leisure time

Who doesn't love the work that VPLP does? Clever, fast and often innovative, they turn out fascinating designs. This 46-meter concept cat is much of that, with a bit of a twist in the concept of open-air yachting... More here....

death on the high seas

Not Sailing Crimes like this don't often happen on land. A 10-minute slow-motion slaughter captured by a cell phone camera...

dillweed

All Rooskie news, all the time... The Russian-owned megayacht Dilbar was detained in Hamburg in March in connection with sanctions on Russia's...

latest posts

and so it begins

Looks like the party has started at Legacy Marina in Fort Myers… Well, at least they are mostly all powerboats… Props to anarchist Phillip.

when is a start, a start?

From the Fabulous Forum…

Weird one this weekend. In the end, it didn’t matter, but I’m not sure what the actual rule is here.

Starting in light winds 1 boat (us) is called over. We start to dip back, however at the same time the boat starting on the pin hooks it and drags it fairly significantly to weather. We see this, determine that we are now actually behind the line formed by the Committee boat and the current position of the pin, and start. The RC comes on the radio a few minutes later to clarify that we had not returned far enough.
I’m not questioning his call, but we were very close to the pin, and within reason certain that we had become behind the line as the pin was dragged forward. (This was also the opinion of the boat who hooked the pin so had quite a good view).

Whilst we might be mistaken that we actually were behind the new position of the pin, I’m interested what the rule would be… Assuming that we had been put the right side of the line by the movement of the pin, but had not returned to the prestart side of the line as it was at the starting signal, would the RO be correct in determining that we had not started correctly, or should the movement of the pin put us back on the prestart side of the line “by default”.

Got a comment?

full speed ahead

After pulling off miracles to keep the Caribbean yachting circuit not just on the road post-pandemic, but positively thriving, it’s no holds barred once again in 2023 for another round of racing in the world’s greatest venues

Organizers ticked the box on hosting every major Caribbean regatta in 2022, a welcome feat after most events experienced a two-year pause due to the pandemic. Sailors from both sides of the pond and beyond responded favorably. Jeanne Kleene, event manager for the St Barths Bucket sums up the positive reaction to her event, which echoed regionally: ‘The energy and enthusiasm were fantastic! Following recent cancellations, lockdowns and travel restrictions the pent-up demand was evident, producing a robust, competitive fleet. We had 30 superyachts that enjoyed great racing in breathtaking conditions.’

Weather is the quintessential carrot that entices sailors to travel thousands of miles by air or sea to the Caribbean. Sunny skies. Steady trade winds. Celsius degrees averaging 27. This is certainly true in winter and early spring when cold in northern climates means the racing calendar in those destinations is empty. However, weather isn’t the only decider for sailors to race in the Caribbean. More here.

russian ac 40

Looks like those crazy Rooskies found a loophole in the rules and this is their prototype 40.

One hears it goes both upwind and downwind like a mofo AND blows up the competition with any contact. Winner!

Read on.

60 and counting

Big Pimpin’

Next year will see the 68th edition of a spectacular Mediterranean regatta with even more spectacular race courses…

The quest for the perfect race week experience is not easy. Where can you find in only one week the challenge of navigation and seamanship that comes with distance racing and the thrill of boat-on-boat action in competitive inshore racing? Tre Golfi Sailing Week held over 13-20 May 2023 may be the answer to this quest.

Nearly 140 entries from more than a dozen nations participated in 2022 for the 67th edition of the race, a growth trend that validates the attractive qualities of this increasingly international event. This is a regatta with competent and professional event and race management, easy logistics, a location known for its scenery, pleasant weather and agreeable ambiance, numerous social events to entertain the teams when not racing, and a position in the yachting calendar that fits well in the season of Mediterranean sailing events. Championship trophies and Rolex watches as prizes are also a nice feature. More here.

wing it

Good lord! Now that is a project. From Royal Huisman:

The unveiling of WING 100 celebrates the arrival of an entirely new megayacht category, say its creators, Royal Huisman, Dykstra Naval Architects and Mark Whiteley Design. This 100m / 330ft ground-breaking concept expressly focuses on the highest standards of environmental sustainability with proven technology for worldwide reliability. Its advanced systems platform easily accommodates future technological advances and regulatory requirements. Read on.

on the edge

It’s amazing how much has happened in the 4 months since I arrived in Fiji. CATD and my involvement with them has extended way beyond the cargo proa.

