time is tight

Arrived last week from Italy and after passing through the expert hands of the technical team, the second V3 foil...

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what a time to be alive

“Between 7 December 1848, and 20 January 1849, ninety-nine windships sailed from United States ports alone for California; and from October 1849 to October 1850, 70,000 gold-hungry emigrants reached San Francisco, mainly by sea. Sacramento which, in April 1849, had four houses, in little more than twelve months blossomed into a well-built town of 70,000 inhabitants.

On New York’s waterfront, in Salem, Boston and elsewhere right along the Eastern seaboard craftsmen swarmed like ants over vast supplies of white pine and spruce, white oak and fir as it came out of sawmills; and in a hundred or more lofty sailmaker’s works men cut, gored and sewed huge banks of canvas. Ship designers, ship-chandlers, rope makers, merchants and brokers got together to talk things over and agree plans.”

Warren Armstrong – Square-Rigger Days (1964)

(What a time to be a sailor or in the supporting maritime trades! Of the estimated 300,000 people who came to California in the gold rush between 1848 and 1855 around half arrived by sea. Most of those “Argonauts”, as they were called, made the long, perilous passage from the East Coast.)

¡ay cabrón!

Do you remember this lawsuit? It is the one involving Steve Meheen, former owner of the Botin 80′ Cabron against professional sailor Gavin Brady. Well, that suit is very much alive and proceeding, but now there are all kinds of things swirling about.

Apparently North Sails has their panties in a twist as part of the issues are that some of the sails had questionable measurements and certificates, and there is talk of subpoenas, depositions and potential firings.

More as we get it, but if this blows up there will be lot’s of shrapnel flying about. Some people are going to try to keep their heads very low. There may very well be carnage.

that’s the look!

“It is wise to look the part of a yachtsman to a certain degree, and not a boat bum. You might not have two nickels to rub together but if you look like you do, people just hassle you less. I’m serious about this. People are weird.

Truthfully, they’ve got not a little bit of justification. I know the world is full of thieves, and they come in all forms. I doubt I’ve ever met anyone in an expensive yacht who hasn’t stolen the majority of what he owns – truth be known. Yet I know that while behind every rich man stands a devil, behind a poor man there stands two. And the poor boat bum has probably got a lot more interest in my solar panel and my inflatable than the rich bastard might.”

Jerome W. FitzGerald – Sailing with Purpose (2002)

(FitzGerald is an accomplished American sailor, rigger, and sailmaker who enjoys undertaking long solo passages without an engine. His books are crammed with quirky yet valuable practical advice. The title of his last tome sums up FitzGerald’s philosophy: Sea-Steading: A Life of Hope and Freedom on the Last Viable Frontier.)

vitamin v

The Hot Rum Series in San Diego is both the oddest and the hardest series to win. 3 races, 100 boats, pursuit start, huge currents, fluky breeze. If you win this series overall, you were both very good and very lucky.

I’ve won it twice overall, (and a ton of class wins) once in the 90’s steering Doug Peterson’s 41′ Flambouyant, and in 2012 on Anarchy, my FT 10M (only to have to taken from us by some bullshit protest/appeal  that didn’t involve us, but it moved a boat up one place, and that robbed us, weeks after the fact.

An odd selection of boats have won this series overall over the years. This blue beauty is a Venture 21, nabbed by an anarchist with a view at winning the series. Don’t laugh, it has happened before… – ed.

not sailing anarchy material

So every once in a while we get someone asking about working here (people are crazy). We got an inquiry the other day from a youngster wanted to write for us. Okay, why don’t you send me something that you think we’d like, I asked.

A few days passed and I get an email from the kid with his article.  He clearly didn’t read SA, and the piece was written as a fictional first-time sailor setting off on a epic journey, etc. Not exactly our kind of stuff, although we often get accused of writing fiction too!

Anyway, I wrote him back, thanking him but informing him that he wasn’t quite Sailing Anarchy material, as if there is such a thing. I cracked up as I wrote that line, but I have to admit that I borrowed that not “Sailing Anarchy Material” line directly from this book.

