not all fun and games

Ullman Sails' Keith Magnussen shares his final report from the J/125 Timeshaver on the Cabo race... Before I get into this I wanted to start out by saying congratulations to Team Fast Exit for their overall win in the 2019 Newport to Cabo.  Their navigator called a perfect race and...

‘canes a comin’

The coming Atlantic and Caribbean/GOM Hurricane season... In 68 days we will enter into the 2019 hurricane season for those...


This may be more PR-ish than reality-ish but check it out......

latest posts

rich man, poor man

Best post yet on the Olympic “Offshore” boat…

I congratulate WS. Finally we have recognition that sailing is a rich person’s sport and we have an event that will exclude the great unwashed. This harks back to the golden era of Olympic sailing between 1920 and 1932 when Olympic sailing was recognized as an exclusive gentleman’s sport and proud of it!.  That was the era of the privately owned 8 meters  for four Olympic cycles and of course….1920 was the jubilee year…..when the working classes are distracted by mundane matters such as the great depression and unemployment but gentlemen were racing 12 meter yachts at the Olympics.

There was none of this nonsense about gender neutrality or crap about including 3rd world countries like India or China. Olympic sailing was a decent yacht from a proper country sailed by someone with the means to pay their own way without being subsidized by the taxpayer.

A yacht costing $200,000 or so, should bring back some decent owner types and if they choose to hire a professional sailor so that they can buy an Olympic medal in addition to their son’s place at Stanford….all credit to them. Its capitalism at work.

I think it diminishes the event to allow charter boats or provided boat.  If you cant afford it,  you shouldn’t be there.  That is why they are called Olympic trials.   Jump in the thread.

heavy metal

We just love build pics, and this The Bestevaer 72 ‘Symbiose’ -designed by Dykstra Naval Architects– is under construction and her aluminium hull and part of the interior will be for show during the Open Day at KM Yachtbuilders April 13.

today is the day

If you have events coming up and you waited until the last second to try and get your team gear together, we are here to help. With Charleston Race week right around the corner followed closely by Newport to Ensenada, today is the day to gather up your sizes and give us a call TOLL FREE or order online with no rush charges and we’ll even create your artwork for free.

With more than 12,000 SKUs including polostech shirtscotton shirtsfleecehatsbagspinniesneck gaiters and more, we have what you need at competitive prices. Our premium UPF 50+ Pro-Tech shirts and hoodies are 100% made in USA. Order now and find out why our mantra is: “We specialize in delivering the impossible.” We also offer complete event and corporate apparel. TOLL FREE: 1-888-379-7447 ext 2. International +1 562-773-0552. Email [email protected]

Super Yachts – St-Barths Bucket – St-Barthélemy FRA – Final results

The Barths Bucket Regatta on the French Caribbean Island St-Barthélemy was concluded after three races. The Super-Yachts – the smallest ones are the 100-Foot-Super-Maxis – were split in six categories. Winner in the category A, at the same time the overall winner of the Bucket, was Hetairos (see photo). All ranking lists, the list of the Special Trophies as well as the photos and videos presenting these impressive giants.

this little piggy..

…went to the Olympics? The L 30 has been chosen for something called the double-handed Offshore Worlds in 2020, yet another World Sailing event.

It would then follow with the notion that this $200,000 fugly, twin-wheel steered, under-powered trailer sailor is destined for the Olympics. Um, okay.

rent a ride

If the figures announced by Globe Sailor are not an independent statistical campaign, they give an interesting picture of the boat rental market, through an operator working with many fleet managers. While international tourism grew by 6% in 2018 with 1.4 billion tourists, Globe Sailor posted a 30% increase, all types of boats combined, confirming the attractiveness of the boat holidays. Read on.

round and round

The 10th Round Hainan Regatta kicked off on the 16th March in Haikou with opening ceremony followed by two round the cans races in boisterous but not crazy conditions. I was fortunate enough to sail in the round the cans...

Read On

busy boys

Nearly everyone reading this will have sailed or raced a singlehanded dinghy, either as a youth, more recently as an adult, or both. The pure joy of being in complete control of your own craft speeding effortlessly across the water and the direct feedback it brings to the senses is indescribable and keeps us forever attached to this sport.

