“get off the bow!”

"oh, wait.... never mind!" The end of the second round of this 9th edition of Les Sables – Les Açores – Les Sables is definitely full of suspense! Despite the 450 miles that separate the most extreme competitors to the south and north, the game is still very open on this seventh...

the tall rig

The Environment Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Oshima Shipbuilding Co. signed a contract for the construction of a second bulk carrier...

it’s getting hot out there, too

The Environment As sea ice vanishes, Greenland melts, and wildfires scorch the planet's northernmost forests, new research confirms what scientists...

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muckle flugga!

Best new pretend swear words I’ve heard all day…

Monday 15 August, 2022: After nine days of racing 21 teams are still competing in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. All bar three of those teams have rounded St Kilda, the isolated Scottish archipelago in the North Atlantic. Pip Hare’s IMOCA Medallia has rounded Muckle Flugga, the most northern extremity of the course. The international fleet is forecast to experience low pressure for the first time in the race; a building northerly wind is expected to arrive tonight. After nine days and nights of sweltering heat and little wind the teams are preparing themselves for stronger winds to come. The majority of the teams are past the midway 900-mile waypoint and there is optimism for a faster second half of the race.

At 1000 BST on Monday 15 August, Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After was ranked as the overall leader after IRC time correction. Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada was ranked second and Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino ranked third.  Leading IRC One on the water – Ross Hobson’s British Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland, pictured above, racing Two-Handed with Jon McColl © Rick Tomlinson/https://www.rick-tomlinson.com/

IMOCA Medallia rounds Muckle Flugga

Pip Hare’s IMOCA Medallia was the first boat to round Muckle Flugga on the eighth day of the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race (14th August 17:09:33:31). Described by Medallia’s watch leader Paul Larsen as the ‘Cape of the North’. The crew of Medallia were elated to be finally turning south and looking forward to the possibility of fast downwind conditions in the North Sea.

 

scotw

It is perhaps true that “Anyone can build a Sharpie” but it still takes a great sailor to win a championship in one.

Last year, for the first time in history the Tasmania Lightweight Sharpie State Championship was won by a female helm, Kirsty Salter, crewed by her husband Julian and his Uncle Stephen. The Lightweight Sharpie is just under twenty feet long and has a crew of three, with one on the wire and sports a symmetrical spinnaker.

Kirsty’s achievement followed being top female helm at the Australian National Sharpie Championship in Western Australia and an earlier top female helm at the B14 Worlds.

These achievements led Kristy, mom of two, who also heads a digital design business, to be named ‘Tasmanian Female Sailor of the Year’.

the mountain and muhammed

Big Pimpin’

For many years they have been fastidiously creating some of the world’s finest yachts. One small drawback is that for many clients Baltic Yachts has always been rather a long way away geographically. Not any more…

There are big advantages to building yachts on the west coast of Finland. For the last 50 years, it has been a centre of excellence where a talented workforce of shipwrights, joiners, composite builders, and many other specialists produce some of the finest sailing yachts in the world, accumulating a vast pool of knowledge, experience and skills. There’s just one snag with the location – it’s a very long way, especially by sea, from the places where most owners choose to sail and keep their yachts. The solution for Baltic Yachts was to set up a service and refit hub in the epicenter of the Mediterranean yachting scene.

‘We started down here with warranty projects,’ says Matthew Lester, Baltic Yachts’ head of aftersales service who leads their steadily growing operation in Palma, Mallorca which is based in and around the STP shipyard in the heart of the city’s old harbour. ‘We were always coming here and we opened a workshop so we didn’t have to work out of our suitcases all of the time. And we were increasingly being asked to work on other boats. In 2014 we decided to staff the company here and we’ve never looked back.’ More here.

floating saucer

The distinctive lines of a Mark Mills design – in this case it is Michael Berghorn’s Mills 45 Custom HALBTROCKEN 4.5  that enjoyed success with a clean sweep of victories today for a 5.0 point total after four races in the ORCi Euro Ahamps. More here.

chillin’

Young sailors at Etobicoke Yacht Club (Toronto, Ontario) waiting for the wind and learning how to love the water. Photo credit instructor Mélodie Phillips.

resurgent

Big Pimpin’

There may not be an offshore medal on the menu at Paris 2024 but one of the favorites to be selected as the platform for the next Olympic Regatta has dusted itself down and is now steaming back into international prominence.