Already happening or in the planning stages are: a biogas reactor program running off food scraps and sewage and producing enough methane to cook for 100+ students. CATD got the first of them at a handover ceremony with the Israeli ambassador last week; A cassava flour mill for the bread we are cooking in the student-built bakehouse; a “village/school appropriate” recyclables collection site organized with Recyclers Fiji and help from the local high school; installing a low cost solar hot water system; producing mud bricks; turning unsorted, uncleaned plastic waste into tiles to cover the mud on the boat ramp and turning scrap glass into sand-sized pieces using a locally built kava crusher. The initial use of this will be to substitute for sand in the mud bricks, play with nonslip, hard and reflective coatings on the boat and cover some of the mud around it. Sand is $60 /cubic meter, so we’re not going to get rich, but keeping Fiji’s beaches out of concrete is definitely a feel-good project.

It is wonderful working with people whose first reaction to an idea or suggestion is “Yes, let’s do it”.

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all multihulls, all the time

Big Pimpin’

The Caribbean Multihull Challenge has it all.

For February 2023, the 5th Annual CMC will see two regattas in one!  Three days of hot distance and short hop racing in the windy waters around St. Maarten / St.Martin; and concurrently, three days of a cruising rally touching Dutch, French, and Anguillan anchorages. Racers will race and party.  Cruisers will cruise and party.  Wind and weather will rule the actual schedule but all will have guaranteed fun! 

Top-end boats have three days of rugged racing on three different courses. One day will see a repeat of the 2022 Caribbean 60 Mile Multihull Sprint sponsored by FKG Rigging.  This race from Sint Maarten heads upwind around St. Barth’s; around French Tintamarre, downwind in the windy Anguilla Channel, around the airport end of SXM, and upwind to finish in Simpson Bay.  Another day will see the premier running of a south/north power reach across the trades called the 52 Mile Around Saba Dash.  This race sponsored by the Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau was created in response to suggestions made by previous competitors.  It will be a thriller!  On the third day, all boats big and small will have the traditional Around Island Race which is a navigational and strategic challenge for any boat wishing to grab a podium spot.

While the bigger boats enjoy distance racing; all others will have an assortment of challenging shorter races mostly on the south side of our island.  Courses will be chosen to optimize the strength of each racing class including a non-rated Pirate Class that includes cruising multihulls that enjoy racing over a rally.  For 2023 we will have an increase in French Diam 24’s one-designs racing in their own class.

Race/Rally registration is open at YachtScoring.com.  Complete regatta details at CaribbeanMultihullChallenge.com/

no magic for merlin

A fabulous shot by Daniel Forster belies a rather dismal Big Boat Series for the Bill Lee legend. The sled didn’t have any real chance in this series anyway, but perhaps the stink of Leif Beiley still lingers…

who gonna beat him?

It was at 6:48am, Sept 17 that Charlie Dalin crossed the 48H Azimut Ocean Race finish line first on Apivia. He completed the 505-mile course in 1 day, 15 hours, 42 minutes, and 50 seconds at an average speed of 12.72 knots and completed 614 miles on the water (15.48 knots on average).

As expected, the Verdier plan pointed its spatulate bow towards the moored line off the tip of Talud just before sunrise this morning. In a light breeze from the North, Charlie Dalin won the long ascent of nearly 200 miles from Waypoint 2, which he had passed in the lead yesterday at 9.45am. A crucial point in the race since after having gained a lead of around ten miles during the furious descent of the Bay of Biscay in the night from Thursday to Friday, Apivia had seen his immediate pursuers swoop down on him. Charal and LinkedOut were then pointing less than 3 miles from her transom, as if for a new start.

But Charlie Dalin did not lose his cool and never gave up the lead in the race, which he took an hour after the start from Lorient on Thursday. Controlling the fleet tack after tack, Apivia widened its lead again at a pace where we know it has been untouchable since the start of the season. Charlie therefore wins the 48 Hours Azimut hands down, after a navigation full of control and determination.

A good (or really bad) message sent to the competition six weeks before the start of the Route du Rhum.

 

lit

Tonight sees the two ‘Charlies’ still heading each group. American skipper Charlie Enright and his crew (11th Hour Racing Team) are leading the way after passing the Azimut 2 waypoint at 08:26 hours this Thursday morning, whilst Charlie Dalin, heading the fleet of solo sailors on APIVIA, followed suit one hour later.

