young and old

If the average age of the Mini Transat competitors has remained between 30 and 35 years since the creation of...

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breaking it down

Perhaps no race says ‘Sailing Anarchy’ more than the infamous Mini Transat. Solo sailing across a big and oftentimes unforgiving stretch of Atlantic Ocean on radical little ocean racing steeds that measure in shorter than most day sailers, everything about the race pulls at our heart strings. With cutting edge technology, the exploration of new ideas and the champions of tomorrow sailing boats that are oftentimes home built one-offs, the race is as iconic and legendary as it is fascinating. Despite all of the challenges imposed by the current state of the world, the 23rd edition of the Mini Transat begins this Sunday in the famed port of Les Sables d’Olonne; home of the Vendée Globe. 

Again showing how much pent-up demand there is to go sailing right now, an oversold fleet of more than 125 sailors reportedly applied for the coveted 90 available spots which make up this very deep and talented fleet for the 23rd edition. With around 66 Series and 24 Prototype boats expected to start, this year’s fleet is again a [...]

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presumption of entitlement

My colleague, Shanghai Sailor, has offered a characteristically optimistic take on the chaotic negotiations over which city might host the next America’s Cup. But his analysis misses a fundamental point: the assumption that the Cup must proceed in its current form is false. 

Grant Dalton and Team New Zealand are in a difficult position of their own making. They have enjoyed their privileged little AC bubble of elite professional sailing for so long that they can see no other way. From the outside looking in, asking for more and more millions to fund a few weeks of extreme sailing seems like the presumption of entitlement. 

The city authorities and politicians who’ve been funding the excesses of the America’s Cup for so long are finally crunching the hard numbers. The old extravagant estimates of economic benefits and TV audiences are being re-assessed. Sponsors and governments are now making cool-headed calculations as to how much real bang they are likely to get for their bucks.

At the core, the problem is that AC campaigns have become far too large and expensive. The teams – both defenders and challengers – demand levels of direct funding and infrastructure support that are grotesquely out of proportion with the tangible value of the event. 

No doubt this might all seems quite normal to Dalton and his team but to the rest of the world (and its taxpayers) it borders on obscenity.

It’s worth noting that Australia, the nation that first defeated the Americans back in 1983, hasn’t participated in the Cup for 25 years. No club, syndicate or corporation ‘Down Under’ has been prepared to fund a challenge. The government wouldn’t dream of contributing a cent to an AC campaign, or bidding for host city rights. 

In my view, to bring the Cup back within reasonable limits we need to re-consider its scale. Do the boats really need to be so complex? Does each team really need 100 staff? Are such extensive on-shore facilities really necessary?

It’s difficult to avoid comparisons with the Spruce Goose. Howard Hughes thought the future of aviation lay in giant flying boats. It cost him millions to discover he was dead wrong.

 – anarchist David

change is good

The MC52 might be the smallest multihull in the McConaghy range, but this cat is no kitten.  The design of the MC52 has benefitted from further design refinements of late, and the new version features a fantastic foredeck lounge and a larger aft deck, which provides a desirable al fresco dining space.

The spacious saloon offers a versatile living area that is exceptionally light, and there’s direct access to the aft deck via full-height glass doors.  The galley is arranged open-plan and the arrangement is particularly well suited to socializing and family living.

The MC52 has dual helm positions on the flybridge, allowing for unencumbered sightlines and an elevated operational position – making her an ideal choice for those new to multihull cruising.  Clients can opt for an even larger flybridge setup – just one example of the many customization options offered by McConaghy.

There are two accommodation layouts to choose from; a four-cabin layout (all en suite) or a three-cabin layout that features a large master suite, complete with private study, in the starboard hull

Carbon rig, furler running rigging, hydraulic aft platform, hydraulic centreboards, LI batteries and more are included in the base boat, price at USD 1.65m. This is a high spec yacht that performs!

poker star

One thing I have learned is that if I ever played poker other than I wouldn’t have a clue as to the rules is don’t play against Grant Dalton. 

The delay over the venue decision is not only sensible but the fact an overseas defense was being considered has brought a home defense, if not quite onto the table closer to a possibility.

