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Posts Tagged ‘line honors’

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Ronnie Simpson, our resident writer, war/shipwreck vet, singlehanded racer, and now engineless cruiser landed in Melbourne just 3 hours ago, and he’s already hit the ground running in SA’s quest to bring every bit of the Moth Worlds to you.  If you’re as stoked as we are to watch this epic event, go and thank our new mystery sponsor Sperry Top-Sider; who asked us a few months back: ‘if you could cover any event, which would it be?’  Here’s Ronnie to explain as only he can, and photo credit to Petey Crawford/Penalty Box Productions.

I feel a little like I’ve stepped into a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Clean’s the lawyer, (no, seriously, the dude’s passed the bar), I’m the wiry journalist nursing a tumbler full of Jim Beam behind a typewriter, and we’re headed out West to cover a bunch of guys going really, really fast in a big, important race.  There’ll be plenty of cocktails involved, loads of pranks and secrets and laughter, and someone may even get hurt. Only one thing’s for sure; the next week and a half are going to be chock full of some of the most interesting, technical, and straight up insane boats and sailors, and the only place to see it all unfold live is right here on Sailing Anarchy.

IMG_8323Australia.  Originally settled by the English to house an overgrown convict population, it’s a land so rugged that merely existing without dying proved a struggle for generations. An isolated island continent so full of land-and-water borne dangers that they’ve literally named a city after Darwin himself. A place where the average teenage girl can drink you under the table and the c-word can be a term of endearment, it’s no wonder that Australians have earned a reputation as being a hearty bunch. Get in the water with the Aussies and engage in battle and they’re nearly unstoppable, no matter the discipline. Home to professional surfing’s first world champion, the first group of sailors outside the US to win the America’s Cup and more foiling moths than anywhere else on the planet (including the defending world champion), it’s only fitting that when the Moths decided to go off with their biggest Worlds ever, it would be held down under.

IMG_8313The Moth got its start more than eight decades ago in nearby Inverloch, based on the very ethos of being an open, box-rule 11-foot dinghy, and has since seen constant development across three different continents to become the foiling monsters that they are today, and the fastest dinghy in the world. With the America’s Cup switching to foiling just two years ago and an unprecedented amount of resources being dumped into foiling-development, the class has surged in poularity to become the single most important dinghy class in the world, and as a result, everybody’s here. Well, almost. Staying true to its roots of open development, we’ll be seeing everything from beautiful homemade boats to bone-stock production moths to highly customized hulls, foils, control systems, aero, and rigs on the very cutting edge of technology.

With enough Olympic Gold present to fill Fort Knox, somewhere north of 160 entries and the deepest fleet of any moth race in history, the 2015 McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds are set to go off in a big way, and we’re coming locked and loaded with video interviews, daily write-ups, sit-down talk shows, tech profiles, live racing feeds, kick-ass photos and more. Post your questions and feedback in the forums and we’ll take it from there.  And don’t forget about Sperry, where Odysseys Await.  Also a big thanks to Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters for supplying us with some last-minute shirts and hats – no one does it better and faster than Bobby, give ‘em a call!

 

January 6th, 2015 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

Bob Hillier and the folks at Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters continue to provide one of the most complete lines of racing apparel and accessories anywhere, and now you can try it all before you buy at the new Line Honors shop!  Support Line Honors just as they support so many teams and events around the world – stop into their brand new store on downtown Lake Geneva, WI for the Grand Opening on October 3.

 

September 18th, 2014 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 12.34.10 PM Bob Hillier from Line Honors reports on his ‘most worthy’ overall win as part of the El Ocaso crew in Sint Maarten.  Thanks bro!  Tim Wright photos.

 
If you’ve never raced a Caribbean regatta, the Heineken Regatta is a great place to begin, and for 2014, the crew of El Ocaso were ready for what the regatta labels ‘Serious Fun’.  Our race on El Ocaso began with Wednesday practice day and then the windward/leeward one-day Gill Commodore’s Cup.  We won our class (Series 3), and were awarded the overall trophy for the single day event.  This really set the tone for Team El Ocaso as the full power of the Heineken Regatta began the next morning.
 

