perhaps smooth jazz?

A beautiful picture of the Andrews 68 Rock n' Roll as they near the finish of this year's Transpac....

sails cow?

Sailscow was born from the meeting between Jean-Michel Linck, marine builder and Gildas Plessis naval architect. Both wanted to offer a cruising...

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the end of certainty

There is a faint, yet tangible, feeling that the wind might be starting to go out of the sails of two of the world’s oldest and most celebrated sporting events. 

By coincidence, we have had a pair of significant announcements within the same week. 

In New Zealand, authorities quietly conceded that even allowing for the impact of COVID, the last America’s Cup lost them a truckload of money. A few days later the International Olympic Committee, meeting in Tokyo, awarded the 2032 Olympic Games to Brisbane, a minor Australian state capital. 

What’s the connection, and why does this matter? 

The hard numbers from NZ – combined losses approaching $300m for AC36 – do much to explain why the government and Auckland City Council declined to raise their offer beyond $99m to host the next America’s Cup defense. Facing deficits of those proportions it can’t have been too difficult for them to walk away from Grant Dalton’s venue auction. 

But cutting Emirates Team New Zealand adrift from their Kiwi home so swiftly, and with hardly a backward glance, is a major shift [...]

Read On

wheels down

Another excellent report from Quantum Sails’ Will Paxton on board the Dehler 46  Favonius as they continue to dominate div 7 on their way to Hawaii. just 160 nm from the finish at this point…

Please bring your seats to the upright position, stow your tray tables, and pass your trash to the aisle…

Actually saw surprisingly little trash this trip given the northerly routing. Perhaps all those efforts to collect it are working? Surely there is a lot more to do there!

And another side note- I often tell my friends that haven’t done it yet who ask what it’s like to cross the big blue sea… I tell them to imagine that every 30 mins looking out the window on the plane is a day sailing on the ocean!

But here we are now on the final approach with just under 200 miles to go. Up to this point it’s been a fairly classic race with a long race on starboard gybe to dig into the lift and then pick your layline on port gybe for the finish knowing that you will be continually headed on the 800 [...]

Read On

he should know

Brilliant soloiste, Figaro Solitaire and Vendée Globe winner and the skipper of the brand new 105ft flying Ultim Banque Populaire XI Armel Le Cléac’h has never been a man to compromise

Choosing Musto for his sailing gear is one way that Armel Le Cléac’h can control his wild environment aboard the newly launched 105ft Ultim, Banque Populaire XI. After the breakup of his previous Ultim, Banque Populaire IX, following a collision with a UFO during the Route du Rhum 2018, the Frenchman is looking for all the certainty and predictability that he can muster.

The continuation of a long relationship with Musto is one such example: ‘I have been working with Musto for over 10 years,’ says the 43-year-old who won the 2016-17 edition of the Vendée Globe. ‘I have done several Vendée Globe races and many transatlantic, ocean racing and other regattas wearing Musto clothing. This has always worked very well and has allowed me to have the right set of clothes for the weather conditions I have encountered. Read on.

j/ok

A quite proper “cruising” version of the J/145, this boat looks the part to be the kind of performance cruiser that serious sailors would prefer, but does it have enough rudders and freeboard and roll bars and volume and big wide ass (to create a garage, don’t ya know) and other assorted oddities that tend to populate most of the competition in that size range?  Well, you either want a great sailing boat or you don’t.

The new J/45 has been undergoing sailing trials off Brittany Coast.

The new J/45 offshore cruiser offers freedom, comfort, and performance without compromise. She offers both unparalleled comfort (modern and bright interior, high-end upholstery and finishes) and large interior volumes (very large storage capacities and enormous volume in the living spaces). Remarkably, that comfort and space is achieved while reducing the wetted surface and being the lowest weight in its class!

The NEW J/45 offshore cruiser has already exceeded all of our expectations; double-digit speeds downwind and easy-to-reach wind speed in light winds!

Next up is a multi-day offshore sea trial with a famous Volvo 70 offshore veteran, and then off to the Mediterranean Sea!

The J/45 will be present at the Cannes Yachting Festival from the 7th to the 12th of September. To discover it and book your visit, please contact your nearest J/Boats dealer.

69,000 refunds

We have been crystal clear in our call to have canceled the Olympics months ago. And with the news that there are 100 unvaccinated US Olympians (out of a 600+ total) in these games, we are appalled that ONE US Athlete wasn’t vaccinated. But 100?:?

You mean to say that somebody thought that sending 100 unvaccinated athletes to Japan, who are in the midst of a serious Covid uptick was a good idea?? Just exactly what in the fuck is wrong with our priorities?

