heroes

This is actually a really compelling story... A privately-funded expedition has explored the main wreck site of the storied destroyer...

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sail on

I confess to being a Royalist and was saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Decorated for his war service in the Second World War he married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947.

That is perhaps not a reason to post on Sailing Anarchy but in 1949 he struck up a friendship with Uffa Fox and the pair sailed together frequently on the Uffa Fox designed Flying Fifteen Coweslip.

A nautical individual through and through he met Queen Elizabeth when he was a young Royal Naval officer (he graduated best cadet in class) still in his teens and apparently the spark was there from the start. As well as the Flying Fifteen Prince Philip also sailed the Dragon Bluebottle which had been a wedding present to him and his wife.

The Royal Yacht Britannia was often to be seen anchored off Cowes during Cowes Week affording the Duke a short commute where he would regularly compete.

In 1962, the Royal Family at the suggestion of the Duke bought the 63’classic Camper & Nicholson which they sailed on the West Coast of Scotland each year until she was sold in 1969. When not in Royal use [...]

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blown away

Well that sure blew away any lockdown dust. An amazing report from Paul Larson on PowerePlay’s Fastnet course record. Grab a beverage and enjoy the read. Impossible not to…

After a few days training around the Solent and the Isle of Wight in rather warmer Southerly winds, we went on standby for any weather windows that would allow us to fire the weapon in anger at any of the “backyard” records.

Whilst the focus for the Round the Isle of Wight record has been in Southerly winds, the recent cold North, North East winds did show promise with the added potential of leading straight into a Fastnet course record attempt. 

Once Ned put the call out and Miles sent through the forecast, my first thought was “this is going to be cold”. I’m sure we all took extra note of the temperature as we left the warmth of our houses and made our way to the boat. The Northerly change blew in cold and crisp as we peeled the covers off in Hamble River around 0700 in [...]

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qld anarchists

Props for the Aussie alert here…

The yacht Crystal Moon is moored in Darwin Harbour in a somewhat dilapidated state.  The Harbourmaster wants it gone, and has promulgated a notice to fix it or remove it within 14 days or the HM will take actions permitted by legislation to have it removed.

The yacht is marked with port of registry Manly, registration KX429Q – if any Queensland yachties may know the owner’s details, please PM me and I will pass it on.

Looks like they had a rough trip across the Top End. Jump on the discussion.

youth movement

From the Rosenberg boys at Tajima-Direct!

“LEO’S VIEW” is the first in an ongoing series of Q & A’s … where we will see and hear about the evolution of the sport of sailing at the highest level through the eyes and view of one of the hottest young rising stars in the game today, Japanese-born New Zealander Leonard Takahashi. 

Leo will be Japan’s Olympic 49er representative at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, core member and flight controller on Japan’s SailGP entry, former Kiwi Youth Match Racing champion and perhaps one of the top all around young sailors in the world today who is part of the “youth movement” defining the future of the sport. 

We’ll be catching up with Leo after each big event on his schedule to hear his thoughts on the event as well as where he sees the sport going and how it’s evolving – through his eyes. Interviewed, and brought to you by Tajima-Direct.com, shaking up the eyewear industry with their innovative and patented premium polarized lens technology allowing you to Read the Breeze and see detail like never before.  Prescription and non-prescription polarized lens replacement for any brand, and virtually any frame style.

Read on.

it’s on

Looks like big fleet racing in the US is starting to pop. 

For the Melges 24, there is nothing quite like the anticipation of Charleston Race Week. It has become a massive, highlight event that elevates the level of fun and competition so high, it is powerful enough to set the momentum for the entire racing season. Read on.

legends

The recent death of Robert Joseph (Bob) Holmes was the passing of one of the truly great Australian 18ft Skiff champions. Bob was five times JJ Giltinan world champion and five times Australian champion, and won many other state and club championships over a ten year career in the class. He was also the first Australian skipper to win more than one JJ Giltinan world Championship.

After competing for several seasons in the 16 footers, at the Middle Harbour club, Bob joined the 18ft skiff ranks in the 1964-1965 season and immediately had success when he won both the 1964-1965 NSW and Australian Championships, on Sydney Harbour, as well as the 1965 JJ Giltinan world Championship, in Auckland NZ, with his team of Hugh Cooke, Bob Sheridan and Bob Hagley.

