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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

Posts Tagged ‘Newport’

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droneWe love the innovation in coverage that we’ve seen from quadcopter/drone shooters over the past year, but it’s time to inject a little common sense into the mix before we see the first inevitable fiery crash.  The problem comes not from your little Phantom crashing into a boat, after which you might need to pay for a sail repair – no, the big issue is something that any drone operator should realize is a REALLY BIG DEAL: Other aircraft.  So here’s our Public Safety Announcement:  DO NOT DLY YOUR DRONE ANYWHERE NEAR HELICOPTERS OR SMALL PLANES.  If a bird can take down a jet and a sparrow fart can take down a helicopter, what do you think your quadcopter can do?  It can kill, and if it does, you will end up either in jail or bankruptcy court when they sue you for tens of millions for wrongful death.  Plus, you’ll have fucking killed someone!  Don’t believe us? Here’s a note from a well-known videographer.

Want to know the sketchiest thing that’s ever happened to me when shooting from a helicopter?  It happened yesterday, just off Fort Adams, while I was shooting the Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi teams as they set out from Newport for Europe.

While we were flying along chasing boats, the pilot suddenly yelled “FUCKING DRONE!” and threw in a huge turn and began climbing hard.  Suddenly, looking out the open door, I’m staring at a toy that could eviscerate our tail rotor and kill us all.  It passes 50 feet below us in the opposite direction; so close that I can easily see that it is a Phantom 2 with a GoPro Hero aboard.

I’m sure I love my drone just as much as the guy who shot this video, but when helicopters are in the air, all drones should be grounded.

-Near-Miss in Newport

 

July 11th, 2014 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 4.50.03 PMLike Ian Storer’s Etchells/truck combo on the side of the road this morning, Bill Hardesty continues to be ‘on fire’ in the Etchells, helming Line Honors to his third World Championship in the past five years (after past sponsor Point Loma Outfitting went under).

Billy ‘The Kid” has proven, once again and beyond any doubt, that a good professional driver can bring three young rock stars to a fleet of largely elderly, less-than-athletic old men and crush them totally and completely.  We get it; after all, a guy who will never again get the America’s Cup call needs to be the ‘go-to’ guy for the go-slow crowd, and Etchells gold is a great route to make Etchells green.  But we do wonder if Bill feels a little silly, like a San Diego Charger fullback running through the defensive line of the mighty Toreros.

In his last World title, Hardesty had young guns Steve Hunt, Erik Shampain, and CMRC royalty Jen Wilson aboard, while this time around, Hardesty went for a very similar mix of young, fit rock stars; Melges 20 Corinthian World Champ Marcus Eagan, World Match Race Champ Taylor Canfield, and top US ranked women’s match racer Steph Roble, a team so far ahead of the fleet that they could head in before the final race, eating a 96th place…and still come out 35 points ahead of of runner-up Swedish Blue.

 Condolences to Storer and more importantly, his tow vehicle, and feel free to shout at us over our Etchells prejudices in the thread.

 

June 30th, 2014 by admin

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Lara Dallman-Weiss took what is by far the most interesting shot at the Newport, RI Etchells Worlds for the International Etchells Class.   The shot is of the  5-mile long spliff cum cold front, ordered up to celebrate Rhode Island’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, and its likely move to tax and legalize all weed by 2016.  Three cheers for the Ocean State’s shitty economy, and four cheers for Lara’s awesome eye!

 

June 30th, 2014 by admin

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Newport is one of the world’s most iconic sailing destinations, and last month’s 11th Hour Racing Cup on Narragansett Bay was something of an introduction of the Class to a place filled with the world’s top sailors.  Scheduling issues and light air turned a potentially amazing regatta into a bit of an exhibition, but who better to make it all look great than the awesome Onne Van Der Wal?  Here’s his 3-minute HD wrap of the action.

 

June 25th, 2014 by admin

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If Sam Greenfield’s latest Volvo Ocean Race video doesn’t get you stoked for the race, nothing will.  Along with Amory Ross finding really finding his writing voice during last week’s Team Alvimedica Transat, Americans should be proud of having two of the best young storytellers in the sport playing key roles in the biggest ocean racing event we’ve got.  They’re also helping US fans get stoked about their team on the world stage, and we’re digging it.

Alvimedica’s updates are most easily followed via Twitter, and browse the VOR’s channel for some of their latest work here.

