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Posts Tagged ‘records’

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When the sailing community heard that French multihull phenom Yann Guichard was dating billionaire pharaceutical heiress Dona Bertarelli, plenty of jaded sailors smiled knowing smiles for the Frenchmen’s good luck.  Six years, an engagement, and a hundred thousand miles or so later, we’ve all accepted that Dona ain’t just another ultra-rich swiss sailor, and in this 15-minute interview with Mr. Clean shot last week in Sweden, the fastest female sailor on the planet shows that she’s the real deal and then some.

The down-to-earth Dona talks about women in professional sailing and her LadyCat program (and whether we’ll see it on the M32 circuit), where the Spindrift name comes from, the great (and not so great) things about racing around the world with your lover, whether the World Match RAcing Tour will once again become the feeder for the America’s Cup, and just how likely it is to see a second Bertarelli and the first-ever female-owned team challenging for the America’s Cup.  Clean’s obviously crushing on this amazing role model pretty hard; watch above and you might be too.

You can watch Dona’s soon-to-be husband racing all next week in the million dollar finale to the World Match Racing Tour in Marstrand, live (with Clean’s gravelly voice on the mic) from the 4th to the 9th.  More here.

 

July 1st, 2016 by admin

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Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 1.56.29 PM“Please accept my resignation.  I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member” – Groucho Marx, in a letter to the Friar’s Club (1958).

We’re not sure whether Lending Club CEO and oceangoing record holder Renaud LaPlanche’s ouster from the company he founded was the result of something shady he did, or simply the culmination of years of attacks designed to bring down the young, disruptive businessman who built the largest online vendor in the US in a few short years.  There’s a DOJ investigation underway, so if their paymasters haven’t been bought off by bank lobbysists, we might just get to the truth – someday.

Whether his forced resignation last month and the subsequent tanking of Lending Club stock was engineered by massive and nasty establishment banks and their minions, LaPlanche’s days of assaulting records with big multihulls are over, at least for the time being.  That leaves the ever-game Phaedo and John Sangmeister’s now-foiling ex-ORMA Tritium (which is racing to Alaska with former Lending Club skipper Ryan Breymaier aboard in a couple weeks) to carry the American flag in the offshore recordbreaking game.  Who’s up next?

 

June 1st, 2016 by admin

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We are total junkies for pretty much anything Paul Larsen does.  And when it has to do with foils, supercavitation, and ludicrous speed, we can’t look away.  So here’s a long report – with almost no sailing in it at all – that we ripped from the SailRocket site in full.  Go see Paul’s creation at the Advanced Engineering Show in Birmingham, England on the 4th and 5th of November.

Well, to be honest, that all got a much closer to really happening than we expected when we set out. In the end the real show stopper was the same old nemesis of all speed sailors… the weather. The forecast changed rapidly and the stiff SW-WSW winds we were looking for simply faded away. These winds would have enabled us to run in close to the Cause-way along the shore where the water is flat and we have places to rig, launch, lower and retrieve the boat. Alex and I went out in a RIB (Thanks Tom Peel) and surveyed the course on the expected 1.25 meter tide. I haven’t done this since we last sailed SR1 here in 2006. I was surprised to see how close I could get in and there was actually a lot more room than I was expecting. It was definitely do-able… almost comfortable.

THE RED LINE SHOWS THE PROPOSED COURSE WE WOULD AIM TO TAKE. WE WOULD TOW SR2 TO THE BEACH AT UPPER LEFT AND RAISE THE WING THERE. SR2 WOULD THEN BE EASED OUT AND ALLOWED TO DRIFT DOWN-WIND UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE SUPPORT RIB. ONCE CLEAR OF THE SHORE SHE WOULD BE RELEASED AND I WOULD TRY AND GET HER STARTED BY SAILING HER BACK INTO THE WIND TO CREATE APPARENT WIND AND ALIGN ALL THE WING SECTIONS. ONCE OVER HER LOW SPEED DRAG HUMP AND SAILING BACK IN TOWARDS THE SHORE, I WOULD CONTROL HER SPEED TO BOTH INCREASE IT AND PREPARE FOR A GOOD LINE UP WITH THE SPEED COURSE ALONG THE SHORE. THE COURSE (LONGEST STRAIGHT LINE HERE) WOULD GIVE ME A GOOD FAST 500 METER STRETCH. I WOULD THEN HAVE ENOUGH ROOM AND DEPTH TO SHEET OUT, SLOW DOWN, TURN AWAY FROM THE SHORE AND GIVE MYSELF ROOM TO ROUND UP INTO THE WIND AND STOP. FROM THERE A RIB WOULD RE-ATTACH AND TOW ME TO THE SHORE SO WE COULD LOWER THE WING. TOTAL DISTANCE 1.26 MILES.

