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Posts Tagged ‘VX One’

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J/22 World Champ Mike Marshall jumped on one of the sportiest of sportboats last month, and his story about sailing the VX-One is just excellent writing, and inspiration for those looking to jump into fast, wet boats.  Here’s an excerpt:

As expected, sailing this boat flat is the key upwind, but you also need to be able to put the bow down. There are two solutions to this problem: Add weight to the rail or pull the vang on and hike. Since the boat is very weight-sensitive and more weight hurts you downwind, the best solution is to use the vang, and a lot of it. On the windiest day, with 15 knots, I pulled the vang as hard as I could get it. This allowed me to ease the sheet to stop the boat from heeling while still maintaining the leech tension for point. Consequently, I was able to put the bow down and get the boat sailing flat while keeping the leech engaged and forcing the boat upwind.

For a short-cord keelboat, the faster you go, the better the foil works, and therefore the boat slides to leeward less, but at the same time the boat also “releases.” By this I mean that it frees up and becomes easier to sail. Small rudder movements do more to change the boat’s direction instead of just creating drag. The mainsheet becomes easier to play because instead of having to dump and trim 6 feet of sheet, you have to play only 1 to 2 feet. The increase in speed powers the boat through waves instead of having the feeling that you’re hitting them and bouncing off. All this means that you can spend more time going fast and less time worrying about your speed relative to other boats. The key to the whole mix is the vang. Whenever I felt the boat bound up, I’d try pulling on a little more vang, and off we’d go again. This was true even in the lighter air.

Read on for the rest of the story, and go here for HD video of the mighty Blue Lobster gettin’ the poison out in 20+ knots of big Newport breeze – with a trapeze!  Photo copyright the awesome Billy Black.


August 24th, 2018 by admin

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Drizzle doesn’t dampen the mood for Charleston Race week. It didn’t stop the ridiculous Sperry/Sailing Anarchy party last night, and racing commenced on time and on pace today. Under dark morning clouds, an eight knot northwesterly greeted the inside fleet and held enough to get high quality racing in. And what’s Charleston Race Week without current. The ebb was flowing hard today, with teams jockeying for shallow water position all day. Who played it the best?

It’s not Cinco de Mayo yet, but the J/70 Mexican team Flojito Y Cooperando helmed by Julian Fernandez celebrated early with two bullets today to set themselves apart in this talent laden fleet. Elvind Astrup’s Norwegian Steam stayed consistent with a 1, 6, 5 to hold on to an early second. The top and only US team currently on the J/70 podium is Joel Ronning’s Catapult. Since there are 78 J/70s racing in four separate fleets, the points add up quick and the scores are really close with eight boats tied in one way or another in the top 15. The fleets will be reset tomorrow for more qualifying racing.

Continuing the south of the border but north of the fleet tone, the lone Brazilian Melges 20 entry, Portabello, led by Cesar Gomes Neto, threw down some spicy upwind skills to keep ahead of Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis by three points. Midnight Blue sailed well in today’s darker conditions to keep it tight on the podium, behind second by only one point. Only eight points separate the top six in this wide-open class.

Guy Mossman’s name is on the Melges 24 score sheet, but he’s mending a broken hand from a ‘being a nice guy’ moment.  Lesson: Don’t punch a fighting pit bull in the head. In his place on Battle Rhythm is Will van Cleefe, who earned a four point lead today over Brent McKenzie on Ex-Kahn, followed closely by Bruce Ayres on Monsoon.

Watch the full replay of all the live racing action here, and if the wind ever fills in, we’ll have Saturday’s racing for you on this page.

© Sander van der BorchBrian Carlin photo of the sexy C&C 30 and the rest of PHRF A offshore, and seriously big, badass galleries from Brian and Sander Van Der Borch are over here.

And the Team Vestas Wind award goes to Christian Koppernaes in the VX-One fleet, who took the ‘short tack the shore’ move a little too far.  Sander Van Der Borch photo.

Results after day one here, and of course a huge thanks to our friends at Sperry for making SA’s extended coverage of Charleston’s action.

-John Casey


April 18th, 2015 by admin

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Too many stories, too many Dark’n Stormies, and too many competitors to keep track of, the 20th anniversary of Sperry Charleston Race Week sets another attendance record as the spring classic inches towards 300 boats.  This year they’ll squeeze yet another sportboat class in with the VX-One, with 10 boats signed up for their first year at the event.  It’s also Melges 20 Nationals and several other championships, but the monster fleet is again the J/70, with 80 and change on the split lines.  That’s 230 boats or so racing in a harbor that’s about a mile wide, and you can see who’s what and where over in the scratch sheet.

As serious as some are, the majority of sailors are here because it’s always fun and always unpredictable, and that’s what Petey Crawford captured with this short preview and practice reel from today.  Enjoy the film and keep an eye on Facebook for all kinds of updates this weekend.  CRW has plenty going on themselves over at their Page, including a contest;  If you like them, along with Coral Reef and Gill NA, you get a chance to win one of two remaining Charleston’d up Gill Crew Lite jacket (they gave one away today).

And when you’re bored tomorrow at work, click back here on the front page for our first livestreamed video coverage of Charleston Race Week in 4 years, with huge thanks to Sperry for helping us put it all together for you.


April 17th, 2015 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

The father-and-son team behind the VX-One’s steady growth can now move a mini-fleet all by themselves; their ability to transport 10 boats in their two rigs at a great price makes fleet-building that much easier.  Get up to date on one of the quickest and hottest new sportboats in this 8-minute Mr. Clean interview with Brian and Hayden Bennett this past Sunday from the shores of the newest VX-One home; Michigan’s Macatawa Bay Yacht Club.

