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Posts Tagged ‘Newport’

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NYYC Round The Island

The Donald Trumpification of America has seen the value of the truth drop faster than the price of oil over the past few years, but Petey Crawford is holding the line against tale-tellers in our sport.  He takes on Gary Jobson for his misremembering issues surrounding the crash earlier this summer between the 12 metre Courageous and a J/88 and C&C 30 in Newport.  Above is a screenshot of some video; if you have crash vids from this incident, please let Petey know.)

I just found a copy of the latest Sailing World laying around the yacht club, and after reading a column, I’ve never been so certain about the need to write a rebuttal like this one. On multiple occasions in the past, one particular person has been involved in situations that have made me strongly consider writing a story.  I’ve often started writing, only to sit back, reassess, take the higher ground, and let it pass. However, after reading what I read this morning, no amount of reconsideration will keep me from posting this. The time has come for this guy to hang up his Sebago Dock-siders.

I have bitten my tongue for several months about this incident, but I’ve also watched this guy line his pockets with exorbitant production fees while making terrible videos under the guise of “promoting the sport of sailing” (in one instance, something in the ballpark of 50 grand for a lame movie no one saw about a regional three-day event). He’s also been known to demand contract stipulation from events he’s “covering” that restricts organizers from promoting other media content about the event. How does this help the sport of sailing? Simply put, it doesn’t. It only helps him. Otherwise why limit the amount of content available to help promote a class, the event, the sponsors and sailing in general?  I’m all ears…

Don’t even get me started at how bad this person is at commentary – an absolutely imperative job if we’re going to get a wider audience for this sport. Reading from a prepared script, he performs marginally, but when asked to fill dead air he is downright awful. He may have been really good at this when it was relevant to his knowledge base – 30 years ago, calling races where 40 dudes smuggle plums while sitting on a rail.  But his recent Olympic commentary was an outright embarrassment; never mind the five days where they couldn’t even figure out how to patch in any of his audio feed at all to the North American feed. When he finally did get it going, we all realized it was better with dead air.

But I digress from the matter at hand, which is, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Gary Jobson. The article in reference is the latest Jobson Report about the “NYYC Round The Island Race,” in which poor Gary and his team on the 12M Courageous ended the day on the bricks. The article immediately started with an incessant amount of whining, which was enough to make me wish I hadn’t started reading.   Hey – it could be worse: Gary could be reading it aloud, in which case I definitely would have given up before I got to the meat. You see, I wanted to know what he was going to write about the end of the race, his version of the last moments before the Courageous took a nasty bite out of the rocks along the shore of Fort Adams. Surely such a famous, well-respected, world class sailor, television commentator and author would give a proper accounting of what took place that fateful day. Well, so much for that!

The article for the most part, although boring and whiney, gave a fairly accurate description of the race conditions and how all the entire fleet ended up trying to finish at the same time. And then, the story turns into a stroll through fantasyland and launches Jobo’s arrogance and delusion into full effect.  I’ve broken it down to address his imagination-filled description (and no, quoting an article to beat on it is not copyright infringement –ed):

He starts out with some lecturing: “It is important to note that the fundamental purpose of The Racing Rules of Sailing is to prevent boats from having collisions. To force a collision to prove a point is bad practice and downright irresponsible. In the interest of safety and good seamanship, common sense must prevail.”

Then Gary starts storytelling: As we neared a known cluster of submerged rocks just off Fort Adams’ western shoreline, we tried to find an avenue to jibe back toward the finish line, which was only a few hundred yards away. But before we could we hit bottom, and the boat came to a near stop. The jolt shocked the crew.”

