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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

Posts Tagged ‘melges’

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Dead calms meant lots of swimming and fishing on the big MN lake yesterday, with 29-year old Vince Porter (Melges 24 World Champ Brian’s nephew) holding the A-Scow US National Championship lead after two races.  Racing begins at 10 AM central for all the marbles today, with Clean and the team streaming it all live.  Check it out above, and go here for the results after two.

 

June 22nd, 2014 by admin

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The 2014 Jaguar Land Rover A Scow National Championship is just a day away. I have just returned to Lake Minnetonka and it’s a bit like a war zone.  Storms have been ripping through the area for the past week and the water level is at an all-time high. In fact, the entire lake is now a no-wake zone, which means great things for the A-Scows but bad things for spectators and our media team. We will be re-configuring the plan to make sure we bring you as much coverage as possible given the restrictions we are faced with.  Our goal is live video action from the course along with real-time results, near real-time photos, and all kinds of social action – but as usual, we’ll be rolling with the flow to share the very best with you from twenty-one of the ass-haulingest inland racing boats in the world.

As you can see from the photo above, the Rodney Dangerfield Cruiser Jackass factor is at zero, and it’s amazing how peaceful it is out here.  The sailors all know this might be the best A-Scow racing in history, and everyone is stoked.   Now we just have to hope for a decent weather window, which has been pretty sketchy as of late…Follow along via this front page and the Jaguar/Land Rover A-Scow Nationals Facebook Page

Petey Crawford, Regatta Chair

Jerry Stebbins photo.

 

June 19th, 2014 by admin

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Here’s a fairly close rendering of what the long-rumored Melges 40 will look like if Harry and the boys can get firm commitments from a few more potential owners. Designed by R/P to meet the HPR rule as well as to provide a one-design platform for owners looking for a replacement for the Farr 40 and other Grand Prix dinosaurs, it’ll have a pedestal, square top, and massive kites on a most likely retractable sprit, with a target price of around half a million, midway between the cost of a McConaghy 38 and a no-options Carkeek 40.  The MC38 has proven that there’s a one-design market for a boat this size, at least in Australia – are the Melges strongholds of the US and Italy calling out for the same thing at a higher price?  With Melges 20 and 32 participation down for the better part of a year now, we hope to see the sport’s best performance sailing cheerleaders fix their house before building a new one…more info in the thread here and the R/P rendering (of the very close HPR40, not the M40) from their site.

 

April 30th, 2014 by admin

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Brian Porter is the first Cat 1 helmsman to win the Melges 24 Worlds in exactly a decade, and along with crew Matt Woodworth, Andy Burdick, and Federico Michetti, he edged out Flavio Favini by just 3 points to take the title last week in San Francisco.  In a fleet of somewhat agro, type A tiller handlers, Brian is one of the kindest, gentlest guys you could ever meet, and he sat down for Sailing Anarchy’s classic “Innerview” to answer some of Mr. Clean’s questions after winning the title that’s eluded him for more than 15 years.   Go here to see who Porter beat, and enjoy this Pierrick Contin photo with full gallery here, and go here and here for a couple of great highlight reels from the event from Vibrant Films.

SA: You’ve been trying to win the Melges 24 Worlds since they first began before the turn of the century.  How does it feel to finally pull something like this off that’s been motivating you for almost two decades?

BP: It feels really good to win. I have worked hard at this sport my whole life. I got the monkey off my back, finally! The greatest moments in my life were the births of my four children. I don’t think anything compares to seeing a healthy baby come into the world. But I am definitely walking in the clouds.

SA: You are a trader on the CBOT (is that right?), a seriously high pressure job.  Is racing M24s at this level still a relaxation, a break from that job, or is it just as pressurized as work?

BP: I find racing extremely relaxing. The pressure is nothing like trading. It has always been a haven for me to relieve life’s pressures.