At the 1965 JJs, Holmes and his crew sailed superbly and were clearly the outstanding team in the contest. The skiff won four of the five races and, but for gear failure in Race 3, would have won all five. In Race 3, the team held [...]

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power pointless

This seems a bit pointless – why not wait for the actual Fastnet? But rich boys and their toys gotta come out and play, right? Hell, with a boat like that and the required dough, why not?

MOD70 Trimaran PowerPlay, led by Peter Cunningham and skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, has completed the original Fastnet Course of 595 nautical miles in a new world record of 25hrs 04mins 18secs. *Subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

“It was kind of ambitious, but the conditions were right, and the team was ready to go,” commented Peter Cunningham. “The PowerPlay crew was fantastic. Miles (Seddon) did a brilliant job navigating, we had two wonderful drivers in Ned Collier Wakefield, who set up the boat and runs the programme, and the fastest sailor on Earth, Paul Larsen, who drove in some incredibly bad conditions.”

growing pains

Last week we shared this story with you and now here is RS’s statement…

As RS Sailing has continued to grow during recent years, we have structured our dealer network in such a way as to ensure that we can effectively manage this increased demand.

Following the adoption of a new distribution structure in 2020, we had hoped that Italy-based Boat Tech S.r.l would remain a key part of our European network. Sadly, Boat Tech S.r.l. did not wish to enter into a new dealer agreement when this was offered to them and, it is with regret that we can confirm that they have consequently started legal proceedings against RS Sailing.

The RS Sailing team, along with our global network of dealers and distributors, remain fully focused on and committed to delivering boats and parts to our customers. We remain as passionate as ever about getting as many people involved in our sport as possible and hope that we can all be back out on the water soon, enjoying the rest of the 2021 sailing season.

not easy street

With a cloud of uncertainty still looming over the 2020 – now 2021 – Tokyo Olympic Games due to the Coronavirus, many are already looking towards the 2024 Games in Paris as the next time that the best athletes in the world can get together and compete in a safe and inclusive environment. Generally relegated to sailing small dinghies that are the recipient of little to no media coverage in the United States, the excitement surrounding the first inclusion of proper offshore keelboat racing is palpable.

Sailing roughly 10-meter keelboats up and down the coast with two adults onboard is, generally speaking, much more relatable to the average adult sailor when compared to donning a wetsuit and racing a dinghy, skiff or foiling beach cat around the harbor. Combining this upcoming revolution in Olympic sailing with the pandemic itself and other shifts in the marketplace for new boat builds, doublehanded sailing has been booming as of late, as evidenced by huge increases in participation numbers for many of the offshore classics. 

While the exact boat to be [...]

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sail on

The Santa Cruz surfing and sailing communities lost a long time friend when Jim Foley died yesterday after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jim was the consummate waterman, an outstanding surfer and board shaper, sailor, boat designer, and builder who was always enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge and experience with any one who was interested.

Jim began his surfing career on rubber surf mats in 1950. By 1953 he and his father, Chuck, were building surfboards out of wood planks. Early on Jim was experimenting with shapes, materials, and construction methods. He was also experimenting with fin designs.

Jim realized the importance of a lightweight surfboard for best wave riding performance and in 1956 started gluing together Styrofoam insulation boards 2 feet wide, 4 inches thick, and 8 feet long. He coated these early boards with watered down Weldwood glue and covered the board with polyester resin. Jim’s early boards were cheap and easy to build, so much so that he could experiment with practically any shape to try out, sometimes 3 or 4 boards in a day.

Working as a fireman in San Jose, Jim was able to take his one week [...]

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scotm

Pretty great see almost all of the Vendee Globe female skippers get together. Sailor Chicks of the Mountain! Read on.

east coast style

With more than a century of Maine-based commercial and recreational boatbuilding and craftsmanship infused in their culture, Lyman-Morse began in earnest building sailboats and powerboats with souls over 40 years ago. The new LM46 is a perfect blend of these characteristics, where modern design meets traditional materials, combining uniquely to evoke the soul of modern sailing.

