Posts Tagged ‘World Championship’
Brian Porter is the first Cat 1 helmsman to win the Melges 24 Worlds in exactly a decade, and along with crew Matt Woodworth, Andy Burdick, and Federico Michetti, he edged out Flavio Favini by just 3 points to take the title last week in San Francisco. In a fleet of somewhat agro, type A tiller handlers, Brian is one of the kindest, gentlest guys you could ever meet, and he sat down for Sailing Anarchy’s classic “Innerview” to answer some of Mr. Clean’s questions after winning the title that’s eluded him for more than 15 years. Go here to see who Porter beat, and enjoy this Pierrick Contin photo with full gallery here, and go here and here for a couple of great highlight reels from the event from Vibrant Films.
SA: You’ve been trying to win the Melges 24 Worlds since they first began before the turn of the century. How does it feel to finally pull something like this off that’s been motivating you for almost two decades?
BP: It feels really good to win. I have worked hard at this sport my whole life. I got the monkey off my back, finally! The greatest moments in my life were the births of my four children. I don’t think anything compares to seeing a healthy baby come into the world. But I am definitely walking in the clouds.
SA: You are a trader on the CBOT (is that right?), a seriously high pressure job. Is racing M24s at this level still a relaxation, a break from that job, or is it just as pressurized as work?
BP: I find racing extremely relaxing. The pressure is nothing like trading. It has always been a haven for me to relieve life’s pressures.
SA: You are the first non-pro driver to win the M24 Worlds since Shark Kahn did it, though he was part of a three-boat team spending literally millions per year on the M24 program. What special prep did you put into this thing?
BP: We spent 12 days total out there for the worlds. We had one day of practice and then 4 days of the big boat series. We also did short practices on the two days in between. The last time I raced the boat was Key West. However, I did crew for my son RJ on Lake Geneva all summer where we have a 12 boat fleet. That was actually helpful to give me a chance to really look at sails and rig while not driving. I spent time talking to Vince, Andy, and Federico about sail selection. We kept it pretty simple all in all. We made our sail selection the day before the worlds.
SA: In Santa Cruz you were leading with one race left, and a last-leg broach ended your run, giving you your third or fourth runner-up spot at a Worlds. Was it easier being one point behind Flavio going into the last race?
BP: Actually in Santa Cruz we were one point back as well. For me it doesn’t make a big difference if you have to beat the other guy anyway. Having that tack line cleat blow on the kite and the resulting broach was tough but I think that was one of the best races I ever sailed so I didn’t feel that bad.
SA: Freddy Michetti, president of Melges Europe, continues to show that no one in the world has a ‘Silver Bullet” like he does when it comes to winning major Melges titles. He replaced Sam Rogers who was busy increasing the Midwest’s population…This was your first major regatta with Freddy – can you tell us the secret ingredient that Fred brings to the table that has allowed him to own an unbelievable 5 M24 World Titles, including 4 of the last 6?
BP: It was one of the single greatest privileges of my life to sail with Federico. He spent an incredible amount of time loving my boat. He made it perfect. His feel for the small adjustments is uncanny. His greatest attribute by far is his attitude. He carries himself so well in all situations. Very positive. We had many difficult moments during the worlds and the demeanor on our boat never changed.
SA: We were surprised to see Harry Melges back behind the helm, and we know all about your friendship and rivalry with him going back to the invention of the automobile. Is it more special to take a Worlds knowing your old friend and longtime rival and crewmate alike is driving around somewhere in your wake.
BP: Harry Melges III has been a great friend of mine for many years. I have sailed with and against many of the best sailors in the world. Harry is the best I have sailed with hands down. After all the regattas that he has dragged me around with him I hated not to have him on the boat. The same goes for my brother John. Those two were with me for all those seconds. Fortunately I was able to invite them up on the podium to share our victory. So, I was glad they were there to be part of it.
SA: After a few quiet years the M24 seems to be reinventing itself. A new Rules proposal is likely to make the boats a bit more like the smaller sportboats flooding the market, and the top pros, many of them now making a living in the M20/J70/M32 fleets, are coming back to the 24 as, perhaps, still the best cross-training platform in the world. T Hutch, Madro, Harry, Bora, Rast, Nath W – is this a temporary thing, or are we seeing a sustainable rebirth of the M24 as the “superior” sport boat?
BP: I sure hope it keeps coming back. We really need to take care of the hiking and weight rules to make the boat a little friendlier. I love these boats because they are high performance yet easy to sail. My favorite thing about them is that they create such a challenge to achieve maximum performance, and when you reach it, it’s just so incredibly rewarding.
SA: You certainly do your share of Scow sailing in the summers, but with your biggest albatross now free of your neck, Will we see a Full Throttle trying its hand at another major class?
BP: I will sail scows and 24′s as long as I can. I would love to try some other major classes but it is difficult to do the sailing I do now. If I had my way I would probably sail every day. So, you never know!
