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Posts Tagged ‘Melges 24’

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Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 7.07.58 AMPenalty Box Productions’ Petey Crawford and Melges 24 Class President Jens Wathne take a short break from the action at the M24 Worlds in Middlefart, Denmark, where moth and 49er rivals Bora Gulari and Chris Rast have been battling it out all week.  Rast capitalized on yet more mostly non-planing conditions to take three bullets today, with Bora losing positions to both the Rastaman and Italy’s Andrea Rachelli.  Watch it live over here for a couple more days.

Petey’s got a bang-up gallery of beauty shots over here and be sure to check in on the front page for more great work from Petey during next week’s J/70 Worlds in La Rochelle, FRA.

 

July 2nd, 2015 by admin

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Talk shows, live sporties, SCOTWs, flying scows, and one of the biggest races in the world.  It’s another Sailing Anarchy video tour!

kind of a big deal

Ian Walker and Jamie Boag began their Volvo Ocean Race adventure way back in the Green Dragon days, and if anyone’s earned the victory in the world’s premier sailboat race, it’s them.  Clean grabbed Walker and Boagie (both late to their own show, of course) as well as Phil “Wendy” Harmer and best overall OBR Matt Knighton for 45 minutes of chat just before the final awards show last weekend.  Plenty to learn and plenty to laugh about as these boys depressurize after a well-deserved few days of R&R in Sweden.  As all of our VOR coverage, this one is thanks to Sperry, where Odysseys Await.

better late than never

It’s only been 6 years since On-The-Water Anarchy broadcast the first-ever live racing action from a Melges 24 Worlds, and thankfully the cameras are better, the network’s better, and the location and fleet size are both far better than those dismal grey days from the Chesapeake Bay.  The racing, unfortunately, is just as bad – ultra light air began the first four shitty races without much improvement in the forecast – but if you dig sportboats, you’ll still enjoy this live action with 95 boats on the line (half of them Corinthian), and significantly more than the next week’s J/70 Worlds in France.  More links here, and results here.

straight talk sally

Remember all that debate about Saving Sailing?  Team SCA standout Sally Barkow gets to the answer in just a few minutes.  One of our favorite all-time sailor chicks…listen to Sally talk about the race, about inspiring the next generation, about sailing instructors and mentors, all here.

the genny fan club

Who knew when superstar skiff/sportboat/match racer/SCOTW Genny Tulloch came to commentate with Clean and JC at the 2010 America’s Cup that it would be the start of a new career?  While we think the TeamSCA boat might have done well to add her to the race crew, Genny did a lovely job of sharing the 2014-15 VOR with the world through her daily shows and live-finish commentary.  Always a great chat and good chemistry with her old friend Clean, the brilliant GT is always worth watching.

23 proof

We’ve seen the stills, but until there’s video, it never happened.  Last week, the world’s first foiling sportboat proved that, indeed, she does.  Where to from here for the Q23? 

 

July 1st, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 8.11.27 AMSailing 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

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Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.47.51 PMAs if racing at America’s most exciting freshwater venue wasn’t enough, the shiny, happy people of North Bonneville, Washington have just turned up the fun dial to 11 for every non-junior sailing event at the Columbia Gorge Racing Association in Cascade Locks, Oregon.  That’s because N. Bonneville – just 11 minutes by car from the Locks and over the stupefying Bridge of the Gods - now has the world’s only city-owned marijuana shop, with the serious dank, vape, and edibles to make you even the worst regatta results seem just hilarious.  We’re not joking at all - the chronic is now legal for anyone over 21 on both sides of the Columbia, and if organizers can’t come up with some cannachocolate bars or oatmeal-haze cookies in your regatta bag, they’re not trying hard enough!

Just in time, too – the Melges 24 Class is showing a serious resurgence, with 33 teams already registered for a summertime Gorge Nationals, as teams begin to build towards the recently-announced and already highly anticipated 2016 Miami Worlds.  Get to the Gorge; we’ll have more on their upcoming events for you soon.

