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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Breymaier’

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As always, Ryan Breymaier is as honest and refreshing as they come, and as the first American to win an IMOCA event in a long time, he’s got plenty to say.  About his race and NYC’s sendoff (and what NYTimes’ Chris Museler has on his plate after crossing with Ryan), about big moves in the Open 60 fleet, about the soon-approaching Barcelona Race, and why he’ll be in Marine City, MI for a while this summer.  A half hour with Mr. Clean for the SA Innerview.

 

June 18th, 2014 by admin

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th martinez/sea & coOG Open 60 gangsta and Hugo Boss Skipper Ryan Breymaier hits the Sunday New York Times today, thanks to longtime Anarchist and NYT journalist Chris Museler.  Ryan, Pepe Ribes, and Museler head to Barcelona today; all the details are here.  Photo from Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co.

At 3 a.m. Wednesday, Ryan Breymaier had been prone on a two-inch foam pad for barely 30 minutes when the call came for him to get up. He was delivering the 60-foot racing sailboat Hugo Boss from Newport, R.I., to Manhattan as training for the Imoca Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona race, in which he and Pepe Ribes of Spain will sail across the Atlantic against four other teams starting Sunday.

Breymaier, a tall American with a mop of blond curls, winced as he sat up, keeping his head low to avoid the raw carbon fiber ceiling only inches above.

“You’re going to have to get someone else on the grinders,” he calmly transmitted above the banging of waves against the hull, referring to the shore crew that came along to help test equipment. “I don’t know what I did to my back.”

Read on.

June 2nd, 2014 by admin

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the boss is back 1

“Back” as in back sailing again! A quick repair of Hugo Boss’ broken spar gets Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes ready for the start of the OCEAN MASTERS New York to Barcelona Race on June 1. Great to see them back on their feet so quick. Here’s the Tuesday morning update from Ryan, with nice photos from mstrsail, and be sure to check Ryan’s search for Vendee Globe partners here.

Since breaking the rig about 400 miles from Newport, it has been a stressful journey to get back on the water.  We were very lucky the break happened where it did, as the spreaders and most of the rigging remained sound, and allowed us to reuse them, and there was not one broken stitch on any of the sails.

Fortunately we were coming to Newport; if you have to break a mast, this should be the destination.  When we arrived at Newport Shipyard, all the concerned parties were there and ready to help.  Jimmy and Jay from the Shipyard have been great, Scott and Dave from Composite Rigging, Chuck, Mike, and the rest of the Southern Spars team, and Stew, Vinny, and Dan from Al Fresco composites are all great guys at the top of their respective games, and each put in long hours to see us back on the water as soon as possible.

Of course, there is no way any of this would have happened without the Hugo Boss shore team, who are each expert in their field, and have been above and beyond, putting in many 20 hour days.  You cannot say enough about these guys and their dedication to our success.

It has been a great sojourn here in Newport, irrespective of the rigging problems, and I can honestly say that the Hugo Boss has never been in better shape.  As you can see from the photos, we have been out for our first sail, and are confident in the repair.  The mast sets up beautifully, the sail shape is even better than before, and we are ready to leave this morning for New York City and our pro-am race on the 29th.

It looks like 15-20 upwind for the trip, (as expected) which should be fine, as it allows us to make good time getting there.

This whole process has been a drag for everyone involved, but positive thinking and hard work are putting us in a great position to still win the NY-Barcelona!  I am looking forward to putting on that Hugo Boss suit as we cross the finish line in first place.  With everything that the team has dealt with here, that will be the ultimate success.

It is a few days off, but it looks like a very classic North Atlantic crossing at present, riding low pressure system across in 30 knots of breeze, just what Boss loves and is set up for.  We can then tackle the Med, which is Pepe’s home turf, and I know quite well.  The race is ours to lose.

Please do not hesitate to come down to North Cove Marina in Manhattan to check out the boats.  If we are not super busy (or if you have kids along), you might just get a look around.”

Ryan Breymaier

 

 

May 26th, 2014 by admin

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The exciting news that our good friend Ryan Breymaier would be taking Alex Thomson’s place aboard Hugo Boss for the upcoming NY-Barcelona double handed race is a bit less exciting today after news came in this morning that they’ve broken their mast.  Alex, Ryan, co-skipper Pepe Ribes and preparateur Willy Altadill (Guillermo’s boy) will sail directly to Newport and, we imagine, get some of the Hall guys down to see just how much work it’ll be to get the boat ready for the June 1 departure from the Big Apple.  The boat was in plenty of breeze – well over 40 knots, according to weather files, but this is not a common failure point for Open 60 rigs.  Maybe Alex should quit running up and down the mast?  Here’s the official news:

The shore team were contacted by the boat early this morning and were informed that the Southern Spar mast is broken above the top spreader. We are relieved to announce that the four crew members on-board are safe and we have notified their families and our sponsors.

