the queen and her court

Karly Zinga became the Australian 18 Footers League's Queen of Sydney Harbour when she teamed with John Winning, Fang Warren and Josh Porebski on Yandoo to win the annual event today. Yandoo's crew grabbed the lead soon after the start and led for the entire course before crossing the finish line...


The Environment After back-to-back January atmospheric rivers dumped rain on Los Angeles, the Ballona Creek Trash Interceptor 007 was in...

no joke

One of the first things Rick Rodriguez did after his boat started to sink was text his friend. "Tommy this...

podcast shortcode

first 2 posts


the ussr trump?

A Ukrainian-crewed bulker has rescued a disabled Russian sailing vessel on the high seas of the Pacific, the sailboat’s skipper told U.S.-funded Russian news outlet Sibir Realii.

The inflatable trimaran sailboat Russian Ocean Way has been sailing around the world since mid-2021, and it has completed about 13,000 nm of its planned 32,000 nm route over the past two years. At the end of February, the boat set out for a Pacific crossing from the port of Talcahuano, Chile, bound for Easter Island.

It was underway about 1,000 miles to the west of Chile when it got hit by a storm, and the wind and waves damaged the vessel’s steering. A steering box was bent and broken from the strain, according to skipper Stanislav Berezkin, and its attachment mount began to crack. Read on.

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the ussr trump?

A Ukrainian-crewed bulker has rescued a disabled Russian sailing vessel on the high seas of the Pacific, the sailboat’s skipper told U.S.-funded Russian news outlet Sibir Realii.

The inflatable trimaran sailboat Russian Ocean Way has been sailing around the world since mid-2021, and it has completed about 13,000 nm of its planned 32,000 nm route over the past two years. At the end of February, the boat set out for a Pacific crossing from the port of Talcahuano, Chile, bound for Easter Island.

It was underway about 1,000 miles to the west of Chile when it got hit by a storm, and the wind and waves damaged the vessel’s steering. A steering box was bent and broken from the strain, according to skipper Stanislav Berezkin, and its attachment mount began to crack. Read on.

don’t kill it, he’p it!

How about something a little uplifting for a change? To me it’s clear USS is suffering. Theories abound but instead of getting caught up in this “failure” how about just moving on in our own little worlds and hep’ing where we can?

In the 5 years I was involved as ILCA D12 Secretary we enjoyed great success and I never had one interaction with a US Sailing representative, (However, nearly ALL of the RC at our events and many area coaches came through US Sailing training which is I feel was/is a success at USS). My theory is we can focus on our own little worlds to bring on change. Little by little these little worlds grow and could eventually collide as they merge at regional regatta events.

This past week I was asked to conduct an onshore educational segment to support a STEM based “Simple Machines” curriculum being taught at a local school. The goal was to help kids understand “Simple Machines” concepts, (levers, pullies, wedges and the like).

My wife teaches there. Her co-workers are well aware of my sailing hi-jinks. When the lower school teacher reached out to me my initial thought was, “Sure, I’ll do it. Just drag the ILCA down and let kids crawl on it for an hour and go home.” The day before the event it hit me that I could possibly, maybe, actually influence someone with this “gig”. So, I thought about a talk track. Decided to take an Opti and ILCA, (showing progression opportunities as kids grow and bigger boats to support bigger bodies/STEM).

Read on and comment.

new broom

Big Pimpin’

There is plenty to shout about in the racing world, particularly for those who are involved at the cutting edge. Pro-Set has a long list of clients that are right in the thick of it, building boats from the blisteringly quick to the jaw-droppingly beautiful. Among them is Maguire Boats, a small builder in a niche market based on the UK’s south coast that has enjoyed an impressive run of success and has played a huge part in shaping the high-performance world.

The company is famous for its International Moths, in particular its Exocet. In almost 10 years it has built 170 boats and won pretty much everything in the Moth world. But many believe that the influence of the Exocet was down to far more than simply a straight line and argue instead that it redefined this popular foiling class while raising the bar among the fleet. And a look at their route to success over the last decade makes it easy to see why. Read on.

mea dummy

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa. Yes I know that’s a Christian (Catholic?) saying but I got it from the Jimmy Buffet song ‘Fruitcakes’. It basically means, ‘I was wrong.’

And I was wrong. 