Offshore racers, we haven’t forgotten your substance abuse needs either – just check out the just-approved powdered alcohol that’s coming to a ditch bag near you as soon as this summer!  Save weight in your gear bag and still give yourself something to warm up those cold, late watches.  No word yet on how it is to snort…

 

 

March 23rd, 2015 by admin

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Big thanks to Hamish Nicol for a great writeup from the Melges 24 Nationals in Adelaide, Oz.  For more info, check the South Australia FB page.

After two days and with 5 races completed the 2015 Melges 24 Australian Championships are at their mid-point with competitors enjoying crash/bang/wallop racing followed by so much free sponsored beer at the dockside and wine in the club that the sponsors themselves cannot remember what happened and why they did it.

PRO Rogers is taking the piss because he keeps promising steady 15kt sea breezes that never show. The 14 competitors have seen everything from light Northerlies disappearing to nothing, to howling 20-25kt Southerlies with 2 meter swells to launch off. Add in the bushfires on the way over (now thankfully out), gear breakages and involuntary swims, and the fleet now expects tempests, locusts for the next few days.

10714340_983433531684677_4353630840933405642_oThe front of the fleet has a familiar look to it at the halfway stage with Chris Links-fresh from Wild Oats Hobart win-helming Cavalinho to several wins with Olympic Gold Medal winner Nathan Wilmot calling tactics. Adelaide favourite and former AC and 505 man Ronnie Duessen is following closely in second overall with his Red Mist’s red coachwork unmissable in the grey surf. Johnno Bannister’s Penultimate Challenge is in third crewed by a team of Mornington Peninsula hot shots. Another local boat Adrenaline is in 4th overall. Having been second after the first day Luke Stephen’s team had to survive a swim and a wild broach avoiding Red Mist.

The teams now prepare for an already breezy day three, re-examining their gear (two forestays failed on day 2)  or perhaps breakfasting on Glenelg’s famous pie floater.

January 9th, 2015 by admin

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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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big pimpin’

PH-JOY-2014MSC_116We’d like to welcome our friends at Melges back for another year of pimpin’, and the timing couldn’t be better; there’s all sorts of exciting fall/winter action going on across the Melges fleets, and we’re going to help highlight just how fun and accessible it can be.  Here’s some news from the M32 fleet in Florida, and watch for a feature from Jaime Torres soon on the M32 Caribbean Fleet.  For everything Melges, check their site.

With a fleet and sailors diverse as the nightlife on Ocean Avenue, the Melges 32 Gold Cup kicks off in just two weeks, featuring 18 ultra-high performance Melges 32 teams from 9 different countries.

This “Florida Classic” will decide not only the new Gold Cup titleholder; it will serve as the final notice for teams looking to challenge for the ultimate goal: the Melges 32 World Title. Louisiana skipper Chris Wientjes (Stormvogel, Metairie, LA) can’t wait for it all to begin. “The Melges 32 Class always brings great talent to its events, but there’s no doubt these two will bring some of the best sailors in the world to Miami,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to testing ourselves in both the Gold Cup and Worlds.”

It may have started as a low-key tune-up regatta in the Melges 32’s fledgling days in 2006, but the Gold Cup has emerged as the longest-standing Melges 32 regatta on the annual calendar. Regularly featuring more than 20 teams – from the highest-level international two-boat programs to more modest but still ultra-competitive local and Caribbean teams – winning the Gold Cup has historically required great boat speed and teamwork along with a strong understanding of tricky autumn breezes and meandering Gulf Stream current and waves.

2012 World Championship runner-Up Alec Cutler (Hedgehog, Bermuda) recognizes the balancing act between sailing hard at the Gold Cup without tipping his hand for the upcoming Worlds a month later. “Gold Cup may be a Worlds tune up, but it is also a coveted trophy for our team,” said Cutler. “Our goal is to hold off from some of the big decisions until after Gold Cup while racing hard, having a good time, and learning the venue.”

