full video of the morning Beach Walk, go here.  For the full shaky-cam video of the Fort2Battery Race, here.

Here’s the after-action report from F2B founder and organizer Tim Fitzgerald. (and for more from Petey on the upcoming monster Melges 24 Worlds, check out Petey’s third ‘View From The Chair.’

“10 seconds to start…Here I go!”

“Uh-oh.”

There’s a couple catamarans hooked up and I can see we may be getting acquainted.  No thought on my part of Port and Starboard, just simply that at 25 knots, it’ll be wise of me to miss them one way or another. I’m crossing, until I hit a hole in the offshore breeze…and now I’m trying to stay on the foil.

3 seconds to impact, and now its too late to stop before I’m in their path.. But it’s my friend Jeff.  “He wouldn’t run me over,” I think.  On second thought, yes, he would.  He’d wear my kite on the top of his mast like a trophy animal pelt.

2 seconds to impact, and now I’m way too slow to cross.  so I cross the first cat, and it’s an e-brake bail to explode the water and stop before T-boning the second boat. I look up through the spray to see two masts fly past either side of my kite lines.  “Holy shit.”

Time to get going again. Over there I think I see a moth. It’s hard to tell because he’s far away. A few seconds pass and now we’re not far away at all.  We’re both lit up like a Christmas tree in a big puff, heading for a 40mph pileup.

And again…3 seconds to impact.

I heat up to go behind just before a huge blast hits me and takes me downwind toward my handshake with the mothie, who is also at vaporizing top speed and planning to cross ahead.  2 seconds…I’m heading right at him. If I bail in front, I’m fish food,  so I lean back and heat up, which makes me go FASTER. It’s that awful feeling you get in a keelboat when it’s too late to duck and you know it’s going to get ugly.

I close my eyes a split second before my board makes contact with my good friend Pat’s Mach 2 moth with both of us at over 25 knots – though it feels like Mach 2.  We clear each other by inches.

I had survived the first minute of my 2016 Fort 2 Battery. Let it be known that the good advice of “sail in clear air and open space” applies to Fort 2 Battery races also.

It began without warning.  The first attackers landed at Fort Sumter in under 6 minutes with reinforcements pouring ashore in under 8. In just 15 minutes they had taken the Fort. It was glorious and it changed everything.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.31.44 AMThe third running of the Charleston Fort 2 Battery was run in reverse because of the west wind coming off the city at a chilly 20-30 knots. With the sun out, this was the kiteboarder’s version of a Chamber of Commerce day. Charleston’s Holy City Helicopters team was in the air with Sammy Hodges and Mac Dickson hanging out of the bird with long lenses astutely affixed to the competitors.  From the air they witnessed a “reverse invasion” of Fort Sumter, when dozens of kite boarders landed on the beach near the Fort to wait for a ride home.  You know it’s survival conditions when the competitors can’t even sail home after the race!

With the big breeze and favorable current, the hard work was getting to the upwind start but the race was all down-hill. Mr. Clean threw down the challenge in the morning letting the live audience on Sailing Anarchy know that records could fall. He was spot on, and the overall course record was cut to 5:52 by Foilboarder Zack Marks, who broke his own record in winning the race. Local kite hotshot Davey Blair also cut 7 seconds from Tucker Mason’s record to bring it to 7:12 which was even faster than the winning time in the first edition of the race. Victor Diaz de Leon cut the moth time to 6:41 while defeating George Peet by an insane five one-thousanths of a second to take second overall and win the Moth race.

When you talked to the racers, one theme was common. Among a bunch of adrenaline junkies who love to fly 40 feet in the air on a kite, and break speed records on flying boats, “I was pretty scared” could be heard over and over. The conditions were at the top end which kept the big cats on shore and ended some Moth Pilots’ days early with cartwheeling wrecks.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.33.36 AMThe high-octane format of the Fort 2 Battery is as addictive as it is exciting, and with over 36,000 people watching the pre-race Beach Walk and F2B Sprint on SA’s Facebook page, we think we’ve really stumbled on something the public loves!   At James Island YC, dozens of fishermen and motor-boat owners were tailgating like Clemson Tigers football fans, and the innovating club’s only questions were “how do we make this even better?” Sweetwater Brewing and Charleston Distilling Co. helped, keeping things lively at the beach bonfire and dance party well into Saturday night.