As the other potential venues appear to have had challenges, the Irish concerns about affordability or financial return exacerbated by political moves, the Valencia site becoming a ‘Spanish National Effort’ and the reported human rights concerns of a Saudi Arabian Cup venue the demands by Mark Dunphy that any funding from him and his mates would be dependent on the removal of ‘Dalts’ from his team leader position appear to have been removed from the ‘condition list’.

Such an idea would have been, let’s just say, idiotic. “I’ll give the team money if you sack the driver behind the Bermuda victory and the AC36 defense.” Can you imagine the reaction if, having just won the Rugby World Cup there had been a demand to sack the All Blacks manager?

It would be just another factor that would make an AC37 a [...]

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in house

Forty-five years ago Royal Huisman went looking for a new spar building partner, ideally one also able to supply the latest superyacht sail handling and hydraulic systems… In the end they did not have to travel very far…

How do you source the rig and sail-handling systems optimized for that particular superyacht? It boils down to a binary choice between two very different approaches. You can commission it piecemeal from a dozen suppliers or more and then knit it all together as a full custom rigging project. Or, if you want the convenience, performance and reliability of a high-end sophisticated, fully integrated, sail-handling package with the interface to the yacht, you can give the whole job to Rondal.

Until quite recently, most of the top sailing superyacht shipyards made their own masts and built their own winches. Over the last 15 years or so, the speed of innovation has led to leading experts in spar making, rigging, deck hardware, hydraulics and various other specialisms migrating from major shipyards, where they used to work in house, to specialist suppliers that serve the whole industry. Read on.

bad sign

Given that we all know that windmills cause cancer, this comes as no surprise…

After reporting mixed financial results in the second quarter, with rising revenue but slim margins, wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced that it is closing three of its factories in Europe, including a facility that makes power components for one of its largest offshore models.

Vestas is the leading manufacturer in the onshore wind turbine market, and it has a portfolio of offshore turbine models as well, including a new 15 GW giant with the largest swept area in the industry. Scale is key in offshore wind project developments, and Vestas’ leap forward from 9.5 to 15 GW at the high end of its range will help it to keep pace with competitor Siemens Gamesa and GE, which have recently boosted the top end of their respective lineups to 14 GW.

Vestas’ factory in Esbjerg, Denmark makes power conversion modules for two previous generations of offshore wind turbine, the V164 and the 9.5 GW V174. The factory employs about 75 people, and it is on the list for closure. “As demand for these modules will gradually shift to markets primarily outside of Europe and be delivered via more localized manufacturing facilities, Vestas expects to conclude production of power conversion modules in Esbjerg during the first half of 2022,” the company said. Read on.

it was a good day

Another good race for Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on the IMOCA 60 Apivia, who displayed utter dominance over the rest of the fleet on the 500-mile offshore tune-up race that is the crown jewel of the Defi Azimut regatta.

Showing superior boat speed upwind in the light at the start, the duo would only continue to build their lead throughout the race as they won by the substantial margin of 2 hours in a race that took the leaders only 1 day and around 16 hours to complete. With a course that consisted of upwind, downwind and hard reaching – with conditions from very light to the passage of a front with its associated big breeze – this Defi Azimut 48 hour race was a complete test of both man and machine.

Behind them was the constantly improving, and impressive, duo of Justine Mettraux and Simon Fisher on 11th Hour’s ‘B’ boat Alaka’i. Locked into a fascinating battle with the other podium contenders, we’ve gotta give props to ‘Si-Fi’ and Justine’s tactical and navigational prowess for taking a flyer to the south to gain more breeze and a better angle on the VMG run and then moving into second place over Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière onboard LinkedOut. 

It was a weekend of ups and downs for the American team 11th Hour Racing, however, as they took out the relative drifter of a ‘Speed Run’ with their new boat Mãlama, though were forced to retire from the 48-hour test with a broken tiller arm. Despite some minor teething issues of a brand new build, the team has to feel good about their chances with both boats and doublehanded duos looking on point headed into November’s TJV.

