it’s raining like crazy

This is a cool video showing the finished product of the de-masted Rainmaker in it's new form by Multimarine. Nicely done....

sharki bait

Last night, polish yacht 'Sharki', former 'Rubin' and winner of 1973 Admiral's Cup apparently hit a buoy 5nm NW of...

latest posts

dust and dusted?

The dreaded coronavirus strikes again. The latest victim is the 2021 Australian Wooden Boat Festival, held every two years in Hobart and the largest free event in the state of Tasmania. At least 350 classic yachts and motor craft from around the country are usually on display and the three-day festival in February attracts more than a quarter of a million visitors.

General Manager, Paul Stephanus, has written to regular participants ahead of a formal media announcement. His dismay is obvious. “This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make. Back in June the AWBF team was optimistic about the road ahead. We all understood that there would be challenges, but none of these seemed insurmountable. Since then the tides have shifted, and it appears that Covid-19 will be with us for a long time yet.

“This is Hobart’s best summer festival, and one of the world’s premier wooden boat festivals. It is simply not worth gambling all that away for the sake of one event in the middle of a global pandemic. If we back away gracefully this time, we can ensure that we’ll be there again in 2023.

“In short, we’ve decided to wait out the weather so we can sail again in fairer winds.”

The big question the AWBF cancellation now raises is: what does this mean for the Sydney-Hobart race? If it proceeds on its traditional Boxing Day start, crews will arrive in Tasmania six weeks before the scheduled date of the cancelled Wooden Boat Festival. The chances of them all adhering to social distancing rules are zero.

No doubt the race organisers at the Cruising Yacht Club in Sydney and Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in Hobart are now pondering their options – as will be the naming-right sponsors, Rolex.   

– anarchist David 

scotw, back in the day

Hawkeye had just rounded South Point, and was short tacking up the Kau coast of the Big Island of Hawaii in the ’78 “Round the State” race, the fifth and final event in the inaugural Pan Am Clipper Cup Series. The 48 foot Bruce King bilge boarder was reveling in the 20+ knot breeze when a helicopter arrived to take some photos.

The crew decided to put on a show for the camera and we got our cook, Sherry, (yep, the bigger boats had cooks aboard for the long races back then) to strip down and take the wheel. Phil Uhl snapped this photo just as boat captain Mike Farley was coming out of the aft hatch with a colander on his head!

– Anarchist Noodle.

don’t jump

Performance sailboat hardware manufacturer, Allen, has launched an additional option for its range of ratchet blocks, dubbed the Wave Ratchet, which will offer between 20 to 40%* more grip without adding any additional wear to rope.

Ratchet blocks are an important part of performance sailing, helping to reduce loads and fatigue for sailors. The ratchet block works by increasing friction to the rope that is being trimmed. The more friction a ratchet block adds to the system, the easier it is for a sailor to hold onto higher loads. But, by adding more friction to a system the rope ends up taking the brunt of the punishment and will wear out more quickly. 

The most effective way to increase friction is to add sharp edges to the ratchet sheave, but this quickly deteriorates and wears away the rope. Fine, if you’re a professional sailor and receive monthly care packages of rope. So, after working alongside leading rope manufacturers, the Allen design team came up with a simple solution which improves grip without chewing away at your expensive rope. 

The Wave Ratchet sheave has an offset V style grip made from a hard-wearing recycled plastic nylon, which does not have sharp edges that will eat into the rope. By adjusting the V formation in the sheave to be slightly offset, the ratchet now grips the rope at additional points around the sheave, resulting in more grip without the sharp edges. However, the new Wave Ratchet not only improves grip but as a result of the design it also allows for a less ‘jumpy’ feel when easing the sheet. 

Head over to the Allen website, Facebook or Instagram for more product development and Team Allen news as well as useful tips and tricks on Allen products.

davy jones locker

There is a seemingly never-ending idiot parade of stupid shit that people do to boats, and this might be the stupidest of them all. Put a faux “pirate” rig on a fucking powerboat, horribly paint the entire pile of shit with black primer and…what? Have a boat that screams “I’m an asshole”?  Mission Accomplished.

Buy it here.

must have?