Since then, the IMOCA skippers have been making headway at a slower, laborious pace, with the vast majority now launched onto a beat. The ETA for the front runners is from 06:00 local time tomorrow morning for the 23 solo sailors still out on the racetrack after Japanese skipper, Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Global One) retired last night for personal reasons. Signed up for a longer course, which will take them on a slight detour via Penmarc’h, the four crews are due to make the finish from noon. More here.

reflow

On September 9, 2022, the former ORMA Pierre 1er trimaran, renamed “Flo”, was relaunched after a refit within the offshore racing team Mer Agitée, managed by Michel Desjoyeaux.

Beyond the return to the original colours, Philippe Poupon explains to us how he prepared his boat for the transatlantic and the filming of the film tribute to Florence Arthaud. More here.

beached whales

Two of the world’s most famous supermaxi ocean racers are both up on the hardstand in Sydney awaiting some tender loving care. Wild Oats XI (in the background) was landed by a conventional travel lift but andoo Comanche is so wide she had to be hauled out with the help of a massive crane.

respect

After being joined by the other Commonwealth teams in San Tropez SailGP (NZL; CAN; AUS) for the lowering of the Union Flag to half hoist Team GBR added a logo to the bow of their 50-foot foiling catamaran. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2 was Patron of the Royal Yachting Association with her daughter Princess Anne, the Princess Royal being the President.

This was followed by words of respect from a clearly emotional Sir Ben Ainslie to the assembled media where he stated “an incredible life, perhaps the most incredible life that’s even been lived” perhaps summing up the feelings of many around the world.

speed rules

The 12th Défi Azimut is up and running. Tradition has it that in the largest offshore racing event in the Lorient basin, which this year gathers together a first-class line-up of 28 IMOCA monohulls, it is with a session of ‘speed runs’ that festivities commence out on the water.

The persistent mizzle and light W’ly breeze that set the tempo in the early afternoon in no way dampened the spirits of the skippers, crews and guests, all of them eager to set off down the course in Les Courreaux de Groix as if it were a stadium sprint. More here.

the clunker worlds

No, we’ve not given this “race” much coverage (okay, none. – ed) as it just doesn’t get the dopamine firing for us. But for you who want to read about it, here ya go. That’s Pat Lawless above, who is leading the easier south option towards Cape Finisterre. Picture Credit: GGR2022 / Nora Havel

52 review

Four years in the making, or five if you count an introductory toe-in- the water 2017 season during which the Plattners’ first TP52 Phoenix raced the IRC Europeans and the Copa del Rey, and so Phoenix  winning Puerto Portals 52 Super Series Sailing Week on the Bay of Palma was getting to feel overdue. So too seeing Sled second – with owner-driver Mr. Okura steering after missing all of last season – and Ergin Imre’s Provezza taking the third step. Portals certainly delivered plenty of good cheer and smiling faces.

Provezza has had a tough season so far, starting with enforced last-minute crew changes in Baiona due to health issues and a forestay fitting failure which meant missing several races. Then in Cascais, their mood remained overcast with bright spells; but the confidence and speed were all back on the Bay of Palma.

More here.

 

time will tell

I read the other day that Sir Michael Fay (and some others) has resigned his membership of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in protest for their agreeing to a defense of the  America’s Cup in Barcelona rather than Huaraki Gulf off the coast of Auckland. (A bit late by the way with dibs already being made on the first two team bases in Barcelona)

This is not the first time Sir Michael has steered a different course from the RNZYS for, as he was a member of the Squadron at the time, I have often wondered he launched his Deed of Gift Challenge with the so-called New Zealand ‘Big Boat’ from Mercury Bay Yacht Club and an old Ford Zephyr motor car rather than the more well known RNZYS.

To have launched a Deed of Gift challenge, one might have thought, would have required detailed research and knowledge of every aspect of the Deed of Gift which, of course, makes absolutely no stipulation that any defense should be on the home waters of the defender, rather than the “course” should be mutually decided between the two parties, ie the challenger and the defender.

The defending club’s flag officers surely have a duty to the club (or Squadron in this case) to mount as meaningful a defense as possible, with the most likely success of defending as possible.

That, naturally, includes the correct level of funding.

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all wood

Double victory in the Adriatic for the 15 Metri S.I. (International Rule) Mariska of 1908, who in Monfalcone won the International Hannibal Classic Trophy and the victory in the ‘Vintage Yachts’ category. Photo Paolo Maccione.

