Posts Tagged ‘miami’
After being kicked out of the Olympics, our friends down at Coral Reef Yacht Club knew they didn’t have much time to act if they were going to save the area’s Star boat racing. Series founder Stu Hebb shares the latest from the Star Winter Series. (and follow the Star Worlds, which starts any day now, over here.)
It was clear at the end of 2012 we were going to have a problem, with far more than just Olympians’ boats rapidly disappearing from the area. So rather than watching our existing regattas die a slow death with the Bacardi trailing the trend by a year or two, we looked at ways to package the existing Star regattas and provide something special to keep everyone engaged, and maybe even bring in the next generation of Star sailor.
CRYC member, big boat racer, Opti mom, and Ironman athlete Kenia Roche is a financial advisor with EFG International, which has a good track record of sponsoring interesting regional and continental events, and she jumped aboard from the beginning as more than a sponsor, but a partner. This allowed us to go from somewhere around 1950 to the 21st century almost immediately. We moved to electronic registration and scoring thanks to Yachtscoring, we created a website and Facebook page and brought in Blocksail for all our imagery and PR/marketing work, we spent some money on advertising and logos and apparel and signage, and we worked with CRYC and locals to make sure everyone could keep their boat where they wanted and get easy info on housing, logistics, and whatever else anyone needed. And then we kept at it even when we didn’t want to, and even when it looked like the series wouldn’t catch on.
The first event attracted 14 boats. This year’s final event, the Walker Cup attracted a record 43 boats, with more than 65 having sailed the full Series. That fed the Bacardi with 68 boats and now the Star Worlds has an 81-boat scratch sheet with a more international fleet than any other non-Olympic Class in the world.
We’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to make sure we support younger Star sailors, and we’ve been lucky to have guys like Luke Lawrence and Josh Revkin and Thomas Hornos and a bunch of other young studs sailing in our events. But we’re even happier to see even younger sailors getting excited about the Star. That’s the pic you have above from Marco Oquendo – it’s the Coral Reef, last weekend, where 3 past Star World Champs – George Szabo, John MacCausland, and Lars Grael spoke with a group of enthusiastic Opti sailors about the Class, and took them on the boats to show them the many, many ropes. They’re all sitting on Lars’ 2015 Worlds-winner Renata, which was crewed by Samuel Goncalves, one of the 4000 kids who learned to sail thanks to the Grael Project in Rio. Now, those 4000 kids – many of them from impoverished favelas like Samuel – have a World Champion from their ranks).
We don’t think we changed the world, but we definitely saved a fleet, and we want the sailing community to know that there’s more to be excited about than just foiling cats and skiffs - Star boats are making plenty of waves, too.These kids of efforts – especially with the really young and excited kids - keep feeding the pipe for the next 50 years, and we salute these Star sailors, these kids, and the hundreds of sailors who’ve come to play with us in Biscayne Bay these past few years. Come back soon.
Star District 20 Fleet Captain
April 8th, 2016 by admin
The man in the hot seat is 2016 Miami Melges 24 Worlds Chairman Petey Crawford, and with 8 months to go before the expected record-setting fleet takes the line, our humble video guru posted the latest in his new bi-weekly series “The View From The Chair.” No communications problems for this World Championship! From Petey:
These episodes will contain information about the event, interviews with Melges 24 teams talking about Miami sailing, killer sailing pics and footage, and a place where you can get all of the latest news from behind the scenes and on the front line as we plan for the biggest Melges 24 Worlds ever. Stay tuned for more episodes of View From The Chair.
Episode 2, Petey talks about Marriott our official hotel partner ,”Get Registered, Get Swag, Get Stoked” and official merchandise suppliers Musto and Line Honors, 114 boats and counting, Melges Madness Regatta lineup and more. Episode 3 will contain some very big news as well as some killer video and interviews from the Madness Regatta. Stay Tuned….
March 17th, 2016 by admin
Race Chairman Chris Woolsey gets personal as he heads to Cuba to welcome in the Miami-Havana Race fleet. Marco Oquendo photo of the line honors winner Trebuchet with a bunch more on SORC Facebook. From the race thread.