Apologies to Adam Carolla!

show of shows

When all boat shows were canceled, we got together and tried to figure out how we can still do something to present new products, interview industry members, and discuss common interest topics. Many key brands, video photographers, and doctors joined the effort to talk about:

a. Skin protection for sailors – Harken Derm
b. Protecting the oceans and artistic underwater photography – Andre Musgrove
c. The color of sailing. Walking the memory lane with Sharon Green
d. New sailing gadgets – Cyclops Marine
and many more (32 in total)

All these were put together in less than 30 days, and with all the limitations on traveling, I think all participants have done a great job presenting their products, stories, and how to turn an idea into a lifetime dream (what Steph Schuldt – How I end up living in the Bahamas),

Every hour (starting at 11 am EST / GMT-4), a new video or presentation will become available for the next three days. I hope you guys enjoy this year’s show: MAURIPRO VIrtual Boat Show

up and aweigh

Straight off the pr…

Fierce competition on Day one of the iQFoil International Games in Campione, Lake Garda, for the almost 200 riders coming from 29 nations, at what it was supposed to be the first IQFoil World Championship for the Paris 2024 Olympic sail board. A revolution for Olympic windsurfing, now foiling over the waves instead of surfing them, faster and with a new format: not just the windward-leeward racecourse, still run when the wind is above 10 knots, but a Sprint Slalom – very familiar to athletes coming from the PWA and foiling generation – and even a Marathon.

Two worlds are converging here in the IQFoil; the very tactical, technical and light weighted RS:Xers and the powerful, strong and skilled riders from the PWA circuit. The level of energy is sky-high, with everyone thrilled to see who, from both worlds, will better perform in a big fleet, and with everyone just excited to be back racing.  More here.

it’s all a game

The Realsail Team has been working on the development of realsail.net The Offshore Sailing Game for 3 months, working together with many skippers from around the world and defining the most amazing sailing game in the market.

​The main goal of the Realsail Team is “Building Realsail from the ideas of the sailing community and for the sailing community”. This is really important for them and they would like to build this game together with the sailing community.

They think that it is really important to listen to the players, to support them when something doesn’t work and also to add new features recommended by the community.

They are currently working with many skippers, listening to their ideas and working hard to make them possible. Join the Realsail Team on  realsail.net and share your ideas and your desires and they will add them to the game as soon as possible.

If you want to review all the features gathered from the sailing community that will be added to the game, please join the Realsail Team on this link www.realsail.net/features and they will send you the features briefing document of the game.

Good wind skippers!

dc wants to buy a what?

So where has DC been lately? We caught up with him the other day and got this brief update…

DC’s been  been a bit quiet, staying home to be safe during the CV-19 virus epidemic.  Says he is an interested “on looker’ for the up coming America’s Cup, but has no plans to be involved at any level. Locally, he’s has made the decision for now not to race on San Diego Bay, as  it is physically impossible to adhere to the 6′ foot social distancing required by the laws of the SD County Health Department. (although masks make it ok – ed.)

Dennis is actively trying to sell his full scale  America’s Cup model collection of both the Defenders and Challengers Starting from 1851 with he help of Luke Wiggelsworth in Auckland. They would be a great addition to the RNZYS. Or for your trophy room! The “Reliance model is 7 feet tall!

And if you want a bit more than a model, he is also interested in selling his Driscoll designed & built lovely 48 foot wooden sloop “Splendor” (pictured above). She is immaculate. And fast. I know he has listed her with Chris “Snapper” Winnard  @ [email protected].

And here’s the topper: He is interested in buying a Ericson 35-2! I asked him why and he said “because all the cool kids have them”. Now that is funny!  DC said he really wants to duke it out against Benny Mitchell, Chuck Driscoll and myself,  along with at least one other competitive E-35.  Will make for some really great racing!!

Note: The day DC buys a 35 is the day mine goes on the market – haha! – ed.

from tripping to ripping

The crazies on the UFO forum sure seem to get a kick out of all learning to fly together (remotely), flips and all. Looks pretty full-on, but on the other hand, according to the caption, this is from this guy’s first two days in the boat. I can’t remember learning anything that quickly. Watch through to the end for a hilarious debrief.

straight talking masts

A bit o’ knowledge, from advertisers Upfront.

The mast tube is nominally (not physically!) split into “Panels”, numbered from the deck upwards. Between the deck and the first set of spreaders is “Panel 1”, and between the first and second sets of spreaders is “Panel 2” etc. Spreaders are also numbered from deck upwards – Spreader 1, Spreader 2 and can be further split between port and starboard e.g. Spr1 Stbd.

