Posts Tagged ‘mackinac’
Longtime singlehander Tim Kent sent us this report from the deck of Areté, the Great Lakes’ new king of speed. It’s great to finally see a real, modern ocean racer come to freshwater sailing – even if she’s more than a decade old herself. Expect to see some records fall this summer, especially if the all-Anarchist crew can keep the skinny side up. Head over to the team’s Facebook Page for photos, videos, and updates.
The idea of bringing an ORMA 60 trimaran to the Great Lakes was an audacious one. There are an extremely small number of decent examples of the world-beating trimaran class left, fewer are for sale. The closest ones are in France, and shipping one is ludicrously expensive, so a long transatlantic delivery needs to be planned and executed with all of the vagaries that such a trip can entail.
Because the boat is roughly a 60’ square, it won’t fit anywhere easy, and has to come in through the St. Lawrence Seaway – and if the boat is to be raced on the Great Lakes in the summer, it has to come in during the spring. The early, windy, very cold spring. Why so cold? Because at the northernmost point of the delivery, the boat is at a latitude that is roughly 530 statute miles north of Detroit.
Rick Warner has an affinity for audacious projects – his previous trimaran was the relatively audacious [modified F-31 R] Cheeky – so he dove in, acquiring the ORMA 60 Sopra in April and rechristening her Areté (from the ancient Greek, meaning “striving for excellence in all things”). The boat made a two-part delivery from the Med to Newport, RI – including an unplanned stop in the Canary Islands. Members of the racing crew picked her up in Newport and sailed her up over the Gaspé peninsula, down to Quebec, then through the locks on the St. Mary’s River and the Welland Canal – lifted 590 feet above sea level – to her summer home in Port Huron, Michigan.
The team’s first-year goals are simple – compete for first-to-finish in every race. Our first race was last weekend’s Queen’s Cup, South Shore Yacht club’s annual sprint across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee, and our goal was the Sylvie Trophy for first-to-finish. The top contenders for first to finish were a bit different from last year, as unfortunately the Max Z86 Windquest and the VO70 il Mostro were both sitting out the race, but the TP 52s and the Andrews 77 Ocean were on the line. No matter what, we wanted to post a lusty time.
South Shore Yacht Club moves the Michigan finish for the Queen’s Cup each year; this year, the race re-visited the resort town of South Haven, making this trip 78 miles on the rhumbline. The race starts in the early evening, with the cruising fleet starting mid-afternoon. Our start would be with the rest of the multihulls – last – with the forecast calling for a breezy, one-legged reach across the lake.
Our new sails had the battens from our old ones installed, and with our confidence in the old sticks a bit low, we started the race with our foot not entirely on the gas. We crossed the starting line with a reef and the J2, reaching hard at 21 to 23 knots. After clearing the multihulls and the first two fleets, we switched to the J1. Still not satisfied, we declared the veteran battens to be stout enough for reaching and shook the reef and Areté responded, jumping to over 25 knots.
At this point we were carving through the fleet, doing our best to minimize our impact on the boats we passed. With the cold water temps, spray and wind chill, it was cold on deck but no one minded – after a 9,700 mile delivery, we were finally racing! As we watched our distance to finish quickly diminish, we realized that if we were to get all seven crew a little helm time, we were going to have to start rotating fast! After the mid-point of the lake, it began to get warmer, but the wind backed off a bit as the temps rose. As we closed on the coast, we picked out the finish boat, which had hustled out to meet us and crossed the line in 4 hours, 30 minutes, the first boat to finish.
We nailed our goal, adding Areté’s name to the Sylvie Trophy. We learned more about the boat – it is an absolute thrill to sail, but we have a long, long way to go before finding all her speed buttons. In two weeks, the freshwater sailing world’s longest race will begin in Chicago; it’s the 568-mile long SuperMac, and all the big players will be on the line. We can hardly wait.
Queen’s Cup results here.
July 2nd, 2015 by admin
Sailing Anarchy lifers will no doubt remember the slightly insane Chicago Mackinac race run by SA’er stayoutofthemiddle back in 2005 in a non-race legal Melges 24 – at the time, a boat considered ‘extreme’ and not suitable for anything but buoy racing. Well, we’re extremely excited to announce that it only took 10 years for one side of Great Lakes distance racing to learn what Melges 24 sailors have known for years: If you can handle the conditions, the Melges 24 can too. That’s why, for the first time ever, this year’s Bayview Yacht Club’s Port-Huron to Mackinac Race will feature Melges 24s in action – officially.
Geriatric hand-wringers and the nanny-state crowd have launched all the usual arguments in an entertaining thread, but you’ve seen ‘em all before; the thread took a turn for the better late last week when one of the guys behind the rules change allowing Melges 24s posted his own reasons for racing his favorite wee yacht in his favorite race. You can follow along the in the discussion beginning here.
Well I have been sitting back listening to this thread long enough. My name is Paul Hulsey – skipper of GBR593 HH Grenade.