I wrote an article a few years ago about how ridiculous I thought that the new America’s Cup designs were. They were going back to monohulls when I was a huge fan of multihulls. I thought that the AC72 catamarans were just awesome, and I might have said at the time, well in fact I did say at the time, that the new AC monohulls looked like a dog taking a piss.

I got some hell for my article and in fact, got a call from a New Zealand sports talk show asking me to come on and explain myself. The host gave me a hard time. It was a Saturday morning show and my brother, who lives in Auckland, caught it purely by chance. He told me later that the calls that came in after my interview were 10:1 against me.

Maybe they knew something that I didn’t. My point was this. There had been a clamor for the days of old when the 12-meters used to have tacking duels up the windward leg, the boat in the lead slam-covering the boat behind. I understand longing. I long for the days when I first circumnavigated back when the world was flat, but things have moved on since then, sailing too. I really did circumnavigate back when the world was flat. It was in ’81.



As planned, at 12:08 this Thursday, the big race for the 20 th Solo Maître CoQ kicked off off Les Sables d’Olonne. The 30 Figarists in the running then set off for a 340-mile loop between Ré, Yeu, Belle-Ile and the Rochebonne plateau, propelled by a south-easterly breeze blowing between 12 and 14 knots.

It was in close ranks, led by Alexis Loison (REEL Group), that they then began their descent towards the Ile de Ré. Where, shortly after the overflow of the Baleines lighthouse, the situation should get much worse with a transition phase to be negotiated.

A delicate phase that could well be the key point of the course before a clear strengthening of the wind and, by extension, an end of the race at top speed! Photo Copyright: Vincent Olivaud.

More here.

all about the data

Spectators and competitors alike gave the universal thumbs-up to Cowes Week’s new Spectator app – but only after exhaustive refinement and testing to ensure it hit the ground glitch-free and operating at full capacity

Many sailors will be very used to turning up at a regatta and being asked to scan a QR code to open a WhatsApp group that the organizers use for communications.

Once upon a time, these were open channels filled with general competitor chitchat as well as race information from the RO. Latterly, they have become broadcast only, but they are still extremely limited in their capability. How, for instance, do you cope with a fleet of not 60 boats, but 600, spread across not half a dozen classes, but 40 different classes, all using the same race marks for their courses? In the case of Cowes Week, the answer was to write a dedicated event app and to tie that into the organization’s entry system so that from start to finish the event team can use one database of information. More here.


The MOD 70 Argo smoked its way to being the first boat to finish in this year’s Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas race with an elapsed time of 2:04:19:55 over the 800-plus miles.

We don’t know much else, but damn that’s quick! Track the fleet here.

if it ain’t one thing..

That’s a lousy way to have to DNF in the Newport Beach to Cabo race, ain’t it?

Hollywood Down Under satellite telephoned the NHYC RC at 1523 hours (UTC-7) stating they have an alternator/generator issue rendering house batteries to drain below safety limits. They have elected to retire from the Cabo Race to prevent a safety issue from occurring. All crew is reported safe and the boat is returning to San Diego. We will monitor their progress on the uphill return path and will also receive a position report at 0800 Monday AM if not already in port. Track the fleet here.

Title inspiration to Snoop Double O G

a class of their own

A few years ago the idea was mooted to create a new class for boats about 40ft in hull length (IRC band 1.060 to 1.140), largely cruiser-racers with almost entirely Corinthian crews. The P40 Class.

A First 40 is at the bottom of the band and an XP44 is at the top. The class includes but is not limited to J111s, J121s, J122s, Grand Soleil 43s, JND 39s, Mills 39s, Ker 39s, MAT12s, King 40s, and JPK 1180s.

To his great credit, this idea was put together by Dave Swete and then developed with a small group of interested owners. The concept was doing quite well and then along came the pandemic which halted further progress.

As elsewhere, many other factors have contributed to a serious decline in racing participation in the Solent – an area that used to be the strongest in the UK. Some of this may be because there are just too many events and a dwindling fleet being spread more thinly. Numbers for the Hamble spring and winter series, which used to bring everyone together, have dropped drastically. It is a similar story for Cowes Week and the IRC Nationals.

The P40 class is now planning a relaunch with some significant changes. Hopefully, these changes will revitalize the class. Currently the strongest growth on the south coast of the UK is with the Cape 31 class and double-handed offshore. Fully crewed racing, especially inshore, is struggling. Read on.


The drama within the management of the US Olympic sailing program has exposed the real flaw within the structure of US Sailing.