SailTv

To TV or not to TV, that is the question…

Those of us who feel cheated by America’s Cup and SailGP races that take just 10 or 20 minutes to sail are entitled to ask this question: in what other major sport are the rules so arbitrarily bent to cater for the presumed demands of television? 

The Olympic marathon doesn’t stop at the 5-mile mark. The finish of the Fastnet isn’t off Land’s End. The chequered flag doesn’t come out at an F1 Grand Prix after the first few laps. Indeed, it is the generous timespan of those events that helps give them their unique appeal. There needs to be time for the drama to unfold – for all the variables of skill, endurance and luck to play out.

But the format is now the overpowering function in sailing. While the rest of us are happy to compete for two or three hours racing around the cans (or three or four days offshore), the elite international yachting events have become like the proverbial Chinese meal. An hour or so after you’ve scoffed down the Pork Chow Mein you’re hungry again.

This emphasis on drastically short time limits has long-term significance. Ostensibly a response to the demands of television schedules, these forms of abbreviated racing have a distorting effect. 

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big cat

Big Pimpin’

Renowned race boat builders Marsaudon Composites recently launched the largest in their spectacular series of Ocean Rider Catamarans – the Lombard-designed ORC 57. Eighteen knots without disturbing the pot plants… this is some kind of a new yacht!

The boat is moored alongside its ORC42 and ORC50 smaller siblings, and it is hard to believe it is “only” seven feet longer than the 50; the greater freeboard and more voluminous hulls making the difference in size look far greater. The giant single spreader mast reaches 26m into the air, not far off that of the Imocas further along the pontoon. Make no mistake – this is a big and powerful machine. There is an inverted bow and reverse sheer above a sweeping chine, whilst the muscular coachroof shape marks a departure from previous models. The team wanted to design an attractive boat that owners could be proud of and they have undoubtedly succeeded.

Our skipper for the day is Bruno, and indeed he will be in charge of the boat for the next year as it tours major European boat shows. Bruno’s experience includes being the boat captain and crew member of a Volvo 70 so he should have the know-how to iron out any teething problems. More here.

fail

Over the years we have enjoyed making fun of dopey ads featuring sailboats. This is the latest and maybe best (worst) example of something so ridiculous, laughable and cringeworthy. So many questions, but the largest one is, why? Props to anarchist Chris.

it sucks a little or a lot?

A good post and an excellent thread about US Sailing, pros and cons. Yes, it is a tiresome topic, but so is the constant flow of bullshit from US Sailing…

Although the invite came bit late to actually fly to and attend this US Sailing meeting, AT LEAST THEY ARE REACHING OUT to the peons in Paducca Flyover Country and seeking our hillbilly opinions. I find it encouraging (within limits) that the “new” leadership at US Sailing has gotten the message “Stopping focusing exclusively on Newport and Miami and the damn Five Ring Circus and give a bohicans some love and attention. We’re paying the bills and demand our pound of flesh.

What’s your take or stake?

only 2 million?

From our friends over at Jalopnik…

Over the past decade, I’ve grown a massive interest in high-speed yacht racing and the America’s Cup. The wing-sailed foiling catamarans of the 2010s America’s Cup regattas captured my imagination. The flying carbon-fiber testbeds were eventually capable of reaching highway speeds with wind gusts moving half as fast.

However, the most common complaint in traditional sailing circles about this technological arms race was the growing disconnect between Cup competition and the average sailor. I’ve always found the complaints to be a bit ridiculous. It’s like disparaging Formula 1 because a modern Grand Prix car has almost nothing in common with the average crossover SUV. More here.

power up

Whilst the sailing world is undoubtedly grateful to companies like Raymarine for the incredible safety and information technologies that we now take as standard when we are at sea, we have to remember that every one of these devices takes power.

The electronic self-steering gear, the chart-plotter, the radar, the radio, and other devices all require power, as well of course, as the traditional powered devices like the refrigerator, the freezer, the lighting systems, the desalinator…

On yachts, this power comes typically from a series of batteries, and generally, there will be two distinct systems. The first is the engine battery, used like a car battery to start the engine and the other is the ‘house’ or ’hotel’ system, which will be a bank of batteries that will power all the other devices. These will normally be in banks, and the number of batteries and their power depends on the requirements of the particular boat.