Long time team owner Rick Wesslund (Coconut Grove, FL), bought the J122 this past summer from Puerto Rico’s Sergio Sagremoso, who recently went on a speed binge with the winter purchase of a Melges 32 and McConaghy 38 .  Having purchased the previous El Ocaso (J120) new in 2003 when he lived in San Francisco,Rick cut his teeth sailing on the west coast before relocating to South Florida.  Led by now-recovering North Sailmaker Anson Mulder, Rick began to form a new program including a mix of previous crew, Florida talent and Great Lakes skills.  The team stays together on other boats as well in various venues, and this fact that makes our Caribbean racing even more fun; we arrive to the regatta with a team that knows each other well, and quickly dials into the boat.  Our first regatta on the new (to us) J122 was Quantum Key West, this provided a great opportunity to learn the subtle differences between the J120 vs the J122…most notably, better performance over a wider wind range.  Taking a 4th in our section in KWRW was a solid start for the new boat; more importantly, we improved as the week progressed and our knowledge of “go fast” techniques improved.

 

Back to the St. Maarten; in my opinion, the only downside to the Heineken Regatta is the total number of races you have for the regatta.  You have the famous “Round the Island” race on Saturday, a W/L and race to Marigot on Saturday and Sunday you race back from Marigot to Simpson Bay.  It’s a long way to come for four races, no matter how fun they are.  I could be in the minority (and with over 200 entries, maybe I am), but I’ve always said I would love to see a couple more short windward/leeward races at the Heineken.  Can’t have everything, I guess!   The event does draw some excellent yachts from around the world, from the Highland Flings to the Volvo 70s.   El Ocaso’s biggest challenges came from Y&Y Poland, the First 40s Team Boston & Southern Child, and the very fast J/100 Bad Girl, skippered and crewed by local youth sailors who had a wonderful regatta!

 

We sailed Friday’s Round the Island race with a solid game plan: Get in the lead and extend (advice from a wise man from Zenda, WI).  We led to the first weather mark, rounded the offset, set our kite and pushed hard all the way around St. Maarten.  This day race is a lot of fun, sprinkled with some tension as you round the leeward side of the Island.  We completed the race in 3:33:15 and took our first of two bullets; the next win was in Saturday’s (one & only) W/L race, while we got 2nd in the race to Marigot.  Every night the regatta organizers and Heineken put on the party in different locations around the Island, Friday night is the Boardwalk (Philipsburg), Saturday is Waterfront (Marigot) and the regatta culminates in an all-out party along with the prize-giving on Kim Sha Beach (Simpson Bay) Sunday evening.

 

SXM-TrophyAs we entered Sunday’s final race we found ourselves with a 4 point lead over the kids on the Bad Girl and the solid crew of the GS43 Yachts&Yachting-Poland and the day provided plenty of drama.  After missing a shift just before the start, we found ourselves digging out from the back of the fleet and working hard to find our legs to get to the short weather mark,  in usual El Ocaso fashion we dug hard and dug out, and by the end of the third leg, we found ourselves battling for the on-water lead with the GS43.  But in typically SXM fashion, the leeward side of the Island threw things into disarray as the wind shut off in the lee of the island, with the fleet compressing right back into us.  ”Re-Start”.

 

After an hour of changing through some wonderful 90+ degree wind-shifts, we reached the prevailing Easterly breeze and we were able to hold off the most of the fleet to secure our victory.  Full marks to our crew for constant gear shifting and the patience of our tactician to keep us going as fast as possible and in the right direction!

 

Ultimately, we won our section and were told after departing the stage from our section win, “don’t go far”.  ”Don’t go far” are magical words at the Heineken Regatta (we heard the same message in 2012) & the team was honored with the “Most Worthy Performance Overall” trophy.  The Heineken Regatta is serious fun and I strongly urge everyone to put this on your “must sail regatta” list.

 

Our crew:

 

Owner/Driver-Rick Wesslund
Boat Captain/Sewer-Mike Caldwell
Tactician-Anson Mulder
Main Trim-Bobby Hillier
Trimmer-Chad Goodwin
Trimmer-Daryl Fitch
Pit-Dave Hampton
Mast-Phil Fleming
Mid-Bow-Michael Meyers
Bow-Christian Dam
-Bobby

 

March 14th, 2014 by admin

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