The Board restructuring about 10 years ago and the clear emphasis on promoting all things training over yacht racing now requires a wholesale change of some sort. Those who say the Sailing Team should be spun off are wrong, primarily because the only reason US Sailing is the congressionally approved NGB for the sport is precisely because of the Olympics.

Two things need to happen, first, the entire Training division needs to be spun off into a wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary of US Sailing, and moved to its own facility in a warm weather place where you could actually teach sailing lessons instead of just being a licensing entity. There is precedent for this structure as that is how the US Professional Sailing Association was set up in the mid-80s. The second thing that needs to happen is that given the CEO knows nothing about yacht racing, there needs to be a Director of Yacht Racing who has knowledge, experience, and relationships within the wide spectrum of the sport. What we have now is the equivalent as if the Professional Ski Instructors of America running the US Ski Team.

There is an abject lack of leadership and accountability from the President and the CEO. I do not know either of these people, and that’s because they make almost no attempt to become part of the family of racing sailors in the US. That neither of them has come front and center during this time of crisis speaks to their inability to provide the necessary leadership to right the US Sailing ship, Olympic or otherwise.

Issuing an unattributed, typical too many words without saying much at all, bland, boring corporate PR-speak press release had exactly the opposite effect of your intention. The President let the former ExDir of the Olympic Sailing Team kick the organization’s ass on the way out the door, thereby controlling the narrative. Good luck regaining the tiny semblance of credibility you had. It did not have to happen this way for either side.

The Sailing team issues will sort themselves out soon enough. I have spoken with several Board members in the last few days, and I am confident that the young people who are leading the field triage will insure that the current sailing team members will have all the support they had expected throughout the year. Maybe best of all out of this chaos is that I see some young Board members who will lead the sport into the future. But these young Board members cannot lead the sport of yacht racing if they have the burden of managing things that have no bearing whatsoever on racing.


kill it/don’t kill it

Prolific SA Forum poster Gouvernail nails it here…

My (US Sailing) take comes from a rarely discussed perspective. Organizing authorities are each created for the same reason.

We create a fleet to help manage our local group and improve our games.
We create a sailing club to help manage our games, and have a storage and launching place. …
We create regional sailing associations to help coordinate the regional games and make our sailing better
We create National and continental and world associations to better the chances of having fun playing over larger and larger areas. Then time passes

The yacht club boards of directors have facilities to manage, properties to maintain, staff to manage,
…. At some point, the club becomes an entity with restaurants, hotel rooms, a marina, repair shops, a convention room, a wedding chapel, a chandlery, and…. Oh yeah… we also have members who hold their sailboat races

Many years ago, while it was still NAYRU, the entity now known as USSailing started changing from a tool for managing our games into a business with employees and assets of its own. The “success” of the entity became more about its financial health and the welfare of its employees and less about making North American sailboat racing a wonderful, accessible, affordable, fun, respected, and enduring game for everyone who might be involved. Nobody did bad stuff. It just happened.

As there is a huge pot of gold available from the wallets of those who worship the Olympics, and USSailing management needs money to make itself prosper, the focus of the self-preserving organization has turned almost entirely away from the mission of making sailing great for the 99% who are not involved in the quadrennial event.

USSailing is not about NAYRU’s North American sailboat racing anymore. (Yes. I know CYA split off decades ago). USSailing is about gathering Olympic funds to run itself and it does a littie bit of charitable work for the rest of sailboat racing.

Where are we??

Sailboat racing in the USA really doesn’t have a management group whose task is to make sailboat racing all over the USA work better. We do have USSailing holding the title to that position and sailors who send funds to USSailing imagine USSailing is actually pushing that role.

How many of us pay our USSailing dues “because it is the right thing to do.?” I maintain it isn’t anymore. We should probably start up an association to play the role most of us assume USSailing is playing.

Twenty-four years ago I took over as NA Laser Secretary and ran that Association as a tool that worked to make Laser sailing happen. In three short years, we doubled paid membership, Tripled new boat sales, tripled our allotment of world championship berths, and.. got the USA back on the Olympic Medal stand.

After I left, the Laser class returned to being a business whose purpose was to provide jobs for its staff….. and tries to control the game. That transition, as described above with sailing clubs, is a natural occurrence that must be constantly monitored and blocked.

The do it / don’t do it question: Does it help the racing?? More here.