We have meant to produce this topic on the FP for a while, and finally here it is.

Liability Waivers Before Sailing Departure – The Breakdown

Liability waivers are common in many sports and sailing is no exception. Many sailors are required to sign liability waivers.

What is a liability waiver?
Liability waivers, also known as release of claim agreements contain exculpatory (free from blame) clauses that state that a competitor will not take the organizing party to court should they be injured, or die, prior, during, or after they participate in a competition.

Waivers are not only used in sailing but in any other activity that carries some risk including athletics, white water rafting, skiing and a host of other extreme sports that have an increased risk of personal injury.

Types of sailing liability waivers
In sailing, there are usually two types of liability waivers. A Regatta Waiver and Release of Liability form is used when sailors want to participate in events run under the Racing Rules of Sailing. A Non -Regatta Waiver and Release of Liability form that sailors use to participate in non – regatta competitions. These forms are not used for events run under the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Why sign liability [...]

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iced in

“The 26th dawned clear, save for gentle, fleecy clouds, and full of sunshine that glinted with sparkling beauty off the ice. With the roar of pressure in his ears, Shackleton was struck by the surreal incongruity between the serene beauty of the day and the death throes of his ship. From the bridge, he had seen how the pressure was actually bending her like a bow, and it seemed that she was gasping to draw breath. She was leaking badly again, and the exhausted men worked the pumps in shifts – fifteen minutes on, fifteen minutes off – half asleep on their feet.

The Endurance had quieted, but that evening an unsettling incident occurred while several sailors were on deck. A band of eight emperor penguins solemnly approached. Intently regarding the ship for some moments, they threw back their heads and emitted an eerie, soulful cry.”

(It is interesting that for what he’d named “The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition” Shackleton chose a ship designed and built in Norway. Launched in 1912 as Polaris, the 144-foot three-masted barque was originally intended for luxury tourism in the Arctic. It took 10 months for the Antarctic ice to trap, crush and eventually sink Endurance.)

Caroline Alexander – The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition (1998)

stylin’

At one end of the scale are the money-no-object speed machines. At the other end are docile cruising cats heavily laden with furniture, equipment and domestic systems. It’s almost a binary choice, but in the middle of the multihull performance spectrum one brand stands alone. Outremer has built a unique reputation as the only major catamaran builder that offers a balanced compromise between these two extremes.

It wasn’t always that way. Most builders started off in the 1980s making cats that were fast, comfortable and fun, aimed at experienced sailors who wanted to cruise long distances and win a few races, too. Then new models from nearly all builders began to get progressively heavier, slower, roomier – and less rewarding to sail.

The main driver for this trend, which continues today, is the yacht charter industry. Multihulls tend to have a lot more living space than monohulls and unless overpowered they’re inherently stable. That makes them ideal as a holiday platform for a wider range of charter clients including novice skippers, families with non-sailing members and couples sharing a boat who want a bit of privacy from one another. Read on.

drua journey

COVID 19 has thoroughly tuned the sailing world upside down. From cancelling some regattas and delaying others while immobilizing cruisers the world over, this global pandemic has left an inauspicious mark on the sport. Whenever any door closes in life however – if you look hard enough – you’ll see that another door has opened.

Such is the case down in the South Pacific island nation of Fiji, where the only traditional sailing drua still in operation is planning it’s most significant voyage to date. A professionally built, historically accurate and commercially surveyed replica of the most recent boat to be built in the traditional sense – Ratu Finau, which rests in the national museum in Suva – i Vola Sigavou is both a work of art and a culturally significant living piece of Fijian maritime history.

“Because of COVID 19, we’re not expecting any international tourists for the next 6 months or so… so we thought to ourselves this could be the perfect time to go to the Lau Group and collect all the evidence and all the [...]

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autoerotic

If, like me, you are getting a bit long in the tooth, losing your strength, but still enjoy racing offshore then it’s likely you keep your place in the crew by being a reliable driver. Others might grind like demons or perform foredeck heroics. Our job is to take the helm, keep the boat on its feet and stay headed in roughly the right direction.

