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Posts Tagged ‘gulari’

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Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 11.28.17 AM

Fresh off a crew substitution (trading windsurfer Solvig Sayre for Louisa Chafee, daughter of dropped out 2016 Presidential candidate Linc Chafee) original SA gangsta Bora Gulari looked to be taking the Nacra 17 class by storm this week at the OCR, sitting in medal position after three days of tumultuous Miami weather. With just two events forming the full Athlete Selection Series (yes, it’s actually called the A.S.S!) for Rio 2016, Bora and Louisa served notice to the husband/wife team of Mark and Carolina Mendelblatt and US Sailing Team Sperry racers (and former SCOTW) Sarah Newberry and Matt Whitehead that they were gunning for the American slot.  But a breezier day on Thursday rocketed all the Americans back in the pack, and as of Friday noon time, Bora sits in 14th, the only US team with a shot at making tomorrow’s Medal Race.

Newberry/Whitehead’ss consistent failure to perform has allowed Gulari and the Splats to turn this into a 3-boat horse race, one of the few left in any Class as the selections get near the end. It’s fun while it lasts, though realistically, any of these cat teams are far more likely to be fighting for tenth place than a medal once they get down South. For a full look at how the Selection Series works and who’s got a shot, check out this story from Will Ricketson and the US Sailing Team Sperry team.

Incredible shot from the legendary Petey Crawford/Penalty Box Productions.  Full results here.

 

January 29th, 2016 by admin

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From dinghy sailor to america’s cupper, you’ve been waiting for this one for weeks!  It’s the final Moth Worlds ‘Real Reel’ from Sorrento, Australia.  Now you can finally hear from Bora Gulari’s mouth just how CNN destroyed the top US foiler’s Worlds hopes, see what’s fun, exciting, and hilarious about southeast Oz, and learn about the natural habitat of the eastern longhaired bogan.  Meet ‘roos, kiwis, and even a brit or two.  Laugh, cry, and laugh again with the best 20 minutes we’ve ever seen on dinghy racing…all thanks to Petey Crawford with support from Sperry.

And if that’s not enough, here’s the Sailing Anarchy Ultimate Guide to the Moth Worlds: Your index to 50-odd videos, 6 days of live coverage, 7 gorgeous photo galleries, and plenty more.  Go.  Now.

 

February 10th, 2015 by admin

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PH-JOY-M24Nationals_235

We’ve all seen it happen, over and over again: A Class/regatta, or area (or judging from sailing’s decline since 1979, the entire country of America) judges the temperature of its customers poorly, and that line between ‘let’s go swap a little gelcoat with great sailors and earn their respect’ and ‘holy crap, I’ll never, ever have the time/money/desire to keep going in this sport’ disappears.  The issue is not simply about well-written and conceived rules, though they help; it’s more about the kind of perception and atmosphere created by the folks running the show.  No Class has more epitomized this struggle than the Melges 24; despite a feverish period in the 2000s when the M24 saw 100+ boat turnouts for the majors and big regional fleets, the NorthAm fleet went into rapid decline beginning about 2009. Escalating costs, difficulty in finding good crew who could hike as long and hard as the pros who absolutely filled the fleet, and distracted marketing from the builder were the culprits, and half a decade later, the Class is seeing a serious resurgence in the boat we’ve always considered to be the world’s most perfect one-design race boat.  Long time Melges performer and now pro crew Sam Rogers explains why.  Joy Dunigan photos with a sweet gallery over here.  World Champ Brian Porter beat Bora Gulari on the final day in a replay of something we feel like we’ve seen at about 10 of these Nationals.  Full reports here.

Where do you find that line between keeping top level pros in a fleet to provide that ultimate challenge, and keeping the average racer happy and engaged?  It certainly depends on the fleet you’re talking about, but there’s no question that for an open class like the Melges 24, the amateur owners and crews are absolutely vital to maintaining a successful fleet – and the overall sport.  Most amateurs want the challenge of sailing with and against the very best, but without the average man/woman making it to the race course, those lines are awfully lonely places.

I’m writing today just after an awesome 31-boat Nationals at Davis Island, FL, to let you know that the US Melges 24 Class seems to have made it through its ‘re-birth’ while really nailing this balance, and without losing its high-performance, grand prix identity.  Nearly a perfect split between open and amateur teams swapping blows over 3 days and 8 races with both overall and Corinthian standings going down to the wire and several all-amateur teams filling out the top ten. Kevin Nixon’s Accru+ entry from Australia took the overall Corinthian trophy and 7th overall, competing with his wife, daughter, son and son’s girlfriend.  Sounds like a perfect weekend getaway to us!

