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Posts Tagged ‘form guide’

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Clean Report

Surprise! Our world exclusive scoop was confirmed by the folks at VOR today when they announced Pete Burling has joined Bouwe Bekking for the Dutch skipper’s 430th lap around the planet.  Maybe more importantly, this shot from the Sailor Girl’s excellent Fastnet coverage shows supernav Andrew Cape aboard the bumblebee colored boat as well.  Bouwe adds Capey and a golden boy who will undoubtedly be the fastest downwind driver in the fleet, and for us, there are now three clear favorites for the final crown of the VOD65 era.  Yes, it’s a bit early for form guides, but now’s as good a time as any if you’re looking to place your bets.  Our early call for the podium is below, in order.

  1. BRUNEL:  Bouwe has finished in pretty much every position on the leaderboard except the one that counts, and his youth is far behind him.  With the Dutch presence in the race and all eyes on the senior Dutch team, Bouwe has everything to prove and has never been more motivated.  We may have discounted his chances thanks to history and a less-than-optimal budget, but nabbing the ETNZ driver and Olympic destroyer means his priorities are in the right place.  In other words, in a fleet this close, a driver with a clear speed advantage and lots of durability is going to be the most important crew aboard.
  2. DONGFENG: They seemed likely to win the thing the last time around until losing the rig, and that was with n00b Chinese crew and a team more known for singlehanded prowess than good teamwork and communication. They’ve got one of the best navs (and solo skippers) in the world behind the nav station in Pascal Bidegorry, and almost everyone on the boat can drive the shit out of a boat.  Expect Caudrelier to work a bit more on conserving the boat, and rack up the podium finishes needed to win this race.
  3. MAPFRE: Always a bridesmaid, but this time, without the bride.  Well, without the fiery Iker Martinez who’s run the past couple of Spanish attempts at least, and with the more workmanlike, blue-collar Xabi at the reins and no Olympic distractions.  Tuke, Altadill, and Greenhalgh mean plenty of speed on the helm, with serious Spanish sailing and stacking  experience in big Pablo Arrarte and Antonio the boat captain.  Spain has something no one else has though: Joan Vila is one of the two best offshore navigators in the world, and few will argue that point.  Along with Stan Honey, this dude is pure money, and we’d expect MAPFRE to win quite a few legs – but probably not the race.


August 10th, 2017 by admin

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Ronnie Simpson breaks down the 49th Transpac fleet for you ocean racing junkies. 

While the America’s Cup hangover subsides, it’s easy to forget that the West coast’s most famous yacht race is already underway. Back for it’s 49th biennial edition, Transpac kicked off yesterday with the slowest boats starting in perfect weather, while the faster boats starting tomorrow and Thursday, respectively.   While the race won’t set any entry records this year with just fifty-five boats signed up, off a tick from year’s past, the fleet more than makes up for it with quality entries from top to bottom.

The world’s fastest monohull, the West coast’s lone supermaxi, a pair of MOD 70s (and two of their progenitors) and a Gunboat headline this year’s race which, if mother nature plays ball, should see both the monohull and multihull race records fall. Behind the big boats that grab the lion’s share of the media coverage, we’ll see battles amongst the west coast sleds, a revitalized Santa Cruz 50/ 52 division, the trans-Pacific debut for the Pac 52 fleet, several interesting handicap divisions, and more.

As usual, Anarchists will be embedded throughout the fleet to bring you some strong on-board coverage, but until then here’s SA’s form guide for the 2,225 mostly-downhill classic from Long Beach to Honolulu:

All-out assault on the records

As we’re all well aware by now, Bruno Peyron and Explorer’s two-decade old multihull record in Transpac is incredibly soft, and has been outright obliterated on multiple occasions by both Lending Club 2 and Phaedo’s sub 4-day runs. Both of those were course record attempts run outside of the race; the official multihull race record stands at 5 days 9 hours and 18 minutes. While the record may be a bit long in the tooth and inevitably waiting to fall, it has thus far proven to be an elusive target. Lending Club’s 2013 attempt was marred by Japanese tsunami debris and repeated collisions, while Lending Club 2′ came up against decidedly atypical el niño conditions which forced them to abandon the race two days before the start, to instead get ideal conditions to break the outright course record.