How many yachts can you think of that combine 20-knot plus performance and one-design racing in decent-sized fleets with Category A offshore certification and weekend accommodation for four people, but can also be trailed behind an average car? And how many of those can be rigged and launched by two people in a couple of hours, without needing a crane? When Rodion Luka went looking for a boat that could do all that, he couldn’t find anything suitable in production. There was a gap in the market, which he decided to fill and thus the L30 was born.

You may have heard about the L30 in 2019, when it was selected by World Sailing for the double-handed mixed offshore world championships and widely assumed to be a shoo-in for the (subsequently abandoned) offshore event at the 2024 Paris Olympics. But there’s a lot more to this nine-meter Swiss Army knife of a boat than that. Continue.

that was the week that was

Continuing on from our look at the weekend racing of the 2022 Cowes Week.

The first thing I would say is that this cannot be a full and complete report as with 30+ classes racing for 7 days would take a book. For those who would to see a fuller report on the week’s activities and racing they should visit www.cowesweek.co.uk.

Planet Sail produced excellent daily video round-ups while Cowes Week official writer Rupert Holmes produced an excellent daily summary broken down to an overview followed by a more detailed account of the day’s racing.

An extremely well-oiled machine where much of the year-long effort to produce such an outstanding regatta is fuelled by enthusiastic volunteers producing an extremely professional event. They even have VAR on some start lines to identify early starters avoiding the dreaded third gun and a general recall. And they are guns on the Squadron line, miniature cannons so there is no excuse for not hearing them.

The 2022 event, just four years short of their centenary – yes the first Cowes Week was 1826 – was by Cowes Week standards a relatively small affair with JUST 450 or so boats competing but for all that was as competitive as ever. (Big years give quadruple figures a fright.) (more…)

hella smoke

The Environment

The fire at Cuba’s Matanzas tank farm has spread to two more giant storage tanks, bringing the total to four and increasing the complexity and challenge of the firefighting response.

The fire started with a lightning strike on one tank at the Matanzas Supertanker Base east of Havana on Friday night. On Saturday morning, the heat and fire from the burning tank ignited the adjacent tank, causing a massive explosion that left more than 120 injured and 17 missing.

Late Sunday night, the second tank collapsed after about 40 hours of burning, leading to a sudden release of fuel and an accelerated rate of combustion. The light from the explosion could be seen as far away as the Havana boardwalk, according to social media posts. More here.

when soft is good

Big Pimpin’

Basically, just a fiber strop with an eye at one end and a Diamond knot at the other, soft shackles have incredible characteristics that defy their simple design. Soft shackles are stronger, safer, and last as long as their stainless-steel counterparts at a fraction of the weight.

They can replace stainless steel shackles to connect virtually everything that needs joining – halyards to sails, sheets to sails, sails to a stay, snubber lines to anchor chains, etc.

Learn about the benefits of Marlow’s factory spliced D12 /HMPE soft shackles or find out how to make your own!

rank and file

This vid has got to be representative of a lot of areas that have small fleets, no pros,  decent but not great boats., and enthusiastic sailors.  This is how it is for many, and we salute you.

you can’t

We think this boat looks really cool in almost every way. We hope it’s fast and that the designer and builder can sell a few more.

However, you cannot call a boat with a cockpit like this “A gentleman’s racer/cruiser”. Ya just can’t! There is nothing, even by the skinniest definitions, anything remotely gentlemanly or cruising about it. Where are the bench seats (long enough to lay on, btw)?  Winch islands to help keep the cockpit semi-dry? A locker or three, accessible from the cockpit? No footholds or really anything to grab onto?

Listen, we get it, and if we were doing a boat cockpit it would look a lot like this, but we sure as hell wouldn’t call it a cruiser. There is a ton more info here.

formulaic

Big Pimpin’

How do you make the follow-up to an ORC World Championship-winning design even better? Cantiere Del Pardo pulled out all the stops…

If it looks right, it probably is right. Generations of sailors, boatbuilders and yacht designers used to swear by that simple rule of thumb. Even today, when the science of CFD modeling has completely replaced the instinct of the designer’s eye, the shape that looks best is still sometimes the fastest. Witness the graceful, swooping curves in the topsides and aft quarters of Matteo Polli’s Grand Soleil 40. Two of the great 20th-century designers, Kim Holman and Olin Stephens, would no doubt approve.

