Posts Tagged ‘skiff’
Willie McBride and Dane Wilson were born to the sea; two quintessential California watermen with a long, long sailing future ahead of them. Will that future begin in Rio? Only time will tell, but we love the fact that these young studs are already pushing the limits with their training and their organization. More from Willie below, and have a look at their good-looking website and donate to their cause here.
For those of you not currently following the daily tweets and posts of your favorite Olympic hopefuls or don’t live in Long Beach, CA, the traveling circus that is currently masquerading as the US Sailing Team arrived nearly unannounced in May at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, and immediately began setting up camp to take advantage of the clockwork-like sea breeze and messy seas west of the LA Harbor breakwater.
For Dane and me, this was the first chance to train shoulder to shoulder with the other 49er teams vying for a spot on the 2016 Olympic Team. We’re relatively new to the fray, having only been sailing the 49er for the past 10 months, but opportunity knocked, so we packed up our gear and abandoned our daily training grind in Santa Barbara to see where we fit in the fleet.
Day one was a bit jittery for us, as the other teams hoisted their sails plastered with sponsor logos, Olympic rings, and gigantic US flags. We were sporting an old set of Canadian sails. No matter – never judge a book by its cover – off we went. The agenda for the day was to speed test upwind until we ran out of runway, then turn around and send it downwind, best man wins. Somewhat to our surprise we hung in with the “senior class,” so much so that by the end of the session Luther and Fuzz awarded us the title of “greatest rookie team of all time.” We weren’t entirely sure if they were encouraging us or hazing us. Either way, day one was under our belt and all was well.
The highlight of the month was the private coaching bestowed upon us by the famed McKee brothers – legends to any high-speed sailor on the West Coast. We’d been staying on the water after the group sessions each afternoon to solidify the day’s lessons, and one afternoon Charlie and Jonathan stayed out to chase us around in a coach boat, with Charlie analyzing our crew work and Jonathan critiquing driving techniques. We made several changes that smoothed out a lot of the boat handling and helped with the rudderless aspects of our maneuvers. We were stoked to get the attention and hopefully to put it all to good use. Part of that process was sharing debriefs each night with longtime supporter and mentor Howie Hamlin. Howie was gracious enough (as always) to provide a roof over our heads while we were staying in Long Beach, and served up heaping bowls of ice cream each evening as we mused over the daily sessions, discussing tuning techniques unique to skiffs, boat handling nuances, and even the means by which we can collaborate more effectively in order to leap frog the US skiff talent in general, as he has always encouraged us to do in the 29er fleet. If that weren’t enough, he even volunteered to ferry around our buddy, and epic young gun photographer John Kelsey in his ridiculously cool helicopter to shoot some aerial stills and video. The footage in this video is just a snippet from our time in Long Beach. Expect to see a lot more from John in the near future as we’re collaborating on a movie about our collective love of the ocean.
In the end, it was an intense month of learning. We’ve now been training for nearly a year in the 49er and by far our biggest challenge has been getting good, consistent information and data to help us progress. It would be incredibly helpful if there were easily accessible institutional knowledge available for young teams here in the US, but unfortunately that knowledge base doesn’t exist yet. In our own program we’ve been compiling, tracking and archiving all of our training sessions, lessons learned, testing procedures and Ah Ha! moments throughout our campaign. It’s a bit of a mish mash of data at this point, but in time we hope to establish a baseline of open information that will be available to new teams getting started on the Olympic skiff path. Anyone willing, able, or interested in helping out can peruse our extended mission at www.FromWhenceWeCame.org.
Big thanks to Trevor Moore for letting us use the American flag sail for the video and to all who made it a great month of training: Leandro, Luther, the McKees, Oakcliff, ABYC, and of course Sailing Anarchy for always highlighting young teams like ours.
June 27th, 2014 by admin
Looks like some breeze finally hitting the Harbour for the fourth race of what’s been a light air affair until now in the JJ Giltinan/18 Foot Skiff Worlds. Today most of the fleet has their small rig up; will it pay or will it wallow? Watch right here and a big shoutout to the great job the whole live streaming team is doing; it’s our privilege to be their Official Streaming Partner and we’re stoked there are another 4 days of great action ahead!
March 4th, 2014 by admin
The spectacular racing of the 34th America’s Cup was, at times, frustrating for we sailors, with an overhyped know-nothing commentator and an over-aged AC winner pointing out irrelevant facts and useless trivia in vain hopes of getting the ‘mainstream’ to buy into the live feed. We got to see some of the most amazing sail racing ever captured on screen, but it was often better with the sound off.
This week’s 18 Footer Worlds (also known as the JJ Giltinan Championship presented by Sydney City Marine) might feature some of the same faces; AC34 Regatta Director and AC35 Challenger of Record CEO Iain Murray is helping out with the commentary at times, while numerous AC sailors are spread throughout the fleet.
But this broadcast ain’t for the landlubbers, it’s for sailors only, and the boys behind the microphone make no bones about it. So if you’re a racer and you want to know who’s on the inside of what shift, and who’s got a slightly better kite drop than the other guy and the inside position at the Zone, this live coverage is for you.
March 3rd, 2014 by admin
Camper VOR skipper and lifelong skiffie Chris “Nicho” Nicholson may not have sailed an 18 footer in more than a decade, but the Lake Macquarie native didn’t take long to slip into winning ways as this summer’s 18 Footer season got underway. And now, with another solid performance on Sunday, Nicho and his Mojo Wine team have taken the 3 Buoys Challenge title for the 8-race series that ended this weekend. Does he have what it takes to win a JJ? Fuck if we know, but with one of the deepest ‘top ends’ in the 18 fleet in years, it won’t be easy for anyone.
Just 10 of the 18 boats finished on Sunday; watch some oh-so-sweet carnage from a classic Sydney Nor’easter here, and thanks to the 18 Footers for the news.
December 9th, 2013 by admin
Yes, we know we’re insufferably sophomoric. We like topless women, crashing boats, fart jokes and dick jokes and yes, even gay jokes. And there’s always something funny when sailmakers and graphic designers get it oh, so wrong – like they did here on a poorly planned jib window aboard the boat sponsored by North Sydney’s oldest pub - the Rag & Famish Hotel.
Rag’s been a part of the 18 fleet for well over a decade now, and their ‘wardrobe malfunction’ was the only thing that went wrong on Christening Day for a brand new boat; Jack Macartney, Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy put the finishing touch to the day of celebration with a great win in Race 7 of the 3-Buoys Challenge on Sydney Harbour on Sunday.
Check out 18footers.TV for all the video coverage, and a shout out to Deckhardware for the Facebook find. And for everything ‘Eye-deen”, including historic videos and near-constant shitfights about things you’ll never understand, check the thread.
December 5th, 2013 by admin