This is where the delusion really kicks in: “Next a group of 30 footers flying asymmetric spinnakers and sailing a higher course started yelling for us to get out of their way. Our response was to call for water, under RRS 19. Their response was to ignore our repeated request for room to avoid an obstruction. The foul language and actions of one hyper-aggressive sailor on the leeward boat were awful…Simultaneously, a 28-foot boat ahead of us gybed onto port. This boat had a draft of about 6.5 feet. The turned hard to port in an attempt to pass our bow, and unfortunately ran into our spinnaker. Our boat stopped, and then the leeward boat rammed us from the side, their mast piercing our mainsail. As if this were not enough, our need for water was proven correct: We went aground again…So here we are, a two time America’s Cup Defender, Courageous, sitting hard aground with our bow against the rocks onshore, with a 28 foot boat ensnared in our spinnaker and another boats mast sticking through our mainsail. The crew of the 28-footer was as shocked as we were and never said a word. The crew of the leeward boat continued yelling until we finally pushed off.

First of all, if you want to listen to the full story from my mouth, go to the 1:17:50 mark to hear it as I told Clean and Blazer during the SA Podcast here.  For those of you still reading, I apologize for making you read Gary’s fun little story, but it was so outrageously bad and out of touch with anything resembling reality that I had reality that I had to put it in perspective.  Now, let’s look at what really happened:

1) To force a collision to prove a point is bad practice and downright irresponsible. In the interest of safety and good seamanship, common sense must prevail.

We never forced a collision, Courageous slammed into the side of our boat then immediately T boned the J-88. Both collisions could and should have been avoided if “common sense” prevailed.

2) But before we could we hit bottom, and the boat came to a near stop. The jolt shocked the crew.” “Next a group of 30 footers flying asymmetric spinnakers and sailing a higher course started yelling for us to get out of their way.”

Reading this, one would assume that Courageous was  “near stopped”. We all know that these old dinosaurs don’t exactly accelerate at neck snapping speeds. So what is it …are you stopped or not? One might assume that the wild pack of 30 footers came racing in from behind with their newfangled asymmetrical spinnakers and started yelling at the poor Courageous who was on the rocks.  But what Gary fails to mention here is that all the boats in Gary’s crosshairs were WELL ahead of Courageous at this time. And we (Extreme 2) were calling for water from the boats outside of us before Courageous busted in and tried to thread the needle between our pack of small, shallow-draft boats and the rocks. Again, shouldn’t common sense prevail? Practice what you preach here, Jobo. You never ever should have put that boat in that position. That’s all on you, Chachi.

3) Their response was to ignore our repeated request for room to avoid an obstruction. The foul language and actions of one hyperagressive sailor on the leeward boat were awful. Simultaneously, a 28-foot boat ahead of us gybed onto port. This boat had a draft of about 6.5 feet. The turned hard to port in an attempt to pass our bow, and unfortunately ran into our spinnaker.

Here’s yet another problem.  While we were trying to avoid the rocks (still on starboard, asking for room from the pack of boats rafted up on our port side) we were already noticing that the J88 had gybed onto port to get away from the rocks themselves.  It was only then that Jobson’s Courageous came bombing in  (relatively speaking, mind you)  from clear astern under full kite, pole back, and main eased to the shrouds (Wait, weren’t they dead stopped?). Their boom smoked our skipper Dan Cheresh in the head, knocking him to the cockpit floor, and then continued to batter our boat, breaking all our main battens.  Their bow hit the J/88 in the port quarter (no, the J/88 didn’t ‘turn hard to port to attempt to pass your bow’), they gybed well before your band of merry men were even on our radar, again you approached from CLEAR ASTERN. Luckily the spoon bow of Courageous is so high it went above the hull and pushed it down.  A plumb bow or a lower one would probably have sunk the J/boat. BTW, a certain member of the Courageous afterguard was allegedly heard onshore commenting, “they were on port, so it was their fault…” So much for that whole collision avoidance thing…

4) Our boat stopped, and then the leeward boat rammed us from the side, their mast piercing our mainsail. As if this were not enough, our need for water was proven correct: We went aground again.”

We did not ram you; Dan’s head did not seek out your boom. You were not stopped; you hit us, and then almost annihilated that J-88. Then, you ended up on the bricks. This clearly states your boat was stopped, we somehow hit you from the side, and then you hit ground? Sorry Gary, this doesn’t pass the smell test.