The naval architecture of Polli’s contemporary racer-cruisers, like the GS 40 and GS 44, has very little in common with the hull shapes drawn 60 years ago by Holman and Stephens, but they share the same very strong focus – unlike many other sailing yachts back then and also right now – on maintaining the hull’s balance of volume through a wide range of heel angles. That’s why they handle so well and often win races despite being less aggressively endowed with sail area and form stability than some of their rivals. Less rudder action means less drag as well as a more controllable and enjoyable boat to steer. More here.

dirty deeds done dirt cheap

From the Los Angeles Times, this is their second feature on this unbelievably blatant pollution…

After an exhaustive historical investigation into the barrels of DDT waste reportedly dumped decades ago near Catalina Island, federal regulators concluded that the toxic pollution in the deep ocean could be far worse — and far more sweeping — than what scientists anticipated.

In internal memos made public recently, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that acid waste from the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful it poisoned birds and fish — had not been contained in hundreds of thousands of sealed barrels.

Most of the waste, according to newly unearthed information, had been poured directly into the ocean from massive tank barges. Read on.

here come the rooster

Big Pimpin’

After 10 years of supporting the sailing scene in the US, Rooster is set to take another huge flight by launching a brand new website where you can shop for all your favorite Rooster products.

Founded by Steve Cockerill in November 1999, emerging from salty seas and shoreside conversation across the world; combining his passion for developing water sports kit that performs with his enthusiasm for sharing the knowledge amassed from two Olympic Campaigns. Our very origin is innovation and challenging the systems, not just a brand; but practices delivered from determined effort, thorough research, and passion for the outdoors.

Check their new site out here.

Title inspiration thanks to Alice In Chains.

living in a bubble

A 62-year-old Frenchman survived for 16 hours in an air bubble inside his capsized sailing boat in the Atlantic Ocean before being rescued by Spanish coastguard divers in what they described as an operation “verging on the impossible”.

The 12-metre (40ft) Jeanne Solo Sailor sent out a distress signal at 8.23pm on Monday 14 miles from the Sisargas Islands off Spain’s north-western Galicia region, the coastguard said. Tracking data shows it had set sail from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, on Sunday morning. Jump in the thread.

cowes & cats

Last Saturday saw the first day of racing in Cowes Week on the Solent which is recognised as one of the most challenging waters to race on while a relatively short distance away in Plymouth, 9 SailGP catamarans did battle in the UK event on their calendar.

I have to admit to being somewhat mystified why the SailGP organisation would choose to hold their event on the same weekend as the opening weekend of one of Europe’s, if not the world’s largest and most well-known regattas, surely their calendar is not so restricted that a different date couldn’t be chosen although I am sure they had their reasons.

One could argue about the relative merits of the two events but without being too long-winded, one serves the public with a show while the other is a competitive event for the sailors who would rather do than watch.

(more…)

fools gold

The Sydney-Gold Coast Race was the first offshore event in Australia in which two-handed and fully crewed boats competed within the same divisions. Conditions were light, and the results not quite as expected. 

It’s natural to think that the heavier the conditions the more disadvantaged a two-handed boat should be racing against fully crewed entrants. 

But the 384nm Sydney-Gold Coast Race just completed in predominantly light winds on the Australian east coast might indicate the opposite. The two-handers, who would have given many of the conventional yachts a decent fight on IRC and ORCi during the medium-to-fresh Sydney-Hobart in December, struggled to sail to their handicaps.

Constant sail changes and the energy-sapping need to chase every puff of wind clearly took their toll. It’s also probable that in drifting conditions on a lumpy sea their autohelms weren’t sufficiently responsive. Hand-steering for long watches on cold winter nights can be frustrating – and exhausting. Every mile is hard won. 

(more…)

old loves die hard

One of my favorite Doug Peterson boats, the 41′ Love Machine 5 (LM5) is for sale. I had the good fortune to steer it for a bit back in the summer of…1996? It was good-looking and a fucking rocket in light air.

If I wanted to blow some of that internet money, I’d get it, cherry it, race it… – ed. Props to Danny for the head’s up.

who will save your sole?

Greenpeace is warning of the effects of industrial longline fishing on shark populations after its activists confiscated fishing gear from two vessels in the North Atlantic, one of which was operating in a Marine Protected Area.

The NGO announced that its activists aboard the Arctic Sunrise operating in the North Atlantic waters confiscated 30 kilometers of industrial fishing gear and 286 hooks from two European industrial longline fishing vessels, Segundo Ribel and Siempre Perla.