In those days the industry was rapidly evolving from one-off wood construction towards series-built production, and by embracing these innovations the yard grew quickly in size, talent and capabilities. Now Lyman-Morse has expanded to become not only the premier builder of choice on the Down East coast, but to also to service a long list of clients with a diverse variety of skill sets to become a premier brokerage and service operation as well.

What put Lyman-Morse on the map in the late 1970s was when Cabot Lyman picked up the contract to finish converting Jarvis Newman 46 traditional lobster boat designs into private power yachts. Some of the customers for these boats were also sailors, and convinced Cabot that there was a growing market for high quality sailboats in this same size range, a market that was going to help build well-known brands such as Hinckley, Cambria, Little Harbor and Alden. Read on.

we sue you

We received this today, and are checking in with RS to see what up…

Boat Tech S.r.l. has decided to take legal action against the company H. Taylor and Sons (Brockley) LTD, trading as RS Sailing (hereinafter also RS), citing the unlawful violation of the existing distribution contract that RS has terminated since February 2021.

Boat Tech has been distributing boats with the RS Sailing brand for over 15 years with diligence and professionalism, presumed exclusively for Italy until September 2020, on which date RS unexpectedly entered into a new distribution contract with the company Negrinautica Srl, also the latter was sued citing acts of unfair competition.

The court of Milan was charged with this dispute by the CEO of Boat Tech, Aldo Rinaldi, who trusts in the judiciary, which will be able to bring out the violations of the law, promoting compliance with market rules.
The practice was entrusted to the Doria & Associati studio in the person of Prof. Avv. Guido Doria, who asked to inhibit, on the Italian market, the sale of RS Sailing boats by parties other than Boat Tech S.r.l.

RS Sailing imposes on its distributors the exclusive jurisdiction of the UK judge, but where the market is seriously violated, as in this case, it comes to the aid of Italian justice which does not allow the exclusive protection of Italian SMEs to be delegated abroad.

impressive flower

The 73rd Running of Brisbane to Gladstone Race started on Good Friday. Their were originally around 60 entries but was reduced to around 40 due to Brisbane being thrown into a snap Covid lockdown with it not not being lifted until only 12 hours before the start.

It is traditionally a downhill run. We left the Gold Coast for the 90 nm Delivery up the coast 18 hours before the start and got into the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club at 0300 hrs. The forecast was now for heavy running conditions.

We motored Maritimo out to the start and the SE breeze was touching 30 knots with no shelter to hoist the mainsails which caused some more fancied runners some problems with boats with crew up the rigs etc.

We took it on at the start and hit the line full speed with the A5 up and were leading boat on the first leg until passed by the 100 footer Black Jack (ex Alfa Romeo ) and a few planning IRC stay boats. Dropped the Spinny at the first mark and back to a J4 and full main for the 10 nm fetch to Tangaloma. By this stage there had already been a few high profile casualties such as former Hobart winner Alive,a RP 66 canter. Back up,with the Chute and we gybed our way through the Shipping Channel being one of the few boats under control. Spinny down for the fetch to NW Fairway.

Popped the A5 again at NW Fairway and smoked for about 4 hours about 10 degrees low on course until we ran out of runway off the bottom end of Fraser Island which is the worlds longest sand island.Had a J3 and fullmain for the first part of the night but gusts up to 40 knots with the rain squalls saw us put a reef in. Black Jack had bolted showing 28 knots constantly on the YB Yacht .

There were other high profile retirements over night and the Rogers 46 Mayfair just planed past us so we were in 3rd Place Line Honours. We passed the Breaksea Spit Buoy at the top of Fraser Is and shook out the reef. Wind was up constantly low 30’s but with constant gusts to high 30’s so we elected to pole out the J3 and full main. It was with this rig we got a squall through at 48 knots and saw our top boat speed of 26.8 knots right on daylight. We never crashed or wiped out through the whole race.

We got through the Gybe all right at Lady Elliot Island and got back inside Mayfair who was forced to granny. The breeze dropped to high 20’s so we put the A5 up after 15 mins procrastinating. It was a really ugly sea with a lot of quartering white water. Then stated getting some gusts back up in the high 30’s with the boat right on edge with the bad seaway so had to get it back down.