5) “So here we are, a two time America’s Cup Defender, Courageous, sitting hard aground with our bow against the rocks onshore, with a 28 foot boat ensnared in our spinnaker and another boats mast sticking through our mainsail. The crew of the 28-footer was as shocked as we were and never said a word. The crew of the leeward boat continued yelling until we finally pushed off.”

IMG_2698

Courageous keel shows just how hard they bricked it. Great navigating!

We were well on our way towards the finish line when Courageous ended up with the bow on the rocks. But to me, it seems a 2 time Americas Cup Defender should know better than to attempt to squeeze a 50-ton dinosaur between a bunch of little sportboats and Fort Adams.  One would also think that a professional writer and noble yachtsman/tactician would have spent at least a small fraction of the time Gary put into this Sailing World piece to RESPOND TO OUR PROTEST?  If, indeed, you were stopped and were rammed by several other reckless boats, that surely would be a winnable protest scenario, right? Oh, wait – you didn’t even show up at the protest hearing, did you?  Not even when the jury made all sorts of extra effort to make sure your team was informed about the properly filed protest.  Somehow, that didn’t stop you from having Courageous lawyers try to re-open the protest 45 days later on some ridiculous basis – thank god the NYYC’s jury is above board – they gave you a big fat denial to you as a birthday present…

 

So here we are; you printed and published a silly, fact-challenged, Trumpian version of a big crash to try to escape the blame and shame you are owed, and any racer will easily be able to see your version doesn’t add up.

But there’s a silver lining in it for Gary Jobson; he has proved that when he finally lets someone younger and better than you take over the microphone, he has a hell of a career ahead of him writing fiction.

 

Petey Out

August 30th, 2016 by admin

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Canfield vs. Williams and Guichard vs. Robertson up next on the final day of the WMRT Newport. Forecast is looking good and we expect some of the most exciting racing of the season so far, and it’s all live from 2 PM ET.  Here’s how they got to the semifinals.

 

June 4th, 2016 by admin

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Viagra

No, this isn’t a real ad.  But it should be.

In reality, it’s 2016 World Tour favorite Taylor Canfield pitching it in on Day 1 of the WMRT Newport, one of about five capsizes over the first couple of days with zero damage and at most, the lost of one race for the wet crew. From first-hand experience, we can tell you that the full package – the boats, the licensing scheme, the simple and well-planned safety protocol, and the safety boat drivers – has turned a once-fearful occurrence into a minimal hassle.  Basically, if you have to choose between contact and tipping it in, you tip.  Fixing carbon wing bars gets expensive, but getting wet is free!

US-One and Sally’s Magenta Project both squeaked through after some boisterous and foggy qualifying racing with young Kiwi (and former Sperry SA Moth Worlds guest commentator) Chris Steele and his 36 Below team blazing through in first place after the fleet racing.

With Mr. Clean off racing Melges 24s at home, SF Cup commentary vet Andy Green will fill in on the microphone live from 1400 PM ET/1100PT/1900 UTC over here through Saturday, and effervescent and accomplished pro Stephanie Roble back on the commentary team.

We think this is an Ian Roman pic – let us know otherwise if it’s yours.

 

June 1st, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 10.51.55 AMAs any visitor to these pages knows well, the sailing community has almost universally shared a sense of betrayal over the ‘appropriation’ of the America’s Cup to another country by the American defender.  At the same time, San Francisco’s multi-million dollar AC shortfall and the bad taste left in San Diego and Newport’s mouths from ACEA’s negotiating sleaziness mean that sailing events in America have a tough road ahead if they’re going to try to repair some of the damage caused by Russell’s flying circus.

Thanks to the hard work of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sail Newport, and thousands of volunteers and cheerleaders, that job just got a hell of a lot easier; that’s because the numbers are in, and the Newport stopover for the VOR added some $32M in direct spending to the RI economy and nearly $50M in overall economic impact, with the government laying out only a tiny fraction of that amount to supply the stopover with services.