Well, they made it. The Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games took place this evening to 69,000 empty seats so the usual atmosphere was sadly missing. Presumably, 69,000 refunds are currently being processed.

It has to be said it is brave of Japan to press on with The Games, both from the COVID risk and of course the financial hit from the lack of ticket sales.

The parade of athletes was also sparse with many countries opting to reduce the parade of athletes along with the requirement for athletes to not travel to Japan sooner than 5 days before the start of their events.

Of course with the Olympic Sailing Regatta [...]

Read On

push it, hard

The drive to stay alive for the win on Triumph is impressive. Enjoy.

TWD 61
TWS 19
TWA 160
BSP 12.1

Man this race has been exhausting. Every time we have a few reports and gain back the miles to finally think we have a chance of correcting out when we finish, we get 2 or 3 reports showing them gain it back or more in a couple of reports!

Now, I raced on Horizon in 2017 and we won by over 7 hours on corrected and beat the Sc 52’s by hours on elapsed time. But I always felt if the 52’s were sailed well they would have a chance in the right conditions to beat Horizon which is such a special boat!

I was asked to race on Horizon again this year but I wanted to try to prove my point that they could be beat given the right team & conditions with a stock SC 52. In 2007 we beat them in a modified Sc52 Kokopelli 2 .

Not sure why I like to make my life difficult but here we are with a real chance to prove this….Not sure it really matters but i really want this one so we push [...]

Read On

unlucky

We just noticed that the J/V 72 Lucky, which was on its way to winning Div 1 and 3rd overall has come to a screeching halt – from 17.0 knots to 1.7 knots – with about 30 miles to go! The boat has broken its rudder and has retired from the race. Isn’t this normally where an emergency rudder comes into play?

Track here.
Discuss here.

sail on

From friend Chris Museler at the New York Times…

Bruce Kirby, a Canadian-born journalist, Olympic sailor and self-taught naval architect whose design for a lightweight fiberglass dinghy, originally sketched on a piece of yellow legal paper, changed the face of sailing, died on Monday at his home in the village of Rowayton in Norwalk, Conn. He was 92.

His wife, Margo Kirby, confirmed his death.

Dinghy racing in North America and Europe in the late 1960s revolved around the International 14, a lightweight, 14-foot, two-person craft, and by then Mr. Kirby had carved out a niche for himself moonlighting as a designer in the 14 sailing class, spinning off variations on the original design that would have the dinghy planing and skipping across the water’s surface. His day job was as editor of the sailing magazine One-Design & Offshore Yachtsman in Chicago. Read on.

many hats

Will Paxton from Quantum shares his view of the life of a navigator onboard the still class-winning Grand Dehler 46 Favonius on their way to Hawaii…

The modern navigator is a busy guy. Roll calls and position reports, data downloading, and lots of weather and routing analysis in front of the computer. It’s a far cry from the first Hawaii race I did where the navigator hunches in front of the SSB radio diligently taking notes once a day and tuning in some weather faxes printed on paper! It is in fact a full-time job and on our boat, like many others, I make my own schedule outside of the rest of the regular sailing crews’ watch rotation.

Being one of the more experienced sailors on the boat I also come with a lot of driving experience so this means I fill in at the helm at night when there is a premium on good driving. The nights have mostly been moonlit (good scheduling by the race organizer!) but several of the nights there are a few hours after moonset and before sunrise that is truly black and IFR conditions if you understand pilot lingo!

This part is my specialty. You have to feel the dip and roll of the boat under your feet while surfing down waves in 20ish ktss. of wind all the while keeping the spinnaker full and intently watching fast flicking dimmed instruments while calculating heading, TWA, True Wind, and True wind direction along with boat speed to balance it all. You can’t really see your friends in the dark but they are there offering advice while holding on to sheets and vang just in case.

Then with relief, the eastern sky starts to light up. The horizon, deck of the boat, your hands, friends and everything else rematerializes. This is just about the time I hand the helm off and go fire up the satellite comms and start writing out the 8am position report, downloading positions and new weather info and plugging it all into Expedition on the computer for analysis.

I’m usually done with this around 11am and hit the bunk for a few hours rest. Late afternoon I wake up and refresh the weather data and routing and do some sailing on deck with everyone- dinner hour is the best social hour on the Favonius and we usually have some good surfing music going.

Then it’s time for night sailing all over again. Suffice it so say I haven’t needed to put on too much sunscreen this time around hence the vampire reference!

The race is zooming by and it’s been a great trip thus far. The guys and gals on deck just put in a reef and we are blasting thru a squall with 25kt winds. I’m headed up there next!