Well, our days could be numbered. A report has emerged from the Royal Ocean Racing Club that makes strong recommendations that the use of autopilot systems should be allowed – without penalty – in offshore racing. In the ‘man v. machine’ struggle that has troubled the sport since the introduction of powered winches and canting keels, it seems this will be another victory for the machines.

Here’s the bombshell conclusion at the end of the RORC report: “It is therefore the recommendation of the Race Office that automatic steering be adopted for fully crewed racing in RORC events (to also include major events).”

While this is only a recommendation at this stage, and from the Race Office and not the club’s sailing committee, the RORC has tended to set the rules for offshore racing since its foundation in 1925. Most clubs around the world follow their lead when it comes to the regulation of blue-water competition.

If adopted, as now seems likely, the introduction of automatic steering (autopilot) in fully crewed yachts will be a fundamental change to the way we sail. It would be reasonable, therefore, to expect the RORC to support their recommendation with some solid data. Instead, the report relies primarily on assumptions and anecdote.

The problems with their finding stem directly from the stated aim of the report:

“Aim: To improve participation by allowing the use of automatic & wind vane devices for steering across all RORC racing. It is the current belief that as boats struggle with the logistics of larger crews, increased costs and keeping crews actively involved in the sailing of the boat, allowing them the use of automatic steering would enable crews to sail with less crew and thus increase participation opportunities.”

Say what? The logic is difficult to follow. Fewer crew would mean “increased participation opportunities”? The opposite is far more likely: existing boats will just drop a couple of crew. The assumption that there are would-be new owners out there waiting with race-ready boats to recruit these drivers who’ve been made redundant by autopilot is ludicrous.

And what this whole leap of illogic sidesteps is the principle involved. Offshore racing is a sport. Automatic steering takes away one of its most fundamental human elements: the skill and experience that goes into good helming. Instead, the RORC report wants us to believe that autopilot doesn’t make a difference:

“As yet, there is no empirical data that suggests there are universal advantages with modern automatic steering systems against fully crewed boats. In some conditions it is acknowledged there may be some advantages (mild sea conditions, in constant wind, up wind, while at night) but these are considered to be limited, especially at varying angles of sail.”

If that’s true, why are so many equipment suppliers spending millions to develop and market ever more sophisticated autopilot programs that already incorporate inertia navigation systems and 3-D sensor technology to input heel angle, rudder angle, trim, pitch and roll rates while integrating all of that data with fast-sampled GPS, wind and boat-speed information?

At a wild guess, that stuff might just outperform a guy holding the wheel.

– anarchist David

PS: This article was written entirely by a fully automatic typewriter. I’ve been downstairs all the time watching football on TV and drinking beer.

Our latest Retro Look video. Justin Edelman and his crew from Nobleman Productions deserve all the credit for these little gems. – ed.

monkey around

Hello people of Sailing Anarchy! I’m Sydney Steenland, I am 15 years old and the founder The Sea Monkey Project.  Let me tell you what The Sea Monkey Project is and how we started it!

Mum (Sarah Steenland), Dad, my brother and I have lived on our sailboat “Sea Monkey” since 2011. Sailing from Australia and through South East Asia, we saw first-hand that the ocean plastic pollution issue is a global and vast problem.

Spanning to every corner of the earth and affecting both human’s and nature’s health in ways you never even new existed. So once we reached Malaysia we created The Sea Monkey Project because we just couldn’t sit by and look at it anymore. We had to try and do something about the problem.

The Sea Monkey Project is a social enterprise that focuses on plastic pollution solutions and education. To list all the different things we do to help the environment whilst benefiting underprivileged communities would takes ages, if you want to learn more check out our website Sea Monkey Project.

 But for now, let me tell you about our latest Earth-saver!! As sailors, I know you want to protect our oceans, therefore I think you’ll be interested in this!

 A large portion of what we do is up-cycling discarded materials. Check out our newest and snazziest up-cycled items that are our biggest triumph and keep a great deal of pollution out of our ocean. 