After a dominant run-away performance in both the Rolex Fastnet race and the Defi Azimut’s offshore race, Apivia has to be considered the pre-race favorite for the upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre, a race that Charlie Dalin won two years ago with then co-skipper Yann Elies. With sister company MACIF tasting victory in the 52nd La Solitiare du Figaro at the hands of Pierre Quiroga, it was certainly a good weekend of yachting for the French insurance giant, who continues to rack up wins in a variety of disciplines since divesting from big trimaran racing and focusing on smaller monohulls. – Ronnie Simpson.

Title inspiration comes, predictably, from Ice Cube.

the wrong way completely

From our Fabulous Forums, brought to you by Marlow Ropes.

This really happened in today’s race.  The SI (for reasons that made sense to nobody but the RC) specified a starboard rounding.  WTF?  Unfortunately, one boat didn’t read the SI carefully enough and thought they were doing a port rounding.

As far as I can tell, rule 18 applies; both boats are required to leave the mark on the same side (regardless of the fact that one of them doesn’t know that) and they’re both in the zone.  None of the exceptions in 18.1(a)-(d) apply.  They’re clearly overlapped, so 18.2 applies but beats me which boat is inside or outside.  The next mark was upwind, so proper course to the next mark for S would be to harden up to close-hauled on starboard, not that I think that matters to the rule.

Any idea what rules actually apply here?  In reality, S hailed to P that this was a starboard rounding and P headed up to round the proper way, several boat-lengths behind P, and got to chat about it back at the bar.  I was the skipper of S.  Last I saw, the skipper of P was looking for the RC chair to give him shit about putting starboard roundings in the SI. Jump in.

Title inspiration can be found here.

it broke

From the G32 Alinghi…

Every year, at the start of the season, we do NDT (non-destructive testing), an ultrasound of all the carbon parts – the hulls, foils, beams and mast. This scanner allows us to check the state of wear of the boat, to identify and repair any initial cracks. We did not observe anything during the last scan and no signs of wear have been visible to the naked eye since, unlike a rope or block, which show weaknesses visually. More here.

frisco fest!

Now that the no longer “Big Boat” Series is underway, we thought to suggest a new name – one that the local yokels will surely love, and one that will delight and amuse others – “Frisco Fest”!

There are no longer “Big Boats” in this series, save the aged Lee 68 Merlin. The next largest boat appears to be a Santa Cruz 52,  and a “Big Boat” series they do not make.

But whatever, times change and we’d guess the sphincter clutched at StFYC have not helped much, but there is no denying the series ain’t what it once was. But, for the 79 mostly one-design boats and scattered others, it looks like a typical frisco fest. Good times!

Photo by Sharon Green. Note USA 7676, the very well sailed Melges 32 Kuai looking good among a gaggle of larger boats and currently tied for first in ORR B.

Results

cross over

We thought y’all might enjoy this look at sail crossover…

Sail crossover is a term used to refer to a boat’s combination of sails for all conditions. Each sail has a range of use, beyond which a smaller sail will replace it.

The points where the first sail needs to be replaced for the second indicate sail changes. The crossover diagram shows us the overlap points between the sails and the appropriate moments for sail changes.

At the crossover point of the sails, we will have situations where two alternative sail combinations are valid. Changes must be made if we expect conditions to vary in favor of one combination or the other. Read on.

class is in session

You need a history lesson.

The Australian 18 Footers League (formerly known as NSW 18 Footers League) has been conducting 18ft Skiff racing continuously for 87 years on Sydney Harbour since its first year of competition in the 1935-1936.

As we move towards the 2021-2022 season, it’s a good time to remember how the ‘League’ began and how the original club administrators generated the enormous public support that has endured.

Queensland were trying to introduce new rules to the 18s in the early 1930s as most of the Brisbane fleet was old, numbers had begun to dwindle, and owners were reluctant to replace their boats, due to rising costs during The Great Depression, together with the difficulty of maintaining big crews.

Frederick Hart was in Sydney at the 16 footer Australian championship in 1932 when he claimed that Queenslanders could build a new style 18 footer that would beat the Sydney boats.  Naturally, this brought about an immediate challenge so he went back to Brisbane to build his ‘miracle boat’, which he named Aberdare.