The longliner vessels from Spain were fishing for sharks and swordfish. Past analysis of total catches of swordfish and blue sharks in the North Atlantic shows that the approximate ratio of blue shark catches compared to swordfish is one swordfish for every five blue sharks. More here.

swan od

There is no denying how cool it is to see a fleet of 50′ od boats going at it. And they sure are beautiful. From the Copa del Rey by Max Ranchi. More here.

culture club

As the legendary boat builder Carl Eichenlaub used to say, the Buffalo Canoe Club is a funny place, it’s not Buffalo, and it doesn’t have any canoes.  What it does have is a culture of nurturing talent that goes back generations.

This past weekend the BCC hosted their annual Lightning Youth Invitational Regatta.  The purpose of the regatta is to give one last push the weekend before the Junior Lightning NA’s.  The format is different than what is found in most youth events.  The older teenagers typically compete with their normal crew, but the younger kids are allowed to have one adult on the boat, who can’t steer. This builds the fleet and allows for close competition while giving younger a great learning experience. 

(more…)

scotw

Eve McMahon wins Gold hat-trick for Ireland

Irish sailor Eve McMahon has delivered a dream outcome to her 2022 season by retaining her youth world championship title in Houston, Texas tonight after delivering more race wins on the final day of the series.

Competing in the single-handed ILCA6 class (formerly known as the Laser Radial), the Howth Yacht Club sailor has added this second world title to Gold medals at the Youth Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands and the Youth ILCA6 European Championships in Greece.

After the weather halted the event schedule on Friday, three races were sailed on Saturday with multiple wins for the Irish sailor who has comprehensively won the championship. The 18-year-old sailor set a pre-season goal of ‘three from three’ title wins and also managed to sit her Leaving Certificate school exams.

In 30 races across all three events, McMahon finished in the top three places in all but five races, averaging around third place as an indication of impressive consistency.

By way of warm-up, earlier in the season, she won the Irish Sailing Youth National Championships as she tried to make up for lost competition time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

McMahon opened the qualification round in Texas by laying down an unprecedented set of six straight wins.  In the Gold fleet final series, she took podium places that enabled to her to maintain a good lead over her nearest challengers. Germany’s Linda Hendel and Croatia’s Tea Peteh both proved tough adversaries as the front-runners in the 50-boat fleet all showed form that didn’t give the Irish sailor an easy contest.

“Eve’s determination, resilience and ambition to pull off this incredible triumvirate of major regatta victories is quite outstanding,” commented James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director.  “Eve’s Mum, Dad and brothers have been a big part of her success not forgetting the club support and efforts of multiple coaches in the Irish Sailing programme.  It’s a day all Irish sailors can be proud of.”

A home-coming welcome is planned for Dublin Airport on Monday morning (1 August) for the full Irish team when they return from Texas after an intense round of regattas. Also returning from Texas on Monday will be coach Liam Glynn with Sophie Kilmartin, Fiachra McDonnell, Rocco Wright, Oisin Hughes and Luke Turvey.

Wright was recently part of Ireland double-Gold victory at the Youth Worlds along with McMahon when – on his first major regatta since leaving the junior Optimist class – he won the male single-handed Youth Sailing World Championship in the ILCA6 class.

Both sailors will have an eye toward the Irish Sailing Senior Squad and their recent performances mark them as future Olympic contenders. Photo thanks to Eric Andresen.

its complicated

The officials and staff of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have probably had more issues than they cared to deal with before Saturday’s start of the Sydney-Gold Coast Race. Rarely will an Organising Authority be more relieved to send an offshore racing fleet on its way. The club is accustomed to the usual last-minute scramble of boats rushing to file late paperwork or complete their safety inspections. But there were a number of added complications this year concerning the two-handed entrants. For the Sydney-Hobart race last December, the two-handers competed in separate divisions. These were in parallel – but...

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believe it

Big Pimpin’

Today’s top-end lines from Teufelberger deliver performance vs weight qualities that even 10-15 years ago the typical racing sailor would have found hard to believe. But believe it they should…

What do you do when even top-grade Dyneema has too much stretch to keep your luff straight? You ask a ropemaker for something even better. Sometimes, though, it works the other way round. Teufelberger, the parent company of Robline and New England Ropes, has a very proactive approach to product development and puts great emphasis on forging close relationships with its most demanding users – including some of the world’s best sailors – to drive its R&D.

Ideas for new products come from conversations with sailors about the shortcomings of existing equipment. These are then fed back to the ropemaker’s engineers, who develop cordage for 20 different market sectors. Often, a solution already exists in-house. Crane ropes, Alpine cableways and yacht halyards, for example, have a lot in common so technology and know-how are often transferred between them. More here.

move it

When ya got a boat with a large booty, ya stack ’em forward in the light. That’s Commanche, currently in second place behind Black Jack in the Gold Coast race down unda. . Track ’em here.

cry me a river

The Environment

For the past two weeks, mainstream media headlines have been awash with news of sweltering temperatures ravaging Europe and parts of North America. At least one segment – the recent record-setting heatwave in the UK – was made 10 times more likely due to climate change, according to the well-regarded World Weather Attribution group.