The standing rigging is the fixed / structural stays which support the mast. These are often split into Fore & aft (forestay and backstay) and then the lateral rigging (side shrouds). In wire rigging world, people often refer to the Cap shroud (running all the way from deck to masthead) and intermediate stays, however when we start talking rod and composite rigging we need to be more explicit and break the lateral rigging elements down in more detail. Read on.

what a shitty race

Nothing says ‘What a Great Idea’ like racing around sewer outflow buoys, don’t ta think? Points for creativity and if there is a ever a sailboat race for Waste Management to sponsor, this is it!

We may race A5. You can race too.

who calls the shots?

“The announcement that Mr. T.O.M. Sopwith is to challenge for the America’s Cup next year with the steel ‘J’ Class yacht which is to be built for him this winter deserves the hearty approval of yachtsmen all over the world. Such a stimulus will be a good thing for the sport which is already increasing rapidly in popularity and lay interest, and if Charles Nicholson puts into the design of Endeavour, as we are told the new yacht is to be called, all the successful features of Velsheda, ‘plus a little something’ that is needed by an America’s Cup challenger, then prospect for next season will be bright indeed.

The lead keel was cast towards the end of November at Camper & Nicholsons’ yard, and she will be launched during the first half of April. As the first of the Cup races is to be sailed on September 15, off Newport, Rhode Island, she will have ample opportunity for getting into the best possible trim before starting on her voyage.”

 – The Yachting Monthly – The Racing World: The America’s Cup (1933)

(The requirement that all challengers for the Cup had to sail to America ‘on their own bottom’ was dropped after WWII. But many of the sentiments in this 87-year-old report are familiar: the eternal optimism of the challengers, and the confident assertion that Cup competition is ‘good for the sport’. Endeavour went very close to clinching the Cup in 1934. Sopwith liked to race with his second wife, Phyllis, counting him down to the start, stopwatch in hand.)

flies like a…

Launched in 2019, the Birdyfish has now reached maturity. It must be said that the child was indeed born since it has hardly been modified since the first prototype.

This sailboat was designed for sailing schools in order to offer them an easy, accessible and safe dinghy to learn to sail on a foil. Read on.

fiji fun

The 37th annual Fiji Regatta Week at Musket Cove has just wrapped up, and what an incredible event it was. During a time when virtually the entire world was shut down due to a global pandemic, one of the classic cruiser regattas of the South Pacific went down like it was 2019. With Fiji having been COVID-contained with no cases outside of government quarantine for nearly six straight months, a couple hundred international cruising sailors from six different continents just took part in a regatta that included no social distancing, masks or any other COVID related weirdness. Just 210 lucky souls from a very respectable turnout of 65 boats, sailing all day and celebrating all night in the heart of paradise.

“Only a few months ago nobody expected this regatta to actually go ahead and nobody’s having a regatta like this anywhere in the world from what we understand. Because of the Blue Lane Initiative, we’ve been able to ensure that we have the health protocol and measures put in place ensuring safety for not just Fijians but everybody coming to Fiji.

And also at the same time to allow people to come [...]

Read On

hobart hopeful

With the closing date for Sydney-Hobart entries now just two weeks away, the stalwarts of the offshore racing community are all asking the same question: can there be a race while the nation is still fighting to fully contain COVID-19?

The official position of the organisers, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is that it is still too early to give a definitive answer, but the mood is certainly positive. CYCA Commodore Noel Cornish, himself a competitive ocean racing skipper, today confirmed that the club is assuming the event will be staged.

“We’re just going to do everything we possibly can to make this race happen”, he said. “There’s no reason not to expect the race itself to go ahead as per normal. That’s the plan.”

There are 77 confirmed entrants, but a lot of ducks will have to be lined up in neat rows if the starting gun is to fire as usual at 13:00hrs on December 26 for the 76th running of the Sydney-Hobart. 

Here’s the core problem: the race starts in one state (New South Wales) and finishes in another (Tasmania). It is a peculiarity of Australia’s federated political system that the states have close to absolute and autonomous power on health issues. While the Coronavirus is now largely under control across the country each state proclaims its own restrictions on border crossings, and sets different quarantine requirements.

So, while NSW might be happy to wave the crews good-bye from Sydney on Boxing Day, Tasmania could lock them all in quarantine for a fortnight when they arrive in Hobart three days later. Under that scenario, the race would clearly not proceed. 