So it may come as a surprise that, with this genre being crowded with so many designs over the decades, there could still be space left for innovation – yet Melges Performance Sailboats has done just that with the Melges 14, which is now under consideration as a new Olympic singlehanded dinghy. Read on.


blow boat

On Friday, the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Tampa offloaded about 27,000 pounds of cocaine at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, worth an estimated $360 million wholesale. It is the latest in a long series of multi-tonne drug seizures taken in the Eastern Pacific’s busy trafficking zone.

The drugs were seized off the coasts of Central and South America, and they represent the results of a dozen separate smuggling vessel interdictions. Three cutters contributed to the haul: the cutter Dependable interdicted two boats and seized about 2,900 pounds; the Tampa interdicted six boats and seized about 18,000 pounds; and the Venturous interdicted four boats and seized about 7,200 pounds.

Read on.

autopilot only?

The latest from Brian Hancock and his take on the “new” The Ocean Race

I am really not sure what to make out of the big new branding rollout of The Ocean Race, formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race. Their big event in Alicante, Spain was nothing more than a snooze fest with a logo that my 10-year old could have designed and a whole lot of nothing said. OK to be fair the logo was probably purposely simple in the hope that it can be easily rebranded if/when they find a new title sponsor. The race, under new ownership, still retains Volvo as a premium race partner but we all know it takes money to stage a world class event and the search for more money is always a priority.

I appreciate that it’s a difficult job for event organizers to keep the interest high while at the same time having very little to say. The Executive Director for the event, Richard Mason, someone who I like and respect immensely stated that “There are nine new IMOCA 60s in build across the world and we know several of them are being prepared as projects for our race. And on the other side, we already have six of the eight VO65s that are essentially spoken for by campaigns planning to be on the start line in 2021.” OK that sounds good but we have heard it all before in previous events and a lot of what was said did not materialize.

The hardest part of a race like this is making the start line, not the finish line. I am sure that there are team working hard to make the start but show me the money. During the roll-out they had a satellite link to New Zealand where Bianca Cook, who raced on board Turn the Tide on Plastic in the 2017-18 event, announced she would be spearheading a New Zealand flagged team.

That sounds great and she has secured Tony Rae, an extremely experience race veteran  to manage her campaign. That’s all good but show me the money. The next race is due to start in 2021, not that far away, especially if you are planning on racing one of the new IMOCA 60’s modified to be raced with a crew rather than single-handed.

There were others at the roll-out stating their intentions to enter. Xabi Fernández, who skippered MAPFRE to a second place finish in the last race, the best ever result for a Spanish team, was in Alicante for the launch event and said he is working hard to have a competitive entry in the next race. “Of course it’s very tempting and hopefully we will be there again as a team. It’s been five in a row, not just for me but for the whole team,” Fernández said. “The IMOCA 60 is very different; it’s a much faster boat, much less people on board.”

One of the definite bright lights was an entry announcement by the Mirpuri Foundation, a non-profit incorporated by the Mirpuri family who have previously put their money where their mouth is and were the driving force behind Turn the Tide on Plastic in the last race. They are eyeing one, perhaps two of the older VOR 65’s and have expressed some longing to have an entry sailing the new IMOCA boats. That for sure is good news and a big boost for the race.

To be honest I was hoping for more especially some kind of confirmation about some really big news that has been floating around for quite a while. That news is that the IMOCA boats will be sailed without helmsman; only auto-pilot. I am not sure if that means they can use both but it seems as if they mean auto-pilot only. I am definitely not sure how I feel about that. One of the great joys of participating in a race like this is being the helmsman. My friend Skip Novak, a veteran of numerous Whitbread’s summed it up quite succinctly in the forward to one of my books. “There is a  certain serenity to being at the wheel while carving a long surf in the deep blue.”

The scuttlebutt on the street is that the new IMOCA boats will be sailed with five crew, two watches of two with a full-time navigator. There is also talk that the autopilots will be compass driven only which is strange. Ask any Vendee Globe veteran and they will tell you that a boat like that needs the pilots to work off true wind and apparent wind. Anyway, as you can imagine there is more opinions on this than answers, many looking toward the future, many nostalgic for the past. I am going to remain mute until there is a formal announcement.