Navigator Will / Team Favonius

wetaf

You know, maybe sailing the boat from inside ain’t such a bad idea…

google map that

NEWS FLASH: Shocking no one, Pyewackett 70′ was first to finish in this year’s Transpac, at 02:53 HST, July 23.

19:35
TWD 057
TWS 21.7
TWA 155
BSP 14.2
COG 256

Hi From the stress ship Triumph… Man, we think the guys on Horizon have found a way to hack into the Yellow brick tracker live data feed or owner john Shultz, being in the medical device business, has somehow tapped into our covid vaccine chips to track our every move! (Follow them here ed.)

I have never seen a matching track so perfect… So we had to employ our own countermeasures from this attack to shake them a bit to get some leverage. How did we employ this strategy? Well with the trackers we get reports every 4 hours so after one report the wind was a gybe split so we gybed right after so now we had 4 hours to work with before they knew we had gybed.

We were really aggressive gybing back and forth on 5-degree shifts in 22 to 25 knots, and now after 4 hours we see they gybed to match and they won’t know we are now on stb!

Hopefully, this has worked but time will [...]

Read On

sound advice

A well-known pro-sailor told me he was advising his clients to focus their sailing to “More Discovery Channel and less ESPN.” Sage advice from a multi-World Champion.

This will be my ninth Transpac start (this time with our Andrews 68, Rock n’ Roll) and I find my focus has shifted. It’s good to be back on the water again. I’m thrilled to be sailing with my band of Brothers that went through our 2019 mishap. I told the boys before the race in 2019 my only jobs were. to make certain that they got home safely to their loved ones and at the end of the race we were better friends than when we started.

Erik Berzins, Ryan Breymaier, Mat Bryant, Brendan Busch, Randy Smith, John Turpin and Greg Weeger are remarkable shipmates and friends. It’s good to be sailing with them again. Chuck Clay sailing on board good energy and we are cheering and watch their progress on the tracker.

My long-time friend and mentor Justin Smart has joined us in this adventure.Justin had more ocean racing [...]

Read On

triumph of the will

19:14

TWD 041
TWS 19.1
BSP 10.5
Cog 249

Today we have reached our halfway point and as usual our owner Steve has captured what it’s like on the yacht Triumph which I can’t compete with so again you will see below that he has a gift for roasting people and things.

Last night we had our first gybe to port around midnight to check the sea state and angle as we were touching the gybe split angle of 59 the sea state was pretty bad so we came back after about 20 min then got a nice headed angle of 45 that we spent the rest of the night and morning on.

Since then we have been gybing back & forth on cloud lines to stay out of the sunshine and get a nice shift and pressure. Our overall game plan for the final section our the race is forming. We are trying to take shifts to get south to a bit better wind and lower our baro #.

As of today we spent time in 1028 which I have never done before as we have a 1034 High a little to close for comfort, and we are now @ 1024. At the moment [...]

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51 years young

We’re trying to get in touch with the owner for an interview, but how cool is it that an Ericson 35-2 just won the Chicago to Mackinac race overall! From the Chi-Mac pr…

Taking home the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy was the Ericson 35 MK II Providence (also winner of Section 9), co-skippered by the father/son team of Jerry and Greg Miarecki (Chicago).

“An old adage with respect to winning this race is that it’s 1/3rd the boat, 1/3rd skill, and 1/3rd luck,” said Greg Miarecki. “If you were to talk to me halfway through, I would have said it was crazy to think we’d win overall.”

Miarecki described his team giving the Manitou Islands a wide berth to the west. The boat always had speed while doing that, but there were times on Sunday where it was becalmed for short amounts of time. The team didn’t take the lead until the last third of the race.

“More of a disadvantage to us than the fact if was lighter vs. heavier air was the significant amount of upwind work we had to do with an older boat,” said Miarecki.

Providence was built in 1970 but is still a warhorse. She has completed 43 Chicago Mac races and has placed in her section 21 times, winning her section six times. She also won her division in 2012, 2013, and 2014, becoming the first boat in 60 years to win her division in three consecutive years.

really??

Don’t know about you, but if I’m in the middle of the Chicago to Mackinac race on a TP 52, and a kayaker is doing circles around me, pretty sure I’d quit right then and there! Thanks to Anarchist Brian.

summer dressin’

Water temperatures are often colder than expected and spray cools your body quickly once wet. That’s why wearing effective clothing for warm weather sailing is important.

Cotton polos and conventional fabrics offer no protection from water, wind chill or UV rays. In addition, the impact of sunscreen washing off you into the water is highly undesirable for our Ocean’s health, so wearing clothing that protects you from the sun is better. 