October 9th, 2013 by admin
Did you know you can fit 45 moths in a 40′ container? Apparently no one did, but that is part of the secret sauce in maxing out your registration at a World Championship on an island in the middle of the Pacific. It’s a brilliant move, really, for the McDougall/Maconaghy Moth Worlds next week in Hawaii. Kaneohe Bay has perfect weather, flat water, and is about as centrally located as anywhere to the big Moth fleets in Australia, Kiwiland and the US. And it’s an ideal ‘bucket spot’ for Europeans looking to explore the Pacific; so much so that entrants had to join a waiting list once the fleet reached 80.
The Moth Form Guide has become something of a tradition over the years, and past Moth World Champ and longtime foiling humorist Si Payne – apparently resting his old bones and spectating this time around – gives us his hilarious view at the fast, the furious, and the funked up for the 2013 Moth World Champs. There’s a website, but this is firmly a Facebook Generation event, so go there for what ails ya.
OK here we go! We confidently reveal the top 10 with the same authority and precision as in (ahem) previous years!
Firstly the venue! Kaneohe Bay Hawaii! It’s on the windward side of the island, but its inside a bay, so its sheltered and therefore flat water. It’s seemingly perfect for Moth sailing with its lovely wind and clear warm water.
However a note of caution. If you’re not a good tacker then you are going to struggle. We haven’t heard the word “cone” in sailing until this summer but it seems now it’s everywhere. We are told that there is a kind of a cone here too, specifically as it gets shiftier and the oscillations get faster and more extreme towards the windward mark.
Clearly it’s best to tack on the shifts, but if your tacking is so slow that they play the “Chariots of Fire“ symphony every time you put the helm down, then it’s going to be a long week.
Still, here we go, our top ten with a hint of fun:
1. Peter Burling, NZ. Yes he’s on it! Peter is the 2012 49er Olympic silver medalist. He recently cleaned up in the Red Bull Youth AC, and the other week he won the 49er worlds. Young, gifted and just like his Mach2, All Black!
2. Nathan Outteridge, AUS. 2011 World Champion. Will he sail or will he commentate? We assume the former. The 2012 49er gold medalist is back in the Moth class!! If he shouts “Boundary!” and tacks, for goodness sake just get out of the way…
3. Anthony Kotoun, ISV. An outstanding worlds last year marked him out as America’s best. Unflappable, unconventional and highly likely to be unstoppable. Rumored to have found a secret short cut through the reef after last year’s recce. Would be a highly popular winner.
4. Josh McKnight, AUS. Current World Champion. Just got on and did it last year as no one said he couldn’t. Fast, fit and mature beyond his years on the racecourse. Big but… No one has defended on foils yet, – could he be the one? Recently been messing about on rafts. Not ideal prep..
5. Bora Gulari, USA. “Airforce One you have permission to take off” Bora likes home soil. He won at the Gorge in 2009 and so Hawaii could be his turn again. You always feel he might be working on something important. Rarely is.
6. Scott Babbage, AUS. Mr Consistent. Sooo close last year in Garda, but 2013 could be his year. He’s the class president though, which means he has to chair the AGM, and it takes a strong man not to let that sap the will to live out of you. Would be a very popular winner though.
7. Rob Gough, AUS. Rumored to be going very fast. He’s the Aussie alternative choice in a “Mac” versus “PC“ kind of way. Rob has invested more time and more money than anyone else. He’s strong, innovative and with good boat handling. Rumor has it he’s bringing his own personal trainer.
8. Rob Greenhalgh, GBR. Been winning things of considerable note across the sailing spectrum for a number of decades. Rob dominated the UK nationals this year. If the first couple of races go well and it’s not too windy, the British flag could fly over the Hawaiian Islands for the first time since Captain Cook banged into them.
9. Chris Rashley, GBR. Current European Champion. If he keeps it together then he will be in the mix. Lots of years left in him. Very organized. In fact the most organized Moth sailor we’ve ever seen. Find him by following the trail of multicoloured Post-it notes…
10. Iain “Goobs” Jensen, AUS. 2012 49er Gold medalist and straight out of the AC. Will have that trademark “thousand yard” star that all those AC72 guys have. Used to being 12 foot in the air and so he could unwittingly pull his ride height adjuster right off! Timing might be off in a boat 61ft shorter than he’s used too.
THE WILD CARDS
Brad Funk, USA. Nanu Nanu! Something funny will happen. He’ll either accidently eat his car keys or inadvertently win 6 races.
Eric Arkhus, USA. Fresh from winning Melges 32 world championships, Eric could well break into the top 5. Anyway stay out of his way too! At the US Nationals at Kaneohe last year, he took out a J-105 and ran straight over a Bladerider.
Dave Lister, AUS. Once hailed as the fastest man in the world on foils. Possibly the first ever to foil tack a moth. Older than God.
Andrew McDougall, AUS. A freak. Take out the seemingly greater importance of tacking at this event and we’d put him right up there.