We could not have a better team on the boat to deal with this and members of the shore team are planning to meet the boat upon its arrival to Newport this weekend, and will carry out an assessment to determine if the boat can be repaired in time to enable us to take part in the New York to Barcelona race.

The broken section has been secured and the boat is able to sail with the remaining mast and they are on route to Newport RI. At the moment our intention is to make a suitable repair to allow Pepe and Ryan to take part in the race but until the boat is in port and fully assessed we cannot finalise our plans…

We will post more info once the assessment is complete.

Update from Hall Spars: Regarding the Hugo Boss mast break – we definitely appreciate the shout-out that the Hall guys will be ready to assist, but we wanted to set the record straight that the current mast was not built by Hall (it’s a 2-spreader carbon rig by Southern).

That being said, HB did contact Hall recently about doing some mast modification work for this boat, and we can indeed confirm that the Hall team will be in Newport to greet the boat upon arrival to help find a solution to get them back up and racing ASAP.

Hall did build the rig for the Hugo Boss IMOCA 60 corporate boat in 2010, which is still sailing happily in the UK.

 

May 8th, 2014 by admin

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When good things happen to good people and we have a hand in it, that makes us smile…here’s some excellent news from our pal Ryan Breymaier.  Mark Lloyd photo.

hugo bossThanks in large part SA’s support and promotion, everyone here knows I have been working with Alex Thomson Racing’s management company 5 West in my search to find a partner for my Vendee Globe Project USA. Our cooperation took another step recently, when I was asked to race onboard HUGO BOSS for the upcoming Ocean Masters race, a double-handed transatlantic from New York to Barcelona, starting on June 1st.

Alex needs to be home for the birth of his second child, due in the first week of June and has asked me to take his place. This is an incredible opportunity for me, and I am very proud to have Alex and HUGO BOSS put their trust in me to fill his shoes in such an important way.

The boat is the ex Virbac-Paprec 3, sailed to 4th place by Jean-Pierre Dick in the last Vendee Globe. It’s a latest generation VPLP-Verdier design; the same hull as winner Macif with a different deck layout.

It is a quantum leap ahead of Neutrogena that Boris and I sailed to fifth place in the 2010 Barelona World Race, and one of the fastest boats in the fleet today.  Each time we have been out sailing I am just floored by its sheer speed and ease of handling.

Along with such an incredible boat, I have the privilege of sailing with Pepe Ribes, who really does not need much introduction here.  FOUR times around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race, at least TWO Americas Cup campaigns, and 4th place (just ahead of me) in the last Barcelona World Race, Pepe is a wealth of knowledge and experience. He’s hugely competitive and a great guy to go sailing with.  As serious on the water as he is relaxed off it, I could not ask for a better team mate.

140409_HugoBoss_041I have been in Gosport, UK at the Alex Thomson Racing base working with the team for the past few weeks, training and helping prepare the boat. We are due to leave for the US on April 22nd.

We will be in New York at North Cove Marina from approx. May 11th -19th and will arrive in Newport on May 20th to prepare for the warm up race from Newport back to New York starting on May 24th. From May 26th there will be a race village set up at North Cove and on the 29th we have another ‘friendly’ race on the Hudson.  If you are in the area, come and see the boats, and feel free to say hello!  I am happy to answer questions, and I’m very serious when I say that I would love to meet every NYC and Newport anarchist, sailing enthusiast, singlehanded hopeful, ambitious junior sailor – whatever.  Come and say hello, please.

As for the race itself, what an awesome racetrack;  leaving iconic New York City to hook into a depression, ride it to the Portuguese trades, and then through the tactically challenging Mediterranean to my favorite European city of Barcelona, which also happens to be Pepe’s current hometown.

We’re going to be gunning for a HUGO BOSS win, and all the pieces are in place to make it happen!

 

April 15th, 2014 by admin

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Photo Emailing 2
We promised you Ryan Breymaier’s look at the newest racing trimaran on the market, and here it is; it’s the Diam 24, a ‘mini MOD-70′ from the desk of the guys who gave you some of the biggest big boat racing successes of the past decade.  Be sure to check out what Breymaier’s up to lately over here.

Imagine a Melges 24-sized boat that sails 14 knots upwind instead of 7, and 30 downwind instead of 18.  And all without any nerve-damaging hiking at all!