We had ripped the Spinny Pole track off the mast during the late night so rigged up a jury rope snotter for the inboard end so we polled out the J3 again with Mayfair planning across our bow and with us sailing lower. It was about then we heard that Black Jack had dropped its rig earlier and we were a chance of a highly unlikely line honours with the high attrition. Once again we got through the Gybe ok while Mayfair was knocked flat and had to Granny again which gave us some breathing space.

Made our way up the Gladstone Shipping Channel without incident with the breeze in the River down to low 20’s. Got Line Honours I just after 1300 hrs giving us a 25 hour run for the the 306 nm course. We were knocked out of a Line Honours/Handicap double by Wistari, which a 32 footer was home built in plywood in 1965.Think a scaled down Ragtime. They sailed well and finished right with the 45 footers.

We have damaged the mast where the track pulled out so we will fix that today, drive the boat truck back home and fly back and get the boat when the weather is more favourable. Sydney – Gold Coast Race is next in late July then Hamilton Island Race Week which is also the IRC Australian Championships in mid August.

  • Michael Spies

unsafe at any speed

Gothenburg – A man in his 20s is suspected of driving a Tesla into a sailboat during the night towards Easter Eve. In connection with the crash, the approximately 13 meter long boat overturned over  the Tesla and another car. The police are now looking for the driver with whom they have an identity. More.

but it’s just a t-shirt…

We are in the process of  building our new SA store, and it came time to order some apparel, so we got in touch with mark Michaelsen from Dry UV, who has done nearly everything we have ever sold or bought for crew gear. He’s just the best.

But he said it is getting really hard to get clothing these days, and really expensive. For example there is a cool white polyester hoody that we have used, and  given today’s situation, they cost $57 each for a blank!  That means after printing logos and such, we’d have to sell them for $100 a pop – who in the hell is going to buy a hoody (albeit an awesome SA hoody) for $100 bucks??  Here is why:

China ran out of containers about a month ago. No containers, no shipments can leave the factory and head to the port. The ports like Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach are way behind offloading due to Covid restrictions. With the freighter backup, customs got slammed all at once and there are only so many customs officers to process the paperwork and inspect the inbound shipments. This slows the rate at which the now empty containers can head back to China. Normally, those same containers are supposed to carry Midwest grain back to China but the shipping companies are so desperate, all of the containers are trickling back to China empty.

This slow delivery of containers back to China has put the shipping companies in double jeopardy. The pace at which Diesel fuel is skyrocketing means that by the time the empty containers do (and some have) make it back to China, the pre-negotiated container rates from 2019 and 2020 that the big shippers work out with the shipping companies in advance, means that if the ship sails, it will cost the shipping company more to move the freight due to fuel costs than they make on the now obsolete rates.  Good or bad, the shipping companies are now refusing to set sail as they are losing money on every run. Complete cluster f*ck.

You would think that the massive apparel manufacturers like Gildan and Jerzees would have a backup plan in central America…and they do (Well, they did) until not one but two Category 5 hurricanes slammed Honduras last Fall. This destroyed the huge factories and more importantly, took out infrastructure like roads and power and water. When you remove the largest apparel manufacturer in the world from the supply chain it puts massive inventory pressure on those who are left to fill the giant void.

All of those companies get their supplies from the far East or Central America. No ships, no containers, and air freight is 800% more expensive than surface. The image file is off Seal Beach, CA where 41 ships are awaiting offload at the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach, CA. Guess where prices are going on the remaining inventory? You guessed it.

Sky is the limit right now. Fortunately DryUV and DryShirt still make a fair amount of gear right her in the USA.  After 30 years in this business we can source the most cost effective apparel with the best of them. Give us a shout- [email protected] or call toll free 1-888-379-7447 ext 2.

who is the greatest?

The America’s Cup 36 recently over and the opinions varied with just who was the better skipper, talk of the faster boat always wins and what if Burling and Spithill swapped boats it got me to thinking, just who is the best or greatest America’s Cup skipper of all time, not just AC36. 

How would you measure “The Greatest”. Total race wins – and do you make that gross or nett? Then you have the problem that not all matches were the first to the same number of wins. 3, 3, 5,7 or 9 have all been the number of race victories required to lift the Auld Mug at the end of the day. SO it has to be the number of America’s Cup Match wins? Again gross or nett? 