In less than 30 days, we’ve had around 100,000 downloads for the new Sailing Anarchy podcasts. Seems like a decent start, and well, I think I’ll keep doing them! Thanks to y’all. – ed.

sail on

On March 3, 2023,  we’re one less boat on the starting line with the loss of Gonzalo “Old Man” Diaz.

Loved by everyone he met, beloved Snipe sailor and past SCIRA Commodore, left an indelible mark on the Snipe world and Snipe sailors worldwide.

Gonzalo “Old Man” Diaz, Sr., was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1930. In 1945, his father bought him his first Snipe (Rosi II, #3686), and three years later he stepped up to El Almirante #4835, which was also built in Cuba. It was 1952 when he first took ownership of Jupiter, #10111, a US-built Snipe, which he later managed to “squeeze out of Cuba” when the family left in 1964. (The story of sailing his family to Florida on this Snipe is just one of many not-quite-true legends about Old Man.)

From his new home in Clearwater, Florida, he and the Diaz clan joined the local Snipe fleet and rarely missed a regatta. The family eventually settled in Miami, and all three kids grew up sailing Snipes and crewing for the Old Man. His long-time nickname is much more respectful in its original Spanish, “Viejo,” but that respect carries over to its usage by his many English-speaking friends. Read on.

what’s old is new again

The ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix 18-19 March will be the platform for launching reZHIKle, a program created by Zhik to recycle all makes of old wetsuits. 

Working with UPPAREL, leaders in textile recovery and garment recycling, SailGP’s long-awaited New Zealand debut will act as the pilot for the new reZHIKle scheme, where people can drop off any brand of used wetsuits or skiff suits to be recycled or repurposed and used again. 

Anyone who plans to attend ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix is encouraged to dig through your kit bags and bring your old wetsuits for recycling. Visit either of the Zhik booths located in the Race Village at Naval Point, or at the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix Live Site, powered by Enable, situated opposite Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in the city center. 

Each person who drops off a wetsuit and registers as part of the reZHIKle program will receive a voucher towards their next Zhik wetsuit purchase. 

The launch of the scheme comes on the back of Zhik announcing their first equity Crowd Funding Campaign which goes live on 16th March. The campaign aims to raise AUS $4m to enable Zhik to continue investing in more sustainable technical apparel design and manufacturing processes for sailing and water sports. More here.

not so great

I am a veteran of three Whitbread-Around-the-World races. The Whitbread was the first fully crewed around the world race and it blazed a trail for many more global sailing races to come. In the early days, not long after it was confirmed that the world was indeed round and not flat, it was a grand adventure. Wine with dinner and a Sunday roast, that kind of thing, but the event has evolved and changed and is now known as The Ocean Race. I have to say that I am really saddened. That once wonderful idea with the free spirits of adventurers and more than a few misfits has ended up as a quite pathetic event with only four (as of now) boats competing with the likelihood of more attrition. 

The race started in Alicante, Spain. Good spot Alicante. Nice beaches and some very good restaurants but hardly a place most people can find on a map, but that’s OK. Alicante has done a great job for the event. The first leg went from there to the Cape Verde Islands. Now I have been to the Cape Verde islands. It’s a fairly impoverished cluster of islands a few hundred miles off the coast of Africa, Senegal to be exact. Why on earth was this place chosen to be a stopover port of the world’s ‘greatest offshore sailing race’, as it’s now being touted, is beyond me but I have a theory. 

For this go-around there are two classes; the elite IMOCA 60 class and the VO65 class made up of the older boats from previous races. They managed to get six VO65’s to enter and five IMOCA’s. OK so far so good until I found out that the durable VO65’s were only going to sail as far as the Cape Verde Islands before turning back to join the IMOCA’s in Europe later this summer. Maybe that’s why they chose the Cape Verde Islands. It was a place to stop and then cruise back to Europe while the other five boats carried on to Cape Town and beyond. I dunno, I wasn’t in the room, but where else could they have stopped if they didn’t want to get too much water over the deck. 

The leg from Cape Verde to one of the greatest cities of all, Cape Town, is considered a ‘Milk Run’, champagne sailing if you will. Nice trade winds with the only danger being getting stuck in the South Atlantic high-pressure system. Despite the generally easy conditions 11th Hour Racing trashed their foils and had to get special dispensation from the race organizers to change them out in South Africa. 