 I’m talking about backpacks, totes, and hip bags. These bags are truly bags for the Earth. My family and I have collected-by-hand items of pollution from all over South East Asia, such as:

  • Boat sails and kite sails (donated from fellow cruisers)
  • Fishing (ghost) nets 
  • Rope
  • Seatbelts
  • Plastic pollution

 We take all these materials and breathe new life into them as these bags. Handcrafted by refugees from Pakistan and with every bag sold, we will plant one mangrove in Myanmar with Earth Restoration to make these a climate positive bag. So you can feel 100% awesome that you’re helping make an impact!

Find out more about the differences we are making in South East Asia, or if you’d like to  support or buy one of our up cycled bags, then check out our Kickstarter campaign.

dead but not gone

Where do old boats go to die? The cynical answer is they are put on eBay for a few pennies in the hope that they will become someone else’s problem.

As a marine biologist, I am increasingly aware that the casual disposal of boats made out of fiberglass is harming coastal marine life. The problem of end-of-life boat management and disposal has gone global, and some island nations are even worried about their already overstretched landfills.

The strength and durability of fiberglass transformed the boating industry and made it possible to mass produce small leisure craft (larger vessels like cruise ships or fishing trawlers need a more solid material like aluminium or steel). However, boats that were built in the fiberglass boom of the 1960s and 1970s are now dying. Read on.

50 years??

I’ve been trying to sort through some boxes of old 35mm transparencies and came on this photo that I took at Newport RI in 1970 – half a century ago! It must have been during the NYYC selection trials for the America’s Cup defense against the Australian challenger Gretel II. – An Anarchist.

So, dear anarchists, which two 12’s are these?

changes; episode 4

Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024 Episode 4
Protests, Redress, Hearing, Misconduct & Appeals

We now come to the part where breaches, alleged or actual, from the preceding rules are dealt with. First point to note is that the old reference Protest Form has been split in two, with the new versions available for download from the World Sailing site. The two forms are now one a hearing request form and the second a hearing decision form.

There is also a reminder that the Racing Rules of Sailing do not require a particular form to be used although of course if the proper form is used all the correct boxes are there to be ticked. There is also a reminder that ideas for improving the forms are welcome.

RRS 60 Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action

This rule has been tidied and expanded

RRS 60.1  Parts (a) & (b) remain unchanged however part (c) is added to include a report to the protest committee requesting action under RRS 60.3(d) which concerns support persons or RRS 69.2(b)  regarding potential breach of RRS 69.1(a)

RRS60.2 Race Committee Rights

 The same two rules (RRS60.3(d) and RRS 69.2(b)  have been added to the Race Committee’s protest rights.

RRS [...]

Read On

nice sandwich

From the Royal Southern YC Charity Cup Regatta…

In IRC Three, Sam Laidlaw’s BLT had a perfect day winning both races. Julian Metherell’s Bullit retains second place. However, two podium finishes for Olly & Sam Love’s SJ320 Frank 3, lifts the team up to third.

“The boat won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1980 as Bullit. Sam Laidlaw restored her last year and is now part of the Cowes Quarter Ton fleet,” commented BLT’s Brett Aarons. “There is really close racing in the class, although the boats come from different eras, after similar renovations, they are very close in speed. Light airs tend to suit the quarter tonners on corrected time because we have a large sail area for the size of the boat. For this regatta, north off the start line seems to be favourite. There seems to be a bit more wind coming out of Southampton Water. We are delighted with our results so far, and it is great to be back out racing again.”

no rain

Remember the total shit show that was the Gunboat 55 Rainmaker? No? Then click here for the full stories. And now it has been restored…to a powercat! Guess it won’t fuckin’ tip over again. It actually looks like this is what it should have been from the jump. Pics props to anarchist Mike.

Song title thanks to Blind Melon.

wire to wire

This first stage of the Les Sables – Les Açores en Baie de Morlaix (197 miles at the start and finish of Les Sables d’Olonne, via Rochebonne and Les Birvideaux) promised to be tricky, the fault of a vast anticyclone planted in the middle from the Bay of Biscay. Tanguy Bouroullec (969 – Cerfrance), not only lead at the first turning mark, he went on to win the stage – very impressive! More here.

there’s beer

Put a surgeon, senior management, software engineers, a financial adviser and a university student on a ROSS 1066. Limit the ambition of the crew to having an enjoyable racing experience, install a small oven onboard and place a well-deserved cold beer at the finish line.