History will always remember the ultimate victors and in the America’s Cup there is only a handful of skippers who have risen to the dizzy heights of 3 America’s Cup.

So who are the contenders?

First of all was Charlie Barr, and he certainly set the bar (sorry) high for those following him.

His first involvement in The Cup was sailing with his brother on Thistle, the Royal [...]

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is three better?

How do you judge the success of an ocean cruising yacht? You can tell a lot from where you see them and where you don’t. It’s also instructive to look at the builder’s order book. If you buy one now, how long will you have to wait for delivery? Another indicator is how well (or poorly) they hold their value on the secondhand market. By any of these measures, Neel Trimarans is absolutely nailing it.

You’ll often see Neel tris anchored in remote parts of the Hebrides and far-flung atolls of the South Pacific but they’re rarely seen in crowded, mainstream cruising destinations like the Ionian, the Virgin Islands or the Solent. Depending on which model of Neel tri you want, you’ll probably have to wait at least eight months and possibly up to two years. And a survey of brokerage websites suggests that there isn’t a great deal of difference between the asking price of a two-year-old Neel and the cost of a new one.

Despite the disruptions of the Covid pandemic, the La Rochellebased shipyard is still steadily growing. ‘We built about 30 boats last year,’ says Neel founder Eric Bruneel, ‘and this year we expect to build 45 to 50.’ The latest, smallest model, the Neel 43, is coming off the production line at a rate of one boat every two weeks and demand is still outstripping supply. Read on.

the king of all media

So given that SA has been kicking ass of late , and thinking we need to grow our media behemoth, we made a low-ball, lark of a bid on a site that needs at total makeover. And the dope took it.

Now we have another site (that sucks) and I’m not 100% sure what to do with – should I go lame press releases and race results like it is now, or hell I don’t know.

But I suspect some of y’all might have some ideas so jump in thread. And no, we can’t say what is… – ed.

j/70

Wait a minute, the J/70 already exists! Yes, but this one was a shocker – Insiders say that J/Boats has decided to go big, as in  maybe 70 feet! We don’t know the final size, or where they will bebuilt – could be a number of places – but we think that it is J/Boats’ desire to get in that larger size racer/cruiser (and hugely popular) market  is our bet.

Pissed that the drawings are apparently kept in a vault, but how will they approach this? It can’t really look like a bigger J/145, they are going to have to be brilliant about the design. We can’t wait to get the deets!

 

 

The above was parody – April Fools!

wow that was fast

Apparently due to the mould 11 scandal (click here), there have been global ramifications that have caused the International Etchells class to put all National regattas to be put on “hold”, until the facts are found. In fact, we hear that all later sail numbers are to be scrutinized.

All seems a bit excessive, but there are some drama queens in that fleet. And for sure, some starving pros. Boohoo.

 

 

 

The above is parody, April Fools!

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remember the america’s cup?

Apparently these two guys do…

I do enjoy a good discussion especially with someone with reasoned counterpoints like Anarchist David. It is likely neither of us would win 100% but I do respect his views, although clearly don’t agree with most of them.

Up front I will grant you that INEOS obviously had a lot less left in the tank when they reached the Prada Cup Final but my comments were in response to a number of people calling Rita a ‘dog’. She then cleared the round robins without a loss so was looking good but the ultimate challengers Prada Pirelli Luna Rossa had done a heap of improving of their own – including talking to each other for a start – go figure. So fair play to you on that point. Love – 15

As an aside I couldn’t help noticing a number of Spithill fanboys who suggested The Cup result might have been a bit different if Jimmy and Peter swapped boats. Not only that is not how it works, I couldn’t help notice they didn’t make the suggestion at the Prada Cup Final stage and have Jimmy swap with Sir Ben. Might have resulted in a different challenger perhaps. It [...]

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logic?

Logic? We don’t need no stinking logic! From our Fab Forums, brought to you by Marlow Ropes.