I really hope that the new owners of this iconic event are able to pull of a spectacular race. It’s hard. You can’t have a race if you don’t have any competitors but funding is hard to come by despite the excellent return on investment that previous races have provided. Again, time will tell.

Jump in our Ocean Racing Forum brought to you by Evolution Sails.

first look

Man, this thing is either gonna blow the doors off of everything, ever, or it’s gonna be a giant white elephant!

what’s 500 tons among friends?

The Atlantic Maritime Prefect communicated the detailed cargo of the Great America, the cargo that sank in the Bay of Biscay March 12. In particular, it transported 1,050 tons of hazardous materials, nearly half of which was hydrochloric acid. Read on.

dude where’s my car?

When the con/ro Grande America sank in the Bay of Biscay earlier this month, she was carrying about 2,200 tonnes of fuel oil, and the resulting spill has forced French authorities to launch a large response effort. She was also carrying 2,000 cars, including a shipment of the most powerful Porsche 911s ever made.

According to Carscoops, Grande America’s vehicle decks contained four Porsche 911 GT2 RS sports cars, along with a range of more commonplace Porsche and Audi vehicles bound for Brazil. The GT2 RS is a heavily modified version of the 911 Turbo, with 700 horsepower, a stiffer suspension, rear wheel drive, a 2.7 second 0-60 time, and a base price of about $300,000. Read on.

nice junk

SV Rosie G
 is unlike anything we have seen before… or is it? Junk rig, scow bow, shallow draft, electric motor, and a keel designed for grounding, all in a 42’ “modern” cruising boat. GMT Composites built the free standing carbon rig for Rosie G, and Samantha and Barry Spanier’s dream is becoming a reality.

Barry, probably best known for designing and producing windsurf sails that set world records, has teamed up with naval architect Jim Antrim to build a one-of-a-kind sailing vessel, being built by the team at Berkeley Marine Center. Barry’s goals are practical – fewest moving parts, simple everything, easy to board, easy to sail, shallow draft, fast, dry, and stable – all elements that are enhanced with a super light, super strong, carbon mast that requires no standing rigging.

He took a number of traditional concepts, and combined them with modern materials and technology, resulting in a design that will be sure to turn some heads. For more information, click here

smart u.

After an action-packed and exciting weekend of sailing, the latest S1D ICSA Team Race Rankings are now live, complete with coach comments!! To see the updated ICSA Team Race Rankings and coach analysis, CLICK HERE!

The Graham Hall is the largest team race on the College Sailing spring schedule. Showcasing 16 teams, this year’s edition ended with 122 races sailed. The accomplished Race Committee at Navy completed a full 16 team round robin and tie-break sail offs between the second and third finishing teams as well as between the tenth and eleventh finishing teams. Ian Burman, Head Coach at the Naval Academy had the following to say of the now iconic event: Read on.

fat head sled

John Sangmeister’s SC/70 OEX, sporting their new and surely first ever fat head sled main. Word on the street is that’s it’s quick.

from ‘frisco

From our Fabulous Forums….

Yesterday the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on a lease for the non-profit Treasure Island Sailing Center and also voted on a lease for a proposed private luxury marina, both located in Clipper Cove at Treasure Island in San Francisco.

Both the Sailing Center lease and the marina lease were approved, but the marina resolution was significantly amended to bring it much closer into line with the stakeholder agreement on marina development in Clipper Cove.

i.e the marina developers (led by Darius Anderson) lost their bid to backslide.

The marina amendment was pretty much the direct result of community outreach and the good will of Supervisor Matt Haney.

Jump in if interested.

the ocean race

What used to be called The VOR is dragging their feet while trying to build suspense for what the next edition of the race is going to be about. The Ocean Race? That’s the best they could come up with?  VOR 65’s and IMOCA 60’s? That’s kind of cool and weird at the same time.

Pull your hair out watching this very slow roll out. Click here.