There you go: the typical beercan cruiser. There’s no better embodiment of the term than the Mad Jack racing team. And where else can you find a more passionate group of sailors than in Australian waters? COVID-19 gave us the time to talk to this highly motivated team from Down Under about good old sailing fun. Read on.

inflatable foiler?

Here’s a crazy challenge – with inflatable / soft / cross over surf, kite and foiling windsurf boards on the market that come ever closer to matching the performance and durability of traditionally constructed boards, might a 25 – 30 foot inflatable or RHIB style foiling centre board or keeler yacht be doable / practical over time?

Trailers could be much smaller, marinas could simply have storage lockers and high flow pumps available, furthermore electrical outboards could provide power to get out of the marina – rigging would need to be speedy and simple – and interior and deckgear basic.

But could it work in POST COVID times to boost participation if the storage, transportation, and construction costs are cheaper? Jump in the thread.

demon rum

“The wooden, three-masted India sailed from Greenock, Scotland, on 4 June 1841. On board were 186 Scottish emigrants, including many young families from a single village who were travelling with their own church minister. A spilled glass of medicinal rum and the simple accident of a candle falling onto it caused the horrific ship fire.

Once the fire took hold the flames quickly spread, engulfing the India and forcing the passengers to abandon all their belongings and crowd onto the ship’s bowsprit, huddling away from the wall of flames. Eighteen men, women and children died. Luckily, a French whaling barque – shown in the painting – soon arrived. It rescued the surviving passengers and crew and took them to Rio de Janiero.”

(The dramatic painting that records this event is now in the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum. More than a million people emigrated by sea to the Australian colonies during the 19th Century. Of those, fewer than 4,000 perished in the journey – a credit to the skill of sailors who crewed the ships.)

Kieran Hasty – The Burning of the Barque India in 1841

case acap36/10

The title may appear somewhat dry and boring but interest levels may rise when it is understood it is a case in from of America’s Cup Arbitration Panel. Not only that it is a case where the ruling has a significant effect on an AC hopeful.

As a bit of background, the Deed of Gift has always included a “constructed in country of challenge” element to it meaning any challenger for the America’s Cup has to be built in the country of the club issuing the challenge. In this case it is Long Beach YACHT Club represented by the team “Stars and Stripes”.

Like so many of these rulings it takes careful reading as much appears to be ‘legal gobbledegook’. Read it here.

However on reading carefully Stars and Stripes want to play but haven’t paid they are “in default” and they want to play with the boat lent to them. It would also appear that the initial ‘unhappiness stemmed from the Challenger of Record but Inios and ETNZ have also made dispositions to the Arbitration Panel.

Stars and Stripes argued that the Deed of Gift contains the condition of being built in the country of challenge ONLY for the actual America’s Cup Match. However the Arbitration Panel’s response is that when the Deed of Gift was written there was no likelihood of ‘other events’ leading up to the America’s Cup match that would have an influence on who was selected as The Challenger.

The Arbitration Panel ruled that the “constructed in country” applies to all events of the AC36 cycle and that they cannot use a ‘borrowed boat’ in the events running up to the America’s Cup Match.

As that is the subject of the request for a ruling then other matters such as a request for exclusion of a team shall be the subject of a separate application.

The panel also stated that t had come to their attention that the confidentiality obligation regarding this Application to the Arbitration Panel may not been observed as evidenced by comments in the media, in particular Sailing Illustrated giving quite specific details of the Application followed by New Zealand media. The Arbitration Panel considers such a breach serious (and as a thinly veiled threat I reckon) and reminds that it has “broad discretion concerning penalties it can impose should any breach be established).

So no borrowed boat to compete in. Time and money must be rapidly running out for the Stars and Stripes team. Already behind regarding payments (in default is the term used) a boat still not complete and now being told they can’t come to the party in someone else’s boat.

The Arbitration Panel did not expend time and effort attempting to establish which body broke the confidentiality conditions (listed in Item 35) but you have to ask which team is closest to Sailing Illustrated and most likely to leak this sort of thing to them. (hint: S$S).

an all-time great

The other day we asked you what this boat was, and now here’s an update.