Then the really ridiculous stuff started.


gee thanks

This is one incredibly interesting and damning about US Sailing from our Fab Forums…

There a lot coming out of the Cayard thread. I thought it might be more direct to have a thread actually named something that someone at US Sailing might look at, (someone there has to look at this site on occasion maybe while they are at home?). The Cayard thing is an exploded bomb and I’m sure shock waves are going to be going on for a while. So, what next…?

US Sailing has had its share of challenges and the sport does and has as well. However, there are localized success stories that are really cool and should be shared so people can see it’s not all gloom and doom.

I haven’t been a fan of US Sailing for years. I could never see what the organization did for folks like me, (weekend warrior) beyond RC, Judge and Instructor certification courses. I’ve been an “off and on” member going back to the mid-80’s all the way up to 2023 when I recently joined again.

The reason I joined was I received an email from Chris Snow in early January telling me I had been nominated for the John H. Gardiner One Design Leadership and Service Award for my work as the ILCA-NA District 12 Secretary. He told me the award would be presented at the US Sailing convention in FL. I was shocked and honored and thought, “what a great reason to experience one of these events”, (I’ve never been to one before). I also thought it would be poor form to accept a US Sailing award without being a member, so I joined.

We packed up the family for a weekend in St. Pete. For the most part I enjoyed the event. I thought it was well organized and well attended. I saw a ton of folks I know and have met through the years. Went to a Dave Perry rules round table discussion over coffee and really enjoyed that. Dave Perry is wonderful to listen to when explaining rules and very conversational.

I had planned to attend other events, but the resort had a lot of cool things to do so I spent most of my time having fun with my family on the beach, (zip line, huge water slide, the US Sailing boat demo day….).

The award ceremony I went to for my award was focused on OD Sailing and folks who have had a positive impact. We were told to be on time, (10:30) and keep our acceptance speech to 2 minutes. At 10:30 we were standing outside of a locked door and continued to stand there for 30 more minutes. The reason….?

Read on.


Yet another Podcast has dropped, this time with as much phlegm as Babba Booey. Scot gives his take on the US Sailing debacle, complete with F-bombs, insults, and perhaps some actual, semi-legitimate thoughts.

This one is mercifully short. Oh don’t worry, they’ll be more…

nice job, fucko, part 2

We’re sure most of you have at least heard about this, and while we reported it on Feb 22, Ronnie Simpson takes a deep dive for you…

While not directly related to sailing, there is a complete shit show of a story unfolding in Hawaii that will ultimately impact sailors and deserves some coverage on this page. On the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui, arguably the crown jewel of the entire island – if not the whole state – is being threatened, and in more ways than one. A 94’ luxury power yacht weighing a whopping 120 tons has been hard aground on the reef at Maui’s Honolua Bay for more than a week now.

Deposited onto the reef completely due to the owner’s negligence and incompetence, the wreck amounts to has now escalated to the status of a major environmental disaster. Not only did the wreck happen in what is literally the worst location possible, it occurred at a very high tide, making it even harder to get off of the reef. With a moderate amount of swell now in the water at this world-class and very famous surfing location, the hull of the boat is now almost surely damaged beyond the point of being able to tow it off; even with float bags and pumps. It seems inevitable, to this writer at least, that the boat will eventually come off the reef in pieces, which will land another body blow to this culturally and economically significant location.

Here’s what is known: The yacht in question is a 2004 model Sunseeker 94 named the Nakoa, which had just recently been purchased in the Pacific Northwest and delivered down to Ensenada, Mexico before being shipped to Hawaii. The Nakoa had arrived in Hawaii about two months earlier and had begun running private charters out of Honolulu with the company Noelani Yacht Charters. Keen to use his new toy, Nakoa’s owner Jim Jones decided to go to Maui for a nice little group outing.



Monique, a Rhode Island Red hen who joined solo sailor Guirec Soudée on multiple sailing adventures, even including 130 days icebound in Greenland, has died at the age of 9. (thus earning the Sailor Hen of the Week title – ed)

Without doubt the most well-traveled chicken in the world, Monique accompanied Soudée on a five-year world tour, clocking up (clucking up? sorry… Ed) the kind of sea miles many a professional sailor would be proud of.

Read on, thanks to Yachting World.

maybe not perfect…

A public-private research team has located an exceptional and rare find on the bottom of Lake Huron: the wreck of a 190-foot sailing vessel with all three of its original masts still upright and standing. The vessel, identified as the 19th-century schooner barge Ironton, was found within the boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2019, and its discovery was first announced on Wednesday.

