not always pretty

Here is the star-crossed Botin 85 Deep Blue struggling in the light at  Barcolana Week Trieste, Portopiccolo Cup Race 1. Photo by Max Ranchi....

high flyer

One month exactly before the start of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe race, Quentin Vlamynck feels he has already jumped...

island time

The Environment Belgium is pushing ahead with plans to develop an artificial island off its coast, creating a regional grid...

latest posts


“1999 called, they want their transom back!” We kid… sort of. That’s  Portopiccolo Prosecco DOC (ex Rambler ex Alfa Romeo 1) at the Barcalona Week Trieste . Nice shot from Max Ranchi.

it’s all fucked up

From our Fabulous Forums…

Came across the following in a 2003 email to a pal…

Last week on Sailing Anarchy, I saw a crew-wanted post seeking someone with local knowledge to join a team for Long Beach Race Week. The boat was Dr. No, a J120 out of San Diego.

I responded to the post, even though my J120 experience was limited. Surprisingly, the boat captain called a couple of days later.  My job would be to advise on local conditions and do sewer at the bottom mark. But it turned out the tactician wasn’t impressed with my experience racing Cal 25s and didn’t really want my advice.

So I did sewer, and almost single-handedly lost the whole regatta. This is what happened.

We kicked butt on Friday in winds that held steady in the 20-knot range. But a fair showing in light breeze the next day knocked us on our ass, and back into second place. To win the regatta, we needed to beat our main rival, Caper in the final two races.

Sunday morning brought more light air and a heavy dose of June gloom. Since Caper scored three bullets in similar conditions Saturday, the atmosphere on Dr. No was pretty somber. But the mood went from bad-to-worse after a second-row start positioned us in the back half of the fleet at the beginning of our first must-win race of the day.

Still, we fought on and passed a couple of boats before rounding the weather mark, a long ten boat-lengths behind Caper. Nothing changed on the run, but we split with the leaders on the next beat to play the left side of the course and crossed ahead of Caper for the first time since Friday. We finished second, and regained a share of first place.

Now it all came down to the last race of the regatta. Winner take all.


do it harder and longer

Big Pimpin’

Improved hiking is perhaps the biggest single key to improving Laser/ ILCA sailor performance. Musto have tackled the task head-on with specific and focused innovations.

It is a fact that a large part of the global popularity of the ILCA, (formerly known as the Laser), comes down to a design that pits sailor against sailor in identical boats. But among those that compete in this class at the highest level, it is also common knowledge that modern technology can and does make a significant difference. For Musto it is the combination of these two key factors that is at the heart of what could be one of the biggest potential advances for ILCA sailors.

For all the close scrutiny of minute details that is required to get to and stay at the top, there is one unavoidable hard and fast rule to improving performance in this class – hiking harder and for longer makes you go faster.

Find out more.

new old

The Swiss challenger for the America’s Cup has been putting its AC75 training boat BoatZero – bought from Emirates Team New Zealand earlier this year – through its paces in Barcelona.

bad acid

The Environment

As new information about the rapidly warming Arctic continue to emerge, a new study published last week in Science found that the Western Arctic Ocean is acidifying four times faster than other ocean basins.

With oceans absorbing over a third of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, cases of ocean acidification have been on the rise, as carbon emissions remain unabated.

The authors of the study – drawn from Polar and Marine Research Institute at Jimei University, China and the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware – say that there is a strong correlation between the accelerated rate of ice melting in the Arctic and the subsequent ocean acidification in the region.

“Acidification is being driven by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. By 2050 – if not sooner – scientists have predicted that Arctic ice will no longer survive the increasingly warm summer seasons. As a result of this retreat each summer, the ocean’s chemistry will grow more acidic, with no persistent ice cover to slow the advance,” said Prof. Wei- Jun-Cai, a marine chemistry expert and one of the study authors. Read on.

moving right along

Just over a month since being handed the keys to the Open 50 Sparrow in Maine, this grassroots campaign to race solo around the world is beginning to create some real energy and momentum as we slowly work our way to the starting line. There’s still a long way to go, and this still feels like a big gamble at times, but I remain fully convinced that I’ll manage to get this boat to both the starting line and the finish line of the inaugural Global Solo Challenge race next year out of Spain. 