Stormvogel (“The Storm Bird”) is the ketch used in the Australian film Calme Blanc. Before being a movie star, this sailboat was the first very light maxi, ushering in a new era. It was built in 1961 in South Africa.

This boat was commissioned by Cornelis Bruynzeel. This man is known to have invented marine plywood. For Stormvogel, he had three architects worked according to their availability. Thus Van de Stadt designed the hull and the appendages, John Illingworth the sail plan and the deck layout, Laurent Giles the interior fittings.

This sailboat was a pioneer with a very light displacement (barely 31 tons for more than 22 m) and above all a rudder separated from the keel (a first for the time which is now used on all modern sailboats). The hull is in molded wood (4 mahogany plies glued with the resin invented for the marine CP) but the deck is in plywood. Subsequently, this plan was used to produce polyester series sailboats under the name Ocean 71.

Read on.

bobstay

“If there is one thing more than another which helps to form part of a yachtsman’s pleasure, it is what is known by the term ‘ship visiting’. I do not know anything, especially after having gone through a more or less roughish time of it for a few days, more enjoyable than finding on arrival at your port a goodly number of yachts riding at anchor; because though there may be many of them whose owners are unknown to you, still it almost always happens that mutual friends abound, so that you seldom are allowed for any length of time to remain an unknown quantity, and ‘Come on board’ very soon becomes the invitation of the day.

Supposing the yachts to be visited are those drawn to the port or harbour for the express intention of racing, then most will likely soon be filled till the gunwales are almost on a level with the water with those all bent on a merry evening.” ‘ – Bobstay’ – in ‘Thoughts on Yachting’, Australian Town & Country, February 1882

(More than 60 years before the first Sydney-Hobart race, ‘Bobstay’ seemed to be describing what for many years was the traditional scene at Constitution Dock.)

the changes: episode 3

Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024
And so we move on to ‘Other Requirements When Racing’

RRS 40.1 Personal Floatation Devices 

Little change to the overall meaning of this rules however the wording has been ‘beefed up’ to avoid any confusion amongst competitors. As before if the ‘Y’ Flag is displayed afloat before or with the warning signal competitors shall wear a PFD “while racing in that race”. If the ‘Y’ Flag is hoisted with one sound signal ashore then PFDs will be worn at all times when afloat. However it has been added that instructions regarding PFDs may be included in the Notice of Race or Sailing Instructions

RRS 41 Outside Help

A brief respite here as RRS 41 remains completely unchanged.

Now we have RRS 42 Propulsion which is, in any case, a land of confusion for many sailors, or at least seeing the actions of some, it appears so.

The good news is that RRS42.1 Basic Rule and RRS 42.2 Prohibited Actions  remain unchanged so if you were breaking the rule before, after January 1, 2021 you will still be breaking the rule for the most part.

RRS 42.3 Exceptions does however have some changes, changes that reflect the surging number of foiling boats.

The first [...]

Read On

another gray catamaran?

Announced in 2016, the catamaran Explocat 52 was launched in summer 2020. This catamaran for largest travel 16,95 meters long has a beam of 8.20 m master is constructed of aluminum for added security and structural rigidity, allowing it to sail anywhere around the world.

Designed by the architect Pierre Delion in collaboration with Darnet Design and the design office of Garcia Yachts, Outremer and Gunboat, it thus completes the offer of exploration monohulls from the French manufacturer, offering more comfort, stability and space than a monohull. Read on.

pulita, semplice, veloce

Karma… the fruit of the latest cooperation between luxury and performance yacht builders Maxi Dolphin and Wicklow-based designer Mark Mills really is just that

This design for a light, wide, and powerful performance cruiser with a large sailplan and a lifting keel prepared for established performance builders Maxi Dolphin shows how far modern raceboat design and construction can influence the next generation of high performance mile-eaters.. Headed by Luca Botter, the company has a lot of experience with this type of build, is located near the project manager, client, and interior designer Nauta in Milan, and understands the client’s vision: ‘pulita, semplice, veloce’ – clean, simple, fast. Moreover, they saw the opportunity for Karma to pave the way for further semi-custom builds of the MD75 design.