4th is better than 5th

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for editorial use only PHOTO CREDIT: Jane Zhou/GGR/PPL Tel: +44(0)7768 395719 E.mail: [email protected] web: ***2018 Golden Globe Race: Istvan Kopar, the 66-year old American/Hungarian solo circumnavigator received a huge welcome on his return to Les Sables d’Olonne, France today to take 4th place overall in the 2018 Golden Globe Race. He completed the 28,000 mile voyage in 264 days 1 hour 38 mins 30 sec which includes a 24hr 40minute accumulative penalty) for stopping in the Cape Verde Islands to repair his self-steering, improper use of his emergency satellite phone and for straying into the No-Go Zone in the Southern Ocean

American Hungarian solo yachtsman Istvan Kopar finally reached the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne, France at 13:58 UTC today to take 4th place in the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

“This is the happiest day of my life…And this [Les Sables d’Olonne] is the best place to be…The Capital of offshore sailing.” He said on arrival at the dock.

Read on.

sail or bail?

The auto newsletter Jalopnik has a funny feature called “Nice Price or Crack Pipe” where they present certain used cars and ask the question: Nice price, or crack pipe?

Or version is “Sail or Bail” and we start it off with this unreal trick Hobie 33 Located in Santa Barbara, CA. There is not a chance that there is a more custom, super trick Hobie 33, anywhere (Although Still Crazy is pretty trick). Click on the link here to see for yourself what they have done to the boat and it is nothing short of incredible.

Two problems come to mind: A) it is still a Hobie 33 and B) An asking price of $92,500. Nobody is doubting the money it cost to get this thing the way it is, but $92k? We say Bail. What say you?

And if you have a good candidate for this, send it on it to me! – ed.

frack everything

We’ve made no bones about our disdain and objections to Ineos, the gigantic fracking and chemicals company’s intrusion into sailing, notably as the title sponsor of the UK AC Team. We imagine there are a whole lot of bike enthusiasts who aren’t too happy about this news then…

When British TV network Sky announced in December that it would end sponsorship of its eponymous pro cycling team, the team’s future instantly became the most important issue of the off-season. Sky is the most dominant team in stage racing, thanks largely to a sport-leading budget of over $43 million in 2017, more than double the average budget of teams in the WorldTour. Aside from its own destiny, the team’s demise or survival would influence cycling’s competitive balance, dramatically shaping how races themselves are won or lost. Those questions were answered today.

In a press release, Team Sky announced that Ineos, a major international chemicals company headquartered in London, will take over the ownership of the team on May 1. (Team Sky is unusual in pro cycling in that the entire operation is owned by the sponsor, instead of a separate holding company. Switching sponsorship means selling the team.) While this is great for the team, it’s decidedly more ambivalent for the health of the sport overall.

Read on, thanks to Outsideonline.


forever 21?

A few people have asked for my thoughts on the brand new RS 21 that my team and I raced in the six boat RS 21 OD fleet at the San Diego Noods last March 15-17.

First, it is about as good looking and modern as a new boat can be. A very smooth reverse shear, combined with nicely defined chines and the by now obligatory reverse plumb bow render the boat quite attractive.

On deck it is a very open boat with all controls, sheets, blocks and lines in about all the right places.  Clever touches like adjustable jib halyard and adjustable tack utilizing  athwartship jib tracks made getting the jib just the way you want it very doable. It was impressive was how everything fit perfect, straight out the box. This is a well thought out, nicely laid out and nicely executed  little boat.

Not a Selden fan in the least, they nonetheless have built a nice carbon spar for the boat, coupled with an aluminum boom. What is really unique and quite clever is the mainsheet post (in lieu of a traveler) that also acts as a protector for when the Torquedo electric out board is retracted. There is a designed pug attached to the bottom of the motor and it seals off the engine and prop completely when the engine is retracted. It had to be the easiest outboard motor to raise and lower and use, ever.  Still, the range on these electric motors borders on ridiculously short. Watching the battery percentage drop as you “rev” the thing up is entertaining at the very least.

How did it sail? Beautifully. Granted we had near perfect conditions of flat water and breeze from 6-16. Steering it was just a delight – light helm, responsive and just plain fun. We sailed with four people and there was plenty of room and plenty for everyone to do. The boat’s ergonomics were nice; a short hiking pad allows the crew to lean out a bit while facing inboard – a much more natural position anyway – and a perfectly angled bevel at the deck makes things quite comfy for the crews’s butts.