Before I start sparing with any of you lets get a few facts straight. I have owned 3 Melges 24′s over a period of 15 years. I have competitively sailed them all over the U.S. If anyone knows this boat and its capabilities I do.
Apart from 34 Years of competitive dinghy and small keel boat sailing I am also a very accomplished offshore sailor. I have over 40k miles of offshore big boat experience with 1 Transatlantic (not the pussy way straight across but over Scotland), 3 Bermudas, 12 Chicago Macs and this year will be my 29th Port Huron.
Each of my crew have roughly the same resume. Also we are not kids – average age of our crew is close to 46 years (When you factor in Jonesy – or as he is affectionately known as “Grey Ballz”)
We have spent our entire winter working on safety potocal – not just for ourselves but also sharing information between the three boats registered. What we have come up with is fantastic with very few Mods to the One Design Boat…. Meaning it will still be a One Design Boat at the end. What I want more than everything is for each of us to make it safe and sound to the island.
Why are we doing this? Well I can’t speak for everyone but I can tell you that for me the race had become ultra boring.. Just a punch card thing I did mid summer. Come home from work and ‘oh shit I’d better get packed the the Mac starting tomorrow.’ This is something totally different for me. Putting life back into a dead race and making it interesting again. For the past few months I find myself dreaming thinking about the ‘what ifs’. Yes, sure some of that about big weather and how I will handle it but also about if we get that perfect wind condition where we pop a kite and tear up the lake for 5 to 8 hours (With my trailer waiting for me on the other end!). What sportboat sailor hasn’t dreamed of that?
In the end if something bad happens it won’t be because we weren’t prepared or because we didn’t have the experience. Sometimes shit just happens. For us we are very aware of the risks and I know I personally feel safer sailing with my team than half of the other boats out there.
Finally I encourage all of you to come over and check the boat out on the island when we get there… And we will get there, come hell or high water. Come and introduce yourself and I will gladly show you how we set the boat up. Hell, come over and just say hi and bring beer.
This is what sailing is all about, kids!
June 9th, 2015 by admin
With Great Lakes ice cover now at 88% – 2% more than even the cold and icy 2013-4 winter – it may seem like the hundreds of thousands of Midwest sailors will never even get soft water. But if the lakes do thaw out before July, there’s some damned good long distance racing ahead thanks to the 500-plus boats that will race the two Mackinacs this year.
Chicago Yacht Club cemented their role as one of the forward-thinkers in offshore American sailing yesterday, announcing their amendment of the Chicago Mac rules to award the overall first-to-finish trophy to the first boat instead of the first monohull. That’s 65 years of historical mistake they’re rectifying, and it’s about fucking time. In doing so, they make the countries other big-fleet distance races – The Cruising Club of America’s Newport Bermuda Race and the Transpac – look positively mesozoic.
And while The Transpac does give a multihull trophy (first awarded in 1997 to Bruno Peyron in Explorer) the TPYC’s most prestigious trophy – the Barn Door – goes not to the first boat to finish, and not even to the first monohull to finish…instead, they give it to the tortured category of ‘first non-power assisted yacht to arrive that isn’t a multihull.’ That makes sense </sarcasm>. But hey – at least the Transpac allows multihulls to enter. The Bermuda Race doesn’t even do that.
On the other side of the lake, we’ve heard (but not yet verified) that Bayview’s ‘Easy Mac’ – the shorter, more sheltered Port Huron-Mac – has opened up its rules as well, allowing smaller, more sporty boats to compete on the 200 NM shore course. Melges 24s at dawn, anyone? More smart thinking from adaptable Midwesterners, and more inclusivity on the water – never a bad thing, and a good explanation of why there are 500+ yachts distance racing over two weekends on the Lakes. Nice work, Detroit and Chicago!
In a final bit of excellent Great Lakes news, the CYC also announced that 2015 would be a Super Mac year – that means the most intrepid teams will race from Chicago to Mackinac and then continue right through the finish line, sailing another 200 miles to the riverine entrance of the Port Huron Yacht Club. We called it ‘five hundred miles of freshwater hell’ when we ran it aboard Bruce Geffen’s Nice Pair the last time the race was held in 2009 – here’s a full account of that one.
Where else in the world are you going to get a 500 mile course through water you can drink? Check the CYC website for more info over here.
March 3rd, 2015 by admin
The USCG icebeaker Mackinaw shows off what she does when she’s not acting as an RC boat on the Chicago Mackinac Race; chopping up ice for hours as it fills in behind her. Shot this morning behind our Senior Editor’s pad on the North Channel of the St. Clair River near Detroit, and like seemingly everything in life, not without controversy.
We send our most hopeful thoughts a few hundred miles to the East, for a tragedy-free 48 hours to the hundreds of thousands of Anarchists effected by what may be the biggest blizzard ever to hit Boston and New York. To all our friends in the flood zone around sailing-heavy spots like Newport and the Sound: Good luck.