Meet the Diam 24; a beautifully built, impressively simple trimaran designed by multihull masters VPLP and built in Port La Foret, France, about 10 minutes from my house.

Vianney Ancelin is the man behind the project; I met him about 5 years ago while looking for a place to keep my newly acquired beach cat. Turns out that my Diam F-18 was built by him, and his factory is right next to a beautiful launch ramp, while his parking lot is full of small multihulls, Tornados, F-18s, A-Cats, Multi 23s, whatever you can imagine, all within minutes of my front door.

Anyway, Vianney’s trapezing days at the helm of an F-18 are over, and he had always dreamed of building an easily launched, easily sailed trimaran; something to race, to raid, or just to island hop through the Glenans.

IMG_1971The Diam 24 OD is the result, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Carbon beams and mast, glass/pvc sandwich hulls, 3 sails, and a beach dolly, and with the minimum of extra equipment and the maximum of design know-how from VPLP. In looks and performance, this boat is a baby brother of the MOD.   Overall dimensions: 24 feet x 18.5 feet, with a 37-foot mast. It weighs 1000 pounds, with 515 square feet of sail downwind.

The amas and beams are demountable for trailering and storage; set up is quick and easy, and the two-piece mast completes the easy-to-move package.

The foil package is simple; kick-up, transom hung float rudders and a central dagger board. The boat deliberately does not have lifting foils in an attempt to keep it simple while sailing, as well as to keep the price down to a bare minimum.

Sail handling is easy as well, the jib and gennaker on Karver KF2  furlers, and the mainsail on a conventional halyard with clutch at the mastbase.

Jibsheet is 4:1 self tacking, mainsheet is a 7:1 gross tune on the traveller car connected to a 3:1 fine tune under the boom for a total of 21:1, all while keeping the block sizes and prices to a minimum. There are two winches, one on each floater, used only for the gennaker sheets.

As this is a one-design race boat, there has been no attempt to create usable interior, simply a storage space under the foredeck, and a trench cockpit from the mastbase to the aft beam.  Again – think of it as the triple hulled version of a Melges 24.

IMG_1972One thing that annoys me about many dinghies and small race boats is the time it takes to set them up and break them down; it often seems like you spend as much time building and dismantling as you do sailing!  Designers of the Diam 24 have taken extra care to keep that time to an absolute minimum. Each beam bolts into place with 4 bolts, with a locating pin to keep them in place.  The floater/beam connection is a highly engineered double cone to keep it stiff, but uses just one fastener to keep it in place. The trampolines have loops at 2 corners, along with track on the central hull so that they can be done up without any knot tying.

All in all, I am confident that the whole boat can be fully rigged in the same or a bit less time than an F-18 or other beach cat, and this is quite a bit more boat.

The Diam is sold with everything one needs, right down to the Kevlar/membrane sail package, for 49,900 euros.  For 5400 euros extra, you can pick up the custom trailer with ramps that allow you to load the beach dolly directly onto it.

If I was looking for a great boat to race in the light airs of my native Chesapeake, or I wanted speed with the occasional high-speed family picnic, I would be seriously considering this one.

DIAM and Vianney can be contacted at avianney@adhinotec.com, or check out the builder’s website here.

December 23rd, 2013 by admin

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Ph1

Ryan Breymaier doesn’t just do huge trimarans and Open 60s; he’s also got an F-18 and loves hauling ass in little boats as well as big.  Last week, the Annapolis native and now adopted French super-rigger hopped over to Paris’s massive boat show – the Nautic  – for a few meetings and round table discussions with the IMOCA and Barcelona World Race folks.  While there, he checked in on a couple of extremely cool small-boat projects we’ve been following from afar, and he gives us a real pro’s look at the first of them below.  Be sure to Like Ryan’s Facebook Page here, and if you think your company might benefit from the kind of exposure Ryan’s prospective Vendee Globe bid would produce, get in touch with him today!

Other than the two C-Class cats on display at the Salon Nautique De Paris, the most interesting boats by far were the Flying Phantom and the Diam 24 OD trimaran.  At first glance they may seem competitors in the small racing multihull segment, they are in reality aimed at two very different skippers.

The Diam is for the F-18, A-Cat, or sportboat skipper looking to still go fast, but to do it with a bit more comfort; in other words, no trapeze.  Next week, I’ll give you my take on that sexy little trimaran from VPLP.