With two delivery legs and just a number of day sails under my belt and another delivery coming up in a few days, my journey with Sparrow is still in its first chapters. Day by day, mile by mile and small repair by small repair, I am becoming one with the boat. I am learning how to sail Sparrow in a variety of conditions and beginning to anticipate when small problems may arise.

With more than 500 miles under our keel together, we’ve now welcomed onboard a number of guests, sailing journalists, military veterans, sponsors, and delivery crew and are now looking forward to this next leg from New York City to Annapolis for the boat show. Nearly three hundred miles down the coast and more than a hundred more up the Chesapeake Bay, this 400+ nautical mile leg will be our longest thus far.


scale up

Big Pimpin’

Grand Soleil has a new flagship. Or arguably two, because the Performance and Long Cruise versions of the Grand Soleil 72 have distinctly different decks. It’s a significant move by Cantiere del Pardo, scaling up to maxi yacht production. This isn’t their first foray into that market (witness the GS 80) but rather than being a full custom project, the GS 72 is designed and engineered for series production.

The concept took shape in discussions between the shipyard and Nauta Design. ‘It started with the idea, shared between us, to realize a top-of-the-range project,’ Nauta’s co-founder Massimo Gino recalls. ‘A beautiful, fast, modern sailing yacht with excellent performance, yet comfortable and elegant, a boat that is all-Italian and that exudes in every detail the luxury that distinguishes Italian design, offering a high-level lifestyle to its owners and guests, in the tradition of Grand Soleil.’ Read on.

how its done

If you pay any attention to the red-hot IRC racing in the UK, it’s hard not to notice what the GP 42 Dark n’ Stormy has been doing. So we thought we’d have an (e-mail) chat with the owner, Ian Atkins

SA: You have been crushing it in your GP 42 Dark n’ Stormy. Tell us a bit about you.

IA: Lifelong sailboat racer. More time for racing since selling the company I ran for 16 years (Boats Group, online marketplaces including YachtWorld and Boat Trader). Have graduated from J80/J70 campaigns to larger IRC yachts just in the last few years.

SA: I am impressed by your success with this boat. What have you done in terms of modifications to the boat and sail plan?

IA: Before we bought the boat it had a lengthy racing career since being built in 2008. She won the GP 42 circuit as Porto Calero. She then went to Germany and raced ORC under the name Hispana. She came to the UK and was named Zephyr, she then had a deeper keel, new bulb and rudder and a new Hall spar rig.

Sold to Peter Morton she became Jean Genie and a new deck was made along with some structural reinforcement to take higher runner loads. Now Dark N stormy she has a new rudder fitted and some structural reinforcement of the mast.

With regard to the sail plan we have upped the jib area and added helix structures to the new jibs. Next year will most likely see a slight increase in spinnaker area.


a worthy cause

Edison Sailing Center has prepared for dozens of tropical storms and hurricanes since its inception in 1984. Tragically, for the first time in 38 years – we received a direct hit from one of the most powerful storms to ever threaten the United States.
The destruction is enormous, and we need your help!
As a community sailing center, over the years, we have worked to bring sailing to children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to try it. We operate on the funds from summer programs and donations. More here.

your sheeting experience

Big Pimpin’

Introducing the new, approved, and class-legal ILCA mainsheet blocks from performance hardware manufacturer, Allen.

This new set of ILCA mainsheet blocks has been under development and testing for the past 18 months, and the British company is pleased to announce the new blocks are now in stock and ready to improve your sheeting experience.

All but the bottom traveler block feature lightweight Delrin ball bearings, this ensures fast rolling speeds to allow for easy and quick trimming of the mainsheet.