January 26th, 2015 by admin
Monday sucks. And Tuesday is only slightly less sucky. These videos might be the cure. Today weve got high performance boats, low performance boats, crashes, flooking around, and kids – lots and lots of kids. Welcome to Video Anarchy.
A little production value can do wonders to transform some basic GoPro video into something quite beautiful, as the boys and girls from Froeter Design showcase in this video of the Chicago Mackinac aboard the Beneteau Chief.
You’ve seen the scores of young Anarchists (and these kids have been SA junkies since about kindergarden) Ian and Nicolas representin’ enroute to their US Youth Nationals. Here’s the movie. Turn down the music unless you’re nostalgic for your dentists’ soundtrack…and here’s an audio interview with the nippers.
Swedish Bikini Team
The ‘new age’ of video storytelling has slowly crept into the top end of sailing, with producers (and those who pay them) finally understanding what we’ve been screaming about for years: You have to put the audience right there in the trenches with the subject or you’re just wasting your time. We’ve seen plenty of nasty pictures come out of the Brazil test event, but for many Olympic hopefuls – those without the runs, at least – it was an amazing adventure in one of the world’s most exciting countries. Above is a look at the beauty and skill of the Swedish team, and no dirty water. Thanks to Swedish mothy Magnus Gravare for the heads up.
Joie De Vivre
Another essential aspect of video storytelling is about charisma; the camera loves those who have it. Example? This excellent Team GBR/Volvo Cars-sponsored Rio Test video from our old friends Richard Langdon nd Rachel Jesperson, focusing on always-smiling and ultra-charismatic silver medallist Luke Patience. Also starring in this one are his excellent Aberdeen accent and a couple of Nacra 17 sailors. Have a look at two more charismatic intros from the same team over here.
Brilliant, stupid, or a hoax? You decide.
- Tags: America's Cup, anchor, Chicago, cmrc, gear anarchy, mackinac, Match Racing, Neptune Racing, Olympics, video anarchy
August 26th, 2014 by admin
As the second Mac gets set to begin tomorrow, Our old pal Petey Crawford jammed together a video from the light air/downwind start of the earlier race, Bayview’s Port Huron-Mackinac. Bora Gulari returned from Sardinia for a couple weeks to give Phil and Sharon O’Niel’s TP52 Natalie J her fourth straight overall (Cove Island Course) BYC-Mack win, and we’ve got an interview coming up with the rock star soon…for now, enjoy the stylings from Penalty Box.
UPDATE: Tim Lewin asked us to point out that, while Natalie J won four straight Cove Island overalls that she sailed, she actually didn’t go macking in 2013 because she was on the Transpac. Last year, Sledgehammer, a J/120 won the Overall for Cove Island.
July 18th, 2014 by admin
After a five-year hiatus from covering the Midwest’s second-biggest freshwater distance race, we’re heading up to Port Huron, Michigan for the start of the Bayview Mackinac Race tomorrow. With Luna Rossa Challenge’s Bora Gulari aboard the TP52 Natalie J, Annapolite-turned ocean racer Ryan Breymaier joining the F-31 Cheekee and a pile of fun boats including the old VO70 Il Mostro, there will be plenty to see, and you’ll be able to watch all the action via Sailing Anarchy’s Facebook Page starting around 10 AM EDT tomorrow.
Years of live coverage of the Chicago Mackinac and the 4 hours we’ll be spending on the water tomorrow have reminded us of conversations we’ve had over the years about the start of the Mack races, and a basic question we still don’t know the answer to: What is the purpose of starting each section separately, with the slow boats first? Sure, we understand that the slow boats will get there a bit sooner compared to the fast boats, but that seems like a silly reason for expending all the extra resources to involved in banging off 15 starts rather than a single one. Think about it; that’s 15 starts at 10 minutes each, or nearly three hours of starting. The format guarantees a weaker experience for spectators (who rarely want to sit around watching 6-10 boats sail off a line every ten minutes), a tougher day for the Race Committee, a long, long wait for the racers on the water, and perhaps most importantly, a poor spectacle for the TV, print, and online media so important to getting new interest and keeping sponsors happy.
Think about the incredible action at a Sydney-Hobart start, with simultaneous guns over just three lines and course boundaries for spectators for a mile or so up the course to guarantee tacking or gybing in close proximity to the fans; contrast this with the Macks, where the Coast Guard sets a cordon to keep powerboats half a mile from the starting lines…not that there is much to see anyway. Nearly no boats chase the Mack fleet…because it’s already so diluted at each start that there’s not much to chase.
Our suggestion for the BYC and Chicago Macks: Four simultaneous starts: One for racing fleets, one for cruising fleets, one for multihull fleets, and one for shorthanded fleets. Win, win.
Shot of Lucky Strike (ex-Lucretia) sporting the SA flag yesterday on the Black River, thanks to Anarchist “Geff”.
July 11th, 2014 by admin
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