Based in Australia, Zhik’s design team are acutely aware of protecting your skin from catastrophic UV damage and are regularly testing new fabrics with the Australian and New Zealand Sailing Teams.

Why keep warm when it’s warm?

Water or sweat creates chilling as it evaporates from your skin, an effect accelerated by the wind. To preserve body heat your body uses more energy which has a knock-on effect – earlier muscle fatigue and tiredness affects movement, communication and your decision making skills. Pretty essential stuff when racing.

For warm and wet conditions, Zhik’s XWR Pro Tops help regulate your body temperature by shedding spray and reducing chilling. Perfect for active sailors, paddlers and foiling enthusiasts. 

This 4-way stretch fabric contains a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment [...]

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that’s gotta hurt

West Coast sailors are familiar with the TP 52 Badpak,  a moderately successful early example of the failed Pac 52 class. That boat was sold, making way for a new Badpak, a Botin 56 that was thought to be a TP 52 “killer”.  Like all these boats, stacked with the best sailors money can buy, they embarked on this year’s Transpac.

The “old” Badpak became Warrior Won, and has so far put up better results under new ownership. That brings us to today’s snapshot of Warrior Won (in blue) ahead of Badpak (in red) on both corrected and elapsed time, with about 1,000 miles to go.

Now we know shit changes all the time out there, and perhaps this result will not stand, but damn, that’s gotta hurt. We imagine there is at least one really grumpy dude on BP who ain’t much fun to be around right about now… It is worth noting that they are both currently winning their class…

But hey, good times, right?

punch drunk

This report from Triumph is a bit different, but if you’ve been on a race like Transpac, you know how odd people can be…

16:35 7-20

TWD 035
TWS 20.3
TWA 157
Sog 12.5
COg 240

What Day is it? We are having a great battle with Horizon. It’s a shock cord race we take miles from them then they take them back. We look to be exiting the slot cars as some boats have gybed earlier than I thought as we have been on the favored gybe the whole race.

I have been stressing since we dove south on Hoirzon on day 2 as they have been gaining bearing every day on the higher road, along with my fear that the weather is going favor the boats on the north right corner at the end of race.

Well to my surprise Horizon gybed to the south and not on a great angle to come across our transom by 11 miles. Now my stress has been relieved (well, almost) now the big guys like Artie Means have gybed south. So Back to second-guessing what is happening….

The long-range charts are showing me the north is opening up and that should be the way as the lows don’t seem to be a factor for us on our routing?

So for the fun stuff here is a report from our owner steve!

Best Jeff

Good afternoon people of the Tera Firma.

Triumph and her crew are in good spirits. The wind is behind us and consistently 18 – 24 knots. Our running kites are up and we are doing what we do – sail downwind, surfing waves. High boat speed is 21.3 knots held by Thorpe followed by Justin with a 21.1 knot ride. For some reason, several crew members are having a competition for the number of bowel movements. I do not approve of or condone this schoolyard nonsense. However, to facilitate crew harmony I let this one play out.

The Navigator’s Stew did live up to all the fanfare. Thorpe’s Yucatan Stew and Polenta was truly delicious and we spent the better part of last night’s watch dreaming up other menu possibilities. For some reason my Transpac craving for a Big Mac and a Diet Coke is back again – I can’t explain this as I am a loyal Del Taco fan.

The Law Man (Justin Law) smuggled a chair on board. This one I approve and appreciate and see many opportunities. This “Wind Chair” is a perfect addition to Triumph furniture. After 3 hours of trimming from the Wind Chair, it took 2 hearty soles to extract our navigator from the depression he had made in this chair. Even soft-spoken, perfect gentlemen Snow Man (Chris Snow) commented that the chair resembled certain female parts. (Don’t shoot the scribe – I am just conveying the highlights of the last 24 hours) and as tradition has it, the ocean spray and sleep deprivation do odd things to the mind.

Other important missives to report:

With excess water in the tank and the co-navigator Brad “Wheels” Wheeler reiterating his Transpac rule for showering, (Day 3 is suggested, Day 4 is greatly encouraged and Day 5 is required), 6 of the 8 crew took full advantage of this opportunity. Of course, Wheels is one of the 2 who has so far refused. He reminds me of Nancy Pelosi getting her hair cut. The navigator is the other criminal but he claims to have a doctor’s note so we aren’t pushing it, yet.

In the haste to get sails changed and bagged, Nick Gan’s show went missing and was found after an exhaustive search tucked inside one of the packed sails. Shows are important to avoid loss of digits and important as a bow man.