 

June 10th, 2014 by admin

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Thanks to a string of boat and mast problems in the Mini fleet, we’ve called young solo/shorthanded offshore racer Jeffrey Macfarlane ‘one of the unluckiest guys in the sport’, but as of Monday, Jeff’s luck seems to be changing.  Below is an SA exclusive from Jeff on his victory and leg record on Leg 2 of the Atlantic Cup, with a Billy Black photo to the left, and galleries of the whole race here.  You can check in with the racers tomorrow night at the party at Jamestown FISH, and say hello to Clean and Mer if you show up.  And Newport locals can watch them out racing this weekend alongside the International Moths and the Open 60s.  

My co-skipper, Jake Arcand , and I were looking for redemption in leg 2 and we got it! Our first leg was disappointing. We blew up our A2 spinnaker and lost all of our electronics for the majority of the 600+ mile race. Thanks to generosity of Steve Benjamin we were starting leg 2 with a one spinnaker – he donated an old Spookie kite to our program [that's the one with the Swisher cigar logo -Ed] and we were able to get a last-second sail recut, just in time to replace our irreplaceable A2.

At the start of the second leg, the breeze was fairly light and we decided to stay on the south side of New York harbor to take advantage of a slightly stronger tide and freshening breeze. But, it was not until after the bridge that our strategy began to pay off and we started to leg out on Dragon and Pleiad, more to the North. We led the fleet out of the harbor and planned to take the Swash channel. Everything was going perfectly to plan, but after seeing Pleiad choose to take the more inshore Sandy Hook Channel, we reevaluated and decided to cover. Unfortunately, they were able to stretch some distance on us, but once we were clear of the channel we slowly began to chip away at their lead, eventually passing them.

Most of the fleet chose an offshore route on the way south to the Barnegat Light buoy, but I positioned us more on the beach side of the course, anticipating the wind shifting West. Our strategy worked, except for the brief period of time when there was no breeze in a wind transition. Mike and Rob on Dragon stayed very close to us and they handled the transition a bit better, reaching the new breeze before us.  We rounded the tuning mark just behind, and began the night jockeying positions with them. We took a northerly course from rhumb line anticipating the breeze would head us come morning, and when morning came we were a mile or two in front of Dragon. However, the wind did not head us like all of the weather models predicted and we found ourselves in yet another wind transition zone where Dragon, who was further offshore, managed to pass the transition zone quicker, and passed us in the processl. From then on, it was all drag race – a speed run to Montauk Point during which time we desperately tried to regain our lead. As we sailed inside Block Island we kept going higher in order to get more speed on Dragon. Frustratingly, she matched us until we both began to sail as deep as possible in order to make Point Judith. The breeze offered us ideal downwind conditions on the way to Point Judith and we sailed downwind straight to Newport at 15-17 knots.

As we approached Narragansett Bay, we were still just a few boatlengths behind Dragon on port gybe and very close to the shore. The wind began to lighten and we matched Dragon’s every move, hoping to get an advantage on them. We did not get the advantage until we both gybed and they came out a bit higher. I was able to take a few puffs and soak just a few degrees deeper than them, and we were able to get below them on the inside gybe. We took advantage of any depth we could get and we tried to get more separation from Dragon, covering their every gybe. It worked! We ended up in very light winds approaching the finish just 80 seconds in front of Dragon. We not only won the leg, but we also set a new course record by over 6 hours.

Jake and I could not have been more pleased, and what a result for one of the oldest Class 40s in the fleet, donated for my use by the inimitable Ralfie Steitz from the USMMA Sailing Foundation.  Ralfie and the King’s Point program continues with its mission to help young, up and coming sailors get more opportunities in the limited American shorthanded sailing scene.  By coupling his support with that of Oakcliff Sailing, our team has fulfilled this mission proudly.  There is a very long list of sponsors and supporters that have had an instrumental part in the success that I have had over the past few years.

We have a fantastic inshore team consisting of Phil Garland – our mast manufacturer and sponsor from Hall Spars, Ross Weene – one of the boat’s designers from Roger Martin Designs, Chris Poole – fellow Oakcliff sailor and top ranked match racer, as well as Oakcliff graduate Ervin Grove. We are looking forward to combining our strengths to find more success in the final, inshore leg of the Atlantic Cup this coming weekend.  We are hoping to win the inshore series and pull out an overall Atlantic Cup victory.

Wish us luck!

-Jeff

 

May 22nd, 2014 by admin

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SA’er “DryArmour” checks in from his weather lab at the start of the normally docile NOSA 2014 Newport to Ensenada with this monster forecast.  Stay safe, people!