For 2017, a quartet of ultra-quick trimarans stand ready to finally break the race record, should they get anything other than sub-optimal conditions. Lloyd Thornburg’s world-conquering MOD 70 Phaedo 3 recently sailed the course in a record breaking 3 days 16 hours 52 minutes, some 40 hours under the race record, so we know she’s got the goods. She’ll line up against Giovanni Soldini and crew aboard Maserati, whose MOD 70 is equipped with lifting foils and just last week hit a new top speed record of more than 44 knots in San Francisco. Making matters even more interesting, H.L. Enloe’s ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe has been nipping at Phaedo’s heels – especially in lighter airs during some of the West coast’s offshore regattas – and will have none other than Jacques Vincent and Loick Peyron onboard for the Transpac. She’s the ORMA that was so quick she killed the class (ex-Groupama 2), so no one should count this dark horse out. While all eyes will be on those three, former Waterworld prop boat Loe Real looks to play the role of ultimate spoiler. With legendary west-coast navigator Jon “the Hippie” Shampain onboard and a group of funny talkers from down under, Loe Real is bound to have a trick or two up her sleeve…. She’s not likely to break any records, but will surely be one to watch.

In addition to Transpac‘s burgeoning fleet of multihulls, the monohull record is under attack as well. The world’s fastest monohull – Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s VPLP 100 Comanche – is loaded with her usual group of rockstars and ready to take on Alfa Romeo’s 2009 monohull race record of 5 days 14 hours and 36 minutes. If the breeze is heavy enough during the first third of the race, when it typically backs from northwesterly to northeasterly, Comanche may even be able to take a crack at her own 24-hour monohull record of 618 miles. Should Comanche falter in any way, Manouch Moshayedi’s fixed-keel Bakewell-White 100 Rio 100 has shown that she certainly has the pace to break the record as well. In last year’s breeze-on Pacific Cup race, she stormed into Kaneohe in a time of just 5 days 3 hours and 41 minutes to claim a course record in that race. A shorter race track to be sure, but she was nearly half a day quicker to Hawaii than the Transpac record – and that was before Moshayedi signed up Bouwe Bekking to make sure he left no stone unturned.

Division 1

In addition to the 100-footers listed above, Division 1 encompasses a wide range of yachts which should prove to be exciting, though practically impossible to handicap fairly. Fresh off her Vic-Maui triumph of last year, David Sutcliffe’s Vancouver-based TP 52 Kinetic V joins two brand-new Pac 52’s, who this year make their Transpac debut. Frank Slootman’s SF-basd Invisible Hand squares off against Tom Holthus’ So Cal-based Pac 52 Bad Pak for a highly anticipated battle that could go down to the wire. Steve Meheen’s R/P 63 Aszhou won this division last time she raced in Transpac (as Invisible Hand), and with a proven and thoroughly optimized platform, she should hang tough both on the water and on handicap, though she struggled against the new, smaller Hand in a breezy So Cal 300.

Division 2

Headlined by the return of Bill Lee’s 68-foot Merlin, a hearty fleet of 8 sleds have entered this year in a division that frequently produces the overall winner. Re-fit and more thoroughly optimized from her canting-keel days up on the Great Lakes, Merlin has been modernized with the fitment of a TP 52 keel and a higher-aspect ratio rudder. With top-tier talent like Morgan Larson onboard, Merlin hopes to hang tough against the competition which includes James McDowell’s Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion; the most successful syndicate to ever enter this race, having won it overall three times, including two of the last three races. (’11 and ’15) Defending J/70 World Champ Joel Ronning has entered the fray with his SC 70 Catapult, which recently claimed overall victory in California Offshore Race Week. John Sangmeister’s OEX and Roy Disney’s Pyewacket, both class stalwarts, have returned for ’17 with ultra wicked-up crews that make their intentions clear. Division 2 should be a barn-burner all the way to the islands.

Division 3

Essentially the HPR/Fast 40 division of Transpac, six quick 40-something’s are on the line for 2017. J/125’s are notorious for their success offshore and on the way to Hawaii. Two are on the line, including Tim Fuller’s Resolute, which has been winning hardware for years and has some top-tier talent on board. Chris Hemans’ Rogers 46 Varuna always puts up a good fight, and with recent optimizations that include a lighter keel and longer bowsprit, look for the stealthy black boat to find another gear downwind in her long-fought battle against the J/125’s. They’ll all have their hands full with Naomichi Ando’s R/P 45 Lady Kanon VI (ex-Criminal Mischief). The “wet pussy” is back, this time with a group that includes some strong talent from both the USA west coast and Japan. Last time she entered Transpac, she took the division win by just 3 minutes and 47 seconds, underscoring how closely these boats are likely to race. Coming up from behind, keep an eye on John Raymont’s Andrews 40 Fast Exit, the slowest-rated boat in division.