With the green light to proceed, work started immediately to outline the geometry with the boatyard’s technical office led by Giovanni Pizzatti, to produce a basis on which all the different contributors could begin working: design, engineering from AMS, builder, interior designer, spar builder Maxispar, and keel manufacturer Cariboni all had to contribute pieces of a complex puzzle. Every other facet of the project was Italian.

Read on.

alien element

“When there is no way back, no way out, you must be very, very sure of what you are doing. I did not know how I would react to absolute solitude. It is an experience few of us are ever called upon to undergo and one which few of us would voluntarily choose.

Even being on one’s own in undeveloped country, popularly supposed to epitomize loneliness, is not true solitude, for one is surrounded by trees and bush and grass and animal, all part of the substance of one’s own living. But the sea is an alien element. When a man says he loves the sea, he loves the illusion of mastery, the pride of skill, the life attendant on sea-faring, but not the sea itself.”

Ann Davison – My Ship is So Small (1956)

(In 1952, at the age of 39, Davison became the first woman to sail the Atlantic single-handed. Departing from Plymouth in her 23-foot sloop Felicity Ann she made landfall in Dominica. From there she sailed on to Florida and finally New York.  Davison had previously been an aviator in the UK, delivering mail. She died in 1992.)

read the breeze

Ken Read, Terry Hutchinson, Ray Davies, Stu McNay, David Hughes, Tom Burnham, Mike Toppa, JJ Fetter, Steve Hunt, Lars Guck…and the list goes on. What do all of these great sailors have in common? They’ve all bought Tajima Direct polarized replacement lenses for their favorite sunglass frames. When it comes to reading breeze and gaining an advantage, all good sailors understand advanced polarized lens technology makes all the difference. And not all polarized lenses are created equal.

Tajima-Direct.com is the brainchild of recent 2020 Stanford graduate and former sailing team captain Jacob Rosenberg who saw the need for superior polarized lens technology – for any frame – no matter the brand or frame style.  Growing up in a “sunglass household” where his father Steve was an executive at Oakley before founding sunglass brand Kaenon and inventing the SR-91 polarized lens technology, he understood what quality lens technology and eye protection meant.

With over 4 million pairs of plastic sunglass frames dumped in landfills each year Jacob saw the frame and the lens as two distinct products. Frames are about someone’s lifestyle and lenses should be about pure visual function, performance, and [...]

Read On

by hook or by crook

Del Rey Yacht Club starts off each New Year, by drawing over 80 boats for The William Berger & William Stein Series, Malibu and Return Race. This year, everything was on track as it has been for over 45 years, with Race 2 of the series, The Santa Monica Bay race following in early March. 

Then came mid-March!

We held off as long as we could, before abandoning race 3, The Pt. Dume Race. We hoped that Races 4 and 5, The Cat Harbor Layover and Eagle Rock to Marina del Rey would still be run in June. By late April, all local racing had either been cancelled or postponed.

In early May, we hatched a plan to get our members and friends back out on the water safely. We created a new series, The Single/Double Handed Series, to start in late June. To get the support of our Vice Commodore and our bridge simple but logical rules were proposed:

Double handed crew must reside under the same roof, no spinnakers, 2 crew on the RC boat (one on the bridge, one in the cockpit) and self-finishing. With just 2 weeks of promotion, our first race had 22 entries and by race 3, we had 25. A Virtual Happy Hour and Awards Zoom meeting follows each race. At the request of some of the racers, we added some additional courses for race 3 and everyone has told us how much they appreciate being able to race.

Yes, there were a couple that tried to cheat on the “under the same roof” rule, but they were easily figured out. Fortunately, no one put on a dress and tried to claim they were the skipper’s wife. We have since, adopted the same rules to our Friday night Sundown Series and hope it too will grow./

So take a safe chance, adapt an existing race or come up with a new one, or it may be a very long end of summer and winter with no racing. 