Today though, I’ll focus on Alex Udin’s flying catamaran, and it’s definitely for the ‘young gun’ beach cat sailor ready to step up to the next level – the foiling level.  Developer and creator Alex Udin (Sail Innovation) is quoting speeds of up to 30 knots downwind and sailing upwind at 55 degrees TWA, skimming the surface like the AC72s at the end of the San Francisco fun.  Want to foil upwind?  Crack off in a breeze to around 14 knots of boat speed and pop it up, then go upwind a few feet above the surface.

Ph4Since I tend to look at things through somewhat cynical and very specialized eyes, I like to get my wife Nicola’s opinion first.  She sails the F-18 with me and is a keen observer, and to her eye, the Phantom is a really, really nice looking boat!  They’ve followed some of the recent trends in cars; lots of graphics options and a matte paintjob that’s very cool and even a bit non-skid.  Of course the bottom will be wet-sanded and polished to a mirror sheen by any serious racer, but Alex clearly spent a lot of time making sure the Phantom looked just as good as it’s meant to sail.

With the subjective out of the way, I had a long look at the technical side of the Phantom.  The hulls are all carbon with a nomex core, carbon mast and carbon boom, with the hulls connected by huge alloy beams from the Cirrus F-18.  This guarantees a super-stiff platform without a lot of weight.

The hulls have a sweet profile with no distortion and plenty of volume in the bows; perhaps not so important for a boat designed to stay on the foils the vast majority of the time, but still pretty good to have when inevitable splashdown happens.

Test pilot Gurvan Bontemps is a top F-18 sailor who recently raced the Patient Lady at the Little AC in Falmouth, and he said without a smile that the boat is up on the foils in 7 knots of TWS (though he looked at my frame and said ‘maybe 8 with you aboard’), and that, contrary to what you might think, it’s just a bit more twitchy than a stock F-18.  A foiler for mere mortals?  It could be.

PH3The rudders are high aspect ratio, with ultra high aspect ratio elevators that bring to mind a moth’s T-rudders.  The rudders are mounted in lifting cassettes; not for adjustment underway, but for beaching and launching.  The rake adjustments come via the cassette mounts; instead of normal pintles and gudgeous, the cassettes attach to the boat with uniballs to allow the boat to be properly balanced with angle-of-attack adjustments to the entire rudder and elevator.

One of the keys to the supposedly straightforward foiling performance of the Phantom is the angle of the J-foil to the daggerboard upright; it’s quite closed instead of a right angle or something even more open; combined with the increased beam of the boat (compared to the F-18), this means stable foiling, meant for mere mortals rather than just the Franck Cammases and Mischa Heemskerks of the world.

Unlike the Oracle, ETNZ, or Team Hydros boats there is no cant adjustment for the boat (inboard/outboard foil movement); the Phantom only allows fore/aft rake adjustment with an endlesss string/worm gear moving the upper foil and thereby changing AoA on the main foil.  This sets the median speed of the boat and to some extent, the ride height, with the boat self-levelling as more of the foil comes out of the water.  In a great innovation and something we saw on the gorgeous Groupama C boat, the weather board is lifted not by a block and tackle, but by the weight of the crew as he or she wires up on the new tack.  Anyone who’s pulled up loaded boards knows this is a huge labor saver, and these boards are around 12 kg of pure carbon!

Ph5In the photo to the left, you can also see the camcleat for the 4:1 board downhaul – a necessity for foils developing enough lift to support the entire platform plus two crew, plus all the power generated by the very high aspect rig.  I couldn’t even get a good picture of the full mast; it was well into the rafters of the Nautic convention center. Attached is a sail plan drawing that shows it off well, and in person, the sails are beautiful.

I asked the obvious question as to what happens when you ‘yard sale’, and Gurvan says that a high speed capsize isn’t much worse than on an F-18 other than one thing: You fly a lot further through the air because you start so much higher up. In any case, the platform is as solid as can be, and according to the test sailors, it can easily take plenty of abuse.

At the boat show the cost is 32,000 Euro, which seems like a lot for a 20-footer.  But remember that this includes VAT and other shipping fees.  And when you add up the latest foil technology, the excellently-finished carbon construction, and all the design and testing work that has gone into it, I am sure it would be a bargain at twice the price.

Ph62 boats have already been sold to one America’s Cup team,  and several other prospective AC teams are negotiating for more.  TNZ were at the booth when I was, and they were at least as interested as anyone I saw.  Udin took 13 paid orders overall at the Nautic; not a bad start at all.

Will it really be easy enough to sail to gain mass acceptance?  The jury is still out on that one for a few more weeks.  But if so, I can imagine some incredible racing and a real game changer.

Get in touch with Alex Udin for more info or to order your Flying Phantom at alex@sail-innovation.com.