We have started to figure each other out a bit more each day. We know now that Thorpe wakes up a grumpy old man and we surmise this is due to low blood sugar. Justin Law may have solved this by dropping a dark chocolate-covered espresso bean in his mouth just before he wakes. We may have this issue solved.

Tomorrow is the traditional halfway ceremony where Nick Gan and Chris Snow will be sharing for the rest of the crew what this means to them by using the grass skirt, coconut chest coverings and various native wigs along with the yucallelle (that small Hawaiian guitar – I have no idea how to spelll this and no spell check onboard). We are recommended an Elvis or Don Ho song in praise of Hawaii and the sea gods but we will report back on this.

For now, we continue on, sailing, sleeping, eating, repeat. Everyone is in high spirits and working to the goal of safe transit to Hawaii.

Enjoy the Tera Firma with all its glory.

– Skipper Steve

 

fastnet fandango

Update:  And to complicate this Fastnet problem even further, there’s also a snag at the UK end after the finish. Any sailors who have gone ashore in France after the race and then returned to England or Wales must quarantine at home for 10 days – even if fully vaccinated. 

The Rolex public relations machine is cranking up its publicity for the Fastnet Race, run by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. They have good reason to be pleased with the 400+ entries the event has attracted. The race begins off Cowes in the UK on August 8 and finishes at the new destination of Cherbourg in France.

But what the pre-race promotion hasn’t emphasized is the potential difficulties posed by the persistent Coronavirus. When a race starts in one country and ends in another things can get tricky.

The UK has just dropped all restrictions relating to COVID despite still registering 50,000 new infections per day. Crazy, but true. Meanwhile, France is maintaining a more cautious policy that places quite strict obligations on foreigners arriving in the country.

There will [...]

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super-spreader olympics?

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece where I stated that I would be very surprised if the Olympic Games didn’t go ahead. (Money, Money, Money)

Well, on Friday the whole shit show kicks off and even before the opening ceremony commences in an empty main stadium (gonna love the atmosphere there – NOT) there have been 3 +ve COVID – sorry, now 5 +ve COVID tests in and around the athlete’s population with a further 3 South African Soccer team members testing the wrong way.

I hope I am wrong and that the luck gods are smiling on Tokyo but with 11,000 athletes in the 21 buildings of the Olympic Village, there is the potential of undiagnosed cases jetting off around the globe when the 5 ring circus concludes in a couple of weeks.

Shades of Bloefeld’s plans in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Where are you James Bond when the world needs you? – SS

irresistible?

Over the past 12 months, Grenada has transformed from a ‘perhaps one day’ to a ‘must go’ destination in the Caribbean. Previously considered a backwater by some sailors looking to tour the most glamorous destinations in the Caribbean, Grenada moved firmly on to the map in March 2020, and looks set to stay as a long-term yachties’ favourite.

As Covid-19 was sweeping across the globe, hundreds of yachts found themselves at sea with nowhere to go. Hurricane season would be coming soon, but with coronavirus sweeping through the USA and Florida in particular, sailors found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. They would have to look elsewhere for shelter and so many-headed further south than usual, away from the hurricane zone and towards Grenada, 458 nautical miles off the coast of Venezuela.

Read on.

too much whiskey

Scotland reopened its ports to cruise ships starting today, six weeks after the U.K. permitted domestic cruises to restart for residents. The move came the same day as England celebrated what was being called “freedom day,” as pandemic-related restrictions and the requirements for face coverings and social distancing were ended.

Six weeks ago, Scotland had refused to go along with England when cruise ships were permitted to resume voyages carrying U.K. residents under restrictions on trips to sea or visiting the country’s domestic ports. At the time, the Scottish government highlighted that it said it would make its policy decisions to coincide with the restart and it would be based on the health status and overall level of precautions across Scotland. While many parts of the region had their restrictions at low levels by the beginning of June, the country overall remained at level two with the government saying it would have to reach level one or zero for cruises to resume. Scotland moved to level zero as of July 19. Read on.

eating it up

In a previous post, we announced that Zingara was purchased by Stephens Waring principals Bob and Paul and will be cruising and racing in Maine this summer under the stewardship of the pair at times and either of them with their families at other times. We signed off that piece with a “watch this space” announcement so fellow watchers here we are.