Okay, after many months of preparation and 24/7 phone calls and emails, arguing with PayPal, various government agencies, and so on, SORC’s Miami to Havana Race finally came to fruition today. The last few months have been an exercise in not giving up when hearing the word “no”. I have not heard the word “no” as often as I have in the past year since I stopped frequenting singles bars. Fortunately, I can be pretty stubborn. Even more fortunately, there was a small army of volunteers, boosters, and problem solvers helping to make it all happen.
Last night’s party was epic, gathering a crowd at Coral Reef Yacht Club as large as any that I have seen there for any offshore race I have ever seen, and I did my first race there over 40 years ago. We wanted to have a send off party with a distinctly Cuban beat, for which a couple of SORC volunteers literally walked Calle Ocho on a weekend evening until they heard the right sound, and voila!, a four piece band for the party. The check in process went relatively smoothly, as did the skippers meeting, though we did run out of apparel at the end of the night, something we may remedy with a bit more merchandise and an online store.
Today’s start was picture perfect, with clear skies and light shifty breeze keeping crews on their toes, with some big gains and losses available early on. All classes started on time, without any issues other than one boat being a bit tardy to the line. You can see the rest from the tracker. We set out to lay the foundation for a great race, but not to try to create a puffed up bloviating PR monster that would be impossible to live up to; we didn’t talk any shit, we just set out to run a clean race with no issues, and so far we met every goal and then some, with 46 boats crossing the line on their way south. There is a long way to go before the deal is done. I head down tomorrow morning for the rest of the fun. So now I get to drop a line I’ve wanted to use ever since seeing the movie “A Few Good Men”, about something I have wanted to do since I was a very little kid: ”See you when I get back from Cuba.”
February 11th, 2016 by admin
It’s been a loooooong time coming, and Sailing Anarchy is on station to bring you all the action this week from the SORC Miami to Havana Race. It’s a great mix of 46 grand prix and not-so-grand prix mono and multihulls, and you’ll get to see not only the starts, but you’ll be along for the ride as we discover a brand new destination for American racers. Watch on Facebook.
February 10th, 2016 by admin
Restricted and expensive access to good event venues are competitive sailing’s biggest obstacle in the USA. Does this explain America’s Olympic difficulties over the past few cycles? Windsurf Olympic lifer Farah Hall reports that in Miami, it’s only getting worse.
From her blog:
In preparation for the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, the first World Cup event of 2016, many sailors competed in “Midwinters” regattas held at the sailing clubs in Coconut Grove. These small events have a history of about 4-5 years and are normally used as a low-key warm up before the World Cup. However, this year one little regatta was the victim of an unfortunate trend in both the Olympic class circuit and the American racing scene: escalating costs for sailors, facilitating exclusivity.
The men’s and women’s RS:X fleets were stunned when confronted with a $200 entry fee for a small three-day event. The cost of the three-day Midwinters event combined with the cost of the World Cup ($350 for singlehanded boats plus $150 coach entry) can run sailors as much as $700 just to participate in the regattas. In Europe or South America, regatta fees for small events are normally around 40-60 euro, or $50-75. High level European World Cup regattas, week-long events, cost around 200 euro or $220. Factoring in travel expenses, coaching or a boat (a critical need for RS:X sailors to reach the starting line on time in light wind and carry food and water), and the high cost of housing in Miami, this event can push even the most financially solvent competitor over budget. American sailors are required to compete in Miami almost every year to qualify for the US Sailing Team. For “average Janes” like me, it’s a steep hurdle indeed, and one that will remove any middle-class, self-funded but motivated sailor from the racing community.
Because less women than men were registered and paid online for the Midwinters, the women decided to defect from the regatta and hold their own event or “coaches’ regatta” while the men stayed with the original event. (Even so, a third of the men did not compete due to the cost). The entire women’s fleet removing themselves from the event was the fault of both sailors and organizers, but the incident strongly serves as an example of what can happen when sailing federations and clubs try to profit from sailors instead of promoting the sport.
Read the full story here.
February 3rd, 2016 by admin
With a solid list of interesting guests and a good location in Miami, John “Worldwide” Casey’s podcast continues to impress as he ramps up to the ultimate sailing talker – our own Mr. Clean. That one won’t drop until Wednesday, but you road warriors and bored bastards can listen to today’s chat between JC and Enrique “Quique” (pronounced “KeeKay”) Figueroa.