Read on.

crystal

Okay that’s about as pretty of a picture as we’ve seen! From the 6mR Euros, this lovely photo was taken by the equally lovely Maria Munia. More here.

light as a…feather?

The lightweight construction of the 46m performance cruiser, Royal Huisman’s project 405 aka Reichel / Pugh – Nauta 151, employs the shipyard’s new “Featherlight” method which combines the best of both worlds: performance and comfort.

The turning of the modern performance hull at Royal Huisman’s new-build facilities is an important milestone in the build process. It marks the start of the outfitting, during which various carefully selected and specially developed components will be fitted to ensure that this vessel will be both extremely lightweight and – compared to existing carbon composite superyachts – very competitive in regattas. Read on.

it’s dangerous out there

On Thursday, the ship management division of Stena confirmed that two tanker crewmembers were killed by a large wave off Cape Horn last weekend.

On Saturday, as the Euronav-owned oil tanker Arafura was rounding Cape Horn, en route to Long Beach from Brazil, she ran into rough weather and heavy waves. An alarm went off towards the bow, and the chief officer and the bosun went to attend to it. During the evolution, they were struck by a large wave and killed.

An investigation into the incident is underway, according to Stena subsidiary Northern Marine Management, the ship’s manager.

In order to properly handle the remains of the two crewmembers and give the crew some respite, the Arafura has diverted to Valparaiso. Northern Marine is in talks with local authorities to arrange for crew changes if possible, along with the repatriation of the two bodies. Read on.

butchers

We don’t give a fuck if you don’t think this belongs on our site or not. We know it does. This is a brutal murder of  1,428 of one of this earth’s most treasured species. It is unacceptable by every measure, and we are horrified beyond belief. You should be too.

On Sunday night, September 12th, a super-pod of 1428 Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins was driven for many hours and for around 45 km by speed boats and jet-skis into the shallow water at Skálabotnur beach in the Danish Faroe Islands, where every single one of them was killed.

Sea Shepherd believes this to be the largest single hunt of dolphins or pilot whales in Faroese history (the next largest being 1200 pilot whales back in 1940), and is possibly the largest single hunt of cetaceans ever recorded worldwide.

While Sea Shepherd has been fighting to stop the ‘Grind’ since the early 1980’s, this latest dolphin massacre was so brutal and badly mishandled that it is no surprise the hunt is being criticized in the Faroese media and even by many outspoken pro-whalers and politicians in the Faroe Islands.

Read on.

linked in

Sure it may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but we’re stoked to see 11th Hour Racing’s brand new IMOCA 60 Mālama take out the W in her very first competitive outing off of Lorient today. In light, non-foiling conditions, the duo of Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidegorry managed to lay down a fastest run of 6:53 over the 1 NM reaching course to best Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagraviere on LinkedOut by 7 seconds and claim victory in the Defi Azimut’s famous speed run competition.

The first IMOCA built for the Ocean Race’s more varied round-the-world race track as compared to a Vendée Globe which includes far less light air and upwind than the Ocean Race, we can only speculate that the new 11th Hour whip is going to excel in light-air transition zones when compared to her more reaching and running optimized rivals.

Obviously not one to take a defeat lying down, 2nd place skipper Thomas Ruyant has just yesterday announced a brand new build ahead of the next Vendée Globe! The 14-strong IMOCA fleet will take off on their 48-hour offshore race tomorrow, as the last major tune-up ahead of November’s Transat Jacques Vabre.

’round the bend

They’re on the home stretch to the finish in the 52nd edition of the La Solitaire du Figaro, and there’s still virtually nothing in it as Pierre Quiroga and Skipper Macif 2019 cling to a small overall lead over Xavier Macaire and Groupe SNEF.

Having won the first three legs of this regatta between the two of them, the two skippers at the top of the leaderboard are currently both sailing in the top five in this final stage with some two hundred miles left to the finish in Saint Nazaire. With light winds from the north to northwest and a coastal jaunt to the finish that will be influenced by the Breton coast and large tide swings, there could still be some good passing lanes to be had.