While going through the process of looking for my dream boat I have found myself trying to explain the purchase to my friends and family and realize almost everything I say to them sounds completely irrational. In particular it probably (she would never be confrontational like a western woman) sounds crazy to my long-distance filipina girlfriend, since you can buy a nice little two hectare farm on the oceanfront there in the province (translates roughly to middle of nowhere on a small island only accessible by bangka) for $10,000, complete with money producing coconut trees. It all started when I got on Yachtworld a few months ago to help a friend find a powerboat…

My best rationalization thus far has been “I don’t feel comfortable with fiat currency right now with all the government spending, and need to put money into tangible assets. Land is overvalued, I couldn’t even find an affordable winter home in Florida bigger than a trailer to spend the next cold winter.” Injecting “fiat currency” into the discussion has been helpful to confuse most of those that might try to talk me out of it.

I’m just ventilating, since I know most people here share my mental illness. The best reason for buying a boat is always “f*$&  it, I just want it.” But it might settle my nerves if I hear a few craziness stories from other people.

Discuss.

89

That is the number of double handed entries in the upcoming Fastnet Race.  That is actually incredible, and what a great indicator of the popularity of this type of racing.

Doublehanded offshore racing had been gaining popularity with the Rolex Fastnet Race’s IRC Two Handed class almost doubling in size between 2009 and 2019. But for this year’s edition of the world’s largest offshore yacht race its entry has soared to 89 yachts, a giant step up from 2019’s 64.

Long term this trend has been attributed to owners finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a full crew. Over this time shorthanded offshore racing has become more accepted, no longer seen as being on the fringe of the sport, certainly helped by boats and gear becoming better tailored to this discipline. Extra exposure has caused more people to become intrigued by this uniquely challenging form of yacht racing.

Social distancing requirements enabled this to be the first type of racing to be reintroduced by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in 2020, with doublehanders enjoying the most days out on the water over the season. But the most significant boost internationally has come from the possibility of mixed doublehanded offshore racing being introduced to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Whether this will happen awaits a final decision by the International Olympic Committee due soon.

Read on.

scotw

TRADER Sailing, a military veteran outreach sailing program, is pairing with international sailing charity The Magenta Project for the 2021 Transpacific Yacht Race. For the 2021 campaign, TRADER Sailing has created a mixed-gender entry composed of core military veteran crew paired with four female offshore sailors from the east coast of the United States. To highlight the importance of developing women’s opportunities in offshore sailing, the effort will be called TRADER: Racing with The Magenta Project.  

Abby Ehler, Director at The Magenta Project says, “It is great to see a project such as S/Y Trader actively seeking a diverse crew and valuing the benefits of diversity.”

Common to all crew aboard TRADER are the themes of opportunity and development. During regular operations, TRADER Sailing actively welcomes military veterans and their families to enter an engaging and adventurous team, while developing teamwork and camaraderie. When putting together the Transpac 2021 campaign, Skipper Doug Pasnik saw the chance to work with another group: rising offshore sailors. In melding the two groups, Pasnik hopes to provide a place for growth and leadership development for both his core veterans and incoming young offshore sailors.  Read more.

Pictured above: Megan Gimple, Sarah Wilkinson, Lindsay Gimple, and Annie Longo at the Newport Bermuda Race Awards ceremony in 2018. Wilkinson, L. Gimple, and Longo have all taken part in The Magenta Project’s noteworthy Mentoring Program. Image credit: Julia Cronin/Outrageous Photography

more pissings

This is the last part of the original article of the Aussie Etchells shit show…

But, for Australian fleets, all it does is manufacture further dispute between Mould 9 owners and Mould 11 owners. The Australian Mould 9 owners can rightly feel they just got sold down the river by the International Association to solve a problem that was too hard.

In other words, when it came to fight between the two Class Associations, the Mould 9 owners are the ones who get shot. As with many things, perception is more important than the facts, and Mould 9 owners are well underrepresented by number in terms of Australian Class governors.

If compromise is reached, there will always be an apartheid and this will be particularly so if Mould 11 boats are allowed to race in Australia while the Hull certificates are withdrawn. So, the solution put forward by Mr Cumming is not a solution that holds the class together or is supportive of Australian Mould 9 owners in any way.

As to arriving at a solution, Mr Cumming exhorted that:

This effort will take a lot of collaboration, trust and friendship both internationally and between M11 and non-M11 boat owners generally, putting aside differences [...]