PH-JOY-M24Nationals_267Roger Counihan’s Just Add Water team (Lake Lanier, GA) is a Melges 24 staple, and he finished a solid 3rd Corinthian and 11th overall.  Roger thinks the fleet’s new look is awesome: “The Corinthians by themselves are a very strong fleet, and in every race there are Corinthian teams sticking it to the pros.  There’s nothing better than seeing an America’s Cup sailor or World Champion behind you – those are always great stories for the bar.  At the same time, its great to see what the pros are doing – how are they trimming their jib, where is their traveler, how hard are they soaking.   Plus, as a fan of sailing, watching strong teams full of sailmakers, Olympians, and boat builders go head to head in the same boat we sail is pretty cool.”

Part of the Class’s rebirth is thanks to the early success of the M24, and the big used-boat market that developed as the economy collapsed.  Enterprising sailors in a few unexpected regions scooped up good boats for great prices, the grassroots growth results are now filtering into the traveling/major regatta fleets.  “There are still new sailors picking up competitive starter boats for surprisingly low prices and quickly learning to mix it up,” said Counihan.  ”Our fleet is a tight knit bunch of friends who have sailed on everyone else’s boats, help everyone get better, and hang out off the race course.”

PH-JOY-M24Nationals_188Texas & Gulf Coast District rep Ryan Glaze (Gringo) says it’s important to represent his regional fleet on the national stage.  ”Our performance this past week at (2nd Corinthian, 8th overall) was important to our team, the Gulf Coast District, and to the USMCA.  We proved that you can get an older boat, put used sails on it, and be competitive with a good team of amateurs.  There are a lot of good sailors out there that would like to race the M24 but might be turned away by the costs. However, over the past couple of years, we have seen more teams in our district take a similar approach to ours; purchasing an older used boat, giving it a little TLC, and putting together a core group as your team.”

Through the ebb and flow of fleet growth in the 20 year history of the Melges 24 class and a stronger than usual used boat market, attracting a balanced mix of amateur and pro teams seems to have reach an equilibrium, and the spirit of the class has been renewed. Along with the solid turnout the Nationals, there was a strong sense of community with every sailor leaving with something. With a well attended class debrief led by some of the classes best-regarded pro and amateur helms (Porter, Gulari, Kullman, Madrigali), and an owners’ meeting that highlighted the recent growth in the class and previewed a solid 2015/16 schedule (featuring the 2015 Nationals at the awesome Gorge in late August and the 2016 worlds being narrowed down to a location in South Florida) the Melges 24 may be blazing a new trail as a model for successful One-Design fleet growth, just as it did over 20 years ago.

And it’s still quite a bit faster than all the 20-something production sporties that have come since…

 

November 18th, 2014 by admin

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Luna Rossa

What do you get when you mix the world’s best sailing photographer, the world’s best foiling sailor, and the world’s prettiest boat graphics?  A damned nice screensaver, that’s what!

You’re looking at Moth World Champ and Luna Rossa sailor Bora Gulari (seated on hull, aft) surveying some of his full-foiling handiwork while the boys wait for the Cagliari sea breeze to kick in for some practice; go here to see some Borlenghi pics of the beast flying late last week, and here’s some video. Check the Luna Rossa thread starting around here for loads more.

While Bora and the boys played at mach 1, Luna Rossa helmsman Francesco Bruni was taken apart by the boys in US blue in the Petit Finals of the WMRT stop in Sweden; Bruni sailed like a man possessed until that point, when Canfield made him look positively pedestrian.  Canfield took the final spot, while Swedish native Bjorn Hansen won his third-straight Swedish Match Cup, beating Ian Williams in the final.  Watch the final day action from Marstrand here (and watch for Gulari in this weekend’s Mackinac race, navigating for Phil O’Niel’s TP52 Natalie J).

July 8th, 2014 by admin

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3 more races down, 4 more to go on the final day of the Moth Worlds.  And Bora is sailing the lights out.  Enjoy this reel from Friday’s action in 6-9 knots of Hawaiian tropic.  Facebook is where you can find out who wins, who gets interviewed, and how sweet Thierry M’s photos are.  Racing starts at noon local time/1500 Pacific/1800 Eastern.  Title shout to Busy Signal.

 

October 19th, 2013 by admin

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