Quique is a cat sailing pioneer. The multiple world champ took his first world title (Hobie 14) at 17 years old, and he’s one of a handful of Puerto Ricans who’ve competed in multiple olympics in any sport, and maybe the only human being on Earth who was able to make a living sailing Hobie 16s.
This interesting Boriqueno has had a chance to see the evolution of Olympic sailing over the years and has truly lived the ‘Have a Hobie Day” mantra. Catch up with the pair as they explore erectile dysfunction in Puerto Rico, domestic wildlife, extreme nighttime cat sailing, and how he just missed out on Rio after losing the Nacra 17 trials in Miami last week.
- Tags: borricua, enrique figueroa, hobie, john casey, miami, Nacra 17, Olympics, podcast, Puerto Rico
February 1st, 2016 by admin
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.
January 29th, 2016 by admin
The JC Worldwide podcast continues with this week’s guest, US Sailing Team physical therapist, acupuncturist, and chiropractor Dr. Julio Pardave. Learn about new and old sports therapy for sailors and whether acupuncture and chiro are not [always] horseshit! Some great tips too on injury prevention and healing for racers, how Dr. P has x-ray vision, and how JC can turn acupuncture needles to lightning bolts! Road warriors can look up JC’s Podcast on iTunes and subscribe today, just in time for a crazy chat with crazy Olympic 49er sailor Brad Funk!
- Tags: brad funk, john casey, miami, Olympic Sailing, physical therapy, podcast, training, us sailing team
January 18th, 2016 by admin
With 315 days to go to the first gun, Petey and the 2016 Melges 24 Worlds crew just logged the 100th entry for what many are now expecting to be the biggest M24 Worlds ever. 100 boats on the line would already beat the biggest US-based M24 Worlds in history…three dozen more and they beat even all those huge European-based Worlds.
The 100th entry was no slouch; it was the mysterious man above. Some say his hands, feet, and buttocks are webbed, and that he swims the shallows of the Chesapeake Bay at night looking for his favorite prey; hammerhead sharks. All we know is he’s called the Hutch! (With thanks to Jeremy Clarkson). Number 99 ain’t no slouch either.
And check this out – the insane, >$30,000 (in gear and upgrades) grand prize of the Pimp My Ride contest will be selected in just 6 days at Quantum Key West Race Week, and all you have to do is (1) enter your sub-600 series Melges 24 in Worlds, agree with Terms and Conditions, and PAY YOUR ENTRY FEE. No brainer, right? Oh, by the way, your odds of winning are 1-in-18 right now. Seriously.
Title shout to Drake for what’s also now our regatta anthem.
January 15th, 2016 by admin
With so many thousands of proud sailing parents realizing that ‘the way we do it’ isn’t creating lifelong sailors, we’re not quite sure why there aren’t dozens more programs like the Mudratz. The New England youth-only team has been inspired by the chance to compete at the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship with an all-teen crew, and they’ve taken the first big step with the procurement of a Melges 24 donated by an unnamed area sailor.
Starting this May look for the MudRatz “Sportboat Saturday” practices, followed by the team joining The Donzo Wednesday Night Series Melges 24 fleet with the Mystic River Mudheads. This all leads up to our first year goal of sending a youth team to the 2016 Melges 24 worlds in Miami this November…where we are already registered for what should be one of the most exciting events on anyone’s 2016 calendar!
Mudratz proud papa and co-founder said grass roots programs like the Mudratz are one of the keys to the long term health of yacht racing. “Bridging the gap between junior and adult sailing is one of the most challenging aspects of our sport today. Enthusiastic kids often find themselves as young adults who drop out of sailing due to limited time and large financial constraints. Having a boat like a Melges 24 will allow our youths to see first-hand what the next level of racing is all about. This awesome platform will open up some huge doors for them into a world they might not have known even existed!”
If you or your kid might be interested in sailing with the Mudratz, or you want to contribute to our volunteer organization or make a tax deductible donation, please go to Mudratz.org today!
January 14th, 2016 by admin