Read on.

 

October 27th, 2014 by admin

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Smoke2

2013 Melges 32 World Champion mast man and SA Staff Videographer Petey Crawford dusted off his sailing gloves for a little fall action this past weekend, and in our first piece of today’s Midwest Madness, he reports from the 18-boat Lake Geneva Melges 24 Fall Champs, with great pics from LGYC’s Michael Moore and a small gallery over here.

This past week I got a call from some friends in Western Michigan, and they asked if I wanted to go Melges 24 racing in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  After rescheduling a couple of things I jumped at the chance – I used to come to this even more than a decade ago when it was all J/24s, and Buddy Melges’ home club is always a great time.  The lake’s empty of powerboats, the fall colors are popping, the breeze is almost always on, and the blue-collar LGYC never disappoints.

Imagine my surprise to pull up to the parking lot and find the clubhouse gone, and replaced with a construction site as the new Buddy Melges Sailing Center takes shape. With no facilities available at LGYC, the event moved across the lake to Gage Marine in Williams Bay, with the Gage staff doing a great job hosting every one of the ten out-of-town teams making the trip.

The Saturday forecast was a little on the brutal side, with expected temps in the high 30s to low 40s, and a mix of rain and snow. You heard that right – SNOW. Despite the hard core forecast, all 18 teams piled on the layers and sailed out through the wall of steam rolling across the water. The RC cranked off 4 races with wind ranges in the 12-18 knots, and it really wasn’t that bad once you got into it. My biggest problem was visibility; glasses on or glasses off, you couldn’t see much  through the rain, but it was marginally better than getting the full wintery mix right into my eyeballs.  It was a really fun day of sailing with good friends, and we were off the water by 2pm. That opened up the afternoon for us, and we took full advantage to up the fun factor. We were staying at a Methodist church retreat, and along with our upstairs neighbors from Muskegon, we  probably broke just about every rule they had with all that time to kill before the 6 PM regatta party. We had about 3 hours of playtime on the shore of the lake with frisbees, volleyballs, wiffle balls, horseshoes, and even acorns flying through the air from all directions. It was pretty chaotic at times and I’m pretty sure we provided more than one topic of discussion for the group of college students who were staying there on an actual Methodist retreat.  But goddamn, did we had fun.

Smoke 1Sunday morning started out with a similar forecast but with less warmth and less wind, but with the sun shining, it felt a comparative heat wave.  The RC got us two more races to close out this year’s event and again, like it was on Saturday, it was a great day of sailing. Brian Porter and the Full Throttle team fully throttled us all and won every race but 1, but we won the most important race of the week, getting to the hoist first after an early finish in the final race.

We had a brand new VHF radio that must have been on a half-price sale because it only half-worked; we could transmit but could not receive. That was a problem all event, but especially when we were OCS on the last race; by the time the windward boat rolled us and we could hear them telling us we were over we were pretty far back. We swung the bat hard on the first beat hoping to make a gain to get back in the race, but with the breeze cranking, the boats in front of us hooked up on the downwind and were gone, we didn’t stand a chance of passing anyone and decided to take the extra point and get on the trailer first.

This is a great event and a beautiful time of the year to be racing sailboats, I have missed these events over the past few years with living in California and then Florida, and it was just perfect to be out there with friends, racing hard and having fun…even if it felt like we were inside a refrigerator.

-The God Damned Reverend, Out

October 6th, 2014 by admin

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Curating the internet’s best sailing videos for you, here’s another SA video edition.

Transformer

While Thomas Coville’s crewed endeavors over the past couple of years (Groupama 70, Banque Populaire V) have been damned impressive, he spent the past few years losing to Francis Joyon in the world’s big solo records with a near sistership to Joyon’s IDEC.  The big Irens trimarans are narrow and light and designed for solo sailing, and clearly, Coville’s Sodebo just wasn’t getting it done.  So he picked up the bigger, wider, and much older Geronimo for a song, brought it to Multiplast for a mega-refit, and just relaunched in time for some serious pre-Route Du Rhum prep and record-breaking.  Looking goddamned good.