Ironton was a 1,250 dwt “consort” barge built in 1873. She was part of the great fleet of crewed cargo barges that were constructed to augment the capacity of  merchant steamers on the Great Lakes towards the end of the 19th century. She could sail independently if needed, but her primary function was to operate under tow.

In September 1894, Ironton departed Ashtabula, Ohio under tow by the steamer Charles J. Kershaw. She was at the far end of the tow arrangement, behind the barge Moonlight. In the early hours of September 26, as they crossed Lake Huron, the Kershaw lost power in rough weather. The wind blew Ironton towards Moonlight and Kershaw, and the crew of the Moonlight cut Ironton’s tow line loose to prevent a collision.

This left Ironton adrift in foul weather. The captain ordered the crew to raise the sails so that they could regain control of their heading, but their efforts were not quick enough. Ironton drifted across the bow of an oncoming steamer, the Ohio, and collided with her port quarter. The impact holed both vessels’ hulls, and Ohio sank quickly.  More here.

how much??

A ton of people have asked how much Paul Cayard made at US Sailing. According to IRS form 990 for 2021, he was paid about $188,000 in total. The chart adds up to a fair bit of money. Wonder what the rank and file US Failing member thinks about this? Comment here.

rolled ’em

At the conclusion of the Port Canaveral Race last weekend, Andrew Clark’s J122 ZIG ZAG was announced as the overall winner of the four-race 2022-23 SORC Islands in the Stream Series. After correcting out for the race win over Pat Harr’s first-to-finish Cookson 50 EN GARDE, ZIG ZAG won both the race to the Cape and the entire SORC series over a packed fleet of 40-something-footers.

A third-place finish for the race was enough for another J122 – Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE – to lock up second for the series. Eamonn DeLisser and Jim Bill’s Farr 395 SENARA broke up the J122 design dominance in the top five by claiming third place for the series, ahead of Matt Schaedler’s BLITZKRIEG and Constantine Baris’ DIRE WOLF in fourth and fifth, respectively.

“It was a terrific series,” said organizer Chris Woolsey, “with a handful of boats within striking distance of the win going into the last race.” ORC scoring for most races were chosen among the range of point-to-point course model options found on Page 2 of the participant’s 2022 ORC USA certificates.

At the awards ceremony in Port Canaveral, the final award of the evening was the Luiz Legacy Trophy, awarded to the person or team who raised the most money for Warrior Sailing’s Luiz Legacy program, in honor of our friend Luiz Kahl’s legacy of support for our sport. According to Warrior Sailing National Director Ben Poucher, the fleet raised enough money to train one warrior for a year. Read more about the campaign on the Warrior Sailing’s Luiz Legacy page.

“No race has been requested more than the old classic SORC race, and there will be no easing into the new season,” said Woolsey, alluding to this race’s reputation as being a challenging sail down the Gulf coast to make then make the turn east at Key West into the full teeth of the Gulf Stream up the South Florida Atlantic coast to the finish in Ft Lauderdale.

kill it

A friend of SA responded with this answer when asked what he thought of the current US Failing situation…

I think the argument is that US Sailing wanted to use some of the funds raised by Cayard (not really very much) for member programs not related to Olympics.

As it is, the Olympic Program spends $5.5 mm out of a total budget of $11.5 mm (as of 2021 audited financials). USOC contributes about $1.3mm, along with some other Olympic-specific funds leaving the Olympic program spending about $3mm more than it generated in donations. There are about $7mm in donor pledges ( three donors make up half of that) that presumably would pay for more Olympic program expenses.

But even that is far from what is required to field a team in every discipline. So the fight, as always, is about money. My recommendation (on deaf ears) is to cut the program down to support one or two classes where they might get a podium or – gasp! -even a win.

Right now I think the best thing – and this will not be popular – is to kill the Olympic program and get on with doing a better job with junior programs.

Comment here.

slam dance

Big Pimpin’

After two decades spent leading Nautor’s Swan to ever great innovation and success, Star world champion and America’s Cup veteran Enrico Chieffi has now taken over the helm at SLAM Clothing…

To succeed in the clothing world means accepting that the environment will be fiercely competitive. The pace of change at the high-performance end of the sport has triggered a new wave of technical clothing which has seen the competition increase even further. This is one reason why SLAM’s new CEO Enrico Chieffi is not only well-suited to the job, but is fired up about the task ahead.