You’d think that being owned by such knowledgeable sailors with immense industry experience, Zingara’s spring launch would pass without a hitch. Right. As most snow-belt boat owners know, spring launching is a dance of the wicked with Mr. Murphy himself conducting the orchestra. Despite knowing all the moves, Messieurs Stephens and Waring were not fully protected from the occasional misstep as Spring wore into early Summer and launch day approached. Read on.

gods

Cruising along at 10 knots and still first in Div 7, Favonius- Roman god of the West wind- is the inspiration for the name of our Dehler 46 we are currently surfing to Hawaii.

The wind Gods in general have certainly been shining on us and most of the fleet the last several days as we all had a straight shot out to the ridge and the tradewinds in easy-going wind strengths in the low teens. This is a sharp contrast to some years past I can remember of reefs and #4 jibs going airborne off waves while no one had much of an appetite! We only had one queasy crew this time and a couple of pills and a night’s sleep made him right.

The race up to now has been all about setting the boat up to reach efficiently at various wind angles. We started out with a jib on the outboard lead and then sailed for most of a day with our Quantum Cabeless code 0. We love this sail as the self-supporting luff actually projects like a spinnaker making it fast at lower angles that you normally would need an A3 reacher to cover.

The stable luff of [...]

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it’s not all fun and games

A little Transpac report, again from the SC 52, Triumph…

After selfies and check-in, we cleared the start line and heard a bang, looked back and realized Denali had broken her rig. We continued and had a pleasant sail out to Catalina. We cleared the West End and sailed towards the North West winds tacking before sailing under Santa Barabara Island.

Dave and I set a mark 5 miles below San Nicolas Island to sail out to the synoptic breeze. As we were lifted we switched to our J0 and sailed West close to the breeze. Everyone was feeling a bit sick as we bounced through the seas until we had a bang of our own. The Haylard snapped and the J0 went into the water. A few of us drug the sail back aboard and quickly attached the other masthead halyard to the sail.

Less than an hour later, another bang rang out and the sail went back into the drink. This time we pulled sailed onboard and put up a jib. We jib reached through the wee hours of the night and planned how to re-rig the mast. It was decided to go aloft on the fractional halyard and make off the mainsail to the hounds in the reef position. Then our climber would tie off the main to the hounds and ascend the rest of the way on the main halyard. The first time we attempted this things went well. Unfortunately, the first climber got too sick to complete the job and came back down.

After “working the problem” for a while we fashioned needed tools from a bucket bail and sent up a new climber, Robin Jeffers. This time Robin was able to put in two spliced loops we fashioned and hang two external blocks and halyards. After some discussion, we decided that putting up tight luffed code sails was not prudent. So after some more jib reaching we set a kite and headed slightly low of course. Day turned to night and again today. Which brings us to now and our boat blasting along, south of the fleet, heading towards the finish, looking forward to adventures to come.

we care a lot

Given the thriving sports vibe here in So Cal, I took a look at the LA Times 24 page guide to the Tokyo Olympics which was included in the Sunday paper.  First, I checked the TV viewing guide and damn if there wasn’t sailing mentioned! Alright, now we’re off to a good start. Time to rip through this and get to the sailing feature, maybe more than one!

The first feature article was about surfing being in the Olympics (they even used the word totally in the headline. So hip).  Then they wrote about skateboarding, also new to the Olympics. I learned that It’s not a sport, bro. It’s a lifestyle.

A double spread about sport climbing, which I had no idea was a sport, let alone one that is Olympics-worthy. But okay.

A side column offered a tip of the hat to additional new sports like softball, baseball and karate. The main article was of course dedicated to Simone Biles,  and that was followed up with a splashy (get it?) five-page feature on swimmer Katie Ledecky, followed by an article on fencing, featuring a despondent looking US fencer.

There was a moment (a half-page moment, actually) on the reality of the Pandemic and the Olympics, plus a giant feature on the US Women’s soccer coach. A man, it must be said. What, no qualified women coaches to coach…a women’s team?

By the time I got to page 20, I was wondering if the TV listing was wrong – was there even a thing called sailing, because not a single word had been mentioned so far. Then, in the final four-page section about the So Cal Olympic connections and there it was: sailors Charlie Buckingham and Riley Gibbs each got short bios. Nothing said about new classes, new sailors, etc.

All a bit um, underwhelming. And of the 41 pictures devoted to the athletes, not a single one showed sailing.

That society largely doesn’t give a fuck about sailing is not exactly a news bulletin. Hell, apparently not even So Cal cares. – ed.

Title inspiration thanks to Faith No More.

the blind buccaneers!

Ocean of Obstacles reveals the story of a dozen blind teenagers as they complete a life-changing voyage. The first-time crew dubbed “The Blind Buccaneers” will navigate and sail on the open water, embarking on a seven-day voyage at sea.