Wx N2E 033 25042014Good Friday morning to everyone from the WxRouting weather center. The 66th annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht race kicks off today around noon off the Balboa Pier off Newport Beach, CA. A late season storm is dropping southward and a GALE WARNING* has now been posted for the inner waters and includes part of the race course. This warning may be extended southward as winds and seas build. A 50% chance of rain is also in the forecast so the challenges will be many for the racers. For Saturday morning through Saturday afternoon there is a chance of thunderstorms over the coastal waters.

At 0300 PDT, winds in the coastal waters of the northern channel islands are in the 29 knot sustained range and gusting into the mid 30s. The wave heights are already 8.5 feet with a very short period of just 9 seconds. A southerly swell at four feel will add to the washing machine effect.

At this time I will make the recommendation that racers unprepared for these conditions or vessels not thoroughly outfitted consider your options carefully with regard to sailing the course. Safe ports of harbor along the way should also be thoroughly inspected and charts consulted in advance of departure so that you are familiar with fairways and range markers should seeking refuge from the potentially hazardous conditions become a good idea in the team’s estimation. Remember that it is the skipper and crew’s sole responsibility to determine whether it is safe to race at the start and at any time while on the race course.

As Dirty Harry told us, A good man (or woman) knows their limitations. But in a sport where we’ve seen far too many tragedies over the past few years, it applies in spades today. For race teams and vessels who are prepared, this may be an epic race – one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ heavy-air run that many of us cherish from our past, precisely because they are so few and far between…but the utmost care needs to be given with regard to safety. Jacklines run and tested.  Harnesses inspected and WORN with PFDs included.  MOB/COB drills.  Safety briefings and all crew given the chance to speak their mind prior to finding themselves in a  situation they are unprepared for.

The biggest challenge for the N2E could be returning home, so plan  accordingly. Winds and seas remain a big concern right through Sunday, and care and prudence should be used in abundance when choosing a day and time to return to port here in the states.

Be safe everyone and many thanks to those of you who have selected WxRouting race forecasting to make your voyage as fast and safe as possible. For those of you who have purchased the race forecast package the details will lag by about 15 minutes today as there is a lot of data coming in and I feel it more important to get the forecast right than to get it to you 15 minutes earlier.

DISCLAIMER- WEATHER FORECASTING IS AN INEXACT SCIENCE. CONDITIONS MAY NOT MATERIALIZE AS FORECAST BUT THE PRUDENT MARINER UNDERSTANDS THAT THE CONDITIONS MAY ALSO EXCEED THE PROJECTED WINDS AND SEAS BY AS MUCH AS 20-50%. BE SAFE, MAKE GOOD CHOICES PEOPLE.

 

April 25th, 2014 by admin

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America’s winter sailing destinations have changed substantially over the past decade; Tampa, Key West and South Beach have all either partially or completely disappeared, while Miami’s Biscayne Bay has become the Lake Garda of this hemisphere and Charleston is a hive of activity in the Spring.  But one thing will never change: from June to October, Newport is the sailing capital of the USA.

For one of many reasons why, take a look at Beavertail Light in Jamestown RI through the lens of Ben Jacobson.  Stunning.

 

April 9th, 2014 by admin

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Chris Museler gives us the scoop on his Archipelago Rally, the innovative and fun Newport-area race that feels like it just started a couple years ago.  

This is the eighth year we have run the Archipelago Rally and it still holds as just the silliest coolest regatta of the year in Rhode Island. In brief, this is a “pick-up” regatta where people from 3-75 years old bring anything that floats with a sail and chase each other around some stellar piece of water in Rhode Island. Sailing is always followed by an no entry-fee all-volunteer BBQ, a local beer sponsor and friends playing music.

This year we are sailing on Quonochontaug Pond out of the RIDEM Fish and Wildlife launch ramp there. This is a crystal clear salt pond that has a barrier beach and narrow breachway separating it from the ocean. Like all our locations, we looked at it and said, “man I’d love to go for a cocktail sail on that pond.” And here we are! Jus a quick note about the event and this year, we expext more than 40 kids, most of whom sailed this event at some point as their first ever sailboat “race,” and for many this is the only sailing event they do each year. They all help their parents make a flag to fly and where else would you have a five-year-old sailing with his parents in a wooden Mirror dinghy against catamaran guru Steve Clark in a wood/carbon C-class Canoe? Enough said? If you’re up for a road trip, just show up and we’ll give you a start time. Rally on!

Details:

What? 2013 Archipelago Rally, an annual pursuit race (slowest boats start first under Portsmouth Yardstick Ratings, in hopes all finish at the same time), LeMans start off the beach, with a BBQ/Beach Party afterwards.

