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Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

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The Clearwater, FL 49er and 49er FX Worlds are live for the final two days of the important qualifier.  Watch Pete Burling and Blair Tuke humiliate everyone else.  The iconic Peter Lester leads the commentary over a mix of drone and on-board video, and it’s worth a watch.  Results over here.

 

February 13th, 2016 by admin

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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.

 

February 1st, 2016 by admin

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There have been precious few counterpoints to the Rio pollution monster, and while the author of the below piece is wrong about quite a few things (namely that our own SA staff spent dozens of hours in-country investigating the situation on both water and land, talking to locals, and speaking with Brazilian scientists), it’s good to see some of that famous Brazilian pride come out. 

Hi there, I am a sailor from Rio. until recently on 49er campaign for the Olympics. just lost the qualifying to Marco Grael (yes, Torben’s son). I see you are a big critic on Rio pollution. Not sure how much of it is to make news and get hits or how much of it is actually of interest to you.

I did notice as well that you have never talked to a single Brazilian regarding this matter. Never contacted a single club in Guanabara Bay, I dare to say you have never even sailed there. You might find some different pov.

Dont get me wrong, I am not trying to state that there is no pollution, or that people should not push for depolution. I just want to raise a point – can sailing be done in Guanabara Bay?

I think it’s histerical to hear that ISAF president says he would resign if he doenst get depolution. What does he know about politics in Rio? Did you know that there are 15 municipalities around the bay? that the biggest water treatment plant in Latin America is right there, but the Mayor of that town refuses to clean the shit of the neigbour town?

Anyway, again off the point, but would just like to overstate how these brits are still thinking collonialy.

Every year, the Opti Nationals are packed with over 100 little kids. Every year Rio has the biggest fleet from all states. So this means that every year, on your opinion, really stupid parents allow their sons and daughters to face death when sailing their optis around the bay, or the lagoon (even worse polution). But aren’t these the same parents who run one of the biggest economies on the planet?

Is there a chance they are not too stupid? that they know, albeit polluted, it is not as harmful as advertised?

I find it really strange that all these little kids manage to sail their way around the plastic bags, find their gusts, round their marks, and those big boys with medals and sponsors, cant even put their boats on the water.

Getting your info from germ free americans, or isaf bureocrats might not be the best source of info.

Through this Olympic Cicle I have hosted 8-10 teams from different countries and classes. Still to find 1 who says this place isnt paradise. Can you picture this with crystal clear water? I think it’s just a way of making it fair with everywhere else.

Cheers from a SA follower
Thomas Low-Beer

 

January 29th, 2016 by admin

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Sailing Anarchy Senior Editor Mr. Clean finally tracked down double gold medalist Malcolm Page, the new spokesman and Chief Marketing Officer of World Sailing, to get the inside story on all the controversies piling up in ISAF’s inbox.  Page didn’t always give a complete answer but he didn’t back down, and a 20 minute chat turned into nearly an hour-long interview on the lawn at Coral Reef Yacht Club.  Want to know the latest directly from ISAF/WS about the Israel visa scandal and World Sailing’s response?  How about the name change?  Rio pollution, the loss of spectator stands, the Zika virus, the million-dollar-a-year World Sailing TV plan, and watching the Olympics?  It’s all here, along with much more.  Rather than take the time to mix the video with the audio, we’re presenting this one as an audio-only podcast; you can listen above or download it for later from Mixcloud.

NOTE: Those of you looking to watch the live broadcast of the Miami medal races on Saturday need to either get a VPN or make sure your cable includes ESPN.  Contrary to what Mal told us during the interview, the live stream is NOT available in the US unless you have pay TV, but strangely, it’s not even on pay TV – it’s only available through online broadcaster ESPN3.  So the first shot at livestreaming this cycle in the USA begins with a non-measurable, highly restrictive internet broadcast that seems likely to reach a few thousand people at best.

Not a great start to the brilliant World Sailing TV plan to take over the world, but that’s what happens when you pay a 65-year old man to distribute your media in 2016…

 

January 28th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 8.18.29 AM“Rio vowed Sunday to protect Olympic athletes and fans from Zika-carrying mosquitoes, blamed for causing horrific birth defects.” So says the AP.

Forgive us for not trusting the same Rio government that once promised a clean bay, and if you must go, pack your DEET if you ever want to have kids. Remember:

It only takes one bite, and it’s coming to a neighborhood near you (and for the really good news, it seems to be sexually transmittable, too).

 

January 25th, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 2.11.19 PMFlorida’s first three Zika infections were reported yesterday, and along with the horrible damage the virus can do to babies, another rare disease may be connected to the the mosquito-borne Zika.  CDC and Brazilian health authorities are now trying to figure out how Zika may be triggering or causing the Guillain-Barré syndrome, which causes nerve damage, paralysis, and in rare cases, death.  Cases of the rare disease have increased significantly in the past few months, and who knows what other nastiness this little bug may be capable of?

Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Jamaica have all officially asked women to delay becoming pregnant until more can be learned about Zika, while in the US, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and Hawaii have confirmed Zika infections involving returning travelers who were likely bitten by mosquitoes while abroad.  While the Olympics is the last thing anyone with a baby on the way is thinking about, Zika threatens to do the impossible and overshadow even the ongoing media scrum around Guanabara Bay’s pollution.

With Rio 2016 already scrapping bleachers and stands for sailing, swimming, and paddling events, plans for permanent facilities thrown in the trash, and ticket sales moving at a snail’s pace, much of the Brazilian public is wishing its government had stayed away from the 5-ring circus.  And perhaps the biggest antidote for those seeking to host more super-events like the Games is this: Some scientists believe the Zika outbreak in Brazil can be traced to African tourists who came over in 2014 to watch the FIFA World Cup.

One SA reader told us there is no screwing around.  We’ll share his full e-mail:

Good job presenting the scare factor.  Yes, Zika is scary shit.  So are you ready for an article about the ONLY thing that sailors can do…Get self-protection against mosquito bites with modern, effective mosquito repellents.  We call it Personal Protection.

Signed:  David A. Carlson, Ph.D.  [World expert on mosquito protection, 200 publication in scientific papers, Research Chemist (Ret. after 37 years) at USDA, Center for Medical Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL]

 

January 22nd, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.39.35 AMAs we pointed out last week, ISAF WORLD SAILING’s mealy-mouthed response to Malaysia’s violation of ISAF and IOC rules in their discrimination against Israeli sailors didn’t actually say much, nor, in our opinion, will it prevent a repeat violation amongst the Israel-haters hosting many of ISAF’s coming events.  As far as we can tell, ISAF WORLD SAILING hasn’t even invalidated the World Championship status of the Langkawi event despite clear noncompliance with the Racing Rules of Sailing and the ISAF/Malaysia’s Host Venue Agreement – and the fact that two of the perennial medal winning juniors couldn’t attend.

We’re not sure why World Sailing is so weak-kneed and impotent, but usually these things flow downward from the top; perhaps President Carlo Croce is too busy? Remember, this guy – ostensibly running the organization governing the entire world’s sailboat racing – is also the President of the Italian Sailing Federation and the President of Italy’s biggest yacht club.  Busy man?

Like us (and anyone else who’s been paying attention), the Israel Sailing Association has no faith in ISAF World Sailing, and they’re not going to hide quietly by while their athletes are unlawfully excluded from this Olympic-funded sport.  After reading the World Sailing statement on Malaysia’s malfeasance,  the ISA asked on Monday for a guarantee from Croce that Israeli sailors won’t be excluded from any future ISAF events.

“We are very concerned that their decisions have no teeth,” ISA President Gili Amir told The Jerusalem Post. “If we don’t remain on guard, we will find ourselves in the same situation ahead of the championships in Oman as we did in Malaysia.

“There are a lot of politics involved, and everyone just wants to get away with the minimum required. The president is facing an election in November and this is all politics. He wants everyone to support him. No one knows what will happen the day after the president is chosen and we are concerned.

“If there isn’t a proper warning period to make sure host countries act according to the Olympic Charter and that if they don’t they will lose the competition or be barred from taking part in the Olympics or sanctions of that sort which can change their stance, there is no point to this entire episode.”

Israel’s Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan did not have an opportunity to defend their titles at the Youth World Championships in Langkawi, Malaysia, earlier this month after the ISA said that it will not be participating in the event due to the demands made by the organizers and the fact the surfers had yet to receive visas.

The ISA claimed that it was told the surfers would not compete under the Israel flag, wouldn’t be allowed to use any symbol identifiable with Israel on their cloths or surfboards and that the national anthem would not be played should an Israeli win a gold medal.

“We are disappointed that Malaysia hasn’t been punished,” said Amir.  “We are also skeptical whether World Sailing plans to enforce its own decisions.  We are afraid that this is all politics and we only trust ourselves.”

After investigating the matter, World Sailing wrote in a statement last week that “all World Sailing championships involve an element of country representation, and at all these regattas, flags shall be displayed and winners’ anthems played. They shall be displayed and played equally for all competitors.

Organizing Authorities who are not able to meet this requirement should not bid, and will not be selected, to host future World Sailing championships.”

The sport’s governing body said that it “deeply regrets” that Israel’s representatives were unable to compete “due to the conditions imposed by the Malaysian authorities,” but also added that the ISA’s conduct contributed to the unfortunate outcome.