Pierre Leboucher currently holds a small lead in this final stage with veteran Figaro sailors and class stalwarts holding onto nearly all the top spots, with just one rookie in the top 15. It’s again been a humbling race for the two American rookies in this regatta with Jesse Fielding and Francesca Clapcich sitting in 34th and 31st in this 34 boat fleet, respectively. Clapcich, a former Olympic Laser Radial sailor is having a solid final leg however, currently sailing in the top 20. Non-French sailors are still managing some solid results however with Irish sailor Tom Dolan currently sailing in 3rd place and Spanish rookie Pep Costa in 6th, following up English sailor Alan Roberts’ strong podium finish in Leg 3.

Should 29 year old sailor Pierre Quiroga hold on to win the overall, it would be his first overall victory in the Solitaire, with his top result previously being a 6th place finish in 2018. This is his sixth Figaro participation. For 40 year old Xavier Macaire, he is primed to finish on the overall podium for a third time in 11 participations.

Currently in third overall and still with a chance to win it is Francois Gabart’s new co-skipper Tom Laperche on Bretagne-CMB Performance. Having finished 3rd overall last year, the 24 year old continues to establish himself as a top up-and-coming talent in this ultra-competitive fleet.  – Ronnie Simpson

here’s y

Pioneering carbon race boat builder, international yacht broker, Admiral’s Cup-winning skipper and helmsman, creator of the Hanse Yachts brand and now founding director of the award-winning YYachts shipyard… Michael Schmidt is one of the sailing world’s great all-rounders with several careers’ worth of experience packed into his five decades at the cutting edge of marine industry innovation. But why on earth did he go back to the hard graft of establishing a new shipyard when he could be enjoying a well-earned and comfortable retirement?

‘Well, a few things came together,’ he says. ‘If like me you have sailed all your life, virtually since birth and then built thousands of sailing yachts, you have a certain wealth of experience. You have an idea of how a yacht should sail, what a good interior should look like and how the technology should work. When I had time a few years ago and was looking for a boat for myself, there was nothing that came close to satisfying me. So I started to have a yacht built according to my ideas. Lorenzo Argento and Sir David Chipperfield designed the 80-footer Cool Breeze together with me.’ Read on.

must be trumpys

A coalition of fishing industry interests has filed a court challenge against the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s recent decision to green-light the Vineyard Wind project, America’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. The group, the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), says that BOEM failed to fully account for fishery impacts when it approved the wind farm’s construction and operations plan (COP), the final federal permit granting permission for construction.

In a statement, RODA said that it engaged constructively with BOEM over the course of the back-to-back environmental impact statement (EIS) and COP reviews for Vineyard Wind. However, RODA said that despite its proactive efforts, BOEM “roundly ignored” its input and made no effort to “minimize unreasonable interference with traditional and well-managed seafood production and navigation.” Read on.

(no) sound and fury

We suppose if big catamarans keep growing taller, something like this can do it too. We have no idea why those odd pods are there, but whatever.  Van Geest Design explains this particular idea of a superyacht:

The Fury range yachts are true green yachts with a hybrid propeller regeneration system, giving a real hybrid system. A preferred option is to go hydrogen fuel cell technology which gives zero-emissions capabilities, unlimited range and access to emission-free zones. The Fury 500 is designed to maximize performance to give amazing regeneration properties, silent running cruising and blistering performance on the racecourse. Couple this with the safest deck layout and advanced rig layout that allows deployment of sails without the need for large crews and to have the trill of deploying a spinnaker and the performance this gives downwind.

Going hydrogen fuel cell future proofs the Fury 500 and allows the yacht to have complete access to Zero-Emission Zones which are being introduced worldwide, with the first zone in Europe being the Norwegian Fjords from 2026. More here.

this one goes to 11

As the 11th Hour Racing Team prepares to make its competition debut with their new IMOCA tomorrow – the first IMOCA designed and built from the ground up for fully crewed racing – that boat now officially has a nameMālama. A word meaning ‘to care for’ in the Hawaiian language, the name is representative of the team’s central focus of being stewards for the environment and to care for and protect our oceans. It’s also in honor to team CEO Mark Towill’s Hawaiian heritage. A team that has truly put its money where its mouth is in regards to fostering innovative and meaningful change in the sailing world, we’re stoked to see how this new IMOCA stacks up against its solo and doublehanded-centric competition in the upcoming Defi Azimut regatta which begins tomorrow off of Lorient.

