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Posts Tagged ‘Newport’

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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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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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Rossi Milev’s final report from last week’s J/24 Worlds has reappeared from the hole it fell down, and here it is. Congrats to Rossi and the team on a solid 7th place, and a big thanks to all of them for contributing to 6 great reports from yet another strong J/24 WC.  Also a big congrats to winner Will Welles and his crew on their first J/24 Worlds victory, especially long time Anarchist and contributor Luke Lawrence, who becomes one of the year’s super successful one-design sailors.  Luke adds the Worlds to a list of diverse overall wins including the Bacardi Cup (Viper), Charleston Race Week (Viper), Celebrity Pro-Am Nantucket (IOD), J/24 Nationals, and the Medal Race in the Finns at the Miami OCR, as well as 6th in the J/70 Worlds and 15th at the Jaguar Cup. Here’s the report from our favorite Canadian Bulgarian.  Vote on your favorite photo from J/24 Worlds at the Class Facebook page.

Brad Read made the call at 830 AM – it’s the Worlds, and that means we’re going out to the ocean again.  And what an EPIC day it was!  Very windy on the way to the course, and we were thinking the jib was the call again.  Waves were 90 degrees to the wind and looked a lot like day one, but the wind was from the NNE.  I wished it was day one and I could start this regatta over again from the beginning…

We had a nice 30-minute tune up with Will, with our boat finally moving really well upwind.  We’d moved the mast butt forward a bit to get less forestay sag, and the boat felt lit up. It’s always amazing when you find the sweet spot with the tune just right, and the boat just transforms herself into something beautiful.  Maybe she is called a ‘she’ for a reason!

In Race One, we again had a solid start just under the midline boat, burning boats off our hip until we looked good again.  The breeze was dying a bit since we tuned up and the shifts becoming bigger and more unpredictable.  We tack to port and look launched – until the next righty came in again and we can’t cross.  A few more tacks back to the left and we’ve gotta win our side.  Some things never change.

A very tight fleet at the top with Mollicone rounding ahead by a length or two over Will, with Tar Heel following.  We rounded fifth, and with good right shifts on the downwind it was a drag race to the mark and the new course change.  Not much changed for the rest of the race, with the order at the finish mostly matching the order at that first rounding.  With Mauricio Santa Cruz out of the top ten, it was now a three boat regatta – not gonna be a lot of match racing in the last race!

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 6.49.40 AMAs we grabbed another good start – five in a row now – I found myself wishing again that the regatta started on Monday.  We went straight again, looking good and playing the left, though the leg repeated the first race; right with more pressure and left shifts short but strong, making you put the bow just high enough to clear the waves and grab the lift.  Climbing up the ladder was tricky.

Mauricio was very patient on the left, surviving to round on Chile’s Matias Seguel stern.  Welles in third again, and we were top ten.  With Helly Hanson in the twenties and not a lot of passing lanes, the race between Will and Mauricio was on – but the boats behind suffered in few-to-no-gybe drag race.  A big left shift on the second upwind inverted the fleet, and some corner bangers made huge gains on the left; we went middle right and lost twenty boats.  Not the way we wanted to finish!

On the other hand, we were overjoyed for our long time friend and tuning partner Will Welles and his crew for fighting right to the end and winning a title that’s eluded Will for decades.  Well done, guys.

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 6.48.34 AMThe awards ceremony was a class act and a great finishing touch to a Worlds that celebrated the 35th anniversary of the first one.  Can you imagine predicting that the J/24 would still provide some of the world’s best keelboat racing a third of a century after its first Worlds?

Feel free to question that by coming to Germany next year and trying to win.  If you do, your name will be in some great company.

A huge thanks to Lavalife.com, Sailing Anarchy, and DryUV for their support of our Toronto-based team, which included Trimmer Chris Ball, Mast Mike McKeon, Bow Whitney Prossner and Tactician Chris Snow.  We hope you enjoyed our stories.



October 6th, 2014 by admin

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140925_TODD_0250While our good friend Rossi and the Clear Air/Lavalife/Sailing Anarchy team didn’t win the J/24 Worlds, they sailed a strong top-ten regatta while writing daily reports for all you J/24 fans, and we’re damned proud of them.  Here’s the report from the penultimate day of the event – come back tomorrow for the final report. Paul Todd photo and some huge galleries to browse from Worlds at this link.  

Day Four

The RC made a good call racing us inside the Bay, North of the Newport bridge, with wind forecast to increase to upper teens gusting in the twenties – too rough for the RC to anchor outside (and here is a good time to thank all the volunteers  on and off the water – without you, we can’t race so thanks!).  The bay is plenty big and made for a good tricky race course for 70+ boats.  The local guys maybe had a small advantage, but conditions were very tricky for everyone.