“That is complete nonsense. We did exactly what we were supposed to,” insisted Amir. “They received our letter 24 hours before we sent it to the media. They are telling tales. They had to somehow appease the Malaysians so they wrote that nonsense. It is entirely inaccurate. We went exactly by the book and they are looking for excuses after not meeting their obligations.”

Amir believes money is ultimately the source of the problem.

“Organizing an international sailing competition is an expensive business and World Sailing chooses countries in which it makes money,” explained Amir. “Places like Oman, Malaysia or Abu Dhabi pay World Sailing a lot of money to host events. They don’t even have any sailors so what incentive do they have other than a political one?

“This is a growing trend in recent years, with more rich Muslim countries bidding for competitions. We are waging a battle for all of Israeli sport and this shouldn’t be the case because this isn’t our private war. Israel has a Foreign Ministry, Sports Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office and I see this as their responsibility. They don’t give us the support we need. We shouldn’t even need to deal with this.”

Read the rest of the story here.

 

January 21st, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 10.07.41 AMHamburg (along with Krakow, Munich, St. Mortitz, Stockholm and Oslo and pretty much every other responsible city on earth) made news earlier this year when they walked away from its 2022 Olympic bid for obvious reasons: No one wants to share the worldwide humiliation of Rio, nor can many cities stomach the 11-figure economic hits that China or Russia swallowed as both headed for economic recessions.  And as far as we know, no one needs to distract the world while they invade their neighbor with tanks and artillery.  With the choices narrowed down to two countries with the now-expected awful human rights records, the bid was awarded to the worst of them; a country that already screwed with the IOC, athletes, and the media the last time around.

In an ironic twist, the much-beloved keelboat recently removed from the Olympics continues its resurgence in Hamburg with an incredible 70 boats entered in just 24 hours to the Star Sailors League event in Hamburg this May; that’s the limit, and if you want to enter, you need to get on the waiting list!

While a big pile of cash prizes sure helps despite the fact that only the invited VIPs have a real shot at the hundred-grand purse, it’s good to see an event succeed almost entirely due to the perseverance of its charismatic owner.  There’s a lesson to be learnt as well: If you don’t stick to your guns for three or four years, you will never succeed in this slow-moving, conservative sport.

For more about the huge problems plaguing the 5-ring clown show that’s the modern olympics, read this piece.

 

January 18th, 2016 by admin

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Former US Sailing Team member John Casey launched the sport’s first real podcast last week, and he’s not screwing around; JC’s most recently-dropped show features former US Marine and now US Sailing Team Sperry racer Danny Evans getting deep into – well, everything.  You’ll get two hours of a very interesting guest chat, including the gory details of Evans’ horrendous injury (fast forward if you’re squeamish), the real reasons the Paralympics dropped sailing from the 2020 Olympics, how amputees can best sail fast beach cats and foilers, how much quicker John Casey’s Nacra 20FCS is than Ben Ainslie’s, and how much JC wishes he had Danny’s upper body.   A great two hours of sailing chitchat, and we listened to every second.  You should too.

Hook up with Evans’ Facebook Page over here, and bookmark JC’s podcast page over here.

 

December 29th, 2015 by admin

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With a real recession settling into the Brazilian economy, ISAF and Rio 2016 officials sound increasingly pessimistic about any kind of real cleanup happening before the Rio Olympics this summer. If the long-promised cleanup doesn’t happen, their solution – moving the boats further offshore, out of the (literal) shit – looks like a non-starter, at least if you believe the second round of water testing from the Associated Press.  Teams and staff: Make sure your health insurance is up to date.  Here’s the AP:

Olympic sailor Erik Heil floated a novel idea to protect himself from the sewage-infested waters he and other athletes will compete in during next year’s games: He’d wear plastic overalls and peel them off when he was safely past the contaminated waters nearest shore.

 Heil, 26, was treated at a Berlin hospital for MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria, shortly after sailing in an Olympic test event in Rio in August. But his strategy to avoid a repeat infection won’t limit his risk.

A new round of testing by The Associated Press shows the city’s Olympic waterways are as rife with pathogens far offshore as they are nearer land, where raw sewage flows into them from fetid rivers and storm drains. That means there is no dilution factor in the bay or lagoon where events will take place and no less risk to the health of athletes like sailors competing farther from the shore.

“Those virus levels are widespread. It’s not just along the shoreline but it’s elsewhere in the water, therefore it’s going to increase the exposure of the people who come into contact with those waters,” said Kristina Mena, an expert in waterborne viruses and an associate professor of public health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “We’re talking about an extreme environment, where the pollution is so high that exposure is imminent and the chance of infection very likely.”

Read on, and talk about it in the busy thread here.

 

December 2nd, 2015 by admin

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