Not surprisingly, Commodore Cornish has been working closely with the Premiers of  New South Wales and Tasmania. Both state leaders are keen for the Sydney-Hobart to happen; both say the final decision will rest on the advice of their respective health authorities. Tasmania has nominated a decision deadline of November 19 – just five weeks before the start.

What Cornish can confirm is that the normal hype and hoopla before and after the race will have to be severely constrained to conform with social distancing rules. While this might reduce some promotional opportunities for the sponsors, Rolex, the Commodore reports that their enthusiasm and support for the event is undiminished.

Meanwhile, the CYCA is still dealing with controversy over the use of autopilots in the new two-handed division of the Sydney Hobart. For the moment, the club is apparently resolving the question of whether yachts that depend on automatic steering should be eligible for the overall handicap prize with the wisdom of Solomon: they’ve cut the baby in half.

Entrants using the ‘traditional’ older systems that simply hold a pre-set course will be eligible; those that rely on the new, super-sophisticated computer-driven autopilots can only qualify for places within their own double-handed division. Determining exactly where to draw that line to split the fleet is a tricky technical issue sure to prompt more argument, especially from the larger Grand Prix-style boats. 

Whatever, it’s safe to say that this year’s Sydney-Hobart, if it happens at all, will be like no other.

 – anarchist David


A mysterious unmanned boat washed up recently on the UK’s Isle of Tiree, drawing the attention of the local coast guard station and the community.

The Isle of Tiree Coastguard Rescue Team were called to a report of an object in the water on September 28. They took photos of the item and posted it their Facebook page in a bid to find out about the origins of the vessel and to find its owner. Members of the public were quick to help out the team and identify the object as an autonomous wave glider, which could easily have traveled miles from home. As of last week the boat’s owner had not yet been found.  Read on.

bendy toy

“The wind was gusting at 35 knots. By the time the two leaders, Fred Neill and John Cuneo, came to the last leg – a run in front of the Glenelg clubhouse – many of the other boats had either retired or capsized. Fred was in front with Cuneo not far behind.

Whoever crossed first would win the whole series. None of the boats flew spinnakers. But the large spectator fleet, all cheering for Fred, then saw Cuneo’s kite go up. A second later Fred hoisted his. The Sharpies were flying in big seas doing close to 20 knots. Fred was still comfortably in front closing in on the finishing line. Suddenly a hush fell over the crowd.

Fred’s mast slowly bent and collapsed under the extreme pressure. Fred’s for’d hand held up a section of the mainsail to catch some wind, but it wasn’t enough. Cuneo sailed past. It was a bitter disappointment.”

David Binks – recalls the final race of the 1965 Australian Lightweight Sharpie Championship

(Binks, the South Australian who had built Neill’s ill-fated Sharpie – but not its De Havilland mast – has been one of Australia’s most versatile and innovative production boat builders. He built everything from Cadet dinghies and world champion 505s to Black Soos and 80 of the legendary glass-fibre Farr fractionals. In 1987 Fred Neill went on to helm the 12 metre South Australia.)

allen block

Introducing a new Laser/ILCA specific Vang block the A2031XHL-873 from the original Laser hardware supplier and UK manufacturer, Allen. The A2031XHL-873 is an adaptation of the renowned XHL range which also features a removable strengthened  Vang key and 1000Kg breaking load. 

“It’s smoother to use and so well engineered I can’t see it failing” – Jon Emmett, multiple Laser World Apprentice Masters Champion and Olympic coach.  The new A2031XHL-873 is available directly from Allen along with their large range of class legal Laser/ILCA parts which can be seen in their Fitout Guide

See what I did with that title? – ed.

sail on

On the morning of October 14, Geoff Ewenson passed away suddenly of an apparent heart attack at the age of 50. Most SpinSheet readers know Geoff as a professional sailor and coach, an excellent writer, boat reviewer, and contributor to many things SpinSheet.

Above all he was the loving husband of SpinSheet publisher and owner Mary Ewenson. We are devastated over his loss. Read on.

now that is boss!

Just take a look at this beautiful shot by Rick Tomlinson of Hugo Boss leaving the Solent for Les Sables-d’Olonne this evening! Click to expand.

And btw, Rick has his new 2021 calendars ready. We’d suggest this as a perfect xmas gift!


Most of us have had the sad experience of walking on a beautiful beach and being shocked to discover several large pieces or piles of trash.