Quite noteworthy is the declining water level of major rivers, lakes and inland seas across the globe. These water bodies are a link to power, transportation, shipping and recreational activities for millions of people.

The Colorado River drought in the US is a classic case of falling dominoes in a country’s inland water system. Albeit overuse of the Colorado River basin is among several factors leading to its decline, climate change has exacerbated the situation. As the atmosphere becomes warmer, the Rocky Mountain snowpack that feeds the river is diminishing over time. Less water flow in the Colorado River basin means the $1.4 trillion economy it drives is in perils. More here.

here is the solution

Tajima-Direct.com, the world’s leader in polarized lens technology, discusses customized prescription lens solutions with former Melges 24 World Champion Brian Porter.

“I’ve been wearing glasses my entire life,” says former Rolex US Sailor of the Year, Melges 24 World Champion and perennial Scow Champion, Brian Porter. “I have a relatively strong correction requirement and for the past 15 years have needed readers…or progressive prescription lenses.

I’ve also tried every solution out there including contacts which were a struggle for me while racing. When I started to lose my up-close vision, contacts became even more of a challenge for me. Needing multifocal lenses only complicated my vision problems and compounded my frustration,” continued Porter. Read on.

the old ways

Pulling into the harbor at Mackinac Island Sunday, July 24th at 5:04 a.m., driver Greg Fordon parked Whitehawk and a crew of 14 went below deck to toast their first-to-finish of 31 boats in the Cruising Division in the 113th Chicago Mac Race. They were ninth on corrected time at 2:05:41:04. Sending out emails and making a few calls, owner Peter Thornton assembled a skilled squad who had been with him for a few Macs. Antonio Cuervas mons flew in from Spain, Willie Lynch, Peter Eagan and Lat Spinney are from Rhode Island, Deane Tank from western South Carolina, Bogdan Ogorek,...

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the itchy and scratchy show

Really nice video of the J/125 Hamachi in their first in class, third overall ORR placings.  Obviously very well done, but the situation between them and sistership Rufless leaves a bad taste…

Hamachi filed a protest against Rufless at the end of the Pac Cup, citing discrepancies in Rufless’ rating and sails.

First of all, Hamachi had to know about these alleged violations before they even left the dock, so filling it at the end of the race seems pretty chickenshit. Second, if Rufless wasn’t guilty, why did they withdraw rather than go through the protest hearing? Good lord people, get your shit together.

Rufless is thought to perhaps have a code zero that did not measure in. Did they not know that beforehand? Then that’s just stupid. As for the ratings on their cert, Rufless dispaced a lot more than Hamachi (again, as we understand it), and thus were owed a lot of time from Hamachi.  Sumpin ain’t right there.

And btw, isn’t this a good time to drop ORR and get with the rest of the world in ORC? The certs are much more detailed in order to examine problems like this.

Again, none of this was questioned by anybody before the start?  I’d say throw ’em both out for being annoying. Here is the actual protest. There is a thread here.

once in a silver moon

It’s great when boats and teams like this grab the overall win. Gotta love it.

Finnish H-323 Silver Moon II, skippered by Salla Kaven has won the Roschier Baltic Sea Race having scored the best time after IRC correction for the new race organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Offshore Racing Alliance. The Kaven family have raced the 9.9 metre sloop designed by Hans Groop since they were children on Lake Päijänne in Southern Finland. More here.

Photo© Pepe Korteniemi /www.pepekorteniemi.fi

about that cloud…

This year I had the pleasure of racing both the Mackinac races with Bill McKinley’s Ker 46+ Denali 3. Not only is it a good design, but it’s kept in perfect shape. Most of the crew have been sailing together for years. This was my 8th Chicago to Mackinac race, so I’m no stranger to the storms you can see on the Great Lakes, but this year was a big one. Our team did a pre-race weather briefing with Chis Bedford. In that briefing, I learned a new term Mesoscale Convective System. This is when a complex of thunderstorms becomes organized on a scale larger than the individual thunderstorms and typically persists for several hours or more. What does that mean… it means hold on tight! Weather GRIB files and navigation routers can’t do the math to tell you what exactly will happen in an MCS.