The rest of the weekend featured more wacky stuff – three days of Kite vs. Moth free-for-all course racing – which had never been done in the world. The verdict seems to be ‘it’s everything you’d think it could be.’  Terrifying but exhilarating for the racers and spectators. Amazingly, despite the big, puffy breeze, we didn’t see a single collision or even a tangled-up kite.

It is fitting that this super high performance everyman’s revolution has grown quickly in Charleston, specifically at Fort Sumter, where our last domestic revolution started…let’s hope that this one is less messy. See you next year!

Mack Dickson photos.

-Fitz

 

April 13th, 2016 by admin

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The JC Worldwide Podcast rolls snakeyes today with show # 11, and John grabs his longtime F-18 and foiling Nacra 20 FCS crew Colin Page for his most engaging chat yet – if you’re a fisherman, at least.  JC and his pro tournament fisherman pal talk top speed on the foiler, the ‘old days’ of beach cat adventure racing, and loads of great stories of Florida culture:

Bluewater spearfishing for cobia and how to win a tug-of-war with a big bull shark, the best way to catch 11 feet of swamp alligator, and plenty more.  Hit it up above or look for JC Worldwide on iTunes.  Some rad Soca gives this story its title.

 

February 26th, 2016 by admin

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A new eye is sometimes the best antidote to a stale look, and the newest droners to enter the sailing scene have an interesting take on the Moth Aussie Nationals earlier this month in Perth.  Learn more about Perth’s Skyworks WA here, and congrats to longtime SA’er Josh McKnight on yet another title.

 

January 25th, 2016 by admin

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Aside from a precious few standouts, mainstream US news does a pitiful job of covering sailing – a sport that can be arcane and esoteric for anyone not born to it, and one that comes with a presumption of rich, white douchebaggery.  So when a local newspaper in the middle of nowhere publishes a full feature on a small Moth regatta, it stands out. And when that reporter – the area’s most senior journalist – captures exactly what happened, it’s a small miracle.  It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though: New York Times reporter and longtime SA’er Chris Museler joined the fleet recently, and between his knowledge and new US Moth Class media queen Lara Dallman-Weiss’s enthusiasm and social media skills, we expect plenty of new interest and solid growth over the next 12 months.  And pieces like this one can only help.

Some sailors will tell you that if you want to go fast, you should get a power boat. That presumes that boats with sails are, by nature, pokey.

But not all.

Consider the Moth.

ofpmf 2015A small boat capable of 30 knots, Moths fly above the water thanks to hydrofoils.

Moths are the kind of boat that makes you look twice, their hulls held aloft by hydrofoil legs, high above the water that other boats ply.

In mid-November there was a chance to see Moths in action in Pamlico County waters. For a few days, just off of Steve Benjamin’s newly-opened Minnesott Beach Sailing Center, the Moths zipped along several feet above the Neuse River.

Steve knows about sailing a boat fast – in early November he’d placed 2nd in the World Etchells Championships in Hong Kong – but these Moths were faster still and he’d invited the Moth sailors to come here for a weekend Moth camp with an important mission. It would be their one last training and practice in advance of a December regatta in Bermuda where they’ll face sailors with Americas Cup experience.

The Neuse was perfect for practice this time of year says Anthony Kotoun, the US champion Moth boat sailor. That’s because the river has the same kinds of sailing conditions he and other Moth sailors expect to encounter in Bermuda.

READ ON.

 

November 25th, 2015 by admin

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Try as they might, French marketeers just don’t have a handle on the art of the publicity stunt.  Brian Hancock mentioned it the other day, and now the video is in of Julbo eyewear and Franck Cammas becoming the first humans to foil around the Horn. While they accomplished their goal, is it wrong for us to be completely underwhelmed?  ‘Cause we are.

We also wonder what it says about the Flying Phantom that Cammas chose to go with the Nacra 20 FCS instead of the boat he helped to develop.  Was the FP not up to the task for the first stunt we’ve ever seen from the Man in Green?

Hey – at least they added their names to the record books – and got a nice big spread in GQ-France.  Clicky above for the video.