In other big French multihull Route Du Rhum news, Team Edmund de Rothschild relaunched their MOD 70 the other day for Seb Josse, but it’s no longer a MOD 70; instead, it’s a turbo MOD.  A lighter motor/generator,  lighter interior, larger canopy (Seb will live outside the cabin during the RdR), and most importantly, a set of Verdier/Koch-designed T-foil rudders.  Will Seb stand a chance against the super-trimarans?  If anyone can, it’ll be Josse.  More info here.

 

Britain’s Next Top Model

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Artemis Offshore Academy’s Sam Goodchild continues his climb into shorthanded stardom, albeit it slowly. The young Brit continues his Figaro ways this year as he continues to hunt for Vendee Globe money, and here’s an intense clip showing what it’s like to sail in gusts to 60 knots. You think you know 60? Take a look and compare Sam and Sandy’s delivery to your biggest day.  Click the video to get to it.

Blu, You’re My Boy!

 

 

With Flavio Favini on the sideline after his horrendous accident earlier in the year, Franco Rossini’s Blu Moon continued her winning ways with Matteo Ivaldi helping the Moonies to European Championship glory last week.  Here’s a video from midway through the week that showcases just how gorgeous Hungary’s Lake Baloton can be, with thanks to Janna Buriani for the shooting and editing.  Title shout is all about Old School, yo.

Can’t Teach Old Dogs New Tricks 


It’s amazing how quickly the once-amazing AC45s have descended into obsolescence; too flexy to make a good foiling platform and slower than pretty much all the foilers, Oracle Team USAustralia and Team Australia continue to practice in Sydney despite the irrelevance of their platform to the new AC62 class.  That being said, this video shows off the lighter, more easygoing side to OTUSAUS resulting from Tom Slingsby taking a much bigger role aboard as Sailing Team Director.  It also shows off a more American side to the team; Rome Kirby, Andrew Campbell, and now Matty Cassidy joined with half-citizens Slingers and Spithill bring the total yank factor up to 4, and with a very American design team, OTUSAUS is almost, dare we say it, an American team!  Good fun from the Oracle media boys.

 

Just When You Thought It Was Safe 

Your $200k RIB seems like it can take anything you throw at it, but can it? These guys found out the answer.

 

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Island

 

You’ve all heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?  Well, how about Richard Sowa’s recycled bottle island?  We like.

 

May 15th, 2014 by admin

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blu moon

With Harry Melges on Star finally showing a chink in his armor by getting a scoring penalty in Race 9, Flavio Favini and the Blu Moonies have officially won  the Gill Melges 24 Worlds in Geelong-tucky, Australia, with an  8 point lead after 11 races  With just a 26-boat fleet it remains a 5-boat race for the podium without a single Aussie in contention, with previous World Champs on four of those five; if Star can pull it off, it’ll mark a great bookend to Harry’s Melges 24 Worlds victory in 2002, and it’ll be the 27,000th Melges World title for Federico Michetti.  If Flavio can take it, it’ll bookend his 2001 Worlds victory.   Above video is thanks to Beau Outerridge and the M24 Channel, and features the gorgeous Shona Wilmot.   Results are here, and here’s a word from Bora aboard West Marine Rigging via Facebook:

“Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day. We ended up with basically the same scoreline that we had yesterday, but the boys fought way harder and deserved a much better result. We lead the last race for about 99.5% of the race. Unfortunately I am a master of collecting plastic bags and we had one wrapped around the keel for the majority of the race. Luckily it only cost us one place in the end but it would have been good to finish the day with a bullet. 2 more days to go and anything can happen. Hopefully we can snag a couple bullets in the end and see where the cards fall.

“Out from Geelong.”

 

January 31st, 2014 by admin

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