Fielding a two-boat program with both Mālama and their original IMOCA, formerly Hugo Boss, but now known as Alaka’i, the American Ocean Race team has put forth a very diverse and talented crew that consists of four co-skippers between the two boats including one female in Swiss phenom Justine Mettraux.

With American Charlie Enright once again sailing alongside Frenchman Pascal Bidegorry on Mālama and Justine paired up with Englishman Simon Fisher onboard Alaka’i, the 11th Hour team has surely set themselves some pretty lofty expectations after strong results in both the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre and in this year’s Rolex Fastnet race, where the two doublehanded teams earned impressive 4th and 3rd place finishes, respectively.

The first event on the docket for the Defi Azimut, will be its famed ‘speed runs’, in which the boats run back and forth over a one nautical mile course to try to establish the shortest time and highest average speed. Following the infamous speed runs will be a 48-hour doublehanded race into the Atlantic and back, with a media man onboard each boat, and then the more low-key tour of Ile d’Groix, off of Lorient; a short race that allows teams to perform plenty of maneuvers and sail changes within view of the spectator fleet. All sixteen doublehanded teams entered in the Defi Azimut will be racing in this November’s upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre from Le Havre, France to Martinique in the Caribbean.

Check this video out. Above photo by  Amory Ross.

– Ronnie Simpson.

they went thataway

From the Xacobeo Six Metre European Championship. Photo by María Muiña Photography.

sail on

It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of Bill Herrschaft. A decades-long friend, I raced against Billy in Sabots way back in the day, and we were friends from then on. Everybody who knew Billy liked him. Such a freaking nice guy and one hell of a good sailor.

When I got hired by Sobstad, Bill was there too and I know we both felt what a great opportunity that was. Sobstad was chock full of great people – Ed and Keith Lorence, Bill Peterson, Mark Baxter, Boo Hanratty, Don Moran, etc. and Billy was most certainly one of them. Always quick with a smile and a quip, he was just very cool.

Always sailing out of Marina Del Rey, Bill went on to do good things with North Sails, and have a stellar racing career as well. He will be missed by so many. He was loved and truly valued for the man that he was.

RIP, Billy. It was an honor to be your friend.  –ed. You may share your comments here.

iwo jima in reverse

What do you do when you dismast your boat? You become the RC boat! The is MORF (Midwest Open Racing Fleet, an all-volunteer club, founded 1959). Props to anarchist Jay.

let us count the ways..

…that the America’s Cup can be a shit show…

The Irish Government is under pressure from Cork’s business leaders to keep Ireland’s bid for the 2024 America’s Cup yacht race afloat amid fears that the political fallout from the Katherine Zappone affair could derail it.

Cork Chamber, vintners, and hoteliers have urged the Government to commit to spending an estimated €150m to stage the huge global sporting event in and around Cork Harbour ahead of an expected decision from race organisers tomorrow that Ireland is their preferred bidder ahead of Jeddah and Valencia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has championed the America’s Cup event being held in Ireland, and played a key role in the bid in June, when a technical team from the event’s organising authority visited Cork City and its harbour for a range of briefings and site assessments.

However, with Mr Coveney facing a vote of no confidence in the Dáil this week arising out of the Zappone affair, the race authorities in New Zealand are closely monitoring the political fallout in Ireland.

Read on, thanks to the Irish Examiner.

suicide by hurricane?

This story – two stories actually – is bizarre and ultimately tragic.

The farthest Graham Collins sails his boat is along the coast of Nova Scotia, so the Haligonian was stunned when he got a call from the U.S. Coast Guard on Friday, asking if he was sailing through the eye of hurricane Larry.

Friday started out like any other day for Collins. The president and co-owner of Compass Distillers was working away when he received a phone call from his friend.

Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard’s rescue coordination center in Boston had been trying to reach Collins but were unable to get hold of him, so they started contacting people on his emergency contact list.