Division 4

The largest division in this year’s race, 2017 Transpac sees an impressive fleet of 10 Santa Cruz 50’s and 52’s on the line, in what is always one of the most hotly contested divisions. With a good mix of both amateur and professional talent dispersed throughout the fleet, and a large group of well sorted and evenly paired boats, Division 4 often produces some of the closest racing in the fleet. No clear favorites emerge in this fleet, though John Shulze’s Santa Cruz 50 Horizion has historically done extremely well in Transpac and most other west coast offshore races. Bill Guilfoyle’s Santa Cruz 52 Prevail, another class stalwart, has been going well as of late, and it’s from this good ship that i’ll be sailing and logging onboard reports during the race. Michael Moradzadeh’s SC 50 Oaxaca is hoping to rely on girl power to help power them to a division win, acquiring the talents of both Liz Bayliss and Volvo Ocean Race skipper Dee Caffari. By our math, something like 5 to 6 boats entered in this division could realistically win. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Divisions 5-7 encompass a wide range of handicap divisions including mostly racer/ cruisers with the odd Hobie 33 or J/105 thrown in the mix. There’s also a 1-boat cruising multihull division and a 5-boat performance multihull division which includes the four trimarans listed above plus John Gallagher’s quick Gunboat 62 Chim Chim

With quality battles throughout the fleet from top top bottom, Transpac 2017 is shaping up to be epic. Start dates are July 3, 5, 6. Head to for more info, and stay tuned to SA’s front page throughout July for all the dope on this biennial classic.

-Aloha from Ronnie

Gorgeous finish photos from 2015, props to the one and only Lauren Easley

July 4th, 2017 by admin

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Good things come to those who wait, and if you’ve been waiting for someone to finally unravel the mystery of the 35th America’s Cup, have we got something for you!

Recorded earlier in the week, the 2 hours of audio above will give you the analysis and breakdown you’ve been expecting for the entire fleet in Bermuda.  First we spoke with Rio Olympian and former Luna Rossa driver and foiling star Bora Gulari, and then with Match Race World Champ and former BMW Oracle trimmer Hayden Goodrick.  Along with Mr. Clean, they share the kind of info on these teams that only real pro racers have, and that only guys who’ve been at this level can glean.  If you want to put money down on one of these teams or you want to wow your sailing friends with your deep, inside knowledge of what will happen in Bermuda, you can ditch the World Sailing preview guide, Alt-F4 on every other publications’ dumb picks, and enjoy yet another Sailing Anarchy Podcast with the best AC35 preview in the world.

You can all stop sending emails to us about how shitty the AC coverage is; we understand that you probably can’t watch it where you are, how you want to, or without shit tons of action breaks for no reason at all.  If you’re having trouble finding a suitable way to watch what has so far been reasonably exciting racing, be sure to check out the ‘How Do I Watch?” Thread here for the official, legal channels as well as more ‘creative’ options…

If you want some reality-show interviews and blondestyle stuff from our old friend Nic the Sailor Girl, click on her Bermuda HQ page here. For the old timers looking to relive the 20th century, Lester and Tasker are doing a free audio-only commentary feed over here with Voda.  For a look at how to run a shitty press conference, watch this.  And of course, any questions you have are probably already asked and answered somewhere in AC Anarchy.

May 28th, 2017 by admin

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McConaghy 2015 Moth Worlds

Clean Report

WARNING: IF YOU HAVE ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER, SKIP TO THE VIDEO BELOW.  Sander Van Borch is already loading up more awesome shots here, and a title shout out to some boys that did for hardcore music what the Mothies do for sailing.  And of course a huge thanks to Sperry, who’ve been supporting Olympic youth sailing in the US for years, and now they’re learning to love the Moths like we do.