Regardless of the fact we didn’t actually get on the water, it was an excellent excercise for all of us. Sailrocket 2 now goes away completely battle ready, serviced and dry. It showed we could sail her on short notice if need be. I am also confident we could do a 50+ knot run in Portland Harbour on a decent day.

Other aspects raised their heads such as getting the Third Party liability Insurance that would be required to operate in the Harbour. The Harbour Masters Office sounded as keen as us to see us on the water but understandably wanted boxes to be ticked, a risk assessment ot be presented and to be there on site themselves to monitor it. That’s all fair. Thankyou to everyone who piled in with help, advice and contacts regarding the Insurance. Only one company, Fastnet Marine Insurance, came up with anything solid we could have gone forward with on such short notice. Basically it was going to cost £1,000 or therabouts to do one run. It was a lot for what was going to be a “jolly” but once again, understandable considering  the request and the short notice. Thanks to some of you who offered to contribute to it all. I will continue the discussion with the Harbour Master and also with the Insurance companies so that we will be better prepared if a next time comes.

So that was the only weather window we had. Sailrocket 2 will have her now completed wing put on her one more time in front of the WPNSA on Thursday… just so all those at Weymouth Speed Week… and anyone else who passes by can have a good look. After that she gets stored away in her container in preparation for appearing as a guest at the upcoming Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC in Birmingham from 4-5th of November. We will be there on site to show her off.

A VISIT FROM SPEED SAILING ROYALTY…

Despite not sailing the Rocket yesterday, we did have a visit from one of the sport’s true heroes. Erik Beale flew in especially to see us. Erik was the first sailor to do a 40 knot run in 1988 and he is still firing his windsurfing creations down trenches today.

We have had long Skype discussions about foils and various concepts but never met in person. The thought of having him present whilst doing a run was pretty tantalizing. Nonetheless it was great to see him and share some of our ideas. In fact, there was almost too much to talk about and I hope we get another longer chance to chat at leisure. It’s always a great pleasure for me to sit and hear the stories direct from those who did it. The inside personal perspective. The little details that only they remember. It needs to be the right environment and company for it to come out. I had the chance to sit on the end of an empty bar in Walvis Bay,2007 and listen to Finian Maynard tell me of his big day. Sailrocket 1 was still sub 40′s and crashing regularly. I remember walking home (well, to the container where we were sleeping) alone in the dark, strong wind. I stopped and stood in front of the silhouette of our first creation just buzzing and wondering if I would get the chance to share such a moment with some other dreamer one day.

Erik is designing, building, testing and competing with a host of foils which are trying to use similar concepts to those which we used i.e. base ventilation. He is also dealing a lot with cavitation and the various options for cross-overs. It’s a fascinating puzzle and definitely one worth tackling. I described how good our concept was at showing the nature of the problem. The huge amount of stability the Bernard Smith concept gave us allowed us, at times, to just pour raw power at the foils to see if we could bust through the drag and get a higher number. We only ever did once. 52 knots was our nemesis with up to 7 different foils, 2 boats and all conditions. Our first wedge foil managed to hit a peak of 54 knots once (with a WIRED journalist in the back).

The point I’m making is that the drag becomes severe, the curve goes up hard. It’s a real barrier that needs different solutions. We knew we needed power and that’s why we liked the Bernard Smith concept. Whether or not the “surfers” (kite or wind) can make the foil concepts work for their applications remains to be seen. The thing is that you need to try… and be persistent. Often the solutions come from strange and unexpected places. Sometimes, it’s staring you right in the face but you’re looking straight through it only to laugh later when you realise. We don’t show many people our 65-knot foil. I showed Erik. I like the path he has chosen and the passion with which he is still tackling it. It’s inspiring. Good luck with the conditions in Luderitz, mate.

FAST COMPANY. A COMBINED SPEED SAILING RECORD HAUL OF 250+ KNOTS. (L to R): PETE VAN HOOF, ME, ERIK BEALE, DAVE WHITE, ZARA DAVIS.

So Sailrocket and all the various Insurance companies were stood down. It was raining and the wing was left in the Hangar at the Academy. I rigged up the A-class in preparation for the lighter afternoon winds now forecast. I was desperate to go sailing on this wonderful new foiling toy. Malcolm was out sailing his latest back-yard creation and i was keen to play. There is still so much potential for this to be a great week for sailing… especially with so many amazing new dinghies coming out all making big speed claims. It’s what this week is all about. Moths, Phantoms, Nacras, A’s, Whispers, C-fly’s, kite-boards, i-flys, AC45′s… the south coast is full of them and yet they spread out almost avoiding each other. Surely this week could bring them together to line up, discuss,inspire, share and just enjoy each others company. Luca Rizzotti has done a great job with The Foiling Week so maybe he should join up with the long history of this event on these shores. The WPNSA and Portland Harbour provides a fantastic venue for all manner of craft. There’s not many places that could handle all the diversity speed-sailing has to offer.

At the end of play yesterday, there were two boats on the water, Malcolm’s and mine. We wove back and forth across Portland Harbour in the dramatic light enjoying our craft. The forecast we wanted for Sailrocket to run had truly not materialised but it was good enough for these two to play. I finally got in some good foiling runs on the A-class and just loved every second of it. I feel a lot more in control in Sailrocket at 50 knots than I do two feet high on an A-class at 18 or so knots. Yeah there’s a lot of fun still to be had way down the range.

So that’s it for now. if you want to sit in the hot-seat… then come down tomorrow. If you can’t make it then come to the NEC in Early November. If you want to sit in it… just ask. If you don’t ask, you don’t get:) Now, if you do sit in it, you can know this: If this thing you are sitting in, as she sits today, was fired off down the right course in the right wind…and you sheet that little white rope in to that little mark…there’s not a sailboat in the world that will even come close. She’s good to go.

Thanks to everyone who helped. It really is appreciated. That’s why we share it.

Paul

 

October 16th, 2015 by admin

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IMG_9852_1920x1080The outright sailing speed record they own is in no danger of being broken, but Paul Larsen and the Sailrocket 2 folks are wheeling the orange girl out of the shed for a go anyway.  It’s not an official record attempt, but the breeze is on in Weymouth; is 70 knots in the cards?

Full details on Larsen’s blog here, and the ongoing discussion of Sailrocket continues here.

 

October 5th, 2015 by admin

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rio-100

We dig this posterized shot of Manouch Moshayedi’s Bakewell-White 100 Rio shot yesterday cruising up Newport Harbor as she gets ready for her run at the Barn Door Trophy when the final Transpac gun sounds off tomorrow.  As required by the Transpac There’s no canting keel, powered ballast pumps, or powered winches for this bad boy, though there is a seriously stacked crew for this pure sailing machine.

In a world where it takes $35 million dollars and a diesel-burning 100-footer to beat a 7-year old record held by a 70 footer (by about 4%), and where both those records are a sad joke compared to what unpowered multihulls have been doing for a decade, we applaud Manouch’s purer goal, and we wish he and the crew the best of luck.

Track the fleet here, head over here to add a few views to the almost entirely unwatched video updates and highlights from the TPYC, and head here for the much busier SA thread.

And if you don’t get the title allusion, just remember: you’re never too old to be crazy. Thanks to Berkley Green at SoCalSailSport for the shot.

And look for onboard race reports from boat captain Keith Kilpatrick.

 

July 17th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 10.28.27 AMNext time you want those young racers to quiet down, or when you feel like being a cheap fuck at the YC bar, consider this story.

Here is the video from sailing on Lending Club, (ex-Groupama 3/Banque Populaire VII), a 105′ Maxi Trimaran here on the West coast getting ready to do the Transpac.  I met Tim, one of the shore crew, years ago and he had a friends and family ride slot open up last Friday.

This thing is a beast, and really fun to drive.  I hit 32 kts while driving.  Ryan, the skipper hit 40 kts at 120 deg true wind angle in 20+kts of wind.   The boat goes upwind at 45 deg true wind angle at 19.5kts in 20 kts of breeze.  We had the J2 jib and 1 reef in the main.

It was karma that got me that ride, or maybe it was Return on Investment, whichever you believe in.  Tim called it ROI, and I laughed.  But all I did was buy a bunch of drinks for a nice young racing shore crew years ago, and really enjoyed their company and stories.  Then years later, I get the text message above.  Bottom line…you really can’t go wrong buying strangers a bunch of booze!

And Tim, If you are reading this [of course he is.  -ed], there are a bunch of San Francisco sailors that would like to buy you a drink.  Since you are here taking people for rides for the next 3 weeks…

 

June 16th, 2015 by admin

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Giovanni Soldini is at it yet again, taking some of the world’s best young ocean racers on yet another record attempt – this time from San Fran to China on one of the old clipper routes, aboard the turbo VO70 Maserati.  We love what Gio’s doing, and with Luna Rossa gone from the world stage, he’s pretty much the only Italian left at the very top end of professional racing.  We’ve got our fingers crossed that Soldini’s campaign has been a precursor for something much more important than hunting century-old square rigger records: We (and Italy) need a real Italian team to cheer for in the Cup, the Volvo, or the Vendee.

The title for this piece comes not from the record-setting clipper that Maserati’s chasing; it comes from the best movie ever (for Halle Berry fans, anyway)  Jen Edney photo.

May 11th, 2015 by admin

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From the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ department comes this tale of a nutty German and a goddamned funny idea.  Is it real?  You decide.

After two years of intense preparations a project which at the beginning seemed unrealistic if not impossible will become real: With a sailing boat equipped with wheels we are going to sail on the road E 40 from the southernmost end of Latin America through the pampas of Patagonia heading north for where civilization begins. For one month, a team consisting of my cameraman, a sailing expert, my co-pilot and me are going to keep sailing as far as the wind will carry us or until civilization in the form of traffic or policemen shall stop us.

As a result of the journey, a movie balancing narrative documentary and artistic film will illustrate the complex interrelations between our natural and social surroundings.  Read on.

 

December 2nd, 2014 by admin

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We’re big fans of the high-performance luxury cruiser market, and if we had an extra 5 mil burning a hole in our pockets, we might just go with something just like this.  It’s the record-smashing schooner Mari Cha IV – SA’s all-time favorite offshore race boat, now in Amsterdam’s Royal Huisman yard to be converted to Samurai, one of world’s coolest cruisers.  The RH folks wouldn’t tell us more about the new owners, though we hope they’re schooner people and they keep the boats’ distinctive rig (the rendering does not give us optimism on that note…we like ketches too?).

 We understand the boat will have a lifting keel instead of a canter for better port access, and you can read an update in the gorgeous e-zine Inhuis from the folks at Huisman.

 

October 21st, 2014 by admin

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Bronco Team sets AJ#1302DC7We dig what Junior and Julianna are doing with the Mount Gay Around Jamestown Record; a quirky little 19-mile Newport-area record they established last year.  What makes it different?  No real rules other than than the dates; if you’re the fastest when the May to October period ends, you win your body weight in rum.

It’s a fun record for fun people, and one of the most fun – hip hop gangsta and recent Melges 20 monster gun Johnny “Nugs” Goldsberry – helmed the Marstrom 32 Bronco to a brand new outright record earlier this week; just over an hour for the course.  Nugs says there’s a lot more in it.  ”I’m just waiting for the right time to take my Moth out there and finish this thing in a half hour” he said. Goldsberry had Tom and Jono Loughborough aboard as well as Tripp Burd and past SCOTW Emma Creighton on the hiking straps.

It took 21 people including VOR winner Moose Sanderson and 5 million dollars’ worth of re-masted Mini-Maxi to set the new monohull record for the same course on Wednesday; Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente took an hour and 20 on their run.

The Real Round

RMGC32Meanwhile, the granddaddy of all “round the islands” comes up in less than a week; the real Round The Island has been running since the 1930s and attracts over 1500 yachts and multihulls and more than 15,000 sailors to the 50 NM course around the Isle of Wight.  It’s one of the biggest sailing events on the planet, and this year, we’re putting our money on Paul Campbell-James at the helm of Pete Cumming’s Richard Mille GC32 Racing program to foil their way past Sir Ben Ainslie’s 2:52:15 RTI record on the AC45 last year.  Follow Pete, Paul, BAR Racing’s Nick Hutton, and up-and-comer Adam Piggot in their attempt on Twitter @RMGC32Sailing.

 

June 13th, 2014 by admin

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