Many will know Chieffi as the highly accomplished Italian Olympic sailor, a multiple world champion, America’s Cup tactician and lifelong devotee to sailing. Others know him for his pivotal role at Nautor’s Swan as vice president where he spent well over two decades shaping a new future for the shipyard, most notably in the performance world. Chieffi likes nothing more than a big challenge and fierce competition, which makes him perfect for SLAM. More here.


This week’s Sailor Chick of the Week is Charlotte Hinman,  a great young  San Diego sailor with a friendly and vivacious personality. We’ve gotten to be friends, and if I can ever get a goddamn J/105, Charlotte will be sailing with us!

North SD did a nice little write-up on Charlotte too.

sail on

If one was to walk the docks or stand at a yacht club bar or nearby pub at any of the global IOR regattas between the late 1960s to the early 1990’s, you may have run into Peter Bowker the famous navigator.

Peter could be found in places as far afield as Newport, Fort Lauderdale, Nassau, Bermuda, Cowes, Hawaii, Copenhagen, Oslo, Malta, Sardinia, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Sydney, Hobart, Auckland, and Rio De Janeiro.

He was equally at home discussing tactics with billionaire and millionaire boat owners, along with mentoring the constant throng of young Aussies, Kiwis, fellow Englishmen, South Africans, and Americans, the young guns who ground the winches, set and trimmed the sails, while Pete put the boat spot on the next mark, regardless of clear or cloudy weather when sun sights were unavailable.

He is the first navigator to win the big three of the early 600+ miler regattas. American Eagle – Sydney/ Hobart 1972; Scaramouche – Bermuda Race 1974; and the brutal Fastnet Race 1979 – Tenacious;

He even has the plaque to prove it.

Peter was in demand on the top boats over the years, such as Ticonderoga, Brigadoon, Escapade, Jubilation, Guinevere, Windward Passage, American Eagle, Scaramouche, Tenacious, Mistress Quickly, Bumblebee 3, Bumblebee 4, Nirvana, Congere, Formidable, Tonnerre, Sariyah and others.


leap year

Holcim-PRB shows some serious get-up-and-go at the start of Leg 3 of the Ocean Race, an easy 13,000 miles or so to Brazil. Track em. Photo © Marin Le Roux | PolaRYSE | Holcim-PRB.

the ragamuffin man

Syd Fischer, the hard-driving owner/skipper who dominated Australian yachting for more the 30 years in his succession of Ragamuffin ocean racers has died a few days short of his 96th birthday.

An adopted child, Fischer grew up in a tough working-class Sydney suburb during the Great Depression. His father was often out of work and his mother died of pneumonia when he was just eleven. 

Syd left school at 14 to begin his apprenticeship as a carpenter. But being a forthright, stubborn, and ambitious young man he was never happy working for others and soon went into business for himself as a builder, then a property developer. By the late-1950s he was already well on the way to being a millionaire.

Fischer had excelled at many sports – swimming, boxing, football and tennis – before discovering sailing at the age of 33. He skippered his own offshore boat, Malohi, in the 1962 Sydney-Hobart race. The first of his eight famous Ragamuffin ocean racers followed in 1968. (The last was the 100-foot supermaxi now racing as Scallywag.)


cayard out

Paul Cayard, the alleged savior of the US Olympic team, has apparently been forced out at US Flailing. The official word is that he resigned, but his US Ailing e-mail was immediately turned off, according to sources.

What we heard is that they had had enough of the Paul Cayard Show. And with an ego like that, this comes as no surprise. Jump in the thread.

but wait, there’s more

There is always going to be more from me, and with our new podcast, you’ll get more than you ever wanted in your life. Like, ever. At least you can turn it off when you want.

Podcast #3 has just dropped, and in it, I take a broad brush to paint the America’s Cup a glaring, spotty shade of fuck off.

Enjoy. – ed.


It was an unusual Friday in the port of Cape Town, South Africa. On February 24, the five IMOCA boats racing in The Ocean Race faced each other for the first time in the Mother City’s bay, for an In-Port Race (short race in the bay). Holcim-PRB won the race after a fantastic one-and-a-half-hour show!

Launched at full speed, the IMOCA, which welcomed on board the mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, took advantage of variable conditions between 15 and 18 knots to fly several times. The magic worked at the bottom of Table Mountain and the spectators massed on the V&A Waterfront were able to discover for the first time, at home, the formidable machines that are the IMOCAs. More here.