I got off the water steamin’ mad yesterday; no matter how prepared we seem to be (and there’s no doubt this is the most ambitious coverage we’ve ever done), tech issues always pop up and bite us in the ass.  In this case we had inverter issues, but it’s always something!  Fortunately, our backup to the backup plan – streaming 540p video on battery power – worked, meaning there is zero doubt that foiling, dinghy, AC, and really anyone who loves sailing will be able to watch all of the McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds completely live starting today.  And if we can get our shit together, it will all be in 720p HD quality.  If not, deal.

McConaghy 2015 Moth WorldsI stormed off down the beach with about 30 bucks worth of vodka in an icy glass, and within 100 meters, I’d been called over to look at the latest aero fairings on  49er star Simon Hiscocks Mach 2. Within moments, all my anger was gone.  “Shock” and his childlike glee at putting together a really cool piece of carbon fiber porn knocked it all out of me.  Then he  – a goddamned olympic medalist – told me that “it’s just absolutely incredible to be bullshitting on the beach and racing up the line with these guys all around me – when do you ever get to do that?” as he gestured towards Glenn Ashby, Dean Barker, Loick Peyron, and any one of dozens of other legends of the sport on the beach around us.  Think about that for a second: An Olympic medalist is completely blown away because he’s never been to anything quite like this.  And he’s not getting paid for it; he’s doing it because racing the Moth has made him love sailing as much now as he did when he was a child.

I walked the beach for another hour, talking to another dozen guys and gals about their boats, the conditions, the class – and I walked away with one overarching impression: Moth Worlds really is a window into the future of the sport.  It’s not necessarily because foils are going to somehow dominate the world – though with Amac’s new one-design “Wasp”, they might (and we’ll have MUCH more on that soon). What makes this event special is the fact that it attracts the people that will lead the sport for the decades, and they – along with everyone else here – bring a youthful energy  to the beach that is palpable, uplifting, and leaves everyone walking away with a smile and a great outlook for the future of sailing.

McConaghy 2015 Moth WorldsThe Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club knows it; their Opening Ceremony was one of the funniest and most welcoming we’ve ever heard, including a confetti canyon and dozens of local kids frolicking in the veggie-derived bio paper snow, and despite being a pretty posh place, there are more crazed kids sailing random boats off the beach than we’ve seen at any club.  The members – even those who don’t know much about sailing – are out in force, volunteering or just adding to the massive spectator crowd.  It is a scene that needs to be seen to be believed – and that’s why we’re so glad to bring it to you live.

Our singlehanded ocean racer Ronnie’s been on a crash course learning what these boats are all about, and without further ado, here’s the official SA FORM GUIDE for the 2015 Moth Worlds.

The Ballers

The podium at a Moth Worlds is perhaps the most difficult place for a sailor to reach.  Here’s what we think it might look like.

Nathan Outteridge – The name literally needs no introduction. Olympic Gold medallist in the 49er three years ago, two-time Moth World Champion (defending world champ in Hayling last year), and AC 72 skipper onboard Artemis, Outteridge has clearly established himself as being arguably the best high-speed sailor on the planet. That one-in-a-million freak of nature who can squeeze 100% out of any boat and be cool as ice on tactics and in the face of advertsity, Nath is the complete package, the hometown favorite and the smart money.

Peter Burling – Every sport has their superstar of a generation, and if Nath is “it” for the skiff world, Burling’s day is coming. At just 24 years of age, he has competed in two Olympic Games, winning 49er Silver in London 2012, won two 49er Worlds and skippered an AC 45 to a commanding win in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013. Just like Outerridge, Pete is also a hot-commodity in the America’s Cup scene, earning the position of heir-apparent to the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand. Blazingly fast in the Moth, big and strong and talented beyond belief, Peter Burling will be a Moth World Champion one day; we just don’t know if that title will be awarded this week or further on down the road.

McConaghy 2015 Moth WorldsJosh “Yoshi” Mcknight – If a guy like Nathan Outteridge is the Iceman in this fleet, then Josh McKnight is Maverick. Like Maverick, he’s cooler than the underside of the pillow, but also happy to stir the shit and create a little conflict when he can. Josh won a tough world champs in Garda three years ago and plenty thought it was a bit of a fluke, but in the intervening years, he’s proved as fast as anyone over the long haul.  McKnight has raw boat speed and talent to spare, while his one weakness may still be a touch of youthful arrogance. Sticking to the basics on boat set-up (he told us that much of the work in the boat park is probably just mental masturbation) and just doing massive amounts of sailing, young Yoshi is a potential World Champion if he can sail a smart regatta.