So even though we don’t know who will be running the next VOR or what teams we’ll see on the starting line, we’re pleased to share with you the news that the stopover voted ‘best’ by nearly every sailor, spectator, and reporter in the 2014-15 race has been confirmed to be BACK in May 2018, the only North American stop for the world’s most-watched sailboat race.  We congratulate everyone involved, and applaud Volvo and SailNewport management for doing smart business while also acting as custodians for the good name of the sport.

Imagine if Russell and the ACEA folks would learn that these are not mutually exclusive goals.

October 30th, 2015 by admin

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“The best Volvo Ocean Race stopover I’ve ever been to,” said one 10 year VOR veteran.

“Way, way better than anything AC34 did in San Fran,” said a former ACEA staffer.

“The best crowd I’ve seen at an American sailing event since the 12 meter days in Newport, and maybe even bigger than those days,” said one lifelong pro racer and Newport denizen.

SA’s final report on the regatta that returned America’s credibility to top-end racing is waiting for the final numbers from Sail Newport and VOR, but the above quotes sum it all up, and the summary is simple: Newport, Rhodey, the Northeast, and America got together and finally showed up for a sailboat race, and no one who was there will ever forget it.

We’ll have much more for you soon, but if you were there, pat yourself on the back.  You are the reason the VOR will be back, and you may have helped secure American funding for a real US team in the next one.

Our final video from the Sailing Anarchy/Sperry World Tour is more about the sailing lifestyle and the future of the sport than it is about any racing that happened in Newport.  Those things are far more important, and we hope you enjoy this film from Petey Crawford/Penalty Box Productions.  Thanks to Sperry for supporting our coverage; if you like it and you want to see more, tell ‘em on Facebook.

 

May 22nd, 2015 by admin

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You’ve got 40 minutes left before the start of Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race.  Spend the next 15 getting the very latest news from Mr. Clean’s Dock Walk, finished just minutes ago in a full frenzied Newport.

May 17th, 2015 by admin

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With the Race Village registering just under 100,000 bodies through the gate as of Saturday noon, Newport has now doubled the numbers of every other VOR stopover in the modern era.  With a nice 12-15 knot sea breeze, the weather is showing off too, and the silver-tonghed Kenny Read will be joining Knut, Nico, and Nialls in the commentary chair for today’s In-Port Race.  Watch it live above.

 

May 16th, 2015 by admin

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UPDATE: Dongfeng wins by 3 minutes!

With just a few miles to go to Newport, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are so close to Dongfeng that the tracker can’t discern one boat from another. Part of that is the crappy tracker, and part is the incredibly tight competition after two weeks of racing from Brazil; less than half a mile separates the top two boats, with another 6 back to Brunel.

If you’re in the area, get to the marinas and find a boat to go out and see just how close they are to the lead; if not, click here and watch the photo finish live in a couple of hours.  The Sperry/Sailing Anarchy media crew arrives next week; we don’t know what we’re bringing you yet, but we know it’ll be better than anything else you find about the VOR…

 

May 6th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 3.43.14 PM

Back in 5th place, just 20 miles from the leader, Team Alvimedica may be long odds for a podium finish into their hometown of Newport.  With a welcome like this one from Newport boutique the NEHC, maybe they won’t mind at all. Get down there yourself this week and show everyone that, contrary to what the America’s Cup proved, USA’nians do indeed love their sailing!  Check @NEHC for more topless sailing fan shots.