When? Saturday November 9, 2013, registration at 10 a.m., first starters 11:45 a.m.

Where? Quonochontaug Pond, Charlestown, RI. Start location and parking at RIDEM Launch Ramp end of West Beach Rd. off Rte. 1 (No Shelter, there will be a Porta Jon). Average depth of pond is 5 feet with 10-20 yards of knee deep water at beach launch.

Who? Anyone! Please bring your dinghy, catamaran, windsurfer etc. and RSVP your boat please with: cmuseler@gmail.com or ezrasmith@yahoo.com

PHOTO ACTION:

Here’s a pic from last year on 100-Acre Cove in Barrington, the two brunettes are Avery (6) and Victoria Guck (Victoria is married to C-Class Catamaran sailor Lars Guck and is an All American sailor from Tufts) One Mills girl (Her father won the 505 worlds) and a Zani boy (his father is a Team Race champion and is currently moving onto a cruising cat and sailing it to the Caribbean from Gran Canaria to live aboard and homeschool the kids). This is a not-so-unusual mix of sailors and families at the rally.

November 8th, 2013 by admin

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Scribbler, sailmaker, boat designer, and waterman Ted Hood passed back in June.  Come down to Newport next week to celebrate the life of one of the real legends. From the family:

“In honor of Frederick E. “Ted” Hood  (May 5, 1927 – June 29, 2013)  the Hood family cordially invites all he has touched to a Celebration of His Life to be held at the New York Yacht Club, Harbour Court, Newport, RI  Friday, September 20, 2013 at 11:00 am.

“Parking may be limited, with overflow available on Wellington Ave., and further at the Underwood School, located just past the yacht club.  There will be people on hand to help assist in parking.  Carpooling where possible and arriving early is suggested.

“The family welcomes and greatly looks forward to seeing all that have touched his life and family.”

 

 

September 9th, 2013 by admin

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Enfant Terrible won the Farr 40 Worlds in Newport last week, but no one seems to have told the Class that no one cares about them anymore. Apparently some of the protest/rules/measurement shit that went down at the NYYC-based regatta makes the AC45 rules wars look tame.  And we’re sure no one told Rolex that their ‘product’ has become  stale; they’re still throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year into a dated, obsolete boat with no exposure, no visibility, and no future beyond club racing and a single 8-15 boat Worlds once a year.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but it sure would be nice to see one of the sport’s major sponsors spending all that money to accomplish something positive, rather than using it to prop up something that should have been left to its own devices years ago.   We’ll have more on both these subjects soon, but in the meantime, keep your eye on boat at the top right of your screen and enjoy one of sailing’s top stars (and the winning tactician from Worlds) falling right off the back of the boat. Thanks to Zerogradinord for the tip.

 

September 1st, 2013 by admin

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The breeze came in on day 3 of the Farr 30 Worlds, up to 20 knots with steep waves gave everyone some good times and bad, with Groovederci dropping back to third, Barking Mad once again in second, and Annapolis boatyard owner Rod Jabin leading the way.  Two races in a forecast 15-20 tomorrow will decide it, perhaps inside Narragansett Bay  - just 4 points separates the three boats and you can watch it happen on their Facebook page tomorrow starting around 1030 AM.  At the same time, there’s a three-way battle for supremacy amongst the Aussie expats; Jeremy Wilmot is in 8th as tactician aboard Just Plain Nutz, cousin David Chapman is aboard Topas in 6th, and cousin Pauly Atkins is in fifth, shown here aboard Bliksem, getting a bit wonky.  Meredith Block photo; day three gallery is here.  Clean interviews Jabin here.

July 19th, 2013 by admin

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With temps hitting 100 on the dock yesterday and humidity near max, it’s likely at least one trimmer will burst into flame at some point during this week’s Farr 30 Worlds in Newport RI.  Will past SCOTY Deneen Demourkas take her third consecutive World title despite not having set foot in the boat since Sweden last year?  Will T Hutch finally bring the elusive title to a long-suffering Jim Richardson and Barking Mad?  Will 2009 M32 World Champ and perennial shit-stirrer Pieter Taselaar surprise everyone on his home turf? Or will German light-air specialist Dr. Harald Bruening – the only Euro team here – take out the big dogs?

Clean and Mer are covering their fourth M30 Worlds in a row; check out daily reports right here, and watch their real-time-ish video/photo/text coverage on the F30 Facebook page.  Meredith Block photo of da bronx’s Just Plain Nutz doing some late night hatch repair and more setup photos here.

July 17th, 2013 by admin

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