I woke up Saturday morning to a 5 am thunderstorm in Chicago. The wind was blowing 15-18 knots out of the South. Our game plan was to do whatever we could to sail north up the lake as fast as possible. There was a chance that the MCS would cross the southern part of the lake, and if we could be north of it, the weather would be less severe. This didn’t happen; the storm covered about 200 miles north-south. We also wanted to keep to the west so that we had 60-80 miles of lake to run with the storm if we needed to. Natalie J and Heart Breaker did the same thing. There was no escape; here is the radar when we got hit. We were just south of Milwaukee.

About that cloud at the top of this article…Once we saw the cloud line, we put a reef in, then hoisted the J4 and took down the spinnaker. We did it before the wind came up and even had time to pack the spinnaker. We also made sure everyone got into their gear early so that when the weather did hit we had everyone on deck. The most wind we saw was in the second “cell,” and it had 38 knots. The wind wasn’t too bad, but the amount of rain was crazy.

Huge raindrops, and in 30 knots of wind they hurt and sting. After the “purple” part of the radar had passed us and we were back in the “red,” we were back racing. The wind was 25 knots we kept the reef in and set our A6 (Frac) just in case a new cell developed and took off across the lake towards the Manitou Passage. After a little bit, I was handed the helm; it was time to LIGHT IT UP.

We were screaming along, sitting on 19-22 knots of boat speed. The whole team was stacked in the back starboard corner of the boat. With the lake chop and night, it was hard to keep the bus moving. There was one big wave I drove through, I was waist deep in water and it pushed Norm Berge aft and into the mainsheet winch as he was trimming the spinnaker giving him a nice bruise.

At the same time, Scott Ewing was just at the hatch and going to bail out the boat he held on to the hatch. He was so far underwater he had to hold his breath and his life jacket auto-inflated! I couldn’t help but start laughing.

After about 2 hours of that, we had to furl the A6 up the; then was up to 30 again and the boat was becoming too hard to steer with the chop. We changed to our J0 on the strut and put up the J4 and SJS (storm jib staysail). The boat was easy to steer and still ripping along. By morning the wind was easing up and we were back sailing on our A2. The rest of the race was a nice downwind sail all the way to the finish.

Surprisingly there didn’t seem to be too many boats with damage. It was a quick race up the lake for the whole fleet. A large bulk of the boats finished early Monday Morning. 

We ended up winning Class 1 and being 2nd overall. 

– Brian Janney

Brian is the Loft manager of North Sails San Diego – ed.

mind your back!

As the 100-foot mastodons prepare for battle in the 384nm Sydney-Gold Coast Race starting this Saturday, Wild Oats XI is finally back in the water after a two-year Covid layoff.

Nicknamed “The Swiss Army Knife” this much-modified Reichel-Pugh has, at various stages since its launch in 2005, sported every appendage known to man.  

Its most recent go-fast foil is the towering front canard, shown above.

No doubt it helps the boat track and reduces leeway, but spare a thought for any foredeck crew who find themselves working up at the pointy end on a dark night.

WOXI has always had a tendency to nosedive. One big wave over the bow might make that foil and its supporting crane something of a hazard. Maybe that’s why the supermaxi has those nifty handrails along each gunnel? Click pic to take a closer look.

4dl?

Big Pimpin’

North Sails Performance clothing delivers ‘3DL technology for humans’ (and some of the world’s fastest humans at that)

‘Our first year has been an outstanding one for us,’ says North Sails Performance director, Nigel Musto. ‘We’ve been delighted that several of the world’s top sailors, on board some of the most exciting boats – like the Gitana Team – have chosen to wear our kit. In particular the performance of 4DL, our “4-layer durable laminate” reinforcement, was way beyond even our own expectations and the feedback has been superb.’

In the competitive world of offshore clothing it would be easy to dismiss such enthusiasm as being the talk of the trade. But Nigel Musto’s hands-on approach and considerable racing and clothing experience is well known. When he talks of a breakthrough it’s worth taking note. But to understand why the new approach is so effective it’s important to understand a few background matters. Read on.

rescue me

Given the heaps of discussion about the Loic Escoffier recent capsize (thread here), this article seemed particularly relevant. I have been a long-time supporter of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This is a British Isles charity (Great Britain & Republic of Ireland) that has saved literally thousands of lives over its history and remains fiercely outside government control with the vast majority of crews putting their lives on the line for people they have never met, (and very often never meet again) regardless of nationality. I was also an RNLI SEA Check Adviser for a time before coming to...

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