The bottom traveler block sheave is plain bearing, this adds enough friction to the traveler system to help keep the block on the corner of the boat when sailing upwind under load. Read on.

and so it begins

Looks like the party has started at Legacy Marina in Fort Myers… Well, at least they are mostly all powerboats… Props to anarchist Phillip.

when is a start, a start?

From the Fabulous Forum…

Weird one this weekend. In the end, it didn’t matter, but I’m not sure what the actual rule is here.

Starting in light winds 1 boat (us) is called over. We start to dip back, however at the same time the boat starting on the pin hooks it and drags it fairly significantly to weather. We see this, determine that we are now actually behind the line formed by the Committee boat and the current position of the pin, and start. The RC comes on the radio a few minutes later to clarify that we had not returned far enough.
I’m not questioning his call, but we were very close to the pin, and within reason certain that we had become behind the line as the pin was dragged forward. (This was also the opinion of the boat who hooked the pin so had quite a good view).

Whilst we might be mistaken that we actually were behind the new position of the pin, I’m interested what the rule would be… Assuming that we had been put the right side of the line by the movement of the pin, but had not returned to the prestart side of the line as it was at the starting signal, would the RO be correct in determining that we had not started correctly, or should the movement of the pin put us back on the prestart side of the line “by default”.

Got a comment?

full speed ahead

After pulling off miracles to keep the Caribbean yachting circuit not just on the road post-pandemic, but positively thriving, it’s no holds barred once again in 2023 for another round of racing in the world’s greatest venues

Organizers ticked the box on hosting every major Caribbean regatta in 2022, a welcome feat after most events experienced a two-year pause due to the pandemic. Sailors from both sides of the pond and beyond responded favorably. Jeanne Kleene, event manager for the St Barths Bucket sums up the positive reaction to her event, which echoed regionally: ‘The energy and enthusiasm were fantastic! Following recent cancellations, lockdowns and travel restrictions the pent-up demand was evident, producing a robust, competitive fleet. We had 30 superyachts that enjoyed great racing in breathtaking conditions.’

Weather is the quintessential carrot that entices sailors to travel thousands of miles by air or sea to the Caribbean. Sunny skies. Steady trade winds. Celsius degrees averaging 27. This is certainly true in winter and early spring when cold in northern climates means the racing calendar in those destinations is empty. However, weather isn’t the only decider for sailors to race in the Caribbean. More here.

leisure time

Who doesn’t love the work that VPLP does? Clever, fast and often innovative, they turn out fascinating designs. This 46-meter concept cat is much of that, with a bit of a twist in the concept of open-air yachting… More here.

russian ac 40

Looks like those crazy Rooskies found a loophole in the rules and this is their prototype 40.

One hears it goes both upwind and downwind like a mofo AND blows up the competition with any contact. Winner!

Read on.

60 and counting

Big Pimpin’

Next year will see the 68th edition of a spectacular Mediterranean regatta with even more spectacular race courses…

The quest for the perfect race week experience is not easy. Where can you find in only one week the challenge of navigation and seamanship that comes with distance racing and the thrill of boat-on-boat action in competitive inshore racing? Tre Golfi Sailing Week held over 13-20 May 2023 may be the answer to this quest.

Nearly 140 entries from more than a dozen nations participated in 2022 for the 67th edition of the race, a growth trend that validates the attractive qualities of this increasingly international event. This is a regatta with competent and professional event and race management, easy logistics, a location known for its scenery, pleasant weather and agreeable ambiance, numerous social events to entertain the teams when not racing, and a position in the yachting calendar that fits well in the season of Mediterranean sailing events. Championship trophies and Rolex watches as prizes are also a nice feature. More here.

wing it

Good lord! Now that is a project. From Royal Huisman:

The unveiling of WING 100 celebrates the arrival of an entirely new megayacht category, say its creators, Royal Huisman, Dykstra Naval Architects and Mark Whiteley Design. This 100m / 330ft ground-breaking concept expressly focuses on the highest standards of environmental sustainability with proven technology for worldwide reliability. Its advanced systems platform easily accommodates future technological advances and regulatory requirements. Read on.

on the edge

It’s amazing how much has happened in the 4 months since I arrived in Fiji. CATD and my involvement with them has extended way beyond the cargo proa.