 

May 3rd, 2015 by admin

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twin peaks

As the days grow short, foiling Great Cup 32 sailors grow impatient, and last weekend, both the Hungarian team and the shiny new American team took advantage of autumn breeze to go record-hunting…

On Friday, Hungarian team RSM DTM (owned by Zsolt Kalocsai) smashed the ‘cross Lake Balaton’ record – also known as the Hungarian Sea – previously held by the Pauger P50 double masted cat.  The GC32 took less than two hours to complete the 49 NM course, and their time of 1h57m shaves almost a half hour, or more than 25% of the time off the long-standing record. Sure it was cold, but nothing warms like victory…and rum.   5000 miles away, the first-ever US-based GC32 Argo also had a strong first weekend despite landing a week earlier in Newport straight from the builder in Dubai.  As a Moth racer, two-boat Melges 32 campaigner, past M32 World Champ, and high-performance monohull guy, new owner Jason Caroll finally came over to the dark side with the GC32, and he didn’t waste any time.  Their first assault was the Around Jamestown Island Record and not because the season victor takes home his weight in rum.  Well, not entirely.  Thanks to its location just a few miles from the yachting wonders of Newport this record gets constantly attacked by some of the world’s best sailors, so it makes sense that it was a major goal for the Newport-based Argo team.  And attack they did: On just their third day sailing the boat, Argo notched the first sub-1 hour time ever recorded for the busy record.

IMG_2148With 16-22 knots from the West, Argo hit a top speed of over 37 knots enroute to a new record of 58 minutes and change for the AJIR, and here is the report from Argo program manager Chad Corning.

All it took was a two-day test session in La Baule, France last month for Jason to press ‘GO’ on a GC 32 of his own.  These boats are truly next-level stuff, with balanced power, adjustability and top end speeds that defy belief.  Our immediate goal would be the around Jamestown Island record which had been set in perfect conditions earlier this year by the Marstrom 32 Bronco.  

Once all the bits had arrived in Newport from around the globe, we had just four days to build the boat with Jim, Mischa, Macca and Mikey all working huge days to get it done.  We made it into the water Friday, and had a three day window to work to take a crack at the record.  

Conditions were fairly benign as we worked the boat up, but we still topped 30 knots of boat speed.  We took a stab at a lap of the island, but inconsistent pressure and a sub-optimal direction left us with a 1:20 time – 17 minutes short of glory.  Saturday was another great day with a near-vertical learning curve going and another bump in top speed to 33 knots.  Our attempt time came out about the same as Friday, as conditions remained just too light to get it done.  

Everyone was licking their chops though as we looked at the forecast for Sunday.  Fresh westerlies were on tap which would make for reaching on both long legs of the course – perfect.     IMG_2163Sunday dawned with more wind than forecast but from the right direction.  GAME ON!

A quick test run prior to starting proved that the boat was a absolute beast in the breeze-on conditions.  The first leg out to Beavertail was slightly cracked from upwind on starboard and we skimmed or foiled at 16-18 knots.  A quick tack and we were off on a broad reach down the back side of the island, a condition that the GC 32 likes, to say the least.  Our hair was fully on fire on this leg, though we had to take a two minute pit stop at the north tip of the island to repair the rudder down line which had broken.  After nailing a jibe it was all on to the finish.   The moment of the day came when we rode a big lifting puff to 37 knots of boatspeed.  With board-flat water, the boat just wanted to go, and we all foresaw a 40-knot ride.  But the puff faded, and as we neared the Newport Bridge, the boat dug its nose in heavily.  With the port foil hitting a lobster pot, the horizontal element of the foil quickly became vertical at 30+ knots and the bottom half cleanly sheared away.  With the record in hand, we low-rode into the finish eventually stopping the clock at 58 minutes and 31 seconds, the first sub 1-hour lap of the island.   On board for the record – Jason Carroll, Mischa Heemskerk, Cameron Appleton, Mike Kuschner, Michael Barnes and Chad Corning while Andrew Macpherson from GC and our boat captain Jim “Grande” Condon manned the chase boat.  Team Argo has a lot to learn in this new world, but our first taste was extremely satisfying.    

The Argo GC32 heads south for the winter and will be joined by more GC32′s from Europe for some winter foiling – we’ll have some more news on that program soon.  Short vid of the Opti fleet flyby here, and a bit of post-crash non-foiling here.

October 28th, 2014 by admin

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