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sprung

Just as Spring has sprung in the northern hemisphere, the world’s largest and most prolific solo and offshore one-design fleet has kicked off their season in a big way with the annual Solo Maitre Coq run out of Les Sables d’Olonne. Despite much of the country being under frustratingly peristent COVID lockdowns, the Figaro class and it’s protagonists managed to string together a week-long regatta with nearly thirty boats on the line.

Consisting of two shorter coastal races and a 340 mile long main event reminiscent of a single stage in the Solitaire du Figaro, the racing was characteristically tight at the head of the fleet with consistency rewarded in the overall rankings. When the dust settled, Tom Laperche onboard Bretagne CMB Performance came out as the overall winner, with Briton Alan Roberts on Seacart Services finishing a very impressive second. 

On the 340-mile grand course, the fleet set off in light airs and big currents; highly tactical and demanding conditions for the solo skippers who were tied to the helm for extended periods of time with [...]

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territorial pissings, part 2

The name calling started in the Etchells boat park a while back. Mould 11 non-believers are called “cocksuckers”. Class officials stride across hardstands not making eye contact with non-believers.

There has been a major screw up and nobody wants anyone to be accountable. So, the type of thing that kill off an international one design class. But like the “X Files” the truth is out there.

For those new to the controversy, the International and Australian Class Associations have been at odds about the legality of the boats produced from “Mould 11” which is owned by the Australian Class Association.

The International Association asserted the Mould 11 boats were not Etchells so claims and cross claims followed whether the boats were faster or not faster, legal or not legal in a manner that did no one good service. In January 2021, Mr Andrew Cumming, the International Class Association President announced that “Mould 11 produces boats which have a longer waterline, less rocker, are flatter in the middle and fuller in the ends” and these boats are not International Etchells.

The Australian Class [...]

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the same, only different

Building a racing yacht today is a very different experience from how it was 25 years ago and it’s not just due to advances in materials. In fact, the basic materials and techniques have hardly changed. The resins are tougher, the carbon is stiffer, and the honeycomb is now made of Kevlar not Nomex. But compared with the materials revolution that took place between 1980 and 1995 you’d have to say that the development of race yacht building materials has plateaued.

Nonetheless, things are very different now for two reasons. First, developments of the 1980s and 90s left us with materials that have more predictable properties, and this allows composite engineers to design far more sophisticated structures. The laminate ply books we work with today are a great deal more complex, precise and optimised; and since materials properties are more reliable, engineering safety factors can be reduced.

Read on.

sex dwarf


For many years the Multi 50 class of trimaran have slid somewhat under the radar, especially on this side of the pond. Dwarfed by the ORMA 60s, MOD 70s, Ultims and more, these smaller ocean racing multihulls have quietly ticked along, offering quality racing at a reasonable price to it’s stakeholders and developing into giant killers capable of more than 40 knots.

While relatively diminutive in size, the Multi 50’s are still incredibly quick, and oftentimes post elapsed times only marginally slower than their significantly larger counterparts. Evidence of this was in the last Route du Rhum, when the top Multi 50’s came in ahead of all of the IMOCAs and even before the third placed Ultims, and in the last Transat Jacques Vabre when the 50-foot trimarans again beat all of the new foiling IMOCA monohulls.

With the ORMA class and MOD class having long been broken up and the Ultims rarely getting together and in limited supply, the stakeholders of the Multi 50 class have identified a need for a top-tier, highly-promoted multihull [...]

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the art of wind

If shipping is to decarbonize its operations, maximizing hull efficiency will be essential, and the only way to get there is through advanced engineering – particularly computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Developed for aerospace applications and refined for use in naval architecture, advanced CFD modeling allows engineers to study the interactions of air and water with the exterior of the vessel. CFD is a big part of the magic behind modern racing yachts, like the gravity-defying America’s Cup boats, and if used with skill it can improve the efficiency of a merchant ship design by as much as five percent.