Already happening or in the planning stages are: a biogas reactor program running off food scraps and sewage and producing enough methane to cook for 100+ students. CATD got the first of them at a handover ceremony with the Israeli ambassador last week; A cassava flour mill for the bread we are cooking in the student-built bakehouse; a “village/school appropriate” recyclables collection site organized with Recyclers Fiji and help from the local high school; installing a low cost solar hot water system; producing mud bricks; turning unsorted, uncleaned plastic waste into tiles to cover the mud on the boat ramp and turning scrap glass into sand-sized pieces using a locally built kava crusher. The initial use of this will be to substitute for sand in the mud bricks, play with nonslip, hard and reflective coatings on the boat and cover some of the mud around it. Sand is $60 /cubic meter, so we’re not going to get rich, but keeping Fiji’s beaches out of concrete is definitely a feel-good project.

It is wonderful working with people whose first reaction to an idea or suggestion is “Yes, let’s do it”.


all multihulls, all the time

Big Pimpin’

The Caribbean Multihull Challenge has it all.

For February 2023, the 5th Annual CMC will see two regattas in one!  Three days of hot distance and short hop racing in the windy waters around St. Maarten / St.Martin; and concurrently, three days of a cruising rally touching Dutch, French, and Anguillan anchorages. Racers will race and party.  Cruisers will cruise and party.  Wind and weather will rule the actual schedule but all will have guaranteed fun! 

Top-end boats have three days of rugged racing on three different courses. One day will see a repeat of the 2022 Caribbean 60 Mile Multihull Sprint sponsored by FKG Rigging.  This race from Sint Maarten heads upwind around St. Barth’s; around French Tintamarre, downwind in the windy Anguilla Channel, around the airport end of SXM, and upwind to finish in Simpson Bay.  Another day will see the premier running of a south/north power reach across the trades called the 52 Mile Around Saba Dash.  This race sponsored by the Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau was created in response to suggestions made by previous competitors.  It will be a thriller!  On the third day, all boats big and small will have the traditional Around Island Race which is a navigational and strategic challenge for any boat wishing to grab a podium spot.

While the bigger boats enjoy distance racing; all others will have an assortment of challenging shorter races mostly on the south side of our island.  Courses will be chosen to optimize the strength of each racing class including a non-rated Pirate Class that includes cruising multihulls that enjoy racing over a rally.  For 2023 we will have an increase in French Diam 24’s one-designs racing in their own class.

Race/Rally registration is open at  Complete regatta details at

no magic for merlin

A fabulous shot by Daniel Forster belies a rather dismal Big Boat Series for the Bill Lee legend. The sled didn’t have any real chance in this series anyway, but perhaps the stink of Leif Beiley still lingers…

who gonna beat him?

It was at 6:48am, Sept 17 that Charlie Dalin crossed the 48H Azimut Ocean Race finish line first on Apivia. He completed the 505-mile course in 1 day, 15 hours, 42 minutes, and 50 seconds at an average speed of 12.72 knots and completed 614 miles on the water (15.48 knots on average).

As expected, the Verdier plan pointed its spatulate bow towards the moored line off the tip of Talud just before sunrise this morning. In a light breeze from the North, Charlie Dalin won the long ascent of nearly 200 miles from Waypoint 2, which he had passed in the lead yesterday at 9.45am. A crucial point in the race since after having gained a lead of around ten miles during the furious descent of the Bay of Biscay in the night from Thursday to Friday, Apivia had seen his immediate pursuers swoop down on him. Charal and LinkedOut were then pointing less than 3 miles from her transom, as if for a new start.