 

December 17th, 2013 by admin

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Our resident offshore soloist and francophonic rigger Ryan Breymaier checks in from the Nautic, with the first real piece of IMOCA news since Keith Mills Open Sports Management announced it would be trying to increase the commercial appeal of the world’s marquee offshore monohull class.  Their first move:   A series and a promo.  Here’s Ryan’s take.

 The Paris boatshow is France’s biggest non-sailing maritime event of the year. All the movers and shakers in the yachting industry are there for a show that’s open for 10 days over two weekends to offer maximum opportunity for visitors to discover the latest in industry news and developments.  Historically the crowds are huge from start to finish and so I was very happy to attend the ‘pro’ day, reserved for media and maritime professionals the Friday before the start of the show.

They weren’t wrong, though they say the show was smaller than previous years, there was everything you could want for a boat or boat-related; from the fashionable blow-up SUP to a wood carving knife to information on the Corsican classic regatta to the brand new one-design flying cat… but more on that later…

What I’d come to hear was the joint press conference between Open Sports Management (OSM) and the FNOB.

OSM is the company created in 2013 and backed by Sir Keith Mills to commercialize and internationalize the IMOCA class.  As part of their role, they will create new races and manage the racing schedule. They will also actively seek title sponsors for the class and assist skippers in seeking their own sponsorship.

Until now, the IMOCA class has been skipper controlled and has acted as the governing body of the class of open 60 boats used for the Vendee Globe and Barcelona World Race.

On Friday, at a joint press conference with the FNOB who organize the Barcelona World Race, OSM announced the “OCEAN MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIP” along with the inaugural NEW YORK-BARCELONA RACE, starting June 1st, to be held every 2 years.

The Ocean Masters Championship is effectively the new name for what was previous known as the IMOCA circuit.  The championship will still run over a four year cycle and there will still be a points ranking amongst the skippers, based on placings within the full schedule of races on the racing calendar. The name was chosen because out of over 50 people asked every day at the race village prior to the Transat Jacques Vabre, not one member of the public could say what IMOCA stands for. (International Monohull Open Class Association).  Sir Keith explained the new name like this (more or less): “Short-handed ocean racing is a sport that is based around the skippers. In no other sport do people race 24/7 in such tough conditions for up to 90 days non-stop. The racing is about the skippers and so the circuit is called Ocean Masters.”

The New York- Barcelona Race is really great news for anyone interested in seeing more major offshore events in the US.  Bringing the boats to the USA in the springtime will finally provide US sailing fans the chance to get up close and personal with these amazing machines, as well as providing an excellent opportunity for US companies to get into sponsorship of shorthanded ocean racing.

The race will be managed jointly by OSM and the FNOB who have already a good experience with organizing a race from New York.   The program has the boats going to Newport RI at the end of May with a race to NYC with media onboard each boat on the 24th. There will be a race village at North Cove Marina and a Grand Prix on the Hudson River on the 26th. Race start is on June 1st.

The potential is huge for the first American sponsor to get involved; both in terms of the marketing opportunities offered by the race start in New York, as well as beginning a long term relationship in a sport with undeniable values and an incredibly captivating story to be told in the lead up to the Vendee Globe 2016, singlehanded, nonstop around the world.

I am working hard to be on the starting line for the race and this latest news creates a great starting point for a sponsor willing to accompany me in my quest to be the first American winner of the Vendee Globe.  We are certain there is a company out there for whom this is the perfect opportunity to expand their reach, both in the US and in Europe; it’s just a matter of finding them in time to be on the start line.

Finally, to help you all navigate the future of IMOCA (just so everyone’s got the jargon right):

Open Sport Management or OSM promotes the IMOCA class worldwide.

IMOCA manages the technical side of the class. This is still skipper-run and this is where the decisions about one-design, etc. are made.

OCEAN MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP is the new name of the racing circuit,

FNOB is the organizing body of the Barcelona World Race.

-Ryan

 

December 11th, 2013 by admin

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Open 60-obsessed Ronnie Simpson gave us his look at the IMOCA fleet on Friday; Ryan Breymaier gets into the rest of the fleet below in a great ‘insider’ view of the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet, which is now postponed until at least Thursday with yet more nasty depressions battering the Atlantic.  Remember to get in touch with Ryan’s Project USA if your company is looking for a new way to get some prime exposure, or some of your or contacts might be interested in helping fund his Vendee Globe bid.  TJV thread is over here if you want to talk about the race.

The TJV start in Le Havre has been very similar for the last several years.  Rain, with periods of clearing, windy, and squalls of hail.  In between dodging hailstones, there are plenty of interesting boats on display, attracting huge crowds of French fans  (mostly there for the crepes and pommes frites with a celebratory beer at the end of a lap of the huge basin), directly in the center of town.