We had a good start and headed to the left shore with Will Welles, Hillman, and Tony Parker  just to leeward.  It looked like our side was favoured and we could tack and cross the fleet but we were convinced the left was the way to go and did not want to give that up. Well, a 20 degree right shift came in half the way up the beat and we went from wining to salvage mode in a hurry.  We took many transoms to make it to the right and rounded the mark in the 40s or 50s.  On the other hand, team HH and few others that I could not even see were well ahead of the fleet.

We gybed on the mark and few more righties helped us pass a pack of boats that went straight. Rounded the bottom mark in the mid 20s, finally a small break for Clear Air!  A few more breaks came our way on the upwind, and we passed a few more to finish 14th.   Again out of the top ten but we were happy about decent recovery.  A few boats got stuck on the left and could not get out – one of them was regatta leader Will Welles, making life harder for his team with a 46.

Race 2  gave us another good start on the boat, feeling good until the boats that started in the middle tacked and were crossing.  We tack to leeward and head back to the right, favored all day.  We tack back short of layline, anticipating it to be very busy place.  That worked out very well for us and a small left shift at the top put us in fifth around the mark.  Has our luck changed?

Motorhome with local fleet fifty sailor and past world champion Jens Hookanson calling the shots rounded the mark first with a small lead, with Will behind and Mauricio just behind him. Will and Mauricio started fighting (they had been 1-2 for most of the week) and that opened up some space for us to sail our own race. Mauricio managed to get inside at the bottom mark and passed Will, while we went to the right gate and once again, a shift came our way and we were gone from the fleet. Motorhome won the race comfortably, while the Japanese boat Gekko passed us to get second.  Behind us the fight was on; Mauricio ,Will, and Hillman finished overlapped at the finish line and Mauricio got the all-important two points on Will.

Racing on the bay felt much more like the lake conditions we know so well.  Check back tomorrow for the final day’s report!


September 30th, 2014 by admin

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Rossi checks back in for a Day 2 report from the J/24 Worlds.  Full results here, more great Paul Todd/OutsideImages shots over here, and some real time coverage at the J/24 Facebook Page here.

After two hours of postponement for Day Two, we were off the dock at 11 – the best call the RC made all day!  By the time we got out on the ocean, the Newport sea breeze was building nicely.  We waited for a short little postponement on the water while the wind shifted between 200 and 230. Waves were much smaller if any factor at all.

The RC had a tough time holding the three-boat line on station, with one end always favored; Race Three for the championship hit a few General Recall snags; finally, a Black Flag start sent the fleet off with a handful picking up BFDs.  I again screwed the start up, and we were hosed – tacking to port to salvage.  Halfway up the beat I second-guessed my tactician Chris Snow and made him go hard right; that was expensive at the top mark when the left came in hard on our approach.  Oops.

Carter White led the race at the mark with Mike Ingaham in second or third; I lost track after that looking for a place to dig into the starboard tack train.  After an average downwind and a great second beat – we tacked maybe 6 times on that shortened leg but still somehow passed a few boats – we finished 14th.  We’ll take that, and move on.

Race two was a messier story for many; after two general recalls and around ten boats getting the BFD boot off the line, we took a seventh in the last race and moved up to the top ten.  Team Tarheel won the day and is looking solid now, while Tony Parker is on the move.  Will Welles is looking untouchable and Mauricio may be the only one with a shot at him, but it’s still early days and the throwout comes in after today’s first race.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.18.26 PMA number of top competitors – including Day One leader Mark Hillman’s boat and the Helly Hanson team- were still in the protest room at 10 PM.  Not sure how they can get rid of the BFD but you never know what happens in the room.

With the lighter northerly breeze forecasted for the next few days the dogfight is on, and will be a good one until the last leg on the last race. Things are just warming up here in Newport.

Rossi Milev,  CAN 5483 Clear Air/Lavalife.com/Sailing Anarchy


September 24th, 2014 by admin

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Clean Report

The B-Squared Racing/Sailing Anarchy J/70 nestles into her mobile 34-foot barn as the inaugural J/70 Worlds ends, along with any notion I had of being a world-class tactician.  The team of Brian Elliott, Bryan Cameron, Whitney Prossner and me managed a 33rd out of 86 boats and 6th of 38 amateur teams.  I’m still licking my wounds as I head north along the Maine coast to check out the new VPLP 100′ canter Comanche at Hodgdon Yachts today, and when I can find some time tonight or tomorrow along the highway back to Detroit, I’ll get my full regatta download online for you to read.  The first J/70 Worlds had a bit of everything, and I’m damned glad I made it, even if I left unsatisfied on a number of fronts – especially my own performance.

Read the full event press release here in the meantime.


September 15th, 2014 by admin


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