Rick Ruskin
DRYC Sail Committee Chairman

double-handed resistance

Just when the organisers of the Sydney-Hobart race were about to formalise their decision to exclude entrants in the new short-handed division from winning the overall handicap prize, the ‘two-up’ brigade have launched a counter-attack. The sailing committee of the Cruising yacht Club of Australia met last night in an attempt to resolve the issue.

(For those coming in late: The core of this argument is the use of auto-helm. Two-handers cannot sail safely without it, but after pressure from the leading ‘conventionally crewed’ yachts, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia foreshadowed an amendment to the Notice of Race that would see the two-up boats racing to Hobart as a separate division, and ineligible for the Tattersalls Trophy.)

There already look to be 15 confirmed short-handed entrants, and it seems they are not about to accept their exclusion from the big prize lightly. They’ve mounted a lobbying campaign, and enlisted some of the international yachting media to push their cause. 

It would, of course, be churlish to even suggest that there might also be commercial interests in play here. But the announcement of a two-handed offshore event [...]

Read On

gilligan’s island

A multinational search team with elements from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and Federated States of Micronesia found and rescued three boaters from Chuuk who were stranded on a remote, uninhabited island.

On July 31, Coast Guard watchstanders in Guam received a report that a boat with three people on board had gone missing on a trip between Puluwat Atoll and Pulap Island, Chuuk, roughly 400 miles southeast of Guam. The boat had set out on its 21-mile journey on July 29, and it had never arrived.

The Coast Guard confirmed the report with officials in Chuuk, then launched a full-scale search and rescue effort. Watchstanders dispatched an HC-130 long range search plane out of Hawaii, some 4,000 miles to the east. They also got in touch with participating AMVER merchant ships in the area to find possible volunteers. In addition, the U.S. Air Force deployed a KC-135 Stratotanker out of Andersen AFB, Guam.  Read on.

Be sure to check the video! Theme song here.

where’d the money go?

It ain’t up there, bro…

Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain to live in another country amid a financial scandal.

The royal family’s website on Monday published a letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, saying “I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain.”Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos ― including investigations in Spain and Switzerland ― “disturbing.”

Since Spain’s Supreme Court opened its probe earlier this year, Spanish media outlets have published damaging testimony from a separate Swiss investigation into millions of euros (dollars) that were allegedly given to Juan Carlos by Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah. Read on thanks to HuffPo.

they made destruction

“The first rammer was a Greek which sheared away a great Sidonian’s crest; then close, one on another, charged the rest. At first the long-drawn Persian line was strong and held; but in those narrows such a throng was crowded, ship to ship, could bring no aid. Nay, with their own bronze-fanged beaks they made destruction; a whole length of oars one beak would shatter; and with purposed art the Greek ringed us outside, and pressed, and struck; and we – our oarless hulls went over, till the sea could scarce be seen, with wrecks and corpses spread.”  Aeschylus – The Persae. A Persian messenger describes the battle of Salamis (480BC)

(The Greek fleet of triremes, commanded by Themistocles, was vastly outnumbered but they trapped the Persians in a narrow entrance to the Bay of Eleusis. The playwright Aeschylus fought in the battle himself as a marine so was able to write this account of their famous victory over Xerxes from the standpoint of a genuine eyewitness.)

head of state

Former Secretary of State John Kerry (Chilmark, Mass.) claimed the coveted Venona Trophy at Edgartown Race Weekend’s 82nd ‘Round-the-Island Race, sailing his classic Alden Cutter 44 Lark to win his class and post the best corrected time from among all entrants in the Spinnaker Division.

A fleet of 46 boats competing in eight classes started and finished its circumnavigation of Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday, August 1. In a virtual Awards Ceremony, held Sunday afternoon, Kerry (who also is a former U.S. Senator for Massachusetts) praised host Edgartown Yacht Club for pulling off the regatta during the Coronavirus pandemic, which sadly has caused the cancellation of many other regattas.

“The Club did a brilliant job — thoughtful and well executed, without onerous but, nevertheless, clear restraints,” said Kerry, mentioning particularly the restriction of no social gatherings at the club. “That’s a hard thing to give up in sailing, but it was hugely appreciated that they covered all the bases and it allowed us to get out on the water.” Read on.