But Charlie Dalin did not lose his cool and never gave up the lead in the race, which he took an hour after the start from Lorient on Thursday. Controlling the fleet tack after tack, Apivia widened its lead again at a pace where we know it has been untouchable since the start of the season. Charlie therefore wins the 48 Hours Azimut hands down, after a navigation full of control and determination.

A good (or really bad) message sent to the competition six weeks before the start of the Route du Rhum.



Tonight sees the two ‘Charlies’ still heading each group. American skipper Charlie Enright and his crew (11th Hour Racing Team) are leading the way after passing the Azimut 2 waypoint at 08:26 hours this Thursday morning, whilst Charlie Dalin, heading the fleet of solo sailors on APIVIA, followed suit one hour later.

Since then, the IMOCA skippers have been making headway at a slower, laborious pace, with the vast majority now launched onto a beat. The ETA for the front runners is from 06:00 local time tomorrow morning for the 23 solo sailors still out on the racetrack after Japanese skipper, Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Global One) retired last night for personal reasons. Signed up for a longer course, which will take them on a slight detour via Penmarc’h, the four crews are due to make the finish from noon. More here.


On September 9, 2022, the former ORMA Pierre 1er trimaran, renamed “Flo”, was relaunched after a refit within the offshore racing team Mer Agitée, managed by Michel Desjoyeaux.

Beyond the return to the original colours, Philippe Poupon explains to us how he prepared his boat for the transatlantic and the filming of the film tribute to Florence Arthaud. More here.

beached whales

Two of the world’s most famous supermaxi ocean racers are both up on the hardstand in Sydney awaiting some tender loving care. Wild Oats XI (in the background) was landed by a conventional travel lift but andoo Comanche is so wide she had to be hauled out with the help of a massive crane.


After being joined by the other Commonwealth teams in San Tropez SailGP (NZL; CAN; AUS) for the lowering of the Union Flag to half hoist Team GBR added a logo to the bow of their 50-foot foiling catamaran. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2 was Patron of the Royal Yachting Association with her daughter Princess Anne, the Princess Royal being the President.

This was followed by words of respect from a clearly emotional Sir Ben Ainslie to the assembled media where he stated “an incredible life, perhaps the most incredible life that’s even been lived” perhaps summing up the feelings of many around the world.

speed rules

The 12th Défi Azimut is up and running. Tradition has it that in the largest offshore racing event in the Lorient basin, which this year gathers together a first-class line-up of 28 IMOCA monohulls, it is with a session of ‘speed runs’ that festivities commence out on the water.

The persistent mizzle and light W’ly breeze that set the tempo in the early afternoon in no way dampened the spirits of the skippers, crews and guests, all of them eager to set off down the course in Les Courreaux de Groix as if it were a stadium sprint. More here.

the clunker worlds

No, we’ve not given this “race” much coverage (okay, none. – ed) as it just doesn’t get the dopamine firing for us. But for you who want to read about it, here ya go. That’s Pat Lawless above, who is leading the easier south option towards Cape Finisterre. Picture Credit: GGR2022 / Nora Havel

52 review

Four years in the making, or five if you count an introductory toe-in- the water 2017 season during which the Plattners’ first TP52 Phoenix raced the IRC Europeans and the Copa del Rey, and so Phoenix  winning Puerto Portals 52 Super Series Sailing Week on the Bay of Palma was getting to feel overdue. So too seeing Sled second – with owner-driver Mr. Okura steering after missing all of last season – and Ergin Imre’s Provezza taking the third step. Portals certainly delivered plenty of good cheer and smiling faces.

Provezza has had a tough season so far, starting with enforced last-minute crew changes in Baiona due to health issues and a forestay fitting failure which meant missing several races. Then in Cascais, their mood remained overcast with bright spells; but the confidence and speed were all back on the Bay of Palma.