Bora Gulari – America’s fastest foiling helm and the two-time American World Champion in the Moth, Bora is something of a public enemy hear in Sorrento, though you’d never hear the polite Aussies ever say it. With Australians like Nath, Josh, Babbage, and the rest of the all-stars leading  a 97-boat home nation team into this Moth Worlds, no one wants to see an American walk away from ‘straya with the goods. With arguably more hours in a Moth than anyone else, hundreds of hours of development on rig, foil, and ride control and an aerospace engineers intuition, the Detroit-based Luna Rossa sailor is always a factor.  He’s also never lost a Moth Worlds to Nathan…

The Top Ten

Tom Slingsby – A 5-time Laser World Champion, Laser gold medalist and strategist aboard Oracle Team USA during their historic win in AC 34, ‘Slingers’ a god on the tactics, ultra-fit, able to hike for ages.  He’s got plenty of time training in Oz recently, and there is no doubt in our minds that Tom could walk away with his first Moth Worlds.

Blair Tuke – Sailing alongside Peter Burling to win Olympic Silver in the 49er, and also in the AC 45’s, Extreme 40’s and Moth’s, Peter is also well in line to become a superstar for a generation. Reportedly well on the pace, don’t be surprised to see Blair mixing it up at the very front of the fleet.

Scott Babbage – Obi-wan Kenobi in the Moth, the the current Class President has put a million hours into the boat and has been within striking range of the title on countless occasions. With a huge fleet racing in highly varying conditions that Babbs knows well, he’s got the experience and race craft to manage a big fleet and finally secure the elusive Moth World title…if he can just close the deal.

Chris Draper – The Luna Rossa skipper and Olympic medalist has the speed, tactical prowesse and experience to win in any fleet, but may be hampered by lack of time in the boat due to other commitments.

David Lister – A-class stalwart and Moth aficionado, Lister sails a fully one-off boat that he built with his own two hands. With as many hours in the Moth as anyone and boat speed as his tactical trump card, David is a threat to the podium whenever he lines up.  And his foils are all over the fleet;

Paul Goodison – A 3-time Olympian in the Laser with a Gold medal to show for his efforts, Goodison is the naturally gifted sailor that will sail near the front of any fleet that he sails in. Reportedly on-form, Goody will look to improve on his 12th place Worlds finish from last year, with more time in the boat.

Andrew McDougall – The Builder and developer of the Mach 2 and the only guy who’s ever been able to successfully produce a mass-market Moth, AMAC defies physics and medicine, and can easily win races despite being old enough to be some of the fleet’s grandpa.  In fact, Amac seems to look younger every year, and be having more and more fun to boot.

The Dark Horses

Iain Jensen – The Artemis wing trimmer and 49er Olympic Gold medalist crew offers the total package, and can sail with the best of ‘em when he’s on point.

Chris Rashley – Immensely experienced in the Moth and ultra successful over the years, the 2014 Worlds runner-up won the pre-Worlds practice race.  Rashie blew out a spinal disk and was laid out in the middle of the street just a week ago, but some steroid injections and a bit of rehab combined with an attitude harder than an Ice Road Trucker might just see this light-air speedster performing at the top of the fleet…or laying in a hospital bed..

Rob Gough -A super fast all around sailor with tons of experience in the Moth, many within the class have them as their biggest dark horse to break into the top 5. A popular pick among the fleet, strong, heavy, and no-nonsense.

Glenn Ashby – The 8-time A-Cat World Champion and Emirates Team New Zealand wing trimmer knows how to make a boat like a Moth go fast, but lacks experience compared to the front runners. The nicest guy you’ll ever meet, Glenn Ashby is the sentimental favorite amongst his competitors to score an unlikely podium finish.

There are battles throughout the fleet; Youth champions, masters champions, women’s title – and we’ve only mentioned a handful of the sailors, constrained by space and time from giving everyone their due. in a fleet where sailors like Route du Rhum winner and ocean sailing legend Loick Peyron, current Mini Transat champ Benoit Marie, and Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker blend in with the masses, you know you’re in for a special regatta.  We sure do.

January 9th, 2015 by admin