 

November 23rd, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 12.36.41 PMThe latest vaporware C-Class comes from Norman and the folks at Invictus; more of a double-hulled moth than a Groupama-style foiler, it’s got centerline appendages and a wand.

Is this the leap that could end the French dominance of the Class, or just another crazy dream from a team that’s struggled to find pace in every event?

Some are skeptical…learn more in the thread here.

 

November 5th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 9.41.26 AMThe wide-open development world of the Ultimé trimarans means ultimate secrecy, especially when it comes to the most important performance part on the boat: the foil.  And sure enough, after months of testing and sailing with only highly edited photos and videos making it to the public, the J-foil on Macif has finally been revealed.  It’s fat, short, and looks like it’ll survive a whale or seal filleting session well enough, but will it be fast enough to bring wunderkind Francois Gabart RTW gold?

With the even more extreme near-sistership Banque Pop IX not far behind, we fully expect quite a bit about these rockets to change before their solo round-the-world race begins in a couple of years.  In the meantime, this monster is off to Le Havre to compete in the doublehanded TJV in just a couple of weeks; here’s a pretty sexy video promo for their challenge.   Thread here.

 

October 13th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.20.32 AMConflicts and family requirements mean that Sailing Anarchy will miss the C-Class Catamaran Championship for the first time in a long time, and we’re sorry to say that, unless something huge changes, our absence means the live On-The-Water Anarchy coverage you came to depend on in both Newport (’10) and Falmouth (’13).  Fortunately, there are plenty of long time Anarchists racing their high-tech cats in the event, and the student-run Rafale Project team takes a break from setup for the Little America’s Cup in Lake Geneva to send in this report from the paddock.

So far it’s been a lot of very long days leaving our house at the crack of dawn, to avoid the Geneva traffic, and leaving SNG well past sunset most days! But it’s been a real blast for everyone in the team. It has also been fun reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

Personally I have been humbled by the welcome we have received from the Hydros foundation team, the people at SNG and all the other competitors. It reminded me again why I love this class so much and why I keep wanting to get back into it despite the stupendous effort it takes to get there.  The fact that one of the foil specialist from the Groupama team took time out of his busy day to come and see us, give us some advice and lend us some of their equipment to improve our foils is a testament to the spirit of the class that unites us.

The buzz around the Little Cup village definitely helps getting through the day. Everyone is helping everyone and sharing tools, exchanging advice, knowledge or even helping each other launch and retrieve the boats.  But our arrival here has also been the time for a serious reality check! It took us a couple of days to prep Rafale for our first day out.  There was still a big job list left from our last sail in Montreal. Yesterday we spent 4 hours on the water in light wind. Upwind performance looked not too bad, but Marc and Trevor were really struggling to find the right mode downwind.  We learnt a lot from out first sail though, and clearly we still had a lot of work to do!!!

Then came our second reality check in the form of Franck Cammas’ green missile. There is no other word for it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a C class going this fast, let alone in this kind of wind conditions. I admit it was a bit demoralising for everyone, I think especially for our sailing team.  But that only lasted for a short while. As usual, the team picked itself up and carried on. Today as every other team went out in even lighter conditions we focused on improving the boat. As I write this, back at HQ, I feel quite confident we have made some drastic improvements. We completed most of our rework on the hydrofoils and rudders, reviewed our control system, changed the setup of our element 2 morphing tab and cleaned up the rest of the wing aero. The latter 2 items should drastically increase our downwind performance. There has been little time to look at other boats and gauge the competition. Still there are lots of interesting designs and ideas. I will have to try and post some pics of some of these.

Team Norgador has some nice improvements to the Hydros boat they are chartering. They have bigger version of a moth ride height control that looks pretty neat. And I do like their end plate. It’s really clever! This would have my vote vs. End-plating to the tramp… These guys deserve a lot of credit for putting this effort together is such a short period and with such limited resources!  Sentient Blue / former Alpha is looking as good as ever in the hands of its new team. Will be interesting to see how they fare if the conditions are light!