More here.


time will tell

I read the other day that Sir Michael Fay (and some others) has resigned his membership of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) in protest for their agreeing to a defense of the  America’s Cup in Barcelona rather than Huaraki Gulf off the coast of Auckland. (A bit late by the way with dibs already being made on the first two team bases in Barcelona)

This is not the first time Sir Michael has steered a different course from the RNZYS for, as he was a member of the Squadron at the time, I have often wondered he launched his Deed of Gift Challenge with the so-called New Zealand ‘Big Boat’ from Mercury Bay Yacht Club and an old Ford Zephyr motor car rather than the more well known RNZYS.

To have launched a Deed of Gift challenge, one might have thought, would have required detailed research and knowledge of every aspect of the Deed of Gift which, of course, makes absolutely no stipulation that any defense should be on the home waters of the defender, rather than the “course” should be mutually decided between the two parties, ie the challenger and the defender.

The defending club’s flag officers surely have a duty to the club (or Squadron in this case) to mount as meaningful a defense as possible, with the most likely success of defending as possible.

That, naturally, includes the correct level of funding.


all wood

Double victory in the Adriatic for the 15 Metri S.I. (International Rule) Mariska of 1908, who in Monfalcone won the International Hannibal Classic Trophy and the victory in the ‘Vintage Yachts’ category. Photo Paolo Maccione.


To TV or not to TV, that is the question…

Those of us who feel cheated by America’s Cup and SailGP races that take just 10 or 20 minutes to sail are entitled to ask this question: in what other major sport are the rules so arbitrarily bent to cater for the presumed demands of television? 

The Olympic marathon doesn’t stop at the 5-mile mark. The finish of the Fastnet isn’t off Land’s End. The chequered flag doesn’t come out at an F1 Grand Prix after the first few laps. Indeed, it is the generous timespan of those events that helps give them their unique appeal. There needs to be time for the drama to unfold – for all the variables of skill, endurance and luck to play out.

But the format is now the overpowering function in sailing. While the rest of us are happy to compete for two or three hours racing around the cans (or three or four days offshore), the elite international yachting events have become like the proverbial Chinese meal. An hour or so after you’ve scoffed down the Pork Chow Mein you’re hungry again.

This emphasis on drastically short time limits has long-term significance. Ostensibly a response to the demands of television schedules, these forms of abbreviated racing have a distorting effect. 


big cat

Big Pimpin’

Renowned race boat builders Marsaudon Composites recently launched the largest in their spectacular series of Ocean Rider Catamarans – the Lombard-designed ORC 57. Eighteen knots without disturbing the pot plants… this is some kind of a new yacht!

The boat is moored alongside its ORC42 and ORC50 smaller siblings, and it is hard to believe it is “only” seven feet longer than the 50; the greater freeboard and more voluminous hulls making the difference in size look far greater. The giant single spreader mast reaches 26m into the air, not far off that of the Imocas further along the pontoon. Make no mistake – this is a big and powerful machine. There is an inverted bow and reverse sheer above a sweeping chine, whilst the muscular coachroof shape marks a departure from previous models. The team wanted to design an attractive boat that owners could be proud of and they have undoubtedly succeeded.

Our skipper for the day is Bruno, and indeed he will be in charge of the boat for the next year as it tours major European boat shows. Bruno’s experience includes being the boat captain and crew member of a Volvo 70 so he should have the know-how to iron out any teething problems. More here.


Over the years we have enjoyed making fun of dopey ads featuring sailboats. This is the latest and maybe best (worst) example of something so ridiculous, laughable and cringeworthy. So many questions, but the largest one is, why? Props to anarchist Chris.

it sucks a little or a lot?

A good post and an excellent thread about US Sailing, pros and cons. Yes, it is a tiresome topic, but so is the constant flow of bullshit from US Sailing…

Although the invite came bit late to actually fly to and attend this US Sailing meeting, AT LEAST THEY ARE REACHING OUT to the peons in Paducca Flyover Country and seeking our hillbilly opinions. I find it encouraging (within limits) that the “new” leadership at US Sailing has gotten the message “Stopping focusing exclusively on Newport and Miami and the damn Five Ring Circus and give a bohicans some love and attention. We’re paying the bills and demand our pound of flesh.

What’s your take or stake?