After Collins got off the phone with his friend, the coast guard call came through. Read on, thanks to saltwire.com

Read On

evolved

The wait for The Ultimate 54′ Carbon Cruiser is finally over. Here’s the teaser for the highly anticipated KC54. A performance cruiser suited to a sailing couple. Keep an eye on Kinetic for the full release of the KC54 over the coming weeks. She will be premiering at the Annapolis Sailboat Show this October.
 

mighty mites

A little PR for the Class Mini…

For over 40 years, Classe Mini has proved a testing ground for the next generation of professional sailors and innovations in boat design. Competing alongside the production class, the prototype class has enabled the introduction of future concepts to offshore sailing and set new standards for construction.

Whilst Yannick Bestaven, Thomas Ruyant and Ian Lipinski all earned their racing stripes here before going on to win major offshore honors, cutting edge designs, systems and techniques have also had a huge impact upon offshore sailing and the wider sailing community.

For the 2021 season, 90 boats are taking part in a prototype class whose roots can be traced back to the very first Mini Transat in 1977 when Spaniel came second with the then-groundbreaking twin-rudder system.

By the second edition, in 1979, a dozen prototypes were on the start line, including American Express which proved the use of fixed keels with water ballast in offshore racing. A specific prototype category was then introduced two years later by founder Bob Salmon.

In 1985 Aquitaine showcased the honeycomb hull (made from kevlar and carbon), a carbon mast, lifting rudders and textile guying. In [...]

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maybe he shouldn’t have gone

On Friday, one single-handed sailor got very lucky: after a week-long search, a U.S. Navy patrol aircraft located him off the coast of Oahu and vectored in other assets to assist.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter William Hart rescued 67-year-old skipper Philip Grenz, who was last seen on Sept. 2, and brought him back to Oahu. He is reported to be in stable condition.

“With the combined effort from our partners in this search, we were able to find Mr. Grenz and bring him back to safety,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Lucas Correia, an operations specialist for Sector Honolulu. “Every agency played a vital role in this rescue by creating a force multiplier to cover such an immense area.”

At 0125 hours on Saturday, Sector Honolulu received a report that Grenz had departed Nawiliwili Harbor and had not arrived at his next port of call in Haleiwa, Oahu.

Watchstanders launched Coast Guard search crews, and it activated members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, who physically checked over 20 harbors, boat ramps, and marinas to see if Grenz might have come into port on Oahu or Kauai. Read on.

real sailing, virtually

With just over a year to go until the start of the next edition of the Golden Globe Race, the Virtual Golden Globe Race 2021 (https://www.virtualggr.com) is presented, a game with all the ingredients of the great ocean races. Starting on September 12th, the VGGR21 proposes a version with stopovers of the original route of this legendary solo round-the-world race. The Spanish developer RealSail has designed this game that offers interesting strategy and navigation challenges, such as Celestial Navigation. 

“Don McIntyre wanted a game that followed the spirit of the official regatta,” explains RealSail’s founder. “He was looking for a game that would allow celestial navigation and that the virtual skipper would have the most realistic feeling possible of sailing in the same position as the real skipper. We found it an exciting project and immediately set to work on a version of RealSail that included specific features such as time to sleep, incidents on the boat and a maximum visibility of 50 nautical miles around the boat without knowing the coordinates.”

On board a Class 32

The version of RealSail for the Virtual Golden Globe Race 2021 is based on Class 32 boats, with polars similar to those participating in the real race. To add the added complication of sailing without GPS, all coordinates are encrypted and hidden, so the skipper will have to be guided by the stars. To achieve this, the Stellarium plugin has been incorporated, which displays the map of the stars as seen from the boat itself. In this way, the player can establish his position with celestial navigation calculations and can use a nautical chart to mark and plan his route.

The absolute and relative position of the boats, as well as the ranking of the race, are calculated every minute based on the distance to the finish mark, and the game features Discord as a chat platform for skippers to share their experiences and maintain direct contact with the game developers. Modules to simulate sleeping requirements and ship incidents will be added throughout 2021.