Cogito looks nice too in the Axon racing paddock. Iast time I saw her wing, it was in bits on the NYYC lawn after the Steve’s unfortunate capzise. But she looks great now with the wing rebuilt! What an amazing piece of C class history! Who knows how the team’s local knowledge will play out.
I haven’t had a chance to look at Steve’s boat in details yet. I’m very intrigued to find out the details of their setup. It’s exciting to see something radical pop up!

As for Groupama, well their deck looks more like a fighter jet cockpit than a C-Class! I’ve never seen so many control lines and indicators in such a small space! I hope Franck likes spaghetti!!! I kind of wonder whether they will be rigging missile pods on the wing tomorrow or canons on their foils!!! More seriously though they are clearly not taking things for granted and they have been working as much as everyone else to prepare their boat. I’ve seen a few different foils being tested back to back…

The last team, Team Gstaad yacht Club has been a bit conspicuous by their absence… Their tent is being used as the scrutineering bay so no space for them yet. But I kind of wonder whether they will arrive with some surprise tech on their Hydros boat.  Anyway this is going to be a fun race come Monday!
In the meantime we have a lot of work to get Rafale ready, and hopefully tomorrow we can line up with some of the other boats to see how our improvements look.

-Juls

 

September 10th, 2015 by admin

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post-738-0-92394000-1440703775With the Little America’s Cup fast approaching (and the entirely expected but still sad withdrawal of Rob Patterson’s Canadian team, the guy whose dominance nearly killed the C-Class checks in with his latest idea for taking the Cup back to the USA, and in a competition that may be more floating than foiling, it’s clever as a motherf^%&ker.  Meet the SNAKEfOIL, and hit the thread for the full details on Steve Clark’s entry and the full field of competitors.  Teammate and family member Dave Clark explains the foil.

The intent of the SNAKEfOIL is actually not to get foiling sooner. There is no judge awarding points for simply being out of the water more. The boat has exited the water in light winds sooner than would be expected, but that was mainly a function of maxing out the foil trim and was on final analysis simply wasted energy picking up the boat. It definitely brought it below a fast catamaran’s displacement-mode speed for that wind. In fact, I believe my dad’s intent is the reverse of your assumption. The SNAKEfOIL (named for the board head’s resemblance to that of a cobra, the caps bit is a self deprecating joke i.e. “snake oil”) is a seven foot long slightly recurved straight board with a tightly curved head that acts as a cant control. This means that the board can be Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 10.11.27 AMreverted to a cant angle of zero and simply zip along in displacement mode on the leeward side and be fully retracted from play on the windward side. This solves too problems in wind speeds where foiling is pointless. First, it eliminates the excess drag found in the horizontal component of a stereotypical catamaran hydrofoil when in displacement mode. This excess drag was poison to hydros in light air and Mischa went to arguably radical lengths to combat it. Second, the unretractable component of the stereotypical catamaran hydrofoil is a pain on the windward side in light air. It juts out sideways and drags just as you are starting to build speed and fly a hull. Ideally, the SNAKEfOIL should make it possible to glide along in sea-hugger mode in light air and foil in good breeze. That said, if the breeze is light, my money is on Cogito. She’s the best boat for a drifter in the event, Benoit Marie knows what he’s doing with the stick and Benoit Morelle is a seasoned veteran of strange lake geneva breeze. Let’s bit forget that this is a boat race. I hope I’ve brought some clarity to all this.

-DHC

August 28th, 2015 by admin

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The Little America’s Cup may have lost a lot of its shine, but if you think the world’s most open development class (and the boat that birthed the modern America’s Cup) is done giving lessons to the world’s high-performance thinking, you’re dead wrong.  Here’s the latest Anarchist team to send in their update for the upcoming Little Cup.  Get to know Team Norgador over here.

On September the 12th, a historical event will take place, and it will provide a unique opportunity to watch genuine flying machines, a cradle for spacecraft technology.  Two seasoned sailors are at the helm of this “interceptor aircraft”, and communication, commitment, know how, fortitude, mental endurance – these are the ingredients of our recipe. Share with us these values, so this very project –our project~~, this challenge is lead to success.  “You are about to hear the heartbeat of our earth to the tune of wind, water and clouds.”

-Jean-Pierre de Siebenthal, CEO, Team Norgador

August 24th, 2015 by admin

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