CFD is a complex art, and while many larger naval architecture and engineering firms have a team in-house, others outsource it to a specialist with high-end methods. One specialized firm, Cape Horn Engineering, is applying CFD expertise honed in the yacht racing world to one of the most interesting questions in commercial shipping: how to put sails back on board merchant vessels. Read on.

sail on

After sailing to a commanding divisional win – not to mention second place over the finish line – in the recent Cabo Race, Cecil and Alyson Rossi’s beautiful Farr 57 Ho’okolohe is well primed to take on this summer’s Transpac race. Finishing second in their division in the 2019 edition, the team is characteristically stacked with talent and local Hawaii knowledge, but for 2021 they will have one extra special crewmember onboard. Sailing in his 16th Transpac this year will be long-time west coast sailor, navigator and ship captain Scott Abrams. A legendary seaman from a family of legendary seamen, Abrams is the grandson of none other than Clarence MacFarlane, who is considered to be the very founder of the Transpac. 

As well as being an accomplished racing sailor with 15 Transpac’s under his belt, Abrams made his very livelihood along the same route, serving as ship captain of Matson’s MV R.J. Pfeiffer for many years. When he sails in his 16th Transpac however, it will be his final one.

After a long and valiant battle with Leukemia, Captain Scott Abrams passed away in November. Former shipmates, in consultation with Scott’s wife of 47 years, Gloria, decided that Abrams should sail in the Transpac one final time. And so when the Farr 57 Ho’okolohe surfs past the Diamond Head buoy some time in late July and finishes her next Transpac, she’ll be spreading Abrams’ ashes to their final resting place; the azure and windswept waters of the Pacific for which he loved so much. 

return fire

We shouldn’t be surprised that SS (“Shanghai Sailor”) wants to take a swing at me for my recent commentary on the America’s Cup. It was SS who insisted, a month ago, that I was wrong to doubt the chances of INEOS becoming the challenger. A certain amount of egg on face there, old sport…

His rebuttals are a mixture of preposterously pedantic hair-splitting and ‘straw man’ arguments against positions I have never proposed. In short:

*  The flurry of media releases aren’t “rumour from the 42nd cousin”. They have been issued by, amongst others, Emirates Team New Zealand, the Royal Yacht Squadron, INEOS, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and the New York Yacht Club. Those sources are not quite “the guy who cleans the toilets”.

*  If, as SS claims, the America’s Cup has not become a commercial entity, how is it that its location has been offered to the highest bidder for the past three series? Looks awfully like goods for sale by any reasonable definition.

*  Host cities for major sporting events (such as the Olympics), will always claim that huge financial benefits have followed, yet they can never prove their inflated numbers (just like SailGP can’t prove their claimed TV viewing [...]

Read On

big boys club

Pretty damn hard not to be impressed by this collaboration…

At the pinnacle of luxury sailing, Nautor’s Swan are known for their builds of unrivalled quality and performance. First introduced in 2006 with the ClubSwan 42, ClubSwan is the performance division of the brand, with each project always having a specific focus on speed, technology and competitive sailing potential. 

The latest ground-breaking project to come from this division is the new ClubSwan 125, currently under construction at the Nautor’s Swan facility in Finland and due to launch in 2021. Designed by world-renowned yacht designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, it aims to be the world’s fastest supermaxi yacht and will push the boundaries of design and innovation like never before. The yacht’s single curved foil solution being one of the notable highlights of the design.

Over the years, Southern Spars and Future Fibres along with North Technology Group sister-company North Sails have supported the development of this division of yachts, continually evolving their integrated ‘Engine Above Deck’ package recently supplied to the entire ClubSwan 50 class. All were again the trusted rig, rigging and sail suppliers for the ClubSwan 125. 

Read on.

good play

The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch non-profit developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, announced its collaboration with musicians and philanthropists Coldplay. The band will directly support the non-profit’s mission by sponsoring an Interceptor™, The Ocean Cleanup’s solution to extract plastic from rivers before entering the ocean. This collaboration helps to take another significant step in tackling the world’s 1000 most polluting rivers

“I’ve long admired the work of Coldplay. They are doing great things to promote a better environment, and they are world-renowned for these efforts (as well as their music), and the reach of their voice is immense. So, when we began exploring how to work together, the potential of the partnership was exciting. Now that we have found the right collaboration path and can share it with our supporters, I’m looking forward to what we can achieve,” Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. Read on.

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