August 21st, 2014 by admin

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The boys from DFW Drones give us a glimpse into the future of sailing video aerials with this drone cam action from the VX-One NA Champs in Rush Creek, TX.  Can you see the potential?  We can, and at a couple thousand bucks for the complete package, they are cheaper than a new SLR camera.  Get some.

November 20th, 2013 by admin

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Rob Doolittle and Bob Hodges took the second ever VX-One North American Championship last weekend in a 21-boat fleet out of Rush Creek YC in Texas.  Full results here, full story here, and a couple of nice photo galleries (and the above shot) from Rush Creek YV here.

The super light, super quick VX-One continues to please, growing especially well on the Gulf Coast…check ’em out here.

November 11th, 2013 by admin

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Some of the best race reports come from the outsiders, the newbies to a fleet.  Here’s one from Tim Pitts after the inaugural VX-One Midwinters last weekend in West Florida.  Chris Howell photos.

A good friend of mine, Jim Myers, has been known to set me up with women.  He’s a great guy with good taste…but I’m still single.  Read into that what you will; the point is that when Jim offered me a chance to sail his VX-One in their first-ever Midwinter Championship at Davis island Yacht Club, I treated it like another of Jim’s blind dates.

Like with some of the other girls, Jim had been telling me how great “she” was for months.  He sent me her glamour reels on Youtube and her glamour shots from various photographers, and I have to say – she looked damned good on the screen.  Then again, I’ve fallen for that trick before, so I didn’t get my hopes up.

I figured a little experienced help wouldn’t hurt, so I invited the 17-year old son of a colleague to come sail with me. Anthony Norris is an accomplished junior sailor from Michigan, and we arrived in Tampa on Wednesday to get some practice before the regatta.  Thanks to car troubles, the boat didn’t make it in until the wee hours, so we rigged on the morning of the first race.  Rigging was simple, and with no real idea on tension or tune, we just got the boat as ready as we could.

I am a part owner of a J-80 and have a plethora of crewing experience, but after rigging the boat and looking at the angrily snapping flag moving around in 18+ knots of breeze, I began to feel a bit underprepared.  When Anthony showed up weighing 120lbs (with me at 220), I realized we had another issue – we were the lightest crew on the course by a good clip.

My new goal for the day was to spend more time in the boat than out.  We got a 3 minute walk through on how to sail the boat and we were off.  As we left the harbor Anthony confessed he did not think he was going to be strong enough to launch and fly the kite (something I had been thinking already).  I told him “let’s try it”, figuring he could always hand it off downwind if he needed.  The kite came up with no problem, and as we skipped over the waves, I kept expecting to lose control – but that moment never happened!  The boat took off, and after a few gybes we were back at the line, ready to douse – with a little trepidation.   Again – no problem, and off we went to ready for the first race.

It was just like the interview process on a first date.  Get comfortable, play with various parts of her to see how she reacted, and ease into our relationship to see how it went.  I started off driving it like a laser upwind, and quickly realized that it wasn’t fast. Downwind it was easy to just sit back and enjoy the 14-15 knot ride – which I thought was fast.   That said, by the 2nd race we were doing almost 19 knots.  I will never forget Anthony looking back at me and shouting “this isn’t a sailboat – it’s a motorboat!”

By the last race I started to feel we were ready to actually race, and it was time to think about tactics – a sign of real progress, and the day flew by quickly after that.  Next thing we knew we were back at the dock to chat it up with the fleet.  I couldn’t get over how much fun I had!  It took 20 minutes and all the boats were pulled out and back on the trailers.  Everyone in the class was helping each other.  As Donnie Brennan pointed out; “the quicker we get all the boats out the faster we get to drink Rum!”  Strangely, it was the first time I think I’ve ever raced a day in 20 knots and had the option to choose to drink – rather than it being a pain-relieving requirement to elevate a sore body.

The whole fleet then proceeded up to the clubhouse where we had a chalk talk, with the top 3 boats sharing what they did to be fast.    I took notes and boy, did the tips help!  On the 2nd day I spent a few minutes tuning, and started the day off with a 3rd (2 boat lengths from 2nd).  The 2nd race the wind softened and then died and I was not yet confident to adjust the rig on the water.  Not sure it would have really helped as we got stuck in a hole and did not make the time limit for the finish.

The third day, the breeze started off in the low teens but was diminishing rapidly.  I was feeling so comfortable in the boat, I had no problem dropping the main and adjusting the rig on the water it took all of 3 minutes.  After going to the wrong side of the course we were able to grind back to 4th by the first mark.  The wind was around 7 knots and dying. We were able to sail a little lower then the lead pack, and had learned how to best place our weight during the chalk talk the night before.  We rounded the leeward mark in 2nd.  The last beat was a battle between Donnie Brennan, Brian Bennett and us to see who would win the last race.  On last 3rd of the final beat we were able to get into a puff and extend on Brian enough to win the Race!    It was a good thing too as that 1st help us win a tie breaker and get a trophy.  I have never been in a 3-day regatta where there was a 4-way tie for first and another tie between 5th and 6th.  What a way to end a championship!  Oh, by the way, after the tally, Dave Reich from Birmingham AL won the tiebreak over Potter/ Guggenheim from Savannah, Bennett (the builder) from Savannah, and Donnie Brennan from Mobile. Next stop: Mardi Gras Race Week – next week.


I am smitten with the boat.  The boat is a rocketship that sails well in 5 knots  or 25 knots without beating you up.  The people in the Class are great.  The boat can be sailed with 2 or 3 people with a weight range of 340-460 and still be competitive.

Unlike most blind dates, I can really see this “girl” in my future.  As scary as commitment is to any single guy, I’m ready to find a way to bring her home.

February 6th, 2013 by admin