The fleet this year includes 2 MOD 70s, 6 Multi 50 trimarans, 9 IMOCA 60s, and 25 Class 40s.   While the other classes are interesting in their own right, the 25 strong class 40s are the most interesting, with a large variety of designers  and boats.  They are also interesting because they represent the type of boat that most of the SA readers would have the easiest chance of getting involved with.

In a mirror of the situation facing the class today, the easiest way to have a look at the 40s is to split them into the pro teams with experience, boats and budgets allowing the possibility of a podium, and the largely amateur teams who are there to participate, but who either are missing one of the three factors above to get on the podium.

In alphabetical order, here are the teams in the first category:

Campagne de France Halvard Mabire, Miranda Merron Pogo S2
Concise 8 Ned Collier Wakefield, Sam Goodchild Ker Custom
DUNKERQUE-PLANETE ENFANTS Bruno Jourdren, Thomas Ruyant Tyker 3
GDF SUEZ Sébastien Rogues, Fabien Delahaye Mach 40
Mare Jörg Riechers, Pierre Brasseur Mach 40
Tales Santander 2014 Alex Pella, Pablo Santurde Botin Custom

 

Campagne de France  is perhaps the closest to the original spirit of the class.  Halvard and Miranda live aboard the boat much of the time, while still keeping it in pure racing trim, and have a very limited budget.  The huge experience of the two skippers and the careful tuning of a very strong  boat keep them in the leading pack.

Concise 8 is the newest boat in the fleet, and its two young English skippers will be giving it their all to be first to the line in Brasil.  Ker’s first Class 40 design is notable for its huge batwings on the transom corners.  This feature is taken from the latest generation Volvo 70 designs as a way to dodge the average freeboard demanded by the rules,  as well as creating a better sheeting position for the gennakers.  The lower CG created by getting the freeboard down and the ACC style interior structure have allowed the Concise team to create a very powerful hull shape, which should, if they can keep it together for the first couple days of the race, stand them in good stead on the way to Itajai.  Teething troubles in a variety of areas have hampered their sailing days pre race, and Ned and Sam have been feverishly working to be in good shape come start day.

Dunkerque-Planete Enfants is the first example of the latest Verdier series design, the Tyler Evo 3.  Bruno Joudren and Thomas Ruyant are two very accomplished Class 40 sailors, and the Tyler is a great boat from French open designer Guillaume Verdier.  This boat is capable of winning the TJV, with perhaps a slightly easier passage through the waves than the Mach 40, which is the favorite of most observers.  The roof also offers significantly more protection than the Mach, which should allow the skippers to spend a bit more time outside monitoring boatspeed.

Skipper Seb Rogues has taken the experience of the first two Mach 40’s and tried to improve on it with his GDF Suez  He has taken the same hull as Mare, moved the keel aft a little, added a bit more rake to the mast, and has eliminated the central winch, island and twin companionways in favor of just 2 winches on each side deck, with all lines lead around the roof through friction organisers.  He has also gone for a classic swept spreader rig, eliminating the controversial adjustable headstay and straight spreader rig that the two first boats featured.  His boat also lacks the kick up rudders of the first two; a lighter solution, but possibly a race ending choice in the event of a collision with debris.

Mare is the Mach 40 of German skipper Jorg Reichers and Pierre Brasseur, an excellent mini and Multi 50 sailor.  This is the most successful Class 40 of the last several years,  with wins in the Solidaire du Chocolat and Atlantic Cup [which Ryan was aboard for -ed], as well as a second in the Quebec St. Malo.  While not underestimating their skill and will to win, Jorg and Pierre have their work cut out for them against the other top boats, as Jorg’s concurrent IMOCA 60 campaign has taken much of his time and resources, while the competition has been training hard and working continually on improving their boats.

Last but certainly not least is TALES Santander 2014, which combines the first effort off the drawing board of Marcelino Botin with a deck including a carbon copy of the Mach 40 cockpit.  This is intentional, the team came to the Solidaire start in 2012, and found the layout which they felt was the most ergonomic and efficient, and used that as a basis for the new design, having been new to the class.  An immaculate build, strong team, and great pedigree saw them far ahead of most of the fleet in this years Fastnet, with only Suez able to keep up.  In fact, they beat a custom IRC 46 to the rock upwind!  One to watch for sure.

These boats all have a great chance of being on the podium; the designs are all similar enough to keep up with one another, and the pre race preparation and skill of the skippers in mitigating problems along the way will be the deciding factor in the final rankings.