Circumnavigating the waters of the Caribbean they overcome nature, fatigue, and the scrutiny of naysayers, but their biggest obstacle will be their own physical limitations and fear of failure. These stories of challenge and inspiration will show the world that the human experience can become a beacon for all when they are set to a monumental task.

lemonade

Jeff Thorpe checks in from the Santa Cruz 52 Triumph on their way to Hawaii. They are currently second in class and 6th overall, ORR…

Well, life at 20 degrees is finally over!

We are now into our A 2.5 Thinking about a change to the A2 but the wind is shifting 30 degrees and going from 18 knots to 8 knots. We have been in a battle with the SC 50 Horizon the last 2 days, and last night they were just on our transom 3.6 miles back and we hit the launch spot before them @ 11 pm and set our A0 which allowed us to change lanes to the south of them.

We were reaching in 18 with our A/P genoa and Gs and putting miles on them as this wind angle was advantageous to us vs them. But unfortunately, we had a hydraulic failure with our backstay with a cracked seal, which needless to say was not fast with a floppy head stay. After multiple times draining the lower valve of oil on the backstay so we could pump the backstay down to get headstay tension, but this solution would only last about 2 hours. After realizing we did not have enough spare hydraulic oil on board to keep this going, the plan became “Let’s disconnect the outhaul from the system, drain the backstay into a cup and refill the oil tank.”

Once this was done, we turned the boat dead downwind, cranked the mainsheet on hard, and lashed the backstay down with Spectra, which worked for a while but we were still losing miles due to not enough tension.

And that made our decision to launch south with the A0. We think this plan worked as of now 5:56 am July 19th they bear 352 @ 10.4 miles basically dead upwind of us! Hopefully it gets a bit lighter north for them. At the moment we are approaching our ridge gate that we planed on pre-race with Chris Bedford @ 29.30n 130w

The most exciting thing about today is the navigator stew I made for the team that we serve at the ridge pork stew with onions, Polblano’s, jalapenos, garlic, tomatillos, Negra Modela beer and orange juice served over polenta.

Reservations are closed just for team Triumph. Sorry!

TWD 014
TWS 11.2
TWA 144
COG 237
Sog 8.52
Baro 1022.93

Jeff

southport strikeout #2

As we foreshadowed last week, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has bowed to the COVID virus and postponed the Sydney-Gold Coast offshore race, the most important blue-water event in its calendar after the Sydney-Hobart.

Daily infection numbers in the state of New South Wales have not reduced and the government is continuing to enforce its strict social distancing regulations and a ban on all non-essential activities other than personal exercise. 

The race to the finish off Southport on the Queensland Gold Coast was scheduled to start on July 31 but there is little prospect of any restrictions being eased before then. The CYCA is now considering an alternative start date in mid-October or an out-and-back race of similar length within NSW waters.

This is the second year running that Coronavirus has forced the cancellation of the race. It comes as a huge disappointment to the hundreds of sailors who build their Winter holiday plans around the ‘Southport’ and following week-long regattas further North at Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. Only boats from Queensland are now likely to contest those events. 

good start

The first Transpac report from Will Paxton onboard Favonius. Very cool to see these guys winning division 7 so far. Looks comfy, except the grinders are not going to be happy after a few more days… Photo thanks to Sharon Greene.

After a fairly typical beat from the start to the west end of Catalina, and a shifty puffy fight past the remaining channel islands we have settled in on our course to Hawaii. Winds are fairly moderate in the 10-12kt range making for an easy transition into our watch routine.

The Favonius is a new Dehler 46 of the performance racer-cruiser design genre. A spacious and comfortable interior makes for a nice off watch for the crew but this is also balanced out by a tall carbon rig and bulb keel with plenty of power to get up and go.

Owner Greg Dorn first commissioned her in 2019 for local racing on SF Bay and with an eye to longer offshore trips. A new inventory of Quantum sails and some electronics upgrades makes her formidable on the racecourse, but other than that she is fairly stock and can go right back into full cruising mode without too much trouble.

To get ready for Transpac 2021 we first did the Cabo race in March as a shakedown. There have been a few other practices in the meantime and detail tweaking and we couldn’t be happier with the prep. We have been spoiled by having veteran boat captain and ocean racer Ashley Perrin prep the boat. She and Captain Greg are the watch captains, Will Paxton (me) is the navigator, regular crew members Matt Sessions and Cam Tuttle have been on the campaign from the start, and we are rounded out by Greg’s son Nick and Cassidy Lynch for some youth and enthusiasm to go along with their small boat racing talents.