SA: You are the first non-pro driver to win the M24 Worlds since Shark Kahn did it, though he was part of a three-boat team spending literally millions per year on the M24 program.  What special prep did you put into this thing?

BP: We spent 12 days total out there for the worlds. We had one day of practice and then 4 days of the big boat series. We also did short practices on the two days in  between. The last time I raced the boat was Key West. However, I did crew for my son RJ on Lake Geneva all summer where we have a 12 boat fleet. That was actually helpful to give me a chance to really look at sails and rig while not driving. I spent time talking to Vince, Andy, and Federico about sail selection. We kept it pretty simple all in all. We made our sail selection the day before the worlds.

SA: In Santa Cruz you were leading with one race left, and a last-leg broach ended your run, giving you your third or fourth runner-up spot at a Worlds. Was it easier being one point behind Flavio going into the last race?

BP: Actually in Santa Cruz we were one point back as well. For me it doesn’t make a big difference if you have to beat the other guy anyway. Having that tack line cleat blow on the kite and the resulting broach was tough but I think that was one of the best races I ever sailed so I didn’t feel that bad.

SA: Freddy Michetti, president of Melges Europe, continues to show that no one in the world has a ‘Silver Bullet” like he does when it comes to winning major Melges titles. He replaced Sam Rogers who was busy increasing the Midwest’s population…This was your first major regatta with Freddy – can you tell us the secret ingredient that Fred brings to the table that has allowed him to own an unbelievable 5 M24 World Titles, including 4 of the last 6?

BP: It was one of the single greatest privileges of my life to sail with Federico. He spent an incredible amount of time loving my boat. He made it perfect. His feel for the small adjustments is uncanny. His greatest attribute by far is his attitude. He carries himself so well in all situations. Very positive. We had many difficult moments during the worlds and the demeanor on our boat never changed.

SA: We were surprised to see Harry Melges back behind the helm, and we know all about your friendship and rivalry with him going back to the invention of the automobile.  Is it more special to take a Worlds knowing your old friend and longtime rival and crewmate alike is driving around somewhere in your wake.

BP: Harry Melges III has been a great friend of mine for many years. I have sailed with and against many of the best sailors in the world. Harry is the best I have sailed with hands down. After all the regattas that he has dragged me around with him I hated not to have him on the boat. The same goes for my brother John. Those two were with me for all those seconds. Fortunately I was able to invite them up on the podium to share our victory. So, I was glad they were there to be part of it.

SA: After a few quiet years the M24 seems to be reinventing itself.  A new Rules proposal is likely to make the boats a bit more like the smaller sportboats flooding the market, and the top pros, many of them now making a living in the M20/J70/M32 fleets, are coming back to the 24 as, perhaps, still the best cross-training platform in the world.  T Hutch, Madro, Harry, Bora, Rast, Nath W – is this a temporary thing, or are we seeing a sustainable rebirth of the M24 as the “superior” sport boat?

BP: I sure hope it keeps coming back. We really need to take care of the hiking and weight rules to make the boat a little friendlier. I love these boats because they are high performance yet easy to sail. My favorite thing about them is that they create such a challenge to achieve maximum performance, and when you reach it, it’s just so incredibly rewarding.

SA: You certainly do your share of Scow sailing in the summers, but with your biggest albatross now free of your neck, Will we see a Full Throttle trying its hand at another major class?

BP: I will sail scows and 24′s as long as I can. I would love to try some other major classes but it is difficult to do the sailing I do now. If I had my way I would probably sail every day. So, you never know!

October 9th, 2013 by admin

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86 keel-less boats screaming downwind under grunty masthead kites sounds pretty good to us; it also looks good thanks to Petey Crawford’s Penalty Box Production of the E-boat Nationals last weekend in Lake Geneva.  Tammy Sawyer shot a great gallery here, and Peter Hurling has a massive gallery from the regatta here.  Screw sportboats; this is Scow Country.

 

September 15th, 2013 by admin

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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.