 Boat Porn

The two most interesting things I have seen in the Class 40 were the electric motor in ERDF – Des pieds et Des mains (see pic).  The motor is the white Oceanvolt cylinder in the middle, and half of the 8 green batteries are visible in front of it.

It produces the same power as the diesel it replaces, and with the batteries, weighs the same.  It is recharged at the dock, and is nearly silent in operation.  It can be recharged by hydrogenerator or solar panels, and actually can recharge the batteries itself while sailing.  Obviously this is not done while racing as it produces significant drag, but is perfect for deliveries.  Best of all a lower center of gravity, and no fooling around with diesel tanks.

The other interesting thing is a new instrument system found on the Austrian entry Vaquita:

The displays look like Ipads but are not, and can change colors for night sailing, they are hard wired only for power, and the data transmits wirelessly.  They can take input from any NMEA source, and have their own dedicated brain.  Power drain is 1amp at 12 volts per display.  More at Sailmon.com.

 

 

As for the multihulls, the TJV start in Le Havre showcases the best of the French offshore scene for this year, with the notable exception of a couple MOD 70 teams who are recovering from capsizes.

MOD MODS

Remember that the MOD 70 is not really designed for shorthanded sailing, and a few modifications have been made to the two remaining boats to keep them from suffering the fate of the two MODs that have capsized already this season.

On deck, they have added constrictor rope clutches to the gennaker tack lines in order to not have to go on the bow to open the t-bone loop holding the 3:1 tackling.  As well, around the cockpit they have added diverter sheaves and camcleats on the fronts of the grinders and at each helm station for the headsail sheets.  This puts them in easy reach of the helmsman while on deck alone.

Virbac 70 was trialling a system (before her capsize) that included a 2:1 jibsheet of much smaller diameter, which would allow a much easier and more controlled ease of the jib in the event of sudden gusts.

In safety terms they have come up with one-line ‘failsafe’ to prevent any more capsizes; they now have a single line to pull to open the valves for both the mainsheet and rig transfer hydraulics, so that if they pull the line at the helm, the mainsheet eases, the canting rig transfers to leeward, and the valves remain open (easing) until the system is physically reset in the cockpit under the roof.  It’s taken a couple of high-profile tips to get it working, but this system should make capsizing a much less frequent occurrence for the MOD.

They have also added a 350 liter water ballast tank in the transom of each boat, in the interests of keeping the bows out.  Unfortunately this might encourage the teams to push harder downwind!

They have also added curtains around the roof and repeater nav screens to the inside of the roof, allowing the skipper not driving to “live” under the roof and be in closer communication with the guy on deck.

The match race between Gitana and Oman Air will should be worth watching.

The Multi 50 class is enjoying a nice period of growth as well, testament to the low-tech class rule, and good management, as well as interest from many skippers in a boat which goes faster than an IMOCA 60, for less than half the price. (1.2-1.5m euros as opposed to 3.5-4m)

There are a wide variety of designs in the class, mostly from VPLP, with the most recent boat being an interesting looking and quick design from Neyhausser/Verdier, Region Aquitaine/Arkema.  This boat won this years Route des Princes, and its notable features are a complete lack of foredeck forward of the front beam, and a crazy looking, but probably very protective roof.  The foredeck is replaced by a net going from the bow pulpit to the front beam, with the hull coming to a point under the net with lashing connections for the headstays.

November 4th, 2013 by admin

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As temperature plummet and ski areas begin to open their lifts, we bring you some interesting movies from the still-beating heart of the sport.

 

Project USA

We’ve made no excuses about our enthusiasm for offshore racer Ryan Breymaier, who may just be America’s only real hope at a major US sponsor and top US result in the Vendee Globe.  The Annapolis native became the first American to break into the French offshore scene in memory, working as rigger and shore crew during Roland Jourdain’s Veolia Open 60 and MOD campaigns, and taking the helm of the generations-old Neutrogena to finish 5th in the non-stop(ish) Barcelona World Race.

Thanks largely to Larry Ellison, America is more attuned right now to sailboat racing now than it has been since 1987.  Between the wonderful AC72 final, a recent HBO Sports documentary on Alex Thomson, and the soon-t0-be-released Robert Redford singlehanded blockbuster “All is Lost”, if there has ever been a time for a US-based racer to push for a major sponsor, the time is now.