One of the best things was that most of us had never sailed them, but it didn’t take a lot to get on pace fairly quickly. Not tweaky like the Melges 20 for example, with just a little knowledge one can get up to speed in no time. It helped immeasurably that good friend and expert in boat like this, North Sails’ Brian Janney, sailed with us and orchestrated the tuning, and Ed Furry from Sail 22 gave us some tuning numbers and they seemed to be pretty spot on. All six of the 21’s seemed to go about the same speed, with the better teams able to do a bit better, just like in any class.

The production North Sails were very nice. I liked the mainsail a lot – smooth and responded well to rig adjustments. Zero complaints there.

It is clear as day that RS has put a ton of thought and work into turning out these boats and as much as I’d like to find something to bitch about, I really can’t. Yes, they are a big supporter of SA, but I’m not going to bullshit anyone about the boat because of that. I think they’ve hit their marks on everything that I could see, and after 10 races on the boat, none of us were beat up at all. I’d jump on one of these little beauties anytime.

RS has built a tidy little boat here, hit a competitive price point, and with over 50 sold so far, I can’t imagine why this won’t be a big success for RS. – Scot Tempesta.

eighty is the new fifty

One of my favorite books growing up was A World of my Own by Robin Knox-Johnston. It recounted his solo circumnavigation and ultimate win in the first Golden Globe Race that took place 50 years ago. What I recall most about the book was the fervor with which Robin took on the grueling task of sailing alone around the world stating on many occasions that he was doing it “for queen and country.” I though that was a terrific sentiment. For Queen and Country, can you imagine? A few years later I read James Boswell’s biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson where Johnson was said to have stated that ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.’ Talk about being conflicted. Luckily I later read that Johnson only meant fake patriotism, the kind many politician use as a trope when running for office. Why do I bring this up? It’s because Robin, now Sir Robin, turns 80 this weekend and I want to salute his life and the enormous contribution he has made to sailing.

Years on from reading his book I met Robin in a bar in Benalmádena, Spain and found him to be a terrific story teller. I was also lucky enough to work closely with him during the 2002/03 Around Alone race where I was part of the media team. Robin and I were roommates and I got to know him a bit more on a personal level and always found him to be compelling and intense. It was more than just sailing for Queen and Country that got him around the world back in 1968; it was his quiet intensity and never-say-never attitude. His victory in the Golden Globe Race shot him to stardom, at least in sailing circles, and Robin has since used his influence for the betterment of sailing.

In 1970, with fellow Brit Leslie Williams, he won the two-handed Round Britain Race repeating the victory in 1974 with co-skipper Gerry Boxall. Robin, again sailing with Les Williams, took line honors in the 1971 Cape to Rio Race. A few years later he co-skippered maxi yacht Heath’s Condor in the 1977 Whitbread Round the World Race and beyond that, along with Kiwi sailor Peter Blake, won the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation in 1994 aboard the their catamaran Enza. In part due to his sailing successes he was knighted in 1995. I secretly think he was knighted because the Queen had read his book, but that’s just me.

In 1996 Robin along with fellow Brit William Ward, established the first Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and I think that this is where his greatest contribution to sailing can be found. Up until that point sailing around the world was more than a little out of reach for the average sailor looking for adventure. The Clipper Race is the only race of its kind that trains everyday people to experience the thrill and exhilaration of offshore ocean racing. Their Facebook page states that ‘no previous sailing experience is required as full training is provided.” It is the only race in the world where the organizers supply a fleet of eleven identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew, and they lap the planet. It’s true that the BT Global Challenge did a similar thing but that event is no longer while the Clipper Race continues to flourish. Hundreds of ‘average’ sailors can now call themselves circumnavigators thanks to Robin and his vision.

Clipper Ventures took over management of the Around Alone race and that was where I got involved with the company and where I got to know Robin. Sadly his wife was dying of cancer and he mostly left the race management to myself and a small team but we put on a heck of an event on an unrealistically small budget. Luckily for the next race the Danish manufacturing company Velux stepped up to the table with sponsorship money. One of the things I most admire about Knox-Johnston was that in the 2006/07 event he entered the race himself and at the age of 68 he completed his second solo circumnavigation and finished a creditable fourth.