THE EXTREMELY WILD CARDS
John Harris, AUS. 2008 World Champion and 18ft skiff legend. Resides in the USA where he’s been building a business, and also, we hear, a waistline.
Just not practiced enough to get in the top 10, but form is temporary, and class is permanent. Could be another great comeback in this iconic summer of 2013.
Julian Salter, AUS. The Charge of the light brigade! Clever sailor, foils in a Turtles sneeze. If it’s a very light week then he’s the best equipped to take advantage of it.
So will we be right? Almost certainly not, but it will be a great event!
Good luck to all.
October 7th, 2013 by admin
Update: Argo (fuck yourself) has taken a nice little 6 point lead after 4 races…
Richard Goransson’s Inga From Sweden is off to a good start at the Melges 32 Worlds even if the week isn’t. A nasty Mistral has seen two of the first four days shortened or cancelled with winds recorded up to 74 knots. Below is the report from Inga trimmer Richard Mason’s report after a single race yesterday, and the video is above. UPDATE: Argo leads after three more races today…latest results here and you can watch the Worlds streaming live on the Melges website here.
With no racing yesterday the pressure was on to get racing underway today. The forecast was for the breeze to start the day at 25knots plus and drop from there. Racing got underway on time at 11.00, with the wind gusting up to 30 knots.
The first race was a survival test. Just keep it cool and don’t make the mistakes. Race one proved to be a big payoff for Helly Hansen Inga from Sweden, for the time we have spent on the water over the past year getting to grips with this tricky, overpowered boat.
The first race in the 2013 saw us starting at the pin with Team Argo winning the start a half boatlength to weather. A long port tack in building breeze saw us on the left side of the track. We were third around the first top mark, with it all on for the run. We managed to survive a couple of on-the-edge gybes to make it around the bottom mark in 2nd hot on the tail of Bombarda Racing. Looking back upwind at the fleet there were some major wipeouts, with quite a bit of damage to the fleet on the first run.
Bombarda Racing lead up the second beat showing some serious speed on the wind, and led around the top mark with us about 20 seconds back. A wild second run followed, and the deciding maneuver for the race was the final gybe, just 200 meters from the finish. Bombarda missed theirs while we thankfully nailed ours, and that was the race.
So a great start for the Helly Hansen Inga form Sweden team. An attempt was made at a second race, but the breeze was gusting over 34 knots, which saw the fleet return to the dock, postponing racing for the day. It is going to be a long 3 days! The pressure is on to keep the consistency in the results required to stay at the top of this fantastic fleet.
We look forward to getting back on the race track tomorrow.
-Richard & The Helly Hansen Inga from Sweden Team.
- Tags: helly hanson, inga from sweden, italy, Melges 32, porto rotondo, richard mason, sardinia, World Championship
September 20th, 2013 by admin
Sometimes just getting on the water is enough to stand out, and as the only female Worlds helmsman in a class that’s regarded as one of the most traditional of all, College of Charleston senior Laura Beigel does exactly that. She’s lying in 54th position in a tough, light air Star Worlds fleet with dad Read, and we wish her luck. She’s not the only sailor chick at the Worlds either, but she’s the only driver and we dig it! Photo credit Marc Rouiller/StarWorlds2013.
September 4th, 2013 by admin
The first-ever Melges 20 Worlds gets underway in just 3 months down in the Florida Keys. 36 are registered, 50+ are likely, with Samba Pa Ti, Mascalzone Junior, Bacio, and Stig the favorites. Check out this little promo video and tell us again: Will you be there? If so, register!
September 4th, 2013 by admin
Can’t get the proxy server for the Youth AC running and tired of looking at “YOU CAN’T WATCH THIS HERE” messages? Like us, ESPN3′s app ain’t working for ya? Or maybe you just hate children and catamarans? Well we’ve got something for you too.
The Star Sailors League is sponsoring live 3D race tracking from the San Diego Star Worlds, which starts in a few minutes. Click the pic to go to the live viewer.
Title inspiration to the incredibly cheesy, somewhat obscure TV show that most stoners will remember…
September 1st, 2013 by admin
The breeze came in on day 3 of the Farr 30 Worlds, up to 20 knots with steep waves gave everyone some good times and bad, with Groovederci dropping back to third, Barking Mad once again in second, and Annapolis boatyard owner Rod Jabin leading the way. Two races in a forecast 15-20 tomorrow will decide it, perhaps inside Narragansett Bay - just 4 points separates the three boats and you can watch it happen on their Facebook page tomorrow starting around 1030 AM. At the same time, there’s a three-way battle for supremacy amongst the Aussie expats; Jeremy Wilmot is in 8th as tactician aboard Just Plain Nutz, cousin David Chapman is aboard Topas in 6th, and cousin Pauly Atkins is in fifth, shown here aboard Bliksem, getting a bit wonky. Meredith Block photo; day three gallery is here. Clean interviews Jabin here.
July 19th, 2013 by admin