First edition, with stopovers

In 2021, the round-the-world trip is scheduled with the original route, but in this case with stopovers to be able to add new functionalities requested by the skippers at each stage. The itinerary is as follows:

Leg 1: Departure on September 12, 2021 – Les Sables d’Olonne to Lanzarote.

Stage 2: Lanzarote to Cape Town

Leg 3: Cape Town to Hobart

Leg 4: Hobart to Punta del Este

Leg 5: Punta del Este to Les Sables d’Olonne

Following this inaugural edition of the Virtual Golden Globe Race, the Golden Globe Race 2022 and the virtual race will begin in unison on September 4, 2022. Players will be able to compete both against each other and against the real skippers. 

The winner of the 2022 edition will receive a limited edition of the Golden Globe Race 2018 gold coins and a replica of the trophy that the Golden Globe Race champion will receive.  

For more information, visit:

The Virtual Golden Globe Race website: http://www.virtualggr.com

The race trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQzdv8Ndhaw

The game website: https://www.realsail.net

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCag8K3VxsfCtdsUhGn5QzYQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realsailnet

 

three in the pink

So beyond cool it is hard to comprehend just how fucking cool this is. Such a great shot from one of our all-time favorite photographers, ©SailingShots by María Muiña Photography. More here.

candle in the wind

The 2019 loss of the superyacht Andiamo in Miami was caused by unattended candles, an inoperable fire alarm and too much firefighting water, according to a new report from NTSB.

On December 18, 2019, the 120-foot yacht Andiamo was moored at the Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina in Miami. The six crew members aboard the yacht were preparing for the arrival of a guest of the owner. While getting spaces ready, two crewmembers found that the lighting systems in the lower level were not working.

When the guest arrived at about 1910 hours, the lights were not working; to solve the problem, the chief stewardess lit several candles and set them on top of a dresser, right beneath the curtains for a porthole. She then left the wood-paneled suite with the guest, leaving the candles unattended.

Read on.

lahaina (do we have to) return

A race that nearly didn’t happen – the annual Labor Day classic from Maui to Honolulu – went down on Monday in picture-perfect Hawaii conditions. Effectively a poor man’s Transpac, the Lahaina Return Race is an 80 mile downwinder from Honolua Bay on Maui’s northwest side to Honolulu’s Ala Wai Harbor. An epic downwind race accompanied by an inshore regatta and a long holiday weekend of partying in the rustic old whaling port of Lahaina, this event is one of the most anticipated on Hawaii’s sailing calendar.

As the Aloha State deals with a surge in COVID cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, however, this year’s event looked like it would suffer the same fate as last year’s race and get canceled due to the virus. Due in large part to the dogged persistence of Joe Bardouche, owner and skipper of the 1D35 Knot Right, the event permit was issued even as restrictions on social gatherings and events are coming back into play. The race was on!

The first inter-island race [...]

Read On

equal opportunity offender

If I had a buck for every accusation of sexism, objectifying women, blah blah blah, I’d be a zillionaire. Here is another opportunity to surely offend someone!  – ed. Photo: segel-bilder.de

Btw, that is Finn stud Ed Wright.

rosie

The genesis of an excellent design is as varied as the number of designs we’ve created over the years. This design began when a long-time friend and client, with a lifetime of sailing and owning various craft approached us to re-imagine the Herreshoff Rozinante yawl. He owned two of the Rozinantes at one time or another but understood that in a new design he would be able to merge the looks he admired of L. Francis’s masterpiece with the modern performance realized in a 100 years of sailboat design evolution

Rozinante is the canoe-stern ketch that’s become iconic as the archetype of the classic camper-cruiser. Influenced by Nantucket whaleboats and the protagonist of L Francis’s well-loved book The Compleat Cruiser, she is a slippery thing, narrow and sleek, with strikingly hollow waterlines streaming from stem to stern. The coaming terminates in sharp points at each end and encloses a deep, narrow cockpit with minimal cuddy that somehow provides space for two to sleep, compact canvas sling seats, and just enough room for a camp-stove and a cedar bucket. Read on.

sweet

The first LM 46 gets wet. Looks pretty damn nice! More here.

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