Eighty is an age where it would be ok to put your feet up, but Robin is still at it working closely with the organizers of the current Golden Globe Race. He is still out there on the forefront of international yachting and the sport is all the better for it. I hope that you have a good birthday on Sunday Sir and since you were born on the same date that Saint Patrick died, I hope that you have some corned beef and cabbage and pint of green beer. You deserve at least that.

-Brian Hancock


In response to historic levels of flooding in Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, the Coast Guard has closed a 70-mile section of the Missouri River to ensure the safety of navigation. Flooding on the Illinois River has shut down two locks to marine traffic, and transit on the Mississippi River is restricted to daylight hours only for downbound traffic between St. Louis and Thebes, Illinois, according to American Commercial Barge Lines. The stretch between Memphis and Vicksburg has a similar restriction in place for southbound traffic.

According to farm industry publications, these limits are interfering with the shipping of materials needed for the spring planting, including fertilizer. At the other end, outbound grain shipments have been slowed by about 20 percent in New Orleans due to fog, high water and rain, according to USDA. Read on.

Title inspiration thanks to the obvious and the not so obvious.


Good morning from the Chesapeake Bay region,

It’s a sunny day on the Chesapeake and we have this glorious writing and storytelling going on around the new five-log Canoe Caroline, via our Cole Meyerhoff.

It’s a blog worth following, on a personal level for me, explaining the art I get to watch transform on campus, through the art of photography and words so well put together. So, I thought to share that with you also.

Learn more about the project and read the blog here!

Thanks so much

Tracey Johns
Vice President of Communications
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

get your motor running

‘Thanks to North Technology Group’s “Engine Above Deck” concept and our unique bespoke design suite, sourcing both spars and rigging from Southern Spars and Future Fibres is an obvious choice. Together we provide a fully integrated and optimized rig package...

Read On

second life

Classes of race boat tend to die prematurely once they reach a certain age. Ironically this seems to have less to do with the boat and more the marketing or having the correct driving force behind it. Witness Peter Morton miraculously breathing life back into the Quarter Ton class, a boat on which many sailors cut their teeth – and can now afford to own. Compare that with the premature demise of the much-loved Mumm/Farr 30.

Attempting to ensure it is one of the success stories is the newly rechristened 44Cup, formerly the RC44 Championship Tour. This year it starts its 13th season with staunchly faithful owners resolute in prolonging the life of their beloved circuit.

Read on.

and here they come down the home stretch

What’s up sports fans? Sorry for the gap in communication but if anyone is following ORR 3 then you know how tight it is.

Let’s bring you up to speed… Damian, our navigator, is sick and has been basically in his bunk for 24 hour… not sure but his stomach is acting up pretty badly. Sucks and we are worried but he is keeping water down and helping navigate when he can. So that means a few of us have been doubling up on shifts and at this point we are going all in to the finish.

We had somewhat of a re start off Santa Margarita and we parked it as the boats behind closed in. Fast Exit, who is sailing a great sailed, sailed up to us. We took a brutal hitch towards shore and set up for the afternoon. We have been fastest boat in our fleet at times and have a great heading compared to the others near us.

The night will be nail biting as we are trying to get to our layline as fast as possible. It will be ugly if we do not finish before 6am. Can we put our time on Fast Exit? Will good Call skunk everyone? Tune in tomorrow…

Bad Pak, OEX, Cal Maritime and Mr. Bill have all dropped out, no doubt because the wind is light. Pussies. – ed

the missing element?

Jean-Pierre Kiekens takes a close look at the RS Feva

The Feva double-handed dinghy is emerging in Canada as a youth sailing boat. In just a year, a fleet of some 30 boats was built in British Columbia. There is also a number of boats in Ontario. The boat is likely to continue its growth, as it serves an important strategic role for the development of youth sailors, from the very beginner to the advanced racer.

The boat is proven to be particularly attractive to girls and those sailors who do not want to sail single-handed. We present here guidelines for clubs and parents, to help understand how the Feva can best be used for youth sailing development.

While using the same hulls and spars, there are two versions of the Feva. The Feva S caters for those who are new to sailing. It is typically only sailed with a main and a jib. The main is a bit smaller than the Feva XL (5.5 v. 6.5 square meters) and is reefable. The boat can be used by two beginners, or near beginners, from say age 10 or even younger.

Read on.