More here.

69 x 6.50

This Thursday, September 8 at 2:45 p.m., with a slight delay on the schedule initially planned due to squalls having disrupted the exit from the port, the kick-off of the 4th edition of the Duo Concarneau – Challenge BFR Marée Haute has given in the bay of Port-la-Forêt, off Beg-Meil.

Propelled by a solid south-westerly flow blowing between 18 and 25 knots, the 69 competing duos then set off in the English style (in the crosswind). If Yaël Poupon and Victor Le Pape (1051 – Bihannic – Groupe Asten) were a little too hasty to do battle but quickly repaired before continuing their journey, the tandems Louise Comont – Thomas Menou (Action Santé) and Léo Bothorel – Romain Le Gall (987 – Les Optiministes – Secours Populaire 17) got the best start.

fancy pants

Big Pimpin’

Sailing by the seat of your pants while using the Mk1 eyeball method of assessment is all very well but when the land, seabed, or any other physical obstructions become tactical factors, there are more accurate and effective methods for making the right call. As a committed racer himself, B&G’s product director Matt Eeles knows this well and offers some of his tips and tricks on how to get the best out of B&G instruments.

His starting point is calibration where he is quick to stress that before you start the process, the very first thing to do, (but one that is often forgotten), is to make sure that the log impeller is clean and not fouled. Inaccurate data here will simply multiply errors further down the line. From there, using the calibration function on the H5000 provides a simple guide to setting up the log and involves making three passes over a known distance.

More here.

in da club

The latest of the growing Club Swan line, the Club Swan 80, showing fine form at Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Photo by Studio Bolrlenghi. More here.

make the switch

Big Pimpin’

The A Scow is a unique class: it features the largest spinnaker trimmed sans-winch in all conditions and looks more like a 38-foot-long surfboard than a sailboat to some. But, this class is home to some of the fiercest competition in the Inland, with competitors such as Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year Harry Melges IV, Eric Doyle, and Brian Porter, among other legends, taking part in the Inland Championship in 2022.

This year it was Bo Freytag’s team ‘Smiles’, with Melges IV as tactician, who claimed the title. We can’t find official history, but this team of all 21-year-olds is almost certainly the youngest A Scow Inland Champion team ever, and their 7,1,5,3 scoreline was a super consistent run of finishes in a regatta peppered by inconsistent conditions. Freytag’s team, along with most of the A Scow fleet, have made the switch in 2022 to the Vakaros Atlas 2 as their instrument of choice. Why is that? We asked Harry what made the choice so easy, and how trusting your instrument is such a huge key to success on the water. More here.

close up

Almost 37 years to the day from when a team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution first located and photographed the wreck of the Titanic, a new expedition has returned with the most detailed images captured of the vessel. Seattle-based OceanGate Expeditions released the amazing 8K video footage showing never before seen details of the ship that famously sunk on its maiden voyage in April 1912.

Exploring the wreck that is sitting on the floor of the ocean 380 nautical miles from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, the 2022 Titanic Expedition promises new revelations, as well as documentation as the wreck, continues to disintegrate. The exploration team used new technologies which it said are critical in helping scientists and maritime archaeologists characterize the decay of the Titanic more precisely. More.

what next, nexba?

It is now two months since the capsize of the Farr X2 Nexba off the New South Wales coast, yet we still have no independent account of what really happened. 

Only the basic outline of the incident is on the record. At about 01:00 on July 3 the keel fell off the brand new 30-footer causing it to immediately flip upside down. The two crew, who had been trying to complete their qualifying sail for a coming offshore race, scrambled onto the inverted hull.

The boat EPIRB was not activated. One of the crew PLBs was accessible but damaged during activation and did not function correctly. No flares were sighted. There was no distress call received on the emergency VHF Channel 16. After twelve hours spent in worsening conditions one of the crew was apparently able to send a message via her Apple Watch to raise the alarm. (In a parallel version of these events next-of-kin ashore realized the boat was well overdue and contacted the authorities.) 

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) then instituted a full-scale search and rescue operation with aircraft on standby. A passing ship luckily spotted the upturned hull and relayed its coordinates. Three hours later the two sailors were finally rescued by HMAS Brisbane, an air warfare destroyer of the Australian Navy. 

The next day the hull, with its rig and deck ripped off, washed ashore on a beach about 50 miles South of Sydney. It was quickly craned onto a truck and taken away. 

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