These randomly located chunks of debris often contain a large amount of plastic, rubber, paper, and other assorted items that people all over the world throw into the water. Read on.

micro block, macro help

From our Fabulous Forums brought to you by Marlow. This is a perfect example of why they are so good – because of you Anarchists!

What line would be good for making eyes on micro blocks like this? Jump in to see and add to the discussion.


Wicked thing, wicked (short) video, wicked beats.

birds of a feather

No matter what, Swan has done an incredible job with not only their boats, but their brand is like no one else’s on earth.


Devo stands for de-evolution and we may be seeing that come to life here in San Diego. I’m certainly not the first guy to buy an old plastic classic, in this case an Ericson 35-2, but the reasons I chose this boat were not only did it check the boxes of wanting a good looking, narrow (it had to fit in my slip), So Cal older production boat that we could comfortably hang out on, but that Benny Mitchell and Karen Busch had one, Wani Racing, that they were racing with success, so for me, it was a no brainer: Let’s go race against Benny!

Benny had made some changes to his boat’s rig (shortened spreaders, longer E and P measurements) so we did exactly the same thing to Anarchy V. Because of the rig changes, but more from Benny & Co.’s excellent sailing abilities, PHRF San Diego has done a fine  job of screwing the rating on the boat. Ours are the only Ericson 35-2’s on the planet with PHRF ratings of 144 Buoy, 141 RLC and 138 OTW. I’ll have more on that later.

But the story gets better as now Chuck Driscoll has an  Ericson 35-2, (hull #1, the legendary Aquarius) and he too is getting his boat ready (including rig changes). One hears that he has upped the game with an epoxy bottom and dry sail it! Ah, the advantages of owning a couple boat yards…

So that makes three 35’s hitting the start line soon, with a fourth, the oft-sailed 35-2 Cimarron due to join us as well.  I think a bit of a renaissance is a very cool thing, and the hope is that a few more owners of boats like this – and god knows there are plenty – will get the same idea and come out and race. Hell, we could all even have our own class!

Now that’s De-evolution. – ed.

speedily licked

“In the middle of the night the Russians set fire to nine of their warships that were still in the harbor. The fire spread with rapidity along the vessels, and soon lighted up the whole of the northern heavens. The masts were speedily licked and warmed into a fiery glow and the rigging burst out into fitful wavering lines of light, struggling with the wind for life: the yards shed lambent showers of sparks and burning splinters upon the water.

The faces of the Russian soldiers and sailors who were scattered about on the face of the cliff shone out now and then. The work of destruction spread rapidly. The vessels were soon nothing but huge arks of blinding light, which hissed and crackled fiercely and threw up clouds of sparks and embers; and the guns, as they became hot, exploded, and shook the crazy hulls to atoms. One after another they went down in the settling waters.”

William Russell – Report for The Times from Sebastapol during the Crimean War (1854)

(In a period when words were still more powerful than pictures, the graphic reporting of William Russell exerted a huge influence on public and political opinion in Britain. He is acknowledged as the father of modern war reporting and covered the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War and the Zulu War. Russell died in 1907.)

hear hear

One of the most encouraging aspects of this year’s Vendée Globe is the participation of female sailors with a record-breaking six skippers taking the start.

Among them, Miranda Merron on Campagne de France, one of the most experienced sailors in the fleet.

Read on.

sunny side up?

A great deal of effort has gone into planning the 2021 Caribbean regattas and the organisers are increasingly optimistic about entry numbers. They deserve your support… And you deserve some Caribbean tradewind fun

One of the most remarkable traits of those living in the Caribbean is that when adversity strikes, the result is a common strength of spirit in forging a way forward. This resilience, honed by natural disasters like hurricanes over the years, is as predictable and dependable as the steady trade winds that make the Caribbean one of the world’s best places to race.

This spring, as borders were closed and regattas cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers of the regions 14 major international sailing events immediately jumped on weekly Zoom calls to discuss how to navigate in the present waters, i.e. helping crews and boats get back to home, and to plan ahead. The result of this collaboration was a collective agreement that there would indeed be a 2021 Caribbean regatta season.

Events will likely have “new normal” in place, as in the rest of the world. However, what will remain the same and in fact take on an even greater focus is the racing itself. What better way to social distance and have fun than in venues like the southern Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea? Read on.