Cheers until later,

Will Paxton / Team Favonius

one of many…

First Transpac report from a few boats that are supposed to be telling their stories. Hey boys, less sailing, more writing!

Day 1 We had a great exit off the coast blue sky wind from 260 10 knots at the start gave the fleet a typical Transpac start with all boats off on starboard at the start, With the wind shifting left at the start we Were able to win the pin at the gun with clean air and end up the second boat to the island behind Bretwalda and just in front of Lucky Duck both Rodgers 46’s. Unfortunately, the new Ker 46 plus broke its rig just after the start – a tough break for a beautiful new boat!

Learning lesson # 1 do not reef a masthead boat with a #1 genoa up! We tried to be tricky tacking up the fan of the island with this method that lasted about 5 mins. “Ok guys, get the # 3 on the bow we are going to tack back to the island shake the reef out and hoist the # 3 for a tack change before we hit the shore again, and by the way move the stack while you’re at it .” Needless to say, the team asked are you serious? “Yes! I am.” The team executed flawlessly. And we passed Lucky Duck back after getting passed with the G/R combo.

Trying to type at 20 degrees is all kind of fun! Wish we had a modern nav station! Anyway, just reaching along with Genoa up and GS would love to put up or new cabless A0 but feel we would sag away too much.

That’s all for now. Track the fleet here.

Jeff Thorpe

nothing to see here, folks…

From BBC Sport.  Anybody starting to see a potential disaster in the making?

The chief of the Tokyo Olympics accepts athletes are “probably very worried” after a Games-related organizer became the first person to test positive for Covid-19 in the athletes’ village. The person is now quarantining in a hotel for 14 days, is one of 15 Games-related cases reported on Saturday.

The organizer tested negative upon arrival in Japan before returning a positive test in the village screening. The organizers have previously said the village “must be the safest place”.

“Athletes who are coming to Japan are probably very worried. I understand that,” said Games chief Seiko Hashimoto. “That is the reason why we need to make full disclosure. “We are doing everything to prevent any Covid outbreaks. If we end up with an outbreak we will make sure we have a plan in place to respond.”

The Games, postponed for a year due to the global pandemic, is being held mostly without spectators and under tight quarantine rules, with Tokyo currently in a state of emergency, until at least 22 August, amid rising Covid-19 numbers.

Athletes, who will be tested daily, are starting to arrive in Tokyo, with the Olympics running from 23 [...]

Read On

dude…

This has Floriduh man written all over it!

Just to advise that in the past 48 hours or so a Port Cygnet Sailing Club members’ dinghy and outboard were stolen from the public jetty. The dinghy is yet to be located but the outboard was attempted to be sold locally and this is currently a Police matter.

The getaway vehicle in this instance was the PCSC wheelbarrow which was used to wheel the outboard to the bus shelter in Cygnet, where I believe the thief (or new “owner”) tried to board the bus with the outboard but was duly refused access. I will retrieve the wheelbarrow tomorrow.

While there is no immediate evidence of any additional theft or mischief, it would be prudent for all members who may have property around the outside of the Club area to check that all is OK.

twelve minutes

You have one of the sexiest boats on the water, you are leading the fleet off the line, and twelve minutes later, your rig has broken.

That is what just happened to the Ker 46 Denali ^3 on their way to Hawaii. What a shame, by all accounts they are a great bunch of people on the boat…

Early word is that it is a compression break at where the two-piece mast joins.

Of course, the incredibly lame Transpac website has no info, which fits nicely with their lame 4-hour delay on Yellowbrick tracker.  Talk about antiquated…

spin right round

Marlow Ropes have announced a new collaboration with DSM Dyneema to integrate their latest sustainable innovation, Recycled-based Dyneema® within their products.

To demonstrate the material’s feasibility and pilot the new product Marlow has teamed up with the 11th Hour Racing Team, substituting standard Dyneema fiber for Recycled-based Dyneema in their high-performance Marlow Grand Prix ropes.

Marlow Grand Prix ropes are world-renowned and this method of manufacturing allows them to offer bespoke features, innovations and customizations on short runs for various boat and rigging projects all around the world. The bespoke nature of the manufacturing allows Marlow to be more sustainable with less waste in the production process.

For further information about this new sustainable Dyneema fiber and Marlow’s collaboration with DSM Dyneema & CirculariTeam, click here!

dog days of summer

First race of the Wednesday Night B Series at Hamble River Sailing Club in the UK. Sunny and hot day and nice breeze make for a perfect evening! – anarchist Bertrand.

attacked?

We’d hardly call this an “attack”.  More like they were fucking with them, and the rudder must have looked like something worth banging into. There is a thread

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