Fortunately the good folks at 5West know all that — that’s the Sir Keith Mills-backed agency that handles Thomson’s Open 60 management and the Hugo Boss sponsorship contract — and they’re throwing their hat in with Breymaier.  5West hopes to use their contacts and experience to land him a budget for next year’s Barcelona and 2016′s Vendee Globe, hopefully waking up the largely untapped American market to IMOCA style racing.  Anyone who cares about offshore racing and the US should head over to the Project USA site to find out more.  And if you’d like to see an American effort in the next big race and your company (or an affiliate) is looking for some innovative sports/green marketing, get in touch with them right away!

 

Americans of the Americas

With just one day left of the first-ever F-18 Championship of the Americas, the Dutch are hanging on to a slim lead over longtime SA’ers Tripp Burd and Mike Easton from New England, who are wicked close to the front as the breeze picks up for Saturday’s racing.  Here’s Friday’s highlight skylight reel from Sam Greenfield.

 

American Gold

America’s continued waning on the world sailing stage is certainly depressing to those who remember the dominating days of the star-spangled banner.  Embarrassing performances at the past few Olympics, yet another Volvo failure, sparse appearances on sailing’s biggest podiums, and the sole US players at the recent America’s Cup consisting of a tactician who got the flick, a helmsman long since booted, a CEO who disappeared in disgrace, and a lone US grinder who drank from the Cup.

But all is not lost, and America can now claim not only to have the world’s best sailing website, some of the world’s best sailing videographers, and even a recent Moth World Champ: We’ve also got the world’s best match racer!

We’re speaking of course of Taylor Canfield and his USone team.  They didn’t repeat as Bermuda Gold Cup champions this year, but they did exactly what they needed to do in order to cement their lead at the top of the WMRT and the ISAF rankings: Crush Ian Williams.  They did it, and here’s the video that proves it; produced, shot, and edited by Matt Knighton.

 

50 Shades Of Greenpeace

By now everyone knows what scumbags the folks at Gazprom are, and while no one thinks that morally-challenged ISAF is going to do anything about the knife-and-bottle-wielding thug and Esimit Europa shore crew who attacked peaceful Greenpeace protesters, it seems international outcry over the Arctic Sunrise arrests has finally accomplished something. Russia announced the imprisoned activists (along with two journalists) would now face charges of ‘Hooliganism’ instead of the Piracy they previously were threatened with after staging a sit-in on an Arctic drilling rig; while Piracy carries a 15-year sentence, “Hooliganism” presumably carries a different charge – that is, if it is indeed a crime and not just something made up by former KGB officials to suit their needs for the moment.  It’s not much of a stretch – time and again, Russian officials show they care about laws only when it suits them – as evidenced last week when they announced they’d boycott next week’s hearing into the arrests called by the UN-chartered International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea; the Russians said they ‘not intend to take part in the tribunal’s hearings’.  How convenient.  Regardless of the outcome of this gas profit-fueled shitshow, Gazprom ain’t leaving sailing anytime soon.  Sponsorship hunters: Be careful what you wish for and even more careful who you are linked to.

The silver lining?  All this excitement gives us a nice excuse to show you a gorgeous video of Greenpeace’s new sailboat; the one we first  reported on back in 2010. Movie produced by Heath Hanson.

 

 

October 26th, 2013 by admin

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Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati team unsurprisingly obliterated an ancient monohull record for the NY to SF by around 25 days.  A cool record, though clearly not a tough one for a modern Volvo machine.  What’s more impressive is just how close they came to beating the 43-day mark set by Gitana 13 in 2008.  In case you don’t remember, that’s the giant catamaran that lowered the Jules Verne bar to 60 days and change a few years back, and with an ETA of Saturday early morning, the 70-footer will trail the 110-foot super catamaran in for the most famous route of the Clipper years by just 3 days…with 40 feet less waterline and one less hull.

So Maserati will set the monohull Gold Rush Record, an official WSSRC record from Ambrose Light to the Golden Gate.  But she’ll also set the Clipper Record, and the finish line is at Pier 39, so you can welcome the boys in yourself right inside the SF Bay.  Giovanni’s team is talking to the Italian consulate and also to the organisation at PIer 39. The boat will berth there and the press conference is planned for Saturday morning (depending on boat arrival time) at the Neptune restaurant.  Any SA’ers that want to show up, just wear your SA hat and someone will have mercy on ya!

Meantime, check out Ryan Breymaier’s little ‘best and worst of trip’ video from today.  If he missed out on the Barcelona and 2015 Vendee, at least he’s got a budding career as a video editor.  You can follow the last few miles here, and check in on the thread for the latest news here.  C’mon Bay Area racers, including Oracle and Artemis; Let’s see how much SF really cares about sailing…let’s welcome in one of our own – an American